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Wow! This month, start getting ready for the KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival at JCC San Francisco, February 18-20, 2012! Thirty (30!) events in December offer you opportunities to warm up your dancing shoes and ears and instruments,from Sacramento to Santa Cruz, Occidental to Santa Clara, San Francisco to Danville. Bring lots of klezmer and Yiddish into your life! Please help spread the word about the Festival!


Yiddish Culture FestivalThe Festival will feature a concert Saturday evening with The Klez-X led by violinist Daniel Hoffman (visiting from Israel), followed by a dance party with Steve Weintraub, and a free Community Yiddish Sing-Along Sunday evening with both Sharon Bernstein and Adrienne Cooper! In 56 fun workshops, you can play klezmer music, sing in Yiddish, dance klezmer-style, study Yiddish language and literature, explore Eastern European Jewish history, and more. Join us for this simkheh inspired by Yiddish culture!  Details will be online December 15 at and at     


Chai image 

Does your money talk? In Yiddish? Teach your money a bisl (a little) Yiddish this month by supporting KlezCalifornia! Not to shock, but your donations are essential to keep our community up and dancing. And shmuesing(talking, in Yinglish), reading, playing and singing. Donating is easy with your check or credit card. Details at the bottom of this newsletter.



MenorahsKhanikeh, oy Khanikeh, come light our menorah with a gift honoring someone special on the KlezCalifornia Honor Wall. Details at the bottom of this newsletter! 

Or light the way for someone you love with gift tickets to theKlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival. Festival ticket sales will begin December 15 at and Klez-X concert tickets are already on sale. All three days (not including the concert) go for$130 adults, $120 JCCSF members, $75 teens, $50 youth 6-12. Such a deal! Workshops will be $25 adults, $22 JCCSF members, $15 teens, $10 youth 6-12. Workshops free on Shabes. 




Calendar of upcoming Yiddish-inspired events:     

Looking for a klezmer to join your band or vice versa? Check out our listings at
Like us on Facebook: Find us on Facebook . 
In This Issue
Yiddish Sing-Along, Sunday, December 4
Yiddish Conversation Salon, Sunday, December 4
Family Workshop, Sunday, December 11
Hanukkah Community Celebration, Thursday, December 22
Klezmer Brass Band for Khanikeh, Thursday, December 22
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in January
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia

Yiddish Sing-Along  


Songbook cover, 3rd editionSunday, December 4, 2:00-5:00pm, KlezCalifornia Yiddish Concert & Sing-Along, Sonoma County. Concert with Laurie Lippin & Gale Kissin. Sing-along led by KlezCalifornia's own Judy Kunofsky and Mitchell Shandling, celebrating publication of KlezCalifornia's new Songbook with transliterations of your favorite Yiddish songs. At a private home in West Sebastopol. Refreshments provided. No charge but donations appreciated.  


More than thirty people have already rsvp'ed, making this our largest sing-along this year! More info and reservations: 415.789.7679,info[at]  



Yiddish Conversation Salon  


line drawing of people talking

Sunday, December 4, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia Peninsula Yidisher Salon, at a private home in San Mateo. This all-levels Yiddish conversation group meets every other month. Facilitated by Jon Levitow, who teaches Yiddish at Stanford and U.C. Santa Cruz. No charge. More info: peninsula[at]klezcalifornia.org415.789.7679.  

Family Workshop of Stories and Songs 


OMJCC, Hanukkah Festival 2011Sunday, December 11, 12:00-12:45pm & 1:30-2:15pm, KlezCalifornia presents a family workshop of Khanikehstories and songs with Gerry Tenney, at the Osher Marin JCC Festival of Lights, 12:00noon-3:00pm. Food for purchase, games, crafts, shows, artisan marketplace, kid zone, Miracle of Light dark room. Separate program 9:30-11:30am for families with kids 0-3 and their siblings. The entire Festival is free. Visit the KlezCalifornia table to say hello!  More info:  

Hanukkah Community Celebration 


Achi's Hanukkah event iconThursday, December 22, 7:30pm, Third Annual Hanukkah Community Celebration, presented by the Nigunim Chorus. Candle lighting, sing-along, klezmer and Israeli dancing, food. Performances by the Nigunim Community Chorus, Adama Band, Gerry Tenney and the Lost Tribe Bluegrass Band, and Yiddish singer Heather Klein accompanied by Achi Ben Shalom. At JCC East Bay, in Berkeley. All ages welcome. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia.  


Advance ticket purchase recommended, as last year's event sold out.Tickets: $15, children under 16 free. More info: nigunim.org510.528.8872. Tickets:  


Klezmer Brass Band for Khanikeh


Mike P. and Klezmer Brass.jpgThursday, December 22, 9:00pm, Klezmer Brass Band & Orkestar Sali at Subterranean Arthouse, Berkeley. LightKhanikeh candles (bring your own), nosh, and dance on the third night of the Festival of Lights. The concert will open with the debut of a new klezmer brass band featuring members of Inspector Gadje and close with Turkish-Romani/Bulgarian music by drummer and vocalist Rumen 'Sali' Shopov with Peter Jaques, Dan Cantrell, Evan Stuart. Dave Rosenfeld will lead dancing. Edible treats by Shayna Marmar of Honeypie Cooking. Tickets: $15-$30 suggested donation, no-one turned away. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. More  


Community Events 

Here are more one-time events and series you may find of interest. A list of activities is always available at In this month's listings, Khanikeh = Hanukkah = Chanukah, etc. 


Thursday, December 1, 11:00am-1:00pm, KLEZMANIA! Concert. Celebrate the traditions of a jazzyKhanikeh with jazz, klezmer, world music, and more. At San Francisco State University, Cesar Chavez Student Center downstairs in The Depot, San Francisco. Open to the public. No charge.   


Thursday, December 1, 7:00pm, Opening Party for Tikva Records: The First Pop-Up Jewish Record Store in the World. An eclectic series of music performances, film screenings, academic lectures, comedians, remix workshops, food trucks, and more, at 3191 Mission Street, San Francisco. Store continues through December 28. See below for event on Tuesday, December 13. Events free with a rotating suggested donation. Advance ticket reservations recommended via Eventbrite. More  


Saturday, December 10, 8:00-10:00pm, Zoyres & Charming Hostess, Holiday Show with Winter Songs (and sauerkraut!), at Subterranean Arthouse, Berkeley. $15-$30 suggested donation, no one turned away. More info:   


Sunday, December 11, 4:00pm, Kugelplex in Let Us Break Bread Together, A Holiday Celebrationat Oakland's Paramount Theater. Features Oakland East Bay Symphony, Oakland Symphony Chorus, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Mt. Eden High School Choir, klezmer band Kugelplex and a special guest appearance by Joan Baez. Tickets: $20, $35, $45; $15 for youth under 18. Tickets and more info:HERE.  


Sunday, December 11, 6:00pm, Hardly Strictly Khanikeh Party with the Klezmakers. At Mission City Coffee Roasting Company, Santa Clara. Purchase light dinners, bakery items, hot/cold beverages and beer and wine at the cafe. Tickets $10 at the door. More info: missioncitysc.com408.261.2221.   

Sunday, December 11, 7:30pm, Chava Alberstein in Concert, at the Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto. Tickets: $40 JCC members and students, $45 non-members in advance, $50 at the door, space permitting. More info:

Sunday, December 11, 7:30-8:30pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Cardinal Point at Mariner Square (Senior Living), 2431 Mariner Square Drive, Alameda, 94501. Free and open to the public. More info:


Tuesday, December 13, 7:00pm, The Klezmatics, at Harlow's Restaurant + Nightclub, Sacramento. Tickets: $25. More info:  


Tuesday, December 13, 7:30-8:30pm, Sam Hoffman and Eric Spiegelman, producers of the Old Jews Telling Jokes website, at Tikva Records: The First Pop-Up Jewish Record Store in the World, San Francisco. See December 1, above, for more details. Events free with a rotating suggested donation; advance ticket reservations recommented via Eventbrite. More info:,

Wednesday, December 14, 8:00pm, The Klezmatics, at Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz. Tickets: $18/$20. More info: HERE.

Thursday, December 15, 8:00pm, The Klezmatics, at Freight & Salvage, Berkeley. Tickets $26.50 in advance, $28.50 at door. More info: thefreight.org510.644.2020


Saturday, December 17, 12noon-2:00pm, Jubilee Klezmer Band performs at Marin Country Mart Farmers' Market, Larkspur. Farmers' Market is open 9:00am-2:00pm. No charge. Old World Food Truck will be selling Jewish soul food. More info: marincountrymart.commichaela[at]

Saturday, December 17, 8:00pm, Pomegranates & Figs: Teslim, Eliyahu & The Qadim Ensemble, Veretski Pass, The Oakland Folkharmonic, at Freight & Salvage, Berkeley. Tickets $22.50 in advance $24.50 at door. More info: thefreight.org510.644.2020


Saturday December 17, 8:00pm, The Klezmatics at Sebastopol Community Cultural Center,., Sebastopol. Presented by the JCC, Sonoma County.Tickets: $30 premium, $25 general advance, $28 general door. Tickets and more info:

Saturday, December 17, 8:00-10:00pm, Ben Brussell's KLEZMANIA!, Album Release Concert with Old First Concerts, San Francisco. The program will include traditional sing-a-long Khanikeh songs, klezmer, Yiddish folk songs, some Israeli songs, and some original klezmer songs as well. More

Sunday, December 18, 2:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. Pleasanton Public Library, in the Meeting Room. No charge and no reservations needed. Tickets will be given out at 1:00pm and doors open at 1:15pm. Arrive early to find parking and secure a seat. More info:    


Sunday, December 18, 2:00-4:00pm, Re-Kindling the Flame Together! A Khanikeh Celebration & Potluck presented by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, at San Francisco State University Labor Archive, San Francisco. Includes a performance by members of the San Francisco Jewish Folk Chorus and a sing-along (in Yiddish and English) of several Khanikeh and labor songs. No charge. Rsvps and more info:415.566.7235dmscott01[at]   


Sunday, December 18, 4:00pm, Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble with special guest singer Alby Kass in a concert of klezmer and Israeli music and dance at Occidental Center for the Arts, Occidental. Tickets: $10 general; $8 seniors; children under 12 free. More info:

Sunday, December 18, 4:30-6:30pm, Which Way West concert, with the Chelm Feelharmonic Klezmer Ensemble (Mike Perlmutter, Gerry Tenney, Nada Lewis, and Rick Elmore), at Bird and Beckett Books and Records, San Francisco. More info:

Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21, 7:30pm, Khanikeh Pop-Up Dinner & Party,at La Victoria Bakery and Café, San Francisco. Dinner: $40/person, presented by Old World Food Truck. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Menu, ticket sales and more info at:

Wednesday, December 21, 5:00-7:00pm, The Ben & Jerry Show (Khanikeh and Yiddish music sing-along) with Ben Brussell on mandolin and vocals and Jerry Stucker on guitar. At the Reutlinger Community For Jewish Living, Danville. Full dinner plus entertainment. Open to the public but seating limited; must make reservations.Tickets: approximately $12. Reservations and more info:925.964.2076


Friday, December 23, 7:15pm, Freylekh Latkeh Dinner and Dance Party with Bruce Bierman, and Lior Ben-Hur and his band Sol Tevel. At Congregation Sherith Israel, San Francisco. Dance party of klezmer, Yemenite, Moroccan, Ladino, Yiddish swing, salsa, Israeli folk dance and more. Evening begins at 6:00pm with Shabbat and Khanikeh service. Dinner: $18/adult, $10/child 5 and older, also family pricing. Reservations for dinner and more info: Lisa Hoelle, 415.346.1720 X24lhoelle[at]

Friday, December 23, 8:15-9:45pm, Klezmer Shabbat at Sha'ar Zahav, San Francisco. Sing familiar synagogue tunes melded with klezmer rhythms and melodies, dance, and eat and drink! Cantor Sharon Bernstein will join with klezmorim Stuart Brotman (on bass), Sheldon Brown (on clarinet), and Yael Schy (on feet ... leading dancing). No charge. More info: shaarzahav.org415.861.6932.   

Sunday, December 25, roughly 11:00am-4:00pm, Klezmer Street Party in front of Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen, Berkeley. More info: 510.848.3354.    

On the Web 


Humorous sketch about an American congregation choosing a khazn (cantor): (Thanks to Ani Weaver). 


Surprise at a khaseneh (wedding) (Thanks to Len Rosenberg).   


Free on-line Yiddish language learning series, "A Shmek Yidish - A Taste of Yiddish"


Farshidns (This 'n That)

Proverb of the month: When one chops wood, chips fall (Az men hakt holts, faln shpendlekh). The intent of the proverb is: For some actions, expect collateral damage (Thanks to Ben Parket). Send your favorite Yiddish proverb, in transliteration with translation, to news[at]

Coming in January

Put these exciting events on your calendar now and check the January newsletter for more details. You can always check out KlezCalifornia's long-term calendar at

Beginning Tuesday, January 17, M-W 10:00am-12noon, F 10:00-11:00am, Intermediate Yiddish
(Yiddish 102, CC# 37903) taught by Dr. Yael Chaver. Advanced grammar and introduction to the reading of literary texts. The course offers insights into Yiddish culture and society through customs, folk tales, proverbs, music, culinary traditions, etc. Small class size enables more individualized instruction and in-depth discussions. More info: ychaver[at]

Sunday, January 8, 4:45pm, "100 Yiddish Words in the Average New York Puerto Rican Vocabulary (and if you don't know them you should be ashamed of yourself!!)" with Harvey Varga, presented by KlezCalifornia at Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa. Preceded by wine and cheese reception at 4:00pm. More info: 707.253.7305cbsnapa.orgoffice[at]

Thursday, January 12, Time TBD, Michael Winograd Klezmer Trio & Veretski Pass,
at Ashkenaz, Berkeley. Price TBD. More info: ashkenaz.com510.525.5054.

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Salon, for fluent and native Yiddish speakers, at a private home in El Cerrito. No charge. More info: flisiksalon[at]klezcalifornia.org415.789.7679.

Saturday, January 28, 7:00pm, Klezmer Dancing with Dave Rosenfeld, live music with The Klezmakers. Part of the Feast of Jewish Learning/South Peninsula Night of Jewish Unity, at Oshman Family JCC (Palo Alto). Multi-generational event for all above bar/bas mitzveh age. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info at

Saturday, January 28, 8:00pm, Cantor Unplugged with Sharon Bernstein: Journey from Yiddish Theater to Tin Pan Alley and Broadway. Details TBD.

Monday, January 30, 7:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band, at the Kensington Library, Kensington. No charge. More info: musikers.com510.433.2900. Library: 510.524.3043, .

Honor Wall

New Honor Wall postings this month:

Preeva Tramiel: Donates in memory of Chaya Adler.

Betty Albert-Schreck: 
I wish to honor my parents Pearl (Ray) Albert and Jack Albert. They were both European born and spoke Yiddish as their first language. They had tremendous love and respect forYiddishkayt and raised their daughters to love their music and culture. My father was a beautiful singer, both in the "village style" and in the New York Jewish Philaharmonic Chorus. I thank him for his love and time spent teaching me many Yiddish songs, and translating them in his own special way.

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 a fine 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.