Janice Rebibo

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Janice Rebibo Poet Tel Aviv Dec 1 2007

Janice Silverman Rebibo (born 1950) is an Israeli poet who began writing in Hebrew in the mid-1980s.


Rebibo’s poems have been admired for having, “a new strength and the kind of courage that comprises a strategic breakthrough, a stance of both audacity and humor that adds something new to the war of independence of Israel’s consciousness – a revolution of language, spirit and mind.” (critic Menahem Ben).[1] Rebibo is an Israeli poet born in Boston, who began writing in Hebrew while studying Hebrew language and literature at Hebrew College. Dozens of her poems have appeared in Israel’s major newspapers and journals. Recently, an anthology of Israeli writers of English included several of Rebibo's poems and the journal, Iton 77, featured her Hebrew poem, Etzb’a Elohim (God’s finger).[2] The first of her four poetry collections, Zara (a stranger-woman, referring to the figure in Proverbs), was published in 1997.[3] She later served as chief translator for Natan Yonatan, completing Within the Song to Live, his bilingual volume of selected work, following that popular poet’s death in 2004.[4] Zara Betzion: shirim 1984-2006 (a stranger-woman in Zion), a blend of two literary traditions, is Rebibo’s latest collection, which received a President of Israel Award and other prizes.[5] Her poems have been set to music by multi-hit composer, Gidi Koren. In addition to the English libretto for composer Matti Kovler's The Escape of Jonah, Rebibo also collaborated with Kovler to write the libretto for Here Comes Messiah!, performed at Carnegie Hall in 2009 and at Boston’s Jordan Hall in 2010.[6]


My Beautiful Ballooning Heart, poems by Janice Silverman Rebibo, Coolidge Corner Publishing July 2013 ISBN 978-0615839325

Janice Silverman Rebibo's first collection of poetry in English, My Beautiful Ballooning Heart, was published in July, 2013.[7] How Many Edens, Rebibo's most recent poetry chapbook, was published in April, 2014 [8] Using allusions, humor and eroticism, much of Rebibo's poetry shows how relationships are shaped by language, culture, religion, and politics. Her first Hebrew poems appeared in 1984 in the literary supplement of the Hebrew language newspaper Davar on the recommendation of Israeli poet Haim Gouri.[9] Since then, Rebibo’s poems and short stories have appeared frequently in Israel's literary pages and journals [10] and four books of her Hebrew poetry have been published and characterized in the press as a bold blend of two rich poetic traditions.[11] Zara in Zion: Collected Poems 1984-2006 by Janice Rebibo, published in 2007,[12] includes Hebrew poetry from her three earlier books and new work previously published in Israel's literary journals, as well as a chapter entitled Zion by Itself containing poems Rebibo has written in English.[13] Rebibo has translated Hebrew poetry into English, notably for poet Natan Yonatan.[14] Her poems have been set to music and recorded. Hazman Ozel (time is running out), music by Gidi Koren, was released in 2009 by NMC on a live performance DVD by The Brothers and The Sisters.[15] She has also collaborated with composers on texts and librettos. Here Comes Messiah!,[16] a monodrama for soprano and chamber orchestra by Matti Kovler, libretto by Janice Silverman Rebibo and Matti Kovler, was premiered at Carnegie Hall with soprano, Tehila Nini Goldstein, on May 9, 2009 at the Osvaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw Young Artists Concert.[17] Rebibo has edited and translated prose for novelist, Yizhar Smilansky (S. Yizhar), Toronto filmmaker Avi Lev,[18] Prof. Moshe Bar-Asher at the Academy of the Hebrew Language, and for other leading Israelis in literary criticism, linguistics, business, and technology.

In addition to her literary work, Janice Rebibo directed an innovative school-pairing program to promote tolerance, friendship, and cooperation in Israeli society and serves as SPO at a non-profit for the advancement of Hebrew language teaching and learning in North America.

Prizes and awards[edit]

Zara Betzion ("A Stranger in Zion") by Janice Rebibo received awards from the Office of the President of Israel and the Mifal HaPais Cultural Committee, as well as Hebrew College's Steiner Prize in Hebrew Literature, one of several academic and literary prizes awarded to Rebibo over her many years of association with that College.


  1. ^ Ben, Menahem, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVNmXKsR4pI&p=F5FF168188B76053 December 1, 2007
  2. ^ Iton 77 vol. 344 Jan-Feb 2010 גליון 344 שבט-אדר תש"ע ינואר-פברואר 2010
  3. ^ Open Library http://openlibrary.org/authors/OL5132590A/Janice_Rebibo
  4. ^ Yonatan, Natan, Within the Song to Live, trans. Janice Silverman Rebibo and others, music CD, Gefen Jerusalem & NY, 2005. ISBN 965-229-345-8. Reviews (Eng.) by Schary Motro, Helen: http://www.bros-and-sis.com/images/press_natanyonatan1.jpg http://www.bros-and-sis.com/images/press_natanyonatan2.jpg
  5. ^ http://www.text.org.il/index.php?book=0703115
  6. ^ Boston University Program for Scripture and the Arts http://www.bu.edu/scriparts/calendar/index.html
  7. ^ Janice Rebibo (2013), My Beautiful Ballooning Heart, USA: Coolidge Corner Publishing, ISBN 978-0615839325, 0615839320 
  8. ^ http://amzn.com/0615914772
  9. ^ Ben, Menahem, Heb. review of Targilei Hisur ("Subtraction") by Janice Rebibo, "Zman Tel Aviv", Maariv, Nov. 30, 2000. http://www.nrg.co.il/online/archive/ART89/691.html
  10. ^ see Green, Jeff, review of Zara ("Though She May Roam") Sifriat Poalim Tel Aviv 1997, in Reading from Right to Left, The Jerusalem Post, August 22, 1997. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-3821927.html and others
  11. ^ see multiple Hebrew references by critics and reviewers, incl. Moznaim, Maariv, Zman Tel-Aviv, Iton 77, 1997-on
  12. ^ Paz, Barak, Heb. review of Zara Betzion, Iton 77 issue 327-328, Jan. 2008. http://www.iton77.com/326/paz326.html
  13. ^ זרה בציון: שירים 1984-2006 רביבו, ג׳ניס Zarah be-Tsiyon: shirim 1984-2006 by Janice Rebibo, Gvanim Tel Aviv, 2007. ISBN 978-965-411-898-9 OCLC 189097173
  14. ^ Yonatan, Natan, Within the Song to Live, trans. Janice Silverman Rebibo and others, music CD, Gefen Jerusalem & NY, 2005. ISBN 965-229-345-8. Reviews (Eng.) by Schary Motro, Helen: http://www.bros-and-sis.com/images/press_natanyonatan1.jpg http://www.bros-and-sis.com/images/press_natanyonatan2.jpg
  15. ^ Video on YouTube
  16. ^ http://www.carnegiehall.org/article/sound_insights/works/commissions/art_detail_HereComesMessiah_commissions.html
  17. ^ Review by Sophie Delphis: http://delbourg-delphis.com/2009/05/artists-entrepreneurs-the-osvaldo-golijov-and-dawn-upshaw-young-artists-concert/
  18. ^ Lev, Avi, Avi Avi ("only one degree of separation") http://www.maximoose.com/ http://www.wearesamba.com/

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