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Dear ____,

We are planning our first four-day event on Presidents' Day weekend, 2010. Please hold the dates for a fantastic weekend filled with klezmer music, Yiddish singing and dancing, conversation and literature (in translation), and a full kids' program. When we surveyed our readers last summer, more than 120 of you expressed interest in participating. With the current economic situation, we know that your plans may have changed. If a residential weekend is not financially feasible for next year, we will plan a fantastic in-town weekend for you, including out-of-town stars. For an idea of what such an event might be like, check out this year's Klezmerquerque Festival in Albuquerque (Our event would include Yiddish culture of all kinds, not music exclusively.). Tell your friends and family that this will be a good reason to visit California next February!

It was good to meet and dance with some of you at the Feast of Jewish Learning in Los Altos Hills on January 31. Bruce Bierman led wild Yiddish dancing for many of the hundreds of people who participated in this annual event. If your community or shul or JCC has a big event coming up, let us know and we'll try to get a dance party or sing-along or something else Yiddish on the program! See below for another Feast of Jewish Learning with a Yiddish dance workshop, this time for young adults, on March 29.

We've been hard at work completing the 3rd edition of the "KlezCalifornia Gele* Pages (*yellow)," our hard-copy and on-line directory of Yiddish culture resources in the Bay Area. While the 2nd edition, published in February 2007, was an impressive 22 pages, this one is a whopping 31 pages and includes a new section on Storytellers/Maggidim. Get your very own copy, on bright yellow paper, of course, by sending a check for $5.00 ($3.00 plus $2.00 shipping) to KlezCalifornia, 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley 94703. You can look at the 3rd edition on-line at no charge at and even download it from there. We hope the Gele Pages convinces you that Yiddish culture is a-hopping around here and we hope you are participating! 

A freylekhn Purim tsu aleh! Happy Purim to all!

Film, The Light Ahead (Di Klyatshe)
Young Adult FeastTuesday, March 17, 7:00pm. The Jewish Community Library in San Francisco presents Chaver Paver's adaptation of writings by Mendele Mokher Sforim (whom Sholem Aleichem dubbed "the grandfather of Yiddish literature"). 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.  In Yiddish with English subtitles. No charge. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. Click HERE to let us know you would like to go out for coffee afterwards. For more information on the film, click HERE.
Yidishe Salons 
We continue our two series of salons for those with different levels of Yiddish fluency. Get together with others in a relaxed setting for conversation and noshing!

Sunday, March 22, Salon far flisik reders. 2:00-4:00pm. Our Salon for fluent/native Yiddish speakers meets this month in the Montclair neighborhood of Oakland. Click HERE for more information. Give your name and phone number, and we will send you the address. This Salon has of late been alternating between San Francisco and the East Bay.

Sunday, April 19, Salon far pamelakh reders, 7:00-9:00pm. The Salon for intermediate Yiddish speakers had a terrific second get-together in Berkeley on February 1. Send us your name and phone number HERE to request the location of the next East Bay event April 19, which as usual will be facilitated by a native Yiddish speaker.

We would like to organize similar Salons on the Peninsula, in the South Bay or North Bay as well, so let us know if that would interest you.
Sholem Aleichem: Dangerous Novels and Fiddler on the Roof

Gabriella SafranTuesday, March 24, 7:30pm
A Talk by Gabriella Safran at the Jewish Community Library

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?" No charge. 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." For more information on the Jewish Community Library series, click HERE.

This event is co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. Click HERE to let us know if you would like to go out for coffee afterwards.
Yiddish Dance at Young Adult Feast of Jewish Learning

Young Adult FeastSunday, March 29, 2:00-7:00pm

Jewish Community High School, 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco

KlezCalifornia is proud to co-sponsor the Bureau of Jewish Education's 4th Annual Young Adult Feast of Jewish Learning, this time on the theme of "Lost and Found." More than 30 free workshops on Jewish texts, film, philosophy, spirituality, culture, yoga, cooking, music, history, life and love taught by professors, rabbis, artists, and educators from all walks of Jewish life. KlezCalifornia presents Bruce Bierman and Yiddish dance during the third workshop period, 5:30-6:45pm. If you're a young adult 21-40ish, come and bring all your friends. The day of learning and fun is free, including parking. More information is HERE
Learn the "Four Questions" in Yiddish

Seder PlatePesakh is only a month away! Would your shul, day school or Yiddish club like KlezCalifornia to teach your young students (and/or adults!) the fir kashes (Four Questions), in Yiddish of course, in time for the seders on April 8 and April 9? If so, have a teacher or administrator or club leader email us HERE.
Community Events

March 1 - July 26, Rivington Street: Yiddish Culture in Comic Strips. San Francisco writer Joel Schechter has collaborated with illustrator Spain Rodriguez to create a series of comic strips about Jewish culture, featuring popular Yiddish actors, poets, and artists. This exhibit at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco is co-sponsored by the Workmen's Circle of Northern California. For more information click HERE .

Sunday, March 15, 6:00-8:00pm, "Shtetl Fabulous: Imagining the East European Jewish Past."  Lecture by Jeffrey Shandler, Professor at Rutgers University, in the Morrison Room, Doe Library, on the U.C. Berkeley campus. Reception follows. No charge. Presented by the U.C. Jewish Studies Program and the Judaica Collection, U.C. Berkeley Main Library.

March 22, 5:00pm to 7:30-ish. Fandango Balkan/Klez Jam. Bring your instrument to the twice-monthly jam of klezmer and Balkan music at Fandango Pizza in Palo Alto, organized by Shannon Wells. First hour is beginners/slow session. Tunes and tempo afterwards depend on who shows up. Sheet music and "tune of the semi-month" posted to the mailing list, but a few copies may be available at the sessions. No charge.

March 21 - March 29, Jewish Music Festival. This year's festival includes several exciting events of interest to klezmer and Yiddish lovers. For more information, go to Jewish Music Festival or call 800-838-3006.

JMF-- Monday, March 23, 8:00pm and 10:00pm, Andy Statman Trio (San Francisco)
-- Thursday, March 26, 1:00 pm (Berkeley) and 6:00pm (San Francisco), Di Goldene Pave: Yiddish Muse and Mystery, Toronto-based native Yiddish singer Lenka Lichtenberg joins clarinetist Kinneret Sagee for new Yiddish songs and old favorites.
-- Thursday, March 26, 9:00 pm (San Francisco) and Thursday, April 2, 8:00 pm (Los Altos Hills). Daniel Kahn and The Painted Bird with Beatboxer Yuri Lane, an explosive mix of klezmer, radical Yiddish song, political cabaret and punk folk.
-- Saturday, March 28, 8:00 pm (San Francisco). The Sisters of Sheynville. Inspired by the Barry Sisters of the '30s and '40s, their Yiddish airtight vocal harmonies sizzle with seduction.

March 23- May 3, Basha Rubenchek from Minsk, Comrade of Petaluma.This play, by Mae Ziglin Meidav, shows Thursdays - Sundays at the Berkeley City Club. The subject of a book ("Comrades and Chicken Farmers" by Kenneth L. Kann) and a musical ("Chutzpah" by Pauline Pfandler), Basha Rubenchek was a radical Jew who witnessed the Minsk pogroms. This play, which received a California Living History Center Award, tells of the pull of social justice and the Revolution on this young woman, love affair with her comrade in pre-revolutionary Minsk, and immigration to Kenya for an arranged marriage. She comes to Petaluma to found the famous Jewish Chicken Ranch (read, kibbutz) only to find the same anti-Communist, anti-Semitic forces she battled in Minsk. More information  HERE or call 1-800-838-3006.

KlezCal Heads Up
Dances & Songs of Remembrance, Resistance, and Hope, celebrating the 66th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Sunday, April 19, 5:00pm, in Berkeley. Click HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 7:00pm, A film adaptation of two stories from Sholem Aleichem's Tevye the Dairyman cycle. Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. Click HERE to see JCL events this Spring.

Arguing with the Storm: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers
Thursday, April 23, 7:30pm, a reading and talk by editor Rhea Tregebov, Jewish Community Library, San Francisco.  Click HERE for more information.

Freylekh! Yiddish dance party
Sunday, April 26, 7:00 - 9:30pm, KlezCalifornia and JCC of the East Bay present the Jewish Dance Theatre's Freylekh at the JCC in Berkeley. Dance lesson with Bruce Bierman, 7:00-8:00pm, dance party with Kugelplex, 8:00-9:30pm. Fun for all ages!