Welcome to Jerusalism

We envision a thriving Israeli literature becoming more diverse and influential through its expression in English.

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Our Goals

  • To organize and lead the community of people interested in Israeli literature in English
  • To create opportunities that deepen connections between Israeli culture and English language literature
  • To showcase the quality and diversity of Israeli literary talent in English
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Our Story

In 2014, a group of Jerusalemite writers got together to read the entirety of Whitman’s “Song of Myself” at Kikar Zion. After spending the night shouting poetry in the streets, Jerusalism was born.

The group began to organize public readings, highlighting local English-language writing. Over the years, Jerusalism’s readings became bonafide events, expanding to include workshops, gatherings, literary experiments, writing groups, and beyond. They were hosted in bars, cafes, and galleries all over the city, open to anyone with an interest in the community gathering around English-language lit.

Soon, Jerusalism moved into the realm of the printed word. The Jerusalism Chapbook Series emerged as organizers sought to distribute printed material at events. As local writers sought paths to publishing, The Jerusalism Review was founded to publish interviews, essays, and translations by and about participating writers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic overtook the world, Jerusalism decided to take their literary community online. With the goal of expanding community reach and showcasing English-language Israeli literature globally, Jerusalism began organizing online events and workshops. Now, online activities are an integral part of Jerusalism programming, highly accessible and offering English-Language Israeli lit to an audience beyond the limestone walls of Jerusalem.

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Events

Local writers need opportunities to get words off the page, to interact with local authors, and to connect with like-minded people with shared interests. Our events provide a platform for participants to read their work in public, get to know Israeli literary talent, learn about and integrate into Israeli culture, as well as to connect with one another and build a community.
The Last Breath of Language
The Last Breath of Language
July 6, 2021 19:30

Led by Jerusalem-born writer Liza Michaeli, this event is a salon-style evening of intimate dialogue at Silo Cafe in Jerusalem about the language of experience and the experience of language. The event features polylingual writers, Ariel Resnikoff, Gali-Dana Singer, Nekoda Singer, and Lonnie Monka, who will share their works and open a conversation for all attendees to join.

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In-Person OPEN MIC
In-Person OPEN MIC
June 23, 2021 20:00

Jerusalism is excited for this first post-pandemic in-person Open Mic at Besarabia Bar in Jerusalem! Led by writer and cultural journalist Ben Shields, the event will begin with a featured reading by writer Michael Dickel and continue with an “open mic” for all who would like to share their own writing.

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Chasdei Hashem! S.Y. Agnon & Shtisel
Chasdei Hashem! S.Y. Agnon & Shtisel
June 13, 2021 20:00

In this collaborative event, Jerusalism and Tel Aviv Review of Books hosted a talk by Rabbi Jeffrey Saks, Director of Research at Jerusalem’s Agnon House, about references to Hebrew literature’s only Nobel laureate in the hit TV series. During the talk, Rabbi Saks explored intertextual connections between Israeli TV and Jewish literature and tradition.

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HaShoah Thru Poetry
HaShoah Thru Poetry
April 7, 2021 20:00

Led by Jerusalism founder and director Lonnie Monka, this event included a conversation with Micha Danziger, a Doctorant Student at The Hebrew University, researching Philosophy, Nazism and the Shoah, along side readings of Holocaust-related contemporary poetry. The featured poems were submitted to Jerusalism for this event and published as a Jerusalism chapbook.

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Bad Dating Stories
Bad Dating Stories
March 14, 2021 20:00

A social literary gathering of sharing bad dating stories led by Penina Shtauber, author of #ShidduchCrisis and #ShalomBayis. In this event, attendees will be given the chance to share their stories and listen to others, and make new friends. The conversation will be concluded by a performative reading by Penina of a selected story from the short story collection, #ShidduchCrisis.

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A Great Leap
A Great Leap
March 4, 2021 20:00

An event exploring the overlap of literature and video art. This event will include a viewing of “Making a Great Leap Forward,” a video art piece by Ana Wild (first presented in the Musrara Mix Festival 2020, curated by Vera Korman). After showing the video, the event MC, Lonnie Monka, will moderate a panel with Amital Stern, Roy Brand, and the artist, exchanging ideas about the role of text in video art. Then there will be an open Q&A.

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Open Mic with Featured Reader Julie Gray
Open Mic with Featured Reader Julie Gray
February 14, 2021 20:00

Led by MC Zev Hoffman, the event will begin with a featured reading by Julie Gray, author of The True Adventures of Gidon Lev. Following the reading, the “microphone” is opened to all attendees. In this Open Mic, attendees are welcomed to share work in the theme of “writing a life story.”

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Beyond the Smoke: The Story of Hashish
Beyond the Smoke: The Story of Hashish
January 27, 2021 20:00

This is a joint event hosted by Jerusalism & the Tel Aviv Review of Books. Hosted by Akin Ajayi, this event is a conversation on the story and social history of hashish with the featured guest Haggai Ram, author of Intoxicating Zion.

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Poetry Revives Worlds: A Conversation
Poetry Revives Worlds: A Conversation
January 3, 2021 20:00

This event, a conversation on how literature awakens memory & Jewish Arabic identity, features author Almog Behar and MC Sarah Sassoon.

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The Memory Monster: A Conversation with Yishai Sarid about his New Novel
The Memory Monster: A Conversation with Yishai Sarid about his New Novel
November 18, 2020 20:00

This is a joint event hosted by the Tel Aviv Review of Books & Jerusalism. Hosted by Alex Stein, one of the founding editors of TARB, this event is a conversation with Israeli writer Yishai Sarid on his new novel, The Monster Memory (translated by Yardenne Greenspan).

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Thriller Night: Reading & Conversation with E.Z.Rinsky & Nir Hezroni
Thriller Night: Reading & Conversation with E.Z.Rinsky & Nir Hezroni
November 8, 2020 20:00

This “Thriller Night” event with Israeli writer, Nir Hezroni, and Anglo-Israeli writer, E.Z.Rinsky, will comprise of a reading, a conversation, and a Q&A all led by MC Moshe Lapin.

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Open Mic with featured reader Erika Dreifus
Open Mic with featured reader Erika Dreifus
August 30, 2020 20:00

OpenMic event led by Zev Hoffman with performed reading by published writer Erika Dreifus, followed by open “microphone” for attendees to share their writing.

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Open Mic with featured reader, Jessamyn Hope
Open Mic with featured reader, Jessamyn Hope
July 14, 2020 19:00

Led by writer Zev Hoffman, this OpenMic event featured a performed reading by published writer Jessamyn Hope, followed by open “microphone” for attendees to share their writing.

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Translating a New Generation of Israeli Authors
Translating a New Generation of Israeli Authors
July 8, 2020 20:00

Jerusalism in collaboration with The Tel Aviv Review of Books presented a special online event featuring TARB editor Olga Kirschbaum in conversation with Man Booker Prize-winning translator Jessica Cohen. The conversation focused on Jessica’s experiences translating a new generation of Israeli authors.

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Re.Birth: Photopoetry & Open Mic
Re.Birth: Photopoetry & Open Mic
May 25, 2020 13:00

This event, led by by poet Daniella Silver and artist CY Frankel, delved into the idea of “normal” in the age of Corona and the opportunity this new “normal” provides for a rebirth or sorts. Encouraging creative participation to seek personal answers to these questions, the event employed photography/text interaction and an open mic poetry component.

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Photo-Poetry: “this ephemeral life”
Photo-Poetry: “this ephemeral life”
July 26, 2020 13:00

Led by artist CY Frankel and poet Daniella Silverstein, this event invited participants to explore “this ephemeral life” through an open mic of poetry and a guided photo-poetry practice.

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MEKUVAN Event Series
MEKUVAN Event Series
May 17, 2020 20:00

Mekuvan (מקוון meaning online) was a series of Jerusalism’s first online events. The events spanned 3 months from June to May 2020. Each event featured a different guest. The featured guests were: Erika Meitner, Charles Bernstein, David Caplan, Adeena Karasick, Alicia Ostriker, & Jake Marmer.

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Community Reading at HaMifal
Community Reading at HaMifal
October 9, 2020 20:00

Community reading at HaMifal, art community center, Jerusalem.

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Reading at Gallery
Reading at Gallery
September 30, 2020 15:00

Reading at Barbur Gallery, Jerusalem.

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Open Mic with featured reader, Tamar Weiss-Gabbay
Open Mic with featured reader, Tamar Weiss-Gabbay
September 22, 2020 20:00

Open Mic event led by Sarah Sassoon with performed reading by published writer Tamar Weiss-Gabbay, followed by open “microphone” for attendees to share their writing.

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Publishing

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“Halah” is the literary magazine of Jerusalism, featuring Israeli literature in English with a focus on translation. The magazine showcases original poetry, fiction, interviews, essays and more.

What Use Is Poetry, The Poet Is Asking
by Rachel Tzvia Back
August 23, 2021

“The little-boy body wrapped in shrouds / is now / the single certainty.”

5 Poems by Hedva Harechavi
by Hedva Harechavi and Linda Stern Zisquit
August 1, 2021

All in all I’m a worn-out dog living between volcanic mountains / that God created for her, circling in silence / after nothing but to talk to talk to talk to talk …

The Green Woman
by Haim Watzman
July 11, 2021

“She stood there, where he had seen her decades before, where perhaps she had been stationed at the dawn of time.”

Click here to check out the rolling magazine

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Books

Jerusalism also explores longer publishing formats. We currently have a number of short books (chapbooks) available in print and digital version, and we plan on publishing full length books in the future.

Click here to see published chapbooks

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Education

A vital part of any community is the opportunities to learn and grow together. Jerusalism organizes courses and workshops that deepen people’s engagement with Israeli literary culture.

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For more information about courses or to talk to us about educational programming, contact us directly.

Partnerships & Community

Jerusalism will develop the field of Israeli literature in English by creating spaces for Israeli writers, translators, and cultural organizations—in Israel and abroad—to connect and collaborate.

  • Partnering with Israeli cultural organizations
  • Partnering with international cultural organizations
  • Developing resources to connect Israeli writers (writing in any language) with English translators
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