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KlezCalifornia promotes and celebrates Yiddish culture

in the San Francisco Bay Area

What a wonderful Yiddish Culture Festival in Palo Alto last weekend! Hundreds of people enjoyed singing, dancing, playing, hearing awesome klezmer music and Yiddish song, and learning how East European Jews speak and listen. Kids put on a musical play, "Vi Azoy Trinkt Der Keyser Tey? (How Does the Tsar Drink Tea?)." We'll have lots of Festival pictures to show you in the next newsletter, but for now here's one: 

  Photo by Lea Delson,

The San Jose Mercury News ran a fine story about our Festival: text HERE and eight pictures HERE. We'll show you lots more pictures in the next newsletter.

YiddishLand, a Sonoma County Festival of Yiddish Culture, created completely by Sonoma County residents, continues a parade of events all around the Bay Area in November. KlezCalifornia is a co-sponsor, and we hope to see you there in Cotati the weekend of November 15-16. See below with more details about this and many other terrific events. 


-- Submissions for the December newsletter HERE
 by November 21.
-- 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
A Tribute to My Teacher, Sunday, November 9
Flisik Yidisheh Salon, Sunday, November 9
Yiddish Cultural Festival in Sonoma County, weekend of November 15-16
Rescuing the Evidence, Monday, November 17
An Invitation to Piyut, Thursday, November 20
Zion80 - Jewish Afrobeat, Saturday November 22
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in December
Honor Wall
Support KlezCalifornia
A Tribute to my Teacher, Sunday, November 9


Sunday, November 9, 1:30-3:00pm, A Tribute to My Teacher, with Rabbi Ed Zerin. When Simon Krinsky published his book Faraneneh un Gevezeneh (Present and Past) in 1935, Edward Zerin was fifteen. It was not until Rabbi Zerin discovered a copy at the Yiddish Book Center in Massachusetts 75 years later that he came to appreciate how much his teacher had influenced his life. He then translated the poems into English in a recently published volume. Light refreshments included. Co-presented by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327,  

At Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO   

KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon, Sunday, November 9


Sunday, November 9, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon, every other month, for fluent and native speakers. Dos mol veln mir redn fun dray zakhn: 
1.    Di besteh metuneh vos di host derhalten

2.    Vi azoy mir redn mit unser kerper o guf (body language)
3.    A gevoynhayt o minhag fun dayn mishpokheh.
Az ir kent, brengt epes af vos tzu noshen.  Es iz shtendik beser mit esn. Zayt azoy gut un lozt mir visn friyer tsi ir kumt.  Oyb veyneker fun finf menshn kumen, veln mir nit zikh trefn.  


No charge. More info: 415.789.7679flisik[at]
At a private home in OAKLAND  

Yiddish Cultural Festival in Sonoma County, weekend of Nov. 15-16


Saturday-Sunday, November 15-16, YiddishLand, Sonoma County Festival of Yiddish Culture.   


Saturday Performance: 6:30pm Dance Lesson with Bruce Bierman, 7:00pm Performance by Mama Loshn, juggler and playwright Sara Felder, Traveling Jewish Theatre Co-Founder Naomi Newman, Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble with Alby Kass, Laurie Lippin, Yiddish cowboy Scott Gerber, Irwin Keller. Saturday night tickets: $18 adults, $9 kids 6-12.


Sunday Workshops: Noon - 4:00pm, Free workshops for all ages: Mapping Our Amazing Yiddish Journey, Humor and Curse in Yiddish LIfe and Literature, Yiddish Lives Project, Mysteries of Yiddish: Unlocking the Lexicon, Yiddish Struggle and Culture through its Music, American Jewish Radicalism, Collaging our Legacy, Jewish Chicken Farmers of Sonoma County, Yiddish Dramatics for Families, Yiddish Storytime for Families. No charge. 


Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. More info:

At Congregation Ner Shalom, COTATI
Rescuing the Evidence, Monday, November 17


Monday, November 17, 7:00pm, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum presents Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, a presentation with archival film clips by Glenn Kurtz and Leslie Swift. One year before the outbreak of World War II, David Kurtz captured three minutes of ordinary life in Nasielsk, a small, predominantly Jewish town in Poland, on 16 mm Kodachrome color film. These few minutes of home-movie footage became the sole surviving moving images of this town. The book traces the author's four-year journey to identify the people in his grandfather's haunting images. Reception and book signing will follow the presentation. Co-presented by KlezCalifornia. No charge, but rsvp appreciated. To register, please visit . More info:  

At Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO  

An Invitation to Piyut, Thursday, November 20


Thursday, November 20, 7:00pm, An Invitation to Piyut: the world of sacred Hebrew song, past, present and future, a presentation by Israeli performance artist Yair Harel. Piyutim (Hebrew liturgical poems), chanted for centuries across the Diaspora, have been adapted to different melodies, evolving into a form of "Jewish world music" in Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. This singing tradition, a core component of synagogue practice, has also entered secular life in Israel through public performances, workshops, and arts festivals. Co-presented by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info: 415.567.3327,

At Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO 

Zion80 - Jewish Afrobeat, Saturday, November 22


Saturday, November 22, 8:00pm, Zion80 - Jewish Afrobeat. What happens when contemporary Jewish music is played through the lens of Afrobeat funk master Fela Anikulapo Kuti! Genre-busting ten-piece band, led by Jon Madof and including Frank London and Matt Darriau, who also play with the Klezmatics.  


KlezCalifornia is a community partner for this event. Tickets: $30 standard / $40 premium. 10% discount with promo code JMF. More info:415.292.1200HERE.

At Jewish Community Center, SAN FRANCISCO 


Community Events 




Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Mondays at Saul's, with Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band, guest bands. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354,

    Nov. 03 - Red Hot Chachkas 

    Nov. 17 & 24 - Balkan and Middle Eastern music
    Nov. 24 -  no music  

    Dec. 01 - Hernandez Hideaway  

At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY 

Second and Fourth Sundays, 3:30-5:30pm, Ghost Note Ensemble. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info:    

At Saul's Restaurant and Deli, BERKELEY  


Fourth Wednesdays (call to confirm date), Klezmer Night, 7:00pm performance by Klezmer Creek, jam at 7:30pm. Free with minimum $5 purchase. More info: 707.544.2491,
At Gaia's Garden, SANTA ROSA


Every other Wednesday, 6:00-9:00pm (including Nov. 12, 26), Hot Kugel (Suska Varda and Mordecai). Free with food purchase. More info:

At Yeganeh Bakery and Cafe, SANTA CLARA 




Now through November 10Mi Polin/ From Poland (exhibit), Judaica by Warsaw-based Jews Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar. No charge. More info: 415.444.8000,

At Osher Marin JCC, SAN RAFAEL 


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

At Magnes Collection of Jewish Life and Art, BERKELEY     


Friday, November 7, 9:00pm, Jubilee Klezmer Dance Concert, part of Sonoma Festival of Ukrainian Culture, Friday and Saturday. Full evening: $20 advance/ $25 door. Festival passes: $60-$80. More info: HERE

At Sonoma Moose Lodge, SONOMA    


Thursday, November 13, 8:00pm, The Ester Rachel Kaminska and Ida Kaminska State Jewish Theater (from Warsaw) presents Mazel Tov, a musical show in Yiddish. Tickets: $40-$80. More info: or

At Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, SAN FRANCISCO


Saturday, November 15, 1:00-3:00pm, Bagels and Bellies Klezmer Brunch featuring Kugelplex and the Shtetl Shakers (belly dancers). Tickets: $10-$20 sliding scale. More info:

At Salle Piano & Events, SAN FRANCISCO 


Sunday, November 16, 1:00pm, The Man Who Put the Rainbow in the The Wizard of Oz: A Tribute to Lyricist Yip Harburg, a presentation by Bonnie Weiss. No charge. More info:   

At Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO  


Sunday, November 16, 4:00pm, When Comedy Went to School (film screening), followed by dessert reception and opportunity to meet Larry King. Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival closing night special event. Tickets: $65.00. More info: 408.498.0904HERE.  

At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO

Luck or Wisdom? by Stephen Saxon, with narration by Joel ben Izzy. Folk tale paired with klezmer-style score. Storytelling in Music Family Concerts presented by San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. No charge. More info:   

Saturday, November 22, 2:00pm, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, SAN FRANCISCO 
Sunday, November 23, 12:00noon, at Oakland Asian Culture Center, OAKLAND 
Sunday, November 23, 3:30pm, at College of San Mateo Theatre, SAN MATEO 
On the Web


New website for The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP), established in 1939, HERE.  


Young Lithuanian volunteers create cultural center to remember, mourn and honor Lithuania's Jewish heritage out of a building within the former Vilna ghetto. Article by Ellen Cassedy HERE.  


Free beginning Yiddish classes offered through several libraries which link to Mango Language Learning Site. Learning is at your own pace, with voice prompts, words written in English and Yiddish (transliterated if you hover your mouse), and pronounced in Yiddish. With a San Francisco library card, log into, go to eBooks, then eLearning, then language learning. With a Berkeley library card, log into, move cursor to "explore," under subtitles move cursor to "research and learning," scroll down to language learning, read paragraph on Mango Learning, then click on choice of available links. (Thanks to Frank Snitz and Diana Scott)


Intermediate and advanced Yiddish classes online offered by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring. More info HERE.

Farshidns (This 'n That)


Newly installed art around the JCC San Francisco includes a Jewish wedding fresco created in 1933 by Polish-born Bernard Zakheim, a protégé of Diego Rivera and a pioneer in the Bay Area mural movement of the 1930s. The fresco, on the building's third floor, depicts a festive wedding outside a gated city, with dancers, jugglers, and a drummer beating on a goatskin drum. 

Proverb of the month: Once, it's clever. (Eyn mol is geven a khokhmeh).

Coming in December

Put these exciting events on your calendar now!


Saturday, December 6, 8:00pm, Veretski Pass. Part of Old First Concerts. Tickets: $17 general, $15 65 and older, $5 full time students, free for children 12 and under. More info: HERE
At Old First Church, SAN FRANCISCO

Sunday, December 14, 2:00-5:00pm Klezmer Youth Band performs at Open Tent Shul of the Art's Hanooka Fiesta. Klezmer and Sephardic music performed by students in eight-week workshop. Tickets: $10/person or $25/household. More info: 805.259.5030.
At Chochmat Ha-Lev, BERKELEY

Thursday, December 17, Stories from the Shtetl, featuring Bay Area storytellers Michael Kaye, Barbara Rhine, Joshua Safran, and Fred Werner. Reception with wine and light refreshments following the program. Suggested donation of $15 but no-one turned away. More info: 415.567.3327,
At Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO

Thursday, December 18, 8:00pm, Hardly Strictly Klezmer, with Red Hot Chachkas, Incognito Express, Stephen Saxon & Gordon Lustig. Tickets: $21 advance, $23 door. More info: 510.644.2020, HERE
At Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, BERKELEY

Saturday, December 20, 7:00pm, Hanukkah Community Celebration, hosted by Nigunim Community Chorus. Performances by Nigunim Community Chorus, Diane Wirtschafter, Eliana Kissner, and others. Folk dancing led by Allen King. Tickets: $15. More info: HERE.
At the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY

Saturday, December 20, 8:00pm, Red Hot Chachkas. More info: 408.733.6611, HERE.
At Sunnyvale Theatre, SUNNYVALE

Saturday, December 20, A Klezmer Winter Celebration Concert and Dance with Jubilee Klezmer. Tickets: $10 students, youth and advance/ $12 door. More info: 707.762.5600 X101,
At Petaluma Arts Center, PETALUMA
Honor Wall 

New  Honor Wall posting this month:

Talia Shaham: In loving memory of my dear parents Ruth and Jacob Rubin, of blessed memory, on their yortsayt. They would have loved being at last weekend's Yiddish Culture Festival, where all the wonderful activities would have delighted them thoroughly.

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!