What’s Happening in Jewish L.A. Feb. 9-15
FRI FEB 9
Join The Miracle Project and Nashuva for a special Shabbat service in honor of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. Individuals from The Miracle Project, a theater and expressive arts program for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, will help co-lead Shabbat services at Nashuva, a spiritual community in Los Angeles. 6:30–9 p.m. Free. Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 12000 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles. nashuva.com.
CAROL LEIFER AND KEVIN POLLAK
Comedians Carol Leifer and Kevin Pollak will unsheathe their rapierlike wits at the Hollywood Improv for what promises to be an evening of irreverent laughs. Leifer is a four-time Emmy nominee for her writing on “Seinfeld,” “The Larry Sanders Show” and the Academy Awards. Pollak began doing stand-up in San Francisco at age 20 and eventually became a regular on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.” Pollak has some serious acting chops, too, with dozens of films to his name, including “A Few Good Men,” The Usual Suspects” and “Casino.” Music provided by writer, actor and multi-instrumentalist Wayne Federman. 18 and older. 7:30 p.m. doors open; 8 p.m. show. $15. Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-2583. hollywood.improv.com.
BOOK OF J
Book of J — acoustic guitarist-singer Jeremiah Lockwood of the Sway Machinery and vocalist Jewlia Eisenberg of Charming Hostess — perform the duo’s self-titled debut album. Their folk-revival vibe draws on Yiddish songs of ghosts and police violence, American spirituals and piyyutim (paraliturgical songs) with a queer bent. Expect old-time religion, radical politics, diasporic languages, hard times resolved and destiny fulfilled — plus guests singing along. The “affecting West Coast duo … covers an expansive musical landscape,” The New Yorker wrote of the pair. 9 p.m. $8 full-time students, $10 members, $15 general admission. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
SAT FEB 10
KLEZMER AND BEYOND
Polish cantorial soloists Menachem Mirski and Avigail Geniusz perform klezmer and Yiddish music. On Saturday night, they appear at Beth Shir Shalom in Santa Monica. On Sunday night (Feb. 11), they perform at Congregation Beth Ohr in Studio City. Accompanying musicians include Yiddish folk singer and cantorial soloist Cindy Paley, clarinetist and accordionist Isaac Sadigursky, and clarinetist Zinovy Goro. Organized by Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland. Proceeds benefit Progressive Jewish Life in Poland: Beit Polska. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. $18. Beth Shir Shalom, 1827 California Ave., Santa Monica. Sunday, 4 p.m. $18. Congregation Beth Ohr, 12355 Moorpark St., Studio City. (310) 286-9991. jewishrenewalinpoland.org.
’90s BAR MITZVAH DANCE PARTY — PART DEUX
East Side Jews, which calls itself “an irreverent, upstart nondenominational collective of Jews,” invites guests to enjoy all the magic of a 1990s-era bar mitzvah — without the adolescent awkwardness. What’s not to like? 8 p.m. $25. 21 and older. The Box in Silverlake, 1110 Bates Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 663-2255. sijcc.net/east-side-jews.
JEWISH SINGLES PARTY
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a singles mixer organized by Persian-Jewish congregation Nessah features DJ Shaad E Shaad. Persian-style bread, cheese and wine served. Ages 35-55 welcome. ID required. 8:30 p.m. $20 presale, $30 door. Nessah Educational and Cultural Center, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-2400. nessah.org.
SUN FEB 11
JEWISH WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD: GAMECHANGERS
Celebrating women in Hollywood from Bette Midler to Gal Gadot, a Jewish Women’s Theatre performance and panel examine the evolving role of smart, talented, aggressive and influential women in Hollywood. The morning performance features actress Rena Strober depicting Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian-born actress whom Louis B. Mayer called the “the world’s most beautiful woman,” and who invented a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes. The panel features four women working in Hollywood who discuss those who have broken the industry’s glass ceiling. 10 a.m.–noon. $20. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., Suite 102, Santa Monica. (310) 315-1400. jewishwomenstheatre.org.
“COMING TO AMERICA”
Provoking tears and laughs, local writer and performer Stephanie Satie brings her topical one-woman show to Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC). The show is about 10 women from different parts of the world whose lives have been transformed by their immigration to the United States. Satie shows how embracing life in America can be both liberating and daunting. A short Q-and-A follows. Beverages and Middle Eastern appetizers served. 2:30 p.m. doors, 3 p.m. show. $36 BCC members, $40 general, $50 VIP seating. Beth Chayim Chadashim, 6090 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 931-7023. bcc-la.org.
THE JEWISH ARMY TO FIGHT HITLER
Author Rick Richman discusses his new book, “Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler,” which presents the previously unknown story of how David Ben-Gurion, Zev Jabotinsky and Chaim Weizmann separately sought American support for a Jewish fight against Hitler. 4 p.m. $5. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1264. wcce.aju.edu.
“CASABLANCA” SCREENING AND DISCUSSION
Celebrated film historian Noah Isenberg discusses backstory secrets about one of the most beloved films of all time, “Casablanca,” including the central role that Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe played in its creation. He draws on extensive interviews with filmmakers, film critics and family members of the cast and crew. 4 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401. wbtla.org.
“DRUNK IN LOVE”
The third annual “Drunk in Love” Valentine’s Day Jewish mixer and Midnight Mission fundraiser is an opportunity to meet a Valentine or a new friend, help the homeless and introduce yourself to professional matchmakers Jenny Apple Jacobs of Jenny Apple Matchmaking and Jessica Fass of Fass Pass to Love. Mingling, drinks and panoramic views from the 17th floor of the Angeleno Hotel highlight the evening. Bring items needed for donation to the Midnight Mission, including socks and hygiene products. A portion of the proceeds benefit Midnight Mission. All ages welcome. 6 p.m. $18. West Restaurant and Lounge, inside the Angeleno Hotel, 170 N. Church Lane, Los Angeles. eventbrite.com.
TUE FEB 13
“WHY STUDY JEWISH HISTORY?”
David N. Myers discusses two of his recently published books. The first, “Jewish History: A Very Short Introduction” (Oxford University Press, 2017), offers a concise account of the entire course of Jewish history in 100 pages. The second, “The Stakes of History: On the Use and Abuse of Jewish History for Life” (Yale University Press, 2018), is an argument for the study of history, and especially Jewish history, as an anchor of memory and an indispensable ingredient for informed civic engagement. Myers is the incoming president and CEO of the Center for Jewish History in New York and is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA. Moderated by Todd Presner. Noon–1:30 p.m. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles. (310) 267-5327. cjs.ucla.edu.
“THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN 2050”
Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion professor Steven Windmueller explores the key factors that will shape American Jewish life for decades to come. 6:30 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-2384. tbala.org.
“JUDAISM AND THE SELF”
A three-part lecture series examines the relationship between internal Jewish life and external ritual performance, how a religious system relates to the embodied nature of the human condition and how the American-Jewish experience has given rise to new possibilities for individual spirituality. The series kicks off with Shalom Hartman Institute of North America faculty member Steve Greenberg. It continues April 10 with Shaul Magid, a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. It concludes May 8 with Elana Stein Hain, director of leadership education at Hartman. Participants will learn in small groups and pairs. Includes wine and cheese receptions. 7:30–9:30 p.m. $15 per session. American Jewish University, Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (212) 268-0300. hartman.org.il.
THU FEB 15
“LAND OF MILK AND FUNNY”
Don’t miss the Los Angeles premiere of local funnyman Avi Liberman’s documentary about America’s stand-up comedians discovering Israel. For years, Liberman has been bringing comedians to Israel on comedy tours to support families who lost loved ones to terrorism. The new film focuses on one of those tours. Featured comics include Wayne Federman, Ralph Farris, Brian Regan and Craig Robinson. 6 p.m. VIP dinner and meet-and-greet with comedians, 7 p.m. film. $25 general, $100 VIP dinner reception and meet-and-greet with comedians. The Writers Guild Theatre, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. (213) 254-3162; standwithus.com/milkandfunny.