January 22, 2018

Yiddish song of the week: "Mirtseshem af shabes" Performed by Khave Rosenblatt

From Pete Rushefsky, on Facebook:

He whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles, and doesn't want to stop. With the Rebbe's power the train will be trounced. Performance by Khave Rosenblatt, with commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week!

Rokhl Kafrissen: No Yortsayts, Please. We're Yiddish.

Her first Tablet Magazine column of the new secular year, and apologies for taking so long to post it here.:

Yortsayt shmortsayt. Abi gezint! My first GOLDEN CITY of 2018 is here and friends, the prognosis is good. At least for Yiddish.

As always, please click and read. Share if you liked it. Share twice if you hated it. ❤️

No Yortsayts, Please. We're Yiddish. Rokhl's Golden City: Why reports of the death of Yiddish theater are greatly exaggerated, by Rokhl Kafrissen

December 28, 2017

Latest "Rootless Cosmopolitan" post on Tablet Magazine

I wanna be your Goyfriend (or at least your Berlin boo) - new GOLDEN CITY is here! Be a pal (or a bandmate or a lover or a groupie or a husband WHO NEEDS LABELS??) and click, read and share. Tis the reason for the squeezin of the season ❤️

December 26, 2017

French Yiddish Camp announced, Apr 15-21, 2018

Week around yiddish culture from 0 to 120 years old in a French Castle !

15th to 21th of April 2018
Château de Ligoure
87110 Le Vigen

Yiddish songs, klezmer, danse,kindershul
Batia Baum, yiddish teacher, translator. Marthe Desrosières, coordinator, flute, clarinet. Diana Matut, singer, director. Hugo Proy, clarinet, guitar. Andreas Schmitges, Dance, mandolin, guitar.

More info/registration:

April 16, 2017

Yiddish Summer Weimar: The Bobe Mayses Project video

Posted by Alan Bern on Facebook: "A short, beautiful documentary video about the Bobe Mayses project created during Yiddish Summer Weimar 2016, directed by Jenny Romaine with a wonderful team of artists (see the credits for a complete list). Thanks again to all who helped make this possible, from concept through grant application through administration through realization and presentation! It was an amazing and enriching experience!"

The Bobe Mayses project

More about Yiddish Summer Weimar

March 19, 2017

Times of Israel on Pepi Littman

This turn-of-the-century crossdressing feminist proves that Yiddish theater ain't no drag, Mar 12, 2017

With a modern revival 100 years after Pepi Littman donned Hasidic garb, the irreverent, nearly forgotten performer is even more relevant

March 13, 2017

Yiddish Summer Weimar: "most important festival for Jewish music"

Posted by Andrea Pancur on Facebook:

The Foward says so, and the whole Yiddish Summer Team is delighted: The most important festival for Jewish music is Yiddish Summer Weimar. If you, too, want to indulge into the sublime festival atmosphere for a week or even a whole month (July 15 - Aug 12) you can register right away for one or more workshops about song, instrumental music, badkhones, hasidic music, middle eastern music, yiddish language, story-telling, dance and dance orchestra.

Do so until March 31 and benefit from the Early Bird discount. Here's the link to the registration:

March 12, 2017

Yiddish Song of the Week: "A Boat for Me, a Canoe for You"

"For me a ship, for you a canoe..." performance of a short Yiddish song by Zelig Schnadover. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now on CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week.

January 19, 2017

Local singer brings to life cross-dressing Yiddish vaudevillian

Bay area folks may enjoy this article about Jeanette Lewicki and tonight's performance, "Comedienne in a Hasid's Pants: Pepi Litman."

Local singer brings to life cross-dressing Yiddish vaudevillian, Hannah Rubin, Jan 12, 2017, J Weekly

epi Litman may have been born in the 1800s, but from reading the details of her life, you wouldn't know it. A cross-dressing performer with undeniable Yiddish swagger, Litman toured Eastern Europe with her vaudeville theater troupe, singing songs about politics, archaic religious traditions and the death of bureaucracy.… [more]

September 22, 2016

Yiddish New York returns, Dec 24–29, 2016

We are excited to open registration for Yiddish New York (YNY) and to announce this year's programs and faculty. YNY is a 6-day workshop/festival that will run from Thursday, December 24 - Tuesday, December 29, 2016.

YNY's daytime programs at the 14th Street Y and adjacent Town and Village Synagogue include workshops in klezmer music, Yiddish song, language and theater, as well as lectures, panel discussions, films, walking tours and more, all led by a faculty of the Yiddish world's leading contemporary artists and scholars. YNY evenings will be filled with concerts, dance parties, a visual arts exhibition and jam sessions at venues around Manhattan's Lower East Side & East Village, neighborhoods steeped in Yiddish cultural history. We have great programs for kids and teens, and family members of all ages!

More info:

September 9, 2016

Dave Tarras on video from CTMD

This announcement is over a year old, but I have no record of having shared it. About time! From Pete Rushefsky, Executive Director of the CTMD.

Center for Traditional Music and Dance is pleased to make available footage from a landmark November 1978 concert by the Dave Tarras Trio which also featured a youthful Andy Statman & Zev Feldman in their public debut, plus Yiddish singers Feigl Yudin and Ethel Raim. We're grateful for the work of Clara Byom (U. New Mexico) making this material available...

September 3, 2016

Two essential Yiddish Trios

Two last reviews before I hit the road to Toronto and the Ashkenaz Festival. It's been 20 years of New Jewish Music, and I'm excited—but not so excited that I want to forget to tell you about these:

cd coverI have no idea why I haven't reviewed this release yet. It is exactly the kind of music I look forward to, created by three of my favorite young-ish musicians--KlezKanada and KlezKamp alumni, hurrah!, making music for their generation, and celebrating hundreds of years of Yiddish culture: Yiddish Art Trio, 2014.

cd coverAnd, in the same vein, drawing on veterans from the former USSR, from the UK and USA, we have the holy musical trinity of: Sklamberg & the Shepherds / Aheym, 2015. Just beautiful

It's a Yiddish-lover's world. Enjoy. As for me, I'm off to my own aheym at Ashkenaz!

August 31, 2016

"Ver es vil kayn tate-mame folgn" Performed by Lifshe Schaechter-Widman

This week's "Yiddish Song of the Week" features the original (two originals, in fact) of a song that was remixed as part of the WAKS recording that I reviewed this week.

"Ver es vil kayn tate-mame folgn" Performed by Lifshe Schaechter-Widman, recorded in 1954

Barry Sisters on YouTube

From Simon of Hatikva Music

The Barry Sisters performing live...Amazing!!! "Nu, Zug Mir Schoin Ven" (Live! With lyrics)

Does anyone have the translation to this song????

July 13, 2016

Alan Bern, organizer of "Yiddish Weimar" receives this year's Weimar prize!

I'm a month behind (and more, even behinder news to come), but this is too much fun to just ignore, despite the aging. From Alan Bern on Facebook, last month:

Weimar-Preis 2016 geht an Dr. Alan Bern, June 16, 2016

"Out of the blue today I got a call from the Lord Mayor of Weimar, Stefan Wolf, informing me that I've been awarded this year's Weimar Prize in recognition of my contribution to the culture and reputation of Weimar. I'm deeply honored by this recognition, which extends to the whole community of passionate, committed, brilliant people who have given so much of their lives to make the artistic, educational and ethical vision of Yiddish Summer, the Other Music Academy and other music e.V. a reality. I'm very proud to represent all of you in accepting this award!"

Dropkin releases "Lutzifer"

Jewlia Eisenberg has been talking up the poetry and stories of Yiddish writer Celia Dropkin since I've known her. I cannot tell you all how excited to hear this finally get recorded, and in such a superlative, avant-garde fashion. Check it out on Soundcloud. I can't tell, though—this might not be new, but rather, the 5-year anniversary since this was released. Dynamite, either way:


Dropkin is an avant-rock band with music by Roy Yarkoni. The lyrics are Hebrew translations of poems by the Yiddish modernist Celia Dropkin (1887-1956). Her work is intensely personal, rich with violent sexuality, intense longing, and strange explorations of family dynamics. The music, like her poetry, is ambitious, sensual, and a bit scary.

December 26, 2015

Miryem-Khaye Seigel's "Toyznt Tamen" captures Yiddish Second Ave spirit for a new generation

cd cover

It's the end of the year. It's smack in the middle of Yiddish New York. Time to catch up on some vital recordings that speak to that "new Yiddish culture."

For years, a select few of us have enjoyed the voice that reminds us most of a reincarnated Molly Picon. Now, Miryem-Khaye, whose voice has matured and taken on a strength all its own, has released a debut CD, Toyznt Tamen (a thousand flavors), celebrating Yiddish, theatre, and great Yiddish song. Joined by a stellar backup crew including Alicia Svigals, Carmen Staff, and the Yiddish Art Trio (Michael Winograd, Patrick Farrell, and Benjy Fox-Rosen), this recording is a delight—listening to Seigal let loose on the opening "New York, New York," a paean to NY yiddishkeit, quietly meditative on "Shteyner," or her and Fox-Rosen playing off each others voices in "Gikher, shvester" marks what a special recording this is. I also treasure the large number of songs written by Seigel, or gathered by her (although, in fairness, some songs also remind me of blues songs attributions: familiar as well as original verses pulled together in a new cohesive whole and credited to an author well-steeped in a deep folk tradition), as well as a fair sampler of traditional tunes. Get a copy of this one for the Yiddish (or yiddishkeit) lover in your household who loves tradition. Get your CD or download from bandcamp.

December 1, 2015

Yiddish New York is coming! Dec 24-29

This is the best reason to spend the end of December in NYC, EVER

festival logoYiddish New York
Thursday, December 24 - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Yiddish New York (YNY) is a new festival/cultural immersion gathering for Yiddish music, language and culture combining workshops, lectures and performances from Thursday, December 24 - Tuesday, December 29, 2015. With its hub at the 14th St. Y and adjacent Town and Village Synagogue, Yiddish New York will take place at a variety of venues in Manhattan's vibrant and historic Lower East Side/East Village. Faculty/speakers represent many of the leading figures in Yiddish culture today. Open to individuals of all ages, backgrounds and families with children!

Daily Programs in.... Klezmer Music - Yiddish Song - Yiddish Dance - Theater - Yiddish Language - Yiddish Culture and History - Visual Arts - Foodways - Master Classes - Ensembles - Dance Parties - Jam Sessions - Concerts - Lectures - Films - Spirituality and Religion - Neighborhood Walking Tours - Youth and Teen Programs - and More!


Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus: "Rumania, Rumania"

A bit overblown and symphonic? Putting a suit on the blues? From Binyumen Schaechter

Performed by The Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus, Binyumen Schaechter, Conductor and Temma Schaechter, Soloist

November 27, 2015

Support Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish

I am so proud to have helped this project, and hope to be there in December

Dear Friends,

We are very excited to announce the fourth annual Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Legacy Concert taking place on December 26, 2015. Save the date! Be there!

The event will take place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, hosted by Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater in partnership with YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, keepers of the Adrienne Cooper Archives, GOH Productions, and presented in association with Yiddish New York's inaugural year.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate the life, work and influence of Adrienne, Yiddish singer, scholar, teacher, educator/activist, Executive Director of Programming at the Workmen's Circle, and former Assistant Director at YIVO. Beloved stars of the klezmer and Yiddish world will present an evening of music from In Love and In Struggle: The Musical Legacy of the Jewish Labor Bund (YIVO, 1999), an album that features Adrienne and was reflective of her passion for social justice and Yiddish. This inspired musical choice came out of the Cooper Archives and is a direct result of your support for the Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish. We thank you.

The recipient of this year's Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Award goes to the wild, wonderful Canadian artist, Josh Dolgin aka Socalled, for his work as a klezmer/hip-hop artist, composer, record producer, puppeteer and multi-facetted, kind, inclusive, creative genius always pushing the edges of possibility.

The Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish is appealing to YOU anew to help us raise the resources needed to produce this award and concert event. Please donate generously. And quickly! Please help!

We must raise $6,000 by December 13 (last candle of Chanukah). Spread the light!

All proceeds go to the Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish, which supports artists as they embark on the timeless, boundless, utterly unexpected adventure of working in Yiddish.

To donate, use this link HERE or copy this url

For tickets, use this link TICKETS or copy this url

Please send your contribution today.  Donations can also be made by check payable to GOH Productions, earmarked AC DIY/Artist Award and mailed to: GOH Productions /Seven Loaves Inc., 239 E. 5th St. Suite 1D,  New York, NY 10003-8544.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Sholem, sholem, sholem. A hartsikn dank.
Marsha Gildin, ACDIY Development Committee & Bonnie Stein, GOH Productions

August 23, 2015

Supergroup, "Brothers Nazaroff" to release Prince Nazaroff tribute 10/23/15

Posted to Facebook by Francesco Spagnolo

Klezmer Supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff Revive "Yiddish Pendant to the Anthology of American Folk Music" (out 10/23/15)

On October 23, Smithsonian Folkways will release The Brothers Nazaroff: The Happy Prince, a boisterous, high-energy tribute to cult Yiddish troubadour Nathan "Prince" Nazaroff, who recorded the mysterious Folkways 10-inch record Jewish Freilach Songs in 1954. International klezmer supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff, composed of Daniel Kahn, Psoy Korolenko, Michael Alpert, Jake Shulman-Ment, Bob Cohen, and Hampus Melin, breathe new life into the discordant, obscure, jubilant legacy of their Happy Prince. [More, including audio sample]

June 18, 2015

Musician Jane Peppler Wins 1st Place at "Yiddish Idol"

Dobe Ressler spotted this in the Forverts and passed it along. Congrats, Jane!:

Musician Jane Peppler Wins 1st Place at "Yiddish Idol"

דעם פֿאַרגאַנגענעם זונטיק האָט דזשיין פּעפּלער, אַ מוזיקערין פֿון צפֿון־קאַראָלײַנע, געוווּנען דעם ערשטן פּריז אינעם יערלעכן מעקסיקאַנער פֿאַרמעסט פֿון אַליין־געשאַפֿענע ייִדישע לידער, „דער ייִדישער אײַדאָל‟, פֿאַר איר ליד, „איך קען שוין ניט מיטהאַלטן‟. בעקי קאָכאָקאַרו, פֿון מעקסיקע, האָט געוווּנען דעם צווייטן פּריז.

May 5, 2015

Celebrate launch of online Stonehill Jewish Music Collection, NYC, May 13, 2015

Wednesday, May 13: Special Launch Event for the Stonehill Jewish Music Collection. Mark your calendar for an event celebrating the launch of a new website for the Ben Stonehill Jewish Song Collection!

In 1948, only 3 years after the war, Ben Stonehill recorded over a thousand songs from Holocaust survivors temporarily housed at the Hotel Marseilles after arriving in America. And on May 13, at this very hotel, we will be able to listen to some of the rare and important songs Stonehill captured for posterity. Though Stonehill passed away in 1964, we will hear his voice describing what he saw and heard in that lobby.

The evening will feature a presentation by Yiddish specialist and scholar Miriam Isaacs, Ph.D., herself born in a German DP camp. She has worked with CTMD to create a website which makes available the recordings and lyrics to many of these songs. Isaacs will describe the history and contents of the site and will play a few excerpts of the original songs, sung by men, women and children, mainly in Yiddish, but also Russian and Hebrew. Collectively, this body of song constitutes a haunting testimony to survivors' resilience, courage and humor.

We are thrilled that Masha Leon, one of the singers recorded at the time by Stonehill, will be joining us to share her experience and grace us with a song! A number of the songs will come alive as we will listen to contemporary singers in a zingeray (song-sharing session), featuring several wonderful exponents of traditional Yiddish and Russian song, including Isaacs, Carol Freeman, Esther Gottesman, Craig Packard, and Binyumen Schaechter.

The event will be followed by a reception with light refreshments. Programmed in partnership with the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center. We are grateful for the assistance of ethnomusicologist Bret Werb of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lorin Sklamberg of the YIVO Institute, Paula Teitelbaum, Binyumin Schaechter, Craig Packard and Itzik Gottesman for their assistance with this project, as well as the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation and the Atran Foundation.

At the Hotel Marseilles, 230 West 103 Street in Manhattan (SW corner of West 103rd Street and Broadway). Admission is free! (7:00PM-8:30PM).

April 24, 2015

Yiddish Song of the week: One song, three pogroms

A song used in variant forms to memorialize tragedies befalling early 20th century Jewish communities in Kishinev, Bialystock and Volodarka. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman, now on Center for Traditional Music and Dance's Yiddish Song of the Week...

A project of CTMD's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture

April 15, 2015

"Fun dor tsu dor" starts, Limoges, France

From generation to generation/ Fun dor tsu dor "

19th of april until 25th of April 2015

Reserved for families this week of immersion in Yiddish culture offers parents and children to share common activities: singing, klezmer music, dance, cooking, introduction to Yiddish, evening shows, concerts, tales and lullabies ... and tourism , tasting of local products, rest, read ...

The smallest are welcome in the kindershul for animations adapted to their age.

The team is led by Marthe Desrosières, flutist.

Members include: Lloica Czackis singer; Andreas Schmitges, dancer, mandolin, guitar; Eleonore Biezunski, violinist, singer.
The stay is in residence, in a magnificent nineteenth
located 17 km from Limoges: Château de Ligoure.

For further information do not hesitate to contact Marthe Desrosieres.

April 3, 2015

A polish "Khad-gadyo" performed by Mordkhe Schaechter

Yiddish song of the week: A Polish "Khad-gadyo" Performed by Mordkhe Schaechter A Polish Khad-gadyo Sung by Mordkhe Schaechter Recorded by Leybl Kahn in 1954 New York. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman Though not in Yiddish, we present this week's short ditty in the spirit of celebrating the upcoming holiday of Passover and as a contrast to last week's Yiddish Khad-Gadyo. This is either the beginning of a longer Khad-gadyo song or perhaps simply a children's rhyme based on khad-gadyo.

December 13, 2014

Happy almost Khanike--more new Jewish music

Ack! It is almost Khanike and I still have stacks of CDs that you should know about in case you have made gift-giving part of your seasonal celebration of light. Okay, let's get short bits up about a few of them, at least.

hand drawn lettering reminiscent of old Yiddish sheet musicFrom the clarinet glissando that opens the first song, first echoing Gershwin, then blasting that thought out of the ears, Benjy Fox-Rosens 2011 EP Tick Tock signalled a major shift in the way we think about Yiddish songs and Mordechai Geburtig's legacy. It is totally new all over again. "Yiddish Art Song" is reborn, in a thoroughly imaginative, beautiful manner. Listen, for instance to "Grine Oygen" (Green Eyes), which quotes from several popular klezmer and yiddish cliches, turning them inside out. I can only conclude by mentioning the title of the final song on the EP: "S'iz Git"—It's Good! You can get a copy of the EP in digital or physical form via BandCamp.

lovely old world drawing--by Ben Katchor?But, I really got you here to talk about the more recent 2014 Fox-Rosen release, Two Worlds, a reflective, sad song cycle comprised of reset songs by Mordechai Gebirtig. From the opening, "When father beats me," you know that this is not a shmaltzy picture of life in the old country. What makes this essential, and I think why I can't stop listening, is how real it is. The picture is so vivid, the music so intense, that I find myself at the end and starting over. Backed by his Yiddish Art Trio bandmates Pat Ferrell on accordion and Michael Winograd on clarinet, with his brother Avi on guitar and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, Benjy Fox-Rosen's voice and bass weave the arrangements into compelling, haunting stories. His music is new. But it is new swirled with traditional Yiddish folk, theatre, and klezmer fragments, recreated to make a vanished community real again, and to tug at our hearts, to make us care about that community and their lives, anew. You can get a copy for those amazing purveyors of wonderful new sounds, Golden Horn Records.

lovely old world drawing--by Ben Katchor?Looking for something smooth, jazzy, uplifting for the holiday? David Chevan's Afro-Semitic Experience has just the thing, Souls on Fire. After several recent releases that focused on Jewish cantorial tradition, this year the band turned back to its roots, presenting songs from Pharaoh Sanders, MyCoy Tyner, Duke Ellington, along with traditional Jewish klezmer, and spirituals such as "Go Down, Moses" and "Avadim Hayinu" (We were slaves), from the Passover seder. Selections also include that gospel cantor, Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Up above my head I hear music in the air." A perfect accompaniment to quiet evenings around the menorah or even a roaring fire. You can get your copy, digital or otherwise, from

kinda fun, and captures the CD's atmosphere perfectlyIt is the rare holiday season when you can celebrate with a new release by the punk Eastern European rhythms of "Golem." This is one of them, and Tanz is the most fun the band has had in years. A frenzied cross between the Brave Combo, Gogol Bordello, and your neighborhood klezmer band, Golem's songs are pleasantly twisted, the rhythms are propulsive, dance-perfect. There is a lounge music component that keeps us from taking anything too seriously. Whether telling a plaintive story of two sad sacks finding each other and falling in love ("Miskayt"), harking back to the old country and the many changing linguistic contexts of modern life in "My Horse" ("but with my faithful horse, I speak mameloshn") or telling the stories of recent immigrants to the USA from the former USSR (most notably, sadly, on "Poletim," story of a hijacking gone a bit awry), this is a wonderful burst of energy and fun. This, and other fine recordings by the band are available from their website:

old sepia on lovely graphics and excellent typeA surprising amount of wonderful new Jewish music doesn't come from European Jewish traditions. Likewise, some of the most striking new music is old, as in this recreated Sephardic wedding song cycle arranged by Aron Saltiel, Ensemble Saltiel / Boda. There seems to be no comparable cycle in Ashkenazic tradition. Saltiel has combined decades of field research, with singers and musicians familiar with the repertoire, and takes us from a celebration of the first glances, to arranging the engagement, completing the bridal trousseau to the groom presenting a gift on the wedding night. Gathered from former Ottoman lands in the Balkans and Turkey, the melodies, the singing, and the sense of tradition are fantastic. The singing features for individual solos and a powerful Sephardic chorus. The CD is beautifully packaged with notes (including a brief introduction by Dr. Judith Cohen) and images, as well as translations of all of the tunes. This is just wonderful, good-time music, all the more precious for being a rare recording based on a vanishing/vanished tradition. You can get your copy, digital or otherwise, from Golden Horn Records.

quiet black silhouette on bricks. Well-executed typeI saved my favorite among favorites for last. César Lerner and Marcelo Moguilevsky have been creating a wonderful fusion of Jewish and South American music together for almost as long as there has been a KlezmerShack. On their most recent (first?) trip to Boston two years ago, they brought Alef Bet, their most fully realized recording, yet. The album features their patented interplay between woodwinds and percussion/piano. Listen to Moguilevsky turn a simple "Zhok," first on flute?, and then Lerner's piano response, and then they begin improvising. "Una Luz" opens with quite, sparse chords by Lerner, and continues quietly exploring until the rapid pace of "Popurri" picks up Moguilevsky's clarinet and then the two are off, conversing wildly, excitedly, again. This is a quieter, more sure recording than their earlier efforts. It is less "klezmer-jazz fusion" and more it's own modern music in which one discerns strains of many things, but mostly, two musicians who have been sharing their conversations for decades, and who continue to find new, deeper, always-satisfying things to say to each other. Listening to Marcelo's whistling, as Lerner's piano walks quietly beside on the closing "Part of me," best expresses how far they have come, and how much richer our ears have been for the journey. Better, the days when ordering their CDs meant finding one's way in an Argentinian website and fantastic shipping charges are over. You can get this, and other recordings, directly from iTunes or

December 1, 2014

Five excellent mostly new recordings for holiday gift-giving

It is already after Thanksgiving and I haven't had time to make any additional dents in the pile of CDs that you =should= be considering for holiday gifts. Okay, I'll try to give some brief reviews of some of the essential new (mostly new) recordings:

cd coverI used to think of Isle of Klezbos as the lesser cousin of Metroplitan Klezmer, both anchored by drummer Eve Sicular, and both featuring many of the same musicians. But Live from Brooklyn shows that Isle of Klezbos is one of the premiere purveyors of that American form of klezmer: jazzy, brash, full of yiddish theatre songs and great dance music. This one is for the dancer in the house. You can get your copy right on Bonus: Order this between now and 12/3/14 midnight, and shipping is free.

cd coverFolklorist, singer, dancer Michael Alpert has been sharing a stage with Julian Kytasty for many years. One sings in Yiddish. The other in Ukrainian. Together they weave together two folk cultures in a beautiful acoustic set, Night songs from a neighboring village. Appropriately timed, given Ukraine's prominence in recent news, this one will leave you feeling all sweet inside—except for "Homebrew," which will encourage you to eschew the store-bought stuff and drink local. I remember the tune as Irish, but what do I know. What a great way to celebrate 20 amazing years of music from Oriente records.

cd coverI first noticed Zisl Slepovitch because of his brilliant "Minsker Kapelye" CD. But, that was back in the old country. Arriving here in the US, he formed a new ensemble, Litvakus, and presented the unique repertoire of Belarusian Jews as a thing of beauty. This is a pre-American jazz form of klezmer, along with nign and folksong. Raysn is a recording of unadorned beauty. I am in awe. Available online from Bandcamp.

cd coverAlthough you are less likely to hear cantorial music, much less good cantorial music in the synagogue today than even when I was young, one compensation is the myriad of ways in which cantorial music is being recontextualized. Some stylings are more tuneful and gentle, as in Frank London's cantorial music albums. Other artists, like Jeremiah Lockwood of The Sway Machinery have been louder and more discordant. Here, Tzadik recording artist, guitarist Yoshie Fruchter (also the grandson of a cantor) has reimagined and recontextualized some cantorial gems. Some are rendered as instrumentals, with his searing guitar replacing the cantorial sobbing of a hundred years ago. I find myself, in particular, drawn to his reimagination of the "Rosh Hashanah"" plea.In a few cases, he mixed original recordings in with his new musical settings, or sings the music, himself. The result is a loud, discordant, and ultimately immensely spiritual CD. Check out Schizophonia / Cantorial recordings reimagined and get copies for the musical explorers on your gift list. Available from Bandcamp.

cd coverThis last mention for tonight is from a recording that has been sitting on the review shelf for too long. I was reminded of it with a pang last night when I listened to Andy Statman play at a local club. Statman is famous for mixing klezmer and hassidic music and bluegrass so seamlessly that it isn't so much a melding of genres, but a fluency so natural, that all genres sound like facets of the same universal harmonies. That's what the Freilachmakers do with their blend of various Jewish music, starting with klezmer, and with Irish music. Intriguingly, this third recording, Klezmer at the confluence by the ensemble is all Jewish in source: klezmer, yiddish, ladino. But, I am happy to say that the Irish is also still present. Another very special recording from a very special band. This one goes to the persons on your list who don't yet know that klezmer is another way of speaking Irish. Get your copy(ies) from

November 9, 2014

New video: "I could have danced all night" in Yiddish

Now on YouTube, "I Could Have Danced All Night" in Yiddish! Performed by Temma Schaechter of Di Shekhter-tekhter

October 30, 2014

Yiddish song of the week, from Josh Waltezky

These are posted each week by Pete Rushefsky to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

O rebbe I stand and shiver
In my heart burns fire.
I want to be a good khosid,
a faithful khosid.

A song from the repertoire of Josh Waletzky's grandfather Morris. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at the Yiddish Song of the Week.

A project of Center for Traditional Music and Dance and the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.

October 21, 2014

Tonight, NYC, "Letters to Afar" opening reception

"Letters to Afar" opening Reception Installation by Péter Forgács and The Klezmatics Tue, Oct 21, 2014, 6-8pm Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave, New York, New York 10029 This multimedia installation is based on a YIVO collection of home movies made by New York City's Jewish immigrants who traveled back to visit Poland during the 1920s and '30s. The films document poignant family reunions and everyday life in cities and small towns, capturing a culture on the brink. Facebook:

September 17, 2014

"Talk Dirty," the Yiddish version

Postmodern Jukebox presents "Talk Dirty"—Vintage Klezmer Jason Derulo Cover (with 2 Chainz Rap in Yiddish)

May 17, 2014

Great new resource: YIVO Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland

From Gerben Zaagsma in the "Yiddish Sources" group on LinkedIn

Poland was once the home of the largest Jewish community in the world and until World War II was one of the great centers of Jewish political, cultural, and religious life.

YIVO's Polish Jewish Archive is the only American collection, and one of very few worldwide, which was saved from the destruction of the Holocaust.

Explore this world here through manuscripts, posters, photographs, music and other artifacts.

Aaron Lansky honored by White House

So, did I mention that this week Aaron Lansky, founder of the Yiddish Book Center, was honored at the White House? The Tablet used it to write a couple of great articles, including a short interview with Peter Manseau, whose Song of the Butcher's Daughter is one of my favorite recent novels, and perhaps the first to feature the Yiddish Book Center as a location:

Michelle Obama Celebrates Yiddish Literature: Awards Yiddish Book Center nation's highest honor for museums and libraries, by Hannah Dreyfus, May 8, 2014

The Irish Catholic Promoting Yiddish Literature Peter Manseau on accepting Yiddish Book Center honor from the First Lady, by Hannah Dreyfus, May 16, 2014

Yiddish Book Center blog: 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

April 29, 2014

CD of the day: Susan Leviton/Deep Skies

Leviton's calligraphy and typography

Susan Leviton
Deep Skies, 2013

Available from

This is a special album. It doesn't re-imagine Yiddish (mostly) standards. Rather, Susan Leviton presents them in a form that enables us to re-hear them, and re-imagine them for ourselves. In digging into the poetry of these songs, we regain insight into a particular world, but also into the human condition.... [more]

If you live in NYC, you can hear the artist tonight as part of the New York Klezmer Series, at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W. 68th St., NYC

April 11, 2014

Mu Asapru—Frank London & Deep Singh's Sharabi featuring Sarah Gordon & Manu Narayan

Passover without counting songs? A shande. Here is a familiar one, in Yiddish, with an updated musical setting, just in time for the seder. Video sent out by Joey of the Boston Jewish Music Festival:

April 1, 2014

Symposium: "Jewish Music Archives and the Future of Yiddish Song", Apr 6, 2014, NYC

Sunday, April 6, 11:00am
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street,
New York, New York 10011


Around 1900, East European Jews became acutely aware of the impact of modernization and urbanization on their culture: on their songs, their tales, and customs. They set in motion a wide range of projects and institutions to gather, archive, and study fading folklore. YIVO was a pioneer in this push, along with a galaxy of Polish and Russian (later Soviet) activists. Today, with the loss of the original population and the huge demographic and cultural shifts of world Jewry, the surviving archives both preserve and channel a rising tide of interest, even a hunger, for what's called "Yiddish" music and folklore.

This symposium brings together archivists, scholars and performers to discuss the history and creation of Yiddish folk music archives, and the future of the study and performance of Yiddish song today. What is the role of Jewish music archives in fostering new scholarship and Yiddish music?

The event is dedicated to the memory of Chana Mlotek, YIVO's Music Archivist from 1978 until her recent passing at age 91 in 2013.

Chair: Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University

More info:

March 28, 2014

Registration, Scholarship Apps open for KlezKanada, Aug 18-24, 2014

KlezKanada logoKlezKanada 2014
The Mystical and Supernatural in Ashkenazic Jewish Folklore and Practice

Mon, Aug 18 - Sun Aug 24, 2014
Camp Bnai Brith
Lantier, Quebec, Canada

If you have not yet registered, please do so here, as soon as possible. Reserve your place now before we fill up!

Scholarship applications are now open for emerging artists and scholars, ages 16 to 35. This internationally renowned program offers students an opportunity to study with many of the leading teachers of Yiddish/Jewish music and culture, and make friends and form artistic partnerships that will last a lifetime. Apply here.

March 13, 2014

VISKONSIN! Tales from Yiddish Wisconsin

The Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce "Viskonsin! Tales from Yiddish Wisconsin," a new project on Yiddish culture in the upper Midwest. With Viskonsin!, we seek to uncover the often hidden history of Yiddish life in the Midwest which, while it mirrored Jewish communities in larger cities, took on a unique character all its own.

This program will feature invited speakers, community history panels, and a participatory concert and sing-along.

More information online

March 10, 2014

NYC song class starts tonight: Klip-Klap in Goldn tir (Knock Knock on the Golden Door): Yiddish Folk Songs from the Ruth Rubin Archive

Join Lorin Sklamberg and explore the treasure trove of Yiddish folksongs collected by singer-musicologist Ruth Rubin (1906-2000). Repertoire will be drawn from the anthology Yiddish Folksongs of the Ruth Rubin Archive (Wayne State University/ YIVO 2007) and published and unpublished materials from her papers. Sessions will be illustrated by Rubin's original field tapes and discs held in YIVO's Sound Archives, and documentary and historical video material. Song texts and translations will be provided.

Max Weinreich Center
15 West 16th Street
New York, New York 10011

Register for Lorin's class here!

More on Facebook:

February 28, 2014

Help fund new Jewish cabaret program by Olga Mieleszczuk

Having given you the means to hear her music (and musicianship), I now pass on this note from Ellie Shapiro, Director of Berkeley, CA's Jewish Music Festival. Shapiro is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship in Poland.

Dear All:

Did you know that like Tin Pan Alley, Jewish musicians, lyricists, composers, presenters, radio and record producers were predominant in the Polish popular music industry between the wars? Jazz, cabaret, tango, film and theater in Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish … modern culture exploded in Polish large cities in the two decades of independence from 1919–1939. We're all familiar with the scene in Berlin from Cabaret … but Warsaw had its own rich, vibrant world. Most of the brilliant talents who created it did not survive the Holocaust.

The Polish-Israeli singer Olga Mieleszczuk has created a program with some of the most famous songs from this era. Titled Li-La-Lo, she has researched how some of the stars of the Polish stage also then created the cabaret scene in Tel-Aviv.

Bay Area JMF audiences will remember Olga from the opening concert of the 28th Jewish Music Festival with Polesye. She has now launched a funding campaign to support turning the Li-La-Lo project into a CD. This is music that deserves a wide hearing. I hope you will consider helping to bring it to a global audience. Please click on this link below to learn how you can!

December 12, 2013

Anakronic Elektro Orkestra released Bagelman sisters remix

Nostalgia is alive and well and remixed!

Catching up #2: Hankus Netsky in the "Forward 50" for 2013

I meant to make a bigger deal of this. Now it's old news and the KlezmerShack hasn't even mentioned this. But it is a big deal. Hankus has mentored hundreds (thousands?) of amazing musicians over the years. If there is a cool project around town, he is probably part of it—often, unheralded. He continues to bring new musicians, to uncover scintillating old, forgotten music and put it back in our repertoire, and most of all, he remains a mensh making great music and getting us to dance. He has been a key figure in the klezmer/yiddish revival. Hard to beat that, and it's about time someone noticed:

Forward 50, 2013: Hankus Netsky

When superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman and celebrity cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot appeared at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in February, their musical director was hardly at the top of the bill. That is par for the course for Hankus Netsky, who helped mastermind Perlman and Helfgot's "Eternal Echoes" project. For more than 30 years, Netsky, 58, has been a quiet but powerful force affecting nearly every corner of contemporary Jewish music…. [more]

November 27, 2013

"Erev Thanksgivukkah" Live! Wednesday Night on the Yiddish Voice WUNR 1600-AM/Boston

Internationally renowned Yiddish music master Hankus Netsky joins several musical friends live in-studio on "The Yiddish Voice" (WUNR 1600-AM, Boston) on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, at 7:30 PM, to celebrate "Erev Thanksgivukkah", the eve of both Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah, an extremely rare occurrence in Jewish and American calendars. Hanukkah music, as well as music giving thanks for America, will be played live. Dr. Hankus Netsky, chair of the Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and musical director, producer and arranger for "Eternal Echoes," Itzhak Perlman's acclaimed Jewish music project, featuring cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. He has composed extensively for film, theater, and television, and has also collaborated on projects with such artists as Robin Williams, Joel Grey, and Theodore Bikel. Besides Netsky, additional anticipated musical guests include Henry Carrey, Linda Gritz, and Dina Ressler. Henry Carrey is the son of Leah Carrey, the late longtime Boston Jewish radio celebrity, and a veteran Yiddish actor and singer. Linda Gritz is a founding member of the Boston Workman's Circle Yiddish Chorus, and leads monthly Yiddish singalongs in Brookline. Dobe (Dena) Ressler is bandleader, cofounder, and clarinetist of Di Bostoner Klezmorim ( The Yiddish Voice (Dos Yidishe Kol), Boston's weekly Yiddish-language radio show, is heard each week on WUNR 1600 AM from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM and live-streamed on the Internet at For more information, visit

November 6, 2013

Chana Mlotek, z"l

Without her Yiddish song books, my house would have so little Yiddish music. But, that was only the tip of the iceberg. Fred Blumenthal sends the following brief obit to the Jewish-Music list. A more complete obit is available from the NY Times (and eventually, on presumes, from the Forward?):

A Yiddishe Momme of Music, Chana Mlotek, Dies at 91

From today's Post-Dispatch: Deaths Elsewhere - Chana Mlotek

The noted archivist of Yiddish folk music has died at age 91. Her son Zalmen says she died of cancer Monday (Nov. 4, 2013) at her Bronx, N.Y. home. Ms. Mlotek was an impassioned collector of Yiddish theater songs and folk music from Europe's historic Jewish communities. Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer once called Ms. Mlotek and her husband, Joseph, "the Sherlock Holmeses of Yiddish folk songs."

September 2, 2013

Festival of New Yiddish Song, NYC, 9 Oct 2013

Now, this is exciting:

Festival of New Yiddish Song!

Monday, September 9, 7:00PM
Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
Manhattan, NY

Tickets $15, $10 for CTMD/CJH/YIVO members—to purchase go to

A special concert celebrating the work of leading musicians and composers who are at the vanguard of developing a new canon of Yiddish song. Working through a transnational artistic network, these individuals are creating new music that is both rooted in tradition yet endowed with a contemporary expressive vision. This program features the North American debut of the extraordinary Berlin-based singer Sveta Kundish, who has been taking the European Yiddish world by storm, and new compositions by artists such as Patrick Farrell, Benjy Fox-Rosen and Michael Winograd as well as renowned Yiddish songwriter Josh Waletzky. Special guest: violinist Deborah Strauss. A reception with the artists will follow the concert.

Presented by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance's
An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture

Yiddish song video collection online

From Helen Winkler on the Jewish-Music list:

"... there is a large collection of Yiddish song videos taken recently: The videos are part of the Aheym project, described as: "The Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories (AHEYM--the acronym means "homeward" in Yiddish) includes approximately 800 hours of Yiddish-language interviews with 350 individuals, most of whom were born between 1900 and 1930. The interviews were conducted in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova." There aren't 350 up there yet, but there are quite a few to view.

July 30, 2013

Radical Yiddish: Another take on Daniel Kahn

Did I mention that I am not the first to review the new Painted Bird recording? Take a look at this from the summer 2013 Jewish Currents? You haven't heard of Jewish Currents? Let me be the first to introduce you.

"Radical Yiddish: Moyshe Kulbak's Minsk, Daniel Kahn's Berlin," by Joel Schechter, from Jewish Currents, Summer 2013

Soviet Yiddish writer Moyshe Kulbak, arrested and executed in 1937, could be one of the poètes maudits (accursed or outsider poets) about whom Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird sing in their new release, Bad Old Songs [more]

July 17, 2013

Song for the Maskilim

In response to a recent discussion, Lucy Fisher posted this excellent blog post to the Jewish-Music list. It's from the wonderful "Yiddish Song of the Week" blog, edited by Itzik Gottesman:

"Di apikorsim" Performed by Lifshe Schaechter-Widman

The song itself, a maskilic song mocking the Hasidim but sung in the voice of true believers, was a common genre. However, in Apikorsim the humor is quite vulgar. In songs such as "Kum aher du filosof" the irony is much more subtle. Ruth Rubin's book Voices of a People has a nice section on maskilic songs (chapter 10). Rubin also prints Velvl Zbarzher's song "Moshiakh's tsaytn" (pp. 255 - 257) which is on the same theme as di apikorsim.

The heretics, those loose fellows,
Their lungs will all rattle.
They will burst apart,
when they hear the shofar of the messiah.…

July 8, 2013

almost time for Yidstock, Amherst, MA, Jul 18-21, 2013

There are some real goodies happening out in Amherst weekend after next. Here are some excerpts from the latest newsletter. Need I mention that we haven't seen Klezperanto live, anywhere, in years. To see them with Margot Leverett and her Klezmer Mountain Boys? Priceless:

Yidstock Logo 2013Yidstock 2013: The Festival of New Yiddish Music

July 18 - 21, 2013 at the Yiddish Book Center
Amherst, MA

"There are two concerts on the program that no one has ever seen anywhere else, and which will probably never be repeated. Frank London, trumpeter and founding member of the Klezmatics, and Steven Bernstein, a great jazz trumpeter who's worked with The Lounge Lizards, will be appearing on the Yidstock bill as Brass Khazones. Yidstock will conclude with a massive jam session at the end of the weekend featuring the "Yidstock All-Stars," a group comprised of players from the weekend's bands, under the musical directorship of Frank London. Among those all-stars are two of the greatest clarinetists in klezmer: Ilene Stahl of Klezperanto and Margot Leverett of Klezmer Mountain Boys."

"To see the full schedule and to order tickets or a Festival Pass (a limited number are available) visit or call us at 413-256-4900."

July 7, 2013

Yidlid website needs support

Belatedly posted, from Helene B. Katz, via the Mendele mailing list:

"The Yidlid—ייִדישע לידער Yiddish songs—website is one year old.

"Each song in the site (almost thirty, and growing) is complete with Yiddish and translitterated text, French and English translations, vocabulary, score, audio file, links to recordings, etc.It has already been visited by thousands of persons from more than forty different countries and we're really grateful for all the messages of thanks and encouragement we received.

"Presently, Yidlid needs some financial support.

"Our seven years old old-faithful computer is slower every day and won't survive much longer. We already extended its life by shifting to Linux when Windows wouldn't work any longer... and are very happy with the change! But it can't adapt to recent softwares anymore. We would like to buy or find a newer one.

"We would like also to spend more time keeping the website growing, and this means finding at least a small income through working on it. If you like the website, and want to contribute, please contact us and we will give you all the information necessary.

"Even small contributions are welcome!

"The website's adress:"

July 4, 2013

A Biselle KlezKamp - free day-long workshop, Madison, WI, Jul 21, 2013

event logoA Biselle KlezKamp (a bit of KlezKamp) Please join us for our next day-long, free event on July 21, 2013, 9am-9pm. UW-Madison campus Union South 1308 Langdon Street Madison, WI More info: call 608-890-4818 or visit Music, dance, language, art, and cultural studies—plus age appropriate children's programming—are the lively core of this whirlwind 12-hour extravaganza of Eastern Euro pean / American Jewish life. A Biselle KlezKamp is the Midwest's premiere Yiddish event. This year's program will be as rich as ever. Our world renowned staff will return with new and exciting offerings, and we've implemented suggestions from previous attendees to make this event even more responsive to the needs of all participants, veterans and newcomers alike. If you've attended A Biselle KlezKamp before, come back to continue deepening your exploration of the bounties of traditional and popular Yiddish culture with our new workshops and lectures. And if you've never joined us, what are you waiting for? Yiddish culture is a thousand years old, but it can't wait for you forever! We'll be there. Will you? Join us! Henry Sapoznik Director, Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture

Three Lenka Lichtenberg album reviewed

While you're waiting for the KlezmerShack reviews of these new albums by Lenka Lichtenberg, we've been scooped by "The Whole Note". Three review covers the diversity most recent three CDs, including the newest, a complete departure, "Songs for the Breathing Walls." I say, get the word out, and enjoy.

cd coverPot pouri, Lenka Lichtenberg, by Andrew Timar, June 2, 2013.

"The deeply affecting album Songs for the Breathing Walls refers to the 12 historic synagogues scattered throughout the Czech Republic whose Jewish populations were decimated by the mid-20th century Holocaust. These settings of Jewish liturgical songs reflect the varying onsite interior acoustics of the synagogues, their outside soundscapes (on track 18 Lichtenberg remarks "...birds, cars, bells...everything...") as well as their history, intimately connected to their congregations. [more]

Bonus: The following audio links are from the CD release party:

  • Laska, boze, laska ("a Moravian song that i loved since childhood that i did on a hunch—and people just loved it. i guess something to be said for simplicity...")
  • Di Goldene Pave ("here is Di goldene pave from same concert (poem Simcha Simchovitch—who was there!) … finally i got it right i think. my fourth arrangement of it (it exists on two albums, each totally different, and there was also a never-recorded 4-part arrangement i did for the Sisters of Sheynville …) well here, i dropped all the fancy modulations, time changes and stuff. just added lots of dai dais at the end so peeps would sing along and they did … clearly it's a folk song and i was trying too hard to make it into something that it is not... :-)")

July 15, 2012

Last day of Yidstock

Well, after a whole week of film about various parts of the Klezmer Revival and new Jewish music, and a bang-up concert by So-Called last night, Yidstock ends today with an impressive series of shows starting with a sold-out Brian Bender brunch at 10am.

There are still tix available for the Hankus Netsky and Hebrew National Salvage show at noon (we'll certainly be there) with some recently discovered Yiddish gems. Then, for a change of pace the always-astounding Frank London's Klezmer Brass AllStars—with Eleanor Reissa are up at 2pm (It's true, we would have shlepped out to Amherst just for this.). The Festival finale, a concert with the Klezmatics at 4pm, is sold out (we settled for standing room only).

It's been a great weekend of music, from enjoying the Bang on a Can summer residency at Mass MoCA (North Adams) on Friday, to catching Arlo Guthrie and Family last night at Green River, to today. It will seem so mundane to end vacation and be back to work in the morning.

June 6, 2012

"A Hot Tear" - New Kickstarter project: Benjy Fox-Rosen

Anyone who has heard Benjy in recent years know that this is not a new interest. I'm very excited that he is finally getting these pieces recorded. If you can help, let's make sure this one happens. [Ari]

Hello Jewish Music Community,

I am writing to let you know about a new composition that I will be recording at the end of June. It is a new song cycle composed from the poetry of Mordechai Gebirtig, which I am calling "A Hot Tear." I am using a platform called Kickstarter to tell people about the project and to garner support for it. Click on this link to go the page for the project where there is more information as well as a video.

Please help support the project by contributing and spreading the word about it. Thank you.

Benjy Fox-Rosen

American Folklife Center to Present Symposium on Yiddish Radio, September 6-7,2012

To mark its recent acquisition of the Henry Sapoznik Collection of historic Yiddish radio broadcasts from the 1920s through the 1950s, the AmericanFolklife Center at the Library of Congress will present a free public symposium on "The Stations That Spoke Your Language: Radio and the Yiddish-American Cultural Renaissance." Leading Yiddish language and culture experts will join media scholars and Library of Congress specialists to address various aspects of Yiddish-American radio, including its cultural impact and its continued legacy. The event, presented in collaboration with the Hebraic Section of the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division, takes place September 6-7, 2012, at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

The symposium is free of charge, but because of limited space registration is recommended. Both online registration and a more complete program will be available shortly. In the meantime, please mark your calendars!

For further information, contact: Dr. Nancy Groce, Senior Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center; phone 202-707-1744.

April 29, 2012

Registration open! Yiddish Summer Weimar, Jul 21 - Aug 21, 2012

Registration is now open at the website for Yiddish Summer Weimar 2012 (July 21 - August 21). This summer's topic is "The bridges of Ashkenaz"—connections in song, instrumental music, dance and language between the Western European origins of Yiddish culture and its great flowering in Eastern Europe many centuries later. Whether you're a beginner, a pro, or somewhere in between, we invite you to join an incredible international community of artists, scholars and students from all walks of life. Check out the website for this year's exciting program of dance, music, song and more:

Warm greetings to all,
Alan Bern

April 28, 2012

"Candles of Song," Yiddish poetry blog, now with audio

From Sheva Zucker:

Yiddish Poems about Mothers
ייִדישע לידער וועגן מאַמעס willow

Dear People who are following my blog: Candles of Songs: Yiddish Poems about Mothers,

I'm pleased to tell you that audio is now available at the blog. You will be able to hear a reading of each of the poems in Yiddish (by me). You will find the recording at the very top left of each posting. The name of the poem in Yiddish is given in transliteration in blue letters followed by the word "audio". To access the audio just click on those words. I hope this will add to your enjoyment and appreciation of these poems.

Candles of song can be found at:

Klezmer Fats, the interview

From Eric Krasner on the Jewish-Music list:

I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Sokolow a/k/a Klezmer Fats, for a few hours in his home last week, at his piano. Here's a 3 minute peek:

I apologize for the unavoidable back-lighting in advance. Look for our Kickstarter campaign so I can hire a decent cameraman in the near future.

Eric Krasner
The Mickey Katz Project
CineGraphic Studios - CGS Films
E-mail Eric Krasner.

February 1, 2012

"Lullabies and Legacy" class, NYC, starts Feb 7, taught by Klezmatics' Lorin Sklamberg

Have you ever wanted to sing your little one to sleep with a sweet Yiddish lullaby?

Join Lorin Sklamberg, vocalist of the Grammy Award-winning band the Klezmatics for a 4-week exploration into the world of Yiddish children's songs—songs of the cradle and home life, kheyder and nature.

Lullabies and Legacy with Lorin Sklamberg
Presented by The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring
Tuesdays, February 7th - 28th from 12:00-1:30pm

Become a part of the tradition of passing this legacy on to your children, grandchildren, even your friends' children. Teachers, babysitters, friends - and lovers of Yiddish song are welcome, too.

For reservations call: 212-889-6800 x234 or email Workmen's Circle

December 25, 2011

A song for the season

It's a repeat, but this is the day to enjoy this gem: If you see this today (Sun, 12/25, 2011), and you are in the Bay Area, you can also skootch over to Saul's Deli for the annual KlezmerJam/Latke Fest from 11am-2pm

September 9, 2011

KlezKanada 2011 - Itzik Gottesman's video report

From Pete Rushefsky on the Jewish Music list:

Itzik Gottesman reports on KlezKanada in a nice video here on the Forverts's Youtube page:

September 4, 2011

Kickstarter - Arkady Gendler recording still needs a bit more help

From Christian Dawid comes a reminder of another excellent kickstarter project that still needs a bit more help (and if I can work on this with my busted clavicle and grumpiness, all akhat kama v'kama--what is your excuse?!):

We have the rare chance to make CD recordings with Arkady Gendler this coming October. Over the last ten years, Arkady has written a number of beautiful new songs. Most of them have not been recorded yet, some have never been performed in public.

It is Arkady's wish to still see his original work published and accessible to everyone—he is proudly approaching his 90th birthday this fall.

Several of his songs are dedicated to the places and festivals Arkady visited during the last years, songs about Kiev, Vienna, Weimar, his home Zaporozhye and the Dniepr Klezmer Cruise. There is a moving song called "Khaves Tekhter" that he wrote when his wife passed away—it has not been performed yet.

I am now writing arrangements for a small chamber ensemble (piano, vl, va, vcl) plus a few additional instruments - it is a total of twelve songs that Arkady wrote (one has a borrowed melody, for another one he created complementary lyrics). We will record all of his original work, plus a few other favourites.

And yes, we need funding!

While studio costs, tied to successful funding of the entire project, are already secured, we need to raise funds for travel, food & lodging, visa, assistance for Arkady in Vienna, Yiddish documentation, transliteration, translation, the recording musicians, typography and graphic design.

This project is supported by a wonderful group of friends, scholars and artists, many of whom are donating their services, or, were they can't, agreed to more than modest financial conditions.

And you can help us, too!

May 30, 2011

Stage de chant yiddish ... en Limousin NOUVEAU ! 21-27 August, 2011

Pour la première fois en résidence dans une magnifique demeure du XIXe siècle située à 17 kilomètres de Limoges, un lieu idyllique accueillera notre stage de chansons yiddish : le château de Ligoure

Du dimanche 21 au samedi 27 août 2011
Informations pratiques, formulaires d’inscription également disponibles sur le site, auprès d'Estelle au 01 47 00 14 00

Continue reading "Stage de chant yiddish ... en Limousin NOUVEAU ! 21-27 August, 2011" »

May 22, 2011

Yiddish Summer Weimar, Germany, Jul 6 - Aug 14, 2011

logoWelcome to Yiddish Summer Weimar 2011, July 6 - August 14!
2011 special topic: Ashkenaz, the matrix of Yiddish and German cultures.

From its 10th century origins in the Rhineland through its great flourishing in Eastern Europe and the New World, from its near annihilation in the Holocaust to its surprising international resurgence in the last 30 years, Yiddish culture has been profoundly influenced by German culture. This year, many of our workshops, concerts and other public events explore this special relationship with the help of colleagues from German folk music and dance.

Innovative, intensive workshops in klezmer music, Yiddish song, dance, language and culture for students at every level, from beginners through professionals, taught by teams of the best artists, teachers and scholars in the world

  • Concerts featuring established and rising stars, old masters and new discoveries of the Yiddish music world and beyond
  • Dance balls to live klezmer music, led by master dance teachers
  • Nightly jam sessions in the outdoor cafés of historic Weimar
  • A shtim fun harts: Friday-evening celebrations inspired by Shabes, with audience participation
  • Public symposium with renowned scholars and artists Join us in 2011 for a worldwide unique and pioneering cultural adventure!

Mayrent Summer Institute launches Jul 10-14, 2011, Madison, WI

The Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture at the University of Wisconsin–Madison proudly announces the first annual Madison KlezKamp to be held July 10–14, 2011 on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Like its parent event, "KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program," which has defined proactive and innovative Yiddish cultural continuity since 1985, Madison KlezKamp will offer the same exciting, challenging classes on klezmer music, Yiddish language, cultural and linguistic history, vocal arts, dance, crafts, and children's program. All will be taught by some of the world's greatest exponents of Yiddish culture, including: Aaron Alexander (drums), Adrian Banner (piano), Daniel Blacksberg (trombone) Joanne Borts (singing), Sarah Gordon (KlezKids), Josh Horowitz (accordion), Miriam Isaacs (Yiddish), Susan Leviton (singing/crafts), Mark Louden (Yiddish), Sherry Mayrent (clarinet), John Mysliwiec (chorus), Mark Rubin (tuba/bass), Henry Sapoznik (tenor banjo/Yiddish culture), Cookie Segelstein (fiddle), Steve Weintraub (dance), Michael Wex (Yiddish) and Michael Winograd (clarinet).

Tuition: $750 (adults), $300 (children ages 5–12). Program includes all lunches and dinners; accommodations are not included. A limited number of work/study scholarship discounts are available.

For more information about the Madison KlezKamp program and schedule, local hotel options, and to register online, please visit

To receive print brochures contact us at Mayrent Institute or call (608) 263-1936.

And save the date! Our 27th Annual KlezKamp: The Yiddish FolkArts Program will be held December 25–30th, 2011 in Kerhonkson, New York.

April 4, 2011

Jake Shulman-Ment Romanian Klezmer Tour fundraiser

I avoid passing on requests for funds, but the people involved in this project are very special, and they've even gotten a token bit of my own non-existent funds.

Dear Friends,

Thanks to you and your wonderfully generous and supportive responses, we're well on our way to funding this concert tour of Romania! I just wanted to send out a little reminder in case there's anyone who is still planning to donate and/or help spread the word about the project. It's not too late!! Take a look on the Kickstarter link below for updates.

The fundraising drive ends on May 1, and, although the Kickstarter funding goal has been reached, we actually need quite a bit more to make it all happen.

Thanks again for everything, and I hope to see you soon,

March 29, 2011

David Botwinik to appear on "The Yiddish Voice" radio, Wed, 19:30

7:30 in Ovnt - Af WUNR 1600 AM un

Dem mitvokh, dem 30stn Marts 2011, 7:30 ovnt, vet men hern ba der radio-program "Dos Yidishe Kol" (WUNR 1600-AM, Boston) an intervyu (af yidish) mit Dovid Botwinik vegn zayn lebn un shafn, vegn zayn muzik, un spetsyel vegn dem aroyskum fun bukh "Fun Khurbn Tsum Lebn: Naye Yidishe Lider" ("From Holocaust to Life: New Yiddish Songs"). Dovid Botwinik iz geborn gevorn in Vilne. Nokh dem vos er hot durkhgemakht di tsveyte velt-milkhome, hot er shtudirt muzik in Roym, un hot zikh bazetst in Montreal, vu er iz a profesyoneler muziker. In bukh prezentirt er zayn lebns shafung: 56 originele lider zayne. Me vet oykh hern in program Botwiniks muzik, gezungen un geshpilt fun farsheydene zinger un muziker. Nokh vayterdike informatsye vegn Dovid Botwinikn vendt zikh tsum vebzaytl zayns:

"Dos yidishe kol" iz di vekhntlekhe bostoner yidishe radio-program vos vert transmitirt ale mitvokh 7:30-8:30 ovnt un eyntsaytik durkhn vebzaytl Khapt a kuk afn vebzaytl oder shtelt zikh in farbindung elektronish afn adres oder telefonish mitn numer 617/730-8484, nokh vayterdiker informatsye vegn der program.
7:30 PM - On WUNR 1600 AM and

This Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at 7:30 PM, the "Yiddish Voice" radio program (WUNR 1600-AM, Boston) will feature an interview (in Yiddish) with David Botwinik about his life and work, about his music, and especially about the publication of his new book "From Holocaust to Life: New Yiddish Songs" ("Fun Khurbn Tsum Lebn: Naye Yidishe Lider"). David Botwinik was born in Vilna. After surviving the war, he studied music in Rome and later settled in Montreal, where he's since worked as a professional musician. The book presents his life's work: 56 original songs. Listeners will hear not only about the book, but will also get to hear Botwinik's music, sung and played by various singers and musicians. For further info on David Botwinik visit:

'The Yiddish Voice' (dos yidishe kol), Boston's weekly Yiddish-language radio show, is heard on WUNR 1600 AM every Wednesday evening from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM and live-streamed on the Internet at For more information, visit, email us, or call 617-730-8484.

January 9, 2011

Yiddish Song of the Week

Posted to the Jewish-Music list by Pete Rushefsky:

A fire burns dimly … an angry wind blows … the news from Amerika is not good. Performance by Jacob Gorelik, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at the Yiddish Song of the Week:

Presented by Center for Traditional Music and Dance's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture

December 15, 2010

Yiddish Song of the Week

If I were to have the Emperor‘s treasures
and his entire land.
It would not be as pleasing to me,
as you are pleasing to me.

As long as I'm mentioning blogs of note: "A gorgeous lullabye by Mikhl Gordon, sung by Ita Taub, Notes by Itzik Gottesman. Now at the Yiddish Song of the Week."

November 26, 2010

NY Times celebrate KlezKamp

I am very, very tired of the "last gasp of a dying culture" articles about Yiddish and Yiddish culture. The Yiddish culture of a century ago is long gone. The Yiddish culture of modern haredi Jews is quite well, if not remotely relevant to those who celebrate this new, ongoing "Yiddishland," (taking the term from the excellent Adventures in Yiddishland (2008) by Jeffrey Shandler). In short, KlezKamp represents neither a dying culture, nor its most dominant current form. It does provide wonderful access to a culture that was, and to a wonderful, very alive current culture in which "Yiddishkeit" is a significant component. Anyway, that's my take. Here's what the NY Times has to say. You can find out for yourself, of course, next month, at KlezKamp. Why rely on the NY Times when it is so easy and rewarding to find out for yourself?

No Need to Kvetch, Yiddish Lives On in Catskills, David Goldman for The New York Times, November 25, 2010

KERHONKSON, N.Y.—In a chilled and snow-shrouded Catskills landscape, hundreds of people get together every December to try to breathe some warmth into a dying culture. … [more]

October 16, 2010

KlezKamp 2010 program announced

KK 2010 logoKlezKamp 2010 will be held December 26-31, 2010 at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in New York's Catskills Mountains.

"Our theme this year, Gilgulim/Transmigrations, celebrates not only the diverse and dynamic history of Yiddish culture on the move, but also Living Traditions' "transmigration" into the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Please check out our online registration. Or, if you are not on our mailing list and would prefer a good old-fashioned in-your-mailbox registration brochure, drop us a line or call our office at (212) 532-8202 with your name and address. Please hurry, though: space is limited and we are already swamped with many more requests than we have seen in a number of years.

It is also our great pleasure to announce the upcoming release of The Tradition Lives: Yiddish-Moldavian Music of German Goldenshteyn. Recorded at last year's KlezKamp, the new CD has material our late and beloved teacher and friend German Goldenshteyn chose for his first recording and for a proposed Volume II, and honors the great music and inspired playing he shared with us.

As with our other LT CDs, we look for support from our KlezKamp community to issue this critically important recording. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation for the production and release of this CD in time for this year's KlezKamp. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made by check to Living Traditions Inc. or online with a credit card. All donors will be listed in the record notes and, as with our previous German Goldenshteyn CD and books, a percentage of the profits are shared with the Goldenshteyn family.

August 8, 2010

Nat Hentoff reviews Mayrent release in WSJ

Bert Stratton spotted this one and posted to the Jewish-Music list:

Time-Travelers From a Golden Age—'Cantors, Klezmorim and Crooners 1905-1953,' a 3-CD set of U.S. recordings, brings the past to vivid life, by Nat Hentoff, Wall Street Journal, Aug 7, 2010.

"At last, … from Klezmer clarinetist Sherry Mayrent's collection of Yiddish 78s—as far as I know the largest in the world—there now comes a gloriously wide-ranging compilation from those golden years: "Cantors, Klezmorim and Crooners 1905-1953" (JASP Records, available on ). There are 67 tracks in this three-CD set, including 42 never before reissued. Because of the extraordinary skills of engineer Christopher King, all of them bring you into the very presence of these carriers of the Yiddish ethos. At home in the Boston ghetto, I had grown up with a few of these, but they didn't sound as if the performers were actually in the room with me. They do now." [more]

July 15, 2010

"Branches" bridges old and new at Paper Bridge fest

Those of us (and the house was pretty full, so it wasn't a small crowd filling out the National Yiddish Book Center's new auditorium--I'd give you the donors' names, but the new NYBC website seems particularly opaque on such details) who attended the Amherst debut of Hankus Netsky's new band, "Branches" on Monday night had a subversively pleasant evening.

"Branches," includes Hankus on piano (Klezmer Conservatory Band founder and, as Dr. Netsky, head of the NYBC's "Discovery" Project), KCB regulars Andy Blickenderfer on bass, cello, and banjo; and Yaeko Mirando Elmaleh on violin; along with Hankus' jazz ensemble, "Another Realm" co-conspirator Linda Jaye Chase on flute and bass clarinet; and Hebrew College cantorial student Jessica Kate Meyer on vocals, harmonium, and percussion. You couldn't ask for a much more professional, tighter sounder group of folks for a pleasant evening in Amherst. Augmenting everything was the core of NYBC interns (and audience members) who took advantage of the floor space to indulge in "Yiddish" (Eastern European Jewish) folk dancing. The group started off with some traditional klezmer, but it quickly became clear that this was traditional music, but not the old same repertoire. Instead, Hankus mixed in pieces that he had gathered as part of the Center's "Discovery" project, as well as less-well-known pieces by that generation of Second Avenue songsters who had drawn on traditional music and made it American. We got to hear wonderful music that sounded familiar, but was still new to most of us.

Once the audience was warmed up, Hankus moved farther afield, including pieces from "Another Realm," including two wonderful pieces by flautist Linda Chase, one inspired by a poem by Itzik Manger, read simultaneously in Yiddish and English by Netsky and Chase; and another inspired by an earlier poem by the Sufi mystic Rumi. Again from "Another Realm" (I think—I forgot to check) was a new middle eastern piece by Hankus. Closing out, the ensemble returned to the familiar-sounding Yiddish and klezmer. As they played, my audience companions would turn to each other and to me, smiling that "this is hot shit" smile.

What made the concert special wasn't just wonderful music wonderfully played—it was the way that Hankus continues to broaden the repertoire of traditional music, expanding ears, and in a way, legitimizing further the boundary-pushing music of a younger generation of musicians such as The Lithuanian Empire or Daniel Kahn & Painted Bird. It's not a static canon, nor does the music come from a tradition that is disappearing—at least, not disappearing yet, and if the musicians or Monday night's audience have anything to say about it, clearly not disappearing anytime soon.

Tonight, of course, is the East Coast premiere of the new Veretski Pass piece, "Klezmer Shul," as suitable to close the festival as "Branches" was to open the festival—the one to open by showing that the culture that the Center has preserved is alive and well; and tonight to seal a future is even more open-ended and exciting than we imagined a few days ago. חזק חזק ונתחדש!

July 11, 2010

National Yiddish Book Center's "Paper Bridge" fest opens today

NYBC Paper Bridge Festival logoOne of the most special New England events occurs not during the Fall leaf-gawking season, but in mid-July—starting today, in fact—when the National Yiddish Book Center opens its annual "Paper Bridge" festival, a week-long celebration of Yiddishkeit with lectures, workshops, film screenings, and of course, Jewish music new and old.

This year features two special exhibits, Mayer Kirshenblatt's paintings in a traveling exhibit titled: "They Call Me Mayer July" (so what more appropriate month!??). I am a major fan of the exhibit, and of his pictures, which capture life in pre-Holocaust Poland in a way that is both sweet and yet eschews the shmalzification of the period. Kirshenblatt's exhibit is balanced by a look at "Esn! Jews and Food in America. It's a hard combo to beat. [Off-topic, I note that the Jewish Women's Archive, where I work, has recently begun featuring regular guest blogs—is that an oxymoron?—on food and new kosher recipes. Yummy!

What matters most to KlezmerShack readers, of course, is that there will be music. Amazing music. New music. Tomorrow night I expect to trek out for Hankus Netsky's new ensemble, Branches, "… that uses Jewish musical tradition as a point of departure for creative exploration, performing repertoire drawn from klezmer, Yiddish theater, and cantorial traditions, along with new compositions and improvisations based on Yiddish poetry and other sources."

Tuesday night is a re-interpretation "The Firebird." Double Edge Theatre's interpretation of the classic Russian tale draws from the work of Mark Chagall and uses both the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Book Center to transport the audience into the imagination of the famous painter. This is followed on Wednesday night by two documentaries, "The Peretzniks" and "Paint what you remember," the latter featuring Mayer Kirshenblatt talking about his work and pre-war Poland.

The finale, and another absolutely-must-see evening is the East Coast premiere of Veretski Pass's new piece, "The Klezmer Shul." "Inspired by the synagogues of pre-war Eastern Europe, The Klezmer Shul is rooted in Jewish liturgical melodic principles and emotionals intonations. This four-movement instrumental suite transmits the emotional power of synagogue singing without the use of words, incorporating elements of jazz, avant-garde, classical, klezmer, and folk music." If you are familiar with the ways in which Veretski Pass has revitalized early European klezmer music, you wouldn't dream of missing this. As for me, having heard bits and pieces of the piece in formation, I have my tickets at the ready.

The Paper Bridge festival includes more than just evening concerts. There are workshops, film-screenings, and tours during the day. If, like much of New England, you are spending some time in the Berkshires (or nearby) to escape the current heat wave, this is the week to spend a bit to the East in Amherst. The rest of us, still at work during the day, will simply face a longer commute than usual ;-).

National Yiddish Book Center logoNational Yiddish Book Center
1021 West Street
Amherst, MA

June 26, 2010

Three new reviews - recordings with attitude

I didn't realize until afterwards that there was a strong theme to today's reviews—these are all CDs that marry really, really good playing with really, really strong attitude. God bless every one of them.

Interesting type and graphics w/homage to wooden type.First up, Daniel Kahn and his Painted Bird ensemble have made a sort of hipster antiestablishmentarian "Yiddish as implicit protest" statement from the beginning. With this 2009 recording, I think the ensemble is coming into its own as a powerful voice for activism. I was corresponding with someone on Facebook last week and he mentioned this recording as one of his favorite recent recordings, so I knew it was time to actually tell people about Parasites & Partisans.

I saw Yiddish Princess in concert last week and haven't had such a good time in a long time. So, with unseemly haste and a lack of reflection, I provide a quick review of their extraordinary debut CD.

And now for an entirely different sort of attitude, perhaps appropriate for posting on a Shabbes before I hit the road to visit friends, we have the aptly named Breslov Bar Band / Have no fear with some of my favorite young New York musicians. Barroom rock 'n' roll meets Breslov to wonderful effect. Enjoy!

June 20, 2010

Yiddish video from Sweden

My name is Anne Kalmering, singer/actress from Sweden. I´m performing Jewish music in concerts, festivals, radio, TV etc. I performed at Ashkenaz 1999 (time flies...)

June 19, 2010

YIVO encyclopedia now online!

This unprecedented website makes accurate, reliable, scholarly information about Eastern European Jewish life universally available online free of charge. Since 2008, The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, published by Yale University Press, has been the only resource of its kind;providing the most complete picture of the history and culture of Jews in Eastern Europe from the beginning of their settlement in the region tothe present. The online edition includes the contents of the 2008 edition, plus interactive maps, more color photographs, and rare letters and documents as well as newly added video and audio clips. To date, this is the first full-fledged online encyclopedia dedicated to the history and culture of Eastern European Jewry.

June 18, 2010

Yiddish Song of the Week

I have been remiss in not passing on word of two excellent new blogs:

Yiddish Song of the Week is curated by the excellent Itzik Gottesman, of the Forward (more accurately, since he works on the Yiddish side of the paper, פֿאָרווערטס). This week, thrill to “Klezmorim mayne” from the Ben Stonehill Collection, a recording of an unidentified singer recorded by Ben Stonehill in the lobby of the Marseilles Hotel (Broadway and 103rd street in Manhattan) in summer 1948.

The recording follows on work by YIVO sound archivist/Klezmatics keyboardist-singer Lorin Sklamberg. The sound archive, and the projects on which Sklamberg is working, are documented in the YIVOSounds blog.

June 17, 2010

Yiddish Princess!!!!

band logoWhat a concert! Yiddish Princess is my new favorite band. To my intense pleasure Sarah Gordon sounds like a Yiddish-singing Kate Bush; indeed, her singing on band's hard rockified version of "Oy Avram" is instantly recognizable from "Hounds of Love" or LP of similar vintage.

I have to say that this is a good thing. It's like Yiddish folk song of the 1880s (okay, most of this material is much later--some written in Yiddish by Gordon and set to music by Michael Winograd and the rest of the band, one by contemporary Yiddish songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman) meets hard rock of the 1980s. Pop meets pop, as it were. And the band has so much fun playing--Avi Fox-Rosen and Yoshie Fruchter have more fun playing guitar than should be legal. Winograd has the synths down, and both Chris Berry on drums and Ari Folman-Cohen on bass are perfect.

If I have a single complaint about the concert, it was that Gordon's voice was too far back in the mix. Despite the Kate Bush influences so clear on the new EP (buy a few! they make great gifts), in concert it was more like watching Molly Picon meets hard rock. A couple songs were already familiar to me from Winograd's arrangements on the more traditional jazz-klezmer album, Khevre. This isn't how they sounded a few years ago. Time passes.

Along with "Oy Avram," there were a few other traditional songs: "Yash," and "Vilna;" the latter was sung traditionally, accompanied only by Winograd on the keyboard for the first verse or so, until with a great clash the drums kicked in and Yoshie Fruchter crashed in with his guitar and once more we were back in the 1980s.

A select audience of Workmen's Circle friends and local klezmorim danced to the music, grabbed hula hoops and cavorted as the band played. Such an excellent time was had by all. I'm considering skipping work and heading up to Vermont for tomorrow night's gig. If you are in the vicinity, you owe it to yourself and your ears to do likewise. You can follow the whole tour from the band website, or for that matter, on the Klezmershack calendar. If nothing else, you have to catch the band live to stock up on the new EP, which I suspect will be the best-selling CD of the summer.

Yiddish Princess!

First off, if you don't already know, tonight Sarah Gordon's band, "Yiddish Princess" is coming to Boston. It is their CD release tour. I am going to try very hard to break my usual old fogey bedtime rules and attend.

Sara Ivry, whose podcasts on tablet are my favorite part of the site, does a damn fine podcast with Sarah, Michael Winograd, and I believe, Yoshie Fruchter, at . Not only does she play a cut or two from the album, but gets the three to do a song live.

And, as icing on the cake, the Jewish Week names Gordon as one its "36 most influential people under 36." Sadly, the author seems not to have understood that there are two significant East Coast Yiddish culture camps--one, KlezKamp held each winter in the Catskills US); the other, KlezKanada held each summer in the Laurentians (Canada). The talented Ms. Gordon not only grew up attending both, but is now on the faculty of both. Read the article to see how the JW interviewer, um, mashups up the descriptions of the two for this wonderful "Yiddish Mash-Up Artist" (his term).

March 22, 2010

"Yiddish Sources" website relaunched

From Gerben Zaagsma

I am pleased to announce the launch of the new version of Yiddish Sources today. You can visit the website here:

Yiddish Sources aims to be a comprehensive source of information for those who are interested in using Yiddish materials in their research. The information is arranged in three main sections: reference, research and events. A new addition is the Yiddish Studies Bibliography, an online bibliography which lists relevant scholarly literature in the field of Yiddish Studies.

Yiddish Sources and the Yiddish Studies Bibliography will be continuously updated. It is easy to stay updated on new content by subscribing to RSS feeds or follow Yiddish Sources on Twitter and Facebook.

Registered users can bookmark entries and also leave comments. Feedback and suggestions are very much appreciated. Please forward this announcement to anyone you think might be interested.

January 30, 2010

Best historic Jewish music recording release yet - now available!

Mark Rubin puts it much better than I can:

CD coverYou checked this out? It's friggin' AWESOME. No foolin'. Best sounding and curated Jewish release I've yet encountered. Belf sounds like he's playing in your front room.

… They've already moved 5000 copies and are headed to a second pressing, which is a pretty big number for a box set especially these days. I think Henry just did the track annotations on it, with Chris King doing the clean ups and Sherry Mayrent writing what could be the best introductory notes I've seen in a good long while. It's her baby as far as I know. And I hear there's already talk of a second volume. Seriously holmes, this is a must have set even if you think you've already heard it before, you ain't heard 'em like this.

Pick up your copy from and help support the KlezmerShack.

November 20, 2009

25th Annual KlezKamp registration opens

KlezKamp 200925th Anniversary
A Fertl Yurhundert KlezKamp
KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program
December 23-29, 2009/5770
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This is to announce the opening of registration for A Fertl Yurhundert KlezKamp, our 25th anniversary program to be held at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa from December 23–29. This year's program features a faculty of over 45 of the world's greatest exponents of traditional and contemporary Yiddish culture.

We invite you to follow us on Facebook and get regular updates about our upcoming event. For more information about the program register online at our KlezKamp website. We look forward to seeing you this coming December at KlezKamp 25.

Henry Sapoznik

September 7, 2009

Premiere of Theo Bikel's "Shalom Aleichem: Laughter through Tears," NYC, Nov 8 - Dec 13, 2009

posterNEW YORK PREMIERE November 8th - December 13th Tickets now on sale! Click here to purchase tickets for THEO BIKEL in SHOLOM ALEICHEM: LAUGHTER THROUGH TEARS Written By Theodore Bikel Music Direction by Tamara Brooks Tamara Brooks, Piano Merima Kljuc(o, Accordion Directed by Derek Goldman Presented by Special Arrangement with National Jewish Theater Arnold Mittelman, Producing Artistic Director Originally developed in 2008 by Theater J, Washington, DC Ari Roth, Artistic Director and Patricia Jenson, Managing Director THIS SHOW WILL BE PERFORMED MOSTLY IN ENGLISH WITH YIDDISH AND RUSSIAN SUPERTITLES A PLAY WITH MUSIC CELEBRATING THE GREAT YIDDISH WRITER Regular Ticket Prices: Orchestra $55, Balcony $45, Students $25* *Student tickets can only be purchased at the box office, student ID required BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW Folksbiene logo

Continue reading "Premiere of Theo Bikel's "Shalom Aleichem: Laughter through Tears," NYC, Nov 8 - Dec 13, 2009" »

September 6, 2009

Audition for the Harvard Yiddish Players' Fall Prod. of "Shulamis"

Audition for Harvard's landmark production of the most popular Yiddish play of all time—Shulamis: a timeless Biblical operetta of love and deception, of the price of revenge and the power of forgiveness.

Our production will feature a new translation, a new musical score, a live orchestra, masks, avant-garde design elements, and innovative choreography. Songs will be performed in Yiddish (with supertitles), while the dialogue will be in English. NO PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE OF YIDDISH REQUIRED. Actors and singers, please come prepared with a song (ideally a musical theater or opera selection). Dancers are encouraged to audition for our dance-only corps.

We are looking for actors, dancers, and singers of all ages and backgrounds for a large ensemble cast. Come audition to be a part of this historic, professionally guided project that will breathe new life into a Yiddish theatre classic!

Performance dates are December 2-6 at Harvard's historic Agassiz Theater in Radcliffe Yard. Rehearsals will run mid-September through early December. No rehearsals will be held on Saturdays or on Jewish or secular holidays.

Auditions will be held through Harvard Common Casting:

Tuesday, Sept. 8: 9 PM - Midnight
at the Agassiz Theater in Radcliffe Yard

Wednesday, Sept. 9: 9 PM - Midnight
Thursday, Sept. 10: 6-9 PM
at the New College Theater (10-12 Holyoke Street, Cambridge) in Harvard Square

For further information click here and click here, too!

Folksbiene: Calling All Kids

The National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene is casting its upcoming 2009-2010 production of Kids & Yiddish our annual family musical. We are seeking children (13 and under) and one young adult (16-25) union or non-union with an outgoing personality, excellent report with children, acting and movement skills, strong vocals and a working acquaintance with Yiddish or a great ear for language.

The show is presented primarily in English, however there is significant Yiddish content.

Continue reading "Folksbiene: Calling All Kids" »

Beyond "Oy Vey": Yiddish Classes at The Workmen's Circle

Come learn some mameloshn! Choose from three levels: Beginners, Advanced Beginners, and Intermediate. The Beginners course provides an introduction to the Yiddish language, with a focus on basic conversation skills and elementary grammar. In Advanced Beginners, students will build their conversational vocabulary, strengthen grammar and further develop reading skills. In the Intermediate Level Yiddish Reading Circle, students will read and discuss stories in Yiddish by authors such as Sholem Aleykhem and I.B. Singer.

Classes begin on October 6th and run for 10 consecutive Tuesday evenings, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m at the Workmen's Circle, 1762 Beacon St. in Brookline. Tuition is $165 for Workmen's Circle members, $210 for non-members, with special rates for folks under 30: $90 for members, $125 for non-members. Call 617-566-6281 to register or go to

August 18, 2009

Memorial: The Night of the Murdered Poets

Listen to Itzik Gottesman narrate, in Yiddish, a memorial held on August 12 in NYC to commemorate the night of the murdered poets. Music by Hy Wolfe, among others.

July 20, 2009

Cooper and Lerner cap another great "Paper Bridge"

In a little of a week I will have finished the last course for a new college degree and may have time to think again. Despite the handicap of classes, Judy and I dashed out to Amherst last Thursday to catch Marilyn Lerner and Adrienne Cooper perform "Every Mother's Son", a wonderful multi-media piece featuring songs in Yiddish, Spanish, Hebrew, English, etc., about the human impact of war. The multi-media side is still not quite there, but the music was excellent—much improved over the first presentation I saw at Ashkenaz a while back. This is a show worth booking, especially in these times. I could listen to Lerner or Cooper any day of the week. Hearing them both working with each other is very special. And, as long as I am talking about rising young stars of Jewish music, I also want to call out the excellent guitar of Avi Fox-Rosen, and reeds of Mike Cohen.

We were out of town and missed most of the festival, but congrats to Nora Gerard for arranging another wonderful festival. Congrats also to the National Yiddish Book Center—this festival innaugurated their new hall which Hankus confirms is excellent for dancing, and whose classrooms are a delight to teach in. This is how Yiddish culture, however diluted by the Holocaust and assimilation, grows and thrives.

May 29, 2009

Israeli Marked "Yiddish Day" May 26

Sent in by Simon Rutberg of Hatikvah Music:

Israeli Knesset marks Yiddish Day

For the first time since its founding, the Knesset officially marked Yiddish Language and Culture Day on Tuesday (May 26). A Yiddish-Hebrew Knesset lexicon was released for the occasion.

The date for the parliamentary nod to Yiddish, a language once spoken by more than 12 million Jews, was selected to mark 150 years since the birth of the Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem. This past week was also the 20th anniversary of the founding of Yiddishshpiel, Tel Aviv's all-Yiddish theater.

The day's events included a joint meeting of the Knesset's Absorption, Immigration and Diaspora Committee and the Education and Culture Committee to discuss Yiddish culture. The Knesset also held a special session to discuss the place of Yiddish in modern Israeli society. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy Minister of Pensioners Affairs Leah Ness delivered the main speeches of the session.

Ahead of the unique Knesset session, a lexicon of the Yiddish translations of several key phrases often used by Israeli parliamentarians was distributed to all Knesset members. A few key phrases from the lexicon that veteran MKs may find useful include:

  • Ich hob eich nisht geshtert, toshter nisht mir!—"I didn't interrupt you, don't interrupt me!"
  • Ich ruf eich tzum seder dus ershte mol....—"I am calling you to order for the first time...."
  • Ordners, derveitert im fun zal!—"Ushers, remove him from the hall!"
  • Vehr siz far, zol veilen 'far'. Vehr siz keigen, zol veilen 'keigen'.—"Whoever is in favor, vote 'in favor'. Whoever is opposed, vote 'opposed'."

In the Knesset auditorium, members of the Yiddishshpiel theater troupe performe songs and selected scenes from the Yiddish theater and from Jewish tradition. Throughout the day, the Knesset halls hosted an exhibition from the Shalom Aleichem House, which is dedicated to preserving the author's legacy.

More than 450 people were invited to take part in the Knesset festivities and events.


Behind the cultural initiative stands Knesset Member Lia Shemtov (Israel Beiteinu), chairperson of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee, who grew up speaking Yiddish in her family home in the Ukraine.

,p>"This language represents for me the language, culture and history of the Jews of Europe," Shemtov said. "Yiddish is a rich, pungent, humorous, sweet and indulgent language. ...Yiddish, for me, is mein mameloshen, mein tateloshen, mein bubbeloshen und mein zeydeloshen ('my mother tongue, my father tongue, my grandmother tongue and my grandfather tongue')."

The two parties with the most Yiddish speakers, Shemtov said, are Yisrael Beiteinu and the Ashkenazi hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism party. Three Yisrael Beiteinu MKs - Shemtov, Avigdor Lieberman and David Rotem—speak Yiddish, as do all five MKs from UTJ. Other MKs who list Yiddish as an additional language on their official Knesset webpages are Avishai Braverman (Labor), Shai Hermesh (Kadima) and Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz (National Union).

Arutz Sheva

February 7, 2009

1st Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival, Jun 17-25, 2009

Segal Center LogoThe Segal Centre for Performing Arts proudly announces the 1st Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival, June 17-25, 2009

The Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival will bring together Yiddish theatres from Israel, France, Romania, Poland, Australia, the USA and, of course, Canada.

This Festival will have something for everyone. For audiences, a diversity of exciting formal and impromptu events will entertain, educate, and inspire. For theatre professionals, the Festival offers a unique opportunity for artistic exchange.

Continue reading "1st Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival, Jun 17-25, 2009" »

new Yiddish rap: Gey nisht avek

Lori Cahan-Simon spotted this one:

A Yiddish rap song by German/Israeli singer Zionlight. The aim is to keep Yiddish alive amongst the younger generation. "Gey nisht avek" (don't go away) is a song dedicated to the Yiddish language, saying don't go away. Read more: Zionlight on MySpace

January 21, 2009

Adrienne Cooper - Remembering Pesakh Fiszman, z"l

Pesakh Fiszman photo, courtesy Bob BlacksbergAdrienne Cooper is gathering stories about Pesakh. If you have ideas/info toward a bio/obit for him, please email her.

I am having trouble accepting that he is gone.

January 20, 2009

Worlds within a World releases Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman film

Jack Zaentz covered this back in May, and here I am catching up—but this is important:

video coverYiddish Film Project
Worlds within a World: Conversations with Yiddish Writers
Beyle Schaechter Gottesman: Song of Autumn

The League for Yiddish is pleased to announce that the film Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman: Song of Autumn (BEYLE SHEKHTER-GOTESMAN: Harbstlid), the second film in our series Worlds within a World: Conversations with Yiddish Writers (A velt mit veltelekh: shmuesn mit yidishe shraybers) is ready and available for viewing and purchase.

Continue reading "Worlds within a World releases Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman film" »

January 18, 2009

New Wolzinger reviews, from Polish Klezmer to Canadian Yiddish Art Song

I am so very behind in posting reviews by Keith Wolzinger, who continues to release new podcasts and reviews, regardless. Let me start to catch up with some very special ones:

I'm not happy with that Hebrew font used that way, but otherwise a nice coverIt's hard for me to imagine a more pretentious name for a Yiddish art song CD than "A Song is Born," especially when the haunting sound of didgideroo is heard in the opening bars. But Mitch backs it up. The former director of Toronto's acclaimed Ashkenaz Festival got some of his (and mine!) favorite musicians from around the world, including trumpeter Paul Brody from Germany, and the incomparable Moguilevsky and Lerner from Buenos Aires. The result is the most exciting, inventive, beautiful, and just plain interesting Yiddish album in years. Songs range from traditional, to Yiddish folk & theatre hits, to the always-interesting Lazar Weiner, and new tunes by Marcelo Moguilevsky. But, read what Keith has to say, in his review of Mitch Smolkin / A song is born / אַ ניגן איז געבוירן

nice woodcut drawing and well-rendered letteringFor those lucky folks who live in Toronto, tonight is the CD release of the first solo release by talented Jazz musician Lorie Wolf: The Lithuanian Empire, as well as the award-winner Sisters of Sheynville.

cd coverDrummer Matt Temkin goes in a different direction, entirely. To those who know him, this is no surprise, nor is the delicious serving of older-style klezmer-jazz á la Epstein Brothers, with welcome side trips to Second Ave. and to the music of the late German Goldenshteyn. Anchoring it all in "today" is the way he transposes the concept of "jam band" to klezmer, and how obvious and delightful it all sounds together. Check out Keith's review of Matt Temkin's Yiddish Jam Band / Poykler's Shloft Lied.

cd coverFinally, Keith introduces a band that is entirely new to me, the high-energy Polish ensemble, Klezmafour. Sounds like I need to pick up some new music.

More coming soon!

Reappearing Acts: From Jewish Life to Jewish Dance Theatre, now online

Here is a fascinating account of a century of traditional Jewish life leading to Jewish dance, from the Yiddish Dance Network:

… the paper I wrote last year is now online through "Mofa, Magazine of the Performing Arts," published out of Tel Aviv U., edited by Avraham Oz from Haifa U.: Reappearing Acts: From Jewish Life to Jewish Dance Theatre, by: Karen Goodman, Los Angeles date: 2008-01-14

In 1913, in Lodz, Poland, a fifteen year old cheder boy pushes his payes under his hat to go tango dancing with his sister. He wins a ballet scholarship to Berlin; and this youngest and only son of thirteen, whose Chasidic mother wants him to be a rabbi, changes tracks. Soon he is performing for even the Kaiser, with the Berlin Opera Ballet, then as soloist in operettas, and studying drama with Max Reinhardt. He enters the U.S. illegally in 1920. [more]

January 17, 2009

Alberta Hunter: "Ikh hob dikh tsufil lib"

The late, wonderful, great Alberta Hunter on Dick Cavett's show, singing a song she says she learned in Jerusalem:

"Ikh hob dikh tsufil lib" is followed by her amazing "Sweet Georgia Brown", "We'll understand better bye and bye" and a short "I've got rhythm." Phew. Hunter was a good enough singer when she was young. But the post-retirement Alberta Hunter who returned to music was one of the world's treasures.

January 7, 2009

A second yiddish opera to premiere from Daniel Galay

Lori Cahan-Simon spotted this nifty bit of news in the Jerusalem Post. It's Galay's 2nd yiddish opera in just a couple of years:

Yiddish Opera to Premiere Soon, by Greer Fay Cashman. It's not your grandmother's story line, I don't think: "[it] revolves around an incestuous relationship between a brother and a sister, Itche and Adela, who succeed in concealing their secret from the world…. [more]

Three Yiddish Divas coming to my home town, Mar 21-22, 2009

This is early notice, but I gotta warn you—get tix now before this sells out. (and if it doesn't sell out? shame on us—I mean, look at what we're talking about):

3 yiddish divasThe Jewish Theatre of New England at the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center

Saturday, March 21, 8pm Sunday, March 22 2pm

Theresa Tova (Jazz-Cabaret Diva), Joanne Borts (Theatre Diva) and Adrienne Cooper (Concert Stage Diva) blend their multilingual repertoire and phenomenal talents into a sophisticated, emotionally charged and stunningly powerful concert.

These outstanding stars of Yiddish cabaret pour passion and artistry into Yiddish jazz, cabaret and theatre songs—including an unforgettable repertoire of the Yiddish theatre greats who inspired modern Broadway.

Continue reading "Three Yiddish Divas coming to my home town, Mar 21-22, 2009" »

January 3, 2009

Summer Internships available at National Yiddish Book Center - Feb 2 application deadline

Yiddish Summer Internships at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA. Outstanding opportunity for full-time college and graduate students. The Steiner Internship Program is now accepting applications for summer 2009. Eighteen students will be selected to study Yiddish language and culture, pursue a research or translation project, and delve into the Book Center's comprehensive collection of over a million Yiddish books. No prior knowledge of Yiddish required.

June 14-July 24, 2009
Free tuition – six undergraduate credits
Limited housing subsidies available

Visit to learn more and apply today

Application deadline: February 2, 2009

January 1, 2009

Yiddis video from down under

Lionel Mrocki, of the Australian klezmer supergroup Klezmania writes:

My nephew has uploaded 2 video clips that the "yiddish rock band" Flamen recorded in yiddish revival city of Melbourne in 1986.

The first song "Zibn Teg" won second prize in the Charlotte Yiddish Folk Song Contest in 1987. (I still have a photocopy of the United Carolina Bank check from the Charlotte Yiddish Institute)

I squirm when I see or even think about these clips, the production was all done gratis and it shows, but they're part of my history

Flamen - Zibn Teg (7 Days)

Flamen - Unter A Grin Beymele (Under A Green Tree)

And, bringing us up to current times, here is a first recording by Yiddish Choir Melbourne with a number that has probably never been heard before in international Yiddish circles:

Ghettoplotz: Jew Many DJs - Music Video Mashup

Continuing our quick catch up from around the world, the DJ's from the UK's GhettoPlotz presents their own take on the world of Yiddish music, this time, in a mere five minutes—but with video!

Diwon: The Beat Guide to Yiddish

From our friends over at comes this wonderful "beat guide to Yiddish" mixed by Diwon. It's 25 minutes of gems like you've never heard them:

coverDiwon has produced countless electro and hip hop mixes. His use of traditional Yemenite and Sephardic music, however, sets him apart from other artists in the genre. Influenced heavily by his family's roots in Yemen, Ethiopia and Israel, the multicultural maestro is always full of suprises and his latest release, The Beat Guide to Yiddish, is no exception. Diwon's Beat Guide mixes some of his own music into forgotten sounds from Eastern Europe.

Download the mix for free and hear Yiddish in a way you would have never thought possible. Included on the mix are sounds from; Gershon Kingsley, Jewdyssee, Sam Medoff, Lipa, Seymour Rechtzeit and a few other gems.

December 28, 2008

Bruce Adler, z"l, 1944–July 25, 2008

Bruce Adler Dear Friends,

Our beloved friend, our brilliant star, our amazing Bruce Adler passed away Friday morning. The shock and the void are overwhelming. We have lost a precious soul and a giant of our culture.

May his memory be blessed. May Amy and his entire family be comforted with the knowledge that he profoundly touched so many thousands upon thousands of lives. He will live on in our hearts forever.

Here are a few obituaries that have appeared online so far;

Moishe Rosenfeld, President
Golden Land Concerts & Connections, Inc.

Continue reading "Bruce Adler, z"l, 1944–July 25, 2008" »

Maurice Schwartz exhibit now online

From Steven Lasky, posted to the Mendele mailing list:

I have just placed online within the walls of my virtual, internet-only museum the next exhibition that falls under the title of "Great Artists Series." This exhibition about Yiddish acting great Maurice Schwartz and his Yiddish Art Theatre is the fourth of five such exhibitions to be presented within this category. Others featured within this series include Bialystok-born artist Max Weber, Yiddish playwright David Pinski, and the great American (Lithuanian-born) entertainer Al Jolson. The Jolson exhibition is a rather large one, containing twenty-seven web pages, featuring more than one dozen video clips and nearly four dozen sound clips, including Jolson songs, Fanny Brice singing "My Man," Jolson and Groucho Marx, George Jessel and more. You may wish to visit the page "The Jewish Side of Jolson" and hear him sing "Cantor on the Sabbath" in Yiddish, as well as Hatikvah and Kol Nidre. The last planned exhibition in the Great Artists Series that will be published online within the next month or so will be about American tenor and chazzan Richard Tucker.

The Schwartz exhibition contains a serialized version of the only known biography of Maurice Schwartz, a fairly complete listing of all of the Yiddish Art Theatre productions (title of work, author, years played), photos of scenes from various productions, many of the actors who played with troupe, as well as those who worked behind the scenes. I will be adding audio clips to this exhibition in the future featuring comments about Schwartz, from such greats as Luba Kadison, Seymour Rexsite et al. Your comments are most welcome, as are your suggestions for future exhibitions.

The URL for the Great Artists Series is The URL for the Schwartz exhibition is

December 27, 2008

Updated Yizkor book links, by Helen Winkler

It's been almost a decade that Helen Winkler has been maintaining a page on the KlezmerShack with Jewish Music and Dance as recorded in Yizkor books. In time for the secular new year, she has provided a new set up updates. Check it out!

Of course, several of you will have noticed from the name that this is the same Helen Winkler, indefatiguable teacher of Eastern European Jewish dance (as well as more modern Israeli dance), and the maintainer of the Jewish Dance website.

Many thanks, Helen.

December 25, 2008

Der yidisher-gramofon online!

Michael Aylward writes to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

I am pleased to be able to announce the launch of my website 'Der yidisher gramofon' at:

I am hugely indebted to Joel Bresler who generously created this website for me. It is only now the project is complete that I realise what enormous demands I have made on Joel, no doubt on occasion testing his patience (and sanity?) to the limit. Without the enormous amount of work he contributed, the site simply would not exist.

The site falls into 3 broad sections:

Continue reading "Der yidisher-gramofon online!" »

September 29, 2008

Isa Kremer CD!

cd coverOver on the Mendele list, Leonard Fox writes:

For Yiddish music fans, a new CD containing recordings from the 1930s by Iza Kremer, titled "Evrejskie narodnye pesni,"is available from at $14.99 (with free shipping). You need to enter a search for it in the appropriate search box, but since the search engine is not very accurate, the best thing to do is enter "Iza," rather than "Kremer." It's a great collection, with many old favorites and some songs that are rarely heard.

September 28, 2008

Eli Herscovitch: Working on new project, "When Bialystock came to Montreal"

This sounds like a potentially interesting project. Anyone able to help Eli?

Hi Ari,

I just happened to come across your article about Finjan and it's never to late to say thank you for such a positive view. I was an original founding member of Finjan and played with them for 15 years!

I'm good friends with Sid Robinovitch, an accomplished composer who wrote "Suite for Klezmer Band and Orchestra", with Finjan in mind. Sid's five movement suite opened many doors for Finjan and lifted the band to new artistic heights.

These days I'm developing my own original project called, "When Bialystock Came To Montreal". I'm working with Danny Koulac (still a member of Finjan) and Jeff Preslaff.

Continue reading "Eli Herscovitch: Working on new project, "When Bialystock came to Montreal"" »

August 11, 2008

Last call: KlezKanada, Aug 18-24, 2008

KlezKanada 2008There is still room to register for KlezKanada 2008, to be held from August 18 to 24. Act quickly to be part of the richest, most intense experience of Yiddishkeit in North America. Follow these links to download KlezKanada's

2008 Registration Form
2008 Brochure
2008 Workshop Choice Sheet

Check out the new KlezKanada website,

Ashkenaz Festival Starts in two weeks, Toronto, Canada

Ashkenaz Festival logo
For 13 years Ashkenaz has brought the finest in Yiddish and Jewish culture to Toronto. To celebrate our ‘Bar Mitzvah’ year we have assembled a diverse and exciting festival lineup featuring more than 70 performances and 200 individual artists from a dozen countries. From music, dance, theatre, and film, to visual arts, literature, discussions, kids and family activities, and group celebrations like Havdallah and our famous Parade, Ashkenaz offers a wealth of artistic and cultural experiences for all the senses. The intermingling of tradition and innovation has always been the hallmark not just of the Ashkenaz Festival, but of the global Jewish community. This year, Ashkenaz once again presents a mix of traditional arts along with multicultural fusion bridging communities and artistic traditions from within and beyond the Jewish world. And while contemporary Klezmer music and Yiddish culture remain at the heart of our programming, we are thrilled this year to offer more Sephardic music and culture than ever before. In short, Ashkenaz offers something for everyone, a multi-cultural, multigenerational experience for Jews and non- Jews alike.

July 8, 2008

Paper Bridge fest starts today in Amherst, MA at NYBC

paper bridge logoStarting today, and continuing through July 17th, the place to be is on the campus of Hampshire College at the National Yiddish Book Center, for their Paper Bridge Festival. We're talking lectures, dance, music, discussions—an incredible gathering to get a sense of Yiddish culture today. Featured performers/bands include Eleanor Reissa (tonight!), a super-group featuring Hankus Netsky, Michael Alpert, and stars from Eastern Europe, the Ribs and Brisket Revue, Hank Sapoznik and the Youngers of Zion, SoCalled, and Margot Leverett. Oh, and did I mention that most of these folks will be holding workshops, and that Jeffrey Sandler will be doing some amazing stuff, as will be the infamous Michael Wex? They'll even be showing movies and TV—they'll even be playing a movie produced by my own Jewish Women's Archive, the festival-award-winning Making Trouble, about six ground-breaking (and very funny) Jewish women comedians.

Get the whole scoop at

July 6, 2008

Beltz - Vira Lozinsky with Raanana Symphonette Orchestra

Here is a link to video of me singing "Beltz" during the homage concert to Leopold Kozlowski (the "Last Klezmer of Galicia") with Raanana Symphonette Orchestra.

Raanana, Israel , 08 October 2007
Vira Lozinsky

June 28, 2008

New YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe

book cover

Helen Winkler writes:

The new two volume YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, published by Yale University press, has just been issued. It is an inspiring accomplishment with invaluable text and fine illustrations. Dance in covered from pages 387-392, comprising three articles. The overview and Traditional Dance are written by Walter Zev Feldman and Theatrical Dance by Judith Brin Ingber. There are some cross-references also. It is a recommended resource.

Channe Nussbaum & Klezmofobia rock out in Mexico

From Channe Nussbaum, Queen of Danish Klezmer, ever pushing the edges of Yiddish music, this time, in Mexico! (Is that the largest bass balalaika you've ever seen, or what?

Klezmofobia has recently returned—all high from playing stadium concert in Mexico City for at least 15.000 wild young mexicans. We were also invited to perform in the mexican TV show "Animal Nocturno"; a channel wich is broadcasted in all Mexico, Latin America and the USA.

We met other bands from many countries who also participated the Ollinkan Festival, and we had a marvellous time partying and jamming with people from Africa, Portugal, Spain, France, England, Germany, South America etc.

Here's a couple of samples from the TV show "Animal Nocturno":

Grine kuzine/Zigeuner

Vi ahin zol icg gehn

Best regards
Channe Nussbaum

June 27, 2008

KlezKamp one-day roadshow, NYC, July 13, 2008

Living Traditions, in conjunction with YIVO, and the Uriel Weinrich / NYU Program in Yiddish Language Literature and Culture, presents:

KlezKamp Roadshow

posterSunday, July 13, 2008

Classes + Workshops: 12:30-6:00pm
dance party: 7:00-8:30pm

Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th St., NYC

Continue reading "KlezKamp one-day roadshow, NYC, July 13, 2008" »

June 26, 2008

פארווערטס - א שפּאציר איבער דער רעדאקציע

Chana Pollack recently sent a link to the "first yiddish web-video we made here at the Forverts."

It's neat! But when I suggested that it was time to move beyond the nostalgia stuff and do some hard-hitting video news in Yiddish, she responded, "Sandler's already got me cranking on the video magazine. We're on it—it's in the works. And someone in the land of Klez calling us nostalgia freaks? Ahem. Unless you're Wolfe Krakowsky--you're swimming in the stuff."

Touché. And for those of us who need a bit of help, here's the english-subtitled version:

June 23, 2008

"Essen" sticks to my ribs

CD coverSuppose Mickey Katz were alive today. Not alive in tribute. Not alive as a mere incredible clarinet player, but suppose someone could play like Mickey Katz, someone who got how Mickey would sound today and made his music sound like today's hip R&B. Then suppose that this person could convey the craziness of Katz, even better, could channel the earlier craziness of Slim Gaillard, Cab Calloway, the Barton Brothers, even add to it….

Continue reading ""Essen" sticks to my ribs" »

"Shmoozin'" down under--a new "must have" CD from Klezmania

CD coverOh, man. A new disk from Australia's answer to the Klezmer Conservatory Band crossed with digideroo arrived today, and this one doesn't even feature didgideroo (although ears better than mine will catch it's use on a couple of cuts). I should wait and listen to Klezmania's new "Shmoozin'" a few times before writing anything, but I can't wait. The disk is a perfect blend of klezmer and jazz, but damned if I can easily separate one from the other, and all held together by the sensuous voice of Freydi Mrocki.

Continue reading ""Shmoozin'" down under--a new "must have" CD from Klezmania" »

KlezFest London 2008, Aug 7-22, 2008

KlezFest London 2008 posterKlezFest London August 10 - 15 Directed by Frank London, with SongFest directed by Shura Lipovsky and DanceFest by Andreas Schmitges. With special guests Moshe Berlin (Israel), Steve Weintraub (USA) and Joanne Borts (USA). An incredible week of Klezmer classes, workshops, masterclasses, jams and concerts in the heart of London. See for full details.

June 22, 2008

KlezKanada Brochure and Workshop Schedule Available Online!, Aug 18-24, 2008

KlezKanada logoKlezKanada

KlezKanada 2008 will take place from August 18 through 24.

We have a world-class faculty and a fantastic program of concerts, lectures, films and hands-on workshops scheduled. The proprietor of this website will be there once again facilitating the Yiddish gossip column, the blog, and other neat, new ventures.

You can download all of the information at

Hope to see you there!

KlezKamp Roadshow, Poconos, PA, Jul 30 - Aug 6, 2008

Roadshow graphicKlezKamp Roadshow: July 30-August 6, 2008
Block & Hexter Vacation Center, Pocono Mts. PA

Download brochure

For more information (note new address):
Living Traditions
207 W. 25th Street, 4th floor
New York City, NY 10001
(212) 532-8202
or visit the Living Traditions Website

June 21, 2008

Drapkin's "Suite of Old Yiddish Melodies" performed by Austin Symphonic, on YouTube

Michael Drapkin writes: Dear Friends and Family: I had the great honor of having our wonderful Austin Symphonic Band perform my concert band piece "Suite of Old Yiddish Melodies" this past Father's Day here in Austin in Zilker Park. The Texas sun had just gone down, but the air temperature was still in the '90s, so it was sweltering, but the band still played great. Shayna videotaped the concert live all the way from the back of the hillside, which accounts for a lot of crowd noise, but it was done on a tripod, so the results were pretty good. Naturally, her bias was to zoom in on her father! It was appropriate for this to be performed on Father's Day, as on the score I dedicated it to my grandfather Philip Segalove, who used to play a lot of these tunes when I was a child. This piece has been performed by several bands previously, but this is the first time I got to actually perform it myself playing the big solo clarinet part. It is being published this year by Northeastern Music Publications, so it may be coming to a high school or college band near you! It is broken into two pieces in order fit onto YouTube: Suite of Old Yiddish Melodies, Part 1: Suite of Old Yiddish Melodies, Part 2:

Paris Klezmer Festival arrives, Jul 7-11, 2008

photoKLEZMER PARIS - 2008 Musique juive d'Europe centrale / Jewish music from Central Europe Stage de musique instrumentale / Music workshop Stage de chant yiddish et de danse / Yiddish song and dance workshop Stage pour enfants et juniors / Kids and juniors classes Du 7 au 11 juillet 2008 - July 7th - 11th, 2008 INSCRIVEZ-VOUS VITE ! REGISTER NOW ! Informations détaillées et bulletin d'inscription / more information and application form: Tél : + 33 (0)1 47 00 14 00 - Fax : + 33 (0)1 47 00 14 47

Continue reading "Paris Klezmer Festival arrives, Jul 7-11, 2008" »

June 15, 2008

Yiddish Vokh, Copake, New York, Aug 20 - 26, 2008

Yiddish Week LogoYUGNTRUF presents our year's week-long retreat, where we strive to speak only Yiddish, will be held WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20 through TUESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2008 at the Berkshire Hills Emanuel Adult Vacation Center in Copake, New York.

The Yiddish-Vokh is a real community, in which our members give the lectures, lead discussions and workshops. Our members include professors, activists, writers and musicians, who share their knowledge, talent and love of mame-loshn.

There's a swimming pool and a beautiful lake. All activities are in Yiddish, including sports, folk-dancing, lectures, discussions, literary reading, campfire singing, talent show, concerts, films, Yiddish classes for advanced beginners and organized programs for children. The food is kosher, with vegetarian options. On Shabes, services will be available.

Register now at

Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Features Legendary Yiddish Entertainment Family on its Website

BOCA RATON, FL (June 12, 2008) – The Judaica Sound Archives® (JSA) at Florida Atlantic University Libraries has obtained the rights to offer on its website a major collection of performances by the Bursteins, one of the most enduring family names in Yiddish entertainment.

The JSA, located on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, created the collection from holdings that had been donated to the archives at different times and from different sources. It includes 33 albums and features the combined works of Pesach Burstein, who produced musicals for audiences worldwide in the 1920s; his wife, Lillian Lux, who joined his troupe when she was 17; and their twins, Susan Burstein-Roth and Mike (Burstein) Burstyn. One can listen to the Burstein family audio collection and read about the family’s accomplishments at

Continue reading "Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Features Legendary Yiddish Entertainment Family on its Website" »

June 10, 2008

Yiddish Summer Weimar almost here - "The Other Europeans," Jul 10 - Aug 15, 2008

Date: Mon, 19 May 2008
Subject: Newsletter Yiddish Summer Weimar: The Other Europeans July 10th - August 15th 2008

Dear Friends of Yiddish Summer Weimar,

I just returned today from Chisinau (Kishinev), Moldova, where I spent an incredible five days with Marin Bunea (violinist), Diana Bunea (musicologist), Adam Stinga (trumpeter), Kalman Balogh (cimbalist), Fima Chorny (singer/songwriter) and Susana Ghergus (pianist). We spent from morning to night discussing, playing, listening, and exploring the topic of klezmer (Jewish) and lautari (Roma) musicians in Moldavia before the war and until today....

Yiddish Summer Weimar
Veranstalter other music e.V.
c/o Kulturbüro LaRete | Goetheplatz 3 | 99423 Weimar
Fon +49 (0)3643 50 66 77 | Fax +49 (0)3643 49 86 04
Mehr Informationen zum Festival finden Sie unter

Continue reading "Yiddish Summer Weimar almost here - "The Other Europeans," Jul 10 - Aug 15, 2008" »

February 24, 2008

new reviews: Deep Minor, Polina Shepherd

ick. Why benguiat gothic? Why artificial small caps?One of the themes of my recent reviewing concerns how much incredible music is coming from Eastern Europe. This week, as I double my output from last week, I have managed to tackle two of the most urgent CDs from my "review me now!" table. Alex Kontorovich was born in the former Soviet Union, but has grown up here in the States. While gathering a PhD in math in his spare time, he has also been one of the most exciting of the young musicians who have grown up since the revival. In Kontorovich's case, this means cooking up a delightful stew that melds klezmer with avant garde jazz in "born native" ways that older members of the Radical Jewish Music crowd can't do. His first solo CD, on Europe's "Chamsa" label is exciting, delightful, and features some of the other exciting leaders of this youthful surge. Check out Alex Kontorovich / Deep Minor and see what I mean.

This is rather nice! Is that 'Mezz' on the CD title?In another mode, entirely, the most recent CD by the Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience manages to use traditional (and "traditional art song") forms to set a plethora of Yiddish poetry to music for the first time. The album is a celebration of vocal pyrotechnics, and a thorough-going pleasure, and demonstrates the originality of grounding of another artists born in the former Soviet Union (now residing in the UK). It is impossible not to love this CD, The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience / Baym Taykh. As I wrote earlier in the Alex Kontorovich review, you can't have my copy so you'll just have to get your own. (Even my wife has her own copy, despite the fact that both of us share an itunes library!)

February 16, 2008

Yiddish Romantic Mush

Every year around this time, secular and Christian culture in this country sell lots of chocolate and roses in memory of an alleged saint. In our house, worry about the saints of other cultures is a strong negative, but we are not necessarily free of the need for occasional romantic mush, so I put the question to the Jewish-Music mailing list. Folks came up with suggestions that should be on anyone's list of songs appropriate to this (or similar) occasions:

  • Dance leader Steve Weintraub, for instance, suggested: Leonard Cohen's Dance Me to the End of Love recorded by KCB (a recording that was on my own honeymoon soundrack), and "El Ginat Egoz," with the beautiful voice of Guela Gil and all of Gan Eden going on in the background (harp, flute, oboe, etc), and Veretzki Pass's Yussels Terkisher.

  • Lori Cahan-Simon focuses on songs, rather than versions, and starts off with a killer: "Sheyn vi di levone," continuing with "Oy, mame, bin ikh farlibt," "Dance Me Till the End of Time,", and her favorite, "A tremp bisti, gey vayter, gey".

  • From Eric Eric Myrvaagnes, we have "Bai Mir Bistu Shen" and "Sheyn vi di Levone"

  • Winnipeg Radio host Rochelle Zucker did a whole show on the subject: "Here was the playlist: A Program Lekoved Valentine's Day (Vos far a Yiddisher Yom Tov iz dos Epes???) Songs about Love, Love is Universal!!! Songs and Artisits featured:

    • Shir Ha Shirim - Ben Zion Witler and Shifra Lerer
    • Shoyn Fir Yor - Rebecca Kaplan and Peter Rushefsky
    • Shayn Vi di Levone/Bay Mir Bistu Shayn - Der Faier (Argentina)
    • Ikh Hob Dikh Lib - Jacob Sandler
    • Papir Iz Dokh Vays - Abigail Rosenblatt
    • Libst Mikh Golde (from Fidler Oyfn Dakh - Do you Love Me?) - Shmuel Rudensky and Lea Dulutskaya (Israel)
    • Neshumele - Zully Goldfarb (Argentina)
    • Gedenk - Fraidy Katz and Wolf Krakowski
    • Yankele un Rukhele - Henry Gerro and Rosita Londner
    Lots more - to mention a few
    • Libste - Karsten Troyke and others
    • Ikh hob dir Tsu Fil Lib
    • Ikh Zing
    Ben Zion Witler has lots of songs about love like "A Geshikhte fun Libe"

  • And from someone (Rokhl Kafrissen?), one last: Fyvush Finkel- "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" I HEART FYVUSH.

  • Sylvia Schildt adds: How about "Ikh Hob Dikh Tsu Fil Lib" for starters, a very sexy tango. Or the Yiddish American "I Like She".

Of course, Israelis don't care. Saint, shmaint they say, as they shamelessly buy in to the commercial treacly stuff, "just like in America." So it goes.

January 12, 2008

Yiddish Dance Action Network: Calling All Zamlers!

From Helen Winkler:

The Yiddish Dance Action Network is an association of musicians, dancers, ethnographers and others who strive to document and continue the traditions of Yiddish Dance. We need your help. We seek materials and memories that will help complete the picture of what Yiddish dance was and what it can be. Examples of useful documentation include:

  • memories of Yiddish dancing: perhaps you have a family member or friend who recalls the old dances and wants to share these memories
  • old family films, home movies or photos of celebrations that feature Yiddish dance
  • written descriptions in books or personal accounts of the dances, such as written memoirs

If you have information about the dances that you would like to share, please contact us: E-mail Helen Winkler or orPete Rushefsky

*Zamler is the Yiddish word for compiler. Zamlers gather together scattered things in order to form a collection.

Continue reading "Yiddish Dance Action Network: Calling All Zamlers!" »

Jewish Music at the Grassroots - class by Hankus Netsky in Brookline, MA, Feb 10-Mar 9, 2008

Jewish Music at the Grassroots: A Class for Musicians of All Levels
With Klezmer great Hankus Netsky

Featuring traditional klezmer, contemporary klezmer, and American Jewish popular music from the Yiddish theater. Part history, part music appreciation, part guided jam.

Sunday afternoons, February 10, February 24, and March 9 at the Workmen’s Circle 2-5pm
1762 Beacon Street, BrooklineM
Course costs $90 for Workmen’s Circle members, $120 for non-members, and $45 for young adults. Or take any single class for $45.
Registration is limited – so sign up today!

December 16, 2007

Yiddish "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

The greatest klezmer Christmas song ever! The biggest Jewish contribution to solstice celebrations since Irving Berlin penned "White Christmas"! A Yiddish "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," performed by San Francisco's Kugelplex. Vocals by Jewlia Eisenberg of Charming Hostess.

More at and

Winter Yiddish classes to begin at Montreal Jewish Public Library - sign up now

Yiddish I & Yiddish II Language Classes at the JPL

Registration now being accepted for Yiddish language courses at the Jewish Public Library:

  • Yiddish I taught by Lorna Smith: Mondays, January 14-March 3, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. and

  • Yiddish II taught by Naomi Tencer: Tuesdays, January 15-March 4, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.

Cost for all eight sessions: $65 full-time students, $75 Jewish Public Library members, $85 non-members.

All classes at the Jewish Public Library, 5151 Côte Ste-Catherine Road, Montreal. For information, please call (514) 345-2627 ext. 3006 or visit

November 13, 2007

Just say nu - Yiddish widget for your webpage

St. Martin’s (who originally published “Born to Kvetch” and recently “Just Say Nu”) have produced a really cute little widget that delivers a silly Yiddish lesson each week – all taken from “Just Say Nu” and performed by Wex and the delicious Joanne Borts. Here it is in action! Or, take a look at Wex' website for another example – it’s right at the top of the page. If you have your own website or MySpace page and you’d like to add it (it’s really easy – they give you the html coding you can just copy and paste into your site) click on the words “Add this to my site” in the bottom left hand corner of the widget displayed on Wex's site.

October 21, 2007

"Yiddish is Alive and Well in NY"

Pete Rushefsky spotted this in the NY Times last week:

October 17, 2007, 10:15 am
A Yiddish Revival, With New York Leading the Way
By Sewell Chan

The question was bound to come up at some point: Vifl fun aykh do redn yidish? (How many of you here speak Yiddish?) About half of the audience raised their hands—some after a moment’s hesitation.

The audience had gathered Tuesday evening in the basement auditorium at the Museum of the City of New York for a panel discussion, “Yiddish Is Alive and Well and Living in New York,” that traced the language’s rich history and future prospects.

Read the whole article

August 9, 2007

Photos from Weimar Summer

dance session at Yiddish Summer Weimarand while I'm at it, Christian Dawid, posting as the spokesperson for the Ukrainian world music supergroup, Konsonans Retro, writes:

There are many wonderful photos from Yiddish Summer Weimar online at Click on 'Diashow'.

The workshops are still running—currently featuring Lorin Sklamberg, Pesakh Fiszman and others.

March 24, 2007

Metro Klezmer meets "American Shadkhn"

Metropolitan Klezmer has put up several clips of songs performed at a recent concert. That would be reason enough to mosey over to YouTube, but film expert and bandleader Eve Sicular has also tied this particular video back to it's original soundtrack. And, for those unfamiliar with American Shadkhn with the late comedian Leo Fuchs, there's more to this story than just the pshat.

September 10, 2006

Wrapping up Ashkenaz, one week later

ashkenaz festival logo This was a good Ashkenaz. It doesn't have that edge that the early festivals had, but Mitch Smolkin managed to pull together an incredibly diverse festival, one that contained a lot to please the crowds, but which also provided a neat snapshot of Jewish music, primarily of that side of Jewish music that derives primarily from Eastern Europe. It was the sort of festival where we went from Marilyn Lerner and Adrienne Cooper presenting Anna Margolin's poetry in a new, avantgarde artsong setting, to two sessions featuring MacArthur grantee Ben Katchor, to Israeli Sephardic phenomenon Yasmin Levy. And that doesn't begin to encompass the diversity of what we saw. At the finale, Mitch introduced his stepping down, and his replacement, charged with outdoing all of this in 2008, KlezKanada staffer and Beyond the Pale bandleader Eric Stein. It would be hard to imagine a better choice.

The Ashkenaz MarketplaceIn terms of trends, I have to note that in addition to the Lerner-Cooper artsong, one of the festival's few "edge" moments, Teresa Tova had a release party for a CD of living Yiddish poet/songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman's songs; Lenka Lichtenberg and Brian Katz had a release party for a new CD of settings of the poetry of Simcha Simchovitch; while poet Adeena Karasick presented her own work in a multimedia show; and Adrienne Cooper (who led the singers in the Ashkenaz parade and brought a show about painter Marc Chagall to the festival) hosted new settings of Yiddish poetry in settings created by young artists in Eastern Europe. This feels like the largest collection of new Yiddish music in one place at one time, maybe in my lifetime.

Continue reading "Wrapping up Ashkenaz, one week later" »

March 26, 2006

An amazing 10th Anniversary sendoff/KCB Reunion/mini-Jewish Music Fest - the 'too tired to write/too hyper to sleep yet' entry

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryTo everyone who was a part of this concert, audience, workshop participant, performer, I just have to say, "thank you". It was sold out. The band was fabulous. The workshops were crowded and had a lot of fun (especially the one that I was co-moderating). Wow!

Continue reading "An amazing 10th Anniversary sendoff/KCB Reunion/mini-Jewish Music Fest - the 'too tired to write/too hyper to sleep yet' entry" »

September 15, 2005

Klezmer Paris 2005, Oct 22-26

October 22-26
Klezmer workshop

Programme: Vocal, dance and instrumental workshops, masterclasses, lectures, jam sessions…

Information and registration:
Maison de la culture Yiddish ­ Bibliotheque Medem
18, passage Saint-Pierre Amelot
F-75011 PARIS
Tel. 00 33 (0)1 47 00 14 00 /Fax: 00 33 (0)1 47 00 14 47

Continue reading "Klezmer Paris 2005, Oct 22-26" »

April 18, 2005

KlezKanada 2005, Aug 21-28, introduces special "East Meets West" Scholarship expansion

klezkanada logoKlezKanada's 10th anniversary is scheduled to begin, for workshop participants, on Sunday, August 21,2005 and extends to Sunday August 28,2005. This includes all scholarship recipients.

Those who are not involved with workshops begin on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 and continue to Sunday, August 28, 2005 also.

A special feature this year is the introduction of a so-called "East Meets West" expansion of the scholarship program. That is 10-12 young, talented artists from Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Moldavia and Belarus are being invited to join their Western compatriots and participate in the week-long scholarship program. This represents a dramatic new development and hopefully will encourage increasing interchange between the countries of Eastern Europe and the West.

Other exciting and new programs for this 10th anniversary are presently being finalized and will be seen on the KlezKanada website ( in early May. [I can say that Judy and I will be part of the faculty, again. There will be a daily Yiddish-English newspaper, along with some incredible new Yiddish language and Arts stuff, as well. Ari]

For further information contact KlezKanada:
E-mail KlezKanada
Tel: 514-489-9014
Fax: 514-489-0260

May 1, 2003

8th Annual KlezKanada, Aug 20-24

One of the great klezmer camps, and this summer's only east coast klezmer camp (compared to Klezcalifornia, Jun 22-27), is also a delight:


Takes place at a Jewish summer camp in the Laurentian Hills, er "Mountains" to folks on the east coast. The full summer schedule and all details are now online:

April 7, 2003

Yiddish Radio Project wins the Peabody Award

Yiddish Radio Project posterI first heard this on NPR, but Dan Peck was kind enough to post details to the Jewish-music mailing list. It is a wonderful series, and I am very excited that it won this recognition. There are some interesting ironies that I'll get to after the announcement:

"The Yiddish Radio Project, the 10 part series on the history of Yiddish broadcasting has won this years coveted Peabody prize. The Peabody Award for Excellence in Electronic Media is considered the most selective and prestigious award in broadcast journalism. The Yiddish Radio series was produced by Dave Isay and Henry Sapoznik.

"From the press release issued by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication which awards the prize:

"....A National Public Radio program special, "The Yiddish Radio Project," an exuberant celebration of memory, history, and nostalgia from Sound Portrait Productions provided the Peabody Board with some of its most enjoyable listening...."

"This is the first time in its 62 year history that a Peabody award has gone to a Yiddish program."

You can find out more at

Continue reading "Yiddish Radio Project wins the Peabody Award" »

March 23, 2003

12th "Days of Jewish Culture," Chemnitz, Germany, Mar 27 - Apr 3

festival logoAndreas Rohde, of the wonderful German Klezmer/folk band, Aufwind, writes:

Now we have finished the program and the website of the 12th "Days of the Jewish Culture in Chemnitz/Germany". It is a various program not only with klezmer; we have reading, a radio feature, danceworkshop, theatre.... The website is only in German but it is translatable with altavista and other web-translation-services. (Website-Tage der jüdischen Kultur Chemnitz)

As usual, we invite attendees to post comments here, during and after the event.

Albuquerque Academy Klezmer Camp, Jun 23-27

Josh Horowitz jamming into the late night hoursSet in the foothills of the Sandia mountains on the lush 300+ acre campus of Albuquerque Academy, this weeklong workshop features internationally acclaimed tsimbalist and accordianist Josh Horowitz, from the group Budowitz, and renowned Holocaust educator and fiddler Cookie Segelstein. Following mornings of music, you can hike on our private wilderness tract or on the many acres of public land nearby. Or explore the cultural resources of the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area.

For more information contact Danny Packer at (505) 828-3361, or To register, contact the Albuquerque Academy Summer session at (505) 858-8811.

Continue reading "Albuquerque Academy Klezmer Camp, Jun 23-27" »

February 26, 2003

new issue of Zukunft on Jewish Music

The yiddish literary journal the Zukunft is now in its 110th year. It is the oldest Yiddish periodical today. The current issue is a special issue with a focus on Jewish Music.

This issue of the Zukunft (vol. 107, no.1) is available from The Congress for Jewish Culture for $6.00. A subscription to the Zukunft, a quarterly is $30.00. Please make checks out to the Congress for Jewish Culture. Please subscribe and have your library subscribe too!

Zukunft, 25 E. 21st. NY NY 10010

Continue reading "new issue of Zukunft on Jewish Music" »

February 23, 2003

Yiddish American Digital Archive

Helen Winkler sent this notice in to the Jewish-music list last Fall:

There's a new website, of the Yiddish American Digital Archive. Some Real Audio versions of 78's available for listening.

I went and looked, and there is some very neat material. There is also an incredibly long flash piece at the website entrance. If you stay and watch long enough, you see old Yiddish sheet music covers. But I dunno that it's worth the wait. Ari

Yiddish sound archives online at Dartmouth

A few months ago, Mark David posted this to the Jewish-music mailing list. Apologies for the delay in getting the information online:

Summary for Yiddish Radio afficionados: archive of Eddie Gillman (Boston's Di Yidishe Shtunde) goes online.

-- Mark David, Host/Producer, The Yiddish Voice,

Continue reading "Yiddish sound archives online at Dartmouth" »

February 6, 2003

Yiddish Conference, Baltimore, MD, Sep 4-7

Sylvia Schildt writes the Jewish-Music list with an update about this upcoming conference: "For ongoing monthly updates and revelations, reg. forms and teacher tribute forms, you can visit fishl kutner's site, or write:

Continue reading "Yiddish Conference, Baltimore, MD, Sep 4-7" »

October 15, 2002

Living Traditions announces 18th Annual KlezKamp

Living Traditions is proud to announce KlezKamp 18: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program December 22-27, 2002 at the Philadelphia-Cherry Hill Hilton. For full information on classes, schedules, staff. FAQs and costs and for a downloadable application, go to our website.

September 29, 2002

The Paris Yiddish Center opens October 14, 2002

The Paris Yiddish Center opens October 14, 2002 at 18, passage Saint-Pierre Amelot in the 11th district of Paris (Subway station : Oberkampf) You can download its program (language courses, lectures, cultural workshops,...) on our website