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

 Don't miss this Fall's regional gathering for those who love Yiddish-inspired culture:  
photos of our festival



November 1 - 2

at the Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO

With special guest artist
Joel Rubin, Clarinet

Veretski Pass, "Three Yiddish Divas," 
and much more!

Music, song, dance, jams, lectures, master classes!
Concert, workshops, and parties!

Program and registration details COMING SOON HERE

or call 415.789.7679

Joel Rubin 

If you've been wanting to learn Yiddish, this Fall is a perfect time to get started, with classes in Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz. Tuition ranges from free to $3,275 (not a typo!). Scroll down to Community Events and to Coming in September for more information. 

-- Submissions for the September newsletter HERE
 by August 25.
-- KlezCalifornia Geleh* Pages (*yellow), directory of Bay Area resources: GelehPages 

-- Online sources of Yiddish-inspired culture: KlezCal on-line resources

-- Tam: Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids: HERE

-- Klezmer musicians looking for others: KlezCal want ads

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In This Issue
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, until August 11
KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidishe Salon, Sunday July 27
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Honor Wall
Coming in September
Support KlezCalifornia
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, until August 11


Here are the 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, 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, 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
KlezCalifornia Brunch Party, Sunday, August 17


Sunday, August 17, 11:00am - 2:00pm, KlezCalifornia Party. For donors, volunteers, Board and Advisory Council members: a big "thank you" to all those who make our varied activities possible! Brunch, beverages, shmoozing, music! If you are not yet a donor and would like an invitation, please take this opportunity to make a tax-deductible gift HERE. At a private home, PALO ALTO. More info: 415.789.7679,info[at] 

Community Events 




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

04 August - Ben Goldberg and Rob Reich                                      Muscians at Saul's 

11 August - Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band

18 August - Red Hot Chachkas

25 August - Hernandez Hideaway

At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354,

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:

Fourth Wednesdays (next August 27), 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:



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: RRJC members $5, guests $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Reservations and more info: 707.869.3273russianriverjc[at]

Mondays, August 18, 25, September 8, 15, 2:00-4:00pm, Depiction of Women in Yiddish Writing, led by Loretta Denner. Works by Rachel Korn, Sholem Aleichem, Yente Serdatsky, and I.B. Singer will be discussed. The classes are largely discussion, with a minimum of lecture. At JCC Sonoma County, Santa Rosa. Room is upstairs (no elevator). Free to all (a donation to the JCC would be welcome). More info: lorluba[at]

Thursday, August 19, 6:00pm, Orchestra Euphonos at Oakland Jewish Heritage Night, before the Oakland A's play the Mets at 7:05pm. Free gifts, food, and music at this game pre-party. At the Coliseum, OAKLAND. Tickets: $30 via web, plus convenience and handling fees. More info:510.563.2205HERE

Thursday, August 28 - Friday, December 1210:00-11:00am, Elementary Yiddish (Yiddish 101, cc #37903). Class meets Mondays to Fridays. No prerequisites. On the U.C. Berkeley campus, BERKELEY. Non-students may register through U.C. Extension beginning August 6; tuition for non-students is $3,275 (not a typo) plus a one-time enrollment fee of $125. More info: 


Thursday, August 28 - Thursday, December 1111:00am-12:30pm, Sholem Aleichem's Railroad Stories (Yiddish 103, cc #37906), taught by Dr. Yael Chaver. Class meets Tuesdays through Thursdays. Prerequisite: Yiddish 101 and 102 or consent of instructor. On the U.C. Berkeley campus, BERKELEY. Non-students may register through U.C. Extension beginning August 6; tuition for non-students is $1,965 (not a typo) plus an enrollment fee of $125. More info:


Sunday, August 30, 7:30pm, Stanford Klezmer Band concert, traditional and contemporary Yiddish, Israeli, and klezmer repertoire. With dancing led by Bruce Bierman. Bring beach chairs, picnic baskets and wine to enjoy a carefree summer evening with music and friends. At Oshman Family JCC, outdoors in the Cultural Courtyard. PALO ALTO. No charge. More info: 650.223.8609HERE


Fall Yiddish language courses through Lehrhaus Judaica will be announced mid-August. There is usually one class in Berkeley and one in Palo Alto. More info:

On the Web 


oy vey  

Online Sholem Aleichem course, an opportunity to study the life and work of this best-loved Yiddish writer. Access lectures by Jeremy Dauber, as well as readings, resources, and a lively discussion 

forum, September 2-23. Offered by the Yiddish Book Center. More info: HERE


Charming video (for adults) with Yiddish sex talk from The Jewish Daily Forward HERE


Origins of the Yiddish language by Philologos, columnist for The Jewish Daily Forward: Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE

Farshidns (This 'n That)


Proverb of the month: Az men hakt holts, faln shpendlekh. (When one chops wood, chips fallIn other words, for some actions, expect collateral damage.) (thanks to Ben Parket) 

Honor Wall


New Honor Wall posting this month: 


Carmen and Harvey Gotliffe:  In blessed memory of Carmen Gotliffe's Sephardic Jewish parents, 
Dr. Joseph and Pastora Santos of Malaga, Spain, and Carmen's son David. Wishing a
zayt mir gezunt to Carmen's sister Charo, also of Malaga.

Coming in September


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

01 September - to be announced
08 September - Ben Goldberg & Rob Reich

15 September - Glenn Hartmann's Klezmer Playboys

22 September - Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band

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

Starting Friday, September 6, 3:00-5:00pm, San Francisco Beginners' Yiddish classes, led by Rochelle Goldman. Two-hour sessions every other week sponsored by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ringof Northern California and KlezCalifornia. At the Main Public Library, SAN FRANCISCO. No charge. More info: 650.577.1531roshnman[at]

Sunday, September 7, 5:15pm, Stanford Klezmer Band performs at Russian Fair, 3:00-7:00pm. Dancing will be led by Bruce Bierman. No charge. As Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto. More info: 

650.223.8609, HERE


Thursday, September 11, 12:30-1:30pm, The Gonifs: Jeanette Lewicki and Veretski Pass. At 

Yerba Buena Gardens, SAN FRANCISCO. No charge. More info: HERE


Sunday, September 14, 10:00-6:00pm, KlezCalifornia booth at Solano Avenue Stroll. Join 250,000 people for this annual event and say "hello" at KlezCalifornia's booth between Ventura and Tulare Avenues. The Stroll is along Solano Avenue in BERKELEY and ALBANY. No charge. More 

info: HERE


Sunday, September 21, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon. Bring an item that has a personal meaning for you or your family to show and talk about. Tell a joke, join in on a song. And talk about what you would do with five million dollars! For fluent Yiddish speakers. No charge. At a
private home in SAN FRANCISCO. More info: 415.789.7679, flisik[at]


Mondays, September 15 - December 227:15-9:15pm, Reading Yiddish Texts, with Yael Chaver.Requirements: at least a year of college-level Yiddish language or the equivalent. Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica at the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. Registration begins mid-August. Tuition: $210 / $195 if registered by September 8.  More info: 510.845.6420,


Wednesdays, September 17 - December 177:00-9:00pm, Intermediate Yiddish, with Jon Levitow.Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica at Congregation Kol Emeth, PALO ALTO. Registration begins mid-August. Tuition: $300 (no-one turned away for lack of funds). More info: jnlvtw[at], 510.845.6420,

Thursdays, September 18October 2October 23 - December 18 (not November 27), 7:00-9:00pm, Intermediate Yiddish, with Jon Levitow. At Congregation Kol Tefillah, SANTA CRUZ. Suggested contribution: $300 (no-one turned away for lack of funds). More info: jnlvtw[at]  

Mondays, September 29 - December 17:00-9:00pm, Reading Yiddish LIterature, with Jon Levitow. Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica and Congregation Etz Chayim, PALO ALTO. Tuition: $300 (no-one turned away for lack of funds). More info:jnlvtw[at], 510.845.6420,

Wednesdays, October 1 - December 107:00-8:30pm, Intermediate Yiddish, with Danny Luzon.Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica at JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. Tuition: $120 / $100 if registered by September 18. More info: 510.845.6420,

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!