The Voices Israel Group of Poets

in English

Our Condolences
To Naomi Goldstein Yalin, whose mother has passed away in London, and to her family.
May her memory be a blessing.

Who We Are

Voices Israel is the natural home for Israeli poets writing in English, and for those abroad who support our goals and share our enthusiasm for poetry. From our initial launch by four founders in 1971, we have grown to a membership of around 160 poets in Israel and many other countries.  We are a fully-accredited and approved organization registered since 1993 with the Israel Organizations Authority.  


For fuller information: 

Do remember to renew your membership for 2019. The price is still just 120 NIS for the year. To renew, just fill in our membership form and sending it by mail with a cheque, or by email with details of your bank transfer, to our Treasurer. Full details, and the form to fill in, are on our Join Voices page.

What We're Doing

Most of our groups are holding meetings this month -  details are in the Newsletter sent to all our members. Would-be members who'd like to visit a meeting: please see our Contacts page to get in touch with your local group coordinator. 

Our beautiful chapbook from the Haifa workshop in June is now available for purchase. 

As always, a wonderful production by Johnmichael Simon, including an “inspiring” book cover. Order forms are included in the October Newsletter just sent out to our members.


The 30th International Reuben Rose Poetry competition submission period closed on October 3rd.  

The judges are last year’s winner John Gallas, second prizewinner Donna Bechar and the overseas judge is Canadian poet Katherine Gordon. 

Watch this space for news about the results of the competition!


Our 2019 anthology is at the printer. Chanita Millman our dedicated Voices Israel treasurer will despatch a copy to all paid up members during October. We'll be launching the anthology in November at the same venue as last year, the Karaoke Stage Bar in Netanya.


We've updated the Compendia and Organizations section of our Resource List, adding especially U.K. sites of organizations that offer lists of competitions, magazines currently accepting submissions, tips for writers, etc. Worth checking out!

Our Upper Galilee group is offering series of classes entitled "Formal Elements in Poetry," taught by Reuven Goldfarb. the series will focus on the sonic qualities of poetry — the rhythmic and musical qualities of the many varieties of English verse.  The first meeting will be on September 25th, at Reuben's home in Tzfat. If interested in attending, please write to Reuven via poetsprogress@gmail.com for an overview and advance copies of readings. Fuller details are in the September Newsletter, p.15 (Attachment 3").
Reuven is dedicating this class to Zev Davis, z"l, an ardent practitioner of traditional forms and an active member of Voices Israel, who regularly attended both the Haifa and Upper Galilee group meetings. 

We are looking for a new editorial team of three to support the Voices Anthology Chief Editor Dina Yehuda. This is a two-year commitment. Any member who is interested, please email Susan Olsburgh, our President.


The chapbook resulting from out Midsummer Workshop in Haifa is now available! Collator Judith Fineberg has worked hard with Johnmichael Simon to produce Inspiration by the Bay,  an impressive memento of the Voices workshop held in June at Susan Rosenberg's home. The general theme of the workshop was poetic form - for details, see our Haifa Workshop June 2019 page Over 40 poems have resulted from the three topics presented; and for the first time, a summary of the theory presented at the workshop is included at the start of each section. See p.14 ("attachment 2") of the September Newsletter for details of how to order.

The 2019 Voices Israel Anthology, volume 45 is in the final production stage and will then be distributed by treasurer Chanita Millman. It’s free to those who have paid their membership dues (which happily is most of our members). The launch is likely to be in November after the Chagim.


We're delighted to announce that Wendy Dickstein, a well-known prizewinning Voices poet, has volunteered to be the administrator of the Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize. Wendy will have a team to help her in her task consisting of Ricky Friesem, at whose home  the idea of the prize emerged, Susan Bell, and possibly our youngest Voices member Itamar Blumfield.

We held the presentations event of the 2018 Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition on May 16th, 2019 at Mercaz Avivim near Tel Aviv university.  The first prize winner, John Gallas of the UK, didn't manage to get here, much to his and our regret; but sent us a lovely recording of himself reading his prize-winning poem, and an audio commentary on how the poem came to be written. Our two Israeli prize-winners and three Israeli "honourable mentions" read their poems themselves, while the poems of those who live abroad were beautifully read by Israeli proxy readers. 


Here's a link to the full  list of winners and Honorable Mentions; from that page you can read and download the texts of the poems (pdf file). 

Here's a link to the page for the presentations evening, including John Gallas's recording of his poem and a few photos to give the feel of the evening. To see more photos from the event, visit our Facebook page !


At the same event, we launched a new Voices Israel initiative: the Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize endowed in memory of a young Israeli poet, Bar Sagi. Bar was a talented young poet who sadly died in 2017 in her sixteenth year. Her family is endowing a prize in her name and family members attended the launch. We hope that this prize will not only give solace but  also promote poetry among young poets. We’re delighted that Voices Israel is going to help encourage the voices of the young in Israel.


Dr. Judy Belsky, the co-ordinator of our Bet Shemesh group,  helped organize a pre-Purim poetry reading entitled "The Spirit of Purim: Poetry and Music" at the Israel Center in Jerusalem. Five of our poets read their poems. To see a YouTube video of the event (1 hour 23 minutes) click here. 


Our Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday March 12th at 6 pm. Here's the agenda. It was a lively event with considerable discussion of resolutions.  It was graciously hosted once again in central Tel Aviv by Birgit Talmon who  organized a very appetising range of refreshments, and was attended by about 20 members.  Ruth Fogelman was presented with a Steimatsky voucher to mark her completion of ten years as the Jerusalem chapter's coordinator. (Avril Meallem has succeeded Ruth - Welcome Avril!) After the formal business of the evening there was an Open Mike session - the attendees each read two of their poems and enjoyed the experience of listening to each other's work.


Voices and IAWE held a joint Poetry Reading in Tzfat — on January 24, at Mystic Mountain Studio and Brewery in the Artists' Quarter of Tzfat - see it on Google Maps. Featured poets: Reuven Goldfarb, Shlomo Sher, Michael Dickel (Dekel); invitees: Yehudit Goldfarb, Ann Bar-Dov, Pesach Rotem, and Michael Kagan. After the poetry readings the venue was opened to the public and a Hassidic-looking band played blues and jazz. For fuller information and a few photos to convey the atmosphere, see our Tzfat Poetry Event page. Thanks to Reuven Goldfarb for organizing this event! 

What our Members Have Been Doing: congratulations to:

Matthew Anish (New York), who has had a poem published in a recent issue of The Ultimate Writer and an article about Walt Whitman in the second August issue of Barrs News.


Helen Bar-Lev,  whose exhibition of her paintings of Italy opens on October 12th.


Judy Belsky, whose artwork has been chosen for the Gold List in Art Market Magazine.


Michael Duke (London), who has just started a poetry group at his house: "Poetry Chez Michael". In addition, Michael is a distinguished photographer, one of whose images received a 'Salon Gold' at an international competition held in Serbia, while he also received an aFIAP distinction from the Federation Des Art Photographie based in France.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “A Big Mistake” has been published in Poets Reading the News at http://www.poetsreadingthenews.com/2019/09/mistake-rotem/.

Wendy Blumfield, whose two-page article: “Poetry – a neglected art?” was published in the Jerusalem Report July 22nd, with full coverage of Voices Israel events and pictures of workshops.

Pesach Rotem, who had four poems (“Eclipse,” “Electoral College,” “Professor Hofstadter’s Brain,” “The Ironic Demise of Dr. Lodge”) published in Synchronized Chaos at http://synchchaos.com/poetry-frompesach-rotem/

Matthew Anish who has had one poem published in the August issue of Spontaneous Spirits and another published by the American Tolkien Society on their website.

Esther Cameron whose poem "At This Late Date: A Reply to Robert Frost" is now up on Sassonmag.com. It responds to a blank verse letter written by Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer, justifying Frost's refusal to participate in a group of writers opposing fascism during World War II.
Our secretary Linda Suchy and her family, on the birth of granddaughter baby Leila. Linda is spending an extended time in the USA carrying out grandma duties and yet she is still amazingly organised to maintain her Voices Israel secretarial duties from thousands of miles away.

Pesach Rotem, whose poem “The Adventures of Shrubbery Man” was published in Poets Reading the News at http://www.poetsreadingthenews.com/2019/07/the-adventures-of-shrubbery-man/.


Reuven Goldfarb, whose poem, "Visiting Empire Haven: A Naturist Resort in Moravia, New York," won Honorable Mention and $100 in this year's Winning Writers Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. He was one of 15 finalists out of 5,541 who entered, each with a single poem. The names of the winners and their poems will be posted on the Winning Writers web site on August 15. In the meantime, here is the link to Reuven's winning entry: https://winningwriters.com/past-winning-entries/visiting-empirehaven.


Reuven Goldfarb again, who will begin in September to teach a class called "Formal Elements in Poetry." The class will most likely meet on one or two Wednesdays a month starting at 5 or 6 pm and last for a couple of hours. We'll post more details when we have them.

Ada Aharoni who has published her 35th book, entitled Children's Peace Poems (available at Amazon in paperback and as a Kindle e-book). In this book, children of the world from twenty-seven countries, on five continents, have created moving poems and colourful drawings about their hopes for world peace and about peace in their own lives.

Matthew Anish, whose poem “Hope for Humanity” was published in the June 2019 issue of Conceit magazine, and also has two poems in the anthology Leisure, a collection of poetry from the poets of the Green Pavilion. This after we recently congratulated Matthew  for having a poem published in the April 16 edition of The New York Times and three poems published in the May issue of Mystical Muse.


Stanley Barkan, Helen Bar-Lev, Lidia Chiarelli/Actis, and Bernard Mann whose poems have been published in the E-book of Universal Oneness Poetry Anthology, Magnum Opus.


Michael E. Stone, whose book Armenia Views has been published by Yerevan: Hayastan Press. The book is illustrated by Jerusalem artist, Nicole Levy. It is available from Michael at stone.michael.e@me.com for $6.50 (Voices and IAWE Members $5.50 or NIS 20).


Congratulations also to Michael wearing his other hat - as a Professor at the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem - who on June 11, 2019, along with five of his colleagues, was chosen as a new member of The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The official induction ceremony will take place at the Academy in Jerusalem during Chanukah 2019.
Bernard Mann, who is a  finalist in the Bluelight Poetry contest which received over 300 manuscripts; and who has won a first-place prize for his historical novel published last year: David & Avshalom: Life and Death in the Forest of Angels, in the annual Chaucer Book Awards for Pre-1750's Historical Fiction.

All those featured in E Book 2019 of our Voices Israel Partner,  Immagine & Poesia:  Lidia Actis Chiarelli; Helen Bar-Lev, Bernard
Mann, Stanley Barkan and Carolyn Kleefeld.
The E-Book is available for free download from Immagine & Poesia and is readable online at  ISSUU.

Esther Cameron, whose piece on the subject of Pesach, "Please Think of This on Seder Night" and short essay “Pesach Sheni, The Feast of Second Chances” were published on Sassonmag.com;  and whose poem, “At Attention on Holocaust Remembrance Day, 5778” was published in Sasson Magazine. 

Linda Goldberg, who has had three essays published in Chabad’s magazine:  Remember to say I Love You before it is too lateThe First Time I Lit Candles in Nine Months; and  What is it like to ask for help all of the Time?

Betsy Ramsay, whose new book, “Let Us Go Up” (the story of her Aliyah) has been published and is available for purchase at Amazon.

Rumi Morkin (aka Miriam Webber), whose Limerick has been accepted by Sasson Magazine.

Larry Lefkowitz, whose collection of Jewish stories "Enigmatic Tales" published by Fomite Press is available in print and as an eBook for most devices, from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Ricky Friesem for the publication of her latest poetry collection Gimme Shelter, Kipod Press, 2019 - reviewed by Wendy Blumfield in the current issue of the Jerusalem report -  and her award-winning Essay in the 2019 Spring edition of Tiferet “What’s in a Name.”

Avril Meallem (together with her poetry partner Shernaz Wadia in India) for having had published two Tapestry poems: Scarred for Life published in the special edition 'Women, Power & Creativity' in the March, 2019 issue of SETU: a Bilingual Journal of Literature, Arts and Culture (Pittsburgh, USA) and Homeland published in the April 2019 edition of “Narrow Road” a Triannual Indian Literary e-magazine.


Kaila Shabat, who has five poems published in Poesia Sin Fronteras III, 2018. Her poems have been translated from English to Hebrew and to Spanish.


Ruth Fogelman whose book, What Color are Your Dreams? was published by Of the Essence Press and is available in Israel directly from Ruth and outside Israel on Amazon.com. Thanks also to Ruth for so ably organizing the Jerusalem group each month for ten years! And to Avril Meallem who has taken over as coordinator of the Jerusalem group meetings. 

Esther Schnur-Berlot - for gaining 3rd Honourable Mention ($75.00 prize) in Poetica Publishing Company's 2018 ADRP Award, for her poem "Arguing with the Deceased"and 4th Honourable Mention (also $75.00), for "Everything is Broken".


Helen Bar-Lev - currently a Finalist in the ADRP Award, for her poem "Who Knows?"


Yocheved Zemel whose entire poem "Desert and Rebirth" will be published on the Deronda Review  homepage. (It was too long for the print edition.) Her poem "Reaching for the Heavens" will be published in the print edition. In addition, four of Yocheved’s poems will be published in IAWE's arc26 2019 edition: "The Attic", "Freedom", "Flight", and "Love in a War Zone". 


The following poets – (in alphabetical order) : Hayim Abramson, Ada Aharoni, Ann Bar-Dov, Helen Bar-Lev, Dr. Judy Belsky, Chaim Bezalel, Lilian Cohen, Wendy Dickstein, Ira Director, Bob Findysz, Ricky Rapoport Friesem, Reuven Goldfarb, Miriam Green, Britta Kollberg, Mark L. Levinson, Celia Merlin, Helen Schary Motro, Pesach Rotem, Shlomo Sher, Johnmichael Simon, Yocheved Zemel, whose works were chosen by Editor Dr. Shawn Edrei for IAWE’s arc26. The launch was held on April 4, 2019, 18:30-21:30, at the Mazeh 9 Center, Tel Aviv.


Lidia Chiarelli of our Affiliate, Immagine & Poesia, whose book Sunset in Cup won First Prize at Premio Letterario Internazionale “Cinque Terre – Golfo dei Poeti" PORTOVENERE. 


Matthew Anish who had two poems published in the recent anthology Leisure - which publishes poems of the Green Pavilion reading taking place the last Wednesday of each month.


Esther Cameron whose poem In the Inner Court: A Purim Monodrama was published in Sasson Magazine. 

Rumi Morkin (aka Miriam Webber) whose poem "Smartphones" was published in Sasson Magazine, October 2018 (see https://sassonmag.com/smartphonesby-rumi-morkin/); and whose poem "Utopia" has been accepted for publishing in the Deronda Review of 2019.


Judy Koren whose poem "Utopias" has been accepted for publishing in the Deronda Review of 2019.


Ruth Fogelman who has had two poems published in the February issue of The Seventh Quarry.


Matthew Anish whose poem was published in the December/January issue of The Amulet. Matthew also has a chapbook, Golden Words, available for purchase at $7.00. You may reach him at greatceasersghost1@gmail.com.

Come Join Us!

We're always happy to welcome new and established (yes and would-be) poets into our family!

  • To attend a local meeting to try us out - contact your local Coordinator.
  • To become a member of Voices Israel - fill in our membership application form and send it in - full details are in the form. Note that we charge a
          modest annual membership fee, which covers our costs and entitles you to a free copy of the Anthology and reduced fees for workshops.