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Philipp Feldheim

FELDHEIM, PHILIPP (1901–1990), U.S. publisher of sacred books and translations in English translation. Born in Vienna, Feldheim was sent away to a series of yeshivot in Europe where he studied under the direction of Rabbi Joseph Ẓevi *Duschinksy. He returned to Vienna, where he was active in communal affairs, most especially Agudat Israel. Arrested on *Kristallnacht Feldheim resolved to leave Austria and immigrated to the United States with thirty dollars in his pocket. He settled in Williamsburg, where he first sold books from his apartment and received shipments of Jewish sacred books from Europe. From his apartment he moved to rented quarters and then decided to publish books instead of only importing them.

He was involved in printing the first Talmud to be printed in the United States. He moved to Washington Heights in 1950, where he came under the influence of Rabbi Joseph *Breuer, who encouraged him to translate important Jewish books into English, much as the community in Germany had made sacred works available in German. Feldheim undertook the publication of the English translation of the writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Rabbi Elie Monk, and such works as The Path of the Just and the Gates of Repentance and Irving Bunim's Ethics from Sinai. He was both a distributor and publisher and spearheaded the creation of an English-language ultra-Orthodox corpus of works, essential for reaching a new generation of Jews comfortable in the English language.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.