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Ani 6879, Steve and RobertaAre you a Jewish educator? Do you teach at a Jewish day school or religious school? Know someone who does? KlezCalifornia is looking for Jewish educators to talk with about our ideas for a Yiddish Culture Curriculum for grades K-12. Leave a message at 415.789.7679 or email us HERE.

We've updated our website to include good online sources of Yiddish language & literature, East European Jewish history, Yiddish songs & klezmer music, immersion events, and more. Check out and you'll find enough to keep you busy all summer! 

Finally, we've added to a new "thank you" gift for those who contribute $54 or more: The newly-published 115-page exercise book, "The Oy Way." This warm and wonderful book by KlezCalifornia member Harvey Gotliffe helps you learn Yiddish expressions while engaging in meditative exercise. Check out some pages at You'll love it! For all the details, see HERE.

Photo by Ani Weaver, from February Yiddish Culture Festival



-- Long-term calendar of Yiddish-inspired events in the Bay Area:
-- Online sources of Yiddish-inspired culture: 
-- Klezmer musicians looking for others:

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In This Issue
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in August
Support KlezCalifornia
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

July 19 - August 6, 32nd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 
in San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Oakland, and San Rafael. KlezCalifornia is co-presenting two films (descriptions courtesy SFJFF): 

Hava Nagila
Hava Nagila (The Movie) is a foot-tapping celebration of 100 years of Jewish culture and spirituality. It peels back the rich history, mystery and meaning of the song which is "kitschy, but oh so profound." Together with a cast of characters that includes Connie Francis, Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy and Glen Campbell, we travel to the Ukraine, where the melody was a Hasidic wordless prayer and from there to Jerusalem, where the song found its lyrics. We learn to dance the Israeli hora and head to the States where Hava Nagila became all the rage in suburban America.

Castro Theatre in San Francisco - Thursday, July 19, 7:00pm (opening night)
CineArts at Palo Alto Square - Sunday, July 29, 6:45pm
Roda Theatre in Berkeley - Wednesday, August 1, 6:25pm
Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael - Saturday, August 4, 4:20pm.

Tickets $11-$12; and $30 for opening night.
Jascha HeifetzGod's Fiddler: Jascha Heifetz. At some point in the 20th century, becoming a violin prodigy came to symbolize the definitive source of Jewish family pride, surpassing Talmud scholarship, financial acumen or athletic prowess as the certifiable indicator of God-given genius. How did this happen? Two words: Jascha Heifetz. In this entertaining and music-filled documentary, we meet the Russian wunderkind who took America by storm as a teenager in 1917 and who over a long and astonishing career redefined the modern virtuoso, his name entering popular culture as shorthand for artistic perfection. Like any good biography, the film is peppered with anecdotes from colleagues and students, if not friends - he seems not to have had many. Genius has its price.

Castro Theatre in San Francisco - Tuesday, July 24, 2:10 pm
Roda Theatre in Berkeley - Tuesday, July 31, 12:00pm
CineArts at Palo Alto Square - Wednesday, August 1, 12:30pm

These are free matinees; no tickets needed.

More info: sfjff.org415.621.0523.

Community Events
Friday, June 1 - Friday, August 31, Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photographs of Faye Schulman, an exhibit of rare works by the only known Jewish partisan photographer. Presented by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation at Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco. To arrange a tour:jleff[at] More info: 415.563.2244.

Hot Kugel (Suska & Mordecai Varda)
 perform at three South Bay farmers' markets:
Sunday, July 1, 9:00am - 1:00pm, Mountain View 
Thursday, July 5, 4:00pm - 8:00pm, Los Altos 
Sunday, July 8, 9:00am - 1:00pm, Blossom Hill.
Monday, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 6:00-8:00pm (every Monday at least through July), 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.

Thursday, July 12, 7:00pm, Woody Allen's Radio Days (with Leyke Post), at BJE Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. Discussion follows. Leyke Post was a Yiddish singer and mother of long-time Bay Area Yiddish singer Henry Carrey, who moved recently to Boston. No charge. More

Sunday, July 15, 7:30pm, Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill present the show "From Shtetl to Broadway: The Russian Jewish influence on the Great American Songbook." At Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto.Tickets: Up to 24 hours in advance: $25 members, $30 non-members. $35 at the door. More info: 650.223.8664, 


On the Web
Watch the opening scene of "The Godfather" in Yiddish: (Thanks to the BJE Jewish Community Library newsletter).

New international festival of Jewish performing arts, to be called Kulturfest, has been announced by the Folksbiene Theater for June 2015 to coincide with their centennial. Read the story as reported in "The New York Times" including the gratuitous nasty comments about Yiddish, HERE.  (Thanks to Ralph Propper, Tony Phillips, and Harvey Gotliffe).

National Public Radio story on the band Kabbalah (which performed in Berkeley June 8) was featured on "The World" news radio show, emphasizing that most of their songs are sung in Yiddish. Listen to the story HERE (Thanks to Tony Phillips).

Farshidns (This 'n That)
Proverb of the month: The heart is like a clock -- it always goes in the right direction (Dos harts iz vi a zeyger -- es geyt tomid dem rikhtikn veg) (Thanks to Jon Levitow). Send your favorite Yiddish proverb, in transliteration with translation, to news[at]

Coming in August

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

Friday - Sunday, August 3-5, Yiddish Theatre in the 1930s: A Participatory Workshop with Puppets and Yiddish Comedy, with Joel Schechter, part of the fourth J-West: West Coast Conference for Cultural, Humanist, and Secular Jews. At La Quinta Inn in Hayward. More info: j-west.net650.759.5996TellMeMore[at]

Wednesdays: August 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2:00-4:00pm, Yiddish of Jewish immigration at the JCC Sonoma County, in Santa Rosa. Led by Loretta Denner, the class will read and discuss several early 20th Century works by immigrants from Eastern Europe. Donation to JCC requested. More info:lorluba[at]yahoo.com707.566.1955 

Sunday, August 19, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon, for fluent Yiddish speakers, at a private home in San Francisco. More info: flisik[at]klezcalifornia.org415.789.7679.

Friday - Sunday, August 24-26, Nigunim Community Folk Chorus 2nd annual Weekend Retreat.At the River's Bend Retreat Center, near Philo (Mendocino County). A weekend with singing, drumming, and dancing (including Yiddish singing and klezmer dancing) with singer Linda Hirschhorn, dancer Bruce Bierman, instrumentalist Achi Ben Shalom, and drummer Jan Padover. Cost: $250 - $330/person (including 6 meals). Work exchange opportunities available. More info: 510.528.8872,mail[at]

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 three gifts: The 115-page exercise book, "The Oy Way." This warm and wonderful book by Harvey Gotliffe helps you learn Yiddish expressions while engaging in meditative exercise. Check it out at 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.