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

A freylekhn Purim aykh! Happy Purim to all! We hope you are planning to see -- or have already seen -- the New Yiddish Theater's production of "Di Megileh", a musical comedy showing right now at the JCC East Bay. See the first event boxbelow for the remaining performances.

Further down in the newsletter, read all about the manyYiddish- and klezmer-oriented shows in this year's Jewish Music Festival. KlezCalifornia is co-presenting the three workshops with Yiddish dance master Steve Weintraub (who was most recently in the Bay Area for our Yiddish Culture Festival in 2012), and also co-presenting the JMF's Finale Music and Dance Party on Sunday, March 22.

Purim Celebration, painted by Shoshana Eden.  
Dressing up consisted mainly of masks and no more, due to poverty. 
More images at
(c) Ronit Magen. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Speaking of KlezCalifornia Festivals, the next one will be November 7-8 in Berkeley. Put it on your calendar now!

-- Submissions for the April newsletter HERE by March 20.
-- 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
Di Megileh of Itzik Manger - CLOSING NIGHT
The Language Wars, Sunday, March 8
KlezCalifornia Spring Party, Sunday, March 15
Jewish Music Festival, until March 22
Dance Workshops with Steve Weintraub, March 17-19
JMF Finale, Sunday, March 22
KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in April
Support KlezCalifornia
DiMegilehDi Megileh of Itzik Manger, CLOSING NIGHT, Tuesday March 3


One remaining performance:  

CLOSING NIGHT: Tuesday, March 3, 8:00pm 


Di Megileh of Itzik Manger. The New Yiddish Theater company reprises last year's sold-out run of the hit Yiddish musical (fully super-titled in English) based on the Book of Esther poems by Itzik Manger, with music by Israeli composer Dov Seltzer, and new choral arrangements by Veretski Pass' Josh Horowitz. With one foot in 1930s Eastern Europe and the other in biblical Persia, Di Megileh recounts the Book of Esther through the eyes of Esther's jilted lover, Fastrigoseh the tailor. The New Yiddish Theater is a fiscally-sponsored project of KlezCalifornia.


Tickets: $30 general / $25 JCC East Bay members, seniors, students. More info: 510.848.0237 X126.Tickets: 800.838.3006HERE

At the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY

The Language Wars, Sunday, March 8

Sunday, March 8, 2:00-4:00pm, The Language Wars, with Shaina Hammerman. Most twenty-first century Jews are being raised to speak a single language, but multilingualism colors the Jewish experience in the diaspora. Responding in part to antisemitic vitriol about Jewish languages as "jargons," Jews eventually became the sole combatants in their very own language wars.  


Violent struggles - both literal and literary -  broke out on street corners, stages, newspapers, and pulpits to determine how Jews should speak to their children in the privacy of their homes. Battles raged between German and Yiddish, Yiddish and Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic and French, Hebrew and Ladino, Yiddish and English among others. Old divisions dissolved as religious and secular Jews fought on all sides of these battles.   


As languages like Yiddish and Ladino are experiencing a twenty-first century revival, new modes of expressing Jewish identity emerge in a monolingual age. Lecture presented by Lehrhaus Judaica and co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. No charge. More info: 510.845.6420HERE

At San Francisco Public Library, SAN FRANCISCO

KlezCalifornia Spring Party, Sunday, March 15

Sunday, March 15, 2:00-5:00pm, KlezCalifornia Spring Party.
 Food, music, shmoozing, and more. For Contributing Members (i.e. donors), Board and Advisory Council members, and volunteers. It's not too late to receive an invitation -- make a donation to KlezCalifornia of any amount HERE. More info: 415.789.7679info[at]

At a private home, OAKLAND

JMFgeneralJewish Music Festival, until March 22

This "box" and the two following describe the Yiddish- and klezmer-oriented concerts of this year's Jewish Music Festival:

Thursday, March 5, 8:00pm, The Klezmatics. Mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable! Opening night of 30th Jewish Music Festival. Tickets: $30 general / $26 seniors, students, JCCEB members.  

At The New Parish, OAKLAND

Saturday, March 7, 8:00pmHazonos, with Cantor Jack Mendelson, Frank London, Anthony Coleman, and Friends. Classical Jewish liturgical music sung by a master. Tickets: $26 general / $22 seniors, students, JCCEB members.

At Temple Sinai, OAKLAND


Sunday, March 8, 8:00pm, Kitka. Yiddish songs with internationally renowned women's vocal ensemble. Tickets: $26 general / $22 seniors, students, JCCEB members. 

At Freight and Salvage, BERKELEY.


More info on all Jewish Music Festival events: 510.848.0237 Tickets:800.838.3006 or via website.  

DanceworkshopsDance Workshops with Steve Weintraub, March 17-19

Tuesday, March 17 - Thursday, March 19, 7:30pm, Steve Weintraub, Magician of Jewish Dance,
 presents three workshops:   
Tuesday, Raising the Roof: Jewish Stunts, Moves and Styles (Part 1). Dancing at a simkheh is not only a pleasure, it is also a
mitzveh and a gift to those celebrating. Learn to show off with the Bottle Dance, and be part of a Human Roulette Wheel and the Crushing Walls!  


Wednesday, Make 'Em Dance, for musicians and bands.Musicians will take turns dancing. Learn correct tempos and

feeling for each dance style. Improved playing guaranteed!   
Thursday, Raising the Roof: Jewish Stunts, Moves and Style (Part 2). It's Yiddish barn dancing!Including the Jewish square dance called the sher, and a variety of other fun and social dances with ballroom roots.


Presented in association with KlezCalifornia. Tickets: $15/workshop, $25 for two, $39.99 for all three. Box office: 800.838.3006. More info:


Jewish Music Festival Finale and Dance Party, Sunday, March 22

Sunday, March 22, 1:00-6:00pm, Jewish Music Festival Finale and Dance Party. Sing, dance and be inspired to make your own music. Dancing led by international Jewish dance expert Steven Weintraub. Music by the Bay Area's own and internationally renowned ensemble, Veretski Pass. Instant Klezmer Mandolin Orchestra, Nigunim Community Chorus, and more.


Presented in association with KlezCalifornia. Tickets: $15 general / $12 seniors, students, JCCEB members. Box office: 800.838.3006. More

At JCC of the East Bay, BERKELEY

KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon Sunday, March 29

Sunday, March 29, 2:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon.
 For fluent Yiddish speakers. Mir veln discutirn etlekheh temes: 

1.      Vitzn fun Khelm
2.      Shpiln mit verter
3.      A filem, program fun TV, oder a guten bukh vos du host

         gezen oh geleynt in dem lesten yor
4.      Vos Pesakh meynt tsu dir.

More info: 415.789.7679flisik[at]

At a private home, EL CERRITO

Community Events 


Monday, March 2, Glenn Hartman & the Klezmer Playboys

Monday, March 9, Ghost Note Ensemble

Monday, March 30, Ben Goldberg & Rob Reich

Part of Klezmer Mondays. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354,

At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY


Until Sunday, May 24, Letters to Afar (video installation) Budapest-based filmmaker and video-artist Péter Forgács (b. 1950), along with the NYC-based band The Klezmatics. Revisit amateur movies made by Jewish immigrants from the U.S. who visited their hometowns in Poland during the 1920-30s. Several decades later, Forgács rewrites these "visual postcards." Commissioned by the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York. Tickets: Included in museum admission ($12 general / $10 seniors, students / $5 Thursdays after 5:00pm / no charge 18 and under). More info: 415.655.7800HERE.  

At Contemporary Jewish Museum, SAN FRANCISCO


Until Sunday, May 24, Poland and Palestine: Two Lands and Two Skies (exhibition). After the death of Ze'ev Aleksandrowicz in 1992, his family discovered over 15,000 negatives made in the 1930s telling stories about the relationship between these two worlds, full of contrasts and  

contradictions. Tickets: Included in museum admission ($12 general / $10 seniors, students / $5  

Thursdays after 5:00pm / no charge 18 and under). More info: 415.655.7800HERE.  

At Contemporary Jewish Museum, SAN FRANCISCO


Mondays, March 2, 9, and 16, 2:00-4:00pm, Yiddish Writing in Translation: Jews in a Hostile World, led by Loretta Denner. Three genres of Yiddish writing (in translation): A drama by Sholem Asch, "God of Vengeance," two short stories, and three poems. No charge, but donations to the JCC are welcome. More info and reading list: lorluba[at]

At JCC Sonoma County, SANTA ROSA


Friday, March 6, 1:00-2:30pm, Talk by Frank London. Klezmatics' bandleader and "Letters to Afar" collaborator Frank London talks about the creation of the exhibition's music and his own Jewish and musical journey. Tickets: Free with museum admission. More info: 415.655.7800, HERE.

At Contemporary Jewish Museum, SAN FRANCISCO


Saturday, March 7, 7:00pm, Deli Man (documentary). Learn about the traditions that make deli one of America's great cuisines. Tickets available soon.

At Rialto Cinemas, SEBASTOPOL


Tuesday, March 10, 2:40pm, When Jews Were Funny (film). Part of East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, March 7-15. Tickets: $9 advance / $10 door. More info: 510.809.4919,

At Century 16 Theatres, PLEASANT HILL


Wednesday, March 11, 12:30pm, Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem (film).

Part of East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, March 7-15. Tickets: $9 advance / $10 door. More info: 510.809.4919,

At Century 16 Theatres, PLEASANT HILL


Wednesday, March 11, 12:30pm, "The Jewish Street": The Interwar Gallery in the New POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (in Warsaw), presented by Samuel D. Kassow. No charge. R.s.v.p. by March 5 to amakuch[at]

At Margaret Jacks Hall, Stanford University, STANFORD 


Thursday, March 12, 12:30pm, Mr. Kaplan (film), with klezmer music score. Part of East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, March 7-15. Tickets: $9 advance / $10 door. More info: 510.809.4919,

At Century 16 Theatres, PLEASANT HILL

Thursday, March 12, 5:00pm reception, 6:00pm lecture, Warsaw: The Jewish Metropolis, presented by Samuel D. Kassow. No charge. R.s.v.p. to jewishstudies[at]
At The Magnes Collection, BERKELEY

Thursday, March 19, 7:00pm, Jewish Songlines: Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish Music and Dance with Esti Kenan-Ofri (Israel) and Michael Alpert (United States). No charge. More info: 510.643.2526,
At The Magnes Collection, BERKELEY    


Wednesday, March 25, 7:00-8:00pm, Fourth Wednesday Klezmer Night with performance by Klezmer Creek followed by jam. More info:

At Gaia's Garden, SANTA ROSA   


Friday, March 27, 8:00pm, to Sunday, April 26, Fiddler on the Roof (on stage). Tickets: $25 adults  


$12 children, seniors, students / $19 NTC members. More info: 415.883.4498, HERE.

At Novato Theater Company, NOVATO 


Sunday, March 29, 7:00pm, Stanford Klezmer Band. More info: 408.866.2666,
At Jerusalem Grill & Bar, CAMPBELL 

On the Web


Ba Mir Bistu Sheyn: Pianist Binyumen Schaechter improvises HERE showing how this song would sound had it been written by Salieri, Gershwin, Sondheim, Feldman, Prokofieff, Tschaikowsky, Gillespie, Ellington, Lennon, Bartok, Dylan, and Beethoven (thanks to Henry Hirsch Carrey).   


On-line, live, interactive Yiddish classes for every level, presented by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring. Tuition: $250 WC members / $295 non-members. More info:nborodulin[at]


Quoth the pigeon, bupkes: In a Yiddish-flavored parody HERE of Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem, "The Raven," Jeffrey Lewis speaks of a talking pigeon who shows up on the ice box of a Lower East Side tenement in New York and who can answer only bupkes (nothing) (thanks to Gerry Tenney).  


Several hundred Yiddish sayings/proverbs, in Yiddish, transliteration, and English at to Johanna Kovitz). 

Farshidns (This 'n That)


Calling all Yiddish speakers on the Peninsula: We reviving the Yiddish Salon on the Peninsula! As before, it will be for Yiddish speakers at all levels. If you are interested, please contact 415.789.7679,peninsula[at]

Proverb of the month:  No one sees the hump on his own back (Keyner zet nit zayn eygenem hoyker). 

Coming in April

Wednesday, April 8, 7:00-9:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. More info: 510.849.1100,
At Le Bateau Ivre Café/Restaurant, BERKELEY

Friday, April 10, 9:00pm, Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal, which this month includes Veretski Pass and Ghost Note Ensemble. More info: 510.841.0188,
At The Starry Plough, BERKELEY

Sunday, April 12, 12:40-5:00pm, 6th Jazz & Klez Summit, with Congregation Netivot Shalom's Jazzkleztet (12:40pm), Albany Jazz Band (1:40pm), Ghost Note Ensemble (2:50pm), Jazzschool Big Band (4:00pm). First and third bands include klezmer. Tickets: $10 general / $5 youth or at the door. There are a few slots for those who can volunteer for an hour at the event in exchange for a free ticket; contact Dan at 510.684.5580. More info: 510.684.5580.  
At Congregation Netivot Shalom, BERKELEY

Sunday, April 12, 3:00-5:00pm, Premiere of Lieder fun a Kabtsn (Songs of a Beggar), a song cycle based on Rabbi Edward Zerin's book, "A Tribute to my Teacher, Rabbi Simon Krinsky."Composed by Dr. Michael Isaacson and performed by Cantor Roslyn Barak with pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg. Reception follows. More info: 415.751.2535,

At Congregation Emanu-El, SAN FRANCISCO


Monday, April 13, Ghost Note Ensemble. Part of Klezmer Mondays. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354,
At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY

Wednesdays, April 15 - May 131:00 - 3:00 pm, History of the Jews of Poland 1772 to the present, taught by Ken Blady. Part of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University. Tuition: $95. More info: HERE

At San Francisco State University Downtown Campus, SAN FRANCISCO 


Sunday, April 19, 4:00pm, Yes We Sang! with Nigunim Community Chorus, Kol Truah Jewish Choir of the East Bay, and Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco. The concert is dedicated to the victims of the Khurbn/ Holocaust and includes Yiddish songs. Tickets: $10 general / no charge seniors, children. More info: 510.528.8872, mail[at]



Thursday, April 23, 8:00pm, Yiddish Night Live!, a new music comedy show with Gerry Tenney & Arje Shaw, accompanied by Jim Rebhan. Tickets: $20 general / $15 seniors and children. Reservations and more info: arjeshaw[at]


Sunday, April 26, Mama Loshn performs Yiddish and Klezmer (time TBD) at Simcha Sunday, Sonoma County's Jewish Cultural Festival, 12:00noon -4:00pm. More info: 707.528.4222, HERE
At Santa Rosa Veterans Building, SANTA ROSA 

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!