John Efron // The Jewish Doctor: A Brief History


Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

For many Jews, the Jewish doctor personifies success, but most don’t realize the central importance of medicine in Jewish modernization. Physicians were important to politics as well as health in the nineteenth century, especially in Germany. Medical advice about such things as Jewish diet, childcare, and burial practices helped narrow the cultural gap between Jews and the rest of society, just as Jews were on the cusp of attaining equal rights. This talk will explore how medicine helped bring science to German Jewry, and, more broadly, how it shaped modern Jewish culture.

Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

Professor John Efron of the University of California, Berkeley, specializes in the cultural and social history of German Jewry. His scholarship focuses on the ways German Jewry has attempted to reinterpret and reinvent Jewish culture in the wake of its complex encounter with modernity. In particular, he has written on medicine, anthropology, and anti-Semitism. His books include Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Siècle Europe, and Medicine and the German Jews: A History.



Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 4:00 PM

National Museum of American Jewish History

101 S. Independence Mall East (5th and Market Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19106

Pre-registration strongly recommended. Reserve your free tickets now at


Event Location: 

National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA

Event Date and Time: 
February 01, 2015 4:00pm
Event-related Document: