June 21, 2024
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Book Meshuggenahs Chai-Ku Contest Kicks Off

(Courtesy of The Book Meshuggenahs) April is National Poetry Month. April 17 is International Haiku Poetry Day. Haiku poems are usually written in three lines. The first line contains five syllables. The second line has seven and the third has five—so 17 syllables in all. But they can be shorter. Content is more important than syllable count.

Everyone is invited to enter a haiku that captures a Jewish value: Chai-ku! Values like emunah, trustworthiness; kavod, respect; achrayut, responsibility; tzedek, fairness; chesed, caring and kindness; and shomrei adamah, keeping and repairing the world, honoring our commitments and uniting us, even when we cannot be together.

Email your entries to [email protected]. The deadline is May 31. Winners will be announced after the contest closes. Each winner will receive a certificate and one of these prizes:

Grand Prize (in the U.S. only)

“The Polio Pioneer,” by Linda Elovitz Marshall

“Say Hello, Lily,” by Deborah Lakritz

“Do It Jewish: Use Your Jewish Creativity,” by Barbara Bietz

“Baby’s Blessings,” by Leslea Newman

“The Klezmer Bunch,” by Amalia Hoffman

“Creation Colors,” by Ann Koffsky

“Just Like Rube Goldberg,” by Sarah Aronson

“H is for Haiku,” by Sydell Rosenberg

“Sadie’s Shabbat Stories,” by Melissa Stoller

“Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing,” by Nancy Churnin.

Second prizes include virtual book readings by Rachelle Burk, Chana Stiefel, Deborah Lakritz, Sarah Aronson, Nancy Churnin, Karen Rostoker-Gruber, Linda Elovitz Marshall and Lisa Rose.

Also, with written permission from a parent or guardian, the winning Chai-kus will be featured on The Book Meshuggenahs website, Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s an example (in 5-7-5):

And the green grass grows

through cracks of the Wailing Wall

in Jerusalem. (Syd Rosenberg)

See here for last year’s winners: https://thebookmeshuggenahs.com/chai-ku/.

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