As a young state made up of people from very diverse cultures, Israel (pop. 7.8M) has a rich and rapidly evolving literary culture. The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature (ITHL) was founded in 1962 to acquaint foreign readers with the best of modern Hebrew literature. Over the years, the range of its activities has expanded far beyond translation. Concurrently, and largely in response to the work of ITHL, international interest in Hebrew literature has grown significantly. At present, Hebrew literature is published in 72 languages!
Selection of Literary Titles
A panel of independent experts assesses the suitability of new titles for publication in foreign languages. Only those titles considered to be of a good literary standard are accepted. In recent years,the choice of authors and titles has also been influenced by the response of the international publishing market to our program.
Translation & Editing
One of ITHL's main activities is the preparation and promotion of new Hebrew titles in translation. We commission, facilitate and/or supervise translations to 72 languages. Information on authors and titles is available to publishers on request. We also try to ensure that full or partial translations of newly published books are available in at least one foreign language.
ITHL acts as literary agent to over 320 leading authors of adult, y/a and juvenile literature. New authors and titles represented by ITHL can be found in our yearly catalogues, published separately for adults and children/young adults. Catalogues include synopses, biographies and information on titles already published abroad. Negotiations and contracts for titles represented by ITHL must be conducted through the Institute or its authorized representatives abroad. In certain cases, ITHL acts only as agent, in others it holds translation rights. For titles not yet translated into the required language, publishers may select their own translator, subject to approval by ITHL. It is of primary concern to us to maintain a high standard of translation; where possible, we help assess new translators.
Financial Aid - ITHL Translation Subsidy Program
Financial aid may be given to a publisher who undertakes independent translation of a book. It may also be granted to literary journals which devote a special issue to modern Hebrew literature, and to publishers who wish to publish anthologies. Aid is subject to approval by the board of ITHL and the availability of funds. Application guidelines and application forms can be downloaded at:
Modern Hebrew Literature
This quality English-language literary journal is now being relaunched as an e-magazine, published twice a year by ITHL. Its purpose is to help the foreign reader keep abreast of Israel's busy literary scene. Each issue includes excerpts of new fiction, articles of general interest, interviews with authors, poetry, and reviews of new books in Hebrew.
Our Bibliographic Center lists about 490 anthologies of Hebrew literature in 41 languages. In some cases, we initiate the project; in others, publishers approach us with a project of their own. In all cases, ITHL offers translation, editorial and/or financial support. If required, we also assist in the selection of material.
Catalogues of new adult titles are published twice a year, in Spring and in the Fall. A catalogue of new y/a and children's books is published once a year, in Spring.
Bibliographic Center & Database
Established 35 years ago, our one-of-a-kind database lists all translations of Hebrew literature into foreign languages, and is an invaluable resource for publishers and researchers. It includes:
* Over 54,000 records of translated material in 72 languages
* A separate entry for each literary work, as well as
* Separate entries for each short story, poem, etc.
* Author & title indexes in Hebrew and English
International Book Fairs & Special Exhibits
ITHL represents Israeli authors at major international book fairs and meets with publishers from around the world. We also prepare book displays, catalogues and information for smaller book fairs. Israeli Embassies and Cultural Centers often use our material for their "Books from Israel" presentations.
Conferences and Workshops
These are organized to promote general interest in Hebrew literature and to foster the highest standards of translation. They enable translators to compare experiences, meet the authors they are translating and discuss a variety of topics.
ITHL coordinates promotion trips around the world for Israeli authors. It also hosts special literary events in Israel for foreign publishers, authors and journalists to get to know their Israeli counterparts.
ITHL has initiated a number of projects aimed at promoting interest in countries which have had little access to modern Hebrew literature. Recent projects have focused on translation into Arabic, Russian and other CIS languages, Chinese, Indian languages and Japanese. ITHL has also cooperated on a special catalogue of Hebrew literature in Chinese, and published individual bibliographies of the work of Nobel Prize winner, S.Y.Agnon, and renowned poet Yehuda Amichai.
Our unique library, situated near Tel Aviv, has a large collection of Hebrew books in translation as well as archival material.
Our website includes:
• A general directory with 450 Hebrew authors, both classic and contemporary
• Synopses of titles represented by ITHL
• Information on recent ITHL publications
thanks to the Ministry for Culture and Sport for their sponsorship.