Recently in links Category

Modern typos

Andrew Tannenbaum forwarded this link to me. The wonders of technology in helping create, and then other technology in confounding, poor communication ;-). Back to a real blog real soon - coding is finally moving forward.

Hadassah copyright infringement

I heard elements of this case back when I was in Israel this past December. I wish I understood more—whether or not Friedlander gave up the rights to Hadassah and made it public domain back in the 1950s or not, how long does copyright extend? Beyond the law, to what extend did or should Tvika Rosenberg owe Friedlander or his heirs, regardless? In any event, a Jerusalem court ruled last week that Friedlander's granddaughter owns the rights, and that Masterfont, Rosenberg's company, owes. Here are the details from Ha-aretz.

Court: Inventor's heirs own Hadassah Hebrew typeface: Daughter of man who designed classic font about 70 years ago victorious in copyright infringement suit, by Yuval Saar

… In 2009, Hannah Tal filed a NIS 4.5 million copyright infringement suit against the Israeli company Masterfont for selling the popular typeface created by her father, Henri Friedlaender, for many years without her consent. Ayala Tal, Hannah Tal's daughter and Friedlaender's granddaughter, works at Haaretz as a graphic artist…. [more]

Putting Lili Wronker "On the Map"

I work at the Jewish Women's Archive, and we have a "proof of concept*" map mash-up ( in which you can note a location and then describe the life or events that took place at that location. While visiting calligrapher, teacher, printer Lili Wronker at her retirement home last month it occurred to me that I would take great comfort in noting the address in Queens to which I--and many others--made pilgrimmages over the years to learn, to share, and to enjoy good conversation. I posted a preliminary description of her work at and invite others who know her to add comments and information. There is also a link there to the video about her that was put up on YouTube a couple of years ago and, of course, a scan of the work that was published in Briem's delightful Sixty Alphabets book a quarter of a century ago.

What other women belong "On the Map" there? Who will be the first to add a new entry?

*"proof of concept" - we did something quickly, almost over a weekend. Now we have to find the funding and the resources to do it well and integrate it with the rest of our Archive

more Commentary on the Koren siddur

From the Jewish music "Blog in Dm": The Koren Siddur on Yedid Nefesh. According to the author, "Hasidic Musician," the version of ידיד נפש goes back to the original manuscript which eliminates some translation difficulties and makes for what he considers to be a more beautiful poem.

Check it out!

Israeli Typographer, Oded Ezer, profiled in The Forward

There is an interesting article about Israeli type designer and artist Oded Ezer in a recent edition of The Forward. Although the author does not appear greatly knowledgeable about Hebrew typography, Glinter is to be commended for writing about the subject, and for conveying the idea that fonts are fascinating.

A Bubbling Font of Creativity: Oded Ezer and His Hebrew Designs
By Ezra Glinter
Published July 22, 2009, issue of July 31, 2009.

New "Koren Siddur" features new face, elegant design

Here is a very good article about the new Koren Siddur, which I now have in hand. It is a beautiful book, and will surely take it's place alongside my treasured Jerusalem TaNaKh.

Prayer Type
How Eliyahu Koren used typography to encourage a new way to pray

It will come as no surprise that the new siddur was set by Jerusalem typographer Raphael Freeman. It is also one of the rare siddurim not to put English and Hebrew in "dueling" position—instead, the two languages work together, reading out from a common spine.

Many thanks to Josh Friedman for noticing the book and writing about it with some knowledge and depth.

Website with early Hebrew newspapers

exhibit logo

Judy Pinnolis forwarded this link to me months ago, for an Israeli site with information on early Hebrew newspapers. It's a wonderful browse! עיתונות עברית היסטורית Early Hebrew Newspapers. Note that instead of utf-8, the hebrew is encoded with windows-1252, so if you aren't using a windows machine, the hebrew may not be readable.

Judaica at the Library of Congress

A friend forwarded the URL for an interesting online Judaica encyclopedia, the Jewish Virtual Library. The information is broken into small chunks at times, and like all encyclopedias there is often just enough to whet your appetite, but not enough to answer questions. Still, take a look at the Library of Congress holdings detailed at the Jewish Virtual Library and enjoy. There is enough there to get a sense of Hebrew books and printing and want to learn more.

How to design Hebrew fonts

While I was checking out the Typophile forums yesterday, I found a short, but very useful threat about designing multilingual fonts using FontLab 4.6 (still the current version—runs on Mac or Windows) and, for some features critical to Hebrew OpenType layout, VOLT (Windows-only still?). Tale a look at Typophile forums of multilingual type design tools.

Unicode-based Hebrew type transliterator


Judith Pinnolis, of the Jewish Music Web Center located a nifty website that she uses to help her type Hebrew: a transliteration tool that creates text that can then be pasted into a standard Hebrew word processor:

I found that I cannot paste the text created by this page directly into Dagesh Pro, nor can I paste directly into my HTML editing software (I was hoping to see the Unicode-composed text for HTML purposes), but I =can= paste directly into the ME version of InDesign, and also directly into AbiWord or Hebrew-enabled MS Word. This fact, and the overall design of the transliteration page, lead me to believe that Unicode is being generated. If so, then hebrew text editors will gradually catch up.

In the meantime, the ???? ???? that one sees in some editors (after pasting in the text generated by the transliterator) is an artifact of the fact that Hebrew used to be encoded differently, and is a reminder that the conversion to Unicode, like the move (for Hebrew purposes) to OpenType fonts is eliminating a lot of the twitchy geekiness that has accompanied using Hebrew on computers in the past. And, in the short term, this means that if you are using an editor that doesn't understand Unicode, this tool isn't yet helpful.

Anyway, there is more explanation on the Am Ha-aretz pages, and a great link to David McCreedy's Gallery of Unicode Fonts - Hebrew, so a double bonus of good stuff from Am Ha-aretz' Ami Hertz.

Discussion of new Hebrew Typeface

Mike Thompson writes in to let me know that there is discussion of a new, and rather interesting Hebrew typeface on which he is working at the Typophile board. Although I'm not seeing deep discussion, the comments so far are useful to anyone considering a similar project, and I like the core design. Take a look at

In the meantime you can read more about the font, itself, and download it from Mike's own website,

Free Yiddish Fonts


A query on the UYIP list for "free Yiddish fonts" drew this response from Gerben Zaagsma:

Dr. Berlin's Foreign Font Archive can be found at:

There is a link to "Ancient/Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Typefaces" in the left frame. The Yiddish font is called "Ain Yiddishe Font". It is a zip file and if i remember well it can (after using a conversion utility) be used on Macs as well as Windows-based computers.

Note that the quality (both in terms of how the characters are drawn, and especially in how they fit together) may not be professional, but that doesn't matter for most uses of the fonts. [ari]

Update on the German Hebrew Type Database

I have been confused by the shambles of the German Hebrew Type database website, as referenced by the 2001 paper on the project. To my delight, however, I got Dr. Tamari's new e-mail address and he assures me that the overall site is being redone, and that the database is alive and well at This is an amazing page. A wonderful for typophiles. I return to my earlier stated belief that this is the most exciting Hebrew type project currently ongoing.

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