Newsletter‎ > ‎


Do you know people who want to learn Yiddish? Anna Elena Torres and Yael Chaver teach regular classes for beginner and intermediate levels, respectively, at U.C. Berkeley. Jon Levitow teaches at Stanford and U.C. Santa Cruz. For informal classes, try Fishl Kutner in San Mateo, and Alan Smith at JCC East Bay in Berkeley. Individuals who teach privately include Ken Blady (Berkeley), Loretta Denner and Marcelle Marcus (Santa Rosa), and Harvey Varga (Oakland).

And now there's a new resource! Learn Yiddish Live with New York-based Paula Teitelbaum via Google+ Hangouts. Amazing! You can learn Yiddish without leaving your home! More details are BELOW.  

Once you know some Yiddish you are welcome at KlezCalifornia's Peninsula Salon (all levels) or Flisik Salon (fluent speakers), which meet Sundays every other month. The Yiddish Club of San Francisco meets monthly at the JCC San Francisco and draws a big crowd, and other JCCs have Yiddish clubs as well. Specific classes are announced in the KlezCalifornia newsletter (what you're reading!) and you can find ongoing opportunities to learn in the KlezCalifornia *Gele Pages (*yellow), posted on our website,

-- Submissions for the May newsletter HERE
 by April 22
-- 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

Facebook rectangle
In This Issue
Moshe Kulbak's "The Zelmenyaners," Thursday, April 4
Yes, We Sang!, Sunday, April 7
Ger Mandolin Orchestra: The Film, Thursday, April 11
Salon for Yiddish Speakers, Sunday, April 14
Jeanette Lewicki and the Mavens, Sunday, April 28
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in May
Support KlezCalifornia
Moyshe Kulbak's "The Zelmenyaners"

Zelmenyaners book coverThursday, April 4, 7:00pm, Moyshe Kulbak's "The Zelmenyaners" and the Soviet Jewish Imagination, a presentation by Sasha Senderovich. Moyshe Kulbak was one of the leading Soviet Yiddish writers when he was arrested and executed in a wave of Stalinist terror in 1937. His interwar novel, "The Zelmenyaners," was published this year in a new English translation by Sasha Senderovich, Aresty Visiting Scholar in Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. The novel describes the travails of a Jewish family in Minsk that is torn asunder by the new Soviet reality. Four generations are depicted in riveting and often uproarious detail. At the Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info:

Yes, We Sang! Songs of Communities that Perished

Yes, We SangSunday, April 7, 4:00pm, Yes, We Sang! A Musical Tribute to Jewish Communities that perished in the Holocaust. A concert of pre-Holocaust poetry and songs in Yiddish, Ladino, and Hebrew, plus a community sing-along (lyrics provided). With the Nigunim Community Chorus, Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco, and singer/songwriter Linda Hirschhorn. At JCC East Bay, Berkeley. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. Tickets: $10, no charge for seniors and children. More info:mail[at]

Ger Mandolin Orchestra: The Film
Thursday, April 11, 7:00pm, The Ger Mandolin Orchestra, a film preview with presentation by Avner Yonai. The Ger Mandolin Orchestra, formed in 2011, was the brainchild of local Israeli-American businessman Avner Yonai, whose search for his family roots led him to a dusty photograph of his grandfather and other relatives in a pre-World War II Jewish mandolin orchestra in the town of Gora Kalwaria (Ger, in Yiddish), Poland. The photograph inspired Yonai to create a contemporary version of the orchestra. Yonai will tell the story of the orchestra and present a short version of an in-progress feature-length documentary. At the Jewish Community Library, San Francisco.Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info:
KlezCalifornia Flisik Salon

line drawing of people talkingSunday, April 14th, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Salon at a private home in Berkeley. For fluent Yiddish speakers. Listen to and discuss Yiddish short stories and poems, sing a few songs, and share memories of trips we've taken. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679flisik[at]

Jeanette Lewicki and the Mavens 

Jeanette Lewicki with accordionSunday, April 28, 6:00pm, Klezmer Night, with Jeanette Lewicki (accordion) and the Mavens (Ben Goldberg, clarinet; Richard Saunders, bass). Bruce Bierman leads klezmer dancing. At Tannourine Restaurant, San Mateo. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. $10 cover charge, plus order off the regular menu of Lebanese and Mediterranean food. Reservations suggested. More info: 650.638.1960,
Community Events
Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Mondays at Saul's, featuring Dave Rosenfeld, Mike Perlmutter, and Dmitri Gaskin, occasional special guests. At Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen, Berkeley. Entertainment free with purchase. More info:
. Ellis Island Old World Folk Band performs April 22; see below.

Sunday, April 7, 10:30am, Never Again: How can we make it so? Yom HaShoah program, including performance by Mama Loshn. At Congregation Shomrei Torah, Santa Rosa. More

Sunday, April 7, 2:00-4:00pm, The Future of Holocaust Memory, Sonoma County's Yom HaShoahobservance, including performance by Mama Loshn. At the Friedman Center, Santa Rosa. Co-sponsored by Sonoma County synagogues, Jewish Community Center of Sonoma County, and others. No charge. More info:

Sunday, April 7, 5:00-6:15pm, South Bay Yom HaShoah v'HaGevurah program, including Yiddish Songs performed by members of Yiddish Choristers and HaShirim. At Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills. No charge. More info: 650.847.1715mforman[at]

Saturday, April 13, 1:15pm, Russian Roots of The Dybbuk, a presentation by Gabriella Safran. At Congregation Kol Emeth, Palo Alto. A Shabbes Shiur, so of course no charge. More info: 650.948.7498,

Sunday, April 14, 3:00pm, Yiddish singer Anthony Russell, part of Musical World Tour also featuring Eliana Kissner, Pacific Boychoir. At Congregation Shalom, Berkeley. Tickets: $13 in
; $15 at the door. More info: 510.549.9447community[at]

Saturday, April 20, 8:00pm, Jewish Soul Music with Klezmania. Yiddish tunes, klezmer grooves, Israeli dance numbers, and jazz. Preceded by pizza and havdoleh. At Congregation B'nai Emunah, San Francisco. Donations: $15 adults, $10 seniors and students, $5 youth 10 and over, free for children under 10. More info:

Sunday, April 21, 12:00noon - 4:00pm, Simcha Sunday Jewish Cultural Festival. Jewish dance workshop with Bruce Bierman followed by a dance jam with music by Orchestra Euphonos and performance by Mama Loshn. Workshop will include klezmer and Hasidic dancing, as well as Yemenite and Israeli. All levels welcome. Pick up KlezCalifornia information next to Nina Bonos' booth of music note cards. Presented by JCC Sonoma County. More info:

Monday, April 22, 6:00-8:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. Klezmer tunes, Yiddish songs and a sprinkling of music from other places around the globe. At Saul's Restaurant and Delicatessen, Berkeley. More info:

Friday, April 26, 6:30-9:30 pm, Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band featuring Mike Perlmutter (clarinet), Dmitri Gaskin (accordion), Jack Hanly (poyk). At San Francisco Bistro Grill, San Francisco. No cover. More info:

Sunday, April 28, 1:30-3:00pm, The World of Rebecca Rubin. Set among the immigrant families of New York City's Lower East Side in 1914, the Rebecca Rubin book series follows a girl whose experiences and challenges frequently bring her Jewish identity to the foreground. For ages seven and above. At Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. No charge. Participation limited and rsvp required. More info: 415.567.3327 X703,

On the Web

LINKTOYIDDISHLearn Yiddish Live with New York-based Paula Teitelbaum online via Google+ hangouts. Students and teacher can hear and see each other, share documents, visuals, music from the hard drive and videos from YouTube, which makes for a live, interactive and multimedia learning experience. More info:teitelbaump[at]

 Farshidns (This 'n That)
"Radical Yiddish," a new book of essays on Yiddish-speaking creators of theatre, poetry, literature, art, songs and political activism has been published by San Francisco State University Professor Joel Schechter. Includes comic strips drawn by the legendary Spain Rodriguez. Published by Jewish Currents, the book can be ordered by mail at P.O. Box 111, Accord, NY 12404 or by phone with a credit card at 914.388.3254. Price: $14.95, including shipping. More info:

Sing It in Yiddish! song classes are being organized by Mark Levy. Registration: $100 for four two-hour sessions in San Francisco or Berkeley. Dates and times to be determined by those who respond. Past classes have been Sunday or Monday evenings, 7:00-9:00pm. More info: 
831.338.7283, mitzvahmus[at]

Proverb of the month: Who digs a hole for somebody else, falls into it herself (Ver es grobt a grub farn andern, der falt aleyn arayn). 

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

Wednesday, May 1, 8:00pm, International Worker Day Celebration with Gerry Tenney and the Hard Times Orchestra. Program includes Yiddish songs. At Freight & Salvage. Tickets: $16.50 advance / $18.50 door. More info:

Thursdays, May 2, 9, 16, 1:00-3:00pm, Birobidzhan: Stalin's Socialist Paradise for Jews in Siberia with Ken Blady. Presented by Emeritus College at JFK University Campus, Pleasant Hill. Registration: $40; $30 Emeritus College Members. More info: 925.685.1230 X2388.

Thursday, May 9, 7:00pm, Ruth Rubin's Reel-to-Reel Mashinke, with Jeanette Lewicki. Ruth Rubin recorded native Yiddish singers, leaving hundreds of tapes with thousands of folk songs. Lewicki will sing and translate her favorite songs from these tapes. At Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327,

Tuesday, May 14, 6:15pm - Wednesday, May 15, 8:00am, Several Yiddish-inspired workshops at the Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (Tikn Leyl Shevuous). Details in the May newsletter. At JCC East Bay, Berkeley. No charge. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. More info: HERE

Thursday, May 30, 7:00pm, Hester Street. Joan Micklin Silver's film adaptation of Abraham Cahan's 1896 novella, "Yekl," was a landmark in independent cinema, as well as in women's and Jewish filmmaking. At Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327,

Friday - Sunday, May 24 - 26 (Memorial Day weekend), featured teacher Dr. Eddy Portnoy at kosher, shomer Shabbes, egalitarian Netivot Shalom biennial retreat. At Camp Newman, Sonoma County. Dr. Portnoy, professor of Yiddish language and culture at Rutgers University, received his Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, writing his dissertation on cartoons of the Yiddish press. Registration and $100 deposit due by April 22. $325 adult registration, $250 for Netivot Shalom members, less for teens, kids. More info: retreat[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 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!