Stybel, Abraham Joseph

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STYBEL, ABRAHAM JOSEPH (1884–1946), publisher and literary patron. Born in Zharki, Poland, Stybel engaged in the leather business. From his youth he was deeply interested in Hebrew literature. During World War i he moved from Warsaw to Moscow and became wealthy from his business dealings. He then decided to devote himself to fostering the advancement of Hebrew literature. In 1917 he founded the Stybel publishing house and invited David *Frischmann to be his chief editor. They began the systematic translation of some of the world's best literature by leading Hebrew writers, and also published a literary quarterly, *Ha-Tekufah. After the October 1917 Revolution, when publishing of Hebrew literature was forbidden, Stybel moved to Warsaw and then to Berlin, and opened branches in New York (where he published the literary monthly Miklat under the editorship of Y.D. *Berkowitz) and in Ereẓ Israel. He published hundreds of books, both translations and original works (such as the complete works of M.J. *Berdyczewski and J.Ḥ. *Brenner). When his economic situation deteriorated, Stybel transferred his publishing and manuscripts to N. Twersky in Tel Aviv. In 1938 he renewed his publishing activities in Warsaw, and at the outbreak of World War ii moved to the United States. There he reestablished his publishing house in 1945 under the name of The Institute of Goslava and A.J. Stybel, and printed an additional volume of Ha-Tekufah (vol. 36). He also published his notes and memoirs. His publishing house greatly advanced Hebrew book publication.


J. Twersky, in: Ha-Tekufah, 32–33 (1948), 11–25; N. Touroff, ibid., 26–32; J. Pogrebinski, in: Ha-Sefer ha-Ivri, 10 (1952), 37; I. Rabinowitz, in: Gilyonot, 20 (1946), 26–29; Z. Voyeslavsky, in: Moznayim, 23 (1946), 118–20; M. Ribalow, in: Hadoar, 25 (1946), 907–8; A. Litai, in: He-Avar, 3 (1956), 51–59.

[Yehuda Slutsky]