The Voices Israel Group of Poets

in English

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all our members and all Am Yisrael!

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 150 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: 

If you didn't yet renew your membership for 2021, now is the time! 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 or Paypal payment, to our Treasurer. (We do prefer payment by bank transfer, or by PayPal from the Join Voices page; but you may still send a cheque instead, as in the past). Full details, and the form to fill in, are on our Join Voices page.

Our modest annual membership dues cover our costs and entitle you to a free copy of the Anthology and reduced fees for workshops.

In the Corona era, and for our members and followers outside Israel, PayPal is the easiest method! Unlike paying by check, you can complete the transaction from the comfort of your sitting-room; unlike paying by bank transfer, PayPal does not charge you for the service. 

NEW!! Chapbooks currently available can be ordered via PayPal: click the link below, it will ask you to log in to your PayPal account and then fill in the amount to send Voices Israel and a note saying what the payment is for. Please also send an email to whoever is distributing them (currently, our President Judy Koren: president@voicesisrael.com).

The link: PayPal.me/VoicesIsrael.

Come Join Us!

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


What We've Been Doing (activities over the past year)

Despite the uncertain Covid situation, we've been gradually resuming face-to-face activities. Most of our groups are still holding meetings via Zoom, but Haifa and Netanya have returned to "real" meetings -  details are in the Newsletter sent to all our members. For members with no convenient local group, we also have a Global Group which includes members from both Israel and abroad: again, see the Our Team page for contact details of its coordinator.

Would-be members who'd like to join  a meeting: please see the Our Team page for how to get in touch with your local group coordinator.  You're free to ask to attend, as a guest, any of our local meetings, via Zoom or in-person. 

Our next workshop will be on November 23rd, from 7 to 10 pm at latest, Zoomed from Jerusalem: " Between the Lines of Family Stories: the Poetics of Ancestry" facilitated by Dr. Judy Belsky. Please register with our President by email: president@voicesisrael.com

The submission deadline for the Reuben Rose competition has been extended to November 15th. Do remember to send in your best poems for a chance to win a prize or Honorable Mention!

We held the launch event for the Voices Israel 2021 Anthology on October 3rd, via Zoom, which enabled several of our overseas members to attend. We celebrated the hard work and achievements of everyone connected with producing this beautiful volume, and thirty poets read their poems from it. For full details see the 2021 Voices Israel Anthology Launch page of this website.

We've published the chapbooks from the two workshops held in June - both of them look lovely and are full of poems - almost every participant sent in a polished version of a poem drafted at each of the three sessions of each workshop, resulting in chapbooks of over 50 pages.  We've sent out copies to everyone who ordered one: if you'd like one or both, contact our President, Judy Koren, at president@voicesisrael.com.

The 2021 Voices Israel Anthology has been published and was sent out to all our members in late August. You can order extra copies and non-members can order copies via the Buying the Anthology page of this website.  Many thanks to our new designer and producer, Avril Meallem, who has done a marvellous job!

On July 11th we held a gala Zoom event to mark the 50th anniversary of Voices Israel. 44 members registered, mostly from Israel but also from the UK, USA and Canada, and many wrote in afterwards to tell us how much they enjoyed it. Several of our long-term members shared with us their reminiscences and poems of the early days, and the evening ended with an Open Mike. We recorded the meeting and sent the link to all members. A chapbook from the event has been sent out to all members together with the Voices Israel Anthology

On June 7th we held our first post-Covid face to face activity with a one-day workshop in Netanya.  20 participants enjoyed three presentations and writing exercises in the lovely home of our past President, Susan Olsburgh; sixteen of them contributed poems for the chapbook of the workshop which was designed by our creative designer Johnmichael Simon and finally produced by Judy Koren. For details and photos see the workshop page on this website.  


And on June 23rd we followed up with another  one-day workshop in Haifa,  graciously hosted by our member Edit Gavriely.  Sixteen participants enjoyed three presentations and exercises in the relaxed atmosphere of Edit's spacious home and garden.  Again, for details see the workshop page.  The chapbook from this workshop was produced by Judy Koren. Both chapbooks are available for a nominal price.

Our Upper Galilee group's "Formal Elements in English Language Poetry" class met on Wednesday, June 16, at 5-7 pm, on Zoom and in person.  The focus this month was on Yeats, Pound, and Eliot, with a coda by Auden.  No meeting has been announced for July.
Our member Mindy Aber Barad gave a workshop on Tuesday, 4 May 2021 as part of the two-day Jerusalem Women’s Writers Seminar (JWWS). This will be the 2nd year as a virtual online summit! Full details of the conference and registration for the seminars, including Mindy's, is via the JWWS website: www.jwws.com.

The joint Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize and Reuben Rose Competition awards event was held on Sunday May 2nd at 7:30 pm Israel time (that's 5:30 pm UK time, 12:30 noon US East Coast time and 9:30 am US Pacific time). You can read the full announcement of the event here (pdf file).  We have 66 people registered to attend.  If there's time, it will be followed by an Open Mic at which around a dozen of our members will read a poem each.


Our Haifa Group  presented, by invitation, a special program of its members' poetry: "Hearing our Voice –the Pleasure of Poetry" at the April meeting of the Oren (Haifa) branch of Hadassah Women on April 13th. Eight members of the group read three poems each.


Our 2021 Annual General Meeting took place on Monday April 5th via Zoom. It was followed by a very enjoyable Open Mic poetry reading at which 15 of our members read a poem each.  More  details are in the official announcement here (pdf file).


Our Zoom workshop, "Harnessing the senses for creative inspiration," presented by Voices Israel member Elana Dorfman, took place on Monday March 8th at 7:30 pm Israel time (5:30 pm UK time, 12:30 noon US East Coast time). Once again it was fully attended and enthusiastically received. Full details and some screenshots of the event are on our  Zoom Workshop, March 2021 page.

We've announced the winners of the 2020 Reuben Rose competition: 

  • First prize: “David’s Shield,” by Ricky Rapoport Friesem (Israel)
  • Second prize: “Lantern Fish,” by Jane Seitel (USA)
  • Third prize: “The Burden of Memory,” by Esther B. Lipton (UK)

The full list including those whose poems gained an Honourable Mention, and recordings (where available) of the winning poets reading their poems, is on the Reuben Rose Winning Poems 2020 page. The texts of the poems  is also posted there.

We held our first "mini-workshop" - two one-hour presentation-plus-exercise sessions, via Zoom - on December  29th, on the subject of Metrical Poetry.  The 25 participants seemed to enjoy it, and there were no technical glitches. We look forward to publishing an e-chapbook of edited versions of the poems produced at the workshop. We have another workshop planned for early March, right after Purim - details TBA.

We held the joint awards event for the first Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize plus the 2019 Reuben Rose competition on October 27th, 2020, via Zoom.  Once again we had a great attendance with over 40  people zooming in to hear the young winners of the Bar Sagi prize, and the more seasoned winners of the Reuben Rose competition, read their winning poems. At the end of the event we held an Open Mike at which 14 of our members read their poems.  Further details of this lovely and much-appreciated event are on the competitions' respective pages:


  • The Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize event: see the Bar Sagi Awards Event pageThe texts of the winning poems and one Honourable Mention poem  can be accessed and downloaded from that page or directly via this link (PDF file).


What our Members Have Been Doing over the past year

October 2021: Congratulations to:


Judy Belsky, on the publication of her book of poems “Where Is The Thread?” Judy also created an art booklet called The Canvas#1, containing some of her magnificent paintings together with her eloquent and moving story of what each painting means to her. Judy has some prints and originals available for purchase. Contact her to receive a copy.


Larry Lefkowitz, whose haiku “framed in a window” was also selected as a Second Prize Winner in The Book Mehuggenah’s Chai-ku Contest at the above address.


Paul Rabinowitz, who has been nominated for the Maria Mazziotti Gillan Literary Service Award. In addition, Paul’s poetry manuscript Truth, Love and the Lines in Between is being submitted for publication.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Stars and Bars Triumphant” was published in the Summer 2021 issue of Rise Up Review at https://riseupreview.org/pesach-rotemand whose haiku “Emunah” was selected as a Second Prize Winner in The Book Mehuggenah’s Chai-ku Contest (https://thebookmeshuggenahs.com/chai-ku).

August-September 2021: Congratulations to:


Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem “Happy Passover” appears in SNAKESKIN, September 2021. See, http://www.snakeskinpoetry.co.uk


Judy Koren, whose two ovillejos "Clouds" and "Planetary Storm" were published in the ezine of formal poetry Grand Little Things

see   https://grand-little-things.com/2021/08/28/two-poems-by-judy-koren


Larry Lefkowitz, whose e-book of 20 Sherlock Holmes stories, The Revisionist Sherlock Holmes, is available from Barnes & Noble.


Paul Rabinowitz whose “Speeding Ticket” was published in the Grey Sparrow Journal, and whose “Shirtless” and “Indigo” appeared in The Oddville Press, all in August.


July 2021: Congratulations to:


Donna Bechar, whose poems, “Aubrey’s Voice,” and “Stain,” have been published in June in Glacial Hills Review, from Choeofpleirn Press, Kansas, USA; available on Amazon.


Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem “From the Window of the Pergola” was published in the International Writers’ Journal, No. 2/2021 (April-June); and whose poem “Ageless” was long-listed for the Fish Publishing 2021 Poetry Prize.


Stanley Barkan, Helen Bar-Lev, and Sylvia Kofler whose poems have been published in the Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti Memorial Issue of Syndic,  No. 39.


Judy Koren, whose poem, “A Camel or a Rock” has been accepted for the September issue of the light-verse online magazine Lighten Up Online; and whose villanelle “I Never Meant…” has been accepted for the August issue of the literary magazine Better Than Starbucks.


June 2021: another busy month for our members! Congratulations to:


Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem, Ah, Moses, has been published in Poetica Magazine at https://www.poeticamagazine.com/helen-bar-lev; and who has had two poems, Mourning Irises and A May Storm, published in the International Writers Journal, https://iwj-magazine.com/iwj/2021/01. In addition, – Helen’s poem, Suggestions to the Young Poet (which appeared in Voices’ March newsletter) was broadcast to youth groups on the WORLD POETRY CAFÉ RADIO SHOW on CFRO 100.5 FM, Vancouver, Canada.


Ricky Friesem, who is launching her new Hebrew collection, MIklat, published by Beit Eked in Israel, on June 21st at 7 pm, in the garden of her home at the Weizmann Institute. Ricky is inviting any Voices Israel member to attend: contact her at  friesem.friesem@weizmann.ac.il to be added to the mailing list for invitations.


Reuven Goldfarb, whose poem, “Cheering Gino Cimoli,” was a finalist in the Early Weaver Baseball Writing Prize competition, sponsored by The Cobalt Review, and appears there on-line. See www.cobaltreview.com.


Judy Koren whose poem "Tel Shikmona" is being published in the June issue of The Orchards Poetry Journal, and whose poem "Persimmon" has been accepted for the October issue of the biennial print-only literary magazine Blue Unicorn.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Bearing Witness” has been published in Topical Poetry at https://topicalpoetry.com/bearing-witness-an-open-letter-to-darnella-frazier.


Richard Shavei-Tzion, director of the Ramatayim Men’s Choir, on their Grand Finale Concert at the Jerusalem Theatre on 23.6.21, concluding 26 years of activity, over 250 performances across Israel and Europe, from London to St. Petersburg. Richard, we hope you will now have more time to write poetry!


All our members who contributed poems to the Deronda Review's special section about the Lag Ba’Omer tragedy onMount Meron:  Ruth Fogelman, Mindy Aber Barad Golembo, Hayim Abramson, Esther Cameron, Brenda Appelbaum Golani, Leah Leslie Gottesman, Shoshannah Somerville, Alana Schwartz and Gerson Moskowitz, Esther Fein, and Chananya Weissman. All their poems are online on the Deronda Review's website, here. May they help to ensure that this tragedy will never be forgotten.


May 2021: Our members have been especially busy!  Congratulations to:


Judy Koren, whose poem "The X Factor" was accepted by The Road Not Taken, a Journal of Formal Poetry, for their August issue.


Hayim Abramson, Simcha Angel, Mindy Aber Barad, Judy Belsky, Esther Cameron, Ruth Fogelman, Judy Koren, Michael E. Stone, and Miriam Webber (a.k.a. Rumi Morkin) who have all had poems published in the Deronda Review, Vol. 9.1, 2021.


Rosemary Wolfson, who has recently had a poem accepted for the Palewell Press Anthology Can You Hear the People Sing? Global responses to the pandemic.


Mindy Aber Barad, Helen Bar-Lev, Wendy Dickstein, Judith Fineberg, and Larry Lefkowitz, who submitted poems read at the Jerusalism event "HaShoah thru Poetry" and published in Halah, The literary magazine of Jerusalism.


Judith Fineberg, whose poem "Better than Bandaids" was published in an online Dream Doctors newsletter.


Helen Bar-Lev, Judith R. Robinson, and Judy Koren, who each had a poem published in Poetry Super Highway’s 23rd Annual Yom HaShoah issue.


Rena Lopata, who has published a collection of poetry dating from 1979-2019 including photography by her husband, Alex; the Australian Jewish News published Rena’s poem "There is a crack in everything" in their Literary Pages during the High Holy Days.


Willa Schneberg, who presented a poetry reading on April 11, 2021, at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon USA celebrating National Poetry Month in April.


Michael J. Duke, who has been published in the latest edition of Spotlight published by the Circle Foundation for the Arts.

April 2021: Congratulations to:


Paul Rabinowitz, who has some new published works: “The Monastery” in the Spring issue of The Adirondack Review; "Villa dei Misteri" in the Spring issue of The Courtship of Winds; and “The Cat” and "Soundscape" in the Authors and Artists Anthology.


Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem, "St. Patrick’s Day Cranes", and painting, "Cranes at the Agamon HaHula Nature Reserve", have been printed in the Dylan Day Celebration magazine.


Stanley H. Barkan for co-editing the anthology of Bilingual poetry, Bridging the Waters III.  And to  Stanley, Willa Schneberg, Steven (Shlomo) Sher, Ada Aharoni, Helen Bar Lev, Ruth Fogelman and Channah Moshe whose poems were published in the anthology.


Eli Ben-Joseph, who has published a chapbook, “Shells” (soon to be sold via Amazon) containing 50 of his poems and a few prints of his artwork.


Hannah Moshe, who has had two poems published: “A Green Swan” in the e-version of Amaravati Poetic Prism, International Multilingual Poetry Anthology, India; and “A Picture in Poetry” in The best of 2020, Poets of the World.


Judy Koren,  who has had three acceptances: "Baking a Unicorn" for publication in this year's Deronda Review; "German Vacation" for publication in the 23rd Yom Hashoah issue of Poetry Super Highway; and  "The Plane Truth" for publication in the upcoming (June) issue of Lighten Up Online, an online quarterly magazine of light verse.


Miriam Webber, who has had two poems accepted for the next issue of The Deronda Review.


John Gallas,   our 2018 Reuben Rose first-prize winner and a judge for the 2019 competition, whose book of love poems, The Extasie, will be published by Carcanet Press on April 29th. Carcanet is offering a preorder discount (code GALLAS25 –case sensitive!) until the publication date.


February - March 2021: Congratulations to:


Deborah Golden, whose poem "Gathered In" was published in an online book entitled In Silence We Wait (edited by Richard M. Grove, 2021) as part of the ongoing Poetry Pandemic Project. 


Judy Koren, whose terzanelle "A Night of Rain" has been published in the Formal Poetry section of the literary magazine Better Than Starbucks, Vol. VI no. 1 (February 2021).


Helen Bar-Lev, who is retiring from her post as Overseas Connections Coordinator, but we are keeping her on-call for poems and lovely artwork!! Enjoy, Helen.


January 2021: Congratulations to:


Diane Ray, whose poem “Capitol Offense” has been published on the website of Indolent Books, in their section Transition: Poems in the Afterglow o1 | 07 | 2021.


Wendy Blumfield, whose review of A. B. Yehoshua's new novel, The Tunnel, has been published in The Jerusalem Report.


John Gallas, our 2018 Reuben Rose first-prize winner and a judge for the 2019 competition, whose new book, The Gnawing Flood, has been published by Cerasus Poetry. “Winner of the Bronze Medal Award in the 2020 Cerasus Poetry Olympics."


December 2020: congratulations to:


Ellen Jaffe  (USA), whose 2006 young-adult novel, Feast of Lights (for readers 10-14 or so) has been published as a Kindle e-book, (the paper edition is out of print).


November 2020: congratulations to:


Yochanan Zaqantov, whose second e-book of poetry has been published on Amazon. It is titled “Modern Romantic Poetry” under Yochanan’s pen name, Ivan Labombarbe.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Light and Darkness” has been published in Open Arts Forum at https://openartsforum.com/elections-matter/#Pesach_Rotem.


Donna Bechar, whose poem, “Hers” is published in the new 2020 IAWE Anthology, arc28, The Kiss, to be launched on December 17 on Zoom.


Judy Koren, whose poem “Midnight Cricket” has been accepted for publication in Lighten Up Online – the online magazine of humorous verse.


David Fellerman, who has been interviewed by Judaica Spotlight highlighting his life, his art, and his poetry. https://judaicainthespotlight.com/meet-the-artist-david-fellerman/


October 2020: congratulations to:


Susan Olsburgh, who was awarded a Volunteer of the Year by AACI for her 10 years running the monthly workshop, Poetry Please, now in its tenth year. Susan introduces a selection of poems on topics such as medicine, sports, music and place names.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Professor Hofstadter’s Brain” was nominated for a Best of the Net Award by Synchronized Chaos Magazine, https://www.facebook.com/synchchaos/posts/3296515140394937.


Rick Lupert (of Poetry Super Highway, one of our affiliated organizations) who has published his 25th book, The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express, poems written last summer while Rick was in Japan.