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Gele Pages coverCheck out the newly-revised edition of the "KlezCalifornia Gele* Pages (*yellow) on our website at It includes new listings for:
  • · Yiddish clubs at Congregation Shir Shalom in Sonoma and Temple Beth
  • Torah in Fremont;
  • · Yiddish reading circle at Stanford and Yiddish class at U.C. Santa Cruz;
  • · Performers Noam Eisen, Scott Gerber, Joshua Horowitz, Peter Jaques,    Eliot Kenin, David Rosenfeld, Cookie Segelstein; bands Heavy Shtetl, The Shtetlblasters, and Veretski Pass;
  • · Lecturer Zohar Weinman Kelman; klezmer accordion teacher Aaron Seeman; the Ger Mandolin Orchestra Project and Yiddish Lives.

The "Gele Pages" is now forty-pages long! Who would have imagined so much Yiddish culture is going on in the Bay Area! You can look at the Gele Pages for free on the website, or be a sport and get your own copy, on bright yellow paper of course, for $5.00, including postage.

We are sad to report the passing of klezmer violinist David Skuse, Berkeley resident and co-founder (with Lev Liberman) of The Klezmorim, the first klezmer revival band. The music revolution he helped inspire has touched many people throughout the world.  

Long-term calendar of Yiddish/klezmer events, classes and jams:
Klezmer performance and dancing at To Life! Festival

Sunday, October 10, The Klezmakers and Bruce Bierman, 1:00-2:00pm. At the To Life! Festival, California Avenue, Palo Alto. 

Join KlezCalifornia at this annual street fair of Jewish culture. Spend a fun-filled day, 11:00am-5:00pm, with 10,000 others for music, dance, art, family activities and -- of course -- food. Entertainment will include a performance 1:00-2:00pm by The Klezmakers on the Main Stage, with klezmer dancing led by Bruce Bierman. Say "hello" to KlezCalifornia at our booth in the Tents of Community. No charge. More info:

New Yiddish Literature

Naomi SeidmanThursday, October 14, 7:00pm, Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. "New Yiddish Literature: How it Transformed Jewish Courtship, Marriage & Sex," a talk by Naomi Seidman. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia and Workmen's Circle. 

How did modern Jewish literature modernize Jewish sexual practices, marital structures, and erotic experiences? Modernity brought with it a host of changes that included the transformations of gender roles and erotic practices, from arranged marriages to notions of heterosexual choice.

Literature -- particularly the novel, or "romance" -- played an enormous role in educating Jews in modern European modes of love, training them simultaneously in new reading habits and in new forms of erotic relationships. Books such as Sholem Aleichem's Tevye the Dairyman and Linetzky's The Polish Lad served as a mirror of Jewish modernization and an arena for the negotiation of conflicting cultural impulses. No charge. More info: or 415.567.3327 X 703. 

Yidishe Salon far Pamelakh Reders - San Mateo and Berkeley

People shmoozing

Sunday, October 24, 7:00-9:00pm, San Mateo and Berkeley
Participants will shmooze and nosh at two KlezCalifornia salons at the same time for intermediate Yiddish speakers. No charge for either event.

We are happy to announce the first gathering of a PeninsulaPamelakh Yidishe Salon in San Mateo. Native Yiddish speaker Icek Mozes will help out. More info: [email protected], 415.789.7679.

The East Bay Pamelakh Yidishe Salon will meet once again, this time at a private home in Berkeley. Native Yiddish speakers Ben and Helen Stern will help out. More info: [email protected], 415.789.7679.
Community Events
See the many one-time events, classes, and projects below. These activities, and more, are available to you any time at

Saturday, October 2, 2:30pm, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, San Francisco, Golden Gate Park. Part of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 3. No charge. More info:

Saturday, October 9, El Cerrito Free Folk Festival, Windrush School, El Cerrito. Mark Levy will lead "Sing it in Yiddish" at noon. Ellis Island Old World Folk Band will perform at 1:15pm and give a workshop, "Hands on Klezmer," at 3:00pm. No charge. The Festival runs from noon until 10:00pm. More

Sunday October 10, 5:00-7:00pm, Klezmer Music Workshop with Cookie Segelstein, Fandango Pizza, Palo Alto. Three places remain for this ten-person workshop with violinist Cookie Segelstein, newly arrived in the Bay Area. Cost: $25-$35 (depending on attendance). Registration and more info: Shannon Wells at thesqueedler[at], 650.954.5671.

Sunday, October 31, noon-2:00pm, Klezmer Brunch, Porto Franco Art Parlor, San Francisco. Music by The Gonifs (Jeannette Lewicki, Peter Jaques, Darren Johnston, Daniel Fabricant). Cost: donation $0-$20. Tickets: Vegetarian and vegan food for sale. On second floor; no elevator. More info:, 650.575.2044.

Now through October 31, Compulsion, Berkeley Repertory Theater. Anne Frank - who gets to tell her story? Berkeley Rep presents this world-premiere production. Mandy Patinkin, Tony- and Emmy- Award-winning star of Evita, Criminal Minds, and The Princess Bride, heads up the cast. This powerful play also features a "cast" of marionettes. A mesmerizing story of a man's obsessive journey from passion to compulsion. Tickets start at $34, half that if you're under 30. More info:

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]

Fun Stuff on the Web

If you read Yiddish, check out Etikete (Etiquette), a manual of manners for immigrants, published by Y. Y. Zevin in 1912. With reinforcement from the Talmud and George Washington, Zevin relates the old-world ideal of the mentsh to the American style of moderation and understatement. He also gives tips on dress, table manners, childrearing, and synagogue behavior. This book is yet another good reason to learn Yiddish. (Thanks to the National Yiddish Book Center).

A lively video of Veretski Pass jamming at a recent private party in San Francisco: (Thanks to Chris Strachwitz, owner of Arhoolie Records and Down Home Music in El Cerrito).

The great African-American bass Paul Robeson singing Zog Nit Keynmol, the Jewish Partisans' Song, with pictures from the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, April 19 - May 16, 1943:

Honor Wall

With a gift to KlezCalifornia 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. For a donation of at least $54, we also 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

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. We thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness. 

Here are three new Honor Wall postings:

Reyna Greenfield honors the memory of her mother:
 I am making a contribution in memory of my mom, Anne Raiklen. My mother's parents, who were my grandparents, emigrated from the Ukraine in the early 1900s. They were from a small Yiddish-speaking Jewish shtetl near Odessa. As a child in the Lower East Side of New York, my mother learned Yiddish as her first language. In memory of my mom, this is dedicated to the continuance of the Yiddish language and culture. I am making this contribution today, September 6, on what would have been my mother's birthday. Shalom, Zay gezunt.

Rosie Kaplan honors the memory of her parents: Please accept this donation in memory of my parents, Benny and Fanny Kaplan, who would have been 100 years old this year. With a song in my heart.

Talia Shaham: I am donating in memory of my dear mother, Ruth Gologorsky Rubin, on her firstyortsayt and dear father, Jacob Rubin, on his yortsayt. My mother was a Yiddish speaker and sprinkled my growing-up years with Yiddish phrases, rich cultural experiences with subtle twists and meanings. My father played violin and sang while playing mandolin, guitar or piano. His favorites were old songs in Yiddish and Hebrew. His music flowed into my soul as did my mother's Yiddish. I am so grateful for KlezCalifornia's dedication to the continuation of Yiddish culture and music. May their goals come to fruition!  
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

Thursdays, November 4, 11, 18, 10:00am, "Klezmer 101" with Mark Levy, East Bay Jewish Forum presented by the Jewish Federation at Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland. Individual lectures are $10 each. Full series is 21 lectures for $136. More info: 510.318.6453, rgambert[at]

Saturday, November 13, 8:30pm, Veretski Pass: Music from the Carpathian Bow at Subterranean Arthouse, Berkeley. Two sets, the second with klezmer dancing led by Bruce Bierman. Suggested donation: $10-$20; no-one turned away. More info:

Sunday, November 14, 2:00-4:00pm, Flisik Yidishe Salon, Oakland. More info:flisiksalon[at]

Wednesday, November 17, 7:00 - 8:30pm. "Picturing Russian and East European Jews in Fiction, History and Photography." Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto. Steven Zipperstein, Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford, has published and taught widely on the history of Russian Jewry. His lecture will explore the many ways in which popular memory -- regarding daily life, family, sexuality, politics, and Jewish/non-Jewish relations -- differs from how historians see the past. No charge. More info:, 650.223.8605.