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Delson: Two couples dancing at FinaleWe're spreading the joys and riches of Yiddish culture with our new "Donate a Friend" campaign! Surely each of us knows at least a few others who like Yiddish culture or klezmer music! Please "donate" at least two people who may be interested in this newsletter by giving us their names and email addresses HERE. We will send them a sample newsletter, invite them to subscribe, and let you know if they do. If not, we will delete the information. Your friends may also subscribe directly at klezcalifornia.orgA sheynem dank! Thank you!

We of course welcome your financial donations as well, because without them, there would be no KlezCalifornia. If you have not donated yet this year, we hope you will now HERE.

Photo by Lea Delson,, 510.528.6725, all rights reserved.  

("Donate a Friend"  is inspired by a campaign of the Israeli Religious Action Center.)

We have many more pictures from February's Yiddish Culture Festival. For Lea Delson's photos, see HERE. For Ani Weaver's photos, see HERE and check out the albums named "KlezCalifornia" and "Klez-X."

Calendar of upcoming Yiddish-inspired events:     

Looking for a klezmer musician to join your band or vice versa? Check out our free listings

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In This Issue
The Jewish Fiddler, Thursday, May 17
Tikn Leyl Shevuous, Saturday, May 26
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in June
Support KlezCalifornia
The Jewish Fiddler

Cookie SegelsteinThursday, May 17, 7:00pm, The Jewish Fiddler, A Musical Presentation by Cookie Segelstein. At the BJE Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. "What a Jewish sound!" -- How often we hear this to describe a violin performance. But what does it mean to create a "Jewish" sound on the violin? And must a musician be Jewish to have this quality? Cookie Segelstein will explore the many elements that contribute to the Jewish style of playing by examining characteristics of Ashkenazi Jewish culture: the humor, the physical gestures associated with Jewish expression, and the evocative sound of spoken Yiddish. Using historical recordings, interviews, and her own virtuoso playing, she will explore this familiar but unexplainable sound. KlezCalifornia is a co-sponsor. No charge. More info:

Tikn Leyl Shevuous a.k.a. Tikkun Leyl Shavuot

Tikkun 2012 flyerSaturday, May 26, 7:00pm through dawn on Sunday, Tikn Leyl Shevuous, a.k.a. Tikkun Leyl Shavuot. At the JCC East Bay, Berkeley. KlezCalifornia presents three workshops at this community-wide celebration and night of study, which each year attracts 600 participants. No charge. Workshop times will be announced mid-May and posted HERE

The three workshops are:

Naomi SeidmanToyreh: Yiddish Teachings on Revelation, with Naomi Seidman, Koret Professor of Jewish Culture and Director, Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union. We will read, in Yiddish and translation, a selection of teachings on Torah, Sinai, and Revelation from the seventeenth-century "women's Bible," the Tsenereneh, to twentieth century Yiddish Torah commentary.

Claire Sherman* Sing Your Way Through the Jewish Year: Tropes, Nusach, and Tunes, led by Claire Sherman, with Judy Kunofsky. Interesting facts about the tunes used for chanting Torah and other scrolls, praying, and studying Talmud. If you were blindfolded and heard Jews praying, the tune would tell your location in the Jewish world, the season, and the time of day. The workshop will conclude with a teaching of the Seder's Four Questions (in Yiddish, Di Fir Kashes) using Gemora Nign (Tune).

Francesco Spagnolo lecturing* Music, Mysticism, and Jewish Nightlife, with Francesco Spagnolo,Curator, Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, U.C. Berkeley. We will explore Jewish nightlife in early-modern Italy, focusing on how Kabbalah,music, and coffee shaped the creation of new rituals and sociability for Jews and non-Jews, and sing excerpts from a seventeenth century Hebrew cantata. What's the connection with KlezCalifornia? Jewish nightlife and Kabbalah appealed to Jews across the "denominational" divide that had distinguished Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Italian Jewish rituals. This development marked the decline of culturally-specific Jewish practices in favor of an early Jewish "modernity." For instance, it was at this time that Ashkenazi Jews in Italy stopped speaking Yiddish and gave up their specific pronunciation of Hebrew. Jewish nightlife and Kabbalah were also early instances of performance of Jewish culture for the benefit of non-Jewish audiences, similar to today's popularity of klezmer among non-Jews. 

Community Events
Tuesday, May 1, 8:00pm, Gerry Tenney and the Hard Times Orchestra. At Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley. This International Worker Day celebration will include songs on economic downturns and labor struggles, including blues, klezmer & Yiddish, bluegrass, and rock and roll. Tickets: $16.50 advance, $18.50 door. More info:

Sunday, May 6, 3:00pm, One People, Many Voices, with the Kol Truah Jewish Choir of the East Bay. At Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley. Featuring music in Ladino, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. This program celebrates the diversity and unity of our people through music and poetry. Tickets available at the door: $10 general, $5 seniors, children free.

Monday, May 7, 6:00-8:00pm (and every Monday through June), Klezmer Music featuring Dave Rosenfeld (on mandolin, violin, percussion) and Mike Perlmutter (on clarinet). At Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen, Berkeley. More info: 510.848.3354.

Monday, May 7, 7:30pm, Stories of Jewish Life in the Soviet Shtetl, with Jeffrey Veidlinger. In Margaret Jacks Hall (bldg. 460) - Terrace Room (426), Stanford. Part of The Clara Sumpf Yiddish Lecture Series, Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies, the lecture is in English. 
More info:

Tuesday, May 8, 7:30pm, World War II in the Soviet Shtetl: From the Shoah to Victory Day, with Jeffrey Veidlinger. In Margaret Jacks Hall (bldg. 460) - Terrace Room (426), Stanford. Part of the Clara Sumpf Yiddish Lecture Series, Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies, the lecture is in English. No charge. More info:

Saturday, May 12, 7:30pm, Heather Klein - Shifreles Portret CD Release Concert. At JCC East Bay, Berkeley. The CD also features Alla Gladysheva, Be'eri Moalem, and Steve Greenman. Live music presented by Heather Klein's Inextinguishable Trio. Tickets: $10. More info: 510.848.0237,

Sunday, May 27, 1:00-2:30pm, Klezmer Class with Jeanette Lewicki. At a private home in Oakland. Jeanette, leader of the gonifs, who led six highly-praised workshops at our February Yiddish Culture Festival, will help participants learn "by ear, by heart, by voice, and by foot (dancing the zhok, bulgar, khosidl & more)." Enrollment limited to how many klezmorim can fit in one apartment. Classes, with snacks, will be held the last Sunday of each month. Cost: $5/class. More info: 415.672.7858,

On the Web


Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better), from "Annie Get Your Gun" in Yiddish, with Di Shekhter-tekhter, i.e. The Schaechter Sisters, Reyna and Temma, HERE. Cute rhyming of Shpanish andAfghanistanish!

The web has many videos of the classic, "Duvid Crockett, King of Delancey Street," sung by
Yiddish entertainer Mickey Katz (1909 - 1985), such as HERE. We present the lyrics, thanks to Henry Goldberg, who posted them on the Jewish Music List:
Duvid, Duvid Crockett; King of Delancey Street. 
Duvid, Duvid Crockett; this boy you've got to meet! 

Born in the wilds of Delancey Street, 
Home of gefilte fish and kosher meat
Handy mit a knife, oh her zich tsi
He flicked him a chick'n when he was only three!....

If you would like the rest of the lyrics, email info[at] If you don't understand the parody, google Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.

To subscribe to the International Jewish Music listserv, go to or send a message with subject or body 'help' to jewish-music-request[at]

 There's a new blog about Yiddish song by Heather Klein at

Klezmer in Japan? Here's a link to some music by the Japanese band, Orkester Dreydel, led by clarinetist Chitoshi Hinoue: (Thanks to Sergei Varshavsky).

Check out the Milken Archive of Jewish Music:

Farshidns (This 'n That)
Proverb of the month: Everything revolves around bread and death (Alts dreyt zikh arum broyt un toyt.)(Thanks to Evie Groch). Send your favorite Yiddish proverb, in transliteration with translation, to news[at]

First klezmer CD by the gonifs: Features Peter Jaques (clarinet), Stu Brotman (cello), Cookie Segelstein (fiddle), Josh Horowitz (button accordion), Aaron Kierbel (drums), Daniel Fabricant (bass), Darren Johnston (trumpet), & Jeanette Lewicki singing in Yiddish & playing piano accordion. Includes "Yiddish modernist poetry served with a side of goofy percussion toys." Available at Amazon and iTunes. More info:

Band makeovers from Veretski Pass: Now that they are all based in Berkeley, Cookie Segelstein, Josh Horowitz and Stuart Brotman will work with your band for an afternoon or evening. Virtually every aspect of performance is examined and given a makeover, including details of arrangement, communication, stage choreography and style minutae. This master class inspires an explosion of ideas on the spot to solve performance problems in a fun and entertaining way. Even questions of etiquette and contracting are addressed and secrets of the trade are divulged without hesitation. More info: 510.705.1497info[at]
Coming in June

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

Sunday, June 3, 10:00am, The Klezmakers, at Michaels at Shoreline Restaurant, Mountain View. Part of a gourmet brunch sponsored by Sharone Hadassah of Silicon Valley. Also appearing will be humorist Dr. Ed Emanuel. Tickets: $45. Table for Ten: $400. More info: betteemanuel[at] or greenbarb45[at]

Friday, June 8, 9:00pm, Red Hot Chachkas and Kabbalah. At Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley. Bay Area band Red Hot Chachkas opens for French klez-rock band Kabbalah. More info: ashkenaz.com510.525.5054.


Sunday, June 9, 3:00pm, Red Hot Chachkas. An outdoor concert presented by Wisteria Ways at a private home in Oakland. Reservations highly recommended to info[at]wisteriaways.org510.655.2771. Tickets: Sliding scale donation of $15-$20, cash only. More info:


Saturday & Sunday, June 9 & 10, Noon - 10:00pm, San Francisco Free Folk Festival. This annual event often includes Yiddish singing and/or klezmer music. At Presidio Middle School, San Francisco. No charge, but donations encouraged. More info:

Sunday, June 17, 3:30pm, San Francisco Jewish Folk Chorus Annual Concert. At Jewish Community High School of the Bay, San Francisco. Suggested donation: $12 general; $6 students, seniors, people with disabilities. More info:

Support KlezCalifornia
With a gift of any amount to KlezCalifornia, you become a Contributing Member and you may post a message of up to 100 words on our web Honor Wall 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 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.