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Dear ______,

FestivalCardFrontWe're developing exciting plans for the Yiddish Culture Festival at Palo Alto's Congregation Etz Chayim on Presidents' Day Weekend, February 12-15, 2010. We now have commitments for many additional program elements not described in previous newsletters:
FestivalCardBack-- Saturday evening concert with terrific music by Festival teachers Stu Brotman (bass), Christian Dawid (clarinet), Josh Horowitz (accordion), Frank London (trumpet), and Cookie Segelstein (violin). The world-renowned Steve Weintraub will lead dancing after the concert.

-- South Bay premiere of
The Klezmer Shul, an original composition by klezmer trio Veretski Pass (Cookie Segelstein, Josh Horowitz, and Stu Brotman). This new instrumental suite based on synagogue services was composed under the auspices of KlezCalifornia on a generous grant from the Creative Work Fund. The Sunday evening performance will be followed by discussion and then Yiddish dancing!

-- Yiddish in the contemporary Hasidic world, with Zachary Baker and Ken Blady.

-- Yiddish love songs (for Valentine's Day), with Sharon Bernstein, and songs of the Jewish labor movement from both sides of the ocean, with Mark Levy.

-- Myths and truths about the world of our great-grandparents, with Ken Blady.

-- Workshops in klezmer technique, ensembles, master classes, klezmer theory (with Josh Horowitz), composing and improvising (with Frank London), beginners' read-along from simplified klezmer scores.

-- Jewish interaction with neighboring cultures: Klezmer/Balkan/Roma connections with Christian Dawid and Peter Jaques, relationship between klezmer/Yiddish and Greek music with Martin Schwartz, and Yiddish and klezmer meet the American recording industry with Howard Freedman.

It's all shaping up as a terrific mini-vacation for all of us in Palo Alto this winter. An adult pass for the weekend (Friday evening through Monday evening) will cost $175 if purchased in advance, $200 at the door. Special prices for teens and youth. Tickets will also be available for single days, half-days, and the evening programs. Special hotel room rates will be available for those who want to stay over in Palo Alto. A limited number of scholarships and work-study positions will be available. Registration forms will be ready by Thanksgiving at Please register right away!
We welcome a new Festival co-sponsor, the Peninsula-based singing group HaShirim. The Festival now has twenty co-sponsors! Email us at [email protected] regarding groups you know that can publicize the Festival in their newsletters (and perhaps become co-sponsors),
If You Like to Dance, Give Us Your Opinion

0901 Feast - Dancing 1Yiddish dance lovers, help us decide the timing of our Freylekh dance parties at JCC of the East Bay for 2010. We have co-produced (along with the JCC) nine dance parties since June 2008, all on Sunday evenings 7:00 - 9:00pm and featuring Bruce Bierman as our terrific dance teacher/leader. We want to continue these dance parties and workshops but hold them earlier in the day on Sundays so more people can join in. Please email us at [email protected] by next Sunday, November 8, with your preference among the following times: 1:00 - 3:00pm, 2:00 - 4:00pm, or 3:00 - 5:00pm. Give us your first and second choices. A sheynem dank (thank you!).
Yiddishlands: A Memoir, a Talk and Reading by David G. Roskies

YiddishlandsMonday, November 2, 7:30pm, BJE Jewish Community Library, San Francisco.
In retelling his remarkable family saga, beginning with a flashback to his grandmother's storybook wedding in 1878, David G. Roskies brings to life the major debates, struggles, and triumphs of the modern Yiddish experience. By painting vivid portraits of the great writers and cultural leaders from the Old World of Vilna to the New World of Montreal and New York, Yiddishlands illustrates how Yiddish culture is transmitted through story, song, study, and, most importantly, the family. David Roskies is professor of Jewish literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary and holds the Henkind Chair in Yiddish Literature and Culture. This free event is co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. For more information (including how to access the secure parking) contact Allison at 415/567-3317 X703 or [email protected] or visit
Klezmer en Buenos Aires

KlezmerBuenosAIresSaturday, November 14, 8:00pm, JCC San Francisco.
The Lerner Moguilevsky Duo has been wowing audiences around the world for over a decade, playing with an intensity and originality that makes believers of everyone who hears them. This is klezmer mixed with hints of tango and other Latin American rhythms. Fabulous! Public $35, JCC members $32, students $30. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you may receive the JCCSF member discount by using discount code KLEZARGENTINA. Tickets at, 415/292-1233 or in person at the JCCSF box office. Stop by KlezCalifornia's  information table!
Yidishe Salon far Flisiik Reders

Line drawing of people talkingSunday, November 15, 2:00-4:00pm, Oakland.
Yiddish conversation group for fluent/native speakers in a private home, this time in Oakland. If you can carry on a conversation in Yiddish, this Salon is for you. Send your name, address, phone to [email protected] for the location. No charge.

The next Pamelakh Salon for intermediate speakers will be in December in the East Bay. Contact [email protected] to get on that list.

Klezmer Music and Dance Party

The KlezmakersSaturday, December 5, Tannourine Restaurant, San Mateo.
KlezCalifornia and Tannourine Restaurant present an evening of dinner, klezmer music and dancing. $25 (fixed price) includes a Lebanese/Mediterranean dinner (including vegetarian options), music by The Klezmakers and a Yiddish dance party with Bruce Bierman. Doors open 5:30pm, music begins 6:30pm, dancing 7:30pm - 9:30pm. Come to dance or watch and listen. Bring your friends and family for a wonderful evening for all ages. Reservations: 650/638-1960. Location: 120 West 25th Avenue, San Mateo. Directions, see dance party is underwritten by KlezCalifornia.
Community Events
November 12 - 24, Yiddish film series, "Jesters and Gestures: Performing Yiddish Culture from Silent Cinema to Avant-Garde Film." Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Curated by KlezCalifornia Advisory Council member Zehavit Stern. For details of films, dates, and prices, click HERE.

November 15 - 17, Seventh annual Eli Katz Memorial Yiddish conference. "Sex in the Shtetl: Gender roles, erotic practices and marital structures in Yiddish literature and Ashkenazic culture." Doesn't that title grab your attention? U.C. Berkeley. No charge. More information at
Monday, November 30, 7:30 - 9:00pm, "Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States." A talk by Ari Kelman about his new book, at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley. More information at, 510/549-9447, [email protected]. Donation requested.
Coming Soon

Put these exciting events on your calendar now. More details in the December newsletter.

Friday, December 11, 7:30pm, Klezmer Shabbat at Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, San Francisco, with Cantor Sharon Bernstein. The service will be accompanied by klezmer arrangements played by Stu Brotman and Sheldon Brown. Dancing, too. This event is presented in association with KlezCalifornia.
Saturday, December 12, 8:00pm, Ben Brussell's KLEZMANIA! Sing-along with Chanukah songs, klezmer, Yiddish folk songs, some Israeli, and original klezmer songs. Old First Concerts, San Francisco.
Sunday, December 13, 1:00 - 3:00pm, Latkepalooza, community-wide Hanukkah celebration with KLEZMANIA! playing Jewish, Yiddish and jazz tunes. Peninsula JCC, Foster City.

Save the dates: KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival
Presidents' Day Weekend (February 12-15, 2010) in Palo Alto
Presented by KlezCalifornia and Congregation Etz Chayim
Program and registration information at

We appreciate your tax-deductible gift in support of KlezCalifornia's work. Help us keep building a warm, open, vibrant community to enjoy Yiddish culture! If you don't support us, who will?