October 17, 2018

Janice Silverman Rebibo, American-born Israeli poet, dies at 65

Janice Silverman Rebibo, an acclaimed American-born Israeli poet, has died.

Rebibo, of Brookline, Mass., and Rehovot, Israel, died on March 11 following a yearlong battle with cancer. She was 65.

She was known for her bold, vivid and often humorous poetic voice in English and Hebrew.

Over many decades, Rebibo was widely published in Israeli newspapers and literary journals, and authored many books of poetry, including the 2014 English collection “How Many Edens.” Her 2007 collection “Zara Betzion,” or “A Stranger in Zion” earned her a number of honors, including from the Office of the President of Israel.

Rebibo also was highly regarded as the main translator into English of the works of the late noted Israeli poet Natan Yonaton.

Her eclectic style evoked a strong sense of vulnerability and musicality, according to Israeli composer Matti Kovler, with whom Rebibo collaborated on the librettos for two of Kovler’s operas.

“She had a great ear for puns and nuance,” Kovler told JTA.

In addition to her writing, Rebibo was a senior staff member at the Hebrew language institute Hebrew at the Center in Boston and had a long association with Hebrew College. Last year, she was scholar in residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University.

Rebibo, who will be buried in Israel, is survived by her father, Henry Silverman, and two children.