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Bruce leads dancingIt's zumer-tsayt (summertime),but Bay Area klezmer/Yiddish events have not eased up! We'll look for you at  Yiddish sing-alongs and films. Shall we dance at one of many musical events, indoors and out?  


 Bruce Bierman (in green) leading klezmer dancing.   


KlezCalifornia's membership keeps growing each month! Why not include your friends? Go ahead and ask everyone you know who might develop some interest in Yiddish or klezmer to check

. Getting this newsletter makes you a member of KlezCalifornia. Mazl tov!  


If you enjoy this newsletter, you are encouraged to become a $Contributing Member$ with whatever gift you can afford. Though our expenses are minimal, they are not nothing! See how to contribute at the very bottom. A sheynem dank! Thanks for your generosity!  


Don't miss it! Lomir aleh freylekh zayn: We'll all rejoice at the TENTH KlezCalifornia Festival in San Francisco on President's Day Weekend, February 18-20, 2012. Oy, will we shep nakhes! Mark your calendar now! Invite friends and family to visit you for the latest, great weekend celebrating Yiddish in the Bay Area.


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

Looking for a klezmer to join your band or vice versa? Check out our listings at
Fraynt us on Facebook: Find us on Facebook
In This Issue
Yiddish Sing-Along, Sunday, July 10
Jewish Film Festival
Zoyres & Veretski Pass, Wednesday, July 27
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in August
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia

Yiddish Sing-Along

Songbook cover, 3rd editionSunday, July 10, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Yiddish Sing-Along, at a private home in Oakland.  


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


More Sunday sing-alongs coming soon:    

· 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 $3 donation. Lomir aleh zingn!  


Yiddish inspirations at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 


At this year's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 21 - August 8, KlezCalifornia co-presents two films:


Sholem Aleichem pictureSholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness

 FREE Matinees:

· Castro Theatre - Tuesday, July 26th at 1:30pm

· Roda Theatre at the Berkeley Rep - Tues, August 2, 2:30pm

· Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto - Wed., August 3, 4:00pm


The new documentary, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, (2011, 93 mins.) will have its West Coast premiere at the Jewish Film Festival. Sholem Aleichem chronicled the wrenching shifts that dramatically reshaped eastern European Jewry by the early 20th century. Often referred to as the "Jewish Mark Twain," Aleichem came of age as the cloistered culture of the shtetl was being punctured by an increasingly international urban economy. Industrial production displaced small-town craftsmen and the younger generation was being pulled by a desire to assimilate into Russian culture. Aleichem captured these challenges with an acerbic humor that was evident at the age of 13 when he created an alphabetic glossary of the epithets that his stepmother frequently hurled at him and his siblings. The film interweaves excerpts from Sholem Aleichem's work (read by actors Peter Riegert and Rachel Dratch) with interviews, photographs and archival footage. In English and Yiddish (with English subtitles).   


Tevye picture


· Castro Theatre - Wednesday, July 27th, 1:20pm

· Roda Theatre at the Berkeley Rep - Wed, August 3,


Tickets $11; $10.50 for seniors/students. 


Tevye, the 1939 classic (96 mins.), stars and was directed by Maurice Schwartz. When you read the short stories, monologues and novels of Sholem Aleichem (the pen name of Sholem Rabinovitch, 1859-1916), the colorful characters seem to spring off the page and get a life of their own. Yet this prolific Yiddish author struggled with the dramatization of his own work, which often flopped on the New York Yiddish stage. For that reason, the great Jacob P. Adler refused to play Tevye the Milkman. Luckily, Maurice Schwartz, actor/director of the Yiddish Art Theater, later produced and starred in the play, eventually adapting it for this classic film, shot in New Jersey. The dialogues alone will delight anyone with an affinity for Yiddish language and culture, and Tevye's struggle to uphold tradition in the face of social tumult remains archetypal. The movie, though, reflects Schwartz's concerns in 1939 more than it does Sholem Aleichem's at the turn of the century. In Yiddish with English subtitles. 


Tickets and more info: 415.621.0523,



Zoyres & Veretski Pass at Yoshi's Lounge, San Francisco  


Wednesday, July 27, 9:00pm-midnight, Zoyres Eastern European Wild Ferment and Veretski Pass.

Featuring klezmer dancing with Bruce Bierman. At Yoshi's, San Francisco, in the Lounge.


Dance to two distinctive and adventurous takes on Eastern European music! Zoyres performs original and Eastern European traditional music (klezmer, Balkan, etc.), approaching these from both a "traditional" and stretched out /experimental framework.  


Veretski Pass offers a distinctive combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that excites concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country Music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. 


This performance, co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia, is part of Global Movement Wednesdays presented by Bay Vibes. Doors open 8:30pm. Tickets: $10. More info:

, 415.655.5600.  


Community Events 

Look over the one-time events following. A current list of activities is available to you any time



Saturday, July 2, 5:00pm, Cradle Duende, (klezmer/flamenco-hop). At Starlite Vineyards, Geyserville. Tickets: $25. All ages welcome. More info:



Sunday, July 3, 8:00pm, Veretski Pass with Bruce Bierman. Dance lesson, klezmer concert, and dance party. At Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley. Doors open 7:30pm. More

, 510.525.5054. 


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:



Thursday, July 28, 8:00pm, Cradle Duende (klezmer/flamenco-hop). At O'Mally's Irish Pub, Sacramento. For ages 21+. Admission: $3. More info: 916.492.1230. 

On the Web 


The Tailor: A charming, six-minute tale of similarities amid diversity in which culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street. At

 (thanks to Rivka Greenberg and Vic Weisser). Parental discretion advised.


Farshidns (This 'n That)

Proverb of the month:  If one holds oneself too low, the other person tramples upon ones head (Az men halt zikh tsu niderik, tret yener afn kop). Polish has two related proverbs: "Who sits low, has not got anything to fall from." and "Who has low aspirations, will not come high." A related German proverb is "Who holds himself low, does not hit his head (stays safe)." Send your favorite Yiddish proverb, in transliteration with translation, to news[at]

Coming in August

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

Thursday, August 4, 6:00-7:30pm, Kugelplex, part of Let's Go Dance @ Jessie Square, in front of the Contemporary Jewish Museum at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco. With Bruce Bierman, dance leader. No charge. More info:

Sunday, August 7, 4:00-6:00pm, Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble Dance/Jam, at the Russian River Senior Center, Guerneville. Sponsored by Russian River Jewish Community. More info: 707.869.3273.

Sunday, August 7, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia Peninsula Yiddish Salon, in San Mateo. Shmoozingand noshing in Yiddish for speakers of all levels. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679,peninsula[at]

Sunday, date TBD, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia East Bay Pamelakh Salon, location TBD. Relaxed conversation in Yiddish (plus noshing) for speakers at an intermediate level. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679, pamelakh[at]

Beginning mid-August, Yiddish Literature in Translation, taught by Loretta DennerAt JCC Sonoma County, Santa Rosa. Read classic works of Sholem Aleichem, I.L. Peretz, I.B. Singer, and poet Kadya Molodowsky. The two-hour class will go for 4 or 6 weeks, depending on interest. Fee: $18. More info:lorluba[at]

Friday, August 26 - Sunday, August 28, Nigunim Chorus Weekend Retreat, with Achi Ben Shalom,  other music teachers, and dance leader Bruce Bierman. At River Bend Retreat Center, near Philo in Mendocino County. Activities will include Yiddish singing and klezmer dancing. More info:mail[at]

Sunday, August 28, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia Yiddish Sing-Along, led by Karen K. Bergen, in Palo Alto. Donation requested. More info: info[at], 415.789.7679.

Honor Wall

New Honor Wall
 posting this month:

Rivka, Larry, Rone and Mitch: We honor our mothers, Bea and Dubbie, and our grandparents, Sarah and Saul, who all spoke Yiddish in their homes. We, the children and grandchildren, benefited and are enriched from having been raised in Yiddishkayt-loving households, ever nourished by the words, humor and sounds of Yiddish, the tastes and smells of heymish food, with lots of joy, laughter and love. 

Support KlezCalifornia

Any gift makes you a Contributing Member of KlezCalifornia and 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.