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Three klezmorim

If you are reading this newsletter on Friday, December 31, we would like to remind you that there are only a few hours left in which to make a tax-deductible donation in 2010 to KlezCalifornia! We warmly appreciate every gift. Click HEREto donate with a credit card.

Join the fun at the first North Bay KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival, part of Simcha Sunday, JCC Sonoma County's Festival Celebrating All Things Jewish. Come to the Veterans Memorial Hall, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa on Sunday, February 27, noon-5:30pm, for great fun! Folks are coming from Sacramento and Los Angeles, so why not you, too?

Simcha Sunday ($5 admission, free for pre-teens) will include a YIddish song performance at noon with Sharon Bernstein. The free Youth Program will be led by Yiddishist and children's entertainer (and KlezCalifornia President) Gerry Tenney, who will provide stories, singing, Yiddish words and music-making for kids 6-12. The Youth Program will also include stories with The PJ Library and all-day crafts.

KlezCalifornia presents workshop sessions and a dance party. Bring instruments! Wear dancing shoes! Come with your voices and warm hearts, friends and family!

1:00-2:30pm, Workshops 
-- Learn Yiddish Songs (Sharon Bernstein) 
-- Why Jews -- including your family -- left Eastern Europe for the U.S. in the late 1800s/early 1900s, lecture and discussion (Ken Blady)
-- Klezmer Technique, beginner to intermediate (Cookie Segelstein)
-- Klezmer Technique, advanced (Stu Brotman, Joshua Horowitz)

2:45-4:15pm, Workshops 
-- Klezmer Dance Lesson (Bruce Bierman) 
-- 110 Yiddish Words the average Puerto Rican New Yorker knows and you should be ashamed if you don't (Harvey Varga)
-- Play Klezmer Tunes, beginning to intermediate (Stu Brotman, Joshua Horowitz)
-- Play Klezmer Tunes, advanced (Cookie Segelstein)

4:30-5:30pm, Klezmer Music and Dance Party 
For all ages! Music by internationally renowned Veretski Pass (Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, Stu Brotman) with dancing led by Bruce Bierman. Other musicians are welcome to join the band! 

More details about the Yiddish Culture Festival are at

Adults: $5 admission plus $15/one session, $25/two sessions, $35/three sessions 
Teens: $5 admission plus $10/one session, $17/two sessions, $24/three sessions
Children under 13: Free admission to Simcha Sunday, Youth Program and Dance Party.

To register in advance with a credit card or check (and save time at the door), go to
To register at the door: Cash or checks preferred!

Bring your friends and family! If you don't live in Sonoma County, carpool if possible. Questions aboutSimcha Sunday? Contact the JCC at 707.528.4222, office[at] Questions about workshops or the dance party? Contact KlezCalifornia at 415.789.7679, info[at],

See you in Santa Rosa!

Long-term calendar of Yiddish/klezmer events, classes and jams:     

If you're a band looking for a musician or vice versa, check out our listings below and
In This Issue
Flisik Yidisher Salon, Sunday, Jan. 16, San Mateo
Hungry for Yiddish?, Sunday, Jan. 23 & Jan. 30
Feast of Jewish Learning, Saturday, Jan. 29
Community Events
Fun Stuff on the Web
Wanted! Musicians & Artists
Coming in February
Yidisher Salon far Flisik Reders 

line drawing of people talkingSunday, January 16, 2:00-4:00pm, Yidisher Salon far Flisik Reders, San Francisco

This Salon, for native and fluent Yiddish speakers, will be in San Francisco. Tell your friends! No charge. More info:flisik[at]

Hungry for Yiddish? A Mitzvah Project

Hungry for Yiddish logoHeather Klein presents Hungry for Yiddish? A Mitzvah Project,Yiddish/Jewish/world music and art to raise money for the San Francisco Food Bank and help feed the hungry. KlezCalifornia is a co-sponsor.  

Sunday, January 23, 6:00-8:00pm, San Mateo, at Peninsula Temple Beth El, with The Red Hot Chachkas, The Klezmakers, Achi Ben Shalom, Heather Klein's Inextinguishable Trio, Yumi Thomas, Alla Gladysheva, Be'eri Moalem, Aaron Kierbel, and Marisa Binder. Bruce Bierman will lead dancing. Art by Lynn Silton, and Maya and Talia Turkenitz. Tickets: $10 at the door. Bring canned food to donate!

Sunday, January 30, 4:00-6:00pm, Berkeley, at JCC of the East Bay, with Janam, Heather Klein's Inextinguishable Trio, Mike Perlmutter, Dave Rosenfeld, Marguerite Ostro, Jeanette Lewicki, Marisa Binder, Yumi Thomas, Alla Gladysheva, and Aaron Kierbel. Bruce Bierman will lead dancing. Tickets: $10 at the door. 

More info:
Hlaurenklein[at], 702.498.1999.
Klezmer Music and Dance at Feast of Jewish Learning

Feast of Jewish LearningSaturday, January 29, 7:00-10:30pm, Feast of Jewish Learning, Palo Alto.

Join hundreds of inquisitive minds for communityHavdoleh (7:00pm) followed by dozens of exciting classes and interactive workshops on Jewish texts, history, poetry, literature, dance, song and film. 

The first session (7:30-8:30pm) includes a performance by the Yiddish Choristers and a Jewish dance workshop led by Bruce Bierman. The second session (8:45-9:45pm) includes a klezmer dance party with Bruce Bierman and music by The Klezmakers. The Oneg at 9:45pm includes more music by The Klezmakers.

At the Oshman Family JCC. The Feast is for those at least bar/bas mitzveh age, and is co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. Say hello to us in the dance workshops or at the KlezCalifornia booth! No charge. More info:, 415.751.6983 X 223.

Community Events

See the many one-time events, classes, and projects below. This list of activities, and more, is available to you any time at

Tuesdays, starting January 4, 7:30-9:30pm, Beginner's Yiddish
The course will focus on conversational Yiddish with examples from the works of Yiddish writers Sholem Aleichem and Mendele Moykher Sforim. At the Oshman Family JCC, Room G100, Palo Alto. More info: Contact KlezCalifornia, 415.789.7679, info[at]

Thursday, January 6, 8:30pm, Veretski Pass, Jewish Music from the Carpathian Bow. Bruce Bierman will lead klezmer dancing. At Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley. Admission: $10. More info:, 510.525.5054.

Thursday, January 6, 8:00pm, Michael Winograd Klezmer Trio, from New York. At Hillel at Stanford. No charge. More info:

Friday January 7, 9:00pm. Michael Winograd Klezmer Trio, Revolution Cafe, Mission District, San Francisco. 3248 22nd Street. Free entry, $10 suggested donation. More info: 415.642.0474,

Saturday, January 8, 6:30-10:00pmThird Annual Netivot Shalom Music Festival, with the Netivot Shalom Jazz-Klez Band, Yiddish singer/cantor Martha Birnbaum, and many other performers. Tickets only at the door: $20 adult, $15 senior, $5 youth/teens. Dinner, desserts, and drinks for sale, plus raffle (prizes include pass to KlezCalifornia Festival February 27). More info: community[at]

Tuesday, January 11, 7:00pm, Michael Winograd Klezmer Trio with Veretski Pass, House Concert at Edible Root, 463 Ellita Avenue, Oakland 94610. $10 suggested donation, no-one turned away for lack of funds. More info: rob.shelton[at]

Wednesday, January 12, 8:00pm, A Night of Jewish Jokes -- Where They've Been and Where They're Going. This evening of one-liners, monologues, scholarship, and lots of laughs tracks the evolution of the Jewish joke from its 18th century roots through modern times. Performers are young Jewish-Vietnamese comic Joe Nguyen; monologist Jeff Raz; U.C. Berkeley Jewish Joke expert Mel Gordon, who traces the 300-year history of the Jewish joke; and a Jewish joke "open mic." At Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley. Tickets: $18.50 advance ($20.50 at the door). More, 510.644.2020.   

Mondays, January 24 - May 9, 5:10-7:55pm, Yiddish History, Literature, and Society, a new course (Jewish Studies 530) offered at San Francisco State University and taught by Donny Inbar, Ph.D. The course will introduce students to the literary and social background of Yiddish culture, including significant authors and poets such as Sholem Aleichem, I. Y. Peretz, and Kadya Molodowsky, and the relationship of this culture to Jewish and American history. Yiddish language and its traditions, brought to America by East European immigrants, played a significant role in the development of the nation's social and artistic growth over the past 150 years. A gift from the Northern California Branch of the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring is making this course possible. Enrollment is open to SFSU students and to community members who arrange to study through one of the following:
  • Elder College, $55, with instructor's permission, for those over 50. (, use registration code CE 8900)                 
  • Over 60 Degree Program (415.338.1113, ugadmit[at]
  • Open University ($825) (, sfsucel[at], 415.405.7700, option 5).
Even if you have not registered in advance, come to the first class. More info: Fred Astren, 415.338.6075, or Diana Scott, 415.566.7235. 

Sunday, January 30, noon-2:00pm, Klezmer Brunch with Veretski Pass. Vegetarian and vegan food for sale. At Porto Franco Art Parlor, San Francisco. On the second floor; no elevator. Tickets: donation of $0-$100 at More info:, 650.575.2044.

Sunday, January 30, 2:00pm, Songs and Poems of Hirsh Glik, read by translators Jack Hirschman and Zachary Baker. Vilna ghetto author Glik wrote the Partisan Hymn and other songs and poems of Jewish resistance. Presented by the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring at the SFSU Labor Archive, 480 Winston Drive, San Francisco. Refreshments served. No charge. More info: 415.566.7235,DMScott01[at]

Sunday, January 30, 3:00-4:30pm, Klezmer/Yiddish Kids' Show with Gerry Tenney and California Klezmer. At Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley. Admission: $6 adults, $4 kids. More info:, 510.525.5054.

Fun Stuff on the Web

Illustrated Yiddish proverbs, aphorisms, insults, curses, and other folk sayings, in Yiddish with transliteration and English translation, at (Thanks to Jon Levitow and Les Plack).

Yiddish Word of the Week at, with definition, synonyms, etymology, phrases using the word, and clip of a native Yiddish speaker using the word in conversation (Thanks to Howard Freedman).

Shpilt es eyn mol, Sam! Who can resist Yiddish Casablanca?  Check out (Thanks to Henry Hirsch Carrey).

Wanted! Musicians & Artists

SINGERS WANTED FOR NIGUNIM CHORUS: Achi Ben Shalom's Nigurnim Chorus is starting a new season, now in three locations: 

-- Mondays, 7:30pm, JCC East Bay, Berkeley, starting January 10

-- Tuesdays, 7:30pm, Congregation Ner Tamid, San Francisco, starting January 11

-- Thursdays, 7:30pm, Contra Costa JCC, Walnut Creek, starting January 20.

The Chorus sings in all Jewish languages, including Yiddisih. More info: mail[at],, 510.528.8872.

Coming in February

Put these exciting events on your calendar now and check back in the February newsletter for more details. For events even further into the future, check out the long-term calendar of Yiddish/klezmer events at

Sunday, February 6, 10:30-2:30pm, Belonging Without Believing: Engaging Secular Jewish Culture. Keynote conversation with David Biale and Michael Krasny, seven workshops, and a closing performance, You Go Yahweh, I'll Go Mine, by Josh Kornbluth. Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica at JCC San Francisco. Pre-registration $15 without lunch, $25 with lunch. Door admission (without lunch) $25. More info:

Sunday, February 6, Pamelakh Yidisher Salon, Palo Alto. More info: peninsula[at]

Friday, February 11, 8:00pm, Esn: A Shabbat Concert with Cooking, with Frank London, Adrienne Cooper, Lorin Sklamberg, performing and cooking matzo brei, cholent, and khaleh at JCCSF, San Francisco. Tickets $32/$37 for JCC members, $36/$41 public. KlezCalifornia is a community partner for this event. More info: HERE, 415.292.1233.

Sunday, February 13, 7:30pm, Esn, at Oshman Family JCC. Palo Alto. See above for description. Tickets: $32 JCC members and students, $36 non-members in advance. KlezCalifornia is a community partner for this event. More info: HERE, 800.838.3006.

Sunday, February 13, Pamelakh Yidisher Salon, East Bay. For intermediate Yiddish speakers. Conversation facilitated by Ben & Helen Stern. More info: pamelakh[at]

Monday, February 14, noon-1:30pm, Yiddish Music with Gerry Tenney, vegetarian lunch buffet, at Congregation Shomrei Torah. Tickets: $10 members of JCC Sonoma County Friendship Circle, $12 non-members. Rsvp by February 10, noon, to friendshipcircle[at], 707.528.1476. 

Friday, February 25, Time TBD, Yiddish Rock-and-Roll Dance Party, presented by KlezCalifornia at Sonoma State Hillel. Open to the public. More info at:

Sunday, February 27, noon-5:30pm. KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival with JCC Sonoma County's Simcha Sunday, Santa Rosa. See first story above! Tickets: $5 entrance into Simcha Sunday plus $15/one session, $25/two sessions, $35/three sessions. Discount for teens. Scholarships and group discounts available. More info:

Monday, February 28, 8:00pm, Bank Machines, Board Games, and Books: The Yiddish Consumer Culture of Contemporary Hasidim, a lecture by Jeffrey Shandler, Professor of Jewish Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. At Koret Pavilion - Hillel at Stanford.