Keter Publishing House is a public company based in Jerusalem operating through two independent divisions; publishing and book manufacturing.
The company was originally established solely as a publishing house, primarily in the field of scientific translations and works of non-fiction, all in the English language and under a number of different imprints. During the first decade of activity the company expanded rapidly and gained recognition in Israel as the leading publisher in English of original non-fiction titles which eventually led to the start of publishing in Hebrew in the mid 70's of all genres – publishing in Hebrew is now the core activity and continues today under the "Keter Books" imprint. During this period Keter also established a manufacturing division providing turnkey state-of-the-art book productions for the Israeli market, trading under the name "Keter Press". The company has maintained its dominance in both areas ever since and is an acknowledged market leader in the high quality of its titles and the excellence of its manufactured products for the publishing industry in Israel and for its customers abroad.
The company, whose original name was The Israel Program for Scientific Translations (IPST), was founded in 1958. During the first years company activity revolved around the scientific translations of Russian manuscripts into English, primarily for the National Science Foundation of America. This was a major commitment that continued without interruption until the dissolution of the Iron Curtain and the beginning of wide ranging cultural exchange between the East and West.
At the same time the company established an independent imprint for non-fiction publishing in the English language. This activity flourished with a number of significant coproductions together with American and British publishers.
Meanwhile Keter acquired the publishing rights for the many times stalled Encyclopaedia Judaica. This is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious publishing enterprises ever attempted in Israel. The first 16 volume edition was published in 1972 and was sold, with the addition of bi-annual update volumes, throughout the world.
In the year 2000 Encyclopaedia Judaica was named one of the fifty most valued cultural assets of the twentieth century. In due course Keter carried out a complete revision and update for Encyclopaedia Judaica Second Edition which was published in 21 volumes in 2006 under license by The Gale Group, a leading American publisher specializing in works of reference. The second edition of Encyclopedia Judaica received the 2007 Dartmouth Medal for best work of nonfiction in the US.
In the late 1970s Keter became a Hebrew publishing house, focusing at first on Israeli fiction and books for children. Keter later expanded to become a leading publisher of nonfiction and albums. The former Israeli president Chaim Herzog and the former foreign minister Abba Eban were among the members of Keter's Board of Directors.
Keter went public in 1986, and to this day is still the only publishing house in Israel that is traded on the stock exchange. In 1992 the company was bought by Arledan, a public investment company.
Keter Press - The manufacturing division
The decision to set up an independent printing and book-binding factory in Jerusalem in the mid 60's was based firstly on the strategic decision that Encyclopaedia Judaica must be manufactured in Israel. Further, that there could be no compromise on the highest standards of quality, the need for fully mechanized production and the latest technology. Since no such fully integrated factory as yet existed in Israel this became part of the company vision. Beginning in the second half of the 1960s, Keter assembled and invested in the people and the technologies for prepress, printing and bindery and was quickly recognized for the exceptional quality of its productions and for the ground-breaking use of computerized systems for typesetting the Judaica as well as for management control. Having set such high standards for innovation and quality Keter Press continues to invest in state-of-the-art technologies from pre-press to printing and binding, providing an all under-one-roof service for Israel's vibrant publishing market.
Keter Books – The publishing house
Since the 1980s, Keter has focused on nurturing and promoting original Israeli fiction while developing excellent series of translated literature, fiction, crime novels, science fiction, books for children and young adults, nonfiction, travelers' guides, cookbooks and works of reference.
Keter has published about 4,000 titles in Hebrew, including works by prominent Israeli and international authors.
Israeli authors: Shulamit Lapid, Ronit Matalon, Tamar Arad, Mishka Ben David, Dan Benaya Seri, Ilana Bernstein, Yoav Blum, Dror Burstein, Lizzie Doron, Ofir Touche Gafla, Yoel Hoffmann, Amnon Jackont, Sayed Kashua, Alona Kimchi, Orly Krauss-Winer, Yair Lapid, Iris Leal, Uri Levron, Savyon Liebrecht, D. A. Mishani, Amos Oz, Kinneret Rosenbloom, Tzruya Shalev, Zvi Yanai, Michal Zamir, Shemi Zarhin, Tom Segev, Uri Orlev, Ami Rubinger, Nurit Zarchi,
Translated authors: David Foenkinos, Paolo Giordano, Barbara Kingsolver, Raymond Chandler, Howard Jacobson, W.G. Sebald, Nathan Englander, Douglas Adams, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie, Truman Capote, Eva Illouz, Ken Robinson, Claude Lanzmann, Timothy Snyder, Lincoln Peirce, Lemony Snicket, Michael Scott, Lois Lowry, Christopher Paolini, Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume, Philip Pullman and Janusz Korczak.
In addition to its publishing activity Keter operates an independent warehousing and book distribution service . Apart from Keter Books the company has exclusive distribution rights for the following publishers: Matar, Maariv Books, Ivrit, Keshet, Rimonim, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, The New Library and Sifriat HaPoalim.
Keter is the only distributor with the right to deliver direct to all the book chain stores.