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 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: 

The Early Bird period for paying membership dues is long gone, but you can still pay the standard dues amount easily by a variety of methods.  To join, just fill in our membership form and send it by mail with a cheque, or by email with details of your bank transfer or Paypal payment, to our Treasurer, Chanita Millman. (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 if you're joining or need to change contact details, are on our Join Voices page.  To simply renew your yearly membership, you don't need to fill in the membership form but if you pay by bank transfer, or via a PayPal account that isn't in your own name, do please email Chanita telling her who has made the transfer.

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. 

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.voices@gmail.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)

Most of our groups are still holding meetings via Zoom, but some 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, for two or at most three meetings prior to deciding whether to join. 

We announce with great delight that the renowned American-Jewish poet, Yehoshua November, has agreed to be our International Judge for the upcoming (33rd) Reuben Rose competition.

We are looking for both a new Zoom coordinator and a new Publicity Officer. For details please contact our President, Judy Koren.

We held a very successful and enjoyable two-day Netanya Residential Workshop on Wednesday-Thursday, May 25th - 26th. Twenty-three Voices members and guests met for three workshops and a panel, to great joy after having to cancel the previous one in 2020 because of Covid. A full description is on our 2022 Netanya Workshop page.

We held the joint Bar Sagi Prize and Reuben Rose Competition awards events on April 26th, 2022. To enable the overseas winners to participate, it was held via Zoom. It was followed as usual by an Open Mic. To see the report on these two very enjoyable events, visit our 3rd Bar Sagi Awards Event and our 2021 Reuben Rose Competition Prizegiving pages respectively.

Congratulations to the three prize winners of the 3rd Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize competition:  Hila ("Sapir") Frumkin (First Prize and also an Honorary Mention), Eliav Huppert (Second Prize) and Amiad Dror Golan (Third Prize).


Our 2022 Annual General Meeting took place on  Tuesday March 29th, in Tel Aviv - face to face at last! Despite the still- uncertain Covid situation, 13 people managed to attend. As usual it was followed by an Open Mic. 


At the AGM we said a fond farewell to our secretary Linda Suchy, who stepped down after a five-year term, and welcomed our new secretary, Pesach Rotem. Pesach has taken over the email address of secretary.voices@gmail.com. We all look forward to working with him. 

Our February Zoom mini-workshop: "Seeing is Believing,"  another in a series on Harnessing the Senses for Creative Inspiration, given by Elana Dorfman, was fully booked and took place to rave reviews. We have prepared an e-chapbook of the poems produced at or as a result of the workshop, and have distributed it to participants. If any other Voices members would like a copy, please email our President, Judy Koren, at president.voices@gmail.com.

We've announced the results of the 2021 Reuben Rose competition. Congratulations to all the winners and Honorable Mention recipients! Warm thanks as always to Mark Levinson, our tireless RR administrator, and many thanks also to our three judges, Ricky Friesem – the 2020 First Prize winner; Jane Seitel – the 2020 Second Prize winner, and Prof. David Caplan, the 2021 Overseas Judge. You can read the 3 winning poems and the 10 that received an Honorable Mention here (PDF file).

On December 13th Judy Koren as President of Voices Israel, and Dina Yehuda as Chief Editor of the Anthology gave, by invitation, a much-appreciated workshop on writing poetry to the ESL-teacher students at Givat Washington College. The presentation covered: Voices Israel and the Reuben Rose and Bar Sagi prizes, the process of writing poetry and what inspires us, the reading and critiquing of some poems, and a writing exercise in which the students eagerly participated.  These students will be teaching middle and high-school English in a year or at most two, so we're glad to have the opportunity for publicity!

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.  


As usual, we recorded the event, and the video (around an hour and a half) is up on our YouTube channel. To see the video on YouTube click  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJTvvBy9iTg

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.voices@gmail.com.

The 2021 Voices Israel Anthology has been published and was sent out to all our members in late August 2021. 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 2021 23 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 2021 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 2021 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 second 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.

What our Members Have Been Doing over the past year

May 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 had six poems published in The Rising Stars Anthology (
www.amazon.com/dp/B09Y4LV8H9), and
who also had his poem “The Perfume of Love” published in English and in Chinese translation in the Spring edition of Poetry
Collection
(
https://issuu.com/377122tianjames/docs/_e87c55e76ce216).


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 at
www.post-gazette.com/ae/books/2022/05/10/judith-robinson-
buy-a-ticket-new-and-selected-poems-book-review/stories/202205030005
.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Ripple” was published in Better Than Starbucks at

https://betterthanstarbucks.wixsite.com/may2022/international-poetry
, and whose poem “Who Put the Ax in Al Aqsa?”
was published in Topical Poetry at
https://topicalpoetry.com/who-put-the-ax-in-al-aqsa/.

April 2022: Congratualations to:


Iris Dan, whose poem “The Last Judgment” was published in Red Fern Review at https://theredfernreview.wordpress.com/2022/01/02/issue-2-january-2022/.


Susan Olsburgh, whose poem “Ilse’s Reply” was published in Poetry Superhighway’s Yom HaShoah Poetry Issue at

www.poetrysuperhighway.com/psh/24th-annual-yom-hashoah-holocaust-remembrance-day-poetry-issue/#Olsburgh.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Banning Books” was published in Visible Magazine at https://visiblemagazine.com/banning-books/.


Judith R. Robinson, whose book Buy a Ticket: New and Selected Poems has been published by Word Poetry

(www.amazon.com/Buy-Ticket-New-Selected-Poems/dp/1625493991/). Judy will be reading at the Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books on May 14 (www.eventbrite.com/e/greater-pittsburgh-festival-of-books-poetry-allowed-tent-tickets-296776635907).


Isaac Cohen, who had a poem published in La Fenêtre de Paris, Vol-II: An Anthology of Poets from Different Countries on La France (www.amazon.com/Fen%C3%AAtre-Paris-Vol-II-Anthology-Different/dp/B09XZMF27W/)


March 2022: Congratulations to:


Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem “The Wrong Tree” has been published in the April 2022 edition of ESRA magazine.


Isaac Cohen, who has had two poems, “My Yearn” and “Amazing Journey”, published in the magazine Atunis, in Belgium.


Pesach Rotem, who had four poems published in Synchronized Chaos at https://synchchaos.com/poetry-from-pesach-rotem-2/, including “A Prickly Pair” written at Judy Koren’s workshop on Metaphor, and “Why an Apple?” written at Dina Yehuda’s workshop on Biblical Images.


David Ades, Australia, whose poem “The Message, Pittsburgh 2013,” was the Featured Poem in the most recent issue of POETICA MAGAZINE.

February 2022: Congratulations to:


Judy Koren, whose previously published poem “Tel Shikmona,” has won an Honorable Mention in the Society of Classical Poets’ “The Best Poems of 2021: the 10th Annual International SCP Poetry Competition.” It will be published in their printed journal.


Hayim Abramson, Judy Belsky, Esther Cameron, Ruth Fogelman, Mindy Aber Barad Golembo, Hadassa Haskale (ז״ל), Judy Koren, Rumi Morkin, Pesach Rotem, and Michael E. Stone, who all have their poems published in The Deronda Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2022.


Rumi Morkin (aka Miriam Webber) who will have two poems published in the March 2022 issue of Lighten Up Online, a digital quarterly webzine.


Richard Savei-Tzion, who has had two poems published in the Weekend In Jerusalem supplement of the Jerusalem Post, as parts of photo essays, one on the Hula Valley and the other entitled “Covid in Snow.”

January 2022: Congratulations to:


Pesach Rotem, whose poems “The Stream of Consciousness” and “Ripple” were published in The Lake at www.thelakepoetry.co.uk/poetry/pesach-rotem/, and whose poem “On ‘Poetry Readings’” was published in Spillwords at https://spillwords.com/on-poetry-readings/.


Helen Bar Lev, who has two poems shortlisted in Oprelle’s “Coming Home” contest:  “Early June in Metulla” and “1959 September.”


Judy Koren, whose poem “Sounds of a wet Morning” was published on January 6th in the webzine Grand Little Things, and whose previously published poem “Tel Shikmona” won an Honorary Mention in the Society of Classical Poets' "Best of 2021" 10th Annual International Poetry Competition and was re-published by the Society on the home page of their website starting January 29th.


Hannah Moshe, whose poem "Bunny" was published in Prosopisia vol XIV, no 1, 2022.


Rumi Morkin (aka Miriam Webber) who will have two poems published in the March 2022 issue of Lighten Up Online, a digital quarterly webzine.


Michael E. Stone, who has translated to English from Armenian, the book “The Genesis Commentary by Step’anos of Siwnik’ (DUB.), and who also has a newly published book of English translations of Mediaeval Armenian Poems.

December 2021: Congratulations to:


Susan Olsburgh, whose poem “Hinterland” was published in the December 2021 issue of ESRA Magazine.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Even in America” was published in Constellations, http://www.constellations-lit.com.


Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem was chosen as a finalist in Oprelle’s “2021 Matter” Anthology Poetry Contest.


Reuven Goldfarb, whose poem “Are the California Fires Out Yet?", appears in the December 1, 2021, issue of the Jewish Post & Opinion.  


Paul Rabinowitz, who has been chosen to be the featured reader at Calling All Poets at The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory. February 4, 2022, 7-9 PM at 8 N Cherry St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.


Miriam Green, whose poem “Testing for Covid” was a featured poem in Poetica Magazine.


Isaac Cohen, who has had two of his poems published in the October-December International Writers’ Journal; has received a congratulations certificate from the Literature World Group Ernest Hemingway for his poem “My love of nature”; and has received a certificate from Premio Internazionale D’Eccellenza “Citta del Galateo” for his poem “You’re Too Young to Die.”


Carolyn Mary Kleefeld, who was interviewed on World Poetry Café, 100.6 FM on December 16, 2021, when she read from and talked about her soon-to-be released book, Immortal Seeds: Bearing Gold from the Abyss, co-published by Cross-Cultural Communications and The Seventh Quarry Press. 

November 2021: Congratulations to:


Judy Koren, whose pantoum “Hypnosis” has been accepted by the Society of Classical Poets for publication on the homepage of their website www.classicalpoets.org, from November 7th.


Paul Rabinowitz whose three poems “Spin Cycle,” “Rose,” and “Softcover” appear in the October 2021 Montreal Review, and whose poem

"The Wish" has been published in in The Metaworker Literary Journal.


Helen Bar-Lev, whose poem “Where the Song Began” was published in the International Writers’ Journal No. 3, July-September, 2021.


David Ades whose poem, “The Mensch” was published in the 2021 Edition of Poetica Magazine.

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.