Bassya (Maltzer) Bibel (1908-1980) was a poet, author, secretary, and an actress. She arrived to San Francisco in 1921 from Kopaygorod, Podolia (Kopayhorod in modern Ukraine). After settling in the city, she became very involved with a San Francisco Yiddish dramatic group. Bassya Bibel authored several volumes of poetry, including In Hours of Silence (1969), Fleeting Moments (1970), Passing Shadows (1974), and A Net of Black Clouds (1977).
Philip Pinchos Bibel (1909-2006) was an artist, a printer, and a woodworker. He arrived to San Francisco in 1927, emigrating from Szczebrzeszyn (Yiddish, Shabreshin), near Zamosc, in south eastern Poland. His memoir, Embers & Fireflies: More Recollections and Personal Stories, was published in 1999.
The collection contains numerous family documents and mementos; pamphlets; and a scrapbook relating to San Francisco's Yiddish Literary and Drama Club (1927-1948); holding programs; announcements; newspaper clippings; posters; correspondence; fliers; photographs of actors, actresses, and productions; and a history of the literary club. Also has a brochure relating to the First Yiddish Art Exhibition, which took place at the Jewish Folk School House; and information about San Francisco's Yiddishe Folk Shule and School for Jewish Studies; the Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco and Petaluma; San Francisco newspaper columns edited by Philip Bibel from the California Jewish Voice, Los Angeles; and material relating to Nazism, Zionism, the Holocaust, and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The collection also has a handwritten tsedakah book from Zamoch, Poland, dating to 1813; and a booklet published in Haifa, Israel, in 1947, that lists the names of Holocaust survivors who came from Shabreshin, Poland.
The Magnes library holds published volumes of Bassya Bibel’s poetry, including In Hours of Silence (1969), Fleeting Moments (1970), Passing Shadows (1974), and A Net of Black Clouds (1977), as well as a copy of Philip Bibel's memoir, Embers & Fireflies: More Recollections and Personal Stories (1999).
One of the two scrapbooks in the collection is highlighted in the slideshow below.
The audio of oral histories of both Bassya and Philip Bibel are available via the Internet Archive.
Listen to Bassya Bibel's oral history:
Listen to Philip Bibel's oral history: