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Hasefer

HASEFER

HASEFER , official publishing house of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania. Founded in 1990 in Bucharest for the purpose of publishing Rabbi Moses *Rosen's works, it was expanded after his death (1994). The president of the Federation, Nicolae Cajal, aimed to build a spiritual bridge between Jews and Romanians in order to fight antisemitism by presenting Jewish spirituality, history, and contribution to civilization to people who would not know of them in the Communist period. It was also a period of growing interest in Jewish studies in Romania. The publishing house was enlarged and created in a way similar to that of Judaica publishing houses in other countries. The philosopher, social scientist, and literary critic Zigu Ornea was appointed director in 1995 because of his experience as director of the Minerva publishing house in Bucharest. Funding came from the Federation of Jewish Communities and from the Romanian government department for minorities. The name Hasefer ("The Book") was taken from the former bookshop of the same name that had existed in Bucharest between the two world wars, owned by Henry (Herman) Steinberg. After Zigu Ornea's death, the assistant director, Alexandru Singer, took over as director (2003). By April 2005, Hasefer had published 260 books, mainly in Romanian on the subjects of Judaism, Jewish philosophy and history, Romanian Jewish history, Holocaust, Yiddish literature, and Israeli literature. Among the well-known authors published in Romanian translation are Isaac Bashevis *Singer, Andre *Neher, Saul *Bellow, Primo *Levi, Moshe *Idel, Nava Semel, Moses *Mendelsohn, *Josephus Flavius, and *Philo of Alexandria.

bibliography:

Hasefer Publishing House, catalog on cd (2005); B. Tercatin (ed.), Calendar Luah 5766/2005–2006; A. Mirodan, Dicţionar neoconvenţional, 2 (1997), 218–19.

[Lucian-Zeev Herșcovici (2nd ed.)]

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