What’s Happening in Jewish L.A. Mar. 16-23: Sephardic Judaism, Aliyah and Comedy Writing
FRI MARCH 16
Gary Zola, executive director at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, discusses “George Washington, Jews and the Story of Religious Freedom in America.” Zola is a celebrated historian and ordained rabbi who served under President Barack Obama on the Commission for the Preservation of American Heritage Abroad. 6-7:30 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401. wbtla.org.
SAT MARCH 17
INFERTILITY AWARENESS SHABBAT
The third annual Infertility Awareness Shabbat raises awareness and sensitivity about infertility and unites Jews over a cause that affects 1 in 8 men and women throughout the Jewish community. Participating local synagogues — including Beth Jacob Congregation, IKAR, Pico Shul, Kehillat Israel, Congregation Mogen David, Congregation Shaarei Tefila, Temple Beth Am and Adas Torah — partner with Yesh Tikva, a Beverly Hills-based Jewish fertility community, to share a message or a dvar Torah for those who have not been blessed with children or struggle to expand their families. For more information, visit yeshtikva.org/infertility-awareness-shabbat-2018.
“ISRAEL-U.S. RELATIONS IN AN UNSTABLE WORLD”
Former Israeli ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon discusses the importance of the Israel-U.S. relationship in an increasingly unpredictable geopolitical landscape. Ayalon appears at the Beverly Hills Jewish Community following Saturday morning services. 9:30 a.m., Shabbat service; 11:30 a.m., lecture. Free. Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 276-4246. beverlyhillsjc.org.
RABBI MARC ANGEL
Rabbi Marc Angel, an advocate for classical Sephardic Judaism, author of 36
books and founder of jewishideas.org, discusses “Sephardic/Middle Eastern Jewish Voices: Addressing Contemporary Issues,” following Saturday services and a
Kiddush lunch. 8:30 a.m.-noon, Shabbat services; noon, Kiddush and lecture. Free. Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, 10500 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-7000. sephardictemple.org.
SUN MARCH 18
Master musicians Lili Haydn on violin and vocals, Hamid Saeidi on santoor (a Persian hammered dulcimer), MB Gordy on ancient percussion and Itai Disraeli on dub bass perform a family-friendly world music concert uniting musicians from Israel and Iran. American performance painter Norton Wisdom also appears. 7 p.m. $20. Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org/arts.
NEFESH B’NEFESH ALIYAH FAIR
The 10th annual Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Fair features workshops, lectures and personal consultations for those interested in making aliyah. Young professionals, retirees, married couples and singles enjoy this one-stop shop for all of their aliyah needs. Speakers offer professional guidance on a wide range of topics, including financial planning and budgeting for aliyah, choosing a community, how to build a strategic job search plan, navigating the health care system, the ins and outs of buying or renting a home in Israel, and more. 10 a.m., retirees and empty nesters; 11:30 a.m., general programming; 1 p.m., students and young professionals. Free. Shalhevet High School, 910 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. nbn.org.il/la2018.
The Iranian American Jewish organization 30 Years After redefines politics for the Iranian Jewish community during this daytime gathering at a private Beverly Hills home. Attendees enjoy a kosher brunch with mimosas as they explore what it means to be political in today’s dynamic and unpredictable times. U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-San Pedro) and state Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) are the guest speakers. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $25, early bird; $40, general. Address provided upon RSVP. 30yearsafter.org.
ALL ABILITIES FAIR
Join the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue for a family-friendly day serving people of all ages and abilities. Games, art, music, dance, resource tables and community service projects highlight the event, along with performances by The Miracle Project vocalists, the Kolot Tikvah Choir and two integrated wheelchair dance companies, Limitless and Infinite Flow. Noon-3:30 p.m. Free. Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, 24855 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 456-2178. mjcs.org.
GEORGE MITCHELL: “IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA”
Former U.S. Senate majority leader and U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell discusses “Bans, Walls and Dreamers: Immigration in America.” Organized by Jews United for Democracy and Justice, a cross-section of L.A. Jewry. 7-9 p.m. Free. Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. leobaecktemple.org.
MON MARCH 19
“CUBA’S FORGOTTEN JEWELS: A HAVEN IN HAVANA”
In the 1940s, Cuba admitted more than 6,000 Jewish refugees from Europe, including hundreds of skilled diamond cutters and their families, who turned the tropical island into one of the world’s major diamond-cutting centers for years. A new documentary, “Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels: A Haven in Havana,” features the personal accounts of some of those refugees, who recall their escape to Havana and the challenges they faced in an exotic and unfamiliar land. The 46-minute film has a soundtrack of Cuban and Jewish music. It is accompanied by “Bound for Nowhere: The St. Louis Episode,” a nine-minute short chronicling the ill-fated attempt in 1939 to save some 900 Jews, including 200 children, sailing from Europe aboard the German ocean liner MS St. Louis. Both Cuba and the United States refused to let the passengers disembark and the ship returned to Europe, where subsequently many of the refugees perished in the Holocaust. The two films will play in tandem at 7:30 p.m. at Laemmle’s Playhouse, Royal, Town Center and Claremont theaters. The same program will be repeated at 1 p.m. on March 20 at the same theaters. March 19: 7:30 p.m. $16, adults; $13, seniors, children. Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica. Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. Claremont 5, 450 W. Second St., Claremont. March 20: 1 p.m. $12, adults; $9, seniors, children. Same theaters. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.
TUE MARCH 20
L.A. RABBIS TEACH
Rabbi Daniel Bouskila, director of the Sephardic Educational Center, discusses “Voices from the East: Exploring the World of Sephardic Judaism.” He appears as part of a study series featuring five outstanding Los Angeles rabbis. The series concludes May 14 with Wilshire Boulevard Temple Senior Rabbi Steve Leder, who will examine “A Jewish View on Suffering and Transformation.” Bouskila’s lecture, 7:30-8:45 p.m., $10. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 11611 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401. wbtla.org.
THU MARCH 22
*L.A. JEWS FOR REFUGEES ASSEMBLY
A coalition of Jewish congregations and organizations and the refugee assistance agency HIAS come together for this communitywide assembly. The event opens with an organizational fair featuring local and national refugee assistance organizations connecting participants to volunteer opportunities, advocacy initiatives and other ways to take action. Food cooked by refugees involved with Miry’s List, which aids newly arrived refugees, will be available. Students in grades 10-12 will have the opportunity to learn about voting from a Camp Gilboa representative. Elected officials, refugee speakers, policy experts and community leaders will address the assembly on policy updates, stories, ways to get involved and more. ID required. 6 p.m., food and information fair; 7 p.m., speakers. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353. hias.org/events/la-jews-refugees-assembly.
A Los Angeles Police Department multifaith conversation addresses emerging community issues impacting the San Fernando Valley. Guest speakers are LAPD Counterterrorism Deputy Chief Horace Frank; Arik Greenberg, founder of the Institute for Religious Tolerance, Peace and Justice; and Elena Meloni, founder and executive director of the New Star Family Justice Center. Valley Beth Shalom Rabbi Noah Farkas delivers the invocation. Command staff of the San Fernando Valley LAPD will remain after the meeting to answer attendees’ questions. 6-8 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 644-8140. email@example.com.
In her new memoir, “Just the Funny Parts … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club,” television writer Nell Scovell delivers an insider’s account of working in the male-dominated writers’ rooms of “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Simpsons” and other shows. She discusses her book with her colleagues Conan O’Brien and writer, producer and director Greg Daniels (“King of the Hill,” “The Office”). 8 p.m. $20. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. writersblocpresents.com.
FRI MARCH 23
JNF BREAKFAST SIGNUP DEADLINE
Alon Ben-Gurion, grandson of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, will be the guest speaker at the Jewish National Fund Breakfast for Israel, the theme of which is “Our History, Our Heritage, Our Homeland.” Ben-Gurion will speak about his hospitality consulting work, which includes using his extensive know-how and professional network to promote development in the Negev, working to realize his grandfather’s dream of making the desert bloom. Event registration deadline is March 23. The breakfast will take place on March 28, 7:30-9 a.m. Free; RSVP required. Warner Center Marriott, 21850 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills. (323) 964-1400, ext. 953. jnf.org.