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SIGN UP NOW for Goldene Medina Exhbition

September 2016 marked the 175th anniversary of Jewish life in South Africa.

To mark this historic occasion the South African Jewish Museum developed an exhibition entitled ‘The Goldene Medina’ [The Golden Land] which reflected on the religious, social, and political history of the Jews of South Africa, from 1841 to 2016.

This exhibition offers unique insight into the day-to-day lives of generations of ordinary South African Jews. The anecdotes are presented anonymously; they are curated from first-person accounts, unpublished memoirs, and diaries. These anecdotes are not only relatable to Jewish South Africans, but they also reflect the common shared experiences of Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora. Read more
FREE REGISTRATION IS NECESSARY – Select the day you wish to attend.
Details of the location will be sent to you once your registration is completed.

Janice Masur, author of ‘Shalom Uganda – a Jewish Community on the Equator’ is our guest speaker.

Janice Masur



Leah, Teddy & the Mandolin – Yiddish Movie Screening – November 29th, 2022 @ 6.00 pm PST

Lithuanian Untruths Exposed June 2022

Lithuanian Untruths Exposed

Date: Sunday, June 12th, 2022
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 pm PST
Venue: ON ZOOM
Registration is necessary for ‘Lithuanian Untruths Exposed’.
Space is limited.

SAJAC is honored to have Silvia Foti, Grant Gochin and Michael Kretzmer discuss their efforts to expose the truth of Lithuanian participation in the annihilation of the local Jewish community during the Holocaust.  

Silvia Foti, the granddaughter of a Lithuanian hero, honored to this day in Lithuania, has exposed the truth including his responsibility for murdering approximately 14,000 Jews. She has detailed this claim in her book: “The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal“. 

Grant Gochin,  originally from South Africa,  continues to pursue justice with the Lithuanian government in order to honor those Lithuanian Jews who perished at the hands of members of the Lithuanian Community during the 2nd World War.

Michael Kretzmer has produced a powerful movie exposing Lithuania’s attempt to cover up this ugly chapter in its history.

Please join this important SAJAC  event to hear the truth about what happened to many South African Jewish family members who lived in Lithuania during the war.

Our three speakers have braved tremendous challenges in exposing the truth.



Silvia Foti Exposes Lithuanian Hidden Truths
Silvia Foti

SILVIA FOTI, author of the memoir The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal, is an award-winning investigative journalist in Chicago and a high school literature teacher. She holds master’s degrees in journalism, education, and creative nonfiction. 

Silvia made a deathbed promise to her mother to write a book about her famous, WWII hero grandfather, Jonas Noreika, twenty-one years ago. Silvia’s grandmother begged her not to write about her husband.

“Just let history lie,” she whispered. Silvia had no idea that in keeping her promise to her mother, her discoveries would bring her to a personal crisis, challenge her Catholic faith, unearth Holocaust denial, and expose an official cover-up by the Lithuanian government.

Jonas Noreika
Jonas Noreika

Her goal in writing this story of her grandfather, known as General Storm in Lithuania, is to upend Lithuania’s narrative that Lithuanians had nothing to do with killing Jews, that it was all done by German Nazis.

Silvia’s most recent book is now available in paperback and a complimentary copy will be given to TWO attendees of our upcoming event.


Grant Gochin

Grant Gochin Exposes Lithuanian Hidden Truths
Grant Gochin

South African-born, Los Angeles-based, Litvak Grant Gochin is currently bringing another lawsuit against Lithuania’s Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania, or Genocide Center, over their mendacious claims that Lithuanian Nazi collaborator, Jonas Noreika, actually led an underground anti-Nazi network to rescue Jews.

Gochin says Noreika was directly responsible for the murder of his relatives in Šiauliai and calls for Genocide Center apologies and equivocations of Holocaust denial.


Read more about Grant Gochin:

Michael Kretzmer

Michael Kretzmer Exposes Lithuanian Hidden Truths
Michael Kretzmer

Michael was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to parents of Lithuanian Jewish background.  His uncle was Herbie Kretzmer zl”, songwriter from Kroonstad.

He studied Law and Literature at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and then did an LL.M. at UCL in International Law. 

After university he worked as a journalist, eventually becoming a travel writer for the Sunday Times and a director/producer for the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4.  A former active member of Peace Now and a member of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue he has briefly lived in Israel and visits as often as he can.  He has traveled widely in the Muslim world, including the Palestinian Territories.

He was also a former BBC TV producer. Now, he has created a video, “J’Accuse”, commemorating the Holocaust in Lithuania. Seventy-nine years ago, the 2,400 Jews of Biržai (Birj in Yiddish) – a small, pretty, northern Lithuanian town, were murdered and thrown into a pit. This included no fewer than 30 of the Kretzmer family. 

Michael is passionate about a virulent, new form of Holocaust denial that is gaining ground across Eastern Europe. It is characterized by the dishonest re-writing of holocaust history and nowhere is this dark art more cynically developed than in Lithuania.

The crimes were of unimaginable ferocity; they separated, abused, humiliated, tortured, raped, starved, and killed over 220,000 people; they also robbed the Jews’ property and erased their memory. Almost nobody survived. 

In Lithuania today they are glorifying the killers who organized these terrible crimes. Killers like Jonas Noreika. This murderer, who wrote the Lithuanian ‘Mein Kampf’, organized the murder of 14,500 Jews in the Plunge region (where many SAs came from) is today, unbelievably, a national hero in Lithuania defended with official lies issued by the government’s repellent and Orwellian “Genocide Centre’. Michael, as a Litvak descendant of this murdered community, feels a duty to respond to this terrible insult.



Storm in the Land of Rain by Silvia Foti
Storm in the Land of Rain by Silvia Foti

2 lucky attendees will receive a
complimentary paperback copy
of Silvia Foti’s most recent book,
‘Storm in

Ann Lapedus Brest 1967 Yeoville JHB So Africa

When Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling by Ann Lapedus

Can words said so many years ago affect a life?
Can being abused lead you to drugs, alcohol, or suicide?
Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will ALWAYS hurt me.
Bones mend, but the pain caused by abuse lives on forever.
Two girls, two different stories ~ but they lived them together.
Behind their constant laughter and gaiety, lay their hurt, their pain, their anxiety.

When Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling: Based on a true story

Learn Yiddish

Yiddish Culture

Yiddish Arts and Academics Association of North America


@YiddishCulture Nonprofit Organization
Gib a shnuf tsu dayn guf
– Our Sunday Yiddish yoga class with English translation comes back!
RSVP to info@yaaana.com 🙂


SAJAC Genetic Symposium 2020

SAJAC Genetics Symposium Recording – Oct 15th, 2020.


SAJAC Genetics Symposium

Are you at risk of getting Ashkenazi Genetic Diseases?
Watch Video:

Dr Karim Kader MD
Dr Franklin Gaylis MD


Read More Details

Yiddish Classes


Dear Friend of YAAANA, 


Please join our 2020 YAAANA events! By popular demand, Yiddish curses and compliments class and Yiddish erotic and love vocabulary class come back this year! All of our classes and events are for all ages and family-friendly. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW ANY YIDDISH TO ATTEND THESE EVENTS 😊


January events: 


The new edition of Yiddish for Beginners will take place in the University City area, please e-mail us to be on our student list!

The class will be focused on conversational Yiddish and will include everyday greetings, common idioms, and the very basics of grammar.

We will also learn a few Yiddish songs.

There will be 6 sessions on Sunday afternoons, starting on January 26th.

When: 01/26, 02/02, 02/09, 02/16, 02/23, 03/01 at 2:00 p.m.

Where: 5225 Fiore Terrace, San Diego, CA 92122

How much: $70 for the whole series or $15 for individual sessions



January 19th: Yiddish Curses and Compliments Class

Would you like to learn to curse a nudnik in Yiddish?

Or perhaps you want to give a Yiddish compliment to a gute neshume? If yes, then this class is for you! 

When: Sunday, January 19th, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

Where: The House of Israel, Balboa Park, 2156 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

How much: $15



February events:


February 13th: Libe un erotik – Love and Erotic Yiddish Vocabulary Class

Celebrate Valentine’s Day’s Eve with YAAANA – learn Yiddish love vocabulary!

Hear Eros entice Yidn in Yiddish… See Sappho seduce shikses… Watch Cupid coax meydlekh in the mame loyshn

When: Friday, February 13th, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.

Where: TBD

How much: $15

Chocolates and champagne included! 😊


February 21st: Yiddish themed Shabbat dinner at UCSD Hillel

This event is hosted by the Yiddish Arts and Academics Association of North America. This event is free and open to general public.

When: Friday, February 21st, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.

Where: UC San Diego Hillel, 8976 Cliffridge Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037


Questions? Please email info@yaaana.com or nikki@hillelsd.org

We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with KlezCalifornia – KlezCalifornia became our new fiscal sponsor.

Learn more about KlezCalifornia and our partnership here: 



If you are interested in donating to YAAANA, please use this new link: 



If you prefer to donate to us directly, there are 6 days left to donate through Jewcer to help us cover our 2020 expenses: 




We are looking forward to welcoming 2020 with you!



SAJAC Menorah

La Jolla Hanukkah Party Dec 22 @ 7.00 pm






7:00-10:30 PM




Tickets have been selling fast to Hanukkah X: Fire & Stars! Get yours before we sell out!

Soul X + Audrey’s Tent present to you this special experience at Trilogy in La Jolla on the 1st night of Hanukkah. Join us for a transformative guided experience as we celebrate Hanukkah, journeying through fire, lights, stars, and sound as we integrate its powerful message of light over darkness into our lives.

We will begin on the Rooftop with a fire show & Menorah lighting. 

Because this night occurs on the Winter Solstice – the darkest day of the year, we will observe the stars through a telescope and learn about the galaxy with Cosmologist & Professor of Physics at UCSD, Brian Keating. 

We will then head down to the 2nd floor for a private guided Sound Meditation on 8 messages of wisdom we can take into our lives from the 8 lights of the Menorah, guided by Rabbi Bortz and John Beck. 

We will cap off our event with an LED Movement Show, Dreidel Tournament, and special parting gifts. Happy Hanukkah!

Special Gift: The first 35 attendees will be gifted a free copy of the book: Losing The Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor.

*Adults of all ages, as well as students in High School & College are all welcome to attend*



View Braai Bonanza’s Photo Gallery

Fun! Fun! Fun! at our Braai Bonanza, that we held at the JCC Community Park on Sunday, Oct 27th.
Simply click on the first photo and then use the to the right of the image to see the rest …. Enjoy!

Silent Auction Art Donations

Braai Bonanza – Art donated for Silent Auction

Silent Auction Art Donations


Susie Lotzof – California Dreamin’ Acrylic on canvas – framed and wired 13 x 25
– great to hang in any kid’s room – Value $400 – Minimum bid $100 – & now you bid!


Narisa Broderick  – Original Oil on Canvas – 22 x 28 – Value $400 – Minimum bid $100 – Your bid?



Ilana Silverman – African Lady with Fruit Basket –  Original Acrylic on Canvas – 16 x 20
Value $750 – minimum bid – $150 …. make a bid!!



Pamela Nathan – ‘Oh So Pink!’ Watercolor on Paper – 11 x 14 – Value $85 – minimum bid $20 -Make your bid!



Atara Baker –  Series VI  Oil on canvas – mixed media – 48 x 40 – Value $4200 – You can have it for $1000 – Atara has exhibited in NYC Galleries – click here to see Atara Baker’s Bio



Jenifer Broomberg – Pears – 18 x 14 – Oil on Canvas – Value  $500 – You can have it for $141.00



Tova Galgut – A Vase in your Life – mixed media – 16 x 20 – $150 value – Minimum bid $35 – What’s your bid?