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4641, Circle with kid, Ani WeaverHave the rains stopped? Is it finally Spring (oops, almost Summer) in the Bay Area? Whatever you call it, we look forward to a pleasurable season with lots of Yiddish culture. Check out the items below about sing-alongs and conversation groups, klezmer performances, films, and lectures.


A new section, Farshidns (This 'n That), debuts in this newsletter with a Yiddish proverb-of-the-month (and more). Send a favorite Yiddish proverb, in transliteration with translation, to news[at]  


Dancers in Santa Rosa. Photo by Ani Weaver,  


KlezCalifornia's membership grows each month! We would like to include your friends, so please ask everyone you know who likes Yiddish or klezmer to sign up at If you receive this newsletter, you are a member of KlezCalifornia.  


As you peruse this newsletter, please consider becoming a Contributing Member of KlezCalifornia with a gift of any amount. Although our expenses are minimal, they are not nothing! See how to contribute at the very bottom. A sheynem dank! Thanks!  




Hold the date: The next KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival -- our tenth! -- will take place in San Francisco on President's Day Weekend, February 18-20, 2012. Put this Festival on your calendar now and invite friends and family to visit you in the Bay Area for another fabulous weekend of fun in the Bay Area.


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

If you're a band looking for a musician or vice versa, check out our listings at

Check out our Facebook page here: Find us on Facebook . 
In This Issue
KlezCalifornia Yidisher Salon, Sunday, June 5
Yiddish Words, Poems, Farbrengen, Tuesday, June 7
Yiddish Sing-Along, Sunday, June 19
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in July
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
KlezCalifornia Yidisher Salon

line drawing of people talking


Sunday June 5, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia Yidisher Salonat a private home in Palo Alto.   


This Salon, which has been meeting bi-monthly since last November at various homes on the Peninsula, attracts Yiddish speakers of a wide range of levels. Jon Levitow will lead a discussion of schools and education. Don't be shy! Come have fun with Yiddish! No charge. More info:peninsula[at]


Yiddish Words, Poems, Farbrengen at Tikkun Leyl Shavuot

Tikkun flyer 2011.jpgTuesday, June 7, 6:45pm through dawn on Wednesday, Yiddish Words, Poems, Farbrengen at Tikkun Leyl Shavuot,JCC East Bay, Berkeley.  

KlezCalifornia presents three workshops at this community-wide celebration and night of study, which last year attracted 600 participants. No charge.

· 110 Yiddish Words the Average Puerto Rican New Yorker Knows and You Should Be Ashamed If You Don't, with Harvey Varga, 9:30-10:15pm. Learn how to say a variety of interesting expressions in Yiddish. Learn what the expressions you know really mean. Learn expressions you can use every day in the English-speaking world! If you missed this workshop at our Festivals in Santa Rosa and Palo Alto, and at last year's Tikkun, you have another chance to learn a lot while laughing your head off!

· Malka Heifetz Tussman, one of the last great Yiddish poetswith Marcia Falk, assisted by Harvey Varga, 10:25-11:10pm. Malka Heifetz Tussman, one of the last great Yiddish poets, was born in Ukraine in 1896. She emigrated to Chicago at the age of sixteen, spent much of her life in Los Angeles, and lived her last years in Berkeley until her death in 1987. She published six highly lauded collections of poems, from which Marcia Falk selected and translated one hundred for With Teeth in the Earth: Selected Poems of Malka Heifetz Tussman. Marcia will introduce Tussman's work, then she (with Harvey Varga) will read poems in English and Yiddish, and lead a group discussion.  

· Hasidic songs, dances and stories, with Jhos Singer and Bruce Bierman, 11:20pm-12:05am.
Join Maggid Jhos Singer and Yiddish dance meyven Bruce Bierman for a down home Berkeleyfarbrengen (joyous gathering, in Yiddish). Taste delicious gems of Torah. Listen to some deep stories. Learn some lively Hasidic nigns and Yiddish dances and say a few l'khayim's! No instruments other than the human voice, claps and stomps.


More info:  jcceastbay.orgtikkun[at], 510.375.4263. 

Yiddish Sing-Along

Songbook cover, 3rd editionSunday, June 19, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia Yiddish Sing-Along, at a private home in Berkeley. 

Celebrate publication of the third edition of the KlezCalifornia Yiddish Songbook with a sing-along led by Gerry Tenney. This event will include many folks from the Pamelakh Yidisher Salon, but you don't need to speak Yiddish to participate. Donation requested. Reservations and more info: info[at], 415.789.7679.   


More Sunday sing-alongs will be held as follows: 

· Oakland: July 10, 2:00-4:00pm, led by Judy Kunofsky and Mitchell  


· Palo Alto: August 28, 7:00-9:00pm, led by Karen K. Bergen   

· San Francisco: September 18, 2:00-4:00pm, led by Achi Ben Shalom  

· Guerneville: Date TBD


For your very own, nicely-printed copy of the Songbook, send a donation of $5 ($3 + S/H) to KlezCalifornia, 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley CA 94703 or use a credit card HERE, or take one home from a sing-along for a donation of $3, or download a copy HERE. We look forward to singing with you!

Community Events 

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


Sunday, June 12, 4:00-6:00pm, Klezmer Dance Party and Jam, at the Russian River Senior Center, Guerneville. Presented by Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble and the Russian River Jewish Community (RRJC). Klezmer and Israeli dances led by Roberta Berg. Food provided by RRJC members. $10 donation requested, children $5. Reservations and more info: 707.869.3273. 


Sunday, June 12, 4:00pm, Heather Klein's Inextinguishable (klezmer) Trio, at Congregation Beth Am, Palo Alto. Part of a concert called "From My Travels: Music From Around the World," with classical, klezmer, Middle Eastern music, and more. No charge. More info:, 650.493.4661. 


Saturday, June 25, 12:00noon, Mark Levy Sings, at Presidio Middle School, San Francisco. Mark Levy performs folk songs, including some in Yiddish. Mark will sing songs in Ladino the same day at 3:00pm. Part of the San Francisco Free Folk Festival, June 25 - 26, 12:00noon-10:00pm. Two days of free music and dance workshops, concerts, crafts, vendors, music-making. No charge. More  


Sunday, June 26, 1:00-3:00pm. Monthly Klezmer Brunch, at Porto Franco Art Parlor, San Francisco. Reservations recommended to hear The Gonifs play rocking klezmer music and Yiddish songs about love, justice and potatoes in this intimate all-ages space. Second floor; no elevator. Admission and vegan food for sliding-scale donation, $0-$100. Tickets: More info:sergei[at]   


Sunday, June 26, 2:30pm, 85th Annual Concert of Yiddish Music, at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, San Francisco. This event is presented by the Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco. Suggested donation: $12 general, $6 seniors 65+/students/persons with disabilities. More info:, 415.239.1725.    


On the Web 

Royal wedding processional, klezmer style: Check out (Thanks to Avram Tassa and Larry Becker).   


Jon Levitow's Yiddish class at U.C. Santa Cruz: Nice article in "City on a Hill Press," a student-run newspaper, at (Thanks to Len Rosenberg).   


Yiddish with Dick and Jane: From the best-selling parody by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman comes this hilarious, animated send-up. Look for it at


Farshidns (This 'n That)

Proverb of the month: "It is good to learn shaving on somebody else's beard" (Af a fremder bord iz gut zikh tsu lernen sharn) and also "It is good to stir fire with somebody else's hands" (Mit fremdeh hent iz gut fayer tsu sharn). Polish has several related proverbs, including "It is good to catch reptiles with somebody else's hands" and "It is good to take chestnuts out of the fire with somebody else's hands." (Send your favorite Yiddish proverb, in transliteration with translation, to news[at]

The new CD by Veretski Pass, The Klezmer Shul, will be hot off the presses this month. Veretski Pass (Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, Stu Brotman) developed this piece under KlezCalifornia's auspices and premiered it at our Yiddish Culture Festival in Palo Alto, February 2010. More

Madison KlezKamp: The new Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced the first annual Madison KlezKamp, to be held July 10-14 on the college's campus. It will be similar to its "parent" event, "KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program." More, 608.263.1936, klezkamp[at] (You can join the KlezCalifornia project for a similar event here in Northern California with a very generous five- or six-figure donation at the address in the final section below, Support KlezCalifornia)
Coming in July

Put these exciting events on your calendar now and check back in the July newsletter for more details. For events later on, check out KlezCalifornia's long-term calendar of Yiddish/klezmer events

Monday, July 4, 10:00am, Red Hot Chachkas perform at the "worldOne" Festival, Cerrito Vista Park, El Cerrito. Free festival lasts until 7:00pm. More info:

Sunday, July 10, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Yiddish Sing-Along at a private home in Oakland. Sing-Along combined with the bi-monthly meeting of the KlezCalifornia Flisik Salon, but you don't need to speak Yiddish to come and sing! Donation requested. More info: info[at]

July 21 - August 8. This year's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival includes two films of particular interest to KlezCalifornia members: A new documentary, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, and Tevye, the 1939 classic with Maurice Schwartz. KlezCalifornia co-presents these films. Detailed film schedule will be announced June 21. More info:

Sunday, July 31, 1:00-3:00pm. Monthly Klezmer Brunch, at Porto Franco Art Parlor, San Francisco. Hear The Gonifs perform rocking klezmer music and Yiddish songs. Second floor; no elevator. Admission and vegan food for sliding scale donation, $0-$100. Reservations recommended. Tickets: More info: sergei[at]  

Honor Wall

New Honor Wall posting this month:

Mitchell Shandling: Yes, KlezCalifornia so remarkably promotes our enjoyment of Yiddish-inspired culture. As well, my support commemorates my maternal bobeh/zeydeh, Keyleh and Leyzer Milkman, who provided the music of their heymish Litvak loshn in my childhood. I came into this world hearing these strong gentle Jews sing, but even more speak this beloved language which affords such rich pleasure and learning. As I learn to make my own music in mameloshn, I realize it could never be foreign, as I always remember their music. Zol s'lebn lebedig!

Support KlezCalifornia

Any gift makes you a Contributing Member of KlezCalifornia. You may post on our web Honor Wall (up to 100 words) for one year. This is an appropriate way to honor a loved one or teacher or to write about your own Yiddish heritage. 

Chai imageWe hope Contributing Members can give $54 (3 chai) or more. In appreciation for contributions at this level, we offer you a choice of gifts: A DVD of the wonderful 80-minute film, Yiddish Theater: A Love Story ( or eight beautiful, brightly-colored, 5"x7" music-themed greeting cards designed by Sonoma County Jewish artist Nina Bonos (see the cards HERE).

Make your tax-deductible donation via credit card HERE or with a check to KlezCalifornia at 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley 94703. Your donations help KlezCalifornia keep Bay Area Yiddish culture and community vibrant and thriving.