The Voices Israel Group of Poets

in English

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 2020. Take advantage of our special Early Bird offer of only 100 NIS ($35) till March 31st! After that date, membership dues will be 120 ($40).  
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. (We do prefer payment by bank transfer, 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.

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. 

Visit to the National Library: on Thursday February 5th a strong contingent of Voices members from all over Israel visited the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. We fulfilled the legal requirement to deposit two copies of the 2019 Voices Israel Anthology with the Library; many of our group of poets also deposited their own poetry publications, in accordance with the National Book Law. We were then treated to the privilege of an especially curated exhibition of poetic treasures, by the museum's chief archivist.

The texts of the winning poems and Honourable Mention winners of the 2019 Reuben Rose competition have now been released for publication. They can be accessed and downloaded from the 2019 Competition page or directly via this link (PDF file). Congratulations to the three prize-winners and ten Honourable Mentions! To see who they are, visit the 2019 Competition page.  The presentations ceremony will be in May.

The 2020 Anthology is still open for submissions. The submission period runs from December 15, 2019 to March 15, 2020. Come on everyone and send in your best poems! Submissions are via the 2020 Anthology Submission page. Please read the Guidelines carefully because the procedure has been changed this year in order to enable as much as possible to be automated and done online. We're delighted to confirm that our skilled designer, Johnmichael Simon, has agreed to continue in that role this year too.

Our Upper Galilee group is continuing to offer series of classes entitled "Formal Elements in Poetry," taught by Reuven Goldfarb. the series focuses on the sonic qualities of poetry — the rhythmic and musical qualities of the many varieties of English verse.  The topic of the next meeting will be "Poems about Lincoln." It will take place on Wednesday, February 12th (Lincoln's birthday), from 5-7 pm, at Bayt Maor HaLev, 128 Keren HaYesod, Tzfat. Please email Reuven if you would like to join the group or if you would simply like more information

The Bar Sagi competition deadline has been extended until the end of February. The prize administrator Wendy Dickstein would appreciate efforts by our members to bring the prize to the attention of any Israeli secondary school teachers who members may know. For further information, see our Bar Sagi Prize page and/or contact   Please everyone encourage your young relatives and their friends to enter poems! 

We celebrated the launch of the 2019 Anthology on December 1st at the Karaoke Bar in Netanya. The fun evening included poetry readings by attendees whose poems were published in the Anthology, or proxy readers for some of those who can't attend. We also welcomed the new editorial team for the anthologyDavid Fellerman (Netanya-Sharon), Edit Gavriely (Haifa) and Yehudit Goldfarb (Tsafat), who will together choose the poems for the next two annual Anthologies, under the guidance of our Chief Editor, Dina Yehuda.  See our 2019 Anthology Launch page for a fuller description of the event.

Our beautiful chapbook from the Haifa workshop in June is still available for purchase. As always, a wonderful production by Johnmichael Simon, including an “inspiring” book cover. Order forms were included in the October Newsletter sent out to our members.

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!

The chapbook resulting from out Midsummer Workshop in Haifa is still 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.

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:

Isaac Cohen, whose poem "Dream" was published in the January 2020 edition of Tamili and translated into Tamil, and six of whose poems were published in Atunis Poetry Magazine's 2020 Anthology.

Eli Ben-Joseph on the birth of a grandson.

Rumi Morkin, whose poem “The spyder” (inspidered by William Blake) has been accepted by Narrow Road for the December 2019 issue. See

Richard Shavei-Tzion, who was chosen as Poetry Super Highway Poet of the Week for his poem “The last thing my father did for me”. See,

Steven Sher, who has published a new book of poems (Nov. 2019) “Contestable Truths, Incontestable Lies” which chronicles his ‘immigrant reality’ in Jerusalem.

Matthew Anish, whose chapbook Later On... is available for purchase ($7 plus shipping, contact Matthew at; Matthew also had two poems published in the December 2019 issue of Conceit magazine: "Dreaming an Electric Reality" and  "My Rock and Roll Friend."

Hannah Moshe, whose poem Hainault Forest has been published in Seventh Quarry (Wales) 2019, The haiku Petals of Awareness which she also wrote is also published there, but which wa unfortunately erroneously attributed to her mother (who is also a poet).

Susan Rosenberg, who has recently celebrated her 95th birthday! We wish you good health and happiness till 120, Susan! 

Helen Bar-Lev and Katherine L. Gordon [this year’s Reuben Rose judge] whose poems were selected to celebrate the opening of the Official Peaceathon on the World Poetry Cafe. 

Seymour Mayne, whose most recent book, Cusp: Word Sonnets, translated by Mikhail Rykov with an

introduction by Natalia Vesselova, was recently published in Saint Petersburg, in a bilingual Russian edition, and is for sale at bookstores in the Russian Federation.

Ezra Ben-Meir, whose poem Elections in Israel, was published in the November 22, 2019 issue of the Jerusalem Post Magazine.

Esther Cameron, whose sonnet sequence  Junctures of Light, sonnets on the weekly Torah portion and the corresponding chapter of Tanya is being published week by week in Sasson Magazine.

Esther Schneur-Berlot, whose memoir chap book, Changing Conversations, will be published by Moonstone Press.

Matthew Anish (New York), who has had a poem published in the most recent issue of Conceit magazine, following one 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 opened 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 “After the Holidays” was published in The Blue Nib at, and whose poem “A Big Mistake” was published in Poets Reading the News at

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

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 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

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:

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 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;  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 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; 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

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.