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 several other countries. We are a fully-accredited and approved organization registered since 1993 with the Israel Organizations Authority.
For fuller information:
- see our About Voices page;
- Come visit our Facebook page!
- download our flyer and email it to others who would like to hear about us.
- We also have a short flyer for notice boards. If there's a place where English speakers gather - why not print it out and pin it up there?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The link: PayPal.me/VoicesIsrael.
Come Join Us!
We're always happy to welcome both 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.
What We've Been Doing (activities over the past year)
April to June 2023
On April 30th we held the awards event, via Zoom, for the 4th annual Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize. This year we had four winners of the Bar Sagi Prize, since two poems tied for 3rd place; and four Honourable Mentions. Many thanks, as usual, to Prof. Anthony Joseph for sponsoring the competition.
The awards event for our 33rd annual Reuben Rose Competition was also held via Zoom on April 30th, immediately following the Bar Sagi Prize awards. We were privileged to hear comments from our overseas judge, the poet Yehoshua November, and from Yiskah Rosenfeld, one of the other two judges, herself the winner of the previous year's competition. Congratulations to Iris Dan (1st prize); David Silverman (2nd prize) and Judy Koren (3rd prize), and to all the Honourable Mention winners!
Our 2023 Anthology is in production; we expect to send proofs out to the poets for proof-reading in June.
January to March 2023
Our 2023 Voices Israel Anthology closed for submissions in mid-March. The editors are now busy choosing the poems for inclusion.
We held our 2023 Annual General Meeting on March 20th, in person in Tel Aviv. About a dozen members attended and the "business" meeting was followed by an Open Mic. Many thanks to our member Donna Bechar for hosting the meeting!
In mid-March we announced the winners of prizes and Honorable Mentions in the 4th Bar Sagi Young Poets' Prize. For their names and the titles of the poems, see our Bar Sagi Prize page. The awards event for the Bar Sagi prize will be held together with that for the 33rd Reuben Rose Competition, on Sunday April 30th, 2023 at 7 pm Israel time, by Zoom. Please register with our President Judy Koren to get a link to the Zoom meeting. Full details are in the April newsletter. As usual the ceremony will be followed by an Open Mic. If you would like to read a poem at it, please say so when registering.
We announced the winners and Honourable Mention recipients of the 33rd international Reuben Rose Competition (2022). The names of the winners and the texts of their winning poems, are on this website on the Winning Poems 2022 page. The awards event will be held together with that for the Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize (see above).
Following their highly successful first Poetry Night in
Tzfat, and thanks to popular demand — our Upper Galilee group have done it
again! Open-Mic Poetry Night II was held on Tuesday, February 7, at the Edyth Geiger English Library, Jerusalem St. 38, Tzfat (Safed).
In January we produced and printed the chapbook from the Haifa workshop held in late November 2022. It has been sent to everyone who ordered it. There are still a few copies left at the nominal price of 20 NIS (plus 5 NIS mailing costs if mailed to you). If anyone would like one, please contact Judy Koren at email@example.com. Payment can be made via the PayPal.me link above, via PayBox (contact Judy for details) or via cheque mailed to our Treasurer Chanita.
October to December 2022:
The submission period for the 2023 Voices Israel Anthology opened on December 15th. Go to the Submitting To The Anthology page for the Submittable button enabling you to submit your 3 best unpublished poems for inclusion.
We held a very successful workshop in Haifa on November 24th. Details are on the web page for the workshop.
Our Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize, a competition for school students aged 12 to 19 at the time the poem was written, opened for submissions on November 15th.
The submission period for the Reuben Rose Competition closed in mid-October and our judges are now busy considering the last of the poems submitted and making their final decisions. Our administrator Mark Levinson will announce the results, hopefully in the first half of December. Stay tuned!
July to September 2022:
We're planning for the next Bar Sagi Competition. Experience shows that we need to publicize it by personal contact - if you know any English teachers (your children's or grandchildren's, friends, family, former colleagues...) please spread the word to them! Our announcement and the guidelines can be downloaded from this website and I’ll be happy to email them to anyone who requests (to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our Anthology was sent out in mid-August. Israeli members who have not yet received it: please contact our President, Judy Koren, at email@example.com, or Chanita at firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-members may purchase copies, and members may buy additional copies, via the Buying the Anthology page of this website. Congratulations to all the members of our team who made the speedy publication possible even though the submission period closed this year a month later than usual!
The 2022 Reuben Rose Competition opened for submissions in mid-July, and will remain open until mid-October. For the entry rules and a button to submit poems via Submittable, please see the Competition page of this website.
The chapbook from the Netanya Residential Workshop has been printed and distributed to everyone who ordered a copy. We still have a few copies left: members who would like to buy one, please contact our President Judy Koren at email@example.com.
What our Members Have Been Doing over the past year
May 2023: Congratulations to:
The Voices members who were published in the Poetry Super Highway special Yom HaShoah Poetry Issue (www.poetrysuperhighway.com/psh/25th-annual-yom-hashoah-holocaust-remembrance-day-poetry-issue/): Helen Bar-Lev for her poem “eighty years have passed”; Rifkah Goldberg for “Always There For Me”; and Judith R. Robinson for “The Shock That Went Away.”
Helen Bar-Lev, whose article “Isaac Rosenbloom” was published in ESRA Magazine (https://magazine.esra.org.il/esramagazine/look-into-it/latest-esramagazine/entry/isaac-rosenbloom-1.html); whose flash story “Like a Penguin’s Flipper” was long-listed, and whose flash story “Meeting Beethoven in my Imagination” was short-listed, in the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize Competition 2023 (https://www.fishpublishing.com/2023/04/10/flash-fiction-prize-2023-results/); and whose poem “Spring Again” was read on the World Poetry Café radio program in Vancouver (www.mixcloud.com/VictorSchwartzman/world-poetry-cafe-for-april-13-2023-including-ruth-kozak-and-anita-aguirre-nieveras/;reading starts at 5:50 minutes).
Wendy Blumfield, whose article “Haifa Reborn” was published in ESRA Magazine at https://magazine.esra.org.il/esramagazine/look-into-it/latest-esramagazine/entry/haifa-reborn.html.
Isaac Cohen, whose poem was translated into Spanish as “La Esperanza de la Libertad” and published in Azahar Revista Poetica.
Ira Director, whose poem "Food Court" was translated into Hebrew and published in the Kibbutz Gezer weekly newspaper.
Michael E. Stone, whose book The Cheirograph of Adam in Armenian and Romanian Traditions, co-authored with Emanuela Timotin, has been published by Brepols. www.brepols.net/products/IS-9782503599977-1
Yochanan Zaqantov, who, under his pen name Ivan Labombarbe, has published his fourth book, Under the Sakura Tree: Japanese Poetry forms and other poetry, exploring the different types of Japanese poetry styles in English. It is available from Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B0C3CVQ7P8/
April 2023: Congratulations to:
Isaac Cohen, whose poem “Mother Earth” was featured in the 2023 Woman Scream Festival. Isaac recites the poem at https://youtu.be/7Fc22XlFYP0; the text is published at https://enheduana.wixsite.com/enheduana/en/post/isaac-cohen-a-poem-mother-earth-for-the-woman-scream-festival.
Larry Lefkowitz, on the publication by Fomite Press of his book The Varieties of Jewish Experience containing stories, a novella, and a humorous Yiddish glossary. www.amazon.com/Varieties-Jewish-Experience-Larry-Lefkowitz/dp/1959984055/.
Channah Moshe, whose poem “Even Though” was accepted for publication in arc-30.
Diane Ray, whose poem “We were ovals of a dream, Judean seeds” was published in Poetica Magazine at www.poeticamagazine.com/diane-ray.
March 2023: Congratulations to:
Helen Bar-Lev, whose new poetry book Late Life Love was featured on the World Poetry Café radio show. The entire show is recorded at www.mixcloud.com/VictorSchwartzman/world-poetry-cafe-for-january-19-2023-helen-bar-lev-and-monsif-beronel/
Isaac Cohen, who recited his poem “Ode to My Indian Friends”
in the film “India” made for Poets Without Borders for the Versopolis Poetry
Expo 23. Isaac appears on the video at 12:45. https://youtu.be/K06iYkKA7AY.
Susan Olsburgh, whose twelve years as facilitator of the Netanya AACI Poetry Please program was celebrated in a laudatory two-page article, reproduced in our March 2023 Newsletter.
February 2023: Congratulations to:
Helen Bar-Lev, whose story “Bryant Avenue” was published in ESRA Magazine at https://magazine.esra.org.il/esramagazine/look-into-it/latest-esramagazine/entry/bryant-avenue-1.html
Wendy Blumfield, whose essay “Don't Throw Me Under the Bus” was published in ESRA Magazine at https://magazine.esra.org.il/esramagazine/look-into-it/latest-esramagazine/entry/don-t-throw-me-under-the-bus.html.
Isaac Cohen, who was awarded a World Literary Prize named after Rahim Karim (Karimov) by the Rahim Karim World Literature Foundation, and who had a poem published in World Contemporary Poets, Vol. 1 (www.prodigylife.net/products/world-contemporary-poets-vol-1-shikdar-mohammed-kibriah-bangladesh).
Ira Director, who had eleven poems published in 2022: – three poems in Mediterranean Poetry: www.odyssey.pm/contributors/ira-director/ – six poems in The BeZine: https://thebezine.com/?s=ira+director – one poem in Paddler Press: https://paddlerpress.ca/issues-trip-log/ – and one poem, “Food Court,” in the 2022 Voices Israel Anthology.
Pesach Rotem, whose poem “The Putz Who Saved American Democracy” was published in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change at https://mobiusmagazine.com/poetry/putzwhos.html.
January 2023: Congratulations to:
Ada Aharoni, who was awarded the Golden Crown of
World Poets Award (https://iflac.wordpress.com/2022/12/24/ada-aharoni-with-her-golden-crown-of-world-poets-award-24-12-22/)
Helen Bar-Lev, whose book Late Life Love (see December 2022 Newsletter, p. 6) is now available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/dp/1733028544/
Chaim Bezalel and Yonnah Ben Levy, whose book The Whole Megilla: The Book of Esther in Verse, written by Chaim and illustrated by Yonnah, will be published by Dekel Press in January. Catch a preview at https://dekelpress.com/.
Isaac Cohen, who was the guest for a one-hour conversation and reading on Poets of the East at https://youtu.be/gyHuS8mz7sM
Ruth Fogelman, whose poem “Hanuka Lights” has been published on the website of The Deronda Review at www.derondareview.org/hanukalights.htm
Ricky Rapoport Friesem, whose children’s picture book in rhyme has been translated into Hebrew by Hanna Kahane and published as רובי עושה בלגן by Niv Publishers. The digital and hard-copy versions of the book are available at https://nivbook.co.il/product/%d7%a8%d7%95%d7%91%d7%99-%d7%a2%d7%95%d7%a9%d7%94-%d7%91%d7%9c%d7%92%d7%9f/.
Paul Rabinowitz, whose poem “Vacations” was published in Evening Street Review at https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b57b6b28f51303b18aa82cc/t/6395e8c8fe0a6541b10012a1/1670768840896/EVENING+STREET+REVIEW.pdf
Willa Schneberg, whose collection of poems centered on psychotherapy, The Naked Room, will be published by Broadstone Books on January 15. It can be pre-ordered at https://www.broadstonebooks.com/shop/p/the-naked-room-poetry-by-willa-schneberg.
December 2022: Congratulations to:
Helen Bar-Lev; who has been awarded a Best International Poetry Award by the Italian cultural association Mondo Fluttuante; whose poem “The Man on the Train” was published in the anthology 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millenium, www.amazon.com/101-Jewish-Poems-Third-Millennium/dp/0912592842/; and whose chapbook of poetry and artwork, Late Life Love, has been published by New Feral Press, NY.
Eli Ben-Joseph, whose poem “Salamander Lamp” and whose artwork, which it describes and comments on, have been accepted for the ekphrastic exhibition planned for the spring on Kibbutz Gezer.
Isaac Cohen, who was the subject of the article “Poetic Labyrinth of Isaac Cohen” in Humanity Magazine; and has had a poem published in the 22rd edition of the "Garavi Sokak 2022" of the Literary Club "Miroslav Mika Antić."
Judy Koren, who has had a collection of five poems published in the webzine Mediterranean Poetry, https://www.odyssey.pm/contributors/judy-koren/.
Miriam Webber, who under her pen name Rumi Morkin regularly has poems, long and short, accepted for publishing in the quarterly digital webzine Lighten Up Online.
November 2022: Congratulations to:
Wendy Blumfield, whose poem “Yearning” was published in The Jerusalem Report.
Isaac Cohen, whose poem “To My Mother Mazal Cohen, Blessed Memory 1936-2010” was published in MA: An Anthology of Poems in Memory of Bengali Poet Kazi Masuda Saleh www.amazon.com/dp/B0BJYD34TV.
Judy Koren whose poem "Tel Shikmona" tied for 9th place (out of over 1,300 poems) in the Poetry Super Highway contest.
October 2022: Congratulations to:
Helen Bar-Lev, who won First Prize in the IFLAC World
Peace Poetry Contest, and Larry Lefkowitz, who was selected as a
finalist in the competition.
Isaac Cohen, who was the subject of the article “Poetic Labyrinth of Isaac Cohen” by Ana Stjelja in Lamed-E at https://filesusr.com/ugd/41e276_ba79560012614c718ddd3f0db613b0d3.pdf (p. 20).
Iris Dan, whose poem “Solomon Schechter at the Cairo Geniza” has been accepted for publication by Poetica Magazine.
Paul Rabinowitz, whose prose poem “In the Original Language” was published in The Zodiac Review at www.thezodiacreview.com; whose story “Diamond Life Master” was published in La Piccioletta Barca at www.picciolettabarca.com/posts/diamond-life-master; and whose manuscript of poems and short stories called truth, love and the lines in between has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. Many of the poems in the book were workshopped with the Tel Aviv chapter of Voices Israel.
Patti Tana, whose new digital book of poems, Bumper Crop, which includes photographs by her husband John Renner, is now posted for viewing on his website: http://johnrennerphotography.com.
September 2022: Congratulations to:
Helen Bar-Lev, who was the subject of a three-page profile in the Jerusalem Post, in print and online at www.jpost.com/aliyah/article-713835.
Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Souvenirs” was published in The Ekphrastic Review at www.ekphrastic.net/the-ekphrastic-review/souvenirs-by-pesach-rotem.
August 2022: Congratulations to:
Ann Bar-Dov, whose essay “Library Memories” won First Place in the 2021 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize Competition. Ann read from her essay on July 24th, 2022, along with eleven other participants in the competition.
Helen Bar-Lev, who had two stories — “Bell Telephone vs. The Spielvogels” and “An Incident in Lifta” — published in the July issue of ESRA Magazine, and who had her poem “Tiberias” and her painting “Tiberias at night” included in the “Lights for the City” project under the auspices of Arte Città Amica and Immagine & Poesia.
Isaac Cohen, whose poem “The Path of Love” was selected for publication in the Touch of Japan anthology and on the Eastern Pearl website.
Ricky Rapoport Friesem, who read and discussed her poetry as an honored guest in the Limmud Ottawa “Northern Poetry” series hosted by Seymour Mayne. The entire event is at https://youtu.be/mUjqqw9omvM.
Judy Koren, whose poem “Remember His Name?” was chosen as a Featured Poem for the August issue of Better Than Starbucks and is being published in the print and e-book versions of that magazine as well as in the online version.
Susan Olsburgh, whose poem “Triangle of Hope” is being used promotionally on Hadassah Hospital's UK support site on Facebook.
Paul Rabinowitz, whose short story “On the Eighth Day” appears in the summer edition of October Hill Magazine.
July 2022: Congratulations to:
Helen Bar-Lev, whose poems “The Second Amendment” and “The Wrong Tree” were read on the World Poetry radio station in Vancouver by Ariadne Sawyer on June 6.
Judy Koren, whose poem “The Human Reflex” has been published in Lighten Up Online.
Paul Rabinowitz, whose poem “Indigo and Half Moon” has appeared in The Writing Disorder, and whose poem “Citrus Honey Cake” has appeared in Evening Street Review.
Yiskah Rosenfeld, whose poem “A Study of Mice on Restricted Calorie Diets” was published in the Dating issue of Beyond Words.
Miriam Webber (aka Rumi Morkin), who has had three poems printed in the June issue of Lighten Up Online: “The FINDIT App” here; “R.I.P.” here and “Fantasia on Green Ideas” here.
June 2022: Congratulations to:
Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem “It’s Raining” was published in Love the Words, an annual anthology in tribute to Dylan Thomas. The entire anthology can be downloaded for free at www.discoverdylanthomas.com/love-the-words-2022.
Isaac Cohen, who has had six poems published in The Rising Stars Anthology (www.amazon.com/dp/B09Y4LV8H9), and whose poem “The Perfume of Love” has been published in English and in Chinese translation in the Spring edition of Poetry Collection.
Judith R. Robinson, whose book Buy a Ticket: New and Selected Poems received a rave review (“a brilliant heartbreaking tapestry”) in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Ripple” was published in the International Poetry section of Better Than Starbucks, and whose poem “Who Put the Ax in Al Aqsa?” was published in Topical Poetry.