Summer/Kayitz 2007 Newsletter

Dedicated to creating a supportive environment for English writers in Israel


  1. Upcoming Poetry Reading
  2. Talk To Me —The Retreat
  3. Your Publications
  4. My Fall Teaching Schedule
  5. Shards
  6. The Writing Life—an essay by David Grossman

Dear Friends,

1. Upcoming Poetry Reading

August 2, 2007 in Jerusalem: Poets who earned their MA from the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University will give a reading at Tmol Shilshom Literary Café on Yoel Solomon Street in downtown Jerusalem. Everyone is invited at 7 PM.

2. Talk To Me —The Retreat

Talk To Me: A Writing Retreat on Dialogue with Judy Labensohn and Evan Fallenberg. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 9:00 a.m.—Friday, Nov. 16th, noon, 2007 at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. For complete details and registration, see the Talk To Me Dialogue Retreat Registration Form. Registration closes October 10, 2007.

3. Your Publications

When Anglo writers in Israel read about your publication successes, it inspires them to write and send out their work. Please, send me your good news, so I can spread the word.

  • Haim Watzman’s book A Crack in the Earth: A Journey Up Israel’s Rift Valley was recently published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. This is Jerusalemite Watzman’s second book with FSG. Find out more at
  • Dorit Sasson from Kibbutz Sde Nehemiya recently published her first piece of fiction. “The Made Officer” appeared in Art and Prose Magazine. Her first online publication appeared on The Raving Dove. You can read “Going Home” in the summer edition at
  • Gila Green, a graduate of the Bar-Ilan writing program, is publishing another story from her collection White Zion. “The End of Jewish Jerusalem” appears in the July issue of Kunapipi, an Australian journal of post-colonial literature. Gila lives in Beit Shemesh.
  • Jerusalem-based writer Judy Lash Balint has a new book. Jerusalem Diaries II: What’s Really Happening in Israel (Xulon Press) is available at Pomeranz Books and Shorashim in Jerusalem or from and
  • Esther Susan Heller of Safad has published her first book—an e-book called Six Ways to Turn Your Good Writing into Great Writing. It is based on sixteen years of teaching creative writing. Learn more at

A huge Mazal Tov to all those writers who persist, persist, and persist.

4. My Fall Teaching Schedule

  • Every other Friday morning I will host a small group of committed writers at my home in Moshav Beit Zayit to workshop short stories, essays, chapters of books, or pieces in search of a genre. This is for writers who have experience in rewriting.
    We will meet for seven sessions from 10:45–12:45.
    The cost is NIS 700, payable in two payments. The first meeting will be Oct. 26th, not on the 19th as previously published.
    If you are interested in joining, please email me at
  • On Wednesday afternoons from 4:30–6:30 I will teach a creative writing class in Jerusalem. This class is geared to emerging writers who want a framework to help them keep writing. The emphasis will be on the elements of good writing, learning to use other writers as inspiration, the writing process, and producing first drafts. The goal is to get you writing, to help you identify genres, to discover your strengths, your voice, and your pace, to inspire and encourage.
    We will meet for twelve sessions from Oct. 24, 2007 thru Jan. 23, 2008 (no classes on Nov. 14 and Dec. 5). The cost of the Wednesday class is NIS 1,200, payable in three checks made out to Yeul Sachir for NIS 400 each and dated Nov. 1, Dec. 1 and Jan. 1. Send checks to Judy Labensohn, POBox 15306 Moshav Beit Zayit, 90815. Include name, address, phone numbers and email. Hopefully, the class will meet in Beit Hakerem, but this is not final yet. Questions via email:

2. Shards

  • If you’re a mother and a writer, check out
  • The deadline for the Fifth Annual Fiction Competition of Lilith Magazine is Sept. 30, 2007. If you have a great story that does not exceed 3,000 words, go to for submission instructions.
  • Tzippi Moss of Jerusalem is offering a summer special for new clients who commit to four coaching sessions either via phone, Skype, or in person. She has experience coaching creative people past their fears and blocks. Contact her at
  • If you write for teens, Yaffa in Jerusalem would like to meet you to form a support group.
  • Joan Leegant, who will be coming from Harvard to teach the fiction workshop at Bar-Ilan during the Fall semester, is looking for a three-room, furnished apt. to rent in Tel Aviv from Oct. 1–Jan. 31. If you or anyone you know can help her, please email Joan at
  • Evan Fallenberg will be teaching the summer workshop at Bar-Ilan, which begins on August 16th. The workshops at Bar-Ilan are only open to those registered for the MA program with a creative thesis. Applications for the 2008-09 academic year will be accepted from Feb. 1, 2008.
  • If you suffer from memory loss or have a loved one who suffers, think about supporting Melabev by either joining the 2007 Negev Walkathon (Nov. 27-29) or sponsoring a walker. All proceeds go to a therapeutic kitchen and dining area in the new Melabev Center in Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem. Full details on the Walkathon at and on Melabev at I view any donation to Melabev as personal insurance.
  • Sarah Shapiro of Jerusalem is editing another edition of her famed anthology Our Lives (Targum/Feldheim). She wants to consider your personal stories, poems and essays for inclusion in the upcoming anthology. Email her at In the subject line, write ANTHOLOGY.
  • The deadline for the 2007 Moment-Karma Short Fiction Contest is July 30, 2007 (postmark). For details, go to:

5. The Writing Life

Being a writer in Israel provides inherent challenges. David Grossman describes them beautifully in “Writing in the Dark.” You can access this essay/speech at:

I need to be in the US for an extended visit until after Sukkot, so this may be the last newsletter for a few months. Send me your publication news, anyway, and keep writing and submitting your stories, poems, essays, and book proposals. Enjoy the summer, wherever you are; pray for a compassionate heart; and don’t forget to stretch after forty-five minutes of sitting.

With love,

About Judy Labensohn

I'm a writer and teacher of writing.
This entry was posted in Newsletter, Publication News, The Writing Life, Writing Classes, Writing Retreats and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s