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KlezCalifornia promotes and celebrates Yiddish culture 

in the San Francisco Bay Area

KlezCalifornia's twelfth Yiddish Culture Festival is almost here! Make plans to join the fun! 
photos of our festival  


Saturday and Sunday, November 1 & 2
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, California [MAP]
with special guest artist 
Joel Rubin, clarinet
photo by Lloyd Wolf   

      Joel Rubin & Veretski Pass
 dancing led by Bruce Bierman

 Festival registration HERE

SUNDAY, 9:00am-7:00pm
  • Master Classes to watch or participate in, with Joel Rubin and Veretski Pass
  • Klezmer 101: The Tricks, Trills, Slides and Beats to Making Them Dance, with Cookie Segelstein
  • The Dirty Klezmer Secrets of Dave (Tarras) and Naftule (Brandwein) with Joel Rubin 
  • Klezmer Dancing Steps and Styles, with Bruce Bierman
  • The Mystery of Improvisation (lecture/demo), with Joshua Horowitz and Stu Brotman
  • Hidden Tunes, the Repertoire of Moshe Beregovski, with Joel Rubin
  • Klezmer Dance Band, with Veretski Pass
  • Zingeray, take turns presenting a Yiddish song, led by Jeanette Lewicki
  • Golem as a Poem: A Being of Letters, with Jake Marmer
  • The Irritating Jewish Voice in Sholem Aleichem's Stories, with Gabriella Safran
  • How does the Tsar Drink Tea? (for kids 6-12 and their families), with Gerry Tenney
Three Singers: Four Opinions
 Yiddish Song Performance
 Sharon Bernstein, Jeanette Lewicki, Anthony Russell 
     Freylekh Finale PartyDancers at Finale dance party 
       music, dance, food, and fun!

Photo by Lea Delson,
Apples & honey.jpgWe wish you and your loved ones a sweet New Year! Rosheshuneh (Rosh HaShanah) begins Wednesday evening, September 24. For an observance with some Yiddish, see Community Events, below.

As you do t'shuva (repentance/returning) in preparation for Yumkipr (Yom Kippur) think about returning -- to Yiddish -- and studying ourmameloshn (mother tongue). Five classes are described below!


KlezCalifornia Summer Party: Donors and Board members shmoozed, ate, sang, danced, and jammed together at our semi-annual KlezCalifornia party, this time at a private home in Palo Alto. Become a Contributing Member by donating HERE and you will be invited to the next party in the Spring! 

Party photos by Lea Delson,


-- Submissions for the October newsletter HERE by September 24.
-- 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
Creating Judaica in Poland, Tuesday, September 9
Solano Stroll, Sunday, September 14
Yiddish Language and Literature Classes This Fall
KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon, Sunday, September 21
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in October
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
Creating Judaica in Poland, Tuesday, September 9

Tuesday, September 9, 7:00pm, Creating Judaica in Poland: Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar in conversation with Shana Penn. Founders of Mi Polin, the first Polish-made Judaica brand combining Jewish tradition and design, these two artists will discuss modern Jewish life for a younger generation and what it means to create contemporary Judaica in Poland. Shana Penn is executive director of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture. At the Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO. Co-presented by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327, (See also description below of related reception September 11 at Osher Marin JCC).
Solano Stroll, Sunday, September 14
Sunday, September 14, 10:00-6:00pm, KlezCalifornia booth at Solano Avenue Stroll. Along Solano Avenue in BERKELEY/ALBANY. Our booth is near 1685 Solano, West of Tulare Avenue and East of Ventura Avenue. Twenty-six blocks of free family fun, beginning with a parade at 10:00am! 
No charge. The Festival usually attracts 300,000 people, so bus, bike, or take the free shuttle from North Berkeley BART. No charge. More info:HERE.


Yiddish Language and Literature Classes This Fall

Friday, September 5 and then every other Friday3:00-5:00pm,Beginning Yiddish, with Rochelle Goldman. Presented by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring and co-presented  by KlezCalifornia. At the Main Library, SAN FRANCISCO. No charge. More info: 650.577.1531,roshnman[at]   


Mondays, September 15 - December 227:15-9:15pm, Reading Yiddish Texts, with Yael Chaver. Requirements: one year of college-level Yiddish language or equivalent. Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica and co-presented by KlezCalifornia. At the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY. Tuition: $210 / $195 if registered by September 8. More  


Tuesdays, September - December, 7:30-9:30pm (or possibly 6:45-8:30pm), Intermediate Yiddish, with a private teacher. Location TBD in the Palo Alto area. More info: 415.789.7679,info[at]

Wednesdays, September 17 - December 177:00-9:00pm, Intermediate Yiddish, with Jon Levitow.Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica and co-presented by KlezCalifornia. At Congregation Kol Emeth, PALO ALTO. Tuition: $300 (no-one turned away). More info: jnlvtw[at]comcast.net510.845.6420,   

Thursdays, September 18 - December 18 (some weeks skipped), 7:00-9:00pm, Intermediate Yiddish, with Jon Levitow. At Congregation Kol Tefillah, SANTA CRUZ. Suggested contribution: $300 (no-one turned away). More info: jnlvtw[at]

Mondays, September 29 - December 17:00-9:00pm, Reading Yiddish Literature, with Jon Levitow. Presented by Lehrhaus Judaica and co-presented by KlezCalifornia. At Congregation Etz Chayim, PALO ALTO. Tuition: $300 (no-one turned away). More info: jnlvtw[at]



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

KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon, Sunday, September 21

Sunday, September 21, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisher Salon. For fluent Yiddish speakers. 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! 

At a private home in SAN FRANCISCO. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679flisik[at]
Community Events 




Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Mondays at Saul's, with Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band, guest bands. At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info:  

     Sept. 08 - Ben Goldberg and Rob Reich
     Sept. 15 - Glenn Hartman and The Klezmer Playboys
     Sept. 22 - Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band
     Sept. 29 - Glenn Hartman and The Klezmer Playboys

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   


Fourth Wednesdays (call 707.544.2491 to confirm September date), 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:





Learn Yiddish Songs with Mark Levy. Dates/times will be determined by those who respond. Four two-hour sessions this Fall in San Francisco or Berkeley. Cost: $100 for all four (series registration only). More info: mitzvahmus[at]   


Through Friday, December 19, Literary Minds: Soviet Jewish Writers portrayed by Matvey Vaisberg (exhibit). Twelve works by Ukrainian artist, Matvey Vaisberg, including portraits of Sholem Aleichem, and of eight Yiddish writers murdered by the Soviet regime on August 12, 1952: Itzik Feffer, Leib Kvitko, Peretz Markish, and David Hofstein. The exhibition also includes biographical profiles of the authors, and poignant literary excerpts. At The Magnes, BERKELEY. No charge. More info:510.643.2526HERE.    


Sunday, September 7, 10:00am, Bagel Brunch on Yiddish Culture, with Dr. Joel Schechter and Diana Scott. Presented by Kol Hadash Community for Humanistic Judaism. At Albany Community Center, ALBANY. Cost: $10 per person donation requested. More info: 510.982.1455,


Sunday, September 7, 5:15pm, Stanford Klezmer Band performs at Russian Fair, 3:00-7:00pm. Dancing led by Bruce Bierman, presented by KlezCalifornia. No charge. At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO. More info: More info: 650.223.8609, HERE

Thursday, September 11, 7:00-9:00pm, Reception for opening of Mi Polin/ From Poland exhibition. Meet the Warsaw-based art duo, Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar, behind this first Polish-made Judaica brand. Exhibition until November 10. At the Osher Marin JCC, SAN RAFAEL. No charge. Rsvp for reception by September 5 to 415.444.8028, mshifs[at] More info: 415.444.8000, (See also description above of lecture by the two artists September 9 at Jewish Community Library). 

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.

Thursday, September 25, 2:00-4:00pm, Secular Rosh Hashonah, Jewish New Year Celebration with music by Gerry Tenney. Presented by the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring. Songs and refreshments, readings in English and some Yiddish. Family-friendly. At Humanities Hall, 1185 Vicente St. at 23rd Ave., SAN FRANCISCO. Tickets: Sliding scale $5-$10, free for WC/AR members. More info and reservations: 415.566.7235. 

On the Web


KlezKamp to end after thirty years; article in The Jewish Daily Forward HERE cites KlezCalifornia as one of the festivals inspired by KlezKamp.


Mexico-city band Klezmerson performs 8-Tartar Tantz HERE.  


Three songs (two Yiddish, one Hebrew) from Yiddishpiel's show, "Monologues From the Kishka,"HERE

Farshidns (This 'n That)


This Summer, the Yiddish-appreciating world lost Bel Kaufman and Moshe Shklar. Kaufman, granddaughter of Sholem Aleichem and author of the bestselling 1965 novel, "Up the Down Staircase," died in New York on July 25 at age 103. Yiddish poet Moshe Shklar, who lived in Los Angeles, died August 11 at age 94. 


Proverb of the month: The world has always been so: one has the wallet, the other has the dough(Azoy geyt oyf der velt: eyner hot dem baytl, der tsveyteh hot dos gelt).

Coming in October

Put these exciting events on your calendar now!

Klezmer Monday at Saul's Deli, BERKELEY. More info:

    Oct. 06 - Glenn Hartman and The Klezmer Playboys

    Oct. 13 -  Ben Goldberg and Rob Reich
    Oct. 20 -  Hernandez Hideaway
    Oct. 27 -  Glenn Hartman and The Klezmer Playboys

Wednesday, October 1, 7:00-9:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. At Le Bateau Ivre Cafe/Restaurant, BERKELEY. More info: 510.849.1100,


Monday, October 6, 7:30-9:15pm, Nigunim Community Chorus Fall Season begins, led by Achi Ben Shalom. Ten Mondays, culminating in December 20 Hanukkah concert. Songs in all Jewish languages, including Yiddish. Cost and more info: mail[at]

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 bySeptember 18. More info: 510.845.6420,  

Mondays, October 20 - December 84:00-5:45pm, Klezmer Youth Band (10 and up), with David Rosenfeld, Presented by Open Tent Shul of the Arts. All instruments welcome. Students should have a great enthusiasm for music and intermediate skills on their instruments. At Chochmat Ha-Lev, BERKELEY. More info, including fees: 805.259.5030. 

Honor Wall

New Honor Wall postings this month:

Joshua & Diane Wirtschafter: In memory of Arthur Schon, father of Diane Schon Wirtschafter, a soulful singer and saxophone player and lover of Yiddish. 

Laurie Le'ah Lippin: I was born in Boston to Russian-descended parents whose need to assimilate resulted in my not learning Yiddish. I grew up with a smattering of onomatopoetic words; Shabbes, with shiny, braided challah and roasting chicken; with Ma covering her head to kindle candles; Passover Seders, etc. But my appreciation for my Yiddish heritage really began with the Red Hot Chachkas as their accordionist. Music brought me home to my personal Yiddish heritage. RHC is an amazing, innovative klezmer band with a new accordionist, while I now find my neshomeh playing Yiddish tunes with Gale Kissen in our duo, the Harmonia Schvesters. 

Bernie Weiner and Heidi Linsmayer: In loving memory of Roberta H. Weiner.

Tony Phillips: My connection to Yiddish might be typical for a California native of my generation. My grandparents Carol and Irving grew up speaking Yiddish, but, living in New York City, used it mainly to avoid being understood by their children and grandchildren. In contrast, Irving's brother Joe, who immigrated when older, mainly spoke and read Yiddish, and his English was limited and thickly accented. That generation's origins in the Yiddish-speaking world was a treasure to be passed on to subsequent generations living under far easier circumstances. 

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!