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Dear ______,

Bruce DancingWhat a wonderful time everyone had at the Second Annual (East Bay) Community-Wide Yiddish Culture Festival! Building on the previous year's dance party, the four sponsoring synagogues, JCC of the East Bay, and Tehiyah Day School asked us for two sessions of workshops, including special family programming. From room to room, one could hear singing, laughing, dancing, raucous discussion of Yiddish phrases, and an impromptu klezmer jam led by KlezCalifornia Board member (and Red Hot Chachkas member) Tony Phillips. Great dancing, food, family fun, and shmoozing! Put this event on your calendar for December 25, 2009!
A great review of the the event by Dan Pine appeared in the J. HERE.
Also, congratulations to the Bay Area's own Gabriella Safran and Steve Zipperstein. The Modern Language Association of America on December 2 awarded the Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies to Gabriella Safran and Steven J. Zipperstein, who wrote "The Worlds of S. An-sky: A Russian Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century" (Stanford University Press, 2006).

THE FREYLEKH,  a Mad Hot Klezmer Dance Party!
Bruce DancingTHIS SUNDAY, January 25th

JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Dance lesson: 7:00-8:00pm
Live music/group dance: 8:00-9:30pm
$10-20 sliding scale, $5 children
Featuring: David Rosenfeld and members of KUGELPLEX---the 'coolest shtetl rock band' in the Bay! Bruce Bierman---klezmer dance maven who '"fits the moves of the ancestors to the grooves of your imagination."
Lesson of the month: Yiddish Square Dancing!

Presented by JCC of the East Bay and KlezCalifornia
Co-presented by the Jewish Music Festival
Feast of Jewish Learning
Lost and Found OFJCC
Saturday, January 31, 7:00-10:00pm.  The Feast of Jewish Learning at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills will include a Yiddish Dance workshop with Bruce Bierman presented by KlezCalifornia. The theme of the evening is "Lost & Found" and what could be more lost and found than Yiddish dance! The entire event is presented by the Oshman Family JCC and the Bureau of Jewish Education, and co-sponsored by numerous groups, including KlezCalifornia.
Say hello to KlezCalifornia at our information table!. More than 40 educators will teach over 30 sessions. For adults bar/bas mitsveh age and up. No charge. Community havdoleh and Oneg at 7:00pm. First session, 7:30-8:30, includes a performance by the Yiddish Choristers. The Yiddish Dance Workshop will be 8:45 - 9:45pm.  For complete details, including class descripions, click HERE.
Festival of Jewish Humor
Jewish HumorWednesday, February 18th
Moshe Waldoks lecture, 7:00pm
A month-long Festival of Jewish Humor, presented by the Peninsula JCC, begins with a presentation by Rabbi Moshe Waldoks, the man who wrote the book - literally! Rabbi Waldoks, co-editor of "The Big Book of Jewish Humor", will discuss the Jewish contribution to humor and the role humor plays in culturally defining Jews.
The event is co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia and will be held at the PJCC ECE Multi-Purpose Room. $10 PJCC Members, $13 non-members, $15 at the door. To purchase tickets, call 650/378-2702. Complete festival details HERE.
Yidishe Salons 
As usual, these Yidishe Salons will meet in private homes. We'll provide the address shortly before the event date to those who have RSVP'd.
Sunday, February 1st, 7:00 - 9:00pm, East Bay
   far Pamelakh Reders (for Intermediate Speakers, whose command
   of the language is "nisht azoy ay-ay-ay")

The discussion topic will be "frages un entfers" (questions and answers). S'iz nishto keyn inyen vus men tur nisht onrirn (There is no subject which is taboo). Greyt tsu a kirtse frage af a kleynem tsetl (Prepare a short question on a small piece of paper). Di tsetlakh veln mir araynvarfn in a hitl, un zey dan oysklaybn tsu entfern, diskutirn, iberkayen, un azoy vayter (We'll put the papers in a hat, pick one, and then answer the question, discuss, chew it over, etc.) This salon will once again be facilitated by a native Yiddish speaker and we'll begin by introducing di naye peynimer (the new faces). RSVP to [email protected], and include your phone number.
Sunday, March 29th, 2:00 - 4:00pm, East Bay
   far Flisik Reders (fluent/native speakers)

Yidishe Kloles (yiddish curses) will be the theme this time, so prepare your favorites ... in Yiddish!  If we run out of material (highly unlikely!), we'll pick up with "frages un entfers" (questions and answers) that we didn't' get to last time. RSVP to [email protected], and include your phone number.
Community Events
Saturday January 31, 7:00pm.  Alby Kass presents a program of Yiddish music, assisted by Sonia Tubridy and Jubilee Klezmer members Paul Alexander, Phil Lawrence, and Mark Peabody. It will be held at the Tubridy residence in Guerneville (directions by request)  Bruce DancingThese events are fundraisers for the Russian River Jewish Community and the River Choir. Donation of $10-$30 requested. Space limited to 25 so reserve early. For more information, call Sonia Tubridy, 707/869-3273
Sunday, February 1, 3:00pmAn Afternoon of Yiddish Songs & Klezmer Music, performed by vocalist Alby Kass, accompanist Sonia Tubridy, and members of the Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble: Paul Alexander, Phil Lawrence and Mark Peabody. Admission: $10 Tickets for all ArtsLive! events may be purchased at the door starting ½ hour before the performance. The Petaluma Arts Center is located at 230 Lakeville Street, at the corner of Lakeville and East D Streets. For more information, call PAC Executive Director Michael Fontaine at 707-762-5600, x101, or visit
KlezCal Heads Up
Would your congregation or day school like KlezCalifornia to teach your young students (and/or adults!) the fir kashes (Four Questions, in Yiddish of course) prior to pesakh? If so, have a teacher or administrator email us at [email protected].
The Light Ahead  (Di Klyatshe)
Tuesday, March 17, 7:00pm

Chaver Paver's adaptation of writings by Mendele Mokher Sforim (whom Sholem Aleichem dubbed "the grandfather of Yiddish literature") takes a decidedly unsentimental view of shtetl life. Brought to the screen by famed B-movie auteur Edgar Ulmer, the film tells the story of two lovers-one lame and one blind-whose community reacts to an outbreak of cholera by embracing superstition.  USA, 1939. 94 minutes, in Yiddish with English subtitles.
Sholem Aleichem: Dangerous Novels and Fiddler on the Roof
A Talk by Gabriella Safran
Tuesday, March 24, 7:30pm
Sholem Aleichem (1859 - 1916), the brilliant Yiddish comic writer, was born Sholem Rabinovitz in the Russian Pale of Settlement, taking a pseudonym to hide his identity when he began to write in Yiddish, rather than in the "more respectable" Hebrew or Russian. He was concerned not only with the world of the shtetl, which he fictionalized satirically and poignantly, but also the social and political conditions of the time he lived in, a time of transition from traditional life in Eastern Europe to modern times. Gabriella Safran will discuss Sholem Aleichem and his attitude toward Russian literature and culture, posing the question, "What happens when Tevye's daughters read Russian literature?"

Gabriella Safran is an associate professor at Stanford, where she teaches Russian and Yiddish literature and is writing a literary biography of S. An-sky, tentatively titled The Hero and the Dybbuk.