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Have you read about the knaidel/kneydl controversy? Thirteen-year-old Arvind Mahankali won the Scripps National Spelling Bee (and $20,000) by spelling knaidel, Yiddish for matzo ball, according to its spelling in Webster's Third New International Dictionary. This young man had never even tasted a, well, knaidel. Some Yiddish lovers were pleased that a Yiddish word was included. Others were upset because the "official" spelling according to YIVO, the Yiddish Scientific Institute, is kneydl, people who speak a different Yiddish dialect spell the word differently, and/or it's ridiculous to use a non-English word, with many spellings, in an English spelling bee.

If you're curious, read two very interesting articles about this controversy: One HERE
 by Dara Horn puts transliterated spelling conventions in the context of different kinds of Jewish identity. The other HERE
 by Philologos, columnist for "The Jewish Daily Forward," explains that the problem lies not with Yiddish but with English.

KlezCalifornia uses YIVO spelling conventions, with one exception: YIVO's spelling for father is tate. We've found that at Bay Area Yiddish sing-alongs, people read that transliteration as, well, tate, with a long "a" and silent "e." So, we add a final "h" to any word that ends with a short "e": tateh, bas mitsveh, mishpokheh, etc. Sometimes we hedge (see " chai/khay" in the final box below, requesting your financial support), sometimes we go with what is conventional (Sholem Aleichem rather than Sholem Aleykhem,as YIVO spells it), and in December, we spell Khanikeh the way an event's presenters do!


PARTY! Speaking of your financial support, donors to KlezCalifornia are invited to twice-yearly parties with Board and Advisory Council members, key volunteers and staff. Enjoy food & drink, music, and often singing and dancing. The next party will be Sunday, August 18, at a private home in the Oakland Hills. If you would like an invitation, be sure you've made a tax-deductible donation to KlezCalifornia in the past year! We need and appreciate your financial support. Donating is easy, simply click HERE

Photo by Lea Delson,

* Nigunim Weekend Retreat, August 23-25, Mendocino County. More info:

* KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival, October 26-27, Berkeley. More info: HERE

-- Submissions for the August newsletter HERE
 by July 22
-- Long-term calendar of events in the Bay Area: Events calendar

-- KlezCalifornia Gele* Pages (*yellow), directory of Bay Area resources: Gele Pages 

-- 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
Nigunim Chorus Weekend Retreat, August 23-25
Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band, Sunday, July 21
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in August
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
Nigunim Chorus Weekend Retreat, August 23-25

Nigunim Chorus will hold its third annual weekend retreatAugust 23-25 at River's Bend Retreat Center in Mendocino County's Anderson Valley. We create a singing community while preserving our cultural heritage. 
The retreat will include classes during the day and two evening programs of concerts and singing around the campfire. There will be teaching by cantor Linda Hirschhorn, performance by Ami Goodman, drumming lessons by Jan Padover, dance and choreography classes led by Bruce Bierman and art making with Susan Felix. Achi Ben Shalom will teach Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino songs. Also included: six prepared meals, group yoga, and swimming and hiking through nearby Hendy Woods State Park. The retreat is co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia.
Cost: $290 Tent Cabin, $330 Rustic Cabin, $350 Lodge or Vintage Cabin. Space is limited. More info:

Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band, Sunday, July 21
Sunday, July 21, 6:00pm (music begins 6:30pm) Klezmer Night with Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band, 
with Mike Perlmutter (clarinet) (at left), Dave Rosenfeld (mandolin, violin, percussion), and Jack Hanly (poyk, mandolin). Dancing led by Bruce Bierman. 

Saul Goodman comes from a musical tradition tracing back to the old world shtetl of Szrensk. Incorporating post-immigrant sounds rooted in klezmer tradition, Saul Goodman's music moves the spirit and the dance. 

At Tannourine Restaurant, San Mateo. $10 cover + order off regular menu. 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 minimum $10 purchase. More info: . On Monday July 29, Red Hot Chachkas - see below. 


Saturday July 13, 8:00-11:00pm. Dance Party/Send-off for Jewish Music Festival's Ellie Shapiro,spending a year in Poland on a Fulbright Fellowship. Music by Ark Project members Stuart Brotman on bass, Jewlia Eisenberg on vocals, Glenn Hartman on accordion, Jessica Ivry on cello, John Schott on guitar; plus Veretski Pass (Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, Stu Brotman). Bruce Bierman will lead dancing. A benefit for the Jewish Music Festival. At JCC East Bay. Tickets: $36. More info: HERE

Saturday, July 20, 7:30-10:00pmMama Loshn, in a Mid-Summer Musicale and Dance Party. Yiddish, Ladino, and English-language music. Mama Loshn will welcome other musical guests, including Reb Irwin Keller, Laurie Le'ah Lippin, and dance leader Bruce Bierman. A benefit for the JCC's Sonoma County Film Festival and Congregation Ner Shalom. At Congregation Ner Shalom, Cotati. Wine and beer available for purchase. Tickets: $20 advance /$25 door. More info:
Monday, July 29, 6:00-8:00pm, Red Hot Chachkas at Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen, Berkeley. See above for more details about Klezmer Mondays at Saul's.
On the Web, a new way to learn Yiddish, features animated videos whose main character is a robot. Around thirty new course-levels are scheduled online over the next several years, one added every two or three months, all of which will be free for users.   

Farshidns (This 'n That)

Band seeks bass player: San Francisco Peninsula klezmer band is looking for a new bass player, as our "founding" bass player is leaving the area. Rehearsals are Sunday mornings, 10:30am-12:30pm, in Mountain View. See and hear us at
. More info: info[at] (See other KlezCal "want ads" HERE

Accordion for sale, 1940s Excelsior Special, Pietro's System, excellent condition. Contact: Jackie atjsparkle[at] (in Walnut Creek).

Proverb of the month: He who is silent means something just the same (Der vos shvaygt meynt oykh epes). 
Coming in August

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

August 1-37:30pm "On Broadway" summer music theater camp presents "Fiddler on the Roof" with young actors entering grades 5-9. Location TBD. Tickets: $15 youth 18 and under and seniors 65 and over, $20 adults, $35 reserved seating. More info:

Thursday, August 1, 8:00pm, Davka Concert (w Daniel Hoffman from Israel) performing at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley. Tickets: $20.50 advance/ $22.50 door. More info: 510.644.2020,

Saturday, August 3, 8:00pm, Klez-X Concert, with Daniel Hoffman. Part of SF Live Arts at St. Cyprian's Church, San Francisco. Prices TBD. More info:

Wednesday, August 7, 1:00-2:00pm, Yiddish & Yoga. Dr. Harvey Gotliffe will speak about his book "The Oy Way," which offers a meshugeh (crazy) philosophy that combines meditation, exercise, and humor. No charge. At the JCC San Francisco. More info: 415.292.1260HERE

Sunday, August 11, 2:20pm, "Commie Camp," presented by the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. This 69-minute film is about Camp Kinderland, an inclusive, multi-ethnic, anti-racist, Yiddish-friendly community. KlezCalifornia is a co-presenter. Tickets and more info:

Friday, August 23 - Sunday, August 25 (optional starting on the 22nd), 3rd Annual Nigunim Weekend Retreat.  Music making, singing, drumming, dancing and swimming in the redwood forest of Hendy Woods State Park, along the Navarro River in Mendocino County. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. More info:

Wednesday, August 28, 7:00-9:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Le Bateau IvreCoffeehouse Bar Restaurant, Berkeley. More info:

HonorWallHonor Wall

New Honor Wall
 postings this month:

From his Blackburn cousins Betty, Kay & Gail: In memory of Icek Mozes.

Betsy Eckstein: In memory of Icek Mozes.

Ovid Jacob: In memory of Icek Mozes, who was an inspiration and teacher to me with his love ofYidishkayt.

Reyna Greenfield:  I am making a contribution in memory of my mom, Anne Raiklen. My mother's parents, who were my grandparents, emigrated from the Ukraine in the early 1900s. They were from a small Yiddish-speaking Jewish shtetl near Odessa. As a child on the Lower East Side of New York, my mother learned Yiddish as her first language. In memory of my mom, this is dedicated to the continuance of the Yiddish language and Yiddish culture. 

Bernie Weiner and Heidi Linsmayer:
 In honor of Julius Barron: A wonderful, loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, on the occasion of his 91st birthday.

SupportKlezCaliforniaSupport 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/khay) or more. 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
. 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 cardsHERE

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! We thank you very much and welcome you at two special KlezCalifornia parties each year.