Literary Biography

Reuven Goldfarb

poet; essayist; fiction writer; storyteller; literary, social, and cultural critic; journalist; editor; teacher; and spiritual counselor.

Residences

Keren HaYesod 128, Artists Quarter, Tzfat 13201, Israel;

Berkeley address (summer only): 2020 Essex Street, Berkeley, CA 94703;

Other contact info: poetsprogress@gmail.com; 04-697-4105

Int’l phone 510-868-0272

Education

Received S’micha from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as Morenu, Maggid, and Rabbinic Deputy (1993); Master’s Program in Creative Writing, Syracuse University, earned 21 credits (1965-67); A.B., Lafayette College, Honors in English (1965); WUJS Institute, Arad, Israel (1999-2000); Pardes Institute, Jerusalem (Summer 1990); Hartman Institute (Summer, 1979)

Teaching

Adjunct Professor of English at Merritt College, 1989-1997; Melamed at several Hebrew Schools in the SF Bay Area; workshop leader and facilitator at Aleph Kallah, Ruach HaAretz, and Joys of Jewishing

Literary work

Author of Trains of Thought: Essays, Articles, & Features (AGADA Books, 2007);

Editor of I Knock at Every Door, poems by Dan Trupin (AGADA Books, 1995);

Co-founder and publisher/editor of AGADA, the illustrated Jewish literary magazine (1981-88);

Author of poetry chapbooks, Leather (1970), “To be a Jew…” (1977), and Fourteen Sonnets (1978);

Contributor to literary magazines: The Madisonian, The Marquis, Agada, Galley Sail Review, Oxygen, Exquisite Corpse, The Robert Frost Review, Spitball, The Neo-Victorian/Cochlea, Voices Israel, Poetica, The Healing Muse, Natural Bridge, Arch and Quiver, The Deronda Review, and Blueline;

other periodicals: Voice of the Trees, New Menorah, Tikkun, Pumbedissa, Kol Chevra; newspapers: Lafayette College student weekly, Good Times, The Northern California Jewish Bulletin, The Montclarion, The National Jewish Post and Opinion, The Jewish Star, and The Jerusalem Post;

newsletters: Kaliflower, The Aquarian Minyan Nitzotzot, The Berkeley-Richmond JCC Monthly, The Bay Area Jewish Newsletter, Kol Yakov (Congregation Beth Jacob, Oakland, CA), Or HaDor (Network of Jewish Renewal Communities), Good News (of Moshav Me’or Modi’im); and web sites, including HavurahShirHadash.org and AscentofSafed.com

Anthologies: The Fine Arts Society Poetry Yearbook, 1964 & 1965 (Lafayette College); Syracuse Voices; Children of the Dawn: Visions of the New Family; Worlds of Jewish Prayer: A Festschrift in Honor of Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi; Chester H. Jones Foundation National Poetry Competition; Ancient Roots, Radical Practices, and Contemporary Vision: The 25th Anniversary Festschrift of the Aquarian Minyan; View from the Seventh Floor: Arad Arts Project (2000); Voices Israel; and What is Jewish About America’s “Favorite Pastime”? – Essays and Sermons on Jews, Judaism and Baseball, edited by Marc Lee Raphael and Judith Z. Abrams and published by The College of William and Mary Press, 2006 (includes a revised and expanded version of my 1990 essay, “Baseball Kabbalah,” which is also featured on the web sites mentioned above and on this one).

Awards

The MacKnight Black Poetry Award (Lafayette College, 1965); Commendation Award from the Chester H. Jones Foundation National Poetry Competition (1998); First Prize, most outstanding poem on Spirituality, Poetica Magazine (2004); Third Place, the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition 2007

Featured reader

Saul’s Delicatessen, the BR/JCC, and Cody’s Books, Berkeley; T’mol Shilshom, Jerusalem; Auerbach Café Gallery and Beirav Shul, Tzfat; ALEPH Kallah, Berkeley (1993); and the ALEPH Kallah Cabaret in Corvallis, WA (2003); Johnstown, PA (2005); and Albuquerque, NM (2007

Reuven Goldfarb

poet; essayist; fiction writer; storyteller; literary, social, and cultural critic; journalist; editor; teacher; and spiritual counselor. 

Reuven Goldfarb was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended P.S 193 (Gil Hodges School), Andries Hudde J.H.S., and James Madison High School as well as Hebrew School at Ahavat Israel and the East Midwood Jewish Center, where he became Bar Mitzvah on May 17, 1958. In Junior High he worked on the staff of the student newspaper, The Hudde Penguin, and in high school he co-edited The Madisonian, the school’s literary magazine. He attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he majored in English, edited two literary periodicals: The Poetry Yearbook of the Fine Arts Society and The Marquis, and acted in twelve productions at the Little Theatre. He won the McKnight Black Poetry prize and graduated as an A.B. with Honors in English.

He entered the Master’s Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University in the fall of 1965, and earned 21 credits before dropping out in January 1967. He drove a cab for Circle Taxi and left for the west coast with his close friend Ellen Clark in June. The story gets complicated at this point, and it’s better to read the poems first and ask questions later.

His current blurb reads something like this: Reuven Goldfarb co-founded and edited AGADA, the illustrated Jewish literary magazine. Recent appearances in print include poems in The Healing Muse, Poetica, Voices Israel, and Arch and Quiver; a dream sequence in Natural Bridge; an essay, “Baseball Kabbalah,” in What’s Jewish About America’s “Favorite Pastime”? (William and Mary Press); and articles in The Jewish Star, The National Jewish Post & Opinion, and The Jerusalem Post. His self-published booklet, Trains of Thought, is a collection of many of these essays, articles, and feature stories. Visit his eponymous web site (reuvengoldfarb.com) to read samples, and write to poetsprogress@gmail.com to order a copy.

He and his wife Yehudit live in a renovated old stone house in the Holy City of Tzfat.

P.S. 193: Gil Hodges School

Gil HodgesP.S. 193 is an elementary school in Kings County, Brooklyn, New York City. Its students range from Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade, and the school provides for the educational needs of approximately 900 children. It is also known as the ‘Gil Hodges School, after the famous baseball player. The school itself is on Bedford Avenue and Avenue L, a section of the former in proximity to the school having been duly renamed Gil Hodges Way in April of 2001. The school was part of Educational District 22, which has now been combined with Districts 17 and 18, to form Region 6.

Gilbert Raymond Hodges (April 4, 1924 – April 2, 1972) was an American first baseman and manager in Major League Baseball who played most of his career for the Brooklyn & Los Angeles Dodgers. He was the major leagues’ outstanding first baseman in the 1950s, with teammate Duke Snider being the only player to have more home runs or runs batted in during the decade. His 370 career home runs set a National League record for right-handed hitters, and briefly ranked tenth in major league history; he held the NL record for career grand slams from 1957 to 1974. He anchored the infield on six pennant winners, and remains one of the most beloved and admired players in team history. A sterling defensive player, he won the first three Gold Glove Awards and led the NL in double plays four times and in putouts, assists and fielding percentage three times each. He ranked second in NL history with 1281 assists and 1614 double plays when his career ended, and was also among the league’s career leaders in games (6th, 1908) and total chances (10th, 16,751) at first base. He managed the New York Mets to the 1969 World Series title, one of the greatest upsets in Series history, before his sudden and untimely death at age 47.