Sun May 31 2020


1:00 pm - 2:15 pm


Presented by KlezCalifornia
Co-presented by Chochmat HaLev and Moishe House Oakland-Temescal

Hasidic Dance – A Mitsveh to be Joyful, with Bruce Bierman ONLINE


The Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), founder of the Hasidic movement, was once asked, “Why is it that your Hasidim burst into song and dance at the slightest provocation? Is this really the behavior of sane individuals?” Indeed, wordless melodies and ecstatic dance are at the center of this unique expression of mystic Judaism, intended to open the heart quickly and connect friend to friend. In Hasidic dance, we dance within a circle of community, in partnership with a chaver (friend). and, finally, with just ourselves. This online workshop will focus on the art of personal shayning.  Symbolic hand gestures, meditative repetitive step patterns, and ways to access your own personal dance will be taught with great care and context. We will also learn and sing a few nigunim (wordless melodies, pronounced ni-GUN-im) that typically accompany the dance. The Baal Shem Tov’s great-grandson, Nachman of Breslov, reminded his own Hasidim that it was a mitzveh (commandment or good deed) to always be in joy.  Discover how song and dance can unleash that happy medicine within seconds.

Join klezmer dance leader Bruce Bierman in this online workshop. More info about Bruce Bierman »

To reserve a space, scroll down past “MORE INFO,” click on “NEXT,” and complete the registration form. Registrations received by the previous Thursday will be sent sign-in info Friday morning. If you have not heard by then, write Friday afternoon. Registrations received by Saturday midnight will receive sign-in info Sunday by 10am in an email from (which might appear to be from “Who Knows.” A little glitch in the system…). If you have not heard by then, write before Sunday 11am. There is room for all who are interested. Registrations will not be accepted the day of the workshop. We do not respond to email on Shabes

KlezCalifornia is presenting workshops this Spring and Summer free of charge as a community service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations of $25 (or whatever you can afford) would be greatly appreciated to enable us to continue our mission to connect you with Yiddish culture.

General information about KlezCalifornia workshops »

This workshop is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation.We count on registration fees and donations to cover the rest of the expenses.