A Poet’s Siddur: Contributors

Trisha Arlin, writer, performer and student of prayer in Brooklyn, NY, is a part-time rabbinic student at the Academy of Jewish Religion. Trisha was Liturgist-In-Residence during the National Havurah Committee 2014 Summer Institute. Place Yourself, a collection of new liturgy and kavannot, will be published by Dimus Parrhesia Press. Trisha’s work is published online at triganza.blogspot.com, RitualWell.org and OpenSiddur.org.

Rachel Berghash was born in Jerusalem. She has published a memoir, Half the House, My Life In and Out of Jerusalem, Sunstone Press. Her poetry and poetry translations have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Chicago Review,Christianity and Literature, The Comstock Review, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Colorado Review, Jewish Currents, and The Forward Magazine. In 2009 her poetry was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry by The Comstock Review. Visit Rachel on the web here: www.rachelberghash.com

Ben Berman’s first book, Strange Borderlands, won the 2014 Peace Corps Award for Best Book of Poetry and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Awards. His second collection, Figuring in the Figure, is available from Able Muse Press. He currently teaches in the Boston area, where he lives with his wife and daughters and attends Temple Reyim where the Rabbi just happens to be his brother.

Janet Bowdan’s poems have appeared in journals including APR, Slope, Crazyhorse, Verse, Free State Review and Peacock Journal, and in Best American Poetry 2000 and Poetry Daily. She edits Common Ground Review and teaches at Western New England University. She was raised not exactly orthodox and met her husband because the rebbitzin played violin next to her mother. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, son, and sometimes a lovely stepdaughter or two.

Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016) was a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, poet, novelist, and painter. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.

Rabbi Diane Elliot inspires her students to develop a nourishing and deeply felt Jewish practice through meditation, movement, and nuanced interpretations of sacred text. A spiritual director in private practice, she teaches and leads retreats nationally through ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal and has recently published This Is the Day, Ha-Yom Yom, Poems inspired by the practice of counting the Omer (Hadassa Word Press).

Adam D. Fisher’s four books of poems are: Rooms, Airy Rooms, (Writers Ink Press and Cross Cultural Communications in cooperation with Behrman House), Dancing Alone, (Birnham Wood/Long Island Quarterly), Enough to Stop the Heart, (Writers Ink Press) and Hanging Out With God (Writers Ink Press). He was the Poetry Editor of the quarterly Journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 2006-14. He is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Isaiah, Stony Brook, NY.

Harris Gardner’s credits include The Harvard Review; Midstream; Fulcrum; Chest and over fifty more, in U.S. and international journals. He has three published collections and co-founded Tapestry of Voices with Lainie Senechal (1999-Pres.). He also co-founded, with Lainie Senechal, Boston National Poetry Month Festival in 2001. He received the Ibbetson Street Press Life Time Achievement Award in 2015 as well as a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2015.

Michael Getty is a writer who lives with his husband in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed the Davennen Leadership Training Institute (DLTI) in 2016, and his poetry has appeared in publications such as The Healing Muse, The Road Not Taken, and The Aurorean.

Bracha Goetz is the author of 36 Jewish children’s books, including The Invisible Book, Aliza in MitzvahLand, and Let’s Appreciate Everyone! Her new candid memoir is Searching for God in the Garbage.

Rabbi James Stone Goodman serves Neve Shalom Congregation and the Central Reform Congregation, in St. Louis, Missouri. He performs with several musical groups, integrating story and music in a performance art form. In addition to rabbinical training, he has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Rabbi Goodman’s special field of expertise is the Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, on which he writes and lectures widely.

Andra Greenwald is the mother of three wonderful girls and is married to her best friend. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an ordained rabbi. Andra won her first poetry contest while at a Jewish day camp in 1959 and has been waiting to add to that list of awards ever since. She loves people, writing and teaching and strives to make the world better one life at a time.

I.B. (Bunny) Iskov is the Founder of The Ontario Poetry Society. Bunny has won a few contest prizes and she has several poetry collections. Bunny Is the recipient of The 2009 R.A.V.E. Award, as Art Educator / Mentor in the Literary Arts Discipline and most recently, she is the recipient of The Absolutely Fabulous Women Award for Women over 40, 2017 in Arts and Culture.

Raoul Izzard is an English teacher who lives in Barcelona, Spain with his wife and two-year-old son. He loves drinking coffee in the city’s numerous bars and cafes when he isn’t on daddy duties.

After retiring in 2009, one inspiring writing workshop launched Joanne Jagoda of Oakland, California on an unexpected writing trajectory. Her short stories, poetry and nonfiction appear on-line and in print anthologies including Gemini, Pure Slush, Poetica, and Persimmon Tree Magazine. In 2015, her poem, “Mr. Avocado Man” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Joanne continues taking a variety of Bay Area writing classes, enjoys Zumba, traveling and spoiling her seven grandchildren, who call her “Savta.”

J. H. Johns “grew up and came of age” while living in East Tennessee and Middle Georgia. Specifically, the two places “responsible” for the writer that he has become are Knoxville, Tennessee and Milledgeville, Georgia.

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three poetry chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum, Stronger Than Cleopatra, and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including Poetica, Jewish Spectator, Killing the Angel, and Imitation Fruit. She is also the author of 40 books for young readers, including three Sydney Taylor Honor Award winners and two National Jewish Book Award finalists. Visit www.jacquelinejules.com

TEDx Poet Rachel Kann has been featured on Morning Becomes Eclectic on NPR and as “The Weather” on Welcome to Night Vale. She’s received accolades including the James Kirkwood Fiction Awards and LA Weekly Awards. She is the winner of Best Overall Production from Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival and the 2017 UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Instructor of the year. She is currently matriculating toward ordination through Kohenet. Visit her at rachelkann.com

D.L. Lang is the current Poet Laureate of Vallejo, CA. She has authored nine poetry books and one spoken word album. Her poetry has been published in the Jewish Journal, and has won awards at various county fairs. Once upon a time she made a film called the Hebrew Project and minored in Judaic Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Visit her online at: poetryebook.com

Aurora Levins Morales is an internationally known Puerto Rican Ashkenazi poet, fiction writer and essayist. She’s a member of the Jews of Color, Sepharic and Mizrahi Caucus working in partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace, and a regular contributor to its blog, Unruly. Her ecojustice podcast Letters from Earth airs on Pacifica Radio’s Flashpoints and her work can be found on Patreon and at www.auroralevinsmorales.com. She lives in a tiny house in Northern California.

Rabbi Ellen Lewis has enjoyed a bi-vocational career as both a rabbi and a psychotherapist. One of the first 20 women ordained a Reform rabbi, she spent 35 years serving synagogues in Dallas, Texas; Summit, NJ (Rabbi Honorata); and Washington, NJ (Rabbi Emerita). Rabbi Lewis is also a certified and licensed modern psychoanalyst. She is in private practice in Bernardsville, NJ, and Manhattan. Rabbi Lewis writes and speaks about the intersection of mind and spirit.

Cantor Abbe Lyons is a Jewish musician and educator. In addition to being the Jewish Chaplain at Ithaca College, she teaches music theory, Hebrew and nusach in the Aleph Ordination Program. She facilitates SpeakChorus Torah with adults and teens and creates innovative music drawing on Jewish sources with her band, RESONATE. Learn more at www.abbelyons.com.

A singer, actor, writer, composer, and playwright, Danny Maseng is the spiritual leader of Makom LA in California. Danny’s productions, Wasting Time with Harry Davidowitz, and Soul on Fire have earned him accolades. Danny has just completed The Passion, the Beauty, and the Heartbreak, a book about the luminaries of Israeli songwriting. One of the most popular and respected composers of contemporary synagogue music, Danny has performed extensively on stage, television, and film worldwide.

An arsonist by trade, John Reinhart lives on a farmlette in Colorado with his wife and children. He is a Frequent Contributor at the Songs of Eretz, member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and was awarded the 2016 Horror Writers Association Dark Poetry Scholarship. His chapbook, “encircled,” is available from Prolific Press. More of his work is available at www.patreon.com/johnreinhart, and you can connect with him through www.facebook.com/JohnReinhartPoet and twitter.com/JReinhartPoet

Stacey Zisook Robinson is a poet and essayist who lives in Chicago. She works as a Poet/Scholar-in-Residence, creating workshops to explore the connection between poetry, prayer and text. She blogs at staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com, and is a regular contributor to kveller.com, and Reform Judaism blog. Her book, Dancing in the Palm of God’s Hand, was published in 2015. A Remembrance of Blue: 36 poems for prayer and celebration was published in November, 2017..

Ty Rocker is a 17 year old living in Riverdale, NY, and a junior at SAR High school. He reaches spirituality through nature, self reflection and music. He sings and writes songs on the guitar, has chickens in his backyard, and aspires to be a poetry-writing-organic-famrer when he’s older.

Sy Roth is given to simpleminded meanderings that some have deemed noteworthy of publishing in a wide variety of online literary venues.  He seeks to find some understanding in the maelstrom of misunderstanding that the world has provided for his ingestion.  He spits out lines that he hopes bring clarification to some souls who trip upon them.

Rabbi Yael Saidoff is a spiritual Rabbinic counselor at the American Jewish University (AJU). She has also lectured at AJU on topics including comparative mysticism and character development. Rabbi Saidoff also works as a therapist at Jewish Family Services and has served as Rabbi at Shomrei Torah, Makom Ohr Shalom, and Beit T’shuvah synagogues. She holds degrees in Rabbinics, psychology and neuroscience. She and her partner have two lively kiddos: Maayan and Emet.

Ellen Sander is a poet currently living in Belfast, Maine.

Don Schaeffer has previously published a dozen volumes of poetry, his first in 1996, not counting the experiments with self publishing under the name “Enthalpy Press.” He spent a lot of his young adult life hawking books and learning the meaning of vanity. His poetry has appeared in numerous periodicals and has been translated into Chinese for distribution abroad. Don is a habitue of the poetry forum network and has received first prize in the Interboard competition.

Nancy Shiffrin has two collections of poetry available, The Vast Unknowing and Game With Variations (available at unibook.com) Her novel, Out of the Garden, is available at Lulu.com accompanied by an essay, Invoking Anais Nin. Her play Allison’s War is also available at Lulu.com.

David Supper trained at Manchester College of Art and Design and has worked in the UK and Israel as a designer. He retrained as an Art Teacher and spent 35 years teaching art in secondary schools ending as Head of a large, thriving art department. Now he writes poetry and paints, his poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies both in the UK and USA. David’s paintings have been exhibited in London and the provinces.

Alan Walowitz has been published various places on the web and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and teaches at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and St. John’s University in Queens. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, is available from Osedax Press. He can be found on the web at alanwalowitz.com.

Four times nominated for a Pushcart, Florence Weinberger has published four books of poetry, a fifth, Ghost Tattoo, forthcoming from Tebot Bach. Poems have appeared in Rattle, River Styx, Miramar, Poet Lore, Comstock Review, Nimrod, Cider Press Review, Poetry East and numerous anthologies. In 2012, she served as a judge for the PEN Center USA Literary Contest.

Neal Whitman lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife Elaine, where his poetry and her photography are inspired by the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula. Neal took up the writing of poetry in transition from a career in medical education where he introduced poetry in the study of medicine. In his so-called “retirement,” he is the haiku editor for the weekly online journal, Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine.

Seree Cohen Zohar’s work is influenced by Australian landscapes and farming in Israel and appears or is forthcoming in print and online venues internationally. She collaborated with Alan Sullivan on a new, accessibly-versified poetic translation of the Psalms of King David.