Newsletter‎ > ‎



large group of people dancingJust two weeks until our fabulous Yiddish Culture Festival at JCC San Francisco on Presidents' Day Weekend, February 18-20!  


Whether you're an instrumentalist, singer, dancer, Yiddish speaker, or someone interested in klezmer music, Yiddish literature, Eastern European Jewish history, or the interaction of musical cultures, there's plenty for you at the Yiddish Culture Festival! For all the details go

.                                                                                                            Wild dancing at Festival January 2007 at JCCSF

Here's how to make this the best Festival ever:


(1) Register NOW! (Early registrations help us sleep better at night!) Follow the instructions

 today to ensure you order the delicious meals before the meal payment deadline of February 13. To request a scholarship, download the application form and get it to us by February 10.  


(2) Encourage your friends and family to join you at this terrific multi-generational simkheh! Let us know at info[at] if you would like multiple Festival postcards to give or send to others. 


(3) Help get the word out through Facebook: First, post on your own page that you are coming to the Festival. Second, "like" the KlezCalifornia page AND the Yiddish Culture Festival page. Third, share the Festival on your wall, and invite your FB friends to invite their friends as well. 


(4) Let us offer you volunteer opportunities. We need help all day and particularly first thing Sunday and Monday mornings. We would like to borrow CD/cassette players (boomboxes or better) with decent sound, good quality audio recording devices (iPhones?) (and volunteers to record workshop sessions), and one of those things that holds five marking pens and with which you draw a musical staff on a flip chart or white board. Contact Rivka at volunteer[at]

The Klez-X in 6 panels.jpgFestival Highlights:

Four FREE workshops Shabbes, 2:00-5:15pm.

THE KLEZ-X reunion concert, with Daniel Hoffman from Israel, Saturday 8:00pm, followed by dance party with klezmer dance master Steve Weintraub. 
FREE Sunday Yiddish Sing-Along, lyric books provided, 5:00-6:30pm, led by Sharon Bernstein, with musical accompaniment by Stuart Brotman, Jim Rebhan, and Gerry Tenney.

Workshops with experts in klezmer dance, songs, proverbs and phrases, Yiddish literature in translation, East European Jewish history, and more! Klezmer workshops (all levels) taught by The Klez-X master musicians.

Two Open Mic Cabarets hosted by Achi Ben Shalom. Sign up at cabaret[at] 
* Youth Program for ages 6-12, taught by Gerry Tenney, Julie Egger, Claire Sherman, and Steve Weintraub, including kids' klezmer ensemble, crafts, Yiddish stunts & dances.

A Festival Workshop Pass (not including the concert) is $130 adults, $120 JCCSF members, $75 teens, $50 youth 6-12. Such a deal! Some partial scholarships are available; see website for details.  
You may also buy tickets for individual workshop sessions for $25 adults, $22 JCCSF members, $15 teens, $10 youth 6-12. 
For more information about registration, click HERE

. To purchase Festival tickets, contact the JCCSF Box Office, 415.292.1233




Within the next week, half the people on this list will receive a special 6" x 9" promotional postcard about the Festival. If you don't get one, it's because you have not given us your mailing address! We don't mail often, but when we do, you'll want to get it. Go to,

 click "Subscribe" in the left-hand column, enter the email address at which you receive the newsletter, press Continue, then Submit. You will be sent instructions on how to update your contact information and interests. 




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 Conversation Salon, Sunday, February 5
KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival, February 18-20
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in March
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia

Yiddish Conversation Salon  


line drawing of people talking


Sunday, February 5, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia Peninsula Yidisher Salon, for Yiddish speakers at all levels facilitated by Jon Levitow.  At a private home in San Mateo. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679,peninsula[at], .

KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival 


Saturday, February 18, 2:00pm - Monday, February 20, 6:00pm.  

Come sing, dance, play music, learn with us! See first story in this newsletter, above! 


Dale Pearlman: people laughing.jpg0901 Feast - Dancing 1 4661, Adv musicians, by AW

 Photo by Dale Pearlman                                                                           Photo by Ani Weaver,



Community Events


Here are more one-time events and series you may find of interest. A list of activities is always available at



Saturday, February 4, 5:00pm, Heather Klein's Inextinguishable Trio presents a CD release party and world premiere of Shifreles Portret: A Yiddish Art Song Project. The performers will be joined in the second half  by The Lark for YIddish theater and Russian songs. At JCC San Francisco's Fisher Hall. Tickets: $10.00. More info:

Thursday, February 9, 8:00, Gimpel The Fool, a production of Israel's Nephesh Theatre, based on the classic short story by I.B. Singer as translated by Nobel Prize laureate Saul Bellow. At Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto. Tickets: $15 members, $20 non-members. More info: 650.223.8609,bvladimirsky[at]

Saturday, February 11, 8:00pm (and Monday, February 13, 2:00pm), Isle of Klezbos. New York-based women's sextet brings together inventive versions of klezmer, Yiddish swing, and eclectic original compositions. At the JCC East Bay. Forshpays (appetizer) to Jewish Music Festival. Saturday tickets: $13-$19. Monday tickets: $10-$15. More info:
510.848.0237 X119.

Sunday, February 12, 4:00-6:00pm, New York's Metropolitan Klezmer Band. At Hutchins Street Square performing arts theater, in Lodi. (The first Lodi event listing in this newsletter!) Tickets; $35. More info:

Sunday, February 12, 7:00pm, Yiddishkayt: Jewish Composers from the Lower East Side to Broadway, with Heather Klein. CD release event for Shifreles Portret: A Yiddish Art Song Project. Performers are Cantor Lauren Bandman and Heather Klein, Be'eri Moalem, Russell Norman, and Alla Gladysheva. At Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills. No charge. More info:

Tuesday, February 14, 8:00-9:30pm, Isle of Klezbos. At Hillel's Koret Pavilion, on the Stanford campus. Free admission and open to the public. More info:

Wednesday, February 15, 6:00pm, The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film: Lesbian & Gay Subtext from a Cinema of Diaspora, a lecture by Eve Sicular, bandleader of Isle of Klezbos. At Hillel's Koret Pavilion, on the Stanford campus. Admission free and open to the public. Free dinner for students with RSVP. More info:

Friday, February 17, 8:00pm, Veretski Pass, at The Jazzschool, Berkeley. 8:00pm. Tickets $15/$12. More info:

Sunday, February 19, 2:00pm, Stanley Ginsberg, co-author of "Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking." Tasting follows talk!  At Congregation Shomrei Torah, Santa Rosa. No charge for the program; the book will be for sale. More
. More about the book:

Monday, February 20, 10:30am, Not Just Your Grandmother's Songbook!, a workshop on Yiddish songs led by Elaine Moise in loving memory of Adrienne Cooper, z"l. At the Limmud Bay Area Conference 2012, at Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove. The conference is sold out but now you know what you're missing (come to 10 Yiddish singing events at the Yiddish Culture Festival in San Francisco so you don't feel deprived!).

Beginning Thursday, February 23, 7:00-9:00pm, Introductory Yiddish, Part Two. Taught by Jon Levitow under the auspices of Lehrhaus Judaica. At Congregation Kol Emeth, Palo Alto. Tuition: $200 public, $180 Kol Emeth members. More info:

Thursday, February 23, 6:30-8:00pm, Fred Rosenbaum on the Fabulous Fillmore, 1907-1955. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. Fred Rosenbaum discusses the Fillmore as a hub of Yiddish-speaking Jewish culture for almost half a century. Limited capacity; advanced registration required. Tickets: Free for Museum members; $10 general (includes Museum admission). Tickets and more info: info[at]

Friday, February 24, 7:30pm, Heather Klein's Shabbos Zingt. A service with Yiddish melodies and a klezmer feel, new and old tunes. Heather Klein, singer; Be'eri Moalem, viola; Ken Mowrey, percussion; and Karen Hutchinson; piano/accordion. At Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos. More

Friday, February 24, 8:00 pm. Love Songs from a Neighboring Village, Michael Alpert and Julian Kytasty. At Temple Beth Sholom, San Leandro. East European Jewish and Ukrainian traditions have existed side by side and interacted for centuries, mirroring the complex relationship between the two peoples. No charge. More info:
510.848.0237 X119.

On the Web 


Radio program (in Yiddish) in memory of Adrienne Cooper (Dos Yidisheh Kol: A Program tsu Khaneh (Adrienne) Cooper's Shloyshim), part of the regular Yiddish-language radio show, The Yiddish Voice, WUNR 1600AM, Boston. The show aired January 25. At



Farshidns (This 'n That)

KlezCalifornia has learned about another Yiddish Club, this one in Sacramento: "One will not learn how to speak Yiddish in our club," Goldie writes, "but the atmosphere is defiitely Yiddish! We meet the second Sunday of each month (barring Jewish holidays) at the Einstein Residence in the game room 1:00-3:00pm.There is a $2/month or $18/year fee. We hear poetry, we sing, we tell jokes and hear stories in Yiddish, we bring in "goodies", we see a Yiddish DVD, and, once a year, after giving a donation to Einstein, we give ourselves a party. We also belong to the International Association of Yiddish Clubs. We're always happy to see visitors." More info: nygolde[at]

Proverb of the month: The heart sees better than the eye (Dos hartz zet beser fun dem oyg) (Thanks to Jon Levitow). Learn more Yiddish proverbs at Jon's workshop at the Yiddish Culture Festival! Send your favorite Yiddish proverb, in transliteration with translation, to news[at]

Coming in March

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

Beginning March 1, Thursdays, 7:30pm Searching for a Usable Past - Radical Jewish History, a mini-course taught by Anna Elena Torres, U.C. Berkeley graduate student. Sessions March 1, 15, 29 and April 12. Sponsored by The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring of Northern California. At Green Arcade Bookstore, San Francisco. No charge. Rsvp and more info: rad.yiddish[at]

Saturday, March 3, 8:00pm, Michael Winograd Ensemble,
 with Deborah Strauss, Joshua Horowitz, Judith Berkson, and others. At Berkeley's Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse. Part of 27th Jewish Music Festival. More info:
510.848.0237 X119.

Wednesday, March 7, 1:00-2:00pm, Klezmer 2012, with Umzist. Enjoy Yiddish and Russian repertoire of the 20th century including dance, party and stage music from the klezmer band Umzist. At JCC San Francisco. No charge. More info: 415.292.1260.

Sunday, March 18, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon, for fluent and native Yiddish speakers. Held at a private home in San Francisco. No charge. More info: flisik[at], 4150.789.7679.

Sunday, March 25 1:30pm, A Tribute to the Life and Poetry of Simon Krinsky, by Rabbi Edward Zerin. Rabbi Zerin has recently translated Rabbi Krinsky's poetry from Yiddish. At BJE Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. KlezCalifornia is a co-sponsor. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327,

Sunday, March 25, 2:00-9:00pm, Holy Harmony. Bustan Avraham Quartet and Babel/Ashkenaz, a new collaboration of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jewish liturgical traditions led by Frank London and Yair Dalal. Basya Schechter will debut new songs adapting the Yiddish poetry of Abraham Joshua Heschel. At Congregation Sherith Israel, San Francisco. Part of 27th Jewish Music Festival. More
510.848.0237 X119.

Friday, March 30, 7:30pm, Heather Klein's Shabbos Zingt, a Shabbos service with Yiddish melodies and a klezmer feel. Learn newly composed and old tunes and bring in Shabbos with a sense of Yiddishkayt. Led by singer Heather Klein, Be'eri Moalem, viola; Ken Mowrey, percussion; and Karen Hutchinson, piano/accordion. At Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo. More info:

Honor Wall

New Honor Wall
 postings this month:

Deborah Ann Kohn: In memory of my maternal ancestors, who perished in the barn fire in Jedwabne, Poland, July 1941. 

Bruce Feldstein: Keep up your wonderful projects to break someone's face and heart wide open with some Yidishe joy.

Bernie Weiner and Heidi Linsmayer: In honor of Julius Barron: A wonderful, loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

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.