February 2008 Newsletter

Dedicated to creating a supportive environment for English writers in Israel


1. Shards
2. Your Publications
3. The Writing Life

1. Shards

  • Evan Fallenberg, recently returned from a successful US book tour, will discuss book writing and publishing on Thurs. Feb. 28th at Solo Café, 76 Arlozorov, Tel Aviv. He’ll also read from his highly acclaimed book Light Fell. RSVP to Writer Café Moderator, Stephanie at stefanella.stef@gmail.com
  • ARC19 reading at Tel Aviv University, Sunday, February 24th, 4 pm. Rosenberg 01 Bldg near Diaspora Museum. With editors Mordechai Beck and Jeffrey Green and participants Jerome Mandel and Karen Alkalay-Gut, among others.
  • The Poetry of Surprise: a writing workshop in English on Tuesday evenings with poet Lisa Katz at the Poetry Place in Jerusalem, starting March 18, 2008. Email poetryplace1@gmail.com for details.
  • The Deronda Review accepts submissions until March 14, 2008 for its 2nd issue. Submit 5 poems (maximum) or 1 short prose piece (500 words) in the body of an email to maber4kids@yahoo.com. For further info. go to www.pointandcircumference.com. While both the editor-in-chief in the US and the Israeli editor (Mindy Aber Barad) are frum women, “the audience is definitely a mixed one.”
  • Carol Unger is doing a four-week workshop in her Telzstone home on Tuesday mornings. “Interesting brain-stretching exercises.” Contact Carol at tzirelchana@yahoo.com
  • Poems for the Jewish Holidays, an anthology by Judith Sokoloff and Gerd Stern, seeks poems relating to a Jewish holiday/festival/celebration/life-cycle event. Send to gerd@intermediafoundation.org by April 1, 2008.
  • Ruth Mason’s column “Life in the 50’s” can be accessed by going to www.Jpost.com, clicking on “local news,” scrolling down to “Life in the 50’s.”
  • Rosally Saltsman is collecting stories for Stories to Touch the Jewish Heart (tentative title). She prefers first person, “true stories that resonate with kindness, divine providence and faith.” Target audience is frum. Send queries and stories to rosally_s@yahoo.com.
  • Gila Green is looking for food-related stories for an anthology called Food for Thought: Stories You can Taste. Either submit at WEbook.com or email Gila at greens@netvision.net.il. Put “WEbook food anthology” in the subject line.
  • James Murray-White is a co-editor of a wonderful blog: http://greenprophet.com: “Foreseeing a green, environmentally sound future for Israel and its neighbors.”
  • Tania Hershman’s 4th issue of The Short Review is available online at www.theshortreview.com. Anyone writing short stories should visit.
  • Now is the time to apply to The Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University for the next academic year. For details, go to www.biu.ac.il/HU/en/cw

2. Your Publications and Jobs

  • If you have a job as an editor of a magazine, journal, blog, newsletter, or publishing house that seeks writers, let me know. For example, Esther Susan Heller, from Safed, has recently become the Editor-in-Chief at Targum Press in Jerusalem. Mazal Tov Esther. She writes: “If you have writers who are interested in publishing in the frum world, feel free to send them to me.” Contact Esther at jwriting@kinneret.co.il
  • Atar Hadari, who used to teach in the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan, had his poetry collection was accepted by Foothills Publications in the US. Currently, Hadari lives in England.
  • Jacob Lampart’s story “Miss Finkelstein” will appear in the Spring 2008 issue of Greensboro Review. Jacob lives in Jerusalem.
  • Shoshana London Sappir wrote about her experiences at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can read it at http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/ed/2008/winter/appian/lessons.html
  • Gila (Green) Tal’s piece “Modesty” was accepted to The Mom Egg, official publication of the annual Mamapalooza Festival in NYC, 2008. Her “I Put Him on the Bottle” was accepted to the Nothing But Red Anthology. “Still Life With Father,” an excerpt from her novel, was accepted to the February issue of PresentTense magazine. When I asked Gila how she finds these outlets, she told me she surfs the net while nursing her baby.

3. The Writing Life—Walking and Writing

Lately, I read something about the positive effects of walking on the circulation of the blood and lymphatic system. I usually read such things after sitting in front of the computer for eight hours, exhausted, hungry, and frustrated. I know in my bones and my lymph nodes that what I need is a good walk, but either it’s raining outside or a cold wind is howling or it’s too dark or too bright or the jackals are telling me to stay inside until morning. I listen to the jackals and sit down, albeit in another room, and eat. Then it’s time for the news and I sit, albeit in another chair, for Channel 10’s coverage of Barak Obama. By now it is close to nine and the jackals are screaming in the wadi outside my living room, telling me to stay put. I listen to the jackals.

Once, when I lived in Jerusalem, I used to walk on the Jerusalem tayelet at 6:30 in the morning. What a wonderful way to wake up. When I moved to the country, I tried morning walks around Moshav Beit Zayit, but instead of loving the hills, dirt paths, and vistas of spires from Ein Kerem and the noble buildings of Hadassah Hospital, I kept looking for the golden dome of the Mosque of Omar, the monochrome hills of the Judean desert, the walls of the Old City, even the ugly gray separation fence.

My walking has taken a setback this winter, but I still believe in the power of walk to get out of depression, confusion, frustration, writer’s block, memory loss, sore back and poor blood and lymph fluid circulation. That’s why I support and even occasionally participate in long hikes that raise funds for worthy causes, like Melabev’s “Don’t Forget me Walkathon” and Tsad Kadima’s “Hike For Hope.”

Melabev runs eight day care centers in Jerusalem and one in Beit Shemesh for “the frail elderly,” which is to say people with Alzheimer-like symptoms. I participated in their first hike and felt totally righteous, able, healthy, and far from being an Alzheimer patient myself, despite my fears, since my mother has suffered from Alzheimer for the past eight years. I see how devastating this disease is, not only for the victim who floats in cognitive limbo, but also for the families, who float in perpetual mourning.

Tsad Kadima is a national organization that helps rehabilitate physically handicapped children and young adults. Two of the founders, Marc and Eli Render, were my former neighbors in Baaka, Jerusalem. They brought to Israel the method of conductive education, developed by Hungarian physician, Prof. Andras Peto, to help CP victims aim for greater independence. See http://www.conductive-ed.org.uk/index.html.

On April 22-24, during Chol Hamoed Pesach, Tsad Kadima will sponsor its 4th Hike For Hope to benefit physically challenged children and young adults. I encourage you and your Pesach guests from abroad to join this worthy hike along the Israel Trail in the Negev (1-2 day options). After the hike, participants will join Tsad Kadima’s children and young adults for a joint wheelchair/walk along the edge of the Ramon Crater and a festive barbeque. Visit www.tsadkadima.org.il for details.

I’m partial to Tsad Kadima for two reasons. 1) I had a baby brother who was born a vegetable and Cleveland’s cerebral palsy organization helped my parents cope. 2) Marc and Eli Render transformed their own personal, family crisis, when their daughter Miriam was born with CP, into a national organization that helps hundreds of Israeli families. How many of us complain, moan, just worry about ourselves and our own families? How inspiring when families rally around a personal challenge for the common good of the community.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Renders first imagined Tsad Kadima while walking in the neighborhood, one step forward at a time.

We writers need not emulate Henry David Thoreau who walked four hours a day, but a short trek five times a week would definitely improve our writing and maybe even benefit the wider community.

Happy Trails,

About Judy Labensohn

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

4 Responses to February 2008 Newsletter

  1. Jerry ward says:

    Judy thanks for sending the Jan.2008 news letter. Reading the news letter, and I noticed how well everything is written. I am still writing stories of my life back in the 30s and 40s. I Hope to put my book together before may 2008. My sketches got lost in the mail and there were no backup sketches. A writer must not give up over a mishap. My great grandson in B.C. age 13 is doing the sketches for me. The last place one would look is in there own family. Your friend in canada, Jerry


  2. Marc Render says:

    Judy I just saw this – its lovely. Thanks for the plug for the hike…you can still come!




  3. Lawrence Fields says:

    I have lost touch with an old friend of mine
    Jacob Lampart. I see he lives in
    Jerusalem. Is there any way you could
    forward to him this message and my
    e-mail. thank you very much


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