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KlezCalifornia promotes and celebrates Yiddish culture in the San Francisco Bay Area

We are pleased to tell you that KlezCalifornia has received a $10,000 grant from the New York-based Natan Fund in support of our project, Tam - Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids. This project gives kids in grades K-12 in Jewish day schools, religious schools, and camps a flavor of Yiddish culture through stories and songs, motivating them to grow into heymish Jewish adults. Read more about Tam HERE.

If you are a principal, teacher, parent, or student and would like to learn more about Tam - Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids (including seeing the learning objectives on which we base our presentations) or to schedule a presentation on Yiddish culture for your students, please contact us at 415.789.7679 or info[at]

KlezCalifornia donors, Board and Advisory Council members, and volunteers are invited to our next semi-annual KlezCalifornia party onSunday, August 17, 2:00-5:00pm in Palo Alto. Invitations will be sent next week. If you would like to attend and are not yet a donor, please make a tax-deductible gift of any amount HERE, and we'll send you all the party details!

To learn more about KlezCalifornia's history, watch executive director Judy Kunofsky talk about the founding of KlezCalifornia HERE, our mission HERE and why we appeal to a sense of fun, not guilt HERE. All are excerpts from a ninety-minute interview with Judy, created as part of the Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project. The full interview is HERE and a menu of short excerpts is HERE.

-- Submissions for the August newsletter HERE by July 25.
-- Long-term calendar of events in the Bay Area: Events calendar
-- KlezCalifornia Geleh* Pages (*yellow), directory of Bay Area resources: Geleh 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
Beginners' Yiddish Classes in July
KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidishe Salon, Sunday July 27
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 24 - August 11
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in August
Support KlezCalifornia
Beginners' Yiddish Classes in July


July 11, 18, 25, 3:00-5:00pm, San Francisco Beginners' Yiddish "Summer Start-up" classes, led by Rochelle Goldman. Two-hour sessions sponsored by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring of Northern California and KlezCalifornia. At the Main Public Library, SAN FRANCISCO. No charge. More info: 650.577.1531,roshnman[at]  

KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh SalonSunday, July 27


Sunday, July 27, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon. For fluent Yiddish speakers. 

Mir veln aykh zogn di temes fun unzer salon a por vokhen far der salon. Az ir kent, brengt epes af vos tsu nashen. Es iz shtendik beser mit epes tsu esn. Zayt azoy gut un lozt mir visn friyer tsi ir kumt. Evie vet zayn dankbar tsu visn vifl benklakh zey darfn aroys-shteln. 

No charge. At a private home in EL CERRITO More info:415.789.7679
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 24 - August 11


Here are the three films showing at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival which are being co-presented by KlezCalifornia. Tickets for all are $12 - $14. More info: 415.621.0523,



Molly Picon, barely five feet tall but a giant of the Yiddish stage and screen, owns the title role of the put-upon "little mother" who plays Cinderella to an ungrateful family. A sparkling mix of humor, song and pathos, Mamele, in a restoration honoring the film's 75th anniversary, is fascinating for its portrayal of gender roles and Jewish life in Poland between the wars.

Saturday, July 26, 11:45am. CineArts, PALO ALTO  
Saturday, August 2, 4:40pm. Castro Theater, SAN FRANCISCO
Monday, August 4, 4:00pm. California Theater, BERKELEY
Friday, August 8, 2:10pm. Smith Rafael Film Center, SAN RAFAEL

Sturgeon Queens
If you are an aficionado of smoked fish and live in New York City, then you are most likely aware of Russ & Daughters. If not, you may become one after seeing this delectable documentary. This venerable establishment has been selling fish since 1914 and is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Anchoring the film is 100-year-old Hattie Russ Gold and 92-year old Anne Russ Federman, the daughters of the store's name and the sturgeon queens of the title. These two live wires reflect on the immigrant experience and their lives behind the counter. Well-known enthusiasts of the store are interviewed (with their favorite fish highlighted), including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, chef Mario Batali, New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, and 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer. Director Julie Cohen appears in Berkeley and San Francisco.

Saturday, July 26, 4:15pm, [email protected] Alto Square, PALO ALTO
Saturday, August 2, 6:30pm, Berkeley Repertory Theater, BERKELEY
Sunday, August 3, 12:15pm, Castro Theater, SAN FRANCISCO
Sunday, August 10, 12:00pm, Smith Rafael Film Center, SAN RAFAEL


Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem
The film screening will be followed by an award ceremony, 
brief performance, and Q&A with Mr. Bikel.  


The stories of two beloved Jewish icons are woven together in this documentary: Sholem Aleichem, the great Jewish storyteller, and this year's Freedom of Expression award recipient, Theodore Bikel: troubadour, actor, and one of the most popular stage interpreters of Aleichem's work. The prose of Aleichem (1859-1916) portrays like no one else the tragi-comic Jewish shtetl life. Fiddler on the Roof, the Broadway and Hollywood musical adaptation of Aleichem's Tevye the Milkman short stories, has immortalized him. Theodore Bikel, now 90, has portrayed Tevye on the American stage countless times. The film includes interviews with Alan Alda, Fyvush Finkel and Sholem Aleichem's 102-year-old granddaughter, Bel Kaufman. This is an enchanting film filled with laughter, tears and tunes about Aleichem and one of his best Tevyes (Bikel).

Thursday, July 31, 6:15pm, Castro Theater, SAN FRANCISCO (one showing only) 

Tickets: $12 - $14. More info:
Community Events 




Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Mondays at Saul's.  

July 07 -  Ben Goldberg and Rob Reich

July 14 -  Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band

July 21 -  Red Hot Chachkas

July 28 -  Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band

At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More

Second and Fourth Sundays, 3:30-5:30pm, Ghost Note Ensemble. At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354,

Fourth Wednesdays (next July 23), Klezmer Night, 7:00pm performance by Klezmer Creek, jam at7:30pm. At Gaia's Garden, SANTA ROSA. Free with minimum $5 purchase. More   



Friday, July 11 (also August 8), 7:00pm, Yiddish Song-Learning and Sing-Along with Alby Kass and Sonia Morse Tubridy. Share music and snacks and learn more than first lines and occasional words of favorite Yiddish songs! Location in Sonoma County TBA. Suggested donation: RRJC members $5, guests $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Reservations and more info:707.869.3273russianriverjc[at] 

Sunday, July 13 - Monday, July 14, times TBD, Where Did Yiddish Come From and How Do I  

Put It to Music? with Gale Kissin. Part of Limmud, a two-day, residential Jewish educational 
experience. Other related workshops: 

* Lord, Get Me High, Music of Shlomo Carlebach, with Cantor Doron Shapira

* Music Igniting Souls, with David Waksberg, Boris Kelman, Cantor Doron Shapira. The role of Jewish music in reawakening Jewish consciousness in East Europe. 

* How Jewish Music Got its American Groove, with Andy Muchin.

At Sonoma State University. ROHNERT PARK. Event cost, including lodging, meals, parking, and more: $120-$295 adults, $0-$80 kids. More info:


Sunday, July 20, 11:00am, Chassidism: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism, a presentation by Ken Blady. At Cultural Integration Fellowship, SAN FRANCISCO. No charge, but donations requested. More info:

Sunday, July 20, 4:00pm, Nigunim Chorus in Concert, honoring singers Israeli Arik Einstein and American Pete Seeger. Program includes an introduction by Donny Inbar, performance by the Nigunim Chorus (including a long Yiddish medley) and guest singer Eliana Kissner, and a sing-along with lyrics provided with Achi Ben Shalom. At JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. Tickets: $10. More info: 510.528.8872,mail[at]


Wednesday, July 30, 7:00-9:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Le Bateau Ivre Cafe/Restaurant, BERKELEY. More info: 510.849.1100lebateauivre.netmusikers.com510.529.8753.

On the Web 


Two fascinating articles on the origin of the Yiddish Language from "Tablet - A New Read on Jewish Life" : Where Did Yiddish Come From, by Cherie Woodworth HERE, and The Mystery of the 

Origins of Yiddish Will Never Be Solved, by Batya Ungar-Sargon HERE. (thanks to Ethel Murphy)


In honor of the Fourth of July, The Star-Spangled Banner in Yiddish, with the Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus HERE. Additional Independence Day songs are on their YouTube site HERE


See why Yiddish is cool with Talk Yiddish to Me, a parody of Derulo's song "Talk Dirty." Posted by The Jewish Daily Forward HERE. (thanks to Ken Blady, Rivka Greenberg) 


Article on The Remarkable Career of Ruth Wisse, Yiddish scholar and neo-con political firebrand, from The Jewish Daily Forward HERE. (thanks to Lea Delson)


Yiddish Western, from the archives of the Yiddish cinema, circa 1940, HERE. (thanks to Paula  Teitelbaum)

Farshidns (This 'n That)


CORRECTED JUNE Proverb of the month: We relied last month on a book of Yiddish proverbs (there are many) that seems to be unreliable. Last month's proverb really means: As long as one keeps talking, things can be worked out (Az me redt, derredt men zikh). (correction thanks to Professor Anna Gonshor, McGill University)

Coming in August


Put these exciting events on your calendar now. You can always check out KlezCalifornia's long-term calendar at   


Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Mondays at Saul's.   

August 04 - Ben Goldberg and Rob Reich
August 11 - Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band
August 18 - Red Hot Chachkas
August 25 - Hernandez Hideaway 

At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More 


Friday, August 8, 7:00pm, Yiddish song-learning and sing-along with Alby Kass and Sonia Morse Tubridy. Share music and snacks and learn more than first lines and occasional words of favorite Yiddish songs! Location in Sonoma County TBA. Suggested donation: Russian River Jewish Community members $5, guests $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Reservations and more info: 707.869.3273, russianriverjc[at] 


August 18, 25, September 8, 15, 2:00-4:00pm, Depiction of Women in Yiddish Writing, led by Loretta Denner. Read works by Rachel Korn, Sholem Aleichem, Yente Serdatsky, and I.B. Singer. The classes are largely discussion, with a minimum of lecture. At JCC Sonoma County, SANTA ROSA. Room is upstairs (no elevator). No charge; a donation to the JCC would be welcomed. More info: lorluba[at]


Sunday, August 30, 7:30pm, Stanford Klezmer Band concert. Bring beach chairs, picnic baskets, and wine. At Oshman Family JCC, outdoors in the Cultural Courtyard. PALO ALTO. No charge. More info: 650.223.8609, HERE.

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 imageDonors of $54 (3 chai/khay) or more may choose one of three "thank you" gifts:] * "The Oy Way," a 115-page book by Harvey Gotliffe, which helps you learn Yiddish expressions while engaging in meditative exercise. See * DVD of the wonderful 80-minute "Yiddish Theater: A Love Story" ( * Eight beautiful, brightly-colored, 5"x7" music-themed greeting cards designed by Sonoma County artist Nina Bonos (see HERE).

Your donations help KlezCalifornia keep Bay Area Yiddish culture and community vibrant and thriving. Plus, you are invited to two KlezCalifornia parties each year. 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!