FRI NOV 17
“WHY JUDAISM MATTERS”
During a Kabbalat Shabbat service, Temple Israel of Hollywood Rabbi John Rosove discusses his new book, “Why Judaism Matters: Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to His Children and the Millennial Generation.” Rosove’s work, presented in the form of letters from a rabbi to his sons, is a guidebook for Reform Jews who find it difficult to engage with Jewish orthodoxy, beliefs, traditions and issues in the 21st century. A dinner follows services and the discussion. 6:30 p.m. Free. (RSVP required for dinner). Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org.
“BERNSTEIN ON STAGE”
John Mauceri conducts the New West Symphony in an evening of the music of Leonard Bernstein, honoring the centennial of the famed composer’s birth. The concert will also feature the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, the Women of Areté Vocal Ensemble, the California Lutheran University Choir, Suzanna Guzmán, Davis Gaines, Celena Shafer and Casey Candebat. 8 p.m. Tickets $58–$73. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Also 8 p.m., Nov. 18, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; 3 p.m., Nov. 19, Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard. (818) 677-3000. valleyperformingartscenter.org.
GRATITUDE SHABBAT: CELEBRATING UNITY AND THANKSGIVING
Wilshire Boulevard Temple brings together its Rabbi Susan Nanus, the American Jewish University Choir led by conductor Noreen Green, and the BYTHAX Gospel Choir led by composer, vocalist and conductor Diane White Clayton in a joint Shabbat concert that mixes poetry, prayer and song. A community Shabbat celebration follows. 7:30 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Glazer Campus, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401. wbtla.org.
“A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM”
Comedy — tonight! An ancient Roman slave tries to gain his freedom by helping his master woo a young woman in the bawdy farce “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Ancient Rome is turned on its ear in this raucous Tony Award-winning musical featuring mistaken identity and dizzying plot twists. (Intended for adult audiences; may contain adult language and situations.) 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 2 p.m. Saturdays; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Through Dec. 31. Tickets $45–$52. Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank. (818) 955-8101. garrymarshalltheatre.org.
SAT NOV 18
VULTURE FESTIVAL L.A.
Hollywood Jews, including Sarah Silverman, James Franco, Lena Dunham, Natalie Portman, Damon Lindelof, Eugene Levy, Rachel Bloom and Joshua Malina are among the stars appearing at this two-day festival in Hollywood. From a panel on “Stranger Things”: Inside the Upside Down, to a discussion with the women behind HBO’s “Girls” on The Panel of Their Generation (or at least a panel of a generation), this is the ultimate festival for any pop-culture fan. Organized by politics and culture magazine Vulture. Through Nov. 19. 11 a.m. Saturday–9 p.m. Sunday. Various prices. The Hollywood Roosevelt, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. vulturefestival.com.
“WAR OF THE WORLDS”
The Los Angeles Philharmonic, featuring Israeli-American opera director Yuval Sharon, up-and-coming Jewish composer Annie Gosfield, and members of the L.A. Phil New Music Group, re-creates Orson Welles’ 1938 original radio script, incorporating Gosfield’s satellite and machine and industrial sounds. Admission to the concert includes entry into “Noon to Midnight,” which lets attendees roam Walt Disney Concert Hall for a day of pop-up performances featuring L.A.’s top new-music ensembles. Noon, 2 p.m. $25-$58. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111. S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 850-2000. laphil.com.
Nationally syndicated radio host and New York Times best-selling author Dennis Prager will discuss “Supporting Israel and Maintaining Conservative Traditional Values in America’s Contemporary Cultural Climate” during a special Shabbat morning service. After the service, the founder of Prager U will participate in a Q-and-A session over a catered lunch. Childcare available. Seating is limited. 9:30 a.m. $40 members, $60 nonmembers. Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, 10500 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-7000. sephardictemple.org.
SUN NOV 19
“NAZISM IN THE U.S.”
Beth Ribet, who holds a doctorate in social relations from UC Irvine and a law degree from UCLA, discusses Nazism in American institutions and history, its relationship to white supremacy and what it means today. Attendees explore opportunities to mobilize and respond. Coffee and bagels served. Co-sponsored by Sholem Community and LGBT congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim. 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Free. Westside Neighborhood School, 5401 Beethoven St., Los Angeles. (310) 984-6935. sholem.org.
MAAGALIM CYCLING EVENT
Israeli and Jewish families with special-needs children come together for a day of cycling, karate, fitness, pumpkin decorating and more. Professional cyclists will
provide instruction to those who have never ridden a bike. Israeli Scouts (Tzofim) will attend and partner with kids with special needs. Organized by Maagalim, a new organization aiming to provide more opportunities for inclusion for special-needs families. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. IAC Shepher Community Center, 6530 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. (818) 288-8108. maagalimcircles.org.
“HITLER, MY NEIGHBOR: MEMOIRS OF A JEWISH CHILDHOOD, 1929-1939”
Historian Edgar Feuchtwanger participates in a talk and book signing for “Hitler, My Neighbor: Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929-1939.” The book is Feuchtwanger’s account of being a young boy from a prominent German-Jewish family in Munich when Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler moves into the building across the street. The boy watches from his window as terrible events unfold. 3 p.m. Free (RSVP required). Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, 100 S. The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704. lamoth.org.
CAROL LEIFER AND WENDY LIEBMAN
The two headliners at Whizin’s Stand-Up Comedy Showcase have starred in comedy specials on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. Carol Leifer is a four-time Emmy Award nominee for her writing on “Seinfeld,” “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Saturday Night Live.” Wendy Liebman has performed on late-night shows hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, and was a semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent.” 4 p.m. $25. David Alan Shapiro Memorial Synagogue Center, American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777. wcce.aju.edu.
“E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL IN CONCERT”
American Youth Symphony (AYS), a laboratory for skilled high school musicians, performs John Williams’ legendary score for “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” accompanying a screening of the iconic Steven Spielberg film. AYS Music Director Carlos Izcaray and conductor Jon Burlingame lead the symphony. The event features a Q-and-A with industry leaders, moderated by Burlingame. 4:30 p.m. $11-$15. Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles. (310) 470-2332. aysymphony.org.
MON NOV 20
“NIGHT OF 80 SHABBATS”
Today is the final day to register as a host for the Builders of Jewish Education’s (BJE) “Night of 80 Shabbats” on Dec. 1, when
Shabbat dinners are served in homes across Los Angeles. The initiative marks the 80th anniversary of BJE. Young adults and millennials who host a dinner could be eligible to receive $10 per person in food expenses, up to $150, from One Table, which brings Shabbat to people of all backgrounds who are in their 20s and 30s (restrictions apply). For additional information, visit bjela.org/night-80-shabbats-0.
REZA ASLAN AND RABBI SARAH BASSIN
Join Reza Aslan, best-selling author of “Zealot,” and Rabbi Sarah Bassin of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills as they discuss God and the concept of the divine, from prehistoric times to today. Part of the Behrendt Conversation Series, in partnership with Chevalier Books. A copy of Aslan’s new book, “God: A Human History,” is included with the price of admission. 7 p.m. $25 online; $35 at the door. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Corwin Family Sanctuary, 300 N. Clark Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 288-3737. tebh.org.
INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE
Seven congregations comprising the Pacific Palisades Ministerial Association, including Reconstructionist synagogue Kehillat Israel, participate in an annual evening of prayer, music, readings, meditation and fellowship. A patio reception with hot beverages and other refreshments follows. 7 p.m. Free. Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple, 17190 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-2328. ourki.org.
“SUDDENLY, A KNOCK AT THE DOOR”
Writer Eitan Katzen is visited by a bearded man, a survey taker and a pizza delivery woman in this original play by Robin Goldfin, based on stories by award-winning Israeli author and filmmaker Etgar Keret. Brandishing weapons, these visitors hold the writer hostage and demand a story. For these three strange muses, Katzen begins to weave his tales, played out on the stage by the same characters holding him captive. The staged reading is directed by Jeff Maynard. Free with RSVP required. 8 p.m. Lenart Auditorium, Fowler Museum at UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Los Angeles. (310) 208-3081, ext. 108. international.ucla.edu/institute.
For more events in Jewish L.A., visit http://jewishjournal.com/calendar/.