May 2024

Sholem Aleichem, Friend,

With peysekh over for the year, we have a very busy May up ahead! In this newsletter we feature different events, including three grantees of the first cycle of our Yiddish Culture Fund!

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Timeless Favorites, old and new, with Cindy Paley

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia

Monday, May 6th in San Rafael; doors 6:30pm, show 7:00pm

Tuesday, May 7th in Piedmont; doors 6:30pm, show 7:00pm

Join Cindy Paley’s Klezmer Trio for a rich and rousing evening of Yiddish Favorites Old & New! Come ready to learn and sing along to the vibrant and colorful songbook of Eastern European Jewry’s unique cultural history. The popular Yiddish folk songs of Itzik Manger and Mordechai Gebirtig, among others, are sure to stir your nostalgia. Newer melodies by Chava Alberstein and Arkady Gendler will remind you that Yiddish is timeless, thriving and meaningful even today. Guitarist/vocalist Cindy Paley will be joined by accordionist Zina Pozen and clarinetist Asaf Ophir, for what has been described as “an exercise in pure joy”!

San Rafael info and registration »

Piedmont info and registration »

Kol: A Retreat for Jewish Music Across the Diaspora

Grantee of KlezCalifornia's Yiddish Culture Fund

May 10 4:30pm-May 12th 12pm PT at Urban Adamah in Berkeley.

Come for a weekend of music, shabes practices, and community building. This unique participatory retreat brings together singers, musicians, and learners of diverse backgrounds and ages to explore both ancestral and modern Jewish music. Everyone is a learner, everyone is a teacher. Faculty teachers and participants together co-create the weekend. Bring your songs and spirit to share. The event makes space for Jewish and non-Jewish people of all backgrounds and intend to include a diverse array of music cultures. Sing and play for the love of healing, community and liberation, and to ground and elevate ourselves. Some of the 2024 teachers include Rabbi Tsipi Gabai, Aly Halpert, Asaf Ophir, Elana Brody, Bruce Bierman, Ben Kramarz, and Eli Conley. There will also be a diverse array of volunteer teachers from the community.

More info and registration »

Under the Hood: Using Jewish Archival Materials to Create New Music and Arrangements

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia

Thursday May 16th 7-8pm PT at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco

In this presentation, Cookie Segelstein will explore ways that traditional musicians balance old-school research and learning with digital resources. How does klezmer band Veretski Pass use Jewish archival collection materials to compose and arrange new music? This presentation shows their creative process, from gathering materials, to the treatment of the smallest melodic fragments, to using whole melodies. Segelstein will show elements, including music sources, tempo and key treatments, and melodic and rhythmic variations, with live examples played by the members of Veretski Pass.

More info and registration »

Queer History of Klezmer, with Ben Sweet

Grantee of KlezCalifornia's Yiddish Culture Fund

Saturday, May 18, 10-11:30am PT

Sunday, May 19, 8:30-10am PT

Online – calculate your local time HERE

Embark on a captivating journey through the queer history of klezmer music in this illuminating free workshop, offered twice. Passionate historians will uncover hidden narratives, explore diverse identities, and celebrate the LGBTQ+ contributions to this vibrant musical tradition. Engage in discussions, listen to queer klezmer compositions, and honor a legacy of resilience and creativity.

More info and registration »


Flisik Yidish Salon

Presented by KlezCalifornia

May 19th 2-3pm PT (online – calculate your local time HERE). 

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

Folgt ir nokh ayer horoskop? Hot es a hashpoe af aykh? Hot ir zikh a mol ufgeregt tsulib epes shlekhte nayes vos es hot foroysgezogt? Git tsu farshteyn.

פֿאָלגט איר נאָך אײַער האָראָסקאָפּ? האָט עס אַ השפּעה אױף אײַך? האָט איר זיך אַ מאָל אױפֿגערעגט צוליב עפּעס שלעכטע נײַעס װאָס עס האָט פֿאָרױסגעזאָגט? גיט צו פֿאַרשטײן.

More info and registration »

The Joy of Jewish Music and Dance

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia; Grantee of KlezCalifornia's Yiddish Culture Fund

Sunday, May 19th, 1-4pm at the JCC East Bay, Berkeley (in person only)

Come to the JCC East Bay for the fourth edition of a new monthly series celebrating “The Joy of Jewish Music and Dance!” This month's presentation features music by Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band and dancing led by Bruce Bierman.

1pm: Choose between learning music or dance techniques 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 »

Veretski Pass with guest Joel Rubin

Co-presented by KlezCalifornia

Sunday, May 26th, 7pm at Watermelon Music in Davis

West Coast in aspect, global in impact, Veretski Pass’ iconic klezmer sound is made by Cookie Segelstein (violin), Joshua Horowitz (19th-century button accordion and cimbalom), and Stuart Brotman (bass and drum). Veretski Pass reunites with clarinet maestro Joel Rubin to present historically informed renditions with fearless arrangements in their own distinct style, filled with raucous rhythms, soaring melodies, and newly wrought compositions.

More info and link to registration »

Yiddish Culture Links

Boston-based klezmer band Mamaliga plays a wonderful rendition of one of their original tunes, Rafaele's Bulgar.

Watch here »

The Satirical World of Dzigan and Schumacher, the Most Famous Yiddish Comedy Duo of the 20th Century

This presentation by Professor John Efron was recently held at the The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley and was co-presented by KlezCalifornia.

Watch here »

Nu, What Else?

KlezCalifornia Event Directory (with many additional events) »

• Klezmer Workshop & Jam Tune Archive »

Honor Wall

Gale Kissin

In honor of Dena Kissin, mayne yidishe mame.

Diane Schoenfeld

In memory and appreciation of our aunt “Auntie Sylvia” Manger, who gave us a starter Yiddish vocabulary when we were very young.

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)

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