Every University of high academic standing encourages the publication and dissemination of research and academic work executed within its portals and outside. Bar-Ilan, Israel’s only religious University, has devoted itself to bringing the Book to the "People of the Book".
Bar-Ilan University Press was first established in 1966 by Prof. D. Sperber who served as director for 10 years. Over the past 32 years, during which it has functioned in its present structure, Bar-Ilan University Press has succeeded in capturing a prominent place on the Israeli publishing scene and has marked up striking achievements both in the number of its publications and in their ever-growing distribution at home and abroad. Several years ago, the press was accepted as a member of the Book Publishers Association of Israel.
To this day Bar-Ilan University Press has published over 770 publications of academic research and studies, in a wide range of disciplines - from Judaica to Political Science, from Biblical Studies to Literature, both in Hebrew and English. They include monographs, sixteen academic serials and eleven professional journals. Although the publications are of the highest academic standards, many of them will appeal to the layman as well as to the scholar.
All prospective publications are considered by an academic Book Committee comprising scholars from varied fields, based on the recommendations of expert referees. A distinguished list of professors have served as chairman of the committee: Prof. D. Sperber, Prof. A. Saltman, Prof. S. Albeck, Prof. S. Eckstein, Prof. Y. Friedlander, Prof. E. Belfer and Prof. B. Abrahamov. Prof. Ephraim Hazan is the current chairman of the Book Committee and Ms. Margalit Avisar is the director. Ms. Miriam Drori served as director for 22 years.
Credit for the success of Bar-Ilan University Press is attributed first and foremost to the high standards that characterize its work, reflected in fine graphic design, meticulous editing, well planned layouts, etc., all of which contribute to the aesthetic value of the publications as well as to their readability.
The press publishes works written not only by scholars from Bar-Ilan University, but from other academic institutions as well, provided that they live up to the same high academic standards of all the press’s publications.
Bar-Ilan University Press has earned twenty-one important prizes, (a list of titles can be seen at our website), and nine of its authors/editors are recipients of the “Israel Prize”.
The Press has an impressive record of success and its books are distributed not only in the academic world but in bookstores appealing to the general public as well. The Press is a regular exhibitor at the Jerusalem International Book Fair and has participated in prestigious book fairs around the world, including those held at Frankfurt, Moscow, Cairo and Warsaw.
Another indication of the press’s success is the fact that 55 titles have been published in repeated editions, for example: Developing Intelligence in Infancy and Early Childhood (Yeled Hakham Yoter) by Prof. Pnina Klein (8th printing), They Don’t Want to Live by Prof. I. Or-Bach (6th printing) and Eve and Lilith by Dr. Nitza Abarbanel (4th printing). Several titles have been translated into foreign languages.
The establishment of Bar-Ilan University Press’s reputation on the academic publishing scene has led to co-publication projects with various publishers in Israel such as Magnes Press, Yad Ben Zvi, and The Bialik Institute, as well as foreign publishers such as E.J. Brill, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Harrassowitz Verlag, OxfordUniversity Press and others.
One of the outstanding projects of the Press is the publication of a revised and augmented scientific edition of Mikra’ot Gedolot – ‘Haketer’, edited with an introduction by Prof. M. Cohen. This new edition is based on the most accurate manuscript – The Aleppo Codex, and thousands of flaws of the previous and current editions have been corrected. The rich selection of medieval commentaries in this edition is the most comprehensive of all times. One of the innovations is the printing of the commentaries in square characters, clearly punctuated. The volumes which have appeared to date are: Joshua-Judges; Samuel I-II; Kings I-II; Isaiah; Genesis part I , Genesis part II; Ezekiel; Psalms part I and Psalms part II. On its completion this project will encompass all the books of the Bible and will include 22 volumes. All nine volumes have already been published in repeated editions.
It should be mentioned that all this is achieved by a small, professional, highly motivated staff.
Eighteen Series Published by Bar-IlanUniversity Press:
East and Maghreb– Researches in the History of the Jews in the Orient and South Africa
Sources of the History of Religious Zionism
Underground and Resistance Studies – The Menachem Begin Institute for the Study of Underground and Resistance Movements
Sources and Studies – History of Jewish Bible Research
Teaching Jewish Culture – The Rabbi Dr. David Ochs Chair in Research in Torah Teaching Methods
Studies in Economy and Society – Schnitzer Foundation for Studies in Economy and Society in Israel
Critical Horizons – Series in Literary Criticism
Bar-Ilan Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Culture
Bar-Ilan Studies in History
Comparative Jewish Politics
Interpretation and Culture – A Series Edited by Avi Sagi
Mikra'ot Gedolot 'Haketer' – A Revised and Augmented Scientific Edition
These are the Names – Studies in Jewish Onomastics
Kenishta: Studies of the Synagogue World
Piyyut in Tradition – Massoret Hapiyyut
Pirkei Shira – From the Hidden Treasures of Jewish Poetry
MAHSHAVOT - A Series of Studies in Jewish Thought
THEMA - A Series of Thematological Studies in the Literature of the Jewish People
Eleven Scholarly Journals Published by Bar-IlanUniversity Press:
Alei Sefer – A Journal of Hebrew Bibliography and Booklore
B.D.D. – Bekhol Derakhekha Daehu – Journal of Torah and Scholarship
Bar-Ilan Law Studies
Crime and Social Deviance
Criticism and Interpretation
Da’at – A Journal of Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
Hebrew Linguistics – A Journal for Hebrew Descriptive, Computational and Applied Linguistics
Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel – Theory, Research and Practice
Literacy and Language
Philosophia – Philosophical Quarterly of Israel
Sidra – Journal for the Study of Rabbinic Literature