Sunday, February 19, 2012


Feldheim Troubles


Feldheim is one of a very small group of Jewish religious book publishers, and one of an even smaller group that specializes in Jewish religious books in English.  Their books and catalog represent a significant portion of Jewish religious literature found in many Jewish homes throughout the US.

Life in Israel picked up on an article from Bcharedi (a hebrew site) stating that the Feldheim Publishing House has entered bankruptcy proceedings.

Sadly the company is (probably) being affected by both the economic downturn and a shift in technology to ebooks (with the Kindle and iPad proliferation).  Unfortunately this bodes poorly for Jewish religious literature and books and the Jewish community.

If the company is purchased, expect prices to rise with a decrease in competition.  If the company goes under, expect a massive loss of Jewish literature that could have been released en masse as ebooks right now!

Maybe a more nimble competitor will arise out of the ashes.  Let’s hope.


  1. This is very sad. I prefer to read Feldheim over the other popular publisher. They are my first choice. What can we do to help them? They are having a warehouse clearance sale in Givat Shaul. Maybe we should stock up now before we don't have the op? :-(

    PS it's easier to read this blog on my iPad now. :-)

  2. I'm in the seforim industry and it's not easy. The price of paper has gone up dramatically, and it's hard to raise prices on books because they are already relatively high.

    Baruch Hashem, ebooks can never make a significant dent into the religious market for a number of reasons and one is spiritual; other reading books are 'one time use' but most Jewish books are timeless.

    I wish that Feldheim and Artscrool would reduce their costs by printing making the page margins smaller as well as printing on cheaper paper.

  3. Josh,

    I'm a big reader and big owner of Jewish books and seforim. But in the past two years the only physical seforim purchases I've made have been for my children in yeshiva. Otherwise it's been either 100% e-book or pad/phone app.

    Once I've got my gemora, mishna, chassidus, halacha, and Tanach for Shabbos, the convienence of e-books and online reading has won out for me.

    So while I agree the seforim industry isn't going away, they should be adjusting their catalogs to supplement with e-books and pad/phone apps to survive. The market is changing.

  4. They should stop publishing the read once novels. It's a waste of money on both ends.


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