What’s Happening in Jewish L.A. Feb. 16-22
FRI FEB 16
“LINCOLN AND THE JEWS”
On Presidents Day weekend, join Rabbi Lisa Edwards for coffee, dessert and a wide-ranging conversation about Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with Jews. Using as a guide the 2016 book “Lincoln and the Jews” by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell, as well as other publications, Edwards will discuss the mutual affinity between Lincoln and Jews. Whether battling the anti-Jewish sentiment common in his time or insisting that there be Jewish chaplains for the first time in the U.S. military, America’s 16th president became known as a friend to Jews. 8-9 p.m. Free. Beth Chayim Chadashim, 6090 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 931-7023. bcc-la.org.
SAT FEB 17
“JOACHIM PRINZ: I SHALL NOT BE SILENT”
Joachim Prinz was a young rabbi in Berlin who spoke out against the Nazis until he was expelled in 1937. After arriving in the United States, he witnessed racism against Blacks and realized the American ideal was not a reality. He became a leader in the civil rights movement and a friend and confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. After the screening of a documentary on the rabbi, there will be a discussion with Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, professor of rabbinic literature at American Jewish University; Rev. D. Najuma Smith Pollard, founding pastor of Word of Encouragement Community Church; and Wolf Gruner, who holds the Shapell-Guerin Chair of Jewish studies at USC. 7:30 p.m. $12. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353. tbala.org.
SUN FEB 18
Get ready to meet the hottest Jewish singles in Los Angeles. Queue up the jukebox. Kick back with a crafted cocktail. Dress to impress. From the team that presents the annual Christmas Eve MatzoBall. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $30 general admission, $199 VIP annual membership. The Parlour Room, 6423 Yucca St., Los Angeles. eventbrite.com.
Achinoam Nini, known internationally as Noa, makes a rare Southern California concert appearance showcasing the most popular songs from her 26-year recording career, spanning 15 international albums and several Israeli releases, including her latest recording, “Love Medicine.” Selections will be sung in English, Hebrew and Arabic. One of Israel’s leading singer-songwriters, Noa wrote lyrics to and recorded the hit theme song for the 1998 Academy Award-winning film “Life Is Beautiful.” She sings in six languages and has collaborated with symphony orchestras around the world. She also is involved in the Israel Peace Initiative, Yalla Young Leaders and IsraAid. 7 p.m. $20 for Cal State Los Angeles students, staff and faculty; $25 for other students; $30, $40, $50 for others. The Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 343-6600. luckmanarts.org.
MON FEB 19
MANY VOICES, ONE SONG
Gindi Maimonides Academy celebrates its 50th anniversary with a Jewish music festival featuring Avraham Fried, Shlomi Shabat, Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Baruch Levine, Simcha Leiner and a 60-piece orchestra. Food available for purchase during the show. Seating, other than VIP tickets, is first come, first served. Tickets start at $25. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., show at 6:30 p.m. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 659-2456. maimonidesla.com
TUE FEB 20
“THE CHALLENGES OF TRUMP’S AMERICA”
Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin discusses “The Challenges of Trump’s America: A Conservative’s View on Trump,” a conversation with former U.S. Congressman Mel Levine and former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. 7:30 p.m. Free. Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org/rsvp.
The Jewish funny lady performs her irreverent brand of stand-up comedy, examining friendship, singlehood and relationships. 8 p.m. $25. Flappers Comedy Club, 102 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. (818) 845-9721. flapperscomedy.com.
Conservative radio show host Barak Lurie discusses “Atheism Kills,” his new, nonfiction book that attacks atheism and the dangers of a world without God. Lurie, who regularly speaks about politics and matters of God on KRLA-AM (870), is a member of many conservative and pro-Israel boards, including Prager U, StandWithUs, the Jewish National Fund and the American Freedom Alliance. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $18 presale, $25 door. IAC Shepher Community Center, 6530 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. (818) 451-1201. israeliamerican.org/los-angeles/baraklurie.
WED FEB 21
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria delivers the 2018 Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture, an annual event celebrating the life of the late journalist. The host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” the network’s flagship international affairs program, is respected for his analysis, his ability to spot economic and political trends, and his good humor, wit and unique approach to international relations. Kal Raustiala, a professor at the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA International Institute, moderates. 4:30 p.m. $35. Schoenberg Hall, Room 1100, UCLA, 445 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 206-6365. tinyurl.com/pearlzakaria.
THU FEB 22
Before her 2011 death from alcohol poisoning, Jewish singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse garnered critical acclaim for her vintage R&B-blues sound, jazz-influenced vocals and personal lyrics, as displayed on singles like “Rehab.” A screening of “Amy,” the Oscar-winning 2015 documentary about Winehouse’s brief life and career, features archival footage and personal testimonies. After the screening, Andy Besser, former executive director of the Jewish rehabilitation organization Beit T’Shuvah, leads a discussion. Popcorn and dessert served. 6:45 p.m. seating, 7 p.m. screening. Free. Kehillat Israel, 16019 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 459-2328. ourki.org.
Acclaimed Israeli novelist Ayelet Gundar-Goshen discusses her latest thriller, “Waking Lions.” The book — winner of the 2017 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize and one of The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books for 2017 — grapples with the influx of African migrants into Israel. Its story follows an Israeli doctor who, while driving one night, hits an Eritrean refugee and leaves him for dead on the side of the road. An exploration of the tension between the privileged and the unseen follows. 7:15 p.m. Free. UCLA Fowler Museum, Lenart Auditorium, 308 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles. writersblocpresents.com/main/ayelet-gundar-goshen.
“BAD RABBI AND OTHER STRANGE BUT TRUE STORIES FROM THE YIDDISH PRESS”
Eddy Portnoy, who received his doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary with a dissertation on Yiddish cartoons, discusses his book, “Bad Rabbi,” an underground history of downwardly mobile Jews from the seamy underbellies of New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture before World War II. The book features stories of drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers and poets plucked from Yiddish newspapers. Sarah Abrevaya Stein, a Sephardic studies professor at UCLA, moderates. The UCLA Klezmer Ensemble performs. 4-5:30 p.m. Free. 314 Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles. (310) 267-5327. cjs.ucla.edu.
RABBI STEVE LEDER
Wilshire Boulevard Temple Senior Rabbi Steve Leder teaches about how to live a life worthy of one’s suffering as he discusses his latest book, “More Beautiful Than
Before: How Suffering Transforms Us,” with Sarah Brokaw, daughter of television journalist Tom Brokaw. The 2017 book guides readers through pain’s stages of surviving, healing and growing. Meanwhile, Leder draws on his years of experience counseling others through life’s difficult moments, including the death of a loved one, divorce or illness. Light bites and validated parking provided. 6-8 p.m. Free. Tower Cancer Research Foundation offices, 8767 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 401, Beverly Hills. RSVP required at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 299-8470. towercancer.org/events.
Avraham Burg, a prominent Israeli opinion maker, the son of a Holocaust survivor and former speaker of Israel’s legislature, has spent much of his life shaping Israel’s story. He discusses his new book, “In Days to Come: A New Hope for Israel,” which chronicles Israel’s highs and lows over the past five decades and weaves in his personal journey from a child in the world of religious Zionism to a paratrooper in the Israeli army, to the speaker of the Knesset. 6:30 p.m. VIP wine and cheese reception with the author, 7:30 p.m. lecture. $10 lecture only, $30 includes VIP reception. AmericanJewish University, Shapiro Synagogue, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777. aju.edu.
“PASSING THE TORCH — FROM SELMA TO TODAY”
Former U.S. United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, Bernard Lafayette Jr. and Clarence B. Jones, three pivotal figures of the 1960s civil rights movement, along with James Perkins Jr., Selma’s first African-American mayor, and moderator Jessie Kornberg, president and CEO of the Jewish legal aid agency Bet Tzedek, discuss lessons learned from the civil rights movement. They reflect on how the Selma-to-Montgomery march and other key actions led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, then consider strategies that can transform racist and unjust public policy today. 7:30 p.m. $12 general, $10 Skirball members and full-time students. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
The acclaimed Jewish playwright and screenwriter, who wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning “Lincoln,” discusses “The Lincoln Legacy: The Man and His Presidency.” He appears in conversation with best-selling author Sarah Vowell as they examine the 16th U.S. president’s life’s work and legacy. 8 p.m. $29–$59. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 825-2101. cap.ucla.edu