Schedule & Workshops


  • Sunday, February 27, Noon-5:30 pm, at JCC Sonoma County's Simcha SundaySanta Rosa Veterans Memorial Building:


Noon – 12:45

1:00 – 2:30 Session A Workshops

2:45 – 4:15 Session B Workshops

4:30 – 5:30


Yiddish song performance (Sharon Bernstein)

The Harmonia Schvesters (Le'ah Lippin and Gale Kissin), Yiddish and Israeli tunes (2:00-2:45)


Singing: Learn Yiddish songs (Sharon Bernstein)

Klezmer dance lesson (Bruce Bierman)

Klezmer Dance Party 


Why Jews -- including your family! -- left Eastern Europe for the U.S. in the late 1800s/early 1900s.  (Ken Blady)

110 Yiddish Words the Average Puerto Rican New Yorker Knows and You Should be Ashamed if You Don't (Harvey Varga)


Klezmer Technique, Beginner/ Intermediate (Cookie Segelstein)

Play Klezmer Tunes, Beginning/ Intermediate (Stu Brotman, Joshua Horowitz)


Advanced Klezmer Technique (Stu Brotman, Joshua Horowitz). Gather first in the Dining Room.

Play Klezmer Tunes: The Essentials of Jamming (advanced) (Cookie Segelstein)


Youth Program and Auditorium: Stories, singing, Yiddish words, music-making for ages 6-12 with Gerry Tenney. One-hour sessions at 2:30pm and 3:30pm. Pre-school program for ages 3-6 with the PJ Library. Crafts for all ages.

1:00 – 2:30 pm Session A Workshops

Learn Yiddish Songs (Sharon Bernstein) 
Take a stroll down a cobblestoned street, peer through the window of a strange house, take flight with bees and angels, lift your glass in a lekhayim, sing your heart to a beloved, and discover new worlds in both familiar and lesser-known Yiddish songs. No Yiddish necessary. Songsheets with transliterations will be provided.

Why Jews –including your family! -- Left Eastern Europe for the U.S. in the late 1800s/early 1900s, Lecture/Discussion (Ken Blady)
An American social commentator once remarked that the meshugeneh nihilist who hurled a bomb at Czar Alexander II was the ultimate creator of the New York ghetto and the man who added two and a half million Jews to the American population. From 1881 until the passage of the restrictive American Immigration Act of 1924, a mass of Jews migrated out of Russian-Poland (now Belarus and Poland)), Galicia and Rumania in a seemingly endless flow, and settled in the wretched and poverty-stricken ghetto of New York's Lower East Side. The presentation will cover life in the alteh heym (Old Country), the pogroms, and the Atlantic crossing in steerage. Then we examine some social, cultural, and economic aspects of the NY ghetto: the tenement dwellers and sweatshop owners, Talmudic scholars and hoodlums, poets and prizefighters, capitalists and anarchists, suffragists and prostitutes. Finally, in an open discussion, participants will talk about how and why their families came to Sonoma County.

Klezmer Technique, beginner/intermediate (Cookie Segelstein)
Learn about and practice playing klezmer. This workshop is for those who can play their instrument but have little or no experience playing klezmer. All musicians will gather first in the Dining Room.

Klezmer Technique, advanced (Stu Brotman, Joshua Horowitz)
Learn the elements of klezmer style for melody instruments (including rhythmic flexibility, energy flow, ornamental styles, and fills) and accompaniment (including creating klezmer grooves, nuances of accompaniment patterns, beat manipulation, and integration of the melody into the rhythmic foundation). This workshop is for those who are competent on their instrument, experienced performing, have played a lot of klezmer, and are comfortable playing by ear, improvising and ornamenting. All musicians will gather first in the Dining Room.

2:45 – 4:15 pm Session B Workshops

Klezmer Dance Lesson (Bruce Bierman) 
You've heard of klezmer music, of course.  But did you know that there is a traditional dance that goes with it? Forgotten and nearly lost after WWII, Yiddish folklorists and scholars pieced the dances back together through extensive research and interviews and have given us back the dances once enjoyed throughout Eastern Europe by the Ashkenazi Jews. In no time flat, you'll be dancing the Joq, Bulgar, Sher, Patsh Tanz, Khosidl, and of course the frenzied and wild Freylekh. Just follow dance master Bruce Bierman and let your neshomeh shine!  

110 Yiddish Words the Average Puerto Rican New Yorker Knows and You Should be Ashamed if You Don't (Harvey Varga)
Learn how to say a variety of interesting expressions in Yiddish. Learn what the expressions you already know really mean. Learn Yiddish expressions you can use every day in the English-speaking world!

Play Klezmer Tunes, beginning/intermediate (Stu Brotman, Joshua Horowitz)
Learn and play some easy klezmer tunes. 

Play Klezmer Tunes: The Essentials of Jamming, advanced (Cookie Segelstein)
Play klezmer tunes in the style of a big "jam", learn how to pick up a tune by listening, getting the basics, the chords, rhythm, even adding embellishments and countermelodies as you go. We will play through many different types of tunes. Music we play
will be provided by email after the festival.

4:30 – 5:30 pm Klezmer Music and Dance Party

For all ages! Music by internationally renowned Veretski Pass (Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, Stu Brotman) with dancing led by Bruce Bierman. Other musicians are welcome to join the band!