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Kristianpoller Family

Wealthy rabbinic family in Galicia. Several members of the Kristianpoller family were rabbis in Brody from the end of the eighteenth century. The dynasty began with Me’ir Kristianpoller (1740–1815), who served for a time as rabbi of Kristianpol (Pol., Krystynopol; about 60 km north of Lwów), from which the family adopted its name. In 1785, he was appointed rabbi of Brody and served in that capacity for 30 years until his death. He wrote novellae on the Talmud, titled Yad ha-Me’ir (1874).

Me’ir’s son Yeḥi’el Mikhl Kristianpoller (1793–1863) began working as the rabbi of Brody in the 1830s, though it seems that his appointment was officially recognized only in 1846. Along with his Torah studies, Yeḥi’el Mikhl also received a general education. He was appointed to the rabbinate in Brody with the support of the maskilim in the community, who were headed by the Kalir family, members of which controlled the key positions in the community’s leadership.

Later, the Kalir and Kristianpoller families became more closely connected through marital ties. Natan Kalir, who enjoyed a noble title and served in the Austrian parliament, married Brayndl, daughter of Yeḥi’el Mikhl Kristianpoller. The complex marital ties between the rabbi’s daughter, who remained fully faithful to the tradition and exceedingly meticulous in all matters, and her husband, who went about with an uncovered head and dressed in a modern European style, drew great public attention.

Yeḥi’el Mikhl cooperated with various educational projects established by the city’s maskilim in the 1840s and 1850s. In 1859, he and Me’ir Kalir (1795–1875) represented the community of Brody on a committee that had been assembled by the Galician governorship for the purpose of establishing a rabbinical seminary in Galicia. Yeḥi’el Mikhl’s son, Me’ir Kristianpoller (1816–1886), also served as rabbi of Brody from 1866.

Suggested Reading

Markus Brauda (Mordekhai Ze’ev Broda), Zikhron Mordekhai Ze’ev Broda (Jerusalem, 1959/60), pp. 19–20; Nathan Michael Gelber, ‘Arim ve-imahot be-Yisra’el, vol. 6, Brodi (Jerusalem, 1955); Dov Sadan, ‘Ir ve-em be-‘ene baneha (Tel Aviv, 1981), pp. 160–162; Me’ir Vunder, “Krisnapoler,” in Me’ore Galitsyah: Entsiklopedyah le-ḥakhme Galitsyah, vol. 4, cols. 618–623 (Jerusalem, 1990).



Translated from Hebrew by David Strauss