KLEZCALIFORNIA INC

Connecting people with Yiddish culture

aka KlezCalifornia   |   El Cerrito, CA   |  https://klezcalifornia.org/

Mission

KlezCalifornia is a living resource that connects people and communities with Yiddish culture.

Ruling year info

2003

President

Mr. Gerry Tenney

Chair

Ms. Laura S. Rosenberg

Main address

6714 Gladys Ave

El Cerrito, CA 94530 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

55-0824193

NTEE code info

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Recreational, Pleasure, or Social Club (N50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Yiddish culture encompasses the language, arts, and customs of 1,000 years of Jewish community life across Eastern Europe, and now flourishes in the U.S., Canada, Israel, South Africa, Argentina, and elsewhere. The past forty years have witnessed a revival of many artistic and cultural components of pre-Holocaust life, such as klezmer music, song, dance, food, calligraphy, paper cutting, film, and folklore, as well as short stories, poetry, and theater (in their original language and in translation). Yiddish culture enriches the lives of those involved. Many events appeal to all ages, bringing generations together. Yiddish culture connects many who are disconnected from other community offerings with the Jewish past and a future they may help create. As the heyday of Jewish life in Eastern Europe fades into the distant past, its artistic and cultural legacy will thrive as each generation learns, develops, and teaches.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Cabaret by the Bay

Multi-performer shows, modeled on 1930s Berlin cabarets

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Free monthly e-newsletter. Includes calendar of events in all nine Bay Area counties. Has 3,000 subscribers,

Population(s) Served
Adults

Yiddish sing-alongs, klezmer dance parties, Yiddish conversation salons, and more. We present our own programs and co-present programs organized by other groups.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Through Tam – Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids and Teens, KlezCalifornia brings a tam (“taste,” in both Yiddish and Hebrew) of Yiddish culture to Jewish youth in grades K-12 at religious schools, day schools, and Jewish day camps. We want them to become enthusiastic about Yiddish culture, and to see it as a vibrant part of their own Jewish lives.

KlezCalifornia has developed and tested twenty-six 45- to 75-minute lesson plans, and made eighty presentations to students in twenty-five schools. Students have fun, while engaging with Yiddish culture as it enriches North American Jewish life today, and learning about its origins (and the family origins of many students) in Eastern Europe.

These lesson plans are available at no charge to teachers throughout the U.S. and Canada

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Monthly online conversation salons for fluent Yiddish speakers.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Monthly klezmer workshops.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Workshops: Instrumental, Song, and Dance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

592 people attended one of our ten online workshops the past 12 months in klezmer music Yiddish singing, and Yiddish dancing. Online workshops have enabled us to reach a far large audience.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

KLEZCALIFORNIA'S VISION:
• Yiddish culture actively engages individuals and families in Yiddish language, arts, crafts, literature, klezmer music, theater, Yiddish song and dance, and the enjoyment of Eastern European Jewish food.
• Yiddish cultural activities are regularly part of community centers, synagogues, schools, and ethnic music and dance gatherings.
• Yiddish cultural activities are presented regularly in community arts venues and considered to be an element of world music.
• Yiddish cultural events attract people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.
• Yiddish culture is shared and taught by a growing number of enthusiastic leaders.
• Jewish people, whether affiliated or not, have meaningful Jewish experiences through interactions with Yiddish culture.
• Jewish youth appreciate and embrace Yiddish heritage throughout their cultural and religious education.
• KlezCalifornia continues to play a significant role in building a vibrant Bay Area community to promote and celebrate Yiddish culture, creating continuity for generations to come.

Produce Yiddish cultural events throughout the nine-county Bay Area.
• Publicize related cultural events through e-mail and newsletters to Bay Area residents interested in Yiddish culture
• Identify and link Yiddish culture-bearers with each other and with the region's creative communities.
• Connect individuals with each other and with important Yiddish teachers and culture-bearers.
• Expand the involvement of those engaged in a particular element of Yiddish culture, encouraging them to explore a broader range of Yiddish cultural expression.
• Attract people new to Yiddish culture through performing arts and interdisciplinary activities.
• Incorporate Yiddish culture into Jewish education programs for both youth and adults.
• Encourage participation from both Jews and non-Jews.
• Continue to explore new collaborations with related organizations.
• Catalyze and serve as a resource for creative projects.
• Act as a resource for performing artists, through performance opportunity information, networking, and fiscal sponsorship.
• Continue to develop joyful and creative ways to keep Yiddish culture vital and active.

KlezCalifornia is a lean and effective organization that maximizes financial support. We have low overhead, a wonderful volunteer roster and, as an organization, value the frugal nature of the Yiddish culture we celebrate. KlezCalifornia squeezes many important programs out of the financial support we receive.

KlezCalifornia's work since our founding in 2003 has changed the old paradigms in the San Francisco Bay Area (that we are “obligated" to keep Yiddish alive because it is “dying," that Yiddish culture is old-fashioned and not relevant today) into new ones: Yiddish-inspired culture is cool, enhances Jewish life, and brings people together for multi-generational fun. People of all skills and interests can incorporate Yiddish culture into their lives.

All in the San Francisco Bay Area now can enjoy a visible, thriving Yiddish-inspired community. We have been pleased over time to see how much of this has resulted from KlezCalifornia's own activities.

Our program "Tam: Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids & Teens" has lesson plans in Yiddish culture suitable for classrooms in grades K-12.

Since the pandemic, we have moved all our programs online and attract even more people than before. People everywhere can now enjoy participatory workshops, lectures, Yiddish conversation salons, social gatherings, and other programs.

Financials

KLEZCALIFORNIA INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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KLEZCALIFORNIA INC

Board of directors
as of 4/12/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Laura Rosenberg


Board co-chair

Talia Shaham

Judith Kunofsky

Executive Director, KlezCalifornia; Principal, JMJ Consulting

Laura Sheppard

Directors of Events at the Mechanics' Institute

Gerry Tenney

Musician

Ed Anisman

Architect, Interactive Resources

Laura Rosenberg

Business owner

Rosie Kaplan

Teacher, ESL

Joshua Horowitz

Musician, composer, arranger

Gail Rubman

Talia Shaham

Joshua Horowitz

Musician, composer, arranger

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/12/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Ashkenazic Jewish
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Ashkenazic Jewish
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability