Newsletter‎ > ‎



People applauding (DPearlman)Do you want to find someone who lives near you with whom to speak Yiddish, read Yiddish literature, sing Yiddish songs, or play klezmer music? Sign up for KlezCalifornia's KhevruseDirectory at!"Khevruse" means "activity partner" and the Directory helps you find partners, to connect with others  -- maybe even in your own backyard. You will receive the current edition of the Directory and the next edition will contain your entry. To protect privacy, the Directory is provided only to individuals who are themselves listed. Any questions? Contact Moreen at 530.753.8584 or[email protected].
Photo by Dale Pearlman

Sing-Along July 25 singersLast week's Yiddish Sing-Along with Achi Ben Shalom, in Oakland, was packed! Achi projected the lyrics onto a screen, making for easy singing. The thirty singers included the director of the Hot Springs (Arkansas) Music Festival! With so many expected, we moved the event from a private home to Amba Kosher Falafel. Sitting in were Moish Estrin (playing flute) and Eliot Kenin (on guitar). 

0901 Feast - Dancing 1

Photo by Gil Rosoff

KlezCalifornia has joined the 21st century with a MeetUp group on Yiddish Culture and Klezmer Music in the Bay Area at Created only a few days ago, the group already includes eleven people we didn't know before. We will post as "MeetUps" some of the many events in this newsletter, and hope to draw in even more subscribers and participants. 

Photo by Gil Rosoff

Instrumental Workshop with Klezmatics Musicians

0901 Feast - Dancing 1Sunday, August 1, 1:00 - 3:00pm, at Zambaleta World Music & Dance School, San Francisco.

Musicians of all levels and all instruments have a rare opportunity to study with two Klezmatics at a workshop presented by KlezCalifornia and co-sponsored by the Jewish Music Festival. Register today or just show up on Sunday.

Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals) performs in klezmer, Celtic, Irish, and bluegrass styles. She has appeared on more than 100 recordings and composes for film, radio, television and theater. Matt Darriau (clarinet, saxophone, kaval) plays Irish, Balkan, klezmer and jazz music and has made music for dance, theater, and film. 

0901 Feast - Dancing 1The workshop begins with an overview of klezmer music and then focuses on its rhythms and scales. An instrumental tune will be taught by ear. More advanced players will focus on ornaments, style and improvisation, and all will learn the elements of accompaniment. Then, everyone will learn a nign(song without words). All levels and instruments are welcome, as even clapping and singing will give you a strong sense of the rhythmic and melodic structures. Bring a recording device! You can also arrange for a private lesson the same day with Lisa or Matt.

Zambaleta is at 2929 19th Street. There's good bus and BART access and easy parking (on Sunday).To reach the studios, you must walk up one flight of stairs. To register for the workshop ($30) and/or a private lesson ($70/hr or $55/45 mins.), click HERE or go (then click on "Music" then search for "klezmer" on August 1) or call 415.341.1333. 

We hope to see you at the Jewish Film Festival showing of "The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground" Thursday, July 29 at the Castro Theater in San Francisco and Saturday, July 31 at the Roda Theater in Berkeley. Details were in the July KlezCalifornia newsletter or go to
Yidishe Salon far Pamelakh Reders (for intermediate speakers) 

People shmoozing

Sunday, August 29, 7:00 - 9:00pm, Richmond.

You are welcome to try out our Salon for intermediate Yiddish speakers at a private home in Richmond. It is perfect for people who understand Yiddish reasonably well but have difficulty putting together sentences. We usually have fifteen people (from a regular group of about twenty-five). We had fun in June hearing about Frank Snitz's trip to Israel and asking him questions. For August, everyone will bring an object (photo, painting, statue, book, etc.) and prepare something to say about it. One or two fluent Yiddish speakers at each Pamelakh Yidishe Salon help us out!  More info: [email protected], 415.789.7679.
Community Events
Mondays, beginning July 12, 8:30 - 9:45pm, Klezmer Ensemble Class, Zambaleta, San Francisco. Sign up for a new klezmer ensemble with Kugelplex's Dave Rosenfeld. Dave will take you through the basic klezmer rhythms, scales, and melodies. You will play together with other members of the class in various instrumental combinations. All instruments are welcome, though it is best to have a fairly good competency level on your instrument (reading music not necessary) to participate. This 7-week series of 75-minute classes costs $132 and you can start at any time. The single class drop-in rate is $25. More info: or contact Dave directly at [email protected] or 415.407.7162. 

Thursday, August 12 (only), 7:30pm, Klezmer Violin Class with Daniel Hoffman, Freight & Salvage, Berkeley. Daniel Hoffman (violinist, composer and former Bay Area resident) is visiting from Tel Aviv. For violinists of any skill level. $25. More info:[email protected], 510.644.2020.

Sunday, August 15, 8:00pm, The Klez-X at Freight & Salvage, with Daniel Hoffman, Sheldon Brown, Jeanette Lewicki, Richard Saunders, Stephen Saxon, Charlie Seavey, Alan Hall. New compositions, reinterpretations of traditional pieces, improvisations, effervescent vocal work, and contemporary settings of poems by Moishe-Leyb Halpern, Itzik Manger, and Avraham Sutzkever. Tickets $18.50 in advance,  $19.50 at the door. More info:[email protected], 510.644.2020.

Saturday August 28, 7:00 - 9:30pm, Klezmakers, Mission Coffee Roasting Concert Series,
151 Washington Blvd, Fremont. Enjoy a fine cup of coffee, dinner or dessert, along with the show. $15 cover at the door. More info: 510.623.6920.

Saturday evenings, 7:00 - 9:00pm, Hot Kugel plays hot jazz, cool blues and Yiddish favorites every week at Zucca Ristorante in Mountain View. More info: 650.864.9940,
Fun Stuff on the Web

Klezmer medley on the organ by Cantor Moishele Soorkis ("The Blind Cantor"), 1928: a new entry

Klezmer music and dancing on Jessie Street in San Francisco in June:

Story about an old American Yiddish (thanks to Alex Madonik)

Resource: a Guide to Jewish Life in the Bay Area now on-line at Check out the new section called "Yiddish"!

Yiddish leads to a (thanks to George Klein)

List to a different, rare Yiddish song every week, sung by a native speaker, at
Coming Soon

Put these exciting events on your calendar now!

Sunday, September 12, Solano Stroll. KlezCalifornia will once again have a booth at this street event on Solano Avenue from the Alameda in Berkeley to San Pablo Avenue in Albany. Join 300,000 other people to enjoy the parade, entertainment, food, and crafts. Come say hello and tell us about your interests!

Sunday, September 12, Flisik Yidishe Salon, for fluent/native Yiddish speakers, at a private home in San Francisco. More info: [email protected], 415.789.7679.

And sign up for one of these Fall classes, from Santa Cruz to Rohnert Park:

Learn Yiddish Songs with Mark Levy. A four-session Yiddish singing class is forming with possible locations in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, and Santa Cruz. Plans are for classes in the Fall on Sunday and Monday nights, introducing Yiddish lullabies, love songs, work songs, and holiday songs and teaching the precious melodies and words to carry on the legacy of our parents and grandparents. More info: 888.505.8953, [email protected].

Introductory Yiddish, Yiddish 101 (CC#38103) at U.C. Berkeley, taught by Zohar Weinman-Kelman. More info: [email protected].

Readings in Yiddish, Yiddish 103 (CC#38106) at U.C. Berkeley, taught by Yael Chaver in English with texts in Yiddish, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am-12:30pm. Meet the people of the shtetl through the unique voice of Sholem Aleichem. More info: [email protected].

Yiddish Musical Theatre and the Roots of Broadway. The class, taught by William T. Johnson at Sonoma State University, meets for seven sessions on Thursday mornings beginning September 30. More info. about the class: Class registration info.: Or contact the instructor at[email protected].
Honor Wall 

Harvey and Carmen Gotliffe have contributed to KlezCalifornia in honor of Chayele Ash-Fuhrman.

* * * * * * * * * *

We appreciate your tax-deductible gifts to support KlezCalifornia's work and help us build a warm, open, vibrant community celebrating Yiddish culture. Please send your check to KlezCalifornia, 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley CA 94703 or donate with a credit card through our website. We welcome gifts of every amount, whether $18, $180, or $1,800! We are happy to recognize gifts of $50 or more with a DVD of "Yiddish Theater: A Love Story." To learn more about this film, click HERE.