Workshops, JWWS 2017

Scroll down to see the bios of our workshop presenters (the bios are below all the workshop descriptions).

Important note: Signup for workshops after you have registered for the seminar itself.

Workshops, Set One

3:55 – 4:50 p.m.

Simple Words Don’t Mean Simple Minds
Elka Weber

A workshop on picture book writing.

Writing a picture book is easy; writing a good one is hard. There’s no magic formula, but many good books share common characteristics. We will isolate some of these to sharpen our skills. What makes a classic a classic? We will briefly look at The Cat in the Hat, Caps for Sale, and Madeline, books that have stood the test of time. What is their appeal?

Together, we will craft a very short story that incorporates these principles.

Living the Writer’s Life
Shifra Devorah Witt

Tips on how to manage the joys and challenges of the writing process.

There’s so much more to being a writer than simply the desire to write.  For many of us, we love writing but don’t know how to balance the joys and challenges that come with it.

Join me as we explore aspects of our writer’s lives including emotional, technical, time management issues, self-criticism, pressures to publish or earn a living, manage family and career, having a productive writing schedule, how to find writing topics, etc.  Living a writer’s life asks us to find solutions. I’ve been coaching writers for more than eighteen years on how to find those solutions.

My workshop will be experience-based, and my focus will be on guiding you through whatever challenges you face to help you become the most productive, fulfilled writer you can be.

Shifting Gears: It’s Not Just a Matter of Going in Reverse
Penina Taylor

You’ve written a book and now they are calling you to come speak.

How much should you include? How much is too much? How do you write a speech that is interesting and gives value to your audience but still leaves them wanting to buy the book? How do you pitch the book at the end of the talk without sounding too salesy?

Given by a successful author and speaker, this workshop is designed to walk the author through the process of turning her book into the perfect speech.

The Hook – Clever and Engrossing Plots
Ruthie Pearlman

How to grab your reader’s attention from the first page and even if it isn’t the genre they usually like, make them want to know what happens; ie how to create a page turner that will hook them. How to create engaging characters who come to life within the story.

Personal vs. Public Writing
Yaffa Ganz

Thoughts, musings and reflections for aspiring writers who were never published, may never be published, and aren’t particularly interested in being published.

A conversation on the integrity and importance of personal, private writing, just for yourself!

Expressive Writing
Yocheved Rottenberg

A transformative journey of healing, self-knowledge, and discovery.

Through directed writing prompts, we will write our way through relationship struggles, childhood wounds, and inner blocks. Through interesting and creative exercises you will make acquaintance with your hidden parts, latent strengths, and unacknowledged goals. Write your way home; let your fingers do the walking!

This workshop is not geared to publishing writing or to polishing writing. It is geared to using your writing to polish you.

Writing with Passion and Purpose
Tzippora Price

Writing the stories we have to tell, writing the stories we need to tell.

How do we identify the stories that only we can tell?

These are the stories that are uniquely ours, and no one else can tell them like we can. These are the stories that will keep us at the computer writing late into the night because they need telling. These are the stories that will keep our readers reading.

Workshops, Set Two

5:00 – 5:55 p.m.

Green Elephants – Tapping Into Your Unused Imagination
Chaya Hinda Allen

Using your imagination to bring out your hidden potential.

In this workshop you will gain:

  • Tools ​- questions for introspection and clarity​
  • Inspiration ​- learn what the Torah says about your individuality ​
  • Personalization ​- ​come away with new insights and practical plans for your own imaginative writing.

This workshop also ​includes a Brand New Guided Imagery​ “Using Your Mind for a Change” empowering you to take advantage of your imaginative mind – downloadable version will be sent to each participant. We will be doing some mindful writing and the guided imagery together.

Bringing the Words out of You – Overcoming Writer’s Block
Batya Ruddell

A creative writing workshop based on the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Learn how to access the creativity inside you and feel yourself flow – a spiritual approach to discovering your creative self!

The Mitzvah of Writing: How to Start a Memoir Workshop for Seniors
Carol Ungar

As the older population increases, demand for trained workshop facilitators will increase. Writing, especially in a group, offsets depression and reduces social isolation.

Telling the Truth with Fiction
Prof. Malka Schapps a.k.a. Rachel Pomerantz

Fiction which portrays accurately the society and characters involved in the story has a power which comes from the reader’s recognition that, yes, this is right, this is the way people behave. In addition, it is instructional both for those from the outside who recognize that, if it didn’t really happen, it could have, and for those from the inside who have the honesty to recognize themselves and their neighbors in the mirror being held up.

Marketing and Publishing Your Writing
Ann Goldberg

Writing your essay or article is just the star​t if you want to be a published writer​.

​A successful writer need​s​ to know where to find suitable markets to publish ​ her​ writing both online and in print publications. A writer needs to read the publications she wants to write for and find and study publications’ guidelines – and stick to them. ​A​ writer needs to know how to please her editor and provide her with material she looks forward to receiving. ​

In this workshop Be”H we’ll discuss these and many other issues which will help you publish your writing.

Workshop Presenters: Workshops, Set ONE

Elka Weber

Elka Weber has written two picture books, The Yankee at the Seder (Random House, 2009) and One Little Chicken (Random House,2011) Both were Sidney Taylor Honor books and both were chosen for distribution by the PJ Library. One Little Chicken was translated into Hebrew, published by Yediot Books, and distributed by Sifriyat Pijama in Israel. Another book, Shimri’s Big Idea, has been accepted by PJ Library and publication details are in the works. I have also written a book of non-fiction for adults.

Elka works as a freelance editor and book reviewer.

elkweber @

Shifrah Devorah Witt

Shifrah Devorah Witt received her M.A., and M.F.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She is the author of From Me to We: A guide to the first year of marriage and beyond, Inside Secrets to the Craft of Writing, as well as co-author of The Complete Asian Kosher Cookbook and The Best of Mexican Kosher Cooking.

She is a certified Narrative Therapist and Bach Flower Therapist, and the creator and facilitator of a transformative, therapeutic, writing process called Writing to Heal. Shifrah Devorah also teaches creative writing workshops and manuscript development in Jerusalem where she lives with her family.

She is available for private consultations on manuscript development, writing to heal, overcoming writer’s block any other challenges you may be having with your writing and healing in general. She also works with writers out of the area via Skype, e-mail and phone.

consciousliving @

Penina Taylor

Penina Taylor is a Jewish inspirational speaker, author, coach and spiritual mentor. She has inspired tens of thousands of Jewish people toward a more meaningful and relevant relationship with G-d and Judaism.

Whether she’s telling her own story, speaking on Judaism and Christianity or giving a motivational talk, Penina’s dynamic style and personal warmth connect with her audience on a profound level and always leaves them inspired and enlightened. Penina is currently working on her third book and is a member of the Jewish Speakers Bureau.
peninataylor @

Ruthie Pearlman

Ruthie Pearlman is a long established author and has had 14 novels published to date with more in the pipeline. She writes regular serials in Ami magazine, and is also known for her lyrics in the recently staged “Daddy Act” musical.

She and her husband made Aliya in July 2015 and they live in Mevaseret Tzion. They have a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in Israel, the UK and the USA.
ruthie @

Yaffa Ganz

Yaffa Ganz is the well-known, award winning author of more than forty titles for Jewish kids, several books of essays for adults, and hundreds of articles published in Jewish media worldwide. B”H, her first book of poetry Wheat, Wine & Honey (Zamir Press, 2016) is available from the author or on amazon.

zamirpress @

Yocheved Rottenberg

Yocheved Rottenberg is a Therapeutic Writing Facilitator and a Journal to the Self Instructor.

She leads therapeutic writing workshops and privately works with women who want to use writing as a tool to heal.

Tzippora Price

Tzippora Price holds a masters in family therapy and a masters in creative writing and memoir. She is the author of two works of non fiction, “Mother in Progress” (Targum), & “Mother In Action” (Menucha Press), and a ground breaking novel, “Into the Whirlwind”, (Lions’ Gate Press) as well as hundreds of articles. She is a pioneer in the field of mental health journalism and psycho-education for the frum community. She teaches creative writing individually and in groups. She is currently at work on a memoir.

tziprice @

Workshop Presenters: Workshops, Set TWO

Chaya Hinda Allen

Chaya Hinda Allen, world-renowned Torah teacher, leads pioneering innovative programs for women. Her daily program “Chaiyil” is an international community of Jewish women. Members receive an 18-minute installment of Chaiyil every day – either an uplifting audio message, member success story, guided bitachon experience or practical exercise. Presently, the sefiras Haomer Program is in full swing.

Chaya Hinda also runs Think Positive!, an intensive program designed for self-improvement, emunah, bitachon, hope and real change for even the most difficult life circumstances.

Chaya Hinda sees the most amazing stories unfold from participants in her programs. These programs empower women through a doable step-by-step process to bring more happiness, inner peace, better relationships, success, and closeness with Hashem – and to dramatically change each person’s life for the better. She gives workshops in the greater Jerusalem area, Beitar and Ramat Beit Shemesh, as well as online and internationally. New programs are beginning now in Har Nof and Ganei Geula.
coachrosenblum @
US number: 786-233-7213

Batya Ruddell

Born and raised in Manchester, England, Batya Ruddell made Aliyah in 1987 and currently lives in Telzstone with her husband and children. In 1984, Batya qualified as an RN (Registered Nurse) and RSCN (Registered Sick Children’s Nurse) at the prestigious Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. Batya switched career paths in her mid- forties to pursue her lifelong dream to become a professional writer. She was published in all the major Jewish publications before becoming exclusive for Hamodia and Binah publications in 2013.

Batya is a multi- genre, creative writer and the author of five books: The View from Ninveh; Changing Faces; Picture Perfect; Ready to Fly and False Fronts.

Batya travels regularly to Chutz L’aretz to speak at fund raising events and in high schools. She gives writing workshops for women and teenage girls on a variety of topics and mentors writers privately, helping them make their diamonds shine.Two summers ago, Batya branched out in yet another direction when she studied to become a life coach at The Jerusalem Coaching Academy. She coaches woman and teenage girls and soon plans to widen her coaching skills through a certificated course in Narrative Therapy.

In Batya’s spare time she can be found engaging in her passion – riding her horse in the Judean hills!

batyar36 @
054 566 7263

Carol Ungar

Carol Ungar is an award winning essayist and author of Jewish Soul Food–Traditional Fare and What it Means (Brandeis 2015) the only cookbook to explain the little known mystical meanings of favorite Jewish foods.

Her writing has appeared in Tablet, the Forward, Hamodia, the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Action, Ami, Binah and Writer magazine . For the past four years she’s facilitated a popular memoir workshop for retirees at the Association for Americans and Canadians in Israel. She lives in Kiryat Yearim with her family and she’s currently finishing up her first novel.

Prof. Malka Schapps a.k.a. Rachel Pomerantz

Rachel Pomerantz has published seven frum novels, mostly about academic ba’alei teshuva and their children, including A Time to Rend, Wildflower, and Orange Groves.

Rachel is a pen-name for Malka Schaps, a mathematician, wife, mother, teacher and administrator. Rachel Pomerantz should not be confused with Riva Pomerantz, who is actually writing under her own name.

Visit Rachel’s website here

Ann Goldberg

Ann has been a published freelance writer for the last 40 years writing for magazines and newspapers over four continents, a​s well as for websites.

For the last 4 years she has also been coaching and giving workshops to other writers and potential writers and helping them achieve their dream of ​being​ published. For those too far away to participate in local events she has developed an email course “Writing Essays for Publication.”

pgoldberg09 @
Ann’s LinkedIn profile

Jerusalem Women’s Writers Seminar

Tuesday, 13 Iyyar, 5777/ May 9th, 2017, Shirat Yerushalayim