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Dear ___________,

Yiddish singing with Sharon Bernstein at our Festival. 
Photo by Lea Delson,
Yiddish singing at Festival.jpg
There's a lot of Yiddish in the Bay Area in April -- See the items below! Whether you know a bisl oder a sakh(a little or a lot) Yiddish, you can enjoy speaking, listening or singing.

Speaking of singing, several years ago KlezCalifornia organized three Yiddish sing-alongs (in the East Bay, San Francisco and South Bay) in private homes. If you would like us to organize another series this year, let us know at [email protected] or 415.789.7679.

We are excited to tell you about a new website featuring a Yiddish Song of the Week, namely The focus is on field recordings of traditional Yiddish folksingers contributed by folklorists, ethnomusicologists, musicians, singers and collectors. Each recording is presented with transliterated Yiddish words, translation, and commentary from the contributor. The website is a blog, so readers/listeners can contribute comments on the song itself, the singing style of the singer, related songs, etc.

Yiddish Song of the Week is presented by the An-sky Jewish Folklore Research Project and edited by Dr. Itzik Gottesman. Centered in New York City and collaborating with researchers internationally, the Project works to research and revitalize the practice of traditional Jewish arts. The Project was founded as part of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture. 

We hope you have had a sweet and joyous Pesakh. Today is the last day of yuntif, a traditional day foryizkor, including memorial gifts of tsedokeh. Whether you said yizkor in shul, or not, or refuse to, perhaps you will care to remember someone with a gift to KlezCalifornia at this time. You may find this particularly fitting if the loved one you are remembering spoke Yiddish or liked Yiddish or had a parent who did. KlezCalifornia is all about celebrating Yiddish culture in a participatory way and would treasure knowing your personal Yiddish heritage. Make tax-deductible donations with a check payable to KlezCalifornia and mail to us at 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley 94703, or with a credit card via our website, We'd also appreciate knowing your family experience with Yiddish if you wish to include a note. We thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Heather Klein's Inextinguishable Trio, in Hungry for Yiddish

Heather KleinThursday, April 8, 7:30pmBJE Jewish Community Library, San Francisco.

Dynamic interpreters of lesser-known Yiddish art songs, the Trio (singer Heather Klein, pianist Alla Gladysheva, and violinist Emily Packard), will present songs addressing hunger, homelessness, and hope for a better world. For this performance, they will be joined by singer Marisa Binder, percussionist Eric Garland, and guitarist Jacob Kramer. Free admission and free parking. No charge. KlezCalifornia is a co-sponsor of this program. More info: 415.567.3327 X703,
Pamelakh Yidishe Salon (for intermediate speakers) 

People shmoozingSunday, April 18, 7:00-9:00pm, private home in Berkeley.

Join a lively group of ten to fifteen nisht-azoy-ay-ay-ay Yiddish speakers for a conversation in Yiddish, assisted by two native speakers. Email [email protected] for the location.

Pamelakh Salons have been held in Berkeley or nearby,  because that's where most participants live. We've received some requests for a Pamelakh Salon on the Peninsula. If that interests you, please email [email protected] and let us know.

The next Flisik Yidishe Salon for fluent/native speakers will be on May 16 in El Cerrito. Try it out! Email [email protected] for the location.
International Association of Yiddish Clubs conference 

Golden Gate Bridge.jpgFriday, April 23, 1:00pm - Monday,  April 26,1:30pm,
Westin Hotel, Millbrae.
Join with hundreds of other Yiddish lovers for four days of classes, lectures, and merry-making. Entertainment nightly with San Francisco Jewish Folk Chorus, California Klezmer, Yiddish Choristers, Adrienne Cooper, Lori Cahan Simon, Henry Carrey, Stu Brotman, Cantors Sharon Bernstein, Hale Porter, Herschel & Judy Fox, and many more. Workshop subjects include Jews of Japan, Women in Three Yiddish Daily Newspapers 1915 - 1925, Impact of the Jewish Labor Movement, Yiddish Culture in Comic Strips, HowYiddishkayt Influenced American Modern Dance, and many more. Most workshops are in English, some in Yiddish, so come whether you speak no mameloshn (i.e. Yiddish) or are a native speaker! Shabbesservices in Hebrew & Yiddish. Lots more at this 13th annual international conference on the theme of "Yiddish Around the World." The registration fee of $325 includes eight meals. Part-time registration also available. More info: (click on "Updates" for conference schedule), or contact conference chair Fishl Kutner at 650.349.6946, [email protected].

KlezCalifornia is a conference co-sponsor, presenting the Friday evening performance by the band California Klezmer. Let us know at [email protected] if you are planning to attend any part of the weekend and visit us at the KlezCalifornia booth.
Community Events
Thursday, April 8, 4:00pm, " Writing the History of a Multiethnic City: Vilna-Wilno-Vilnius 1795-2000." Theodore Weeks, Associate Professor of History, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, will present this lecture under the auspices of U.C. Berkeley's Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Vilnius presents a unique and fascinating example of ethnic and cultural diversity. From the late eighteenth century to the present, the population of Vilnius has never been culturally homogenous. Until the 1920s, no one ethnic/cultural group could claim hegemony although the city was of key importance for Jewish, Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian, and, to a lesser extent, Russian cultures. Location: U.C. Berkeley, 270 Stephens Hall. More info.: 510.642.9107.  

June 1 - July 23, Intensive Yiddish Class, Arizona State University, Tempe. If you've wanted to immerse yourself in Yiddish language and culture, Arizona State University is offering an intensive course in Elementary Yiddish Language and Culture this summer. Classes run 4 hours per day, 5 days a week, plus cultural activities. Students get free tuition, but must cover their own travel, room and board, and fees of roughly $700. Partial scholarships are available on a competitive basis. Instruction is provided by Sara Ponichtera of Columbia University. There are 4 seats left in this class, so act quickly if you are interested! For full details and application forms, see For more info., call Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Director, Center for Jewish Studies, Arizona State University, 480.965.7767.
Coming Soon

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

Wednesday, May 5, 8:00pm, KLEZMERUSKI, with the great Russian and Yiddish singer Psoy Korolenko, Stanford Hillel. No charge and open to the public. The performance is presented by Stanford's Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. More info.:

Sunday, May 16, 2:00-4:00pm, Flisik Yidishe Salon, El Cerrito. See story above.

Sunday, May 16, 3:00-5:00pm, Simcha Dance Jam, inauguration of a monthly Jewish dance workshop with Bruce Bierman, at the JCC East Bay. In this new format, Bruce will teach Jewish dances of all kinds: klezmer/Yiddish, Hasidic, Israeli, Yemenite, and more. More info:, 415.789.7679. Co-presented by JCC East Bay and KlezCalifornia.

Tuesday, May 18, time to be announced, Workshop on Yiddish phrases at community-wide, evening-until-dawn Tikkun Leyl Shavuot. Yiddish workshop taught by Harvey Varga and presented by KlezCalifornia. Tikkun co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia.

Thursday, May 20, 8:00pm, KlezExtravaganza with Red Hot Chachkas, Kugelplex, and The New Klezmorim, at Freight & Salvage, Berkeley. More info.:, 510.548.1761. 

Friday, May 21, 9:00pm, Zoyres Eastern European Wild Ferment, at BlueSix, San Francisco. More info.: