Klez Kanada Fellowship 2010

Miryem-Khaye Seigel writes:

I had the honor to serve as a 2010 Fellow at Klez Kanada, the annual Yiddish music and culture camp in Lantier, Quebec. I worked as a teacher, lecturer, and newsletter writer, and participated in classes and community activities.

Klez Kanada 2010 was a memorable and inspiring experience full of music, learning and friendship. Thank you to everyone who made it possible – Hy and Sandy Goldman, Avia Moore, and the staff and campers.

Fellowship activities

I taught the class “Naye Yidishe lider” [New Yiddish Songs] with Fabian “Fayvish” Schnedler of Berlin. We explored the creation of new Yiddish songs through improvisation, creative writing, and individual and group activities.

I presented the English lecture, “The Broder Singers: Forerunners of the Yiddish Theatre”, about the first secular Yiddish performers, their history, repertoire and performance style.

I presented the Yiddish lecture, “Matse mit ‘cream cheese’: Di yidishe radio-reklames fun Nukhem Stutshkov”, featuring Yiddish radio commercials from the Nahum Stutchkoff collection of Yiddish manuscripts in the Dorot Jewish Division, New York Public Library.

I contributed Yiddish content (with English translations) to the Klez Kanada newsletter, “Klez Nayes”, coordinated by Ari Davidoff. My articles covered classes, events, and Yiddish vocabulary.

Classes attended

“A nign a day”, taught by Sruli Dresdner, explored Hasidic nign repertoire in Ashkenazic Hebrew and a bit of Yiddish, focusing intensively on several pieces sung by students at havdole

The “Yiddish Song Master Class”, taught by Adrienne Cooper and Marilyn Lerner, included student performances followed by advice on vocal and performance technique.

The “Kabbolas Shabbos Band” class, taught by Jeff Warschauer, Becky Wexler, and Sam Young, incorporated traditional texts and klezmer melodies later sung and played during the shabes service.

Lectures and discussions attended

“Cryptojewology: Jewish Studies at the Intersection of Normal and Paranormal”, with Rokhl Kafrissen, examined intersections between Eastern European Jewish culture and paranormal studies.

“Back Lanes and Park Benches of Yiddish Montreal”, with Miriam Isaacs, was a personal story of immigrant experiences in the Yiddish-speaking, Holocaust survivor community of 1950’s Montreal.

“What’s so queer about Klezmer?”, a discussion facilitated by Evelyn Taubin and Shayn Smulyan, explored GLBT issues in the klezmer scene.


Community activities

I participated in the “Yiddish tish” (Yiddish table) at meals, using the “mame loshn” in a community of old and new friends.

I ran 5K in the “Loyf Tsunoyf”, an early-morning run/walk benefitting the Klez Kanada scholarship program.

Evening events included the annual staff and student concerts, a concert by the group “The Other Europeans” and the first annual Grande Masque costume ball.


Just before shabes, the community sang and played a special tune during the traditional “backwards march” from the lake to the dining hall. Singing, dancing, davening, and a festive meal followed.

I participated in the “Shtiler ovnt” (Quiet evening) featured songs and stories to honor the memory of Pesakh Fiszman z”l. I also attended the “tish”, a late-night, intimate candlelight gathering marked by the hearty singing of nigunim.

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