* Workshops

Workshops Session #1, 1:00-2:30pm 

FAMILY/YOUTH: Kids’ Kumzits, with Gerry Tenney

Listen to Yiddish stories in translation, learn some words and phrases in Yiddish, sing simple Yiddish songs, and do a bisl klezmer dance. Kids who play (portable) instruments should bring them. Kids under 6 are welcome with an adult. Kids 6-12 are welcome alone if a parent or guardian completes the Child Permission Form at Registration and remains at the venue. No charge; donations requested.

ACTING: Angels in America, with Bruce Bierman

Bruce Bierman takes participants on a journey into Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic drama, Angels in America. With a cast of characters that includes angels, dybbuks, Roy Cohen, and Ethel Rosenberg, we'll go deep into the text uncovering the radical roots of Kushner's theater. We'll use acting exercises Stella Adler received from her mentor, Constantine Stanislavsky, along with doing a deep text analysis of the play and relating it to the history of Yiddish theater. We'll produce a scene with two professional actors playing the roles of Roy Cohen and Ethel Rosenberg.

INSTRUMENTAL: Fun Oyer tsu Hant / Ear-to-Hand Boot Camp, with Veretski Pass

The secret manual for immediate ear-to-hand playing. Veretski Pass (Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, & Stu Brotman) will show speed learning techniques, insider tricks, and intensive drills to have you learn tunes the fast way.

LECTURE: Jewish American Radicals, the Lesser-Known Stories, with Elaine Leeder

Leeder will discuss some of the lesser known Jewish radicals in American history. Starting with the Bund, moving to the Jewish labor movement and into some more contemporary social movements, we will look at the themes and causes that have been repeated. Leeder, who studied anarchists in the labor movement, will lead a discussion on the relevance of some of the work of these colorful characters for today’s efforts at social change.

SINGING: Ladies Lib, Songs from Seamstresses to Suffragists, with Heather Klein

Hear the characters point of view through the songs of these forward-thinking women, and then let your imagination go wild as you let their stories-in-song be told through you.

Workshops Session #2, 2:45-4:15pm

DANCING: Tants! / Klezmer Dancing, with Bruce Bierman

Discover golden gems of the Hasidic and klezmer dance repertoire that are sure to lift your spirits and connect you to the joyous and soulful music of the Ashkenazic Jews. Made for the folk by the folk, the freylekhs, shers, zhoks, and khosidls are less concerned with elaborate footwork and more with swirling circles, snaking lines, square dances, and varying patterns on the dance floor that create immediate connection and massive amounts of joy. You are invited to follow the Dance Master, but encouraged to shine with your own individual expression. All ages and experiences welcome.

INSTRUMENTAL: Dos Lebedikeh Lid / Turn Songs Into Lively Arrangements, with Veretski Pass

Learn how to turn Yiddish vocal songs into full-fledged instant instrumental arrangements. We will use the new Yiddish tunes taught in the session 1 singing class, add intros, interludes, and outros to the tune. Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, & Stu Brotman.

LECTURE: Yidish Klolez un Sharfeh Vitzlekh / Yiddish Curses & Stinging Witticisms, with Ken Blady

You have probably heard the Yiddish kluleh (curse), “Zulst vaksn vee a tzibl mit dem kup in drerd in dee fees farkert,” (May you grow like an onion with your head in the ground and your feet up in the air). But have you ever heard this one:  Aleh tzeyn zoln eem aroysfaln, nur eyner zul eem blaybn oyf tzunveytug! (May all his teeth fall out and only one remain for a toothache!). If you haven’t, it is imperative that you come to this workshop. You will learn more than ninety-three timeless, well-known, not-so-well-known, unusual, and shocking curses, nasty witticisms, shmutzigeh shprekhverter (crass expressions), and an assortment of putdowns that present a cornucopia of bodily organs and malfunctions, barnyard animals, colorful misfortunes, and mental disturbances.

SINGING: Radical Yiddish Songs of An-ski & Beregovski, with Gerry Tenney

Sing and learn about some relatively unknown revolutionary Yiddish songs that were not in the repertoire of the great wave of Yiddish-speaking masses that came across the ocean to the Americas. Unearthed by ethno-musicological expeditions by An-ski and  Beregovski in the former Soviet Union, they first came to light in the 1930s through the singing of Yiddish-speaking Communist-led choruses in the U.S. and Canada, including choruses in the Bay Area. Some of the best songs were put together in a folk cantata, “A Bunt Mit a Statchkeh” (A Rebellion and a Conspiracy) at Camp Kinderland in New York, and we will concentrate on these songs. Over the years, beginning in the 1980s with Mark Slobin’s book “Old Jewish Folk Music” and the discovery of the actual recordings, much more has come to light about these wonderful songs. Gerry had the opportunity to sing some of them at Carnegie Hall in the early 1960s. He has been singing them ever since, and his new recording  “Gerry Tenney and The California Klezmers” features some of these songs, some recorded commercially for the first time.