Learning Hebrew Calligraphy

I'm interested in learning to do traditional Hebrew calligraphy. Does anyone know where I might go for that in New York?

hrant's picture

Around the corner? ;-)


Michael Cunliffe Thompson's picture

I learned from the book "ל.פ.טוב "כתב אמנותי עברי
and from copying Hebrew texts that I admired.
I guess the book is out of print but there are many references to it on
Israeli web pages.
The book has alphabets with small arrows suggesting a stroke order.

However no one can answer your question with any confidence without knowing
the purpose of the calligraphy! Do you want to learn "Stam", "Yerusalmi" etc
There are so many styles...


William Berkson's picture

http://www.societyofscribes.org/ in New York City.

If they don't have classes on Hebrew script they will know who will.

Another route: google "ketubah new york city" or "ketubot new york city

I think the Ketubah (decorative marriage contract) is an important part of business for a lot of Hebrew calligraphers. So you can ask these people.

Another way: google "scribe sofer new york city" that will get you the Torah scribes.

david h's picture

> Another way: google "scribe sofer new york city" that will get you the Torah scribes.

here you need to know the difference between Sephardic, Ashkenazi and Hasidic; there're 3 styles of lettering!

paul d hunt's picture

The book Michael mentions can be viewed on flickr:

William Berkson's picture

Thanks, Paul, (and Yaron), that's a nice resource. I've book marked it.

exfish's picture

I have an aunt in Jerusalem who maintains that Toby's book is the only one worth reading. I've actually found and ordered a used copy (even though it's online, it's awfully nice to have physical books). As to style—the traditionalist in me is tempted by Stam, but my main goal is to have a good foundation in lettering and alphabet "anatomy" to aid in designing contemporary Hebrew type, so something closer to modern Hebrew scripts might be better.

Despite growing up in Israel, I didn't get into typography until grad school in New York. My understanding of the Hebrew alphabet is scarcely better than a layman's, having read some essays (Raphael Frank's and others) and done some analysis of my own on readability and letterforms. Learning lettering in school was a great preparation for working with Latin type, and I'm sure it will be as effective for Hebrew. And as much as books are nice, I learn best from direct experience with another person.

Thank you all for the advice, in any case! I probably need to do some more research into the styles of Hebrew calligraphy before I seek out a teacher.

impwriter's picture

Sorry to self -promote, but I offer a Correspondence Course in Hebrew Calligraphy.

check my website: www.impwriter.com

if you have any questions on Hebrew Calligraphy I'd be happy to answer,


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