March 2024

Sholem Aleichem, Friend,

A freylekhn purim! This March, KlezCalifornia grows yet again. We are pleased to announce the addition of a new member to our board: Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell. Anthony is a talented vocalist who spent the first many years of his career singing Yiddish songs in the Bay Area. Anthony brings with him a wealth of knowledge about Yiddish culture and community building as well as connections to cultural leaders around the world.

Additionally, you may have seen that KlezCalifornia has opened up its Spring 2024 funding cycle for The Yiddish Culture Fund. In this cycle, up to $6,000 is available. The proposal deadlines are March 15 for requests up to $500 and April 15 for requests up to $3,000.

If someone has forwarded this mailing to you,

we invite you to join our mailing list.


Flisik Yidish Salon

Presented by KlezCalifornia

Sunday, March 17, 2-3pm PT (online – calculate your local time HERE). 

This monthly online conversation Salon is for fluent (flisik) Yiddish speakers. No charge.

Di teme far marts vet zayn: Ven ir volt geven bavust, mit vos volt ir geven barimt?

װען איר װאָלט געװען באַװוּסט, מיט װאָס װאָלט איר געװען באַרימט?

More info and registration »

The Dybbuk Century Lecture by Debra Caplan

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia

Sunday, March 17, 3-4PM Pacific Time (online lecture – calculate your local time HERE).

A little over 100 years ago, the first production of An-sky’s The Dybbuk, a play about the possession of a young woman by a dislocated spirit, opened in Warsaw. In the century that followed, The Dybbuk became a theatrical conduit for a wide range of discourses about Jews, belonging, and modernity. This timeless Yiddish play about spiritual possession beyond the grave would go on to exert a remarkable and unforgettable impact on modern theater, film, literature, music, and culture. This talk, based on Dr. Debra Caplan’s recently published co-edited volume The Dybbuk Century, will consider this remarkable history and the enduring influence of The Dybbuk. Presented by the Jewish Community Library.

More info and registration »

The Joy of Jewish Music and Dance

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia; supported in part by KlezCalifornia's Yiddish Culture Fund

Sunday, March 24th, 1-4pm at the JCC East Bay, Berkeley (in person only)

Come to the JCC East Bay for the second edition of a new monthly series celebrating “The Joy of Jewish Music and Dance!” This month's presentation features music by Zoë Aqua, Dmitri Gaskin, and Misha Khalikulov, and dancing led by Bruce Bierman.

1pm: Choose among learning music or dance technique and styles

2pm: Dance party focusing on the dances and tunes taught in the prior hour

3pm: Informal music jam

More info and link to registration »

From Lodz to Tel Aviv: The Satirical World of Dzigan and Schumacher, the Most Famous Yiddish Comedy Duo of the 20th Century – talk by Professor John Efron

Tuesday, March 26th, 6pm at The Magnes, Berkeley (lecture, in person only)

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia

From the late 1920s to WWII, Szymon Dzigan and Yisroel Shumacher, a Yiddish comedy duo in Poland, gained immense popularity with their modernist humor, featuring satirical monologues and political skits. Their success stemmed from linguistic prowess, using the Yiddish of their native Lodz to portray a diverse array of Jewish characters. After WWII and relocating to Israel, they continued their satire, pioneering a new genre in Hebrew entertainment. Professor John Efron will explore their groundbreaking work in a free lecture at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in Berkeley, focusing on their transition and impact on Jewish comedy.

More info and registration »

House Concerts: Zoë Aqua / Dmitri Gaskin / Raffi Boden

Tuesday, March 26th, 7:30pm in Santa Cruz (Zoë Aqua & Dmitri Gaskin only)

Friday, March 29th, 7pm in San Jose

Sunday, March 31st, 4pm in Kensington

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia

Join us on a musical journey from village to village across the Carpathian Mountains, as Zoë Aqua, Dmitri Gaskin and Raffi Boden play music from three Eastern European Cultures: Transylvanian, Polish, and Ashkenazic Jewish. The musicians have devoted their careers to mastering the music of these cultures, each with their unique, hyper-regional sounds. The concert will also feature a number of the group’s original compositions in these styles.

Santa Cruz info and registration »

San Jose info and registration »

Kensington info and registration »

Yiddish Culture Links

Klezmer violinist Abigale Reisman, along with violinist Jonathan Canon and bassist Kirsten Lamb, plays a wonderful set of melodies from old recordings and manuscripts.

Watch here »

The presentation by KlezCalifornia's Yiddish Culture Fund grantee Jake Schneider on How to Build a Yiddish Social Club is now available on YouTube.

Watch now »

Additionally, Jake's work was recently covered by The Forward! You can read more here.

Nu, What Else?

KlezCalifornia Event Directory (with many additional events) »

• Klezmer Workshop & Jam Tune Archive »

Honor Wall

Marlene Levenson

In honor of Dr. Yankl Levitow. Yankl has been my wonderful Yiddish teacher for several years and is outstanding.

View KlezCalifornia's Honor Wall. Become a donor to post your tribute.

Support the renewal of Yiddish culture through KlezCalifornia's Yiddish Culture Fund.

You may also mail a check payable to KlezCalifornia, with TYCF on the comment line, to the address below.

A sheynem dank!

Thank you very much!

A bisl mer (a little bit more)

Want your event on KlezCalifornia's website? Tell us about it!