Newsletter‎ > ‎


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

There was a great turn out at our first klezmer jam in Palo Alto on July 17!  Excitement was in the air as more than twenty musicians (playing sixteen different instruments) crammed into the living room of a private home and played under the guidance of accordionist Dmitri Gaskin. After the "slow jam," the house swayed with spirited music, as the klezmorim played tunes and a few Yiddish songs. Some people came just to listen. Feedback has been positive, and we look forward to having another jam in the Palo Alto area.

We will keep you posted about future jams in East Bay and San Francisco locations as well. To get on the special mailing list, write jams[at]


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20: Cabaret by the Bay, 5:00pm
Comedy, Yiddish song, storytelling, and music.
At the Osher Marin JCC, SAN RAFAEL 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4: KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival, 1:00-7:00pm
Workshops: instrumental, singing, dancing, acting, lectures, kids/families.
5:00pm Cabaret by the Bay followed by dance party!
At the JCC East Bay, BERKELEY  
Pot of gold
Many thanks to KlezCalifornia's very generous anonymous donor,
 who has sent us gifts via the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund for the past four years. Another donation arrived last week! Whoever you are, KlezCalifornia very much appreciates your support! 


-- Submissions
 for the September newsletter by August 29

-- KlezCalifornia Geleh* Pages
 (*yellow), directory of Bay Area resources
-- Online sources
 of Yiddish-inspired culture
Facebook rectangle

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, through August 7

Through Sunday, August 7, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.More info: 415.621.0523San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

At Castro Theatre in SAN FRANCISCO, Roda Theatre in BERKELEY, Piedmont Theatre in OAKLAND, Smith Rafael Theatre in SAN RAFAEL.

KlezCalifornia is co-presenting the following films this weekend and in August:

The Last Laugh 
(Ferne Pearlstein I USA | 2016 I Documentary I 89 min)
The Last Laugh explores the role of humor and its limitations in confronting tragic events, including the Holocaust. It is a journey across a comedic landscape marked by speed bumps, caution signs and potholes big enough to swallow a clown car. Comedic giants like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Sarah Silverman will leave you laughing and appreciating the importance of humor even in the face of events that make you want to cry.
Roda Theatre | Saturday, July 30, 7:10pm
Castro Theatre | Sunday, July 31, 2:55pm

Streit's: Matzo and the American Dream 
(Michael Levine I USA | 2016 I Documentary I 83 min)
Just as its iconic pink box has graced Passover seder tables for generations of American Jews, so, too, Streit's matzo factory has stood for some 80 years on the Lower East Side. For many Jews, a family business has been a way to make a living and to ensure that the next generation could do better. This is all challenged by the need for modernity, the pressures of foreign competition and enticing real estate offers.
Roda Theatre | Tuesday, August 2, 2:40pm (free screening, no ticket necessary)

Song of Songs
(Eva Neymann I Ukraine | 2015 I Narrative I 76 min)
Ukraine, 1905. Ten­-year­-old Shimek tells his darling Buzya fairy tales of the faraway, imprisoned Tsarevna, as their dreams of inhabiting a larger world beyond the shtetl blend with the first stirrings of young love. An inspired adaptation of the iconic stories from Sholem Aleichem's Tevye the Dairyman (which also served as the source material for Fiddler on the Roof). 
Roda Theatre |, Wednesday, August 3, 2:05pm
Joe's Violin
(Kahane Cooperman, 2016, Short/Documentary)
Joseph Feingold, a Polish Holocaust survivor donates the violin he's had for 70 years to a local instrument drive, changing the life of a 12­-year­-old schoolgirl from the nation's poorest congressional district and unexpectedly, his own. Screens with Jews in Shorts: Documentaries.
Piedmont Theatre, OAKLAND | Saturday, August 6, 12:20pm

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You 
(Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady I USA | 2016 I Documentary I 92 min)
Norman Lear wrote, produced, created, and developed more than a hundred television shows. His legendary body of work includes All in the Family; Maude; Good Times; The Jeffersons; and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Now about to turn 94, this Jewish World War II veteran is the focus of this documentary and the author of an autobiography, Even This I Get to Experience. The Festival is honored to present this year's Freedom of Expression Award to Norman Lear, the television pioneer and founder of the advocacy organization, People for the American Way.
Smith Rafael Theatre | Sunday, August 7, 2:10pm
On the Web

Sounds of the Soul: the Contribution of Jewish Music
 (thanks to Ken Blady).

Hasidic singer Chaim Shlomo Mayesz has released a Yiddish adaptation
 of Justin Bieber's hit song "Love Yourself" (thanks to The Forward).

Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland
, showcases Jewish revival, in J, the Jewish Newsweekly.
Farshidns (This 'n That)

Napa accordionist looking for Klezmer/Yiddish music lovers to play with. Contact Jacob,415.994.9779, klezmerkid-1[at]

Yiddish Singer Anthony Russell has been accepted into the 2016-17 cohort of Yiddishkayt LA's Helix Program, which trains artists, thinkers, writers and educators in aspects of Yiddish culture. The group meets periodically in Los Angeles, culminating in a trip to Belarus and Poland next summer. 

Yiddish saying of the month: If one does not have in the head, one has to have in the feet (Az men hot nit in kop, muz men hobn in di fis). The same proverb is used in Polish and German. (from: 
Yiddish and Polish Proverbs, by Magdalena Sitarz).  
Community Events 

Through Sunday, August 7, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2016. See separate box above.

Through Saturday, August 20, The Gathering, a play by Arje Shaw. Includes Yiddish. In 1985 President Reagan decided to visit Bitburg, Germany to lay a wreath at a military cemetery containing SS graves. The event infuriated the world and in The Gathering almost tears a family apart. Tickets:
$29 - $35. More info:
. Tickets: Live Oak Theatre
At Live Oak Theatre, BERKELEY

Monday, August 16:00-8:00pm, Tony Phillips and Barbara Speed. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354Klezmer Monday at Saul's
At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY
Tuesday, August 95:30-7:00pm. Orchestra EuphonosPart of Oakland A's Jewish Heritage Night pre-game event. Tickets: $33. More info: Jewish Heritage Night

August 12-15, Explore Your Polish Jewish Roots. Taube Philanthropies is hosting Matan Shefi from the Jewish Genealogy & Family Heritage Center of the Emanuel Ringenblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. He will hold consultations for those with ancestry originating within the borders of today's Poland or inter-war Poland. Pre-registration is required. Reservations and more info: mstanton[at] Sessions are still available in two locations:
Sunday, August 14, 10:00am-5:00pm, at the JCC San Francisco, SAN FRANCISCO
Monday, August 15, 10:30am-5:00pm, at the S.F. Jewish Federation, SAN FRANCISCO 

Saturday, August 20 - Sunday, August 21, Accordion Apocalypse Stage with eight bandsincluding three klezmer: Hernandez Hideaway, Oddjob Ensemble, & The Hobo Goblins. Part of 26th annual Cotati Accordion Festival, August 19 - 219:30am-8:00pm. Tickets: $19/day; less for seniors. More info: 707.664.0444, Cotati Accordion Festival
At La Plaza Park, COTATI
Beginning Wednesday, August 24, 11:00am-12:00noon, then Monday through Friday, Elementary Yiddish, Yiddish 101, taught by Jenna Ingalls. This introductory course, ID 123051, focuses on the development of communication skills in reading, writing and speaking, within the context of Yiddish culture. More info: 510.643.2004Germanic[at]Berkeley.eduDepartment of German and Dutch Studies
At University of California, BERKELEY
Beginning Thursday, August 25, 11:00am-12:30pm, then every Tuesday and Thursday, Yiddish 103, Readings in Yiddish, taught by Dr. Yael Chaver. Zionist Yiddish writers in the emerging community wrote in their mother-tongue, though the dominant culture proscribed Yiddish. Examine the unique positions and nuanced insights from the margins, in the prose and poetry of Zalmen Broches, Avrom Rivess, Rikuda Postash, and others. Prerequisite: one year of college Yiddish or equivalent knowledge. Readings are in Yiddish, discussions in English. More info on course ID 123053:510.643.2004Germanic[at]Berkeley.eduDepartment of German and Dutch Studies
At University of California, BERKELEY
Wednesday, August 246:30-8:30pm, Klezmer Creek. Fourth Wednesday Klezmer Night.  $5 minimum. More info: 707.544.2491Gaia's Garden
At Gaia's Garden, SANTA ROSA
Sunday, August 28, 7:00pm, Klezmer Dance with ADAMA and Bruce Bierman. Followed by Israeli dance at 8:00pm. Tickets: $12 general. More info: 510.525.5054Ashkenaz
At Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, BERKELEY
Monday, August 296:00-8:00pm, ADAMA (repertoire includes klezmer). Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354Klezmer Monday at Saul's
At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY
Honor Wall

New Honor Wall
postings this month:

Rivka Greenberg: In honor of Judy Kunofsky. 

Coming in September

Monday, September 5, 6:00pm-8:00pm, Orchestra Euphonos. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354Klezmer Mondays at Saul's
At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY
Sunday, September 11, 12:00noon-2:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidish Salon. For fluent Yiddish speakers. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679flisik[at]
At a private home, SAN FRANCISCO
Monday, September 126:00-8:00pm, Ghost Note Ensemble. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354Klezmer Monday at Saul's
At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY

Monday evenings, beginning September 12, 7:30pm, Nigunim Chorus starts a new season. The chorus, which sings in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino and English, this year is focusing on the work of Jewish female songwriters. More info: email Achi Ben Shalom.

Thursday, September 15, 5:30pm, Frank London (trumpet), Glenn Hartman (accordion) and Jake Marmer (spoken word).  New klezmer music, improvisations and spoken word. Part
of Sonoma State University Jewish Music Series. More info: 707.664.2324Sonoma State University
At Schroeder Hall, Sonoma State University, ROHNERT PARK
Sunday, September 182:00-5:00pm, KlezCalifornia Semi-Annual party. Conversation, music, and food. For donors, Board members, Advisory Council members, and special volunteers. More info:415.789.7679info[at]
At a private home, OAKLAND
Saturday, September 24 | 8:00 PM, The Dybbuk: West Coast premiere of this multi-media chamber opera composed by Ofer Ben-Amots and inspired by S. Ansky's timeless Yiddish play. In  
English and Hebrew with supertitles. Pre-show lecture by Rabbi David Booth, Professor Gabriella  
Safran, and composer and Professor Ofer Ben Amots. Tickets: $40-$55. More info: 650.223.8699,
At Oshman Family JCC, PALO ALTO
Of Interest near Chicago and Montreal

July 31 - August 3, Yiddish Culture in Your Classroom!, a presentation by Karen Bergen onKlezCalifornia's project Tam: Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids and Teens. Part of NewCAJE 
conference for Jewish educators. More info on project; tam[at]
At North Central College, NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS  

August 22 - 28, Bringing Yiddish Culture to Young Jews (rather than hoping they will come to us), a presentation by Judy Kunofsky on Tam: Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids and Teens. Part ofKlezKanada
. More info on project: tam[at]
At Laurentian Retreat, Camp B'nai Brith, LANTIER, QUEBEC 
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!