Shalom Yehuda Press

I was always fascinated by printing but never had an opportunity to do it until I moved to Israel. I had the good fortune to meet Gregory Robison who was living in Jerusalem when his wife was working with the State Dept. Greg is an amateur printer like his father and the latter sent him a small platen press with just enough equipment to be able to print in a meaningful way.

Greg visited my studio and when I heard he was a printer, I expressed an interest. He invited me to his home where we set and printed a lovely business card for me. I was hooked, and I told all my friends about it. Nellie Stavisky had ‘rescued’ a small platen press from the Old City and left it at the Uncle Bob Paper Mill in Beersheva, hoping that someone would make use of it. However, it was lacking rollers and there was no type, ink or other equipment at the Mill, so the people there just used it for sketching. So Nellie gave it to me, and Greg helped me set it up and got equipment for me.

Soon thereafter the Ben Tzvi printing house decided to toss the last bits of letterpress equipment and they offered their Vandercook SP-15 to the Jerusalem Print Workshop. They didn’t have room for it, so they referred them to me. I gladly accepted and got the press and a cabinet of type for a minimal fee. I named the press Shalom Yehuda Press after the street where I lived.

Printing is very much a part-time activity for me and can only be done when there is no backlog of bindings. I founded the Press in 1989 and since then have printed seven books, three of them miniatures, and an assortment of ephemeral material.

A detailed description of the Press’s early activities can be found in an attached article by Leila Avrin (z’l).