KlezCalifornia is a living resource that connects people and communities with Yiddish culture.
What is Yiddish culture?
Yiddish culture encompasses the language, arts, and customs of 1000 years of Jewish community life across Eastern Europe, and now flourishes in the US, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Argentina, and elsewhere. While the Holocaust destroyed Jewish life in most of Eastern Europe, there is a revival of many artistic and cultural components of pre-Holocaust life, including klezmer music and dance; calligraphy, paper cutting, and other traditional arts; and short stories, poetry, and theater (in Yiddish and in translation). As the heyday of Jewish life in Eastern Europe fades into the distant past, its artistic and cultural legacy will thrive as people of all backgrounds explore the rich and diverse traditions.
KlezCalifornia History and Programs
Founded in 2003, KlezCalifornia has produced, co-presented, or publicized Yiddish-inspired cultural events throughout Northern California. Between 2003 and 2016, we produced fourteen Yiddish Culture Festivals that each attracted 300-450 participants. In 2016 and 2017, we produced four Cabaret by the Bay, each with 3-5 individual performers, blended with music from a klezmer band, and concluding with a klezmer dance party.
- A free monthly e-newsletter
- Workshops in klezmer music, Yiddish singing, and klezmer dancing
- Yiddish conversation salons
- Lesson plans on Yiddish culture to young Jews in grades K-12
- Fiscal sponsorship of cultural projects
- And, most recently, kumzitsn (participatory performing events)
KlezCalifornia believes that Black Lives Matter. We promote inclusivity in our events and programs.
We look forward to hearing your ideas of new programs, and working with organizations throughout the region.