Nu, what's with klezmer and Yiddish in the Bay Area?

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Yiddish culture encompasses the language, music, arts, and customs of a millenium of Jewish community life across Eastern Europe. The name KlezCalifornia is a nod to KlezKamp, the annual week-long gathering in the New York Catskills from 1985 to 2014, which spurred a revival of Yiddish culture and inspired our local version. Our events are for musicians and non-musicians, Yiddish speakers and those who know only a few words of mameloshn ("the mother tongue"), and anyone of any age who enjoys or wants to learn about Yiddish culture.

What happens at KlezCalifornia's Yiddish Culture Festivals?

Watch this short video from our 2014 Festival at Palo Alto JCC:

  • KlezCalifornia has engaged the communities around the San Francisco Bay Area with Yiddish culture and klezmer music since 2003. 
  • We are building a vibrant regional network of individuals and families celebrating Yiddish culture. 
  • We create participatory events, mostly in collaboration with Jewish Community Centers, synagogues, schools, and other organizations, including:
    • Yiddish Culture Festival with concerts, dance parties, and participatory workshops about once a year. 
    • Tastes of Yiddish Culture, which are shorter events such as cabarets, dances, Yiddish conversation salons, sing-alongs, and workshops throughout the year. 
    • Tam Project for Kids providing Tastes of Yiddish Culture for young people in day schools, religious schools, and camps. 
    •  Klezmer Workshops and Jam Sessions at locations around the Bay Area. 
  • Check out our upcoming and past Events, and sign up for our free monthly email Newsletter to be informed of local events with Yiddish culture and klezmer music. 
  • If your organization might collaborate with KlezCalifornia, please see Plan an Event
  • We provide a variety of Resources:
    • Geleh (Yellow) Pages, listings of Yiddish culture resources in the San Francisco Bay Area, including community klezmer bands, Yiddish clubs, dance leaders, choruses, lecturers, and youth programs
    • Global Resource Guide, comprehensive (though dated) reference lists for klezmer and Yiddish culture
    • Khevruseh Directory, private roster to connect people to speak Yiddish, form a Jewish book club, play klezmer music, or re-connect with other participants from our events
    • Klezmer Style Links for each instrument
    • Venues in Bay Area, info about local venues for Yiddish and klezmer events
    • Want Ads, specific listings within our community
    • Yiddish Learning Resources, a compilation
  • As a charitable non-profit organization, we act as a Fiscal Sponsor for selected arts, culture, and education projects consistent with our mission.
  • For more information, see About UsPress ArticlesPhoto Galleries, and Videos. 
How can I participate?

We warmly invite you, your family, and your friends to enrich 
your lives with the unique pleasures of Yiddish culture. 
Our free monthly email Newsletter will keep you stay informed
We also welcome your tax-deductible Financial Support!