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Dear _________,

FestivalCardFrontIt's coming! It's takkeh for real! It's this winter's  KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival, over Presidents' Day Weekend, February 12-15, 2010, at Palo Alto's Congregation Etz Chayim.

A rare and great chance for getting together and making Yiddishland happen. Big enough to encompass everybody's favorite features. Whatever your interests, the Festival has lots of goodies for you. The full program and registration information are at Register now!

Musicians will study with master klezmer musicians and teachers from around the world, including Frank London and Christian Dawid. Families have a wonderful  opportunity for your children to enjoy the traditions, culture, music and language of our East European ancestors. Choruses/singers spend four joyous days singing and learning Yiddish songs with Eleanor Reissa, Sharon Bernstein and Mark Levy.

Dancers learn and perform with Yiddish dance master Steve Weintraub with klezmorim playing music made for dancing. Yiddish speakers can live, eat, breathe, and speak Yiddish for four days. What could be better?  Synagogue-goers will experience the exciting premiere of The Klezmer Shul, a new perspective on prayer by three klezmer musicians. World culture fans explore Jewish interactions with our Greek, Roma, Balkan, Ukrainian and American neighbors. And more.... Lots more!! And shmooze your heart out.

An adult pass for the full weekend (Friday evening through Monday evening) is $170 if purchased in advance, $180 at the door (a reduction "special for you" from the prices announced in last month's newsletter). Lower prices for teens, youth, and members of Congregation Etz Chayim. Scholarships and work-study positions. Tickets are also available for part-time participation and for the evening concerts/dance parties. If you want to stay over, we've arranged for special rates at Courtyard by Marriott in nearby Los Altos. Please register now at!
We welcome a new Festival co-sponsor, the Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco, bringing the total to twenty-one co-sponsors. Email us at [email protected] regarding more groups to help publicize the Festival in their newsletters.

Meanwhile, please remember to join with our many friends in contributing to help KlezCalifornia provide and expand our fantastic events. You will enjoy the feeling of bringing Yiddish culture here to our own community. The benefit will return to you, your family and friends. Please go to to donate with your credit card or send a check to KlezCalifornia at 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94703. Donations to KlezCalifornia are tax-deductible. Thank you!

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. If you missed similar events in July and August at Tannourine (or came and had a great time), this is your chance! 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.
Kleznukah Shabbat

MenorahsFriday, December 11, 7:30pm, Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, San Francisco.
What do you get when Hanukah starts on a Friday night and you invite a klezmer band? Answer: Kleznukah Shabbat. Join with Sha'ar Zahav to light candles, sing songs, delight in familiar synagogue tunes melded with klezmer rhythms and melodies, dance, and of course, eat and drink! Sha'ar Zahav's Cantor Sharon Bernstein will join with master klezmorim Stuart Brotman on bass and Sheldon Brown on clarinet to inaugurate a new Hanukah tradition. This evening is made possible by the generous support of the San Francisco Jewish Federation LGBT Alliance and the family of Larry Tannenbaum, and the collaboration of KlezCalifornia. More information,, 415.861.6932. No charge.
Yidishe Salon far Pamelakh Reders

People shmoozingSunday, December 20, 7:00-9:00pm, Berkeley.

Become part of KlezCalifornia's Yiddish conversation group for intermediate speakers! Join our evening of conversation for people who speak some Yiddish but mix in a lot of English as well. Native Yiddish speakers Ben and Helen Stern help us out. A lot. Send your name, address, phone number to [email protected] for the location, a private home in Berkeley. Lots of fun, great snacks, no pressure and no charge.

Klezmer Jams in Your Community?

Youth fiddlers 2007Are you interested in starting (or participating in) a regular klezmer jam in your community? For example, the Fandango Klez-Balkan Jam takes place on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at Fandango Pizza in Palo Alto, 5:00pm - 7:30ish. We want to encourage more communities to start a regular night of klezmer jamming.

If you are interested in helping organize a new jam or want to suggest a suitable venue, let us know at [email protected].
Community Events
Wednesday, December 9. 12:00 - 1:00pm. Public concert with Ben Brussell's KLEZMANIA! Oakland City Center, 12th & Broadway. No charge.

Saturday, December 12, 8:00pm, Hanukah songs at Old First Church, San Francisco. Celebrate Hanukah with Ben Brussell's KLEZMANIA! Their program will consist of traditional sing-along Hanukah songs, klezmer, Yiddish folk songs, some Israeli songs, and some original klezmer songs. Wild, fun, and very high-energy. 415.474.1608,
Sunday, December 13, 1:00 - 3:00pm, Latkepalooza Hanukah celebration at Peninsula JCC, Foster City. Community-wide Hanukah celebration with KLEZMANIA! playing Jewish, Yiddish and jazz tunes. Also crafts and games, adult learning, children's story-time and of course potato latkes! Cap off the afternoon with a community sing-along. Admission free with the donation of a can of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank. More information: 650.212.7522,
News from the World of Yiddish

The Center for Yiddish Studies at Israel's Ben-Gurion University has a new director. Internationally known scholar David G. Roskies, who teaches Yiddish literature and culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary (and who spoke recently at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco), has taken on this responsibility. As Roskies wrote recently, "The culture is hardwired by Yiddish but we don't realize that some of the things we say or do are rooted in it.... How Hebrew and Yiddish interact is at the heart of the Jewish sensibility." The article, "Israelis Preserve Their Yiddish Roots," is downloadable from the website of the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Click on "Media Center", then "Publications," then "IMPACT Fall 2009."
An article on "Boston's Yiddish Diva," Leyke Post Carrey (and mother of local Yiddish singer - and KlezCalifornia Advisory Council member - Henry Hirsch Carrey), is on the website of the National Yiddish Book Center. Click HERE.
Coming Soon

Put these exciting events on your calendar now.

January 6-13, Yiddish Intensive with Yitshok Niborski, visiting from France. Six-session intensive for advanced Yiddish speakers at the Center for Jewish Studies of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Email [email protected] for registration details. $100 audit fee for non-students.
U. C. Berkeley, Intermediate Yiddish (Yiddish 102), Spring Quarter, with instructor Yael Chaver. Advanced grammar and introduction to the reading of original texts. Gain appreciation for the riches of Yiddish language and culture. M-W 11-1, F 11-12, 282 Dwinelle. Course Control #38103. For more information, call 510.643.2004.

Register now: 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?