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It's February and our region starts to enjoy warmer weather and plum blossoms. Whether you are looking for a one-time event or a class, there's something Yiddish-inspired blossoming for you as well! Here are some highlights:

Gerry TenneyMany of you know about the weekly Klezmer Mondays in Berkeley at Saul's Delicatessen that have been going since April. Now, Amba, the terrific kosher Israeli-style restaurant in the Montclair District, is having its first Klezmer Night in Oakland on Tuesday, February 5, with the Gerry Tenney Klezmer Experience. Let's all turn out so this becomes a regular event!

Jeanette Lewicki with accordionKlezmer nights in San Mateo County at Tannourine Restaurant, begin again February 17, after a several year hiatus. The band this month will be Jeanette Lewicki, Ben Goldberg and Stu Brotman. Klezmer dancing will be led by Penina Ballen, who moved to the Bay Area last year after many years in Albuquerque where she was involved with their annual "Klezmerquerque" weekends.

If you've always wanted to know about Yiddish Women Writers in America and their Feminist Legacy, come to the new four-session course, all in English, in San Francisco, presented by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring and Lehrhaus Judaica (and cosponsored by KlezCalifornia). The first class is this Thursday, January 31, so sign up right away.

28th JMF logo (2013)Finally, the Bay Area's wonderful Jewish Music Festival has a great
line-up of events this year, as every year, but this year's is almost completely klezmer music and Yiddish song! See the schedule below and buy tickets (or a festival pass) now, before they sell out! 


-- Deadline for submissions for the March newsletter: February 25
-- Long-term calendar of events in the Bay Area: Events calendar
-- Online sources of Yiddish-inspired culture: KlezCal on-line resources
-- Klezmer musicians looking for others: KlezCal want ads
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In This Issue
YIddish Women Writers in America, starts Thursday, January 31
Intermediate Yiddish Class, starts Thursday, February 7
Salon for Fluent Yiddish Speakers, Sunday, February 10
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in March
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
Yiddish Women Writers in America and Their Feminist Legacy

Thursdays, January 31 - February 28 (no class Feb. 14), 7:30-9:00pm, Yiddish Women Writers in America and their Feminist Legacy, taught by Shaina Hammerman. Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica and Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring at Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, San Francisco. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. Tuition: $40. More info and Or e-mail Diana HERE and come to class with a check (no cash or credit cards).

Explore selected writings (in English translation) of early twentieth century Yiddish-speaking American women writers and their mid-century Jewish feminist successors. In the fiction and poetry of Kadya Molodowsky (picture to right), Celia Dropkin, Tillie Olsen, and Grace Paley, encounter the immigrant experience from a female perspective. Examine how the writers depart from earlier Jewish literary forms to critique or reiterate prevailing cultural modes and values, and discuss how the work reflects their complex experience as Jews, women, and Americans. 

Intermediate Yiddish, Part Two

Thursday, February 7 - April 11, 7:00-9:00pm, Intermediate Yiddish, Part Two, taught by Jon Levitow. Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica at Congregation Kol Emeth, Palo Alto. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia.
Tuition: Public $200, Kol Emeth members $180. Registration and more
KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon

line drawing of people talkingSunday, February 10, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon, for fluent and native speakers. At a private home in San Francisco. The group will share Yiddish superstitions, interpret sayings/adages, and listen to the new CD, Yidishe Lider, by Arkady Gendler (see Farshidns, below). No charge. More info: 415.789.7679,flisik[at] 

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). Special guests on February 11 (see below). At Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen, Berkeley. More info: 510.848.3354,

Photo Exhibit Traces of Memory - A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland. At Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael. Through February. No charge. More info:


Monday, February 4 and 11; Tuesday, February 19 (began January 28), 2:00-4:00pm, Literature of Jewish Immigration part 2, led by Loretta Denner. At JCC Sonoma County, Santa Rosa. Read and discuss some short stories in English translation written by Yiddish writers about the immigrant experience. $18 suggested donation for series. Rsvp and more info: lorluba[at]


Tuesday, February 5, 6:00-8:00pm, First Klezmer Night with the Gerry Tenney Klezmer Experience. At Amba, the vegetarian, kosher restaurant in Oakland's Montclair District. More

Thursday, February 7, 7:00pm, Charlie Chaplin & David Bergelson, with Harriet Mura. Explore the influence of Charlie Chaplin's cinema on the Yiddish writings of David Bergelson. At Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto. Tickets: $10 JCC members, students & Moldaw residents; $15 non-members in advance, $17 at the door. More info: 650.223.8699boxoffice[at]  


Thursday, February 7, 7:30pm, Klezmer & Hazones, lecture/demonstration by Veretski Pass. At JCC East Bay, Berkeley. Presented by Jewish Music Festival. Tickets: $15/one session, $25/both sessions (see below Feb. 11). More info:

Monday, February 11, 7:30pm, Busting the Myth of the Klezmer Revival, lecture/demonstration by Veretski Pass. At JCC East Bay, Berkeley. Presented by Jewish Music Festival. Tickets: $15/one session, $25/both (see above Feb. 7). More info:

Monday, February 11, 6:00-8:00pm, Simcha of Love -- Yiddish love songs for Valentines, with Yiddish singers Heather Klein and Anthony Russell. At Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen, Berkeley. No charge. More info:

Sunday - Monday, February 17-18, Klezmer Dance with Karen Bergen, Future of Jewish Music in Poland with Ellie Shapiro, Yiddish melodies for Shabbes with Heather Klein, all at Limmud Bay Area. At Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove. More info:

Sunday, February 17, 6:00, Klezmer Night with Jeanette Lewicki and The Mavens (Ben Goldberg, Stu Brotman), dance leader Penina Ballen. At Tannourine Restaurant, San Mateo. Entertainment free with dinner purchase. More info:

Saturday, February 23, 6:30pm, Aquarian Minyan and Purim Shpilers'  Purim Party, with Megilehreading, Purim shpil, klezmer fusion and Middle Eastern music by ADAMA, dancing led by Bruce Bierman. At Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley. Tickets: $15 advance, $20 door; children under 13 free; $35 family cap (at the door). Tickets: HERE.

Sunday, February 24, time and performers TBD, Klezmer Brunch. At Porto Franco Art House, San Francisco. More info:
On the Web

Re-designed Yiddish website : On February 4, "The Forward" will introduce a rejuvenated and enhanced Yiddish website (vebzaytl) at, complete with blogs and links to Facebook (Face-bukh). It will feature articles from the Yiddish newspaper (Forverts), podcasts from Yiddish-speaking correspondents around the globe, a blog called Vayter (Further) for Yiddish learners, another by and for Hasidim and other Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, cooking videos with English subtitles and recipes, and much more. (Thanks to Tony Phillips, Les Plack, Bruce Bierman).

Online Guide to the YIVO Archives: 
This new website ( provides access to YIVO's archive of 23 million documents, manuscripts, photographs, films, sound recordings, and art works and artifacts. YIVO has a special focus on Jewish life in Eastern Europe, Yiddish language, literature and culture, the Holocaust, and Jewish life in the U.S. with emphasis on the period of migration. 
Yiddish Song, A Sheynem Kholem,
 sung beautifully by a young Hasidic boy at HERE (Thanks to Ken Blady).
 Farshidns (This 'n That)
Arkady Gendler's Yidishe Lider (Yiddish songs) and Michael Winograd's Storm Game (new klezmer):Two new albums from local record producer, Golden Horn. Links to album pages and purchase info Both Arkady and Michael have performed at the Jewish Music Festival.

Debut album, the gonifs (thieves or rascals), by the band of the same name, presents tunes from the Yiddish underworld: gangsters, hustlers, pirates and freethinkers. Produced by San Francisco-based Porto Franco Records. Proceeds benefit the Prisoners' Literature Project. Link to purchase information atportofrancorecords.  

KlezCalifornia Want Ad: Klezmer-loving family on California's North Coast wants to know who is playing klezmer in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties so we can discuss options for mutual learning, fun and support. Contact Jennifer at refinnej[at] (see other Want Ads HERE).

Proverb of the month:
 Joy and distress are often clothed in the same dress (Fraydn un laydn tuen oft tsuzamen zikh klaydn). It's a triple rhyme in Yiddish!
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 Click on Events.

Friday, March 1, 8:00pm, Musical Shabbat with PolesyeAt Temple Beth Sholom, San Leandro.
More info: 510.357.8505.

Saturday, March 2, 8:00pm, Jewish Music Festival Opening Night: The Future of Jewish Music in Poland with Polesya and Shofar. Introductory talk and slide show at 7:00pm with Ruth Ellen Gruber. At the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Berkeley. Tickets: $26 general, $24 JCC East Bay members, seniors, students. More info:

Sunday, March 3, 7:00-9:00pm, KlezCalifornia Peninsula Yidisher Salon, for Yiddish speakers at all levels. At a private home in San Mateo. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679peninsula[at]

Sunday, March 3, 8:00pm, Real Vocal String Quartet with True Life Trio. The show includes Yiddish songs. At Freight and Salvage Coffee House, Berkeley. Tickets: $24 general, $22 JCC East Bay members, seniors, students. More info:

Monday, March 4, 1:00pm, PolesyaAt JCC East Bay, Berkeley. Tickets: $15 general, $12 JCC East Bay members, seniors, students. More info:
Tuesday, March 5, 7:30pm, Michael Alpert and Julian Kytasty: Night Songs from a Neighboring Village. At the JCC East Bay, Berkeley. Tickets: $20 general, $18 JCC East Bay members, seniors, students. More info:

Wednesday, March 6, 6:00pm, Michael Alpert performs. At the San Francisco Main Library. No charge. More info:
Thursday, March 7, 8:00pm, Theodore Bikel, Merima Kljuco and Shura Lipovsky. At Freight and Salvage Coffee House, Berkeley. Tickets: Tickets: $30 general, $28 JCC East Bay members, seniors, students. More info:

Saturday, March 9, 8:00pm, Vilna Poems and Akoka: The End of Time. Marking the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. At the Berkeley Repertory Theater. World premiere of Vilna Poems, a song cycle of works by Yiddish poet Avrom Sutskever, composed by David Garner. Tickets: $26 general, $24, JCC East Bay members, seniors, students. More info:

Sunday, March 10, 12:00noon, Brunch with Russ and Daughters. At the JCC San Francisco. Join Mark Russ Federman, owner of Russ & Daughters, the beloved store on Manhattan's Lower East Side, for a celebration of its history. Includes a New York-style brunch featuring Russ and Daughters' smoked and cured fish. Purchase tickets by February 28. Tickets: $45 standard, JCCSF members $40. More

Sunday, March 10, 2:00-5:00pm, An-Ski Ethnographic Expedition @ 100. Panel discussion with Gabriella Safran and Nathaniel Deutsch, and performance by Michael Alpert on the one hundredth anniversary of S. An-ski's expedition, which collected thousands of Yiddish songs, stories, photos, and more. At the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. No charge. More info:

Tuesday, March 12, 1:20pm, Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center. 57-minute film in English and Yiddish. At CineArts, Pleasant Hill. Part of East Bay Jewish Film Festival. Tickets: $7.00. More info:

Tuesday, March 12, 5:30pm, Immigrants, Cantors, and Klezmers, a talk by Mark Slobin. Presented by (and at) The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley. No charge. More

Tuesday, March 12, 7:30pm, A Sweet Diaspora Song: Paths of Jewish Music in America. Performance by Michael Alpert in conversation with Francesco Spagnolo. Presented by (and at) The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley. No charge. More info:

Thursday, March 14, 10:30am, Hava Nagila: The Film. In case you missed this film at the San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Sonoma County Jewish film festivals, here's another opportunity. At Theatre II, Orinda. Part of East Bay Jewish Film Festival. Tickets: $7.00. More info: 510.318.6484,

Thursday, March 14, 7:30pm, Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird, "Bad Old Songs" CD release concert. At JCC of the East Bay, Berkeley. More info: 510.848.0237.

Sunday, March 17, 3:00pm, Jazz and Klezmer Summit, with CNS Jazzkleztet, Jazzschool and Albany Big Bands. At Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley. Tickets: $10. More info: 510.549.9447

Sunday, March 24, 6:00pm, Klezmer Night. At Tannourine Restaurant, San Mateo. Entertainment free with dinner purchase. More info: 650.638.1960,

Wednesday, March 27 (and April 3, 10, 17), 10:30am-12:30pm, Yiddish Language: A History, with Ken Blady. At Cal State East Bay, Concord. Fee: $40 for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) members, $55 non-members. More info: HERE.
Honor Wall

Honor Wall postings this month:
Honor Wall squiggle

Howard Freedman: 
In honor of Mira Shelub, one of my inspirations. When I needed a teacher, she was there.
Honor Wall squiggle

Martin and Rena Bobrowsky: Happy to make a donation to KlezCalifornia, whose efforts made it possible for us wandering, part-time refugees from Southern California to find a home with the "Flisik Salon" menchen.
Honor Wall squiggle

Rosie Kaplan: In memory of Fanny, Benny and Harry Kaplan, who loved Yidishkayt, its music, humor and food!!!
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 write about your own Yiddish heritage.

Chai imageWe hope Contributing Members can give $54 (3 chai/khay) 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).

Your donations help KlezCalifornia keep Bay Area Yiddish culture and community vibrant and thriving. Make your tax-deductible donation via credit card HERE or with a check to KlezCalifornia at 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley 94703. A sheynem dank! Thank you very much!