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Apples & honey.jpgThe KlezCalifornia Board wishes you and your loved ones ah goot yor, ah ziseh un ah mazldikeh yor. That's a sweet and happy new year.

On Yunkipr (Yom Kippur) and Shmini Atzeres, Jews traditionally say yizker for loved ones who have gone af eybik avek (away forever) and give tsedokeh (charitable donations) in their memory.

Whether you say yizker in shul or not, we hope you will remember someone important to you with a gift to KlezCalifornia. You may find this particularly fitting if the person whose memory you are honoring spoke Yiddish or liked Yiddish or klezmer music, or had a parent who did. 

With a gift of any amount, you may write something about the one you are remembering (up to 100 words) and we will post it on the KlezCalifornia Honor Wall for one year. The Honor Wall includes messages in memory of or in honor of anyone you choose, and can also include information about your personal Yiddish heritage. See two new Honor Wall listings below.

Make your tax-deductible donation by sending a check payable to KlezCalifornia at 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley 94703, or via credit card HERE. Your donations help us build a warm, vibrant region-wide community to promote and celebrate Yiddish culture. We depend on a wide spectrum of donations to keep our programs afloat.

For a donation of at least $54, we offer a DVD of the wonderful 80-minute film, Yiddish Theater: A Love Story. The DVD ordinarily sells for $24.99 + tax and shipping at

We thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness. Leshoneh toyveh tikoseyvu vetekhoseymu! May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!


We launch a new newsletter feature this month, "Wanted! Musicians & Dancers." Check it out, below. We have also created a new webpage,, with a long-term calendar of Yiddish/klezmer events and a listing of ongoing Yiddish and klezmer classes and jams. Send listings for either to [email protected].
Solano Stroll in Berkeley/Albany

Solano Stroll imageSunday, September 12, 10:00am - 6:00pm.  For the second time, KlezCalifornia will have a booth at this street event, which takes place 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 sholem aleykhem (hello) and tell us about your interests!

Our booth will be between Tulare and Ventura Avenues. We will play klezmer and Yiddish music CDs, sign up new subscribers to our newsletter (have you told YOUR friends about the newsletter?), speakah bisl Yidish with anyone who wants to, and generally have a terrific time.

More info (including about free shuttles from North Berkeley BART), 510.527.5358.
Yidishe Salon far Flisik Reders (for fluent/native speakers) 

People shmoozing

Sunday, September 12, 2:00-4:00pm, San Francisco.

At this regular bi-monthly KlezCalifornia Salon, participants willshmoozenosh, and read some Yiddish poems by Alter Esselin. We usually have about fifteen people (from a regular group of about twenty-five). More info: [email protected], 415.239.4105.
Community Events
See the many Fall classes, ongoing events and projects below. These activities, and more, are available to you any time on a new webpage,

FALL CLASSES (in order of start date)

Klezmer Music Band for all levels at Roots Music in San Anselmo. Thursdays at 7:00pm. Klezmer fiddler and Red Hot Chachkas band leader (and KlezCalifornia co-founder) Julie Egger leads this klezmer music workshop for acoustic musicians. Cost for the six-class series is $150 ($30/class drop-in). The class began August 26 for six weeks and the series is likely to repeat. More, 415.938.7529, rootsmusicmarin[at]

Klezmer Ensemble for all levels at Zambaleta in San Francisco. Tuesdays, September 7 - October 26, 8:15-9:30pm. Sign up for a klezmer ensemble with Kugelplex's Dave Rosenfeld. You will play together with other members of the class in various instrumental combinations. All instruments are welcome. This 8-week series costs $150 ($25/class drop-in). Start at any time. More info: or contact Dave directly at mandodave[at] or 415.407.7162. 

Elementary Yiddish, Yiddish 101 (CC#38103) at U.C. Berkeley, taught by Yael Chaver. Meets every day, Monday - Friday, 1:00-2:00pm. Classes began August 26. 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. Classes began August 26. More info: [email protected].

Introduction to Yiddish at Stanford, taught by Jon Levitow. Meets Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:15-4:45pm. Classes begin September 20 and auditors are welcome. Jon will also be teaching beginning Yiddish at U.C. Santa Cruz in the Winter quarter, starting in January. More info. about either class or about forming a new Yiddish class outside a university: jnlvtw[at]

Yiddish Musical Theatre and the Roots of Broadway. Taught by Will Johnson at Sonoma State University. Thursdays, September 30 - November 4, and Friday, November 12, 9:30-11:00am. More info: Or contact the instructor at wj1707[at]

Intermediate (3rd year) Yiddish, taught by Jon Levitow at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto. Mondays, October 11 - December 13, 7:00-9:00pm. $200 for the public. More info:

A Bisele* (a little bit of) Yiddish Language, Poetry and Politics: Past and Present. Taught by Zohar Weiman-Kelman, Mondays, October 25 - December 13, 7:00-9:00pm, Congregation B'nai Shalom in Walnut Creek. $125 for the public, $95 for members. More info:

Sing It In Yiddish! with Mark Levy. Four weeks of Eastern European Jewish folk songs in both northern and southern dialects of Yiddish. Sheet music, recordings and live demonstration of children's, love, work, and holiday songs. Mondays, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 7:00-9:00pm in Berkeley (location to be announced).The cost will depend on how many people register (estimated $80-$100 for all four sessions). More info: 831.338.7283, mitzvahmus[at]


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,

Last Sundays of the month, noon-2:00pm, Klezmer Brunch at Porto Franco Arts and Records in San Francisco. Vegetarian and vegan food. Music by The Gonifs, with Jeannette Lewicki, Peter Jaques, Darren Johnston, Daniel Fabricant and Aaron Kierbel. Suggested donation: $0 to $20 (or more, if you can). Tickets from (recommended, as space is limited). On the second floor, no elevator. More info:, 650.575.2044.

2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, Klez-Balkan Jam at Fandango Pizza in Palo Alto. Sheet music provided. More info: Thesqueedler[at] Sign up for mailing list: 

Revival of Ger Mandolin Orchestra:  Beryl Rybak, grandfather of Fremont resident Avner Yonai, was conductor of the Ger Jewish Mandolin Orchestra, based in Gora Kalwaria, Poland in the 1920s and 1930s. Most of its members were murdered in the Shoah. In addition to launching a Facebook pagededicated to the orchestra that was once so pivotal to his family, Yonai is also spearheading an effort to stage a revival concert. The orchestra is also described on the Yad VaShem blog.
Fun Stuff on the Web

Yiddish Musical Comedy collection at Florida Atlantic University's Judaica Sound Archives,

Selections from the YIVO Sound Archives:

The new online edition of the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe contains many sound examples as well:

Links to all Jewish music archives at the Jewish Music Web Center:

Listen to a different, rare Yiddish song every week, sung by a native speaker, at

KlezCalifornia has joined the 21st century with a MeetUp group on Yiddish Culture and Klezmer Music in the Bay Area at We will post as "MeetUps" some of the many events in this newsletter, and hope to draw in even more subscribers and participants. 
Coming Soon

Put these exciting events on your calendar now! For events even further into the future, check out the long-term calendar of Yiddish/klezmer events at

Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 3Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 2010, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, no charge. Exact schedule not yet announced). More info:

Sunday, October 10, To Life! Festival, Palo Alto. Klezmer performance and dancing, KlezCalifornia booth. More info:

Thursday, October 14, "New Yiddish Literature: How it Transformed Jewish Courtship, Marriage & Sex," Naomi Seidman, Jewish Community Library, co-sponsored by Workmen's Circle and KlezCalifornia. More info:

Sunday, October 24, 7:00-9:00pm, Peninsula Pamelakh Yidishe Salon, for intermediate speakers, San Mateo, no charge. This new group on the Peninsula (we already have one in the East Bay) will be meeting for the first time! More info: [email protected], 415.789.7679,

Sunday, October or November (date TBD), Pamelakh Yidishe Salon, for intermediate Yiddish speakers, at a private home in the East Bay. More info: [email protected], 415.789.7679.
Wanted! Musicians & Dancers

 We are a one-year old East Bay klezmer band looking to add a musician (singer or instrumentalist). We are fairly open as far as what instrument we would like...many could work. So if you sing or play an instrument and are looking for a band to join, tell us something about yourself and your experience. See Respond to Daniel Goldman, dhgoldman[at]

PIANIST/SINGER AVAILABLE: Accomplished pianist, keyboardist, singer seeking other musicians or existing klezmer/Jewish bands to collaborate for performances at private house parties or public concerts. Respond to Noam Eisen ( at 415/643-3327 ornoameisenmusic[at]

ACCORDIONIST (PLUS) AVAILABLE: I'm a former teacher of accordion with 23 years experience from the Ukraine and would like to play in a band. I used to play with a professional band. My accordion is a V-accordion Roland, which can simulate different wind and string instruments. I also play tenor sax, block-flute, and recorder. Respond to Leyzer Malchik at leymalchik[at]

DANCERS WANTED: Klezmer dance leader Bruce Bierman is forming a dance ensemble and looking for dancers who know or would like to learn klezmer dance for presentations at festivals and events around the Bay Area. Must be able to pick up choreography quick and rehearse at least once a week in the East Bay. Choreography may include whirling, jumping, running and fairly complex rhythmic foot stomping. Respond to Bruce Bierman, Jewishdance[at]
Honor Wall 

Here are two new Honor Wall postings:

Karen Bergen, Director, Yiddish Choristers, honors founder Lotte Solomon:
 Lotte Solomon remembers, as a child, listening to records with her music-loving father, everything from classical to cantorial music. As an adult, Lotte -- Yiddishist and violinist -- had a great idea in the 1980s. She started a choral group in the South Peninsula dedicated to performing Yiddish music. The ALS JCC housed the group, eventually known as "The Yiddish Choristers." Soon the group was listed in the chorus section of the Foothill Community College catalog. Small klezmer groups eventually performed as part of the Choristers. A new director now continues the excellent tradition that Lotte started. 
Tony Phillips honors his Yiddish heritage: My connection to Yiddish is perhaps typical for a California native. My grandparents, Carol and Irving Levin, grew up speaking Yiddish but, living in New York City, used it mainly to avoid being understood by their children and eventually grandchildren. In contrast, Irving's older brother Joe, who was older when he emigrated, always spoke and read mainly Yiddish, and his English was limited and heavily accented. For all of them, their origins in the Yiddish-speaking culture was a treasure to be passed on to the following generations who lived under easier circumstances.