Newsletter‎ > ‎


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

KlezCalifornia encourages all to celebrate the fabulous traditional mitsveh of the Purim Sudeh. It's a festival meal held late on Purim afternoon (this year, Sunday, March 16). We can help you with more information to make merry with your friends. We're having our semi-annual party on this occasion and have sent invitations to all who have donated to KlezCalifornia since last Purim. If you are a donor and didn't get an invitation, please contact us HERE. If you have not made a recent contribution, it's not too late! Donate any amount with a credit card HERE or mail a check to 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley 94703 and we'll send you all the party details! 

Not waiting for Purim to celebrate, twenty-seven local Yiddish singers (and friends) joined visiting Cantor Janet Leuchter (from New York) in a Zingeray on February 23 to share the legacies of Chana Mlotek and Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, beloved Yiddish singers who passed away in recent months. 


Photo top right by Gerry Tenney. Other photos by Allen Stross, Master of Photography. 


-- Submissions for the April newsletter HERE by March 21.
-- 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

Facebook rectangle 
In This Issue
Vilna, a Presentation by Ellen Cassedy, Thursday, March 6
Itzik Manger's Di Megileh, March 6-10
KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon, Sunday, March 23
Anthony Russell's Convergence, Sunday, March 23
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in April
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
Vilna, a Presentation by Ellen Cassedy, Thursday, March 6

Thursday, March 6, 7:00pm, Vilna, a presentation by Ellen Cassedy.The author of the award-winning book, "We are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust," explores the Jewish history of the city once known as the "Jerusalem of the North." She discusses how the City of Vilnius today is - and is not - remembering Jewish Vilna. "We Are Here" won the National Non-fiction Award from Grub Street, a Prakhin Literary Foundation Award, and the 2013 Towson University Literary Prize. Cassedy lives in the Washington, D.C. area. The event is co-presented by KlezCalifornia.  

At the Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327,    
Di Megileh of Itzik Manger, March 6-10


Thursday, March 6, 8:00pmSaturday, March 8, 8:00pmSunday, March 9, 3:00pmMonday, March 10, 1:00pm. Di Megileh of Itzik Manger. Di Megileh springs to vivid life in a whimsically-staged concert production featuring the Bay Area's biggest names in Jewish music and theater, full chorus, concert band and English supertitles. With one foot in 1930s Eastern Europe and the other in biblical Persia, Di Megilehrecounts the Book of Esther from the eyes of Esther's jilted lover, Fastrigoseh, the tailor.   

Love ... Betrayal ... Homentashen!   


Based on the Book of Esther and "Songs of the Megileh" by celebrated Yiddish poet Itzik Manager, with music by noted Israeli composer Dov Seltzer. Produced by the Yiddish Theater Collective, a fiscally-sponsored project of KlezCalifornia. Presented by the Jewish Music Festival. At the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY.  


Tickets: $25 general / $22 JCC East Bay members, students, seniors (March 10 only: $15 general / $12 JCC members, students, seniors). More info:

KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon, Sunday, March 23


Sunday, March 23, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon for fluent Yiddish speakers. We'll discuss various topics suggested by group members, play some word games, tell jokes and maybe sing. At a private home in Oakland. No charge. More info:415.789.7679flisik[at]


Anthony Russell's Convergence, Sunday, March 23

Sunday, March 23, 7:00pm, Anthony (Mordechai-Tzvi) Russell's "Convergence," with Veretski Pass. "Convergence" combines diverse strains of traditional Jewish and African-American music at points of spiritual, melodic and textual convergence. Classical vocalist Anthony (Mordechai-Tzvi) Russell, in collaboration with Bay Area klezmer trio Veretski Pass, creates a new repertoire of works exploring exile, spirituality, hope and redemption, enhanced by the animation of San Francisco-based artist Meredith Leich. Part of the 29th Jewish Music Festival. At the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. Tickets: $25 general / $22 students, seniors, JCC East Bay members. More info: 510.848.0237,
Community Events 




Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Mondays at Saul's, with Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band, guest bands, including Orchestra Euphonos on March 17, Rob Reich and Ben Goldberg on March 31. 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 (formerly Nine Nine Nine). At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More

Third Wednesdays, Klezmer Night, 7:00pm performance by Klezmer Creek, jam at 7:30pm.  At Gaia's Garden, SANTA ROSA. Free with minimum $5 purchase. More info:,   




Tuesday, March 4, 1:00-2:30pm, Tsars, Jews and Russia's Pale of Settlement, with Alan Fleishman. In Room E-104, Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. Tickets: $15 or one punch on Community Tuesday Punch Card. More info: 650.223.8616HERE.


Wednesday, March 5, 8;00pm, An Evening with Andy Statman.The mandolin and clarinet genius plays bluegrass, klezmer and more. At Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, BERKELEY. Tickets; $29 advance / $31 door. More info: 510.644.2020HERE.  


Sunday, March 9, 4:00pm, Great Yiddish Poets in Song - Mordechai Gebirtig, sung by Sharon Bernstein, part of Music in the Mishkan. Program also includes Café Music with Paul Schoenfield; Schubert's Piano Trio in E flat major with Marilyn Thompson, Randall Weiss, and Victoria Ehrlich; and a wine and cheese reception. At Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, SAN FRANCISCO. Tickets: $20 general / $15 Sha'ar Zahav members. More info: 415.861.6932HERE


Tuesday, March 25, 1:30-3:00pm, Jewish Poets of Broadway: Musical Theater's Legendary Lyricists - Betty Comden and Adolph Green, presented by Bonnie Weiss. At the Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. Tickets: $15 or one punch on Community Tuesday Punch Card. More info:650.223.8616HERE.    


Sunday, March 30, 6:00pm, To Sing Away the Darkest Days: Poems Re-Imagined from Yiddish Folksongs. A Poet, a Singer, a Book Release, with Norbert Hirschhorn (visiting from London) and the Bay Area's own Cantor Linda Hirschhorn. Refreshments served. At Afikomen Judaica, BERKELEY. Tickets: $5-$10. More info: 510.65.1977,  

On the Web


The late Bruce Adler sings the racy vaudeville number, Hudl Mitn Shtrudl, with clarinetist David Krakauser and the Barcelona Symphony (and translation), conducted by Elli Jaffe HERE (thanks to Lynn Breger). Hear Bruce Adler sing Fishel Kanapoff's raucous vaudeville hit, Hu-tsa-tsa, from the same recording session HERE (thanks to Shoshana Shelef). These are part of the Milken Archive's Great Songs of the American Yiddish Stage Project, described HERE, and more links to these wonderful videos are HERE (thanks to Len Rosenberg).


Folk singer Pete Seeger (d. 2014) and folklorist Ruth Rubin (d. 2000) sing Tumbalalayka HERE(thanks to Howard Freedman and Arthur Young). More Jewish songs sung by Pete Seeger HERE  (thanks to Rivka Greenberg).  


Leyenzal, a Yiddish reading room at, is a resource for readers and students of Yiddish. Every two weeks, users may download an excerpt of a novel, story, or a selection of poems along with an original Yiddish-language lecture about the text (thanks to Max Weinryb). 


Huge collection of klezmer and Yiddish scores available to view at the U.S. Library of Congress, including original printed and handwritten scores by all the greats of early 20th century American 78's. Go to and search for "Yiddish music" (posted by Tom Deakin on the Jewish music listserv, which you can subscribe to HERE).  

Farshidns (This 'n That)


Newly published: "A Tribute to My Teacher, Rabbi Simon Krinsky, His Poetry until 1936." Poems in Yiddish with translations by Bay Area author Rabbi Edward Zerin. 194pp. Available by sending a check for $14.45 (includes shipping) to Jewish Historical Society of Delaware, 505 N. Market Street, Wilmington DE 19801. More info: jhsdel[at]


Established klezmer group in North Bay is seeking a talented violinist with old world klezmer inclinations and experience for concerts, gigs, music making. More info: Paul at 707.762.1070, jubileeklezmer[at]


Proverb of the month: A promise is honorable enough but keeping it is tough (Shvern iz erlekh, haltn iz shverlekh).

Coming in April

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

Sunday, April 20, 7:00pm, Red Hot Chachkas. At Oshman Family JCC. Tickets: $15 members and students / $20 non-members in advance / $25 at the door / 18 and under free. At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. More info: 650.223.8609HERE.


Monday, April 21, 6:00-8:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. More info:


Thursday, April 24, 6:30 pm and Sunday, April 27, 2:00 p.m.(pre-concert talk at 1:30pm), Yiddish Spring Concert in honor of Yom HaShoah. Heather Klein performs Mame Loshn, an art song cycle in Yiddish by Miriam Miller. Also chamber ensemble performances of Yiddish songs written by other living composers, with The Inextinguishable Trio, Veretski Pass, and violinist Steven Greenman (from Cleveland). At Contemporary Jewish Museum, SAN FRANCISCO. Tickets: TBD. More 


Sunday, April 27, 4:00pm, Yes, We Sang Songs of Communities that Disappeared, a musical Yom HaShoah Commemoration. With Nigunim Community Chorus, Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco, Kol Truah Jewish Choir of the East Bay. At the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. Tickets: general $10 / seniors and children free. More info: 510.528.8872mail[at]


Tuesday, April 29, Jewish Poets of Broadway: The Man Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz: A Tribute to Yip Harburg, with Bonnie Weiss. At the Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO.Tickets: $15 or one punch on Community Tuesday Punch Card. More info: 650.223.8616, 


Wednesday, April 30, 7:00-9:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Le Bateau Ivre Coffeehouse Bar Restaurant, BERKELEY. More info: 510.529.8753, 510.849.1100,

Honor Wall

New Honor Wall postings this month:

Evie Groch: I am eternally grateful to my parents, Faye and Joseph Goldberg, for making mymamaloshn Yiddish. No other language carries the vast riches and gems of vocabulary and nuances Yiddish does. Embedded in their Yiddish was enough Polish to provide me with a little bit of fluency they hadn't counted on. While other parents spoke Yiddish to keep their children from understanding, mine had to speak Polish, since I was fluent in Yiddish. I consider myself blessed, and although I have few people around me anymore with whom I can converse in Yiddish, it will always be close to my heart.

Dina Shandling (Spring Valley, New York): in honor of my grandson Dovber Feldman's bar mitzvehand in honor of his great aunt and uncle, Judy Kunofsky and Mitchell Shandling, KlezCalifornia Executive Director and Board member, respectively, in recognition of their promotion of Yiddish culture.

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. Plaus, you'll be invited to two special 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!