Sun Oct 30 2022


Pacific Time
11:00 am - 12:45 pm


Presented by KlezCalifornia
Co-presented by Jewish Community Library and San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society

Ashkenazic Family Names: What Our Names Mean About Our Families, with Binyumen Schaechter

What does your family name say about your family’s history? 

In this presentation, we’ll find out about our ancestors from 200 years ago, when they took a family name: what kind of work they did, what their first names were, what they looked like or behaved like, what their socio-economic status was, and where they came from.  Even those who are confident about the etymology of their own family names will be interested to learn about the names of their friends and favorite celebrities. It will include a brief history of Ashkenazic family names and an analysis of Ashkenazic patronymics, matronymics, occupational names, geographical names, nicknames, acronyms and abbreviations, and more.

No video of this presentation will be available afterwards. In the follow-up message to registrants on 10/31, we will provide information on how to get on the speaker’s mailing list to be notified of future presentations on the same subject.

Binyumen Schaechter is best known as a musical theater composer (five off-Broadway shows as “Ben Schaechter”), Yiddish choral conductor and arranger (for the New York City-based Yiddish Philharmonic Chorus), Musical Director and accompanist (of Di Shekhter-tekhter, and others), translator of lyrics into Yiddish (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Over the Rainbow,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “O, Mio Babbino Caro”, and many others), and leader of Yiddish sing-alongs (especially his recurring Yiddish Song Workshop & Sing-along).  But additionally, he is frequently invited to conferences and festivals, JCCs, museums, synagogues, and universities, to give lectures and workshops relating to Yiddish music and the Yiddish language.  Among his most frequently requested topics are “How to Sing in Yiddish So That It Sounds Like Yiddish,” “Ashkenazic Family Names: What Our Names Mean About Our Families”, and, from an autobiographical perspective, “How It Came to Be, in 21st Century America, That Our Entire Extended Family Speaks Yiddish.” He is forever grateful to his parents, Dr. Mordkhe and Charne Schaechter, z”l.


To reserve a space, scroll down and complete the registration form. Registration ends the day of the event at 7am Pacific Time (Check out this time zone converter) to receive sign-in info by 8:10am PT that day. If you have not heard by then, first check your junk/spam folder, then write Do not wait until just before the event begins to check whether you have sign-in information.

If you have not registered on time, write; we cannot promise to notice your email if you contact us after the deadline.

Registering for this event includes giving KlezCalifornia permission to take still and video images and use them for educational or other organizational purposes. If you do not agree to such use, please turn off your video when you join the event. To keep you informed of future events, we enroll registrants in our free monthly newsletter which includes klezmer and Yiddish culture events in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. You may unsubscribe at any time. KlezCalifornia does not share its lists with other organizations.

KlezCalifornia relies on donations from participants to cover the costs of online lectures, workshops, kumzitsn, play readings, and more. Donations of $18, $36, $108 (or whatever you can afford) are greatly appreciated to enable us to continue to connect you with Yiddish culture.