Since 1979, Biblio Press has been publishing non-fiction books for Jewish women with special emphasis on the women's movement in Judaism. As a small, feminist press, it has published a few books yearly, often with input and guidance from the academic community. Originally intended to provide reference guides and bibliographies, Biblio Press expanded to publish books of feminist content and various titles of interest to students in women's studies and religious programs.
Doris Gold was motivated by her long participation in Jewish organizational life to found Biblio Press, dedicated to educating Jewish women about their own history and accomplishments. Gold founded Biblio Press in 1979 particularly to inform Jewish professionals, such as social workers, and Jewish volunteers who served Jewish institutions about the backgrounds, experiences, and needs of Jewish women. Gold discovered, however, that it was laywomen, and not necessarily the professionals that were buying her books.
The first book published by Biblio Press was Aviva Cantor's The Jewish Woman: 1900-1978 Bibliography . It was an annotated bibliography and guide to hundreds of articles about Jewish women which Cantor updated periodically. More similar titles followed, such as Jewish Women and Jewish Law Bibliography, compiled by Ora Hamelsdorf and Sandra Adelsberg and The Jewish Women's Studies Guide, edited by Edward R. Levinson and Ellen Sue Levi Elwell. Most of the list were non-fiction, but there were some volumes of poetry, including Gold's own Honey in the Lion . By the end of the 1980's Biblio Press had produced several books that are "classics" of Jewish feminism like Miriam's Well: Rituals for Jewish Women Around the Year by Penina Adelman, which captured the energy of the emerging Rosh Chodesh movement and provided valuable information to those wanting to form their own groups. Other books regarding Israel and Jewish women leaders, such as Before Golda: Manya Shocat, by Rachel Yanait Ben-Zvi and Written out of History, by Sondra Henry and Emily Taitz, were published to rectify the historical narrative by placing women within the context of their time and place.
The importance of Biblio Press is in its ability to publish books that the larger publishing houses would not because of the belief that books about Jewish women were too narrow of a market or too controversial. Because Biblio Press was so small, Gold was able to publish the books that she felt were important or in demand. Since its beginnings Biblio Press saw the urgent need for this information and scholarship. This need is most apparent in the increase in sales of books in this genre and in the popularity of college programs and courses offered in Jewish women's studies by the 1990s.
Biblio Press continues to be an important small publisher of Jewish women's studies.
From the guide to the Biblio Press Collection, 1978-2001, (The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives)
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