What’s Happening in Jewish L.A. May 18-23: Mayor Talks ‘Critical Issues’; Shavuot Events


Eric Garcetti.

FRI MAY 18
ADVANCE L.A. CONFERENCE

The Help Group, a nonprofit that serves children, adolescents and adults with special needs, holds its 2018 Advance L.A. Conference. The theme is “Thriving Through Transitions: Finding Strengths in Differences.” Featured speakers are Dan Siegel, an author, speaker and clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine; Robert Koegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University; and Rabbi Naomi Levy, who discusses how “Every Soul Is Uniquely Blessed.” 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Parents and others $120, students $80. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (818) 779-5198. advancela.org.

JNFUTURE SHABBAT ON THE BEACH

Izzy Ezagui.

Decorated Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Squad Commander Izzy Ezagui is an American who volunteered to serve in the IDF, lost his arm in combat and returned to the battlefield. He discusses his experiences in his new memoir, “Disarmed: Unconventional Lessons from the World’s Only One-Armed Special Forces Sharpshooter.” He is the featured guest speaker at this Shabbat event for young professionals. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $70 for the first 70 registrants, then $80. Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica. (323) 964-1400, ext. 969. jnf.org.

SUN MAY 20
“A PLACE FOR US — A SYMPHONIC AND CHORAL PERFORMANCE”

Inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s dedication to making classical music accessible to all communities, Harmony Project and Urban Voices Project: A Skid Row Choir perform a special arrangement of the “West Side Story” classic “Somewhere.” The two musical groups also perform an uplifting symphonic and choral repertoire, including compositions by Tito Puente, Robert Buckley and even Carly Rae Jepsen. Leeav Sofer, the founder and bandleader of klezmer ensemble Mostly Kosher, leads the Urban Voices Project, which brings music to disenfranchised communities throughout Los Angeles County. 2 p.m. $12 general, $9 seniors, full-time students and children over 12, $7 children 2-12, free for Skirball members and children under 2. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

MON MAY 21
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE IN OUR PRAYER

Noa Shaashua.

Kol Tikvah Cantor Noa Shaashua leads a three-part adult education class exploring different types of prayers, emphasizing the special prayers that express gratitude. She discusses the meaning and power of these prayers as they are transmuted into song, along with melodies that match the attitude of gratitude that are a hallmark of Judaism in general and prayer in particular. Students use storytelling, guided imagery, prayers, melodies and more. Two classes, including this one, remain in the series. The final class takes place on June 11. 7-8:30 p.m. Advance RSVP $36, day of $72. Cost is for the entire course. Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 348-0670. koltikvah.org.

WED MAY 23
“CRITICAL ISSUES FACING OUR CITY”

Eric Garcetti.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti discusses “Critical Issues Facing Our City” during a breakfast with the executives of the Los Angeles Jewish Home. Garcetti, of Mexican-Jewish descent, has tackled a number of issues as mayor, including homelessness, the environment, traffic and more. Expect him to touch on these issues during this appearance. 8 a.m. social time and breakfast; 8:30-9:30 a.m. program. $35 pre-registered, $40 at the door. Woodland Hills Country Club, 21150 Dumetz Road, Woodland Hills. (818) 774-3332. theexecutives.org.


Shavuot Events

SAT MAY 19
SHAVUOT WITH TEMPLE ISRAEL

A night of wine, cheese and blintz making, with chef Danny Corsun and Temple Israel of Hollywood Rabbis John Rosove and Jocee Hudson, spotlight this adults-only Shavuot celebration. Enjoy a little bit of text study, great cooking and a lot of wine. 6-8 p.m. Free. Private residence. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org.

THIS, TOO, IS TORAH

Join IKAR for all-night (or most of the night) learning in traditional and some not-so-traditional sessions. Participants learn how everything can be Torah and can get their fill of all things dairy. 7:45 p.m.-1 a.m. Free, no RSVP required. Shalhevet, 910 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 634-1870. ikar-la.org.

A NIGHT OF TRANSFORMATION

Experience a night of transformative Torah learning and explore the ways the Jewish people transcend, transmit, translate, transgress and transform our tradition. 6:45 p.m. Mincha, 7:15 p.m. seudah shelishit with light dinner, 8:15 p.m. Ma’ariv and Havdalah, 8:45 p.m. opening session. $18. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353. tbala.org/shavuot.

“MOSES: A MUSICAL PORTRAIT”

Valley Beth Shalom holds composer Sergio Barer’s musical program “Moses: A Musical Portrait,” featuring selections from Barer’s work presented with the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale, Wilshire Boulevard Temple String Quartet and piano accompaniment. The evening also features a study session and conversation with Barer; Ma’ariv; blintz reception; and a late-night study session with rabbis. 7-11:30 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000. vbs.org.

ALL NIGHT LEARNING

Nessah Congregation’s 11th annual all-night learning features Rabbi David Sabbah discussing “The Answer of What Life Is About,” “The New Secret for Our Generation” and “The Power of One: Kabbalah, Chassidut and the Mysticism: Necessary and Essential Paths to Power.” Rabbi Yitzkhok Sakhai discusses “Going Back to Our ‘Ruths.’ ” Reception at 11:15 p.m. followed by lectures. Full breakfast served after Shacharit. Free. Nessah Congregation, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-2400. nessah.org.

SPIRITUAL REFLECTIONS AND STUDY

Join Temple Judea for an intimate gathering filled with learning, music, study and more. 8-10 p.m. Free. Private residence, address provided upon RSVP. (818) 758-3800. templejudea.com.

NASHUVA SHAVUOT

Nashuva holds a Shabbat Havdalah service, Shavuot learning, meditation and meal, and 14th birthday celebration. Don’t miss a night of wisdom, transformation, light and music with Nashuva Rabbi Naomi Levy and the Nashuva band. Blintzes and cheesecake served. 7:30-9 p.m. Free; donations welcome. Vista Del Mar, 3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles. nashuva.com.

KEHILLAT MA’ARAV SHAVUOT

Celebrate Shavuot with Kehillat Ma’arav. The Conservative congregation holds a dairy dinner, singing under the stars, synagogue-made cheesecake dessert and learning. Kehillat Ma’arav, 1715 21st St., Santa Monica. km-synagogue.org.

SNL: SHAVUOT NIGHT LIVE

Join Pico Shul for a night of relevant and fun learning and food. Participants include Rabbi Yonah and Rebbetzin Rachel Bookstein; Cheston Mizel and Batsheva Frankel. The evening kicks off with Mincha, followed by a third meal, singing and more. A Shavuot dinner (RSVP online) begins at 8:30 p.m. Afterward, Torah learning — with fast-paced (20 minutes or less) classes on various topics — commences, with coffee, beer and a cheesecake buffet. A midnight sushi bar requires RSVP. 7 p.m. through the night. Free. Pico Shul, 9116 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. picoshul.org.

“FINDING FAITH IN THE GOD YOU MIGHT NOT BELIEVE IN”

Writer, lecturer and teacher Michael Berenbaum discusses his recent trip with young professionals on March of the Living and his experience engaging millennials in their exploration of faith and Jewish identity. The event kicks off with Havdalah. 8:15-10 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-1518. sinaitemple.org.

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