Philip Bibel

cropped-philip21909 — 2006

Philip was the Patriarch of the Bibel family and an excellent raconteur.

Tales of the Shtetl — his fifth collection of stories and memories — may be seen as a culmination of literary endeavors that include plays, poetry, and short stories written in Yiddish and English.

But Bibel’s other interests and accomplishments should not be ignored. After surviving the young émigré life in early 20th-century America with a variety of short-term jobs, he picked up the hammer and saw of his mother’s family tradition and eventually became the successful proprietor of a furniture woodworking company, where he also engaged in furniture design.  His modern and traditional works were found in restaurants, in homes, and even among opera props.

Like his younger brother Leon, Philip also explored art. He painted with oils and acrylic on canvas and excelled when he developed wood collages and reliefs. His “sculptured paintings” based on split plywood were exhibited at the Judah Magnes Museum in Berkeley, California. Before the world began shrinking through electronic communications, Bibel’s home was an international hub for physicians, writers, musicians, and airline jet setters. He has been a teacher of history and ethics, a rock in times of strife, and — perhaps most importantly — a loving and compassionate father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

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