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

Spring is here and Peysakh (Passover) is coming! L'kovid (in honor of) Peysakh, check out the words to two traditional Yiddish Seder songs, Di Fir Kashes (The Four Questions) and Mu Asapru (Who Knows One?), both HERE. Sing these songs at your Seders! 

You can listen to boys chanting Di FirKashes HERE (with the traditional melody) and HERE, and download Theodore Bikel singing Mu Asapru HERE.

A zisn peysakh tsu alemen! 
A sweet Passover to all!

Enjoy this picture (left) from an impromptu klezmer jam at KlezCalifornia's Purim Sudeh (celebration), attended by forty donors and volunteers. 

Left to right: Gerry Tenney, Joshua Horowitz, Tony Phillips, Achi Ben Shalom, Peter Bonos, Rachel McClung. 

Photo by Allen Stross, Master of Photography. 

And here are pictures from the four sold-out performances of Di Megileh, presented by the Yiddish Theater Collective, a fiscally-sponsored project of KlezCalifornia:

Left: Fastrigoseh (Berel Alexander), the journeyman tailor jilted by Esther, sings below her palace balcony.

Right: King Akhashveyrush (Linda Hirschhorn), Haman (Josiah Polhemus), and Queen Vashti (Eliana Kissner). 


Right: Fanfoseh, Master Tailor (Gerry Tenney), delivers a eulogy for Fastrigoseh, hung for trying to assassinate the king. Assisting him are two other tailors (Gilberto Melendez, Diane Wirtschafter).

Photos by Allen Stross, Master of Photography.   


-- Submissions for the May newsletter HERE by April 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
Yiddish Spring, April 24 - 27
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in May
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
Yiddish Spring Concerts, April 24 - 27


Thursday, April 24, 6:30pm and Sunday, April 27, 2:00pm (pre-concert talk 1:30pmYiddish Spring Concert in honor of Yom Hashoah. Soprano Heather Klein and guests celebrate new Yiddish song during a residency at The Contemporary Jewish Museum coinciding with Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). The concert is a world premiere of Mame Loshn, an art song cycle in Yiddish by composer Miriam Miller based on text by her grandmother Sarah Traister Moskovitz's book of poetry, "Come to the Table." Klein is joined by The Inextinguishable Trio, the internationally-recognized Veretski Pass, and visiting violinist Steven Greenman (from Cleveland).

The 90-minute concert features a pre-concert talk by Francesco Spagnolo on Sunday

At Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), SAN FRANCISCO. Yiddish Spring is a fiscally-sponsored project of KlezCalifornia. Tickets: $5-$10, including CJM admission. More info:   

Community Events 




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

April 07 - Red Hot Chachkas

April 14 - off for Passover

April 21 - Ellis Island Old World Folk Band

April 28 - Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band - 2 year anniversary celebration

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 known as Nine Nine Nine). At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info:

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:,   




Tuesdays, April 1, 8, 22, 29, 7:00-8:30pm, Joy of Jewish Dance, led by Bruce Bierman. Each class will include Hasidic, klezmer, Yemenite, and Israeli dances. Tickets: Class series: $90 general public, $75 Chochmat Halev (CHL) members. Drop-in per class: $30 general public, $25 CHL members $25. At Chochmat Halev, BERKELEY. More info: 510.704.9687.   


Thursday, April 10, 6:30pm, The Last Klezmer: Leopold Kozlowski, His Life and Music, 85- minute film, with an additional 18 minutes' footage never before seen. Directed by Yale Strom. At the University of San Francisco, McLaren Conference Center 252. No charge. More info: 415.422.6784,HERE.


Saturday, April 12, 3:3pm, Sentimentality and Survival: The Hidden History of "Fiddler on the Roof", a presentation by Dr. Ari Kelman. The talk will be followed by an hors d'oeuvre reception of traditional Russian specialties. No charge, but rsvp required by Tuesday, April 8 HERE or call650.493.4661. At Congregation Beth Am, LOS ALTOS HILLS. More info:


Friday, April 18, 5:00pm, Russian River Jewish Community Seder with music by Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble. At Monte Rio Community Center, MONTE RIO. Tickets: $18 adult members, $25 adult non-members, ½ price for children under 12, free under 5. Family rate available. More info and reservations:707.632.5545


Sunday, April 20, 7:00pm, Red Hot Chachkas: New American Klezmer from Old World Roots.  

At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. Tickets: $15 members and students / $20 non-members in advance / $25 at the door / free 18 and under. More info:  

Sunday, April 27, 4:00pm, Yes, We Sang, Songs of Communities that Disappeared, a musical 

Yom HaShoah Commemoration. Three choruses and special guests combine voices in a musical offering of pre-Holocaust songs in Yiddish, Ladino and Hebrew. Nigunim Community Chorus,
Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco, and Kol Truah Jewish Choir of the East Bay will perform selections from their own repertoire and then sing together. The program also includes a community sing-along with lyrics provided. At JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. More info: 510.528.8872,mail[at]


Tuesday, April 29, 1:00-3:00pm, Jewish Poets of Broadway: The Man Who Put the Rainbow in "The Wizard of Oz": A Tribute to Yip Harburg, presented by Bonnie Weiss. At the Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. Tickets: $15 or one punch on Community Tuesday Punch Card. More


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,

On the Web


How to Make Passover Rolls, illustrated recipe (in English and Yiddish) from Planters Edible Oil Company in the 1950s HERE, including the poster's comments on the kashrus of peanut oil for East European Jews! (thanks to Talia Shaham) 


Interview in Yiddish (with English subtitles) with Russian-born pianist Evgeny Kissin HERE. (thanks to Len Rosenberg)   


Weekly Yiddish radio show, Dos Yidishe Kol (The Yiddish Voice) on WUNR 1600AM, Brookline, Massachusetts, on Wednesdays 4:30-5:30pm (California time) at The website also includes links to past shows and to other internet Yiddish audio sites.  


The late Misha Marmar sings a Yiddish song, "Fiddler," over images of paintings and photographs of klezmorim by Marc Chagall and others, including one of Albert Einstein playing violin HERE. (thanks to Monica Cotik)


"Before Crimea Was an Ethnic Russian Stronghold, It Was a Potential Jewish Homeland," by Jeffrey Veidlinger in Tablet, HERE. (thanks to Lea Delson) 

Farshidns (This 'n That)


Proverb of the month: Wisdom can't be purchased in the market (Seykhl krigt men nisht af di berzeh).

Coming in May


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


Lilith the Night Demon in One Lewd Act, premiere of Veretski Pass' new work, with the  

San Francisco Choral Artists. Featuring humorist Michael Wex ("Just Say Nu") as the Narrator. 

Thursday, May 1, 7:30pm, Osher Marin JCC, SAN RAFAEL; Tickets: $30 and $39. 
Saturday, May 3, 8:00pm, JCC East Bay, BERKELEY; Tickets: $30 general, $25 students, seniors. 

Sunday, May 4, 4:00pm, Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, ATHERTON, Tickets: $39 general, $30 seniors, $25 students under 30. 

More info: 415.494.8149,,


Sunday, May 4, 2014 11:00am-2:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Kensington Farmer's Market, KENSINGTON. More info: 510.529.8753,   

Sunday, May 4, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Songwriter Yip Harburg, the Man Who Put the Rainbow in "The Wizard of Oz'" presented by  Bonnie Weiss. Part of A Day of Jewish Learning: Ignite Your Mind presented by JCC Sonoma County. At Finley Community Center, SANTA ROSA. More info: HERE.  


Thursday, May 8, 7:00pm, The Joy of Jewish Song: Sharon Bernstein accompanied by Carolyn Reiser, Karen Segal, and Judy Graboyes. Dessert reception follows. Songs in Ladino, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Judeo-Italian, and from German cabaret and American musical theater. No charge, but donations requested for this fundraiser for Friends of the Jewish Community Library's new Beyond Books Fund. At the Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO. More info and reservations:415.567.3327 X703, ajgreen[at]


Sunday, May 181:00pm-7:30pm, Klezmer Music and Dancing at Feast of Jewish Learning, a Lag BaOmer celebration. Four sessions of learning, art, music and performances for all ages, including klezmer dancing led by Karen Bergen and Yiddish song performance by the Yiddish Choristers. Picnic dinner and klezmer concert with The Klezmakers on the patio 6:15-7:30pm. At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. More info: 650.494.6983 X183, HERE


Tuesday, May 20, 12:00noon-1:30pm, Jewish Music: Classical & Folk, with David Chernyavsky, Rob Reich, Daniel Fabricant, Ben Goldberg. Program includes klezmer. At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. Tickets; $15 or one punch on Community  Tuesday Punch Card. More info: 650.223.8616, HERE


Thursday, May 22nd, 7:00-8:00pm, The Man Who Gave "Fiddler" its Heart: A Tribute to Lyricist Sheldon Harnick, a presentation with film clips by Bonnie Weiss. At the Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327, 


Tuesday, May 27, 1:30-3:00pm, Jewish Poets of Broadway: Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba), presented by Bonnie Weiss. At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. Tickets: $15 or one punch on Community Tuesday Punch Card. More info: 650.223.8616, HERE.

Honor Wall

New Honor Wall postings this month:

Laura S. Rosenberg: In honor of all my colleagues and friends in the KlezCalifornia family who, through their diverse experience and common commitment, do so much to keep Yiddish culture and klezmer music as vital forces in the universe. 

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!