Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia Ludności Żydowskiej w Polsce (TOZ)

Society for the Protection of Jewish Health in Poland – TOZ (Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia Ludności Żydowskiej w Polsce): the Jewish organization established in Poland in 1921, derived from the Russian OZE organization (Obszczestwo Zdrawoochranienija Jewriejew). TOZ provided health care, especially for children, by establishing a network of infirmaries, sanatoriums and clinics. It financed summer camps for children from poor families, popularized hygiene and sport, for example by issuing pamphlets and periodicals on this topic. It contributed to combating the epidemics of typhus and tuberculosis. TOZ was financed by OZE and American Joint Distribution Committee (a welfare organization), as well as by many private funders. The president of TOZ was Gerszon Lewin. In 1939, TOZ had 300 units in 50 cities in the whole Poland. It was also active during WWII – it endeavored to help the starving and the sick in ghettos. In 1942 it was dissolved by order of German authorities. It was re-established in October 1946 within Central Committee of Jews in Poland. In 1950 it was again dissolved by the communist authorities of People’s Republic of Poland, and its units were taken over by the Ministry of Health.

The term was created within the framework of the project Zapisywanie świata żydowskiego w Polsce [recording the Jewish environment in Poland], whose author is Anka Grupińska, a well-known Polish journalist and writer, specializing in the modern history of the Polish Jews. The project, initiated in 2006 by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, consists in recording interviews with Polish Jews from all generations.
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