Youth Program

The Festival will offer a Youth Program for kids ages 6 - 12 on Sunday and Monday during Sessions 1, 2, and 3 (but not during lunch time). Children may participate all or some of the time, but will get maximum benefit (and friendships) by coming the entire time. Any child in the program must have a parent or guardian at the JCC San Francisco at all times.

This is an active educational program, not babysitting.The Youth Program will be directed by Gerry Tenney, who has worked with children for more than forty years. He is an almost-fluent Yiddish speaker and President of KlezCalifornia. Gerry will be assisted (depending on numbers of children registered in advance) by others experienced in working with children.

Activities will include reading Yiddish stories in translation, learning some words and phrases in Yiddish, singing simple Yiddish songs, arts & crafts with guest artist Claire Sherman, Yiddish dance with live music led by Steve Weintraub, and a Kids' Klezmer Ensemble with Julie Egger.

Fabric Collage Without Sewing, for All Ages / Claire Sherman / Sunday, Session 1

Come have fun cutting and playing with fabric. We will use "fusible web," an iron-on fabric glue, to make khaleh (challah) covers, matzo covers, or fabric art postcards that you can send through the mail. No sewing!

Kids Klezmer Ensemble / Julie Egger / Sunday and Monday, Session 1

Kids 6-12, if you have been playing your instrument for at least one year, come learn to play a little klezmer music! We will play, learn some new tunes, find out what a Yiddish hora is, and have lots of fun. Come to this workshop by yourself (at least one parent must be at the Festival) or with your folks. Bring your instrument. Let us know of your interest in advance at info[at] with subject "KIds' Klezmer Ensemble" or just come, preferably both days.

Youth Program / Gerry Tenney / Sunday and Monday, Session 2; Sunday Session 3 (after first 30 minutes); Monday, Session 3

Fun activities will include singing simple Yiddish songs, Yiddish stories in translation, drama, games, learning some words and phrases in Yiddish, and much more. Parents invited to attend. A great opportunity to kindle the flame of Yidishkayt in your mishpukheh (family).

(Sabbath) Candlesticks, for All Ages /
Claire Sherman / Monday, Session 1

Come make Shabbes candlesticks from metal foil. We will explore lots of options for decorating our candlesticks: emboss lines, color them with Sharpie pens, and/or cut decorative holes through which the light can shine through.

Awesome & Easy Yiddish Stunts & Dances (for the first 30 mins) / Steve Weintraub, with music by Jim Rebhan, followed by Youth Program / Gerry Tenney / Sunday, Session 3

The title says it all! Bottle dancing, the human roulette wheel, and more. Primarily for kids 6-12, but all welcome.