Poets, songwriter set for May 9 Jewish Poets session

By Eileen Wingard

Eileen Wingard

LA JOLLA, California — Two seasoned published poets and a young prize-winning song writer will be the featured presenters at the final Jewish Poets—Jewish Voices evening of the 2017 season. This program will take place in the JCC’s Astor Judaica Library on Tuesday, May 9 at 7  p.m. Following the featured poets, there will be a half hour of open microphone for other poets in the audience to share their work. The three outstanding presenters will each read 18 minutes of their original work.

Sylvia Levinson, has been widely published in journals and anthologies, such as Blue Arc West: California Poets Anthology and the Christian Science Monitor. Her two books have garnered high acclaim. She has won many prizes, including the 2007 National Award by City Works. She mentors high school seniors for writing projects and conducts classes.

Jerry Greenspan, a graduate of Pace College in New York City, retired to the San Diego area after having various successful business enterprises. He began writing poetry regularly a decade ago, and founded a writers group in Coronado, where he currently resides. He has published two books of poetry.

Gabriel Lehrer grew up in Tucson Arizona. He is the grandson of Dr. Albert Algazi of La Jolla, a retired internist from Scripps Clinic. Gabriel is the winner of the Tucson Desert Song Festival’s Third Annual Songwriting Competition, and he performs frequently in the Tucson area. He is currently traveling and working on organic farms during his gap year before college.

The previous event of the season, on March 21, was a successful evening of poetry by three Jewish poets from the Golden Age of Spain, Yehuda Halevi, Solomon Ibn Gabirol and Moses Ibn Ezra.

Rabbi Martin Lawson, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanu El gave insightful introductions to each poets’ life and the poetry was read in its original by Hebrew speakers with the English translations read by members of the Jewish Poets—Jewish Voices Committee and other talented readers.

Several poems, set to music, were sung by the Beth Am Choir, under the direction of Elisheva Edelson. Additional songs were sung by Elisheva and Geula Hebron. Thirty volunteers participated in the presentation of this educational and entertaining program, arranged by the Jewish Poets—Jewish Voices Committee, with research assistance of Ilana Brosh, Geula Hebron and Elisha Blatt.

Wingard is a freelance writer specializing in coverage of the arts. She may be contacted via [email protected]

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