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Yiddish DancingWe have many events to tell you about this month, spanning the full range of what KlezCalifornia covers: klezmer music through Yiddish language and literature. December's newsletter will probably be even more packed (last year we publicized thirty December events!). 

Send us (news[at] information on events you are part of (or know about) to make sure they reach the widest possible audience. And please make sure that everyone you know who enjoys Yiddish-inspired culture subscribes to this newsletter!


-- Deadline for submissions for the December newsletter: November 26
-- 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
Theodore Bikel in Concert, Saturday, November 3
Remembering Soviet Yiddish Culture, Sunday, November 4
Yiddish Sing-Along, Sunday, November 18
Hava Nagila (the movie) plus Veretski Pass, Sunday, November 18
Hollywood Stars Reading "The Jewish Daily Forward," Tuesday, November 27
Hardly Strictly Klezmer, Thursday, November 29
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in December
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
Theodore Bikel in Concert - SOLD OUT

Saturday, November 3, 7:30pm, Theodore Bikel Live in Concert. At The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley. Presented by the Graduate Theological Union's Center for Jewish Studies. Academy Award-winning actor and internationally renowned folksinger, Theodore Bikel was also an activist in the Soviet Jewry freedom movement. One of the world's best-known folk singers, and a founder in 1961 of the Newport Folk Festival. 

Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. Tickets: $18 General / $15 JCC or Magnes Members/Seniors/ $12 Students. More info: HERE.
NOTE: This concert is SOLD OUT; no more tickets are available.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the conference "Captives of the Dawn: Remembering Soviet Yiddish Culture" (see next item).
Remembering Soviet Yiddish Culture

Sunday, November 4, 2:00pm, Captives of the Dawn: Remembering Soviet Yiddish Culture. 
The Graduate Theological Union's Center for Jewish Studies' annual Taube Conference in Eastern European Jewish Culture and History. 

Keynote address by Mikhail Krutikov (University of Michigan), panel discussion, performance of Yiddish songs by the Nigunim Chorus, and poetry reading in Yiddish, Russian, and English. Other speakers are Yael Chaver (U.C. Berkeley), Marat Grinberg (Reed College), Chana Kronfeld (U.C.), Naomi Seidman (Center for Jewish Studies), Sasha Senderovich (Lafayette College), and Yuri Slezkine (U.C. Berkeley). At The Magnes, Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info: cjs[at], 510.649.2482.

Yiddish Sing-Along

Achi Ben Shalom.jpgSunday, November 18, 3:00pm, Yiddish Sing-Along with Achi Ben Shalom. At Piedmont Gardens, 110 41st Street (at Piedmont Avenue), Oakland. Join Achi and friends for a lively session of Yiddish songs. Enjoy singing along to familiar and less familiar songs that our parents and grandparents loved so much. We will even have time to socialize and crack a few Jewish jokes! Transliterated lyrics will be projected on a screen. 
Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. Suggested donation: $10. More info:mail[at]
Hava Nagila (the movie) plus Veretski Pass Concert

Hava Nagilah (The Movie)Sunday, November 18, 5:30pm, Hava Nagila (the movie), followed by Veretski Pass. This 75-minute film is the definitive, glorious (and musical) story of how the Hebrew song "Hava Nagila" ("Let Us Rejoice"), set to a traditional melody from the Ukraine, became the signature theme of Jewish life. Despite having become truly universal in appeal, the song never lost its Jewish soul or origin. Features interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, and Glen Campbell. Plan to walk out humming - or maybe singing out loud - this universally appealing melody. 

Veretski PassFollowing the movie will be a performance by internationally renowned (and Berkeley-based) klezmer band Veretski Pass. 

At Camera 12, San Jose. This is the concluding event of the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival. Tickets: $15 advance / $20 at the door. More info: HERE, 800.838.3006.

Hollywood Stars Reading "The Jewish Daily Forward"

Tuesday, November 27, 7:00pm. Gallery opening event: Hollywood Stars Reading "The Jewish Daily Forward." At the JCC San Francisco. Photographer Phil Stern captured the Golden Years of Hollywood's iconic stars in a breathtaking body of work that spans the decades. In this exhibit, he created a whimsical series of photographs of the biggest and brightest stars of that era reading "The Jewish Daily Forward." See Marlon Brando (right), Bob Hope and Alfred Hitchcock as you've never seen them before! All photographs are available for purchase. Exhibit continues through January 2013. 

Also participating in the opening event will be Sam Norich, publisher of "The Jewish Daily Forward," both the English and Yiddish newspapers. Sam is a fluent Yiddish speaker, and you'll have the opportunity to talk with him in English and Yiddish.

Opening event free, but reservations required. All photographs are available for purchase. More info: HERE. RSVP to arts[at] or 415.292.1233.
Hardly Strictly Klezmer Chanukah Kickoff

Thursday November 29, 8:00pm, Hardly Strictly Klezmer Chanukah Kickoff with three bands:

Charming Hostess (left)
at the intersection of voice, text and diaspora consciousness

Kugelplex (right)
shtetl-rockin' klezmer and old-world soul music

Red Hot Chachkas(left)
new American klezmer from Old World roots





At Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley. 

Produced in association with KlezCalifornia and JCCEB's Jewish Music Festival.

Tickets: $20.50 in advance / $22.50 door. 

You can also see the show live online for $3.00 at  

More info: HERE.

Community Events
Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Mondays at Saul's, featuring Dave Rosenfeld (mandolin, violin, percussion), Mike Perlmutter (clarinet, saxophone) and Dmitri Gaskin (accordion). At Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen, Berkeley. More info: 510.848.3354.

Sunday, November 4, 8:00pm, Vocolot 25th anniversary reunion concert. Sixteen current and former Vocolot members perform a cappella Jewish/world music (including Yiddish songs) in ensemble and solo. At Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley. Tickets: $26.50 advance / $28.50 door. More info and tickets:, 510.644.2020. 

"The Oy Way: Following the Path of Most Resistance," with author Harvey Gotliffe. Learn Yiddish expressions while engaging in a restorative, meditative, moving exercise experience. See video HERE and see Harvey live:
* Sunday, November 11, 12:00noon, Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors Association, Chai House,
    814 St. Elizabeth Drive, San Jose.
* Tuesday, November 13, 7:00pm, Alef Bet Judaica Bookstore, Los Gatos.
* Thursday, November 15, 1:00pm, Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo 
* Saturday, November 17, 2:00pm, Inklings Books, Capitola.
More info about the book:, theoyway[at] 

Tuesday, November 13, 1:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band at Contra Costa County Library, Hercules. No charge. More info: 510.529.8753 (Ellis Island), 510.245.2420 (library), HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 7:30pm, Celebration of the life of George Gershwin, with Ronit Widman-Levy and Nurit Jugend. At JCC of the East Bay, Berkeley. Presented by the Jewish Music Festival. Tickets: $15 General / $12 JCC Members/Seniors/Students. Tickets: HERE. 
On the Web

Arab students in Israel now kibitsing in Yiddish: HERE (Thanks to Howard Freedman and Rivka Greenberg).

Seinfeld in Yiddish: Jerry thinks his dentist has become a Jew only to be able to tell Jewish jokes HERE (Thanks to Ken Blady).  

Jesus in Yiddish: A translation of the New Testament into Yiddish poses interesting problems HERE(In "The Jewish Daily Forward").
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Proverb of the month: A shlimazl believes only in luck: A shlimazl gleybt nor in mazl. (Thanks to Rosie Kaplan). 
Coming in December
Put these exciting events on your calendar now, and check the December newsletter for more details. You can always check out KlezCalifornia's long-term calendar at


Saturday, December 1, 7:30pm, Kugelplex with Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir's 27th Anniversary Holiday Concert. At Paramount Theater, Oakland. Tickets: $12 - $42 advance / $17 - $47 day of show / $5 discount for 62+. More info: 510.465.6400, HERE.

Sunday, December 2, 6:30pm, The Oy Way: Following the Path of Most Resistance, with author Harvey Gotliffe. At The Greek Restaurant, Santa Cruz. More info: See Community Events above.

Tuesday, December 4, 7:30pm, Hava Nagila (The Movie). Filmmaker Roberta Grossman will speak and answer questions after the screening. See November 18 event above for more about the film. At Rialto Cinemas, Sebastopol. Part of 17th Annual Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival. More

Sunday, December 9, 2:00pm, Chanukah Concert with Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Pleasanton Public Library, Pleasanton. No charge. More info: 925.931.3405, HERE.

Sunday, December 9, 4:00pm, Kugelplex with Oakland East Bay Symphony's Let Us Break Bread Together Holiday Celebration. At Paramount Theater, Oakland. Tickets: $25 - $50 adults / $15 under 18. More info HERE, 510.465.6400.

Sunday, December 9, 7:30pm, Nigunim Chorus' 4th annual Hanukkah Community Celebration. At JCC East Bay, Berkeley. With the Nigunim Community Chorus, Veretski Pass, Achi & Jan of Adama, and Yiddish singer Diane Wirtschafter. Bruce Bierman will lead dancing. Tickets: $15 general / $10 children. Buy tickets: HERE. More info: HERE. 

Thursday, December 13, 9:00pm, Subterranean Arthouse's 3rd annual Chanukah party in collaboration with Hungry for Yiddish! A Mitzvah Project. At Subterranean Art House, Berkeley. Yiddish song with Heather Klein's Inextinguishable Trio and Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell. Klezmer dance party with Saul Goodman's Klezmer Orkestar and dance leader Bruce Bierman. Watercolors by painter (and Yiddish student) Margaret Sloan. Suggested donation $10-$20; no-one turned away. More info: HERE.

Friday, December 14, 8:15pm, Klezmer Shabbat Service, Congregation Sha'ar Zahav. San Francisco. With dance leader Bruce Bierman. No charge. More info:

Saturday, December 15, 8:00pm, Veretski Pass in Pomegranates & Figs, a feast of Jewish music. Also Oakland Folkharmonic, Inspector Gadje. At Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley. Tickets: $22.50 advance / $24.50 at door. More info: 510.644.2020, HERE. 

Sunday, December 16, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon. For fluent and native speakers of Yiddish. At a private home in Oakland. Discussion topic: Describe the house in which you grew up. More info: flisik[at], 415.789.7679.

Honor Wall
New Honor Wall posting this month:
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Frank Snitz: In honor of my aunt, Hazel V. Gross, my mother's sister residing in Cleveland, I would like to post the regular birthday greeting by my grandfather, Morris (Moysh) Gold to his children: 
דו זאלס לעבן ביז א הונדרצוואציק יארן אלט (Du solst lebn biz a hundert tsvantsik yorn alt), "You should live to 120 years old", the standard Yiddish wish to match the life span of Moyshe Rabeynu as stated in Deuteronomy 34:7. Aunt Hazel was 101 years old this past September 6.
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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: The 115-page exercise book, "The Oy Way." This warm book by Harvey Gotliffe helps you learn Yiddish expressions while engaging in meditative exercise. Check it out at Or 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.