Bassya and Philip Bibel papers, 1813-1969
Bassya (Maltzer) Bibel (1908-1980) was a poet, author, secretary, and an actress. She arrived to San Francisco in 1921 from Kopaygorod, Podolia (Kopayhorod in modern Ukraine). After settling in the city, she became very involved with a San Francisco Yiddish dramatic group. Bassya Bibel also authored several volumes of poetry.

Philip Pinchos Bibel (1909-2006) was an artist, a printer, and a woodworker. He arrived to San Francisco in 1927, emigrating from Szczebrzeszyn (Yiddish, Shabreshin), near Zamosc, in south eastern Poland. His memoir, Embers & Fireflies: More Recollections and Personal Stories, was published in 1999.

The collection contains numerous family documents and mementos; pamphlets; and a scrapbook relating to San Francisco's Yiddish Literary and Drama Club (1927-1948); holding programs; announcements; newspaper clippings; posters; correspondence; fliers; photographs of actors, actresses, and productions; and a history of the literary club. Also has a brochure relating to the First Yiddish Art Exhibition, which took place at the Jewish Folk School House; and information about San Francisco's Yiddishe Folk Shule and School for Jewish Studies; the Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco and Petaluma; San Francisco newspaper columns edited by Philip Bibel from the California Jewish Voice, Los Angeles; and material relating to Nazism, Zionism, the Holocaust, and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The collection also has a handwritten tsedakah book from Zamoch, Poland, dating to 1813; and a booklet published in Haifa, Israel, in 1947, that lists the names of Holocaust survivors who came from Shabreshin, Poland. The audio files containing oral histories created by The Magnes with both Bassya and Philip Bibel are available online via the Internet Archive (CAVPP, UC Berkeley).

The Magnes library holds published volumes of Bassya Bibel’s poetry, including In Hours of Silence (1969), Fleeting Moments (1970), Passing Shadows (1974), and A Net of Black Clouds (1977), as well as a copy of Philip Bibel's memoir, Embers & Fireflies: More Recollections and Personal Stories (1999).

Magnes database record

UC Berkeley Library catalog record

Oral history with Bassya Bibel

Oral history with Philip Bibel

Creator: Bibel, Bassya (1908-1986) and Philip (1909-2006)
Title: Bassya and Philip Bibel papers, 1813-1969.
Size: 1.6 linear ft. (1 document box and 1 oversize flat box)
Collection #: BANC MSS 2010.745 (formerly WJHC 1967.047 AR1)


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The digitization projects of the Magnes are supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the Toole Media Fund, and by an Anonymous gift.

The digitization of the Bassya and Philip Bibel Collection has been made possible with support from the Elkind Family Trust.

The Magnes is a beneficiary of the Esther and Jacques Reutlinger Foundation, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties and the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay.
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