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2014-05b singing

Songbook cover, 3rd edition
Our San Francisco Bay Area is blessed with many Yiddish singers and song events, participatory and performance. This special supplement to KlezCalifornia's monthly news introduces you to four local choruses whose repertory includes Yiddish song and who invite you to join! We also give you a "heads up" for five Yiddish singing events in June. 
KlezCalifornia's SongBook includes the words to fifty-five popular Yiddish songs, and is available for a donation of $3 ($5 with handling and postage). If you want piano parts as well as words, check out (
) the three Chana and Yosl Mlotek songbooks published by Workmen's Circle. To order: 212.889.6800 X821lgordon[at]

You can also buy Lomir Zingn a Yidish Lid from Gerry Tenney HERE
. The original publisher is out of business but Gerry has copies.

Lomir Zingn! Let's sing (in Yiddish)!


-- Submissions for the June newsletter HERE
 by May 23.
-- 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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Yiddish Singing in June


Sunday, June 1, 4:00-6:00pm, Great Yiddish Poets in Song: Mark Warshawsky, with Sharon Bernstein. Part of Music in the Mishkan, whose program also includes Beethoven and Dvorak, wine and cheese. At Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, SAN FRANCISCO. Tickets: $20 general, $15 Sha'ar Zahav members. More info:

Tuesday, June 3, 9:30-10:30pm, Sing Your Way Through the Jewish Year, with songs in Hebrew, Yiddish and English, with Claire Sherman and Judy Kunofsky.  Part of 20th annual East Bay community-wide Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (Tikn Leyl Shevuis), an all-night study session, Tuesday, June 3, 6:15pm - Wednesday, June 4, 7:00am. Join six hundred others for workshops, lectures and services. At JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. No charge. More info: 510.229.8993tikkun[at], 

Sunday, June 8, 2014, 2:30 pm. 88th annual S.F. Jewish Folk Chorus Concert. An afternoon of choral folk songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino and Russian celebrating the Jewish chicken ranchers of Petaluma. At Jewish Community High School of the Bay, SAN FRANCISCO. Tickets: general: $10 advance/ $15 at door. Students, seniors, those with disabilities: $10 advance, $12 at door. More 

Saturday, June 14, 7:00pm, The Zingeray, hosted by Anthony Russell. A social gathering to sing, share, listen and pass on Yiddish songs, ballads, lullabies, narratives and romances, performed in a casual, inclusive style and space. Food, drink, and songbooks provided. At JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679HERE 

Sunday, June 22, 12:30-1:15pm, Mama Loshn performs; 1:45-2:15pm, Fiddler on the Roof Sing-Along, (plus klezmer dancing 2:30-3:15 with Bruce Bierman), all at Simcha Sunday Jewish Cultural Festival, 12:00noon-4:00pm. At Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, SANTA ROSA. No charge. More info: 
Four choruses to join!


We invite you to join one of four exciting Bay Area choruses that perform Yiddish songs:

* Stephen Varney, Conductor
* Rehearsals in San Francisco, Tuesdays, 7:30-9:30 pm, September to June
* More info: 510.220.6325415.239.1725,

* A donation of $60 is suggested for the year.

This chorus, whose roots are in the labor movement, has been singing since 1926. Songs are mostly in Yiddish, with some in Hebrew, Russian, and Ladino. Transliterations and translations are provided so knowledge of these languages is not necessary. There are 20 - 25 members in our chorus, and we can accommodate many more.   

Conductor Stephen Varney has a Master's Degree in piano, choral and orchestral conducting, and is the founder of the Berkeley Academy of Music.  He works easily and respectfully with people of all musical backgrounds, from beginners to those with musical training. No auditions are required to join the Chorus.

We perform about eight concerts per year, usually Sunday afternoons. This year's Annual Concert for the general public will take place Sunday, June 8, 2:30pm, at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco.    

* Cantor Pamela Rothmann Sawyer, Artistic Director
* Rehearsals in Berkeley at Congregation Netivot Shalom, Mondays, 7:00pm. (We do not officially meet mid-June to August, but we sometimes get together for a potluck and read-through of new music.) 

* More info:, 



* Membership dues per program set: $75.

Kol Truah Jewish Choir of the East Bay is dedicated to the preservation, dissemination, and performance of Jewish music for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of the Jewish community in the Bay Area, and the community at large. In addition to our repertoire of music by the great classical and contemporary composers, we have been known to sing some gospel, jazz, show tunes, among others. Our repertoire includes pieces in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, French, Ladino, and German. In others words, while we sing and learn, we also have great fun!  CDs or mp3s are provided to help you learn parts.  


* Achi Ben Shalom, Director
* Rehearsals in Berkeley at the JCC East Bay, Mondays, 7:30pm
* More info: 510.528.8872,  mail[at],
* Tuition: $150 for a season (ten classes and a concert)

Nigunim Community Chorus sings and performs traditional and contemporary songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and English, arranged for two, three, and four parts. Our goals are to preserve traditional Jewish folk music and learn contemporary music in a supportive community where participants can develop musical skills while having a great time. Many members have been with us ten years or longer, and the group grows from year to year. New singers are always welcome to audition.

* Karen Koppel Bergen, Director; Alex Eulenberg, Accompanist
* Rehearsals in Palo Alto at Congregation Etz Chayim, Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00pm. (We sometimes go on brief hiatus, so check before you come. In 2014 we will not meetJune 25 - July 16.)
* More info: kkbergen[at] or phone 408.737.3474 after 10:00am.
* Donation of $5 per rehearsal attended is suggested to help defray costs.

The Yiddish Choristers have been singing since 1982 in Palo Alto.  We enjoy singing mainly Yiddish songs, with some Ladino, Hebrew, and Russian songs mixed in for spice.  We usually perform:
* For seniors during Chanuka,
* For the community at the South Bay Yom HaShoah v'Hagevurah commemoration in the Spring, and 
* For the Feast of Jewish Learning at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in the Spring.  

When not rehearsing for these performances, we sing a smattering of favorite songs with themes ranging from down-hearted to perfectly celebratory! Lyrics are transliterated. A love for Yiddish music is really all that potential members need in order to participate.
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!