Calendar Picks and Clicks: Sept. 29 – Oct. 5, 2012


[SAT SEPT 29]

MUSEUM DAY LIVE!

Smithsonian magazine hosts a free day at participating museums, including the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, The Grammy Museum, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Autry National Center. Zimmer Children’s Museum, which is closed on Saturdays, will be open for Museum Day on Sunday, Sept. 30. Sat. Free (registration required, ticket information on Web site). Various times, locations. smithsonianmag.com/museumday.


[SUN SEPT 30]

 SUKKOT PICNIC

Join the Israeli Leadership Council, MATI and Mitchabrim — organizations dedicated to strengthening the Israeli-American community — at this folksy Sukkot festival. Arts and crafts, Israeli folk dancing, sukkah decorating, kids’ activities and more make it a can’t-miss event for the entire family. Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Warner Center Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 466-6454. jewishla.org.

11TH ANNUAL WEST HOLLYWOOD BOOK FAIR

West Hollywood’s celebration of the written word features more than 220 authors and artists. Speakers include “Saturday Night Live” alum Rachel Dratch (“Girl Walks Into a Bar”) and comedy writer David Misch (“Funny: The Book”); Journal columnist Bill Boyarsky (“Inventing L.A.”); political commentators Robert Scheer (“The Great American Stickup”) and Nancy L. Cohen (“Delirium”); novelists David Brin (“Existence”), Seth Greenland (“The Angry Buddhist”), Tod Goldberg (“Living Dead Girl”), Gregg Hurwitz (“The Survivor”), Stephen Jay Schwartz (“Beat”) and Jerry Stahl (“Pain Killers”); and children’s writers Amy Goldman Koss (“Side Effects”) and Eugene Yelchin (“Breaking Stalin’s Nose”). Attend writer’s workshops, poetry readings and performances, and peruse more than 75 exhibitor booths featuring publishers, booksellers and writing groups. Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free (includes admission, shuttle and parking). West Hollywood Library and West Hollywood Park, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. westhollywoodbookfair.org.


[MON OCT 1]

“VOICES UNITED”

Comedian Sarah Silverman joins actor Russell Brand and singer-songwriters Catie Curtis and Mary Gauthier in headlining this Americans United concert in support of church-state separation. Mon. 7:30 p.m. $25 (standing room), $50 (rear orchestra), $100 (front orchestra). El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. au.org/voices-united-la-tickets.


[TUE OCT 2]

MAC MILLER

YouTube clips of the Pittsburgh native effortlessly freestyling are viral classics, and his records — including debut album “Blue Slide Park” — showcase Miller’s knack for lacing his rhymes with humor. The 20-year-old rapper makes a stop in Los Angeles as part of his Macadelic Tour. Hip-hop act Travis Porter and rapper YG also perform. Tue. 8 p.m. $30-$35. Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live, 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles. (213) 763-6030. nokiatheatrelalive.com.


[THU OCT 4]

“IS ALTRUISM A WONDER DRUG?”

David Levinson, Big Sunday executive director and author of “Everybody Helps, Everybody Wins,” joins bioethicist Stephen Post (“The Hidden Gifts of Helping”) and Stanford University School of Medicine neurosurgery professor James Doty in a discussion about the latest in medical science and altruism. They draw on recent studies that found that frequent volunteering among older adults led to reduced risk of an early death, and that nonvolunteers were more likely than volunteers to experience a major illness. Moderated by Lisa Aliferis, editor of KQED health policy and public health blog “State of Health.” Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free. Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. zocalopublicsquare.org.

“RECOVERED VOICES”

L.A. Opera music director James Conlon’s concert series restores two generations of composers that were wiped off the map by the Third Reich. Tonight’s chamber music concert features performances of lost works by Austrian composers Alexander von Zemlinsky, Arnold Schoenberg and Franz Schreker; and Czech composer and pianist Erwin Schulhoff. Pacific Trio and friends accompany Conlon. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $37-$65. Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3200. thebroadstage.com.

 

“UNAUTHORIZED: THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN PROJECT”

Documentarian Barry Avrich’s latest film offers an unflinching portrait of Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of the Weinstein Co. and Miramax Films. Avrich turns to Martin Scorsese, James Ivory, John Irving and others to examine the influence that Weinstein holds in Hollywood. A post-screening Q-and-A with Avrich follows. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $10 (general), $7 (LACMA members, seniors, students). Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-6000. lacma.org.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: Sep. 9-13, 2012


SUN | SEPT 9 

“ARTHUR SCHNITZLER — BEING JEWISH”
A renowned writer and dramatist whose favorite topics were anti-Semitism, love, sex and death, Arthur Schnitzler chronicled turn-of-the-century Vienna. A Getty staged reading of Schnitzler's journals and correspondence portray a conflicted Austrian Jew who is not afraid to ask difficult questions. Held in conjunction with “Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line,” a panel discussion with filmmaker Peter Schnitzler, Schnitzler's grandson, and Schnitzler expert Lorenzo Bellettini follows. Sun. 4-7:30 p.m. Free (reservation recommended). Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7300. getty.edu.

CHABAD “TO LIFE” TELETHON
Television icon Larry King hosts the 32nd annual Chabad telethon, featuring celebrity guests and, of course, dancing rabbis. Proceeds benefit Chabad of California's programs and institutions, including schools, summer camps, community outreach centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, crisis intervention and support for children with special needs. Sun. 8-11 p.m. KTLA. tolife.com.


MON | SEPT 10 

“SONGS FOR A BRIS”
Actor-singer Ben Goldberg's one-night-only musical exploration looks at the biggest decision every infant Jewish boy never got to make. The performance features music by Meat Loaf, U2, Cole Porter, Hootie and the Blowfish, and many others. Mon. $10. Rockwell, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 661-6163. rockwell-la.com.

MACCABIAH MASTERS TENNIS TRYOUTS
Interested in representing the United States at the 19th World Maccabiah Games next summer in Israel? Maccabi USA is holding masters-level tennis tryouts today for men and women, ages 35 and older, at Mountain Gate Country Club. Buffet lunch included. Mon. 9 a.m. (arrival, check-in), 10 a.m. (tournament begins). $40 (application fee), $50 (participation fee), $30 (additional guest). Mountain Gate Country Club, 12445 Mountaingate Drive, Los Angeles. (215) 561-6900. maccabiusa.com.


WED | SEPT 12

KCET HIGH HOLY DAYS
The community television station honors the High Holy Days with four documentaries during the month of September, including “The Gefilte Fish Chronicles,” a story of how a family stays spiritually and physically connected through tradition; “The New Beginning,” which examines the ancient origins, evolution, symbols and traditions that have come to define the High Holy Days; “18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre,” which tells the story of the most sacred prayer in Judaism through the tales and anecdotes of those who have been touched by it; and “Where Birds Never Sang: The Story of Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps,” which looks at Hitler's largest concentration camp designed for women. Wed. Through Sept. 20. “The Gefilte Fish Chronicles”: Sept. 12, 2:30 p.m.; “The New Beginning”: Sept. 13, 10:30 p.m.; “18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre”: Sept. 16, 4:30 p.m.; “Where Birds Never Sang”: Sept. 20 at 10:30 p.m. For additional airing times, visit kcet.org.


THU | SEPT 13

“10Q: NO REGRETS”
Time magazine columnist Joel Stein hosts an evening of confessions. Just in time for the New Year, comedians, writers, celebrities and audience participants reveal their biggest regrets in an attempt to clean the slate. Folk-pop duo the Wellspring performs. Co-sponsored by Reboot and the Jewish Federation's Young Adults of Los Angeles. Thu. 7-10 p.m. $15 (advance ticket), $18 (door). Acme Comedy Theater, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8324. yala.org.

ITZHAK PERLMAN
The Israeli-American master violinist performs Tchaikovsky's “Violin Concerto.” One of the world's most renowned classical musicians, Perlman has won more than a dozen Grammy awards, taken part in the inauguration of President Barack Obama and played with every major orchestra. Conductor Bramwell Tovey leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the final classic concert of the season with Johannes Brahms' “Hungarian Dances Nos. 10, 4, 5,” Tchaikovsky's “Violin Concerto” and Antonin Dvorák's “Symphony No. 8.” Thu. 8 p.m. $1-$133. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. (323) 850-2000. hollywoodbowl.com.

MICHAEL CHABON AND AYELET WALDMAN
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” and “The Yiddish Policemen's Union” appears in person to read passages from his new novel “Telegraph Avenue.” Set in Berkeley at the end of the summer of 2004, record store co-owners Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe and their midwife wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffee, face personal and professional problems that test the strength of their relationships and businesses. Writer Mona Simpson (“My Hollywood”) leads a post-reading discussion and Q-and-A with Chabon and his wife, author Ayelet Waldman (“Red Hook Road”). Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 443-7000. hammer.ucla.edu.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: May 12-18, 2012


SAT | MAY 12

“OVERLOOKED SUSPECT”
What if O.J. Simpson didn’t do it? The Journal invites you to the L.A. premiere of a documentary that examines that very question. Explore the evidence with private investigator William Dear, whose ongoing investigation into the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman comes to a conclusion that has yet to be explored. A panel discussion and Q-and-A follow, featuring Dear, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson and criminal defense attorney James Blatt. Journal president and columnist David Suissa moderates. Must be at least 17 years old to attend. Sat. 7-10 p.m. $12. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (800) 838-3006. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/245443.

TUE | MAY 15

ERIK LARSON
The master of narrative nonfiction appears in conversation with David Kipen, founder of the Boyle Heights used bookshop Libros Schmibros. They discuss Larson’s bestseller, “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin,” which follows U.S. Ambassador William Dodd, who arrives in Hitler’s Germany in 1933. Glamorous Germany soon reveals its true colors, but the State Department shows indifference to Dodd’s reports of Jewish persecution. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $20. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 300 N. Clark Drive, Beverly Hills. writersblocpresents.com.

ANDY COHEN
The out-and-proud executive at Bravo, who oversees development of shows like “Top Chef” and “The Real Housewives” franchise, discusses and signs copies of his new memoir, “Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture,” which recounts how he became the first openly gay late-night talk show host, an Emmy winner and network head. Wristbanded event. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes and Nobles at The Grove, 189 Grove Drive, Suite K 30, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0270. barnesandnoble.com.

WED | MAY 16

SUISSA VS. BEINART
Journal president and columnist David Suissa debates Peter Beinart, author of the controversial book, “The Crisis of Zionism,” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Temple Israel of Hollywood’s Rabbi John Rosove moderates the discussion on the lack of progress in peace talks — Beinart acknowledges acts of violence on the Palestinians’ part but faults Israeli policies; Suissa ascribes blame to the Palestinian Authority’s use of incitement against Jews. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org

“WAR ON WOMEN”
The National Council of Jewish Women holds an educational program advocating for reproductive freedom and addressing the current pushback against feminism. Actress and activist Tyne Daly (“Judging Amy”); American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staff attorney Maggie Crosby; Serena Josel, public affairs director for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles; Linda Long, vice president of California National Organization for Women; and Kaya Masler, a USC student and political organizer, participate in a panel discussion. Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks moderates. Light refreshments served. Wed. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free. NCJW/LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. RSVP (323) 852-8503. ncjwla.org.

“HATIKVA—A HYMN IS BORN”
Israeli musicologist and pianist Astrith Baltsan’s concert reveals the surprising origins of Israel’s national anthem, which has its roots in an ancient Sephardic prayer, classical music by Mozart, Chopin and Smetana, and a Romanian immigrant folk song. Presented by Mati and the Consulate General of Israel. Cocktail reception included. Wed. 7:30 p.m. (cocktails), 8:30 p.m. (program). $50 (advance), $60 (door). Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. (323) 351-7021. maticenter.org.

THU | MAY 17

“PROJECT MAH JONGG”
The new Skirball exhibition explores how a Chinese game became an American Jewish tradition, influencing fashion, style and cultural identity. Mah jongg-inspired contemporary works by Isaac Mizrahi, Bruce McCall and Maira Kalman accompany mah jongg sets and rulebooks, newspaper articles and vintage photographs. Visitors are encouraged to play at tables set up throughout the Skirball. Included with museum admission. Thu. Through Sept. 2. Noon-5 p.m. (Tuesday-Friday), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Saturday, Sunday). $10 (general), $7 (seniors, students), $5 (children, 2-12), free (members, children under 2). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

DAN RATHER AND MARTY KAPLAN
The veteran “CBS Evening News” anchor discusses his new memoir, “Rather Outspoken: My Life in News,” with Journal columnist Kaplan, the Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $20. Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. writersblocpresents.com.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: Feb. 25-Mar. 2, 2012


SUN | FEB 26

ONE-DAY UNIVERSTIY
American Friends of Tel Aviv University holds mini-classes with renowned Tel Aviv University academics, including “Birds: The Middle East’s Peacemakers” with ornithologist Yossi Leshem, “Should You Know Your Genome?” with genetics professor Karen Avraham, “Human Rights in a Multicultural Society” with law professor Nili Cohen, “A Simple Blood Test to Detect Cancer (Really!)” with chemistry professor Fernando Patolsky, and “What Will the ‘Arab Summer’ Bring?” with Middle Eastern and African studies professor Uzi Rabi. Sun. 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $54. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-5232. aftau.org.

“RE-CREATING NATURE”
The new exhibition by artists Lauren Evans, Carol Goldmark and Jamie Sweetman opens today. Their drawings, paintings and sculpture/installations draw on nature in unexpected ways. Today, the public is invited to a free “meet the artists” reception. Sun. Through May 18. Reception: 4-6 p.m. Regular gallery hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday), 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Friday). American Jewish University, Platt and Borstein Galleries, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 476-9777. ajula.edu.

“SCHOLARSHIP, RELIGION, ACTIVISM: PAST RELATIONS, FUTURE PROSPECTS”
Clergy and scholars appear during tonight’s discussion, which seeks to break barriers between religious faiths. Participants, including IKAR’s Rabbi Sharon Brous, the Rev. Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries, Muslim Public Affairs Council President Salam al-Marayati, Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Mouw and Princeton University religion professor Jeffrey Stout, explore the interplay of cultures, peoples, and faiths in Los Angeles and beyond. Diane Winston, the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at USC, moderates. Organized by the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion, and co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Sun. 5-7 p.m. Free. UCLA, James Bridges Theatre, Los Angeles. (310) 206-1396. religion.ucla.edu.

TUE | FEB 28

AN EVENING WITH NEAL GABLER
Gabler, author of “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood,” is joined by a star-studded panel that includes actor-director Carl Reiner, Leonard Nimoy (“Star Trek”), Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Marta Kauffman (co-creator, “Friends”) and Philip Rosenthal (creator, “Everybody Loves Raymond”). Tue.  7 p.m. Free (Temple Israel of Hollywood members), $10 (general). Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. RSVP by Feb. 27. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org.

ANDY BOROWITZ AND PATTON OSWALT
Satirist, writer and stand-up comedian Borowitz, editor of New York Times best-seller “The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor From Mark Twain to the Onion,” dishes on politics and humor with the infamously witty stand-up comedian Oswalt, who recently authored, “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland.” Tue. 7:30 p.m. $20. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. writersblocpresents.

L.A. CLIPPERS JEWISH PRIDE NIGHT
The Clippers play the Minnesota Timberwolves during Jewish Pride Night at Staples Center. An Israeli dance team performs at half time, and attendees receive a free T-shirt. GesherCity Long Beach, a young adults organization, provides discounted tickets. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $28 (GesherCity), $15-$1,500 (Ticketmaster). Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles.  (562) 426-7601 (GesherCity), (888) 895-8662 (L.A. Clippers). alpertjcc.org. nba.com/clippers.

HADAG NAHASH
The veteran Israeli hip-hop ensemble performs tonight at The Colony in Hollywood. Hadag Nahash blends Western pop influences, funk and world music. The group also leads a free interactive workshop—including informal acoustic demonstrations and a discussion on the group’s history, musical influences and engagement with social issues—at UCLA earlier in the day (1-2:30 p.m., visit international.ucla.edu for details). On Wednesday, Rutgers University Jewish studies professor Azzan Yadin discusses the use of the Hebrew literary canon in the band’s lyrics (noon-2 p.m., free, also at UCLA). Concert: Tue. 8 p.m. $20 (UCLA students), $40 (general), $100 (VIP). The Colony, 1743 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 525-2450. thecolonyla.com.

THU | MARCH 1

MA’ALEH FILM SCHOOL SCREENING
Friends of Ma’aleh Film School screens three short films produced by the school, including “Barriers,” which took the top prize for best short film at the Jerusalem Film Festival, “A Jerusalem Tale” and “The Breakfast Parliament.” A panel discussion with Neta Ariel, Ma’aleh’s school director, as well as “Barriers” director Golan Rise, producer Ohad Domb and actor Hillel Kabub follows. Journal Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman moderates. Co-sponsored by the Museum of Tolerance and The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Thu. 7-10 p.m. $10 (Museum of Tolerance members), $15 (general). Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 772-2505. museumoftolerance.com/maaleh.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: December 4-December 9


Pick of the Week: Wednesday, Dec. 21

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
East Side Jews, Reboot and the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center head to Atwater Crossing for an evening of funny stories and deep music on the second night of Chanukah. Performers include former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Michaela Watkins, “How I Met Your Mother” writer Tami Sagher and folk-pop band The Wellspring. Dinner, beer and wine available for purchase. Wed. 7-10 p.m. $10. Atwater Crossing, 3245 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles. eastsidejews.com, atwatercrossing.com.



FRI | DEC 16

JUDITH OWEN AND HARRY SHEARER’S HOLIDAY SING-ALONG
Actor-satirist Shearer (KCRW’s “Le Show,” “The Simpsons”) and his singer-songwriter wife, Owen, host their annual evening of musical mirth. What began as a yearly gathering for family and friends soon grew too large to host at the couple’s home. Mixing traditional and nontraditional holiday music, the public performances have drawn such celebrity guests as Jane Lynch (“Glee”), Weird Al Yankovic and Shearer collaborator Christopher Guest. Who knows who will turn up this year? Fri. 7:30 p.m. $47-$75. Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3200. thebroadstage.com.


SAT | DEC 17

“JERRY LEWIS: METHOD TO THE MADNESS”
Director Gregg Barson got unlimited behind-the-scenes access to the 85-year-old Lewis for this documentary, which provides viewers with a contemporary look at the comedian’s career as well as never-before-seen film footage. Carl Reiner, Jerry Seinfeld and Richard Lewis are among the stars offering their perspective on Lewis. Sat. 5 and 9 p.m. Premieres on Starz. starz.com/titles/jerrylewismethodtothemadness.
 
CALARTS WINTER DANCE
Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, known for his work with the Batsheva Dance Company, is the featured artist in this program from The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance. Approximately 20 undergraduates, who rehearsed under Batsheva veteran Danielle Agami, perform two works by Naharin: “Echad Mi Yodea” and “Humus.” The evening concludes with premieres from CalArts faculty choreographers Colin Connor and Stephanie Nugent. Sat. 8:30 p.m. $20 (general), $16 (students), $10 (CalArts students, faculty, staff). Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 631 W. Second St., downtown. (213) 237-2800. redcat.org

CHANUKAH TOY DRIVE
Have fun for a good cause. Young professional groups ATID LA and 30 Years After host the third annual communitywide toy drive and mixer. The party goes off at L.A. nightclub Crimson Hollywood, and proceeds benefit the Friendship Circle and Cedars-Sinai Pediatrics. The LEV Foundation provides a limited number of free taxi vouchers. Sat. 9 p.m-2 a.m. New, unwrapped toy or gift valued at $10 or more, or $10 donation. Crimson Hollywood, 1650 Schrader Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3244. atidla.com.
 


MON | DEC 19

GIDI GRINSTEIN
Grinstein is an expert on Israeli political life, having participated in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Tonight, the founder and president of Israel strategy group the Reut Institute discusses “Flexigidity: The Invisible Hand of Israel’s Adaptation.” Mon. 7 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 530-4097. vbs.org.

KLEZMATICS
The Grammy-winning klezmer supergroup celebrates its silver anniversary this year. Steeped in Eastern European Jewish traditions and spirituality, The Klezmatics aren’t afraid to mix up their Yiddish-roots sound, whether it’s recording an album set to Woody Guthrie lyrics (“Wonder Wheel”) or collaborating with kosher gospel artist Joshua Nelson (“Brother Moses Smote the Water”). What better way to spend the night before Chanukah than with this eclectic ensemble? Mon. 8 p.m. $38-$97. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (323) 850-2000. laphil.com.


 
TUE | DEC 20

CHANUKAH celebration
The Original Farmers Market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue and The Jewish Journal host an outdoor Chanukah bash for all ages. Kids can help build a giant Lego chanukiyah, families can play Chanukah bingo, make dreidels and play games with DJ Groovy David. Arts and crafts, snacks and more highlight the occasion, which closes with the menorah lighting ceremony and sing-along. Community participants include Temple Israel of Hollywood, Miracle Mile Chabad and the Zimmer Children’s Museum. Tue. 2:30-4:30 p.m. Free. The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles. (323) 933-9211. farmersmarketla.com.


 
WED | DEC 21

OHR HATORAH CHANUKAH GAME SHOW NIGHT
Forget “The Price Is Right.” Come on down to Ohr HaTorah! You’re the next contestant at the Mar Vista synagogue’s Chanukah celebration, which features music, prizes and dinner. Wed. 5:30 p.m. (dinner for families with young children), 6 p.m. (dinner for all ages), 7 p.m. (Chanukah program). Ohr HaTorah, 11827 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 915-5200. ohrhatorah.org.


 
THU | DEC 22

LIGHT UP CHANUKAH
Blending contemporary electronic beats with world sounds from the Middle East, India and beyond, music trio Naked Rhythm perform at tonight’s charity concert, organized by Jewlicious and progressive synagogue IKAR. Proceeds benefit Jewish Heart for Africa, which brings Israeli solar technology to African villages, and Tomchei Shabbos, a weekly food delivery agency. Thu. 8-11 p.m. $18 (presale), $25 (door), $20 (with two cans for food donation). The Joint, 8771 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-5544. jconnectla.com, ikar-la.com.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: December 8-December 16


Pick of the Week: Tuesday, December 13

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
She honed her photography skills on a kibbutz and helped define the look of Rolling Stone magazine, where she worked for 10 years as its chief photographer. One of the most sought-after American portrait photographers, her subjects have included Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama; Scarlett Johannson and Keira Knightley nude, with Tom Ford in a suit, for the cover of Vanity Fair; and John Lennon nude and curled around a fully clothed Yoko Ono for Rolling Stone. Don’t miss an opportunity to see her in person during tonight’s discussion and presentation, “Pilgrimage: A Photo Lecture.” The event is part of the ALOUD series at the Central Library. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown. (213) 228-7500. lfla.org.



THU | DEC 8

“MAKING THE OIL LAST”
Kehillat Israel examines solutions for energy sustainability, hosting a film screening of “Burning the Future: Coal in America” and a conversation with David Nahai, senior adviser to the Clinton Climate Initiative and former CEO of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Thu. 7-9 p.m. Free. Kehillat Israel, 16019 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-2328. kehillatisrael.org.


FRI | DEC 9

“IN DARKNESS”
Director Agnieszka Holland adapts this true Holocaust story about Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief who hides a group of Jews beneath the Nazi-occupied city of Lvov, Poland, in exchange for money. But what begins as a business transaction between Socha and the Jews turns into an unlikely alliance. Fri. Various times. $11 (general), $8 (children, under 12), $8 (seniors). Laemmle’s Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.


SAT | DEC 10

“BENJAMIN AND JUDAH: A CHANUKAH MUSICAL”
Temple Adat Elohim’s Cantor David Shukiar reinvents the Chanukah story. Bullied at school for being Jewish, 13-year-old Benjamin is feeling low about himself and his religion. After dreaming one night that he’s Judah Maccabee, however, he awakes with a new sense of self-confidence. Music, dance and drama highlight this family-friendly show. Sat. Through Dec. 11. 7 p.m. (Sat.); 2:30 and 7 p.m. (Sun.). $27-$36. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (800) 745-3000. toaks.org/cap.

“LOST IN RADIOLAND: HOLLYWOOD’S CHANUKAH SPECTACULAR”
Set in the 1940s, Ryan Paul James’ original comedy for the stage features a play within a play, with “A Christmas Carol” becoming “A Chanukah Carol.” John Wayne is set to play Scrooge on a radio program, but, minutes before showtime, he’s hit by his horse and unable to perform. The only actor they can find to replace “The Duke” demands they make the play more Jewish than they ever intended. Directed by Katy Jacoby. Sat. Through Dec. 18. 8 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sun.). $25. Theatre 68, 5419 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 960-5068. 68centcrew.com.


SUN | DEC 11

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
The entire family will have a blast celebrating Chanukah with the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center at this day-long kids’ fair and concert. Eugene Edwards Band, The Neighborhood Bullys and folk group The Hollow Trees are among the local bands performing; Rebecca Martin reads the Chanukah story; and magician Ryan Majestic shows what tricks are up his sleeve. Sun. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. $15 (all-inclusive wristband), free (adults). Silverlake Independent JCC, 1110 Bates Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 663-2255. sijcc.net.

CHANUKAH FAMILY FESTIVAL
The Skirball’s annual festival features live music, shadow puppets, a family dance party and more. Golden State Klezmers, Triumph of the Egg and a handful of folk artists whip up some musical holiday magic; TreePeople leads a planting activity; author Erica Silverman discusses her new children’s book, “Hanukkah Hop!”; and Judy Zeidler signs copies of her cookbooks, “Italy Cooks” and “The 30-Minute Kosher Cook.” Want to do some arts and crafts? Stop by the drop-in workshops to create a menorah out of wire and beads, your own tzedekah box or a portable planter. Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $10 (general), $7 (seniors and full-time students), $5 (children, 2-12), free (members). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

EMMANUEL LUBEZKI
His body of work is extensive and his collaborators are renowned — among them Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. Tonight, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer appears for a discussion about his latest film, “The Tree of Life,” director Terrence Malick’s abstract meditation on a 1950s Waco, Texas, family. Sun. 5 p.m. $11 (general), $10 (KCRW members), $9 (students, seniors), $7 (American Cinematheque members). Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 466-3456. americancinematheque.com.


TUE | DEC 13

CHANUKAH AT CITY HALL
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office and The Board of Rabbis of Southern California host this hourlong celebration, which includes musical performances and a candlelighting in the building’s rotunda room. Thu. Noon-1 p.m. Free (RSVP required for parking; e-mail barri.worth@lacity.org). Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8600. jewishla.org.


FRI | DEC 16

JUDITH OWEN AND HARRY SHEARER’S HOLIDAY SING-ALONG
Actor-satirist Shearer (KCRW’s “Le Show,” “The Simpsons”) and his singer-songwriter wife, Owen, host their annual evening of musical mirth. What began as a yearly gathering for family and friends soon grew too large to host at the couple’s home. Mixing traditional and nontraditional holiday music, the public performances have drawn such celebrity guests as Jane Lynch (“Glee”), Weird Al Yankovic and Shearer collaborator Christopher Guest. Who knows who will turn up this year? Fri. 7:30 p.m. $47-$75. Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3200. thebroadstage.com.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: December 4-December 9


Pick of the Week: Sunday, December 4

“IMAGINING OUR JEWISH FUTURE”
Hundreds of rabbis and Jewish scholars participate in discussions, panels, text study and presentations during this “Day of Jewish Learning and Culture.” The event concludes with a concert celebrating the words and music of Leonard Cohen. Sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Sun. 11 a.m. (registration), noon-6 p.m. (program). $36 (adults), $18 (adults, 30 and under; seniors). Sheraton Universal Hotel, 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City. (323) 761-8000. jewishla.org.



TUE | NOV 29

TOM BROKAW AND MARTY KAPLAN
The veteran broadcaster discusses his recently released book, “The Time of Our Lives,” which raises questions about our relationship to our communities and our country, with Jewish Journal columnist Marty Kaplan. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $20. Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. writersblocpresents.com.


THU | DEC 1

“THEY WERE AMONG US: REMBERING 30 YEARS OF AIDS”
Beth Chayim Chadashim and Project Chicken Soup co-sponsor a program of history, testimony and memory on World AIDS Day, featuring people who experienced the early years of AIDS, including long-term survivors, physicians, activists, writers and performers. Buffet, beverages and no-host bar. Thu. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Free (reservation required). ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, 909 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 931-7023. oneworldaidsday2011.org.


FRI | DEC 2

IT’S A GUY THING: A WEEKEND RETREAT
Eighth- and ninth-grade boys and the men who raise them unplug from their busy lives for some bonding time during this weekend retreat in Simi Valley. Fri. Through Dec. 4. $150 (per adult/teen pair). Brandeis-Bardin Campus of the American Jewish University, 1101 Pepper Tree Lane, Simi Valley. (323) 761-8243. jewishla.org/guything.

SOUL SOUNDS SHABBAT
Shabbat is hardly ever this eclectic. South American bossa nova and Sephardic music collide with jazz, rock, folk and classical sounds during this musical Shabbat experience at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. If you really want to complete the experience, you’re going to have to eat: Visit the synagogue’s Web site and order a picnic dinner from Factor’s Deli in advance of the event. 6 p.m. Free (picnic dinner not included). Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 445-1280. wilshireboulevardtemple.org.


SUN | DEC 4

WALK OF AGES XII
Join or cheer on the annual 5K walk/run, which raises funds that directly benefit residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home. The family-oriented event includes food, music, clowns and magicians. Sun. 7-8 a.m. (registration), 8:30-10 a.m. (5K), 9:30-10:30 a.m. (awards ceremony). Free. Jewish Home’s Eisenberg Village Campus, 18855 Victory Blvd., Reseda. (818) 774-3344. walkofages.kintera.org.
 
CLOTHING GIVEAWAY
The National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles (NCJW/LA) distributes clothing to in-need and at-risk individuals during its annual clothing giveaway. NCJW/LA expects to distribute 70,000 pieces of clothing for women, men and children, as well as children’s books. Stop by the tables for NCJW/LA’s community resource fair. Volunteers are needed to organize clothing and staff tables. Sun. 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (event). Volunteer shifts include: Dec. 3: 8 a.m.-noon; Dec. 4: 7-10:15 a.m.; Dec. 4: 9:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Free. NCJW/LA Council House, Parking Lot, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-2930. ncjwla.org.
 
FAMILY SCIENCE DISCOVERY DAY
Ilan Ramon Day School hosts a day of science activities for the whole family (children preschool-fifth grade) with hands-on projects, including a wind tunnel, fishing with magnets and a microscope station, a live show with Reptile People and a Student Invention Exhibition. Worried all this learning will make your kids hungry? A kosher food truck will be on site. Sun. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Ilan Ramon Day School, 27400 Canwood St., Agoura. (818) 707-2365. ilanramondayschool.com.

DREIDEL-MANIA
Officials from Guinness World Records will be on hand to judge as attendees attempt to break the record for the number of dreidels spinning at the same time (for a minimum of 10 seconds). So come by and enjoy entertainment, kosher food, children’s activities and the (hopefully) record-breaking spin. Presented by Sinai Temple in partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Dreidels provided. Sun. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Free (RSVP requested). Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3273. facebook.com/sinai.dreidelmania.


MON | DEC 5

Nourishment of the Soul
Shimona Tzukernik, an international lecturer on kabbalah, joins weight-loss coach Miriam Wiener to discuss “uncovering the hidden secrets to permanent weight loss.” During this two-hour event for women only, Tzukernik and Wiener will address the kabbalah behind nutrition and the spiritual forces that drive a desire for food as well as offer tools and techniques to address cravings. The event will also stream online. Mon. 10 a.m. $36 (live), $10 (online). Private home in the Beverly/La Brea area. RSVP online for location. (800) 647-5674. kosherforlife.com/nourishmentofthesoul.html.  


TUE | DEC 6

AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON
The author of “Surrender Is Not an Option” appears in conversation with Rabbi David Woznica. An outspoken advocate against a nuclear Iran, Bolton writes frequently for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The event is part of Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Center for Jewish Life series of lectures, dialogues and courses. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $15. Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-8561. wisela.org.


 
THU | DEC 8

“MAKING THE OIL LAST”
Kehillat Israel examines solutions for energy sustainability, hosting a film screening of “Burning the Future: Coal in America” and a conversation with David Nahai, senior adviser to the Clinton Climate Initiative and former CEO of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Thu. 7-9 p.m. Free. Kehillat Israel, 16019 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-2328. kehillatisrael.org.


FRI | DEC 9

“IN DARKNESS”
Director Agnieszka Holland adapts this true Holocaust story about Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief who hides a group of Jews beneath the Nazi-occupied city of Lvov, Poland, in exchange for money. But what begins as a business transaction between Socha and the Jews turns into an unlikely alliance. Fri. Various times. $11 (general), $8 (children, under 12), $8 (seniors). Laemmle’s Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: November 22-December 2


Pick of the Week: Tuesday, November 29

MIRANDA JULY
While procrastinating on her second screenplay, “The Future,” in 2009, July became obsessed with reading the classified ads in the PennySaver. She set out across Los Angeles to meet with PennySaver sellers, documenting the experiences in her latest book, “It Chooses You,” which blends narrative, interviews, photographs and deadpan humor. July appears in conversation with “This American Life” contributor Joshuah Bearman. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown. (213) 228-7500. lfla.org.



TUE | NOV 22

ALAN KAUFMAN
The irreverent author discusses his latest memoir, “Drunken Angel,” divulging how growing up as the son of a French Holocaust survivor affected him, and how his alcoholism alienated those around him, including his daughter, before he got clean at 40. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 659-3110. www.booksoup.com.


THU | NOV 24

SKI WEEKEND IN WHISTLER
Spend Thanksgiving Weekend with Jewish professionals (25-45) on the slopes in Whistler. The trip includes a three-night hotel stay, a Friday night Shabbat dinner, a Saturday Shabbat lunch and barbecue, and more. Contact the Chotzen Sisters, who organized the excursion, for discounted rates for ski tickets as well as ski and snowboard rentals. Airfare not included. Thu. Through Nov. 27. 7:30 p.m. $199 (per person). $225 (per person, two-bedroom suite), $320 (per person, two-person occupancy). (604) 738-7060. thekollel.com/events.


FRI | NOV 25

ANNIVERSARY SHABBAT UNDER THE STARS
Sephardic singles (40s-60s) host tonight’s Shabbat celebration, featuring a catered Middle Eastern dinner and a musical performance by Zirzuvi, a band from Santa Cruz that plays mostly Sephardic music in Ladino, Jewish music in Hebrew and Turkish folk songs. Fri. 6 p.m. $30 (door), $25 (prepaid by Nov. 20), $20 (prepaid chavurah members). Culver City Clubhouse. Call (818) 564-0153 or (323) 294-6084 for more information.


SAT | NOV 26

THE 14th THREE STOOGES BIG-SCREEN EVENT
Whether you’re a knucklehead or a newbie, you soitenly wouldn’t want to miss the annual Stooge-Fest. Spend Thanksgiving Weekend with Larry, Moe, Curly and Shemp as the Alex Theatre screens selected shorts, including “Back to the Woods” (1937), “Goofs and Saddles” (1937), “Mummy’s Dummies” (1948) and “Wee Wee Monsieur” (1938). Lineup is subject to change. Sat. 2 p.m. $15. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. (818) 243-2539. alextheatre.org.


SUN | NOV 27

“PEACE IN OUR TIME”
Casey Stangl directs Noël Coward’s 1946 anti-war melodrama, which imagines a Nazi-occupied England after losing the Battle of Britain to Germany. Set in a South London pub, with a cast of characters affected by the German invasion, the adaptation by Barry Creyton adds 11 songs to the revival and different troupes take turns starring during The Antaeus Company’s run. Sun. Through Dec. 18. 2:30 p.m. $34. Deaf West Theatre, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 506-1983. antaeus.org.

“MITCH ALBOM’S HAVE A LITTLE FAITH”
Bradley Whitford (“West Wing”) stars as Albom in this inspirational made-for-TV movie based on the writer’s first nonfiction book after “Tuesdays With Morrie.” Albom connects with two men of faith — a New Jersey rabbi (Martin Landau) who asks him to write his eulogy, and a Detroit pastor (Laurence Fishburne) whose life was once mired in drugs and crime. Affected by the men’s outlooks on life, Albom reconnects with his beliefs and learns the value of helping others. Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (“Dreamgirls,” “Caroline, or Change”) co-stars. Sun. 9 p.m. abc.go.com/shows/have-a-little-faith.


MON | NOV 28

“THE VOLUNTEERS”
Mooly Landesman’s 2009 documentary explores the search for identity in the kibbutz movement of the 1960s. The film follows a group of non-Jewish Europeans who traveled to the Jewish state and looks at the realities that emerge when individuals from different backgrounds start families. Mon. 6-8 p.m. Free. UCLA Campus, Royce Hall 362, Los Angeles. (310) 825-9646. international.ucla.edu/israel.


TUE | NOV 29

TOM BROKAW AND MARTY KAPLAN
The veteran broadcaster discusses his recently released book, “The Time of Our Lives,” which raises questions about our relationship to our communities and our country, with Jewish Journal columnist Marty Kaplan. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $20. Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. writersblocpresents.com.


THU | DEC 1

“THEY WERE AMONG US: REMBERING 30 YEARS OF AIDS”
Beth Chayim Chadashim and Project Chicken Soup co-sponsor a program of history, testimony and memory on World AIDS Day, featuring people who experienced the early years of AIDS, including long-term survivors, physicians, activists, writers and performers. Buffet, beverages and no-host bar. Thu. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Free (reservation required). ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, 909 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 931-7023. oneworldaidsday2011.org.


FRI | DEC 2

IT’S A GUY THING: A WEEKEND RETREAT
Eighth- and ninth-grade boys and the men who raise them unplug from their busy lives for some bonding time during this weekend retreat in Simi Valley. Fri. Through Dec. 4. $150 (per adult/teen pair). Brandeis-Bardin Campus of the American Jewish University, 1101 Pepper Tree Lane, Simi Valley. (323) 761-8243. jewishla.org/guything.

SOUL SOUNDS SHABBAT
Shabbat is hardly ever this eclectic. South American bossa nova and Sephardic music collide with jazz, rock, folk and classical sounds during this musical Shabbat experience at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. If you really want to complete the experience, you’re going to have to eat: Visit the synagogue’s Web site and order a picnic dinner from Factor’s Deli in advance of the event. 6 p.m. Free (picnic dinner not included). Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 445-1280. wilshireboulevardtemple.org.

Where to celebrate Simchat Torah in LA


THU., OCT. 20

ADAT ARI EL AND VALLEY RUACH
No matter your take on the Torah, it’s a scroll worth dancing with. Join Conservative congregation Adat Ari El and the synagogue’s young professionals organization at tonight’s celebration. For the Valley Ruach folk, the festivities includes bar trivia with prizes. Thu. 7-10 p.m. Free. Adat Ari El, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village. (818) 835-2139. valleyruach.org.

CHABAD OF SIMCHA MONICA
Everybody holds the Torah at Chabad of Simcha Monica’s Simchat Torah celebration. All-night dancing highlights the occasion. Nosh and drinks provided. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Chabad of Simcha Monica, 1428 17th St., Santa Monica. (310) 453-3011. thechabadnik.org.

DANCING WITH THE TORAH
Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Simchat Torah celebration features a family-style dinner, art projects for the kids, singing with the school choirs and cantors and more. Thu. 5 p.m. (dinner and children’s activities), 6:30 p.m. (service and program), 7:15 p.m. (dancing and cookies). Free. Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15550 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles (310) 476-8561. wisela.org/dancingwiththetorah.

IT’S HOLY PANDEMONIUM AT IKAR
Bring your unbridled enthusiasm, your libation of choice and get ready to sing, dance and pray your way through a celebration of Torah, community and life. IKAR, a progressive spiritual community, will not have childcare tonight, but kids of all ages are welcome to dance and celebrate. For the potluck, please bring the following vegetarian dishes (and, of course, your drink of choice) depending on the first letter of your last name: A-G: dessert; H-M: entrée; N-S: salad; T-Z: side dish. Thu. 5:30 p.m. (early childhood celebration for children ages 0-5 and their families), 6 p.m. (community potluck), 7 p.m. (services and celebration). Free. Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 634-1870. ikar-la.org.

PARTY AT MORRY’S
Mix and mingle with young professionals at Aish Los Angeles’ Simchat Torah. The all-night night festivities features drinks, a full buffet, dancing, desserts and lots of Simcha. Ages 21-33 only. Tue. 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Free. Morry’s Fireplace, 9118 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 278-8672. aishla.com.

NASHUVA
Join Rabbi Naomi Levy and the Nashuva Band for a night of joy and dancing with the Torah. Snacks and desserts provided. Thu. 6:45 p.m. Free. Vista Del Mar Gymnasium, 3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles. E-mail return@nashuva.com or visit nashuva.com for details.

VALLEY BETH SHALOM
The Conservative congregation holds a Tot Simchat Torah in the Sher-Lopaty Chapel and a Giant Torah Roll — with lots of dancing — for all ages in Malkin Hall. Thu. 6 p.m. (Tot Simchat Torah), 7 p.m. (Giant Torah Roll). Free. 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000. vbs.org.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: October 19-October 27


Pick of the Week: Thursday, October 27

“WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY”

Inspired by the best-selling book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the Skirball’s new exhibition of photography, graphics and visual art addresses how women have persevered in the face of sex trafficking, gender-based violence and maternal mortality in the developing world. Museum visitors can learn more about ways to advocate on behalf of victims. Thu. Through March 11. Noon-5 p.m. (Tuesday-Friday), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Saturday-Sunday). $10 (general), $7 (seniors and full-time students), $5 (children, 2 to 12), free (members and children, 2 and under; everyone on Thursdays). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.



WED | OCT 19

“AND IN THE END WAS COMMENTARY”
Jack Miles, author of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning book “God: A Biography,” and UC Davis professor David Biale, author of “Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought,” explore the distinction between Scripture and commentary. The discussion is part of the Getty’s “In the Beginning Was the Word: Medieval Gospel Illumination” exhibition, which runs through November. Wed. 7 p.m. Free (reservations recommended). Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7330. getty.edu.


SAT | OCT 22

“COMPLETENESS”
Romance blossoms between computer scientist Elliot (Jason Ritter) and molecular biologist Molly (Mandy Siegfried), but their new relationship proves as complex as algorithms and microbes in this comedic play by Itamar Moses (“Boardwalk Empire”) about love in the 21st century. Tonight’s show will be recorded by L.A. Theatre Works. Sat. 3 p.m., 8 p.m. Through Oct. 23. $49. The James Bridges Theatre, UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television, Melnitz Hall, 235 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles. Enter UCLA from Hilgard Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard, and park in Lot 3. (310) 827-0889. latw.org.


SUN | OCT 23

“ADAM BAUM AND THE JEW MOVIE”
It’s 1946, and Hollywood mogul Sam Baum, an assimilated Jew, hires non-Jewish screenwriter Garfield Hampson Jr. to pen a script about the American Jewish experience. As Baum lavishes affection on his son Adam, who is preparing for his bar mitzvah, the mogul berates Hampson over the screenplay: “You have betrayed me. You wrote it like a Jew.” Playwright Daniel Goldfarb’s off-Broadway satire is based on the true story of Sam Goldwyn hiring Ring Lardner Jr. in the hope of beating “Gentleman’s Agreement” to the silver screen. Sun. 2 p.m. $16 (general), $14 (members, students, seniors), $12 (senior members, student members). Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 938-2531. westsidejcc.org.

“CAPITOL STEPS: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF POLITICS”
The D.C.-based comedy troupe of former congressional staffers returns to American Jewish University with song parodies, skits and stand-up that satirize the politicians and culture of Capitol Hill. Sun. 4 p.m. $45. American Jewish University, Gindi Auditorium, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1246. ajula.edu.


TUE | OCT 25

“WTF LIVE WITH MARC MARON”
Critically acclaimed comedian Marc Maron kicks off a new live version of his hit podcast, “WTF,” at the Steve Allen Theater on the last Tuesday of each month. A top download on iTunes, the podcast features Maron’s insightful interviews with today’s top comedians. Standing-room-only ticket lineup at 6:30 p.m. Tue. 8 p.m. $10 (door). Steve Allen Theater at the Center for Inquiry West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (800) 595-4849. steveallentheater.com.


WED | OCT 26

BREAST CANCER EDUCATION FORUM
West Hollywood City Councilwoman Abbe Land moderates today’s panel with medical personnel from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USC and Tower Hematology Oncology, including Dr. C. Michele Burnison, a radiation oncologist; Dr. Catherine Dang, breast surgeon and associate director of the Wasserman Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Program; Dr. Ora Gordon, director of the GeneRISK Adult Genetics Program; Dr. Dung Nguyen, plastic and reconstructive surgeon; Dr. Dorothy Park, hematology oncology; and Dr. B.J. Rimel,  gynecologic oncologist. Wed. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Free. National Council of Jewish Women /LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-2930. ncjwla.org.

“TRIPLE ART OPENING”
A special reception with artists Michael Cohen, J.J. L’Heureux and Ilan Laks highlights tonight’s art show, hosted by the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel. Attendees can view three very different exhibitions at once, including “Ultra-Orthodox in Israel,” a photography exhibit by Cohen, showing candid moments in the lives of ultra-Orthodox Jews; “Faces From the Southern Ocean,” L’Heureux’s photographs of wildlife in the Southern Ocean, its islands and Antarctica; and “Galactic Infinity,” Laks’ attempt to capture the galaxies of the collective unconscious in large-scale paintings. Wed. 7-9 p.m. Free (RSVP required). Hillel at UCLA, 574 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 208-3081, ext. 108. ucla.hillel.org.

“MAKING THE BEST MEDICAL DECISIONS”
Harvard oncologist and New Yorker medical writer Dr. Jerome Groopman and physician Dr. Pamela Hartzband, the husband-and-wife team behind the recently released book “Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You” (Penguin Press), join Dr. David Feinberg, associate vice chancellor and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, for a discussion on how patients can make medical decisions — from the “right” doctor to the best treatment — that make sense for them. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $20. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 300 N. Clark Drive, Beverly Hills. writersblocpresents.com.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: September 27-October 6


Pick of the Week: Sunday, Oct. 2

WEST HOLLYWOOD BOOK FAIR

Amy Ephron (“Loose Diamonds”), Hope Edelman (“The Possibility of Everything”), Jackie Collins (“Goddess of Vengeance”) and Lisa See (“Shanghai Girls”) are among the 300 authors and artists appearing at the 10th annual West Hollywood Book Fair. The literary event will also attract celebrity guests, including Meredith Baxter, Dyan Cannon, Marg Helgenberger, Steve-O and Kevin Sorbo. Catch panels, live performances and readings, book signings, writer workshops and more than 125 exhibitors — including the National Council of Jewish Women/LA and the Levantine Cultural Center. Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. West Hollywood Library and West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 848-6515. westhollywoodbookfair.org.



TUE | SEPT 27

THE BANGLES
The all-female retro pop band — led by MOT vocalist-guitarist Susanna Hoffs — performs and signs copies of their long-awaited album, “Sweetheart of the Sun.” Best-known for hits like “Manic Monday,” “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame,” The Bangles celebrate their 30th anniversary with “Sweetheart,” their first album in nearly eight years. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes and Noble, The Grove at Farmers Market, 189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0270. barnesandnoble.com.

“GUNFIGHT: THE BATTLE OVER THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IN AMERICA”
Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean at the UC Irvine School of Law, joins UCLA School of Law professor Adam Winkler for tonight’s ALOUD discussion about how guns — rather than abortion, race or religion — have caused the American cultural divide. The two prominent law experts take their cues from Winkler’s recently released book, “Gunfight.” Tue. 7 p.m. Free; reservations required. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown. (213) 228-7025. lfla.org.


SAT | OCT 1

DOWN TO THE RIVER
Join East Side Jews, Silverlake Independent JCC and Reboot for this transformative High Holy Days celebration at the Los Angeles River. The evening features a picnic with wine, water and apples; a musical service with spoken essays, text study, meditation and contemplation; tashlich; Havdalah; and, finally, a brown bag dinner from Heirloom-LA. Ticket includes food, drinks, introspection and reflection. Sat. 5:30-9:30 p.m. $40 (per person). Marsh Park, 2960 Marsh St., Los Angeles. (323) 663-2255. eastsidejews.com.

“GOD OF ISAAC”
Playwright James Sherman’s comedy follows a second-generation American Jew who learns that a Nazi group plans to stage a demonstration in Skokie, Ill., and wonders what — if anything — he should do about it. The play is part of the West Coast Jewish Theatre’s 2011 season. Sat. Through Nov. 27. 8 p.m. $20-$35. Pico Playhouse, 10508 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 860-6620. wcjt.org.

“WAY TO HEAVEN”
It’s 1944, and the Nazis construct a fake Jewish village at the Theresienstadt concentration camp to fool Red Cross inspectors and quell extermination rumors. Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga adapts this true story for the stage, and Ron Sossi directs. Sat. 8 p.m. Through Dec. 18. 8 p.m. (Wednesday-Sunday), 2 p.m. (Sunday). $25-$30. The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 477-2055. odysseytheatre.com.

ART OF THE BRAIN

Art of the Brain, celebrating art and patients undefeated by brain cancer, will celebrate its 12th anniversary during tonight’s gala, featuring hundreds of friends, food, art works, music and a special theme this year – honoring the Art of Care Giving. Warm and casual attire. Sat. 6:30 p.m. $250. UCLA, Schoenberg Hall, Los Angeles. (310) 825-5074. artofthebrain.org.


SUN | OCT 2

Jewish Community Children’s Choir Vocal Placement
Children 8-12 are invited to audition for a new Schulweis Institute-sponsored community choir lead by Michelle Green Willner, an award-winning composer and conductor, and Noreen Green, founder and conductor of the L.A. Jewish Symphony and musical director at Valley Beth Shalom. Sun. 2 p.m. Milken Community High School, middle school campus beit midrash, 15800 Zeldins Way, Bel Air. $65 (10 classes, culminating in concert). {encode=”michelle.jccc@yahoo.com” title=”michelle.jccc@yahoo.com”}.

“THE SOUL OF SPAIN” — THE YUVAL RON ENSEMBLE
Oscar-winning composer Yuval Ron (“West Bank Story”) leads a group of Jewish, Arab and Christian musicians at the Broad Stage. Accompanied by Gypsy flamenco singer Jesus Montoya, flamenco dancer Briseyda Zarate and flamenco guitarist José Tanaka, they explore the Jewish and Gypsy traditions of Andalusia in the Middle Ages. Sun. 4 p.m. $47-$60. The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3200. thebroadstage.com.


TUE | OCT 4

“HITLER’S FIRST ANTI-SEMITIC WRITING”
The Museum of Tolerance puts on view the most significant document that the Simon Wiesenthal Center has acquired in its 34-year history: a four-page letter written by Adolf Hitler on Sept. 16, 1919, six years before the publication of “Mein Kampf.” In the letter, Hitler calls for “The uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether,” warns against an “emotional anti-Semitism which will always find its expression in the form of pogroms” and seeks a “legal … removal of the rights of the Jew,” demonstrating his long incubating hated of the Jewish people. The document will be on permanent display at the entrance to the museum’s Holocaust section. Tue. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $15 (adults), $12 (seniors, 65 and over), $11 (students and children, ages 5-18). Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-8403. museumoftolerance.com.


WED | OCT 5

NANCY SILVERTON AND EVAN KLEIMAN
Celebrity chef Silverton discusses her new book, “The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes From Los Angeles’s Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria,” with Kleiman, host of KCRW’s “Good Food.” A Q-and-A and book signing follow. Wed. 8 p.m. Free (advance reservations recommended). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: September 21-September 30


Pick of the week: Sunday, Sept. 25

ILAN RAMON DAY SCHOOL LAUNCH PARTY

Marking a new beginning for the Agoura Hills Jewish day school, tonight’s party celebrates Heschel West Day School’s re-naming for Israel’s first astronaut — Ilan Ramon Day School. The event features special guest appearances by astronaut Garrett Reisman; Team SpaceIL, a team of Israeli scientists competing for the Google Lunar X Prize; Consul General of Israel David Siegel and his wife, Myra Clark-Siegel; and producer Christopher Cowen; as well as a screening of Cowen’s “An Article of Hope,” a 2011 documentary about Ramon’s journey into space. Special appetizer reception with special guests for sponsors precedes the event, and a dessert reception for all guests follows. Sun. 5 p.m. $40 (individual tickets), $180+ (sponsorship packages). Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (800) 449-2787. ilanramondayschool.com.



WED | SEPT 21

IRIS BAHR
The American-born Israeli actress, best-known for her recurring role as Rachel Heinemann on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and as the Russian madam title character on HDNet’s “Svetlana,” discusses and signs her new bawdy memoir, “Machu My Picchu: Searching for Sex, Sanity, and a Soul Mate in South America,” the follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2007 book, “Dork Whore: My Travels Through Asia as a Twenty-Year-Old Pseudo-Virgin.” Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. www.booksoup.com.


FRI | SEPT 23

LEBOWSKI FEST
For the past 10 years, fans of the Coen brothers’ L.A. noir comedy, “The Big Lebowski,” have gathered in cities around the world to celebrate their devotion to characters like The Dude and Walter Sobchak (“I don’t roll on Shabbos!”). This weekend, the festival returns to Los Angeles with a film screening at The Wiltern and a bowling party at Cal Bowl. Special guests to be announced for both events. Fri. Through Sept. 24. Friday: 8 p.m. $18.50. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Saturday: 9 p.m. $25. Cal Bowl, 2500 E. Carson St., Lakewood. (502) 583-9290. lebowskifest.com.


SAT | SEPT 24

ALKAN BEAT BOX
This New York-based band — featuring Israeli natives Ori Kaplan (saxophone), Tamir Muskat (drummer) and MC Tomer Yosef — performs its unique Nu Med sounds at the Conga Room. 21 and over. Sat. 8 p.m. $25 (general admission), $35 (standing room), $45 (VIP). Conga Room at L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown. (213) 745-0162. congaroom.com.


SUN | SEPT 25

“NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME”
Playwright Wendy Graf (“Behind the Gates”) charts the struggles of Hanna Jokhoe, a lesbian Muslim coming of age in pre- and post-9/11 Queens. Born in Guyana, where the local Creole has no word for “lesbian,” Hanna is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother is killed in a fire. In New York, she’s mocked by other students for wearing a hijab. And when her arranged marriage ends in disaster, the teen bride must reconcile her religious and sexual identities. Anna Khaja (“Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto”) stars in this one-woman show at National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles’ Fairfax headquarters. A discussion with Graf and guest speakers follows the performance. Proceeds benefit the Esther Lewin Emergency Survival Fund. Sun. 1:30 p.m. $50. NCJW/LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-2930. ncjwla.org.

“FIVE JEWS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO INVITE FOR PASSOVER”
Join award-winning Jewish performers for an afternoon of hilariously dark and compelling stories, Klezmer and comedy. This literary vaudeville show features Dennis Danziger (“A Short History of a Tall Jew”), Forward contributor Daniel Jaffe (“With Signs and Wonders”), Amy Ferris (“Marrying George Clooney: Confessions From a Midlife Crisis”) and singer-songwriter/comedian Eric Schwartz. Memoirist Amy Friedman moderates the evening, and musical guest Extreme Klezmer Makeover performs. Jewish delicacies served. Sun. 2-4 p.m. Free. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown. (213) 488-0599. lastbookstorela.com.

GALEET DARDASHTI
Known for pairing Persian melodies and Hebrew texts with electronic soundscapes, Dardashti performs Monajat, an evening of Middle Eastern musical poetry sung before the Jewish New Year. The multimedia concert is part of the Grand Performances series and inaugurates the New Jewish Culture Network initiative, which brings Jewish art to the United States and beyond. Sun. 8 p.m. Free. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.


MON | SEPT 26

“THE NAME MY MOTHER GAVE ME”
In this 2008 feature-length documentary written and directed by Eli Tal-El, a group of young Ethiopian and Russian Israelis travel to Gondar, Ethiopia. There, the Ethiopians, who are grappling with identity issues, revisit their pasts and undergo personal transformations. Mon. 6-9 p.m. Free. UCLA Center for Israel Studies, Royce Hall 362, Los Angeles. (310) 825-9646. international.ucla.edu.


TUE | SEPT 27

THE BANGLES
The all-female retro pop band — led by MOT vocalist-guitarist Susanna Hoffs — performs and signs copies of their long-awaited album, “Sweetheart of the Sun.” Best-known for hits like “Manic Monday,” “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame,” The Bangles celebrate their 30th anniversary with “Sweetheart,” their first album in nearly eight years. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes and Noble, The Grove at Farmers Market, 189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0270. barnesandnoble.com.

“GUNFIGHT: THE BATTLE OVER THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IN AMERICA”
Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean at the UC Irvine School of Law, joins UCLA School of Law professor Adam Winkler for tonight’s ALOUD discussion about how guns — rather than abortion, race or religion — have caused the American cultural divide. The two prominent law experts take their cues from Winkler’s recently released book, “Gunfight.” Tue. 7 p.m. Free; reservations required. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown. (213) 228-7025. lfla.org.

Fall preview calendar


SAT SEPT 10

ANDI ARNOVITZ
George Billis Gallery hosts a reception for the Jerusalem-based artist’s latest exhibition. Arnovitz’s past work has combined etching, printmaking, fabric and more to create large-scale paper garments. Her pieces reflect tensions that exist within religion, gender studies and politics, including the plight of women whose husbands won’t grant them a divorce. Sat. Through Oct. 8. 5-9:30 p.m. (reception). Free. George Billis Gallery, 2716 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City. (310) 838-3685. georgebillis.com.
 


THU SEPT 15

JANET REITMAN
The Rolling Stone contributing editor discusses and signs “Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion,” a journalistic exploration of a controversial faith’s history, from pseudoscientific self-help group to worldwide spiritual corporation. Based on five years of research and unprecedented access to Scientology officials, Reitman offers an even-handed look at the development of this controversial religion, which attracts celebrities, attacks psychiatry and requires its followers to pay tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. booksoup.com.


SAT SEPT 17

“KVETCH”
Steven Berkoff’s dark comedy offers an absurdist look at our secret thoughts, exposing the anxieties, desires, fears and prejudices of a Jewish family. Presented by the SeaGlass Theatre. 18 and older. Sat. Through Oct. 16. 8 p.m. $25. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 745-5537. seaglasstheatre.org.


SUN., SEPT. 18

MATISYAHU
Expect melodic vocals, hip-hop-inspired beat-boxing and spiritually resonant lyrics from the Chasidic reggae star, who performs as part of the Hillel Charity Concert Series. Hebrew reggae artists Zadik shares the bill. Sun. 5 p.m. $18-$136, $250 (VIP). The Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. sabantheatre.org.


WED., SEPT. 21

CALVIN TRILLIN WITH KEVIN NEALON
Two political and social satirists share the stage tonight. Trillin, a contributor to The New Yorker, Time and The Nation, is renowned for his food writing, political poetry and comic novels. Trillin has selected the best of his humorous writing for his new book, “Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff,” which he discusses tonight with “Weeds” star Nealon, author of the 2008 book “Yes, You’re Pregnant, but What About Me?” Wed. 7:30 p.m. $20. Writers Guild Theatre, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. writersblocpresents.com.


THU., SEPT. 22

AMY EPHRON
The best-selling author and sibling of Nora Ephron discusses and signs copies of her memoir, “Loose Diamonds,” in which she humorously and candidly talks about her childhood, two marriages, parenting, friendships and other highlights from her life. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Diesel, A Bookstore — Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th St., Santa Monica. (310) 576-9960. dieselbookstore.com.


SAT., SEPT. 24

Sun. Sept. 24

Sun., Sept. 24

BALKAN BEAT BOX
This New York-based band — featuring Israeli natives Ori Kaplan (saxophone), Tamir Muska (drummer) and MC Tomer Yosef — performs its unique Nu Med sounds at the Conga Room. 21 and over. Sat. 8 p.m. $25 (general admission), $25 (standing room), $45 (VIP). Conga Room at L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown. (213) 745-0162. congaroom.com.


SUN., SEPT. 25

GALEET DARDASHTI
Known for pairing Persian melodies and Hebrew texts with electronic soundscapes, Dardashti performs Monajat, an evening of Middle Eastern musical poetry sung before the Jewish New Year, as part of the Grand Performances series. Sun. 8 p.m. Free. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.
 


SAT., OCT. 1

“THE GOD OF ISAAC”
Playwright James Sherman’s comedy follows a second-generation American Jew who learns that a Nazi group plans to stage a demonstration in Skokie, Ill., and wonders what — if anything — he should do about it. The play is part of the West Coast Jewish Theatre’s 2011 season. Sat. Through Nov. 27. 8 p.m. $20-$35. Pico Playhouse, 10508 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 860-6620. wcjt.org.


SUN., OCT. 2

“THE SOUL OF SPAIN” — THE YUVAL RON ENSEMBLE
Oscar-winning composer Yuval Ron (“West Bank Story”) leads a group of Jewish, Arab and Christian musicians at the Broad Stage. Accompanied by Gypsy flamenco singer Jesus Montoya, flamenco dancer Briseyda Zarate and flamenco guitarist José Tanaka, they explore the Jewish and Gypsy traditions of Andalusia in the Middle Ages. Sun. 4 p.m. $47-$60. The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3200. thebroadstage.com.
 


WED., OCT. 5

Wed. Oct. 5

NANCY SILVERTON AND EVAN KLEIMAN
Celebrity chef Silverton discusses her new book, “The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes From Los Angeles’s Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria,” with Kleiman, host of KCRW’s “Good Food.” A Q-and-A and book signing follow the discussion. Wed. 8 p.m. Free (advance reservations recommended). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.


THU., OCT. 13

INDIA.ARIE AND IDAN RAICHEL
Israel’s Raichel, a renowned world musician, joins Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Arie to perform songs from their new album, “Open Door.” Expect soulful vocals about social unity (in Hebrew and English), and a healthy fusion of pop, folk and r&b. Thu. 8 p.m. $30-$50. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 343-6600. luckmanarts.org.


SUN., OCT. 16

PHRANC
The self-described “all-American Jewish lesbian folk singer” pays musical tribute to the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles, a legendary former center for feminist art, with “This Is Your Life: The Woman’s Building.” During tonight’s show, Phranc, a Santa Monica native who started out in the ’70s and ’80s L.A. punk scene before turning to folk, reflects on her experiences at the feminist workshop. Sun. 4 p.m. $25 (general), $20 (members), $15 (full-time students). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.


WED., OCT. 19

Wed., Oct. 19

HOFESH SHECHTER COMPANY
Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter, alumnus of the Batsheva Dance Company, leads his acclaimed U.K. dance ensemble in a performance of “Political Mother,” a full-length piece that offers a surreal glimpse of oppressed societies. Wed. 8 p.m. $20-$60 (general), $15 (UCLA students). Royce Hall, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles. (310) 825-2101. uclalive.org.


SUN., OCT. 23

“CAPITOL STEPS: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF POLITICS”
The D.C.-based comedy troupe of former congressional staffers returns to American Jewish University with song parodies, skits and stand-up that satirize the politicians and culture of Capitol Hill. Sun. 4 p.m. $45. American Jewish University, Gindi Auditorium, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1246. ajula.edu.


MON., OCT. 24

“WANDERING EYES”
In this 2010 documentary directed by Ofir Trainin, manic depression prevents Gabriel Balahassan, an Israeli would-be rock star and former Orthodox Jew, from achieving his artistic ambitions. Following his release from a mental institution, Balachsan leaves his family behind and moves to Tel Aviv, where he struggles to complete his solo album as he wrestles with his illness. Mon. 6-9 p.m. Free. UCLA Center for Israel Studies, Royce Hall 362, Los Angeles. (310) 825-9646. international.ucla.edu.


THU., OCT. 27

“WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY”
Inspired by the best-selling book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the Skirball’s new exhibition of photography, graphics and visual art addresses how women have persevered in the face of sex trafficking, gender-based violence and maternal mortality in the developing world. Museum visitors can learn more about ways to advocate on behalf of victims. Thu. Through March 11. Noon-5 p.m. (Tuesday-Friday), 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. (Saturday-Sunday). $10 (general), $7 (seniors and full-time students), $5 (children, 2 to 12), free (members and children, 2 and under; everyone on Thursdays). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.


FRI., OCT. 28

MAX MAVEN
The popular mentalist and magician performs “Thinking in Person: An Evening of Knowing and Not Knowing,” which blends conventional magic and mind reading. Not suitable for children under 12. Fri. 8 p.m. $40-$60. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (800) 300-4345. cerritoscenter.com.


SUN., OCT. 30

Sun., Oct. 30

LISA LOEB
The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter — known for hit songs “Stay (I Miss You),” “I Do” and “How” — performs songs from her forthcoming kids’ book and accompanying album, “Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs.” Suitable for all ages. Sun. 2-3 p.m. Concert included with museum admission. $10 (general), $7 (seniors and full-time students), $5 (children, 2 to 12), free (members and children, 2 and under; everyone on Thursdays). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

MARVIN HAMLISCH
He has won every major entertainment award — Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony — as well as a Pulitzer Prize and two Golden Globes. Hamlisch, one of America’s finest composers of musicals (“A Chorus Line,” “The Goodbye Girl”) and films (“The Way We Were,” “The Sting,” “Sophie’s Choice”), conducts an afternoon performance, “From Broadway to Hollywood.” Sun. 3 p.m. $48-$68. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (800) 300-4345. cerritoscenter.com.


FRI., NOV. 11

Fri., Nov. 11

EVELYN GLENNIE AND MAYA BEISER
Kibbutz-raised Beiser, a cello virtuosa, performs tonight with Dame, a Scottish percussionist. The evening features individual sets by the artists and a joint performance of a short and not-yet-titled new work by Pulitzer-winning composer David Lang. Fri. 8 p.m. $20-$75 (general), $15 (UCLA students). Royce Hall, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles. (310) 825-4401. uclalive.org

 


WED., NOV. 23

BOBBY SLAYTON
The stand-up comedian, known as the “pitbull of comedy,” likes to say, “If you can’t laugh a yourself, make fun of other people,” which is why everybody’s fair game when he’s performing. Tonight, he brings the funny to Hermosa Beach. Warning: This show is not for the easily offended. Wed. 8 p.m. $22.50 The Comedy and Magic Club, 1018 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach. (310) 372-1193. comedyandmagicclub.com.

“THE MUPPETS”
Jason Segel (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) and Amy Adams (“The Fighter”) co-star in this new film, which follows Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of Jim Henson’s beloved characters as they struggle to save their old studio from a greedy tycoon. The star-studded supporting cast includes Mila Kunis, Zach Galifianakis, John Krasinski, Jack Black and many others. disney.go.com/muppets.

Events Calendar: September 2011


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

“STEEL MAGNOLIAS”
Based on a true story, this heartwarming (and tear-jerking) play follows six women who gather at Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, La., to gossip, tease, laugh, fight, cajole and comfort each other through life’s joys and challenges. Starring Bonnie Franklin, Clarinda Ross and Stephanie Zimbalist. Runs through Sept. 18. 8 p.m. $39-$59. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. (805) 667-2900. ” title=”mjcs.org”>mjcs.org.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

10TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11
Remember the victims of Sept. 11 and honor the troops through this program that will include patriotic music; keynote remarks by Lt. John McCole, a New York firefighter; tributes to the military, law enforcement and fire department; a flyover; and the sixth annual Simi Valley Freedom Walk (free shuttles will return participants to their cars). 4:30 p.m. (musical performances), 5 p.m. (program), 5:45 p.m. (freedom walk). Free (registration recommended). Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley. (805) 522-2977. ” title=”jgscv.org”>jgscv.org.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

TASTE OF MELTON: HIGH HOLIDAY PREP CLASSES
Get ready for the High Holy Days with this two-part Melton adult school class. Learn the “why to” rather than the “how to.” The first class (Sept. 13) focuses on Rosh Hashanah;  the second class (Sept. 20) looks at Yom Kippur. Sponsored by the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. 9:30-11 a.m. $10 (per class). Temple Aliyah, 6025 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 346-0811. ” title=”congregationbnaiemet.org”>congregationbnaiemet.org.

“100 VOICES, A JOURNEY HOME”
The compelling and moving 2010 musical documentary highlights the current resurgence of Jewish culture in Poland through the personal reflections and musical selections of a group of cantors and acclaimed composer Charles Fox (“Killing Me Softly,” “I Got a Name”), who made an important historical mission to the birthplace of cantorial music. After the film, stay for a panel discussion that includes the film’s producer. 7 p.m. Free. Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. (818) 758-3800. ” title=”venturaharborcomedyclub.com”>venturaharborcomedyclub.com.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

THOUSAND OAKS ARTS FESTIVAL
Check out more than 60 visual art exhibitors, interactive exhibits for children, live performances, refreshments and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and The Lakes, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. ” title=”jewishla.org”>jewishla.org.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE: REFLECTIONS 2011
The Los Angeles Jewish Home gala brings the community together for a special dinner honoring Eleanore and Harold Foonberg (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Barbara and Arnold Price (Humanitarian Award). Featuring entertainment by Frank Sinatra Jr. 5:30 p.m. (cocktails), 6:30 p.m. (dinner). Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (818) 774-3332. ” title=”simivalleydays.org”>simivalleydays.org.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

RANDEIS CONEJO MEMBERSHIP LUNCHEON AND BOUTIQUE
NBC 4’s Fritz Coleman entertains at Brandeis Conejo Valley Chapter’s annual membership luncheon and boutique. The organization raises funds for medical research for Brandeis University. 10 a.m. $70. North Ranch Country Club, 4761 Valley Spring Drive, Westlake Village. (805) 388-0579.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: August 17-August 26


WED | AUG 17

“DOOR OF HANDS”
The work of Brazilian visual artist Michel Groisman combines visual art, the human body and everyday materials like water, candles and playing cards. In his meditative movement piece, “Door of Hands,” Groisman uses only his hands to create kaleidoscopic forms, demonstrating the human body’s role in artistic expression.  Wed. 8 p.m. $12 (general), $10 (members), $6 (full-time students). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.


THU | AUG 18

CAMP JEWLICIOUS
A music festival atmosphere mixes with summer camp fun during the second annual overnight camp for young professionals, featuring live concerts, swimming, hiking, horseback riding and more. Visit jewliciousfestival.com for concert lineup details. Thu. Through Aug. 21. $99-$299. Brandeis Bardin Campus of American Jewish University, 1101 Peppertree Lane, Brandeis. (310) 277-5544.

MOSHE KASHER
Fast-talking, self-deprecating and occasionally dark, the up-and-coming comic often explores topics such as his sexuality, Bernie Madoff and why heaven sounds just as bad as hell. Thu. 8 p.m. $14. Improv Hollywood, 8162 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-2583. improv.com.


SAT | AUG 20

CAFÉ EUROPA: PORTRAITS IN BLACK AND WHITE

Photographer Barbara Mack looks deep into the faces and lives of Holocaust survivors who participate in the social and educational group Café Europa. Some subjects pose with cherished objects from their past — like John Gordon, holding in his hands a cut-glass goblet; and Sophie Hamburger, appearing with a garment she wore when she escaped a death march — adding to the personal narrative. A biographical statement, written by Jane Jelenko, accompanies each photograph. Sat. Through Sept 1. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sat.-Thu.), 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Fri.). Free. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, 100 S. The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704. lamoth.org.

PHRANC AND PETER CASE
The self-described “all-American Jewish lesbian folk singer” performs opposite Case, a Grammy-nominated folk singer-songwriter, as part of downtown’s Grand Performances series. Born Susan Gottlieb, Santa Monica native Phranc started out in the ’70s and ’80s L.A. punk scene before turning to folk, crafting songs that are as whimsical and political as they are emotional. Sat. 8 p.m. Free. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.

ISRAELI CHAMBER PROJECT
The Israel- and New York-based ensemble performs Beethoven’s “Trio,” Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim’s “Three Songs Without Words,” De Falla’s “Spanish Songs” and Brahms’ “Trio” during the closing concert at the first annual iCadenza Future of Music Festival. Sat. 8-9:30 p.m. $90. The Colburn School’s Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (310) 896-8527. aicf.org.


SUN | AUG 21

LEWIS BLACK
He yells so you don’t have to. Best-known for his curmudgeonly commentaries on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Black returns to SoCal with more social and political rants as part of his “In God We Rust” tour. Sun. 8 p.m. $57.50-$73. Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 449-2700. lewisblack.com.


TUE | AUG 23

YIDDISH, HEBREW AND BROADWAY MUSIC
Sinai Temple’s Yiddish Club welcomes Café Europa for an afternoon of music featuring Cantor Arianne Brown, Aryell Cohen and Cantor Joseph Gole. Tue. 2-3 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple’s Ziegler Hall, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3243. sinaitemple.org.


WED | AUG 24

“HEBREW SCHOOL HORROR”
Encino native Aysha Wax stars in this comedic one-woman show as a college grad who teaches Hebrew school and must deal with spoiled Jewish princes and princesses in the awkward throes of puberty. Wed. 10 p.m. $5. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood. (323) 908-8702. ucbtheatre.com.
 


THU | AUG 25

POOLSIDE BUSINESS MIXER
The Los Angeles Jewish Chamber of Commerce hosts a joint poolside mixer with the Malibu Chamber of Commerce at the Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica Hotel. Complimentary self-parking. Thu. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $25 (door), $20 (general, advance RSVP), $10 (members, advance RSVP). Sheraton Delfina, 530 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (866) 257-6117. lajewishchamber.com.

DANI AND EYTAN KOLLIN
The Prometheus Award-winning sci-fi author siblings — sons of Rabbi Gilbert Kollin, rabbi emeritus of Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center — sign their latest novel, “The Unincorporated Woman,” the third book in their “Unincorporated” series, which is set in a future society where people ostensibly live forever and buy shares in each other. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes & Noble, The Grove at Farmers Market, 189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0270. barnesandnoble.com.

AN EVENING WITH MIRI BEN-ARI
The Grammy-winning Israeli violinist’s style blends classical with hip-hop, winning over fans like Jay-Z and Michelle Obama. Presented by the American Friends of the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled, the 32-year-old musician performs tonight at Stephen S. Wise Temple. Thu. 8 p.m. $45 (general admission), $60 (reserved seating), $70 (VIP). Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (773) 875-2425. afiscd.org.


FRI | AUG 26

KIRA SOLTANOVICH
A series regular on the syndicated hidden-camera show “Girls Behaving Badly,” stand-up comedian Soltanovich was born in the former Soviet Union and raised by immigrant parents in San Francisco. “Like most kids, my parents took me to Disneyland — not for the rides, for the lines. They assumed there’d be food at the end of them.” Fri. 10 p.m. $17. Flappers Comedy Club, 102 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. (818) 845-9721. comedycasting.com.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: August 3-August 12


WED | AUG 3

“DEFENDING ISRAEL: IMPEACHING THE LIES”
Citing an increase in delegitimization campaigns against the Jewish state, L.A. civil trial attorney Baruch C. Cohen argues that defending Israel is more important than ever. Tonight’s lecture is presented by CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) and Beth Jacob Congregation. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Beth Jacob Congregation, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 855-9606. camera.org/events.

FOOL’S GOLD
The L.A. Afro-pop band opens for Swedish pop star Lykke Li and indie rockers Best Coast. Led by Israeli-born musicians Luke Top (bass, vocals) and Lewis Pesacov (guitar), Fool’s Gold performs new material from its upcoming album, “Leave No Trace,” the follow-up to the band’s self-titled debut. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $27.50-$35. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 665-5857. greektheatrela.com.

MATISYAHU
Expect melodic vocals, hip-hop-inspired beat-boxing and spiritually resonant lyrics from the Chasidic reggae star, best known for the hit songs “King Without a Crown” and “One Day.” San Francisco’s bluesy jam-band Tea Leaf Green opens. Wed. 8 p.m. $25-$30. Club Nokia at L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 765-7000 or (800) 745-3000. clubnokia.com.


THU | AUG 4

YEMEN BLUES
Blending traditional Jewish Yemenite melodies with blues, funk and jazz, the music by this nine-piece ensemble reflects singer Ravid Kahalani’s journey from West African roots to Western influences. Yemen Blues performs tonight as part of the Skirball’s free Summer Sunset concert series. Also, roam around and enjoy the “Houdini: Art and Magic” and “Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age” exhibitions, open until 10 p.m. Thu. 8 p.m. Free (parking not included). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

“APPALACHIAN SPRING”
The Los Angeles Philharmonic and clarinetists Kari Kriikku and Paul Meyer perform Aaron Copland’s orchestral suite and his “Clarinet Concerto” as well as renditions of Carl Nielsen’s “Maskarade Overture” and Magnus Lindberg’s “Clarinet Concerto.” Thu. 8 p.m. $1-$130. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. (323) 850-2000. hollywoodbowl.com.


 

FRI | AUG 5

MIDSUMMER NIGHT SHABBAT

Music, spirituality and nature come together for this Big Jewish Tent event, a joint project of Craig ’n Co. and the Shalom Institute, at TreePeople. Chart-topping Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel, who blends Middle Eastern and Ethiopian music with electronics and traditional Hebrew texts, joins an interfaith lineup of musicians, including Kenneth Crouch, Stuart K. Robinson, Lisbeth Scott, Duvid Swirsky and Craig Taubman. The evening kicks off with a bird walk hosted by Wild Wings and continues with dinner and drink, a Shabbat celebration and a moonlight hike. Fri. 7 p.m. (dinner), 8:30 p.m. (program). $15 (TreePeople members), $20 (general). TreePeople, South Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre, Coldwater Canyon Park, 12601 Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills. (818) 623-4877. bigjewishtent.com.

“SARAH’S KEY”
Kristen Scott Thomas has garnered critical praise for her role as an expatriate American journalist in Paris who finds her life entwined with that of a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup in 1942. The film, adapted from the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay, opens today at the Laemmle Monica 4-Plex and Fallbrook 7. Fri. Various times. $11 (general), $8 (children, 12 and under; seniors, 62 and over). Laemmle Monica 4-plex, 1332 Second St., Santa Monica. (310) 478-3836. Laemmle Fallbrook 7, 6731 Fallbrook Ave., West Hills. (818) 340-8710. Also playing at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 844-6500. laemmle.com.


SAT | AUG 6

“HAIRSPRAY”

Marissa Jaret Winokur and Harvey Fierstein reprise their Tony-winning Broadway roles as Tracy and Edna Turnblad in this 1960s-set musical about a plump teen with big hair and her quest to dance on (and integrate) “The Corny Collins Show.” Running for two nights at the Hollywood Bowl, its ensemble cast includes Susan Anton, Drew Carey, Nick Jonas, Michael McDonald and John Stamos. Sat. Through Aug. 7. 8:30 p.m. (Sun. performance, 7:30 p.m.). $12-$163. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. (323) 850-2000. hollywoodbowl.com.


 

 

MON | AUG 8

TISHA B’AV
Beth Chayim Chadashim, IKAR and Shtibl Minyan come together for a somber evening of prayer, learning and music. BCC scholar-in-residence Rachel Adler speaks on “Pour Out Your Heart Like Water: The Necessity of Lament.” Enjoy simple foods — hard-boiled eggs, bread, tea — before the fast. Free. 6:30-7:30 p.m. (food before the fast). 7:30 p.m. (gathering). 6090 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 931-7023. bcc-la.org.


TUE | AUG 9

TISHA B’AV
Congregations Temple Beth Am, IKAR and B’nai David-Judea commemorate the destructions of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem. After Minha, Rabbis Aaron Kligfeld (Beth Am), Sharon Brous (IKAR) and Yosef Kanefsky (B’nai David-Judea) lead a session of study and singing. After Ma’ariv, the evening concludes with dinner. Tue. 6:15 p.m. (Minha), 7 p.m. (study and singing), 8:15 p.m. (Ma’ariv). Free (services and group study). $10 (per person for dinner, RSVP required). Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353. tbala.org.


THU | AUG 11

BREED STREET SHUL SITE VISIT
The historic Boyle Heights synagogue, a landmark 18,000-square-foot Byzantine structure, is being redeveloped by the Breed Street Shul Project into a neighborhood community center for educational, arts and cultural programs. Come visit the shul today with The Jewish Federation’s Real Estate and Construction Division, which has contributed to its restoration. Lunch will be provided. Thu. Noon-3 p.m. Free. Breed Street Shul, 247 N. Breed St., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8302. jewishla.org.

NURIYA
The Mexico City vocalist draws on her Jewish Iraqi and Syrian roots as she combines Spanish vocals with rumba flamenco, Afro-Cuban drumming, Arabic melodies, Gypsy brass and Middle Eastern and Caribbean rhythms. Expect music from her new album, “Tanita,” which features lyrics in Spanish, English, Hebrew and Arabic. Limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Thu. 8 p.m. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

LOVE FEST
Celebrate Tu B’Av — the Jewish holiday of love — with live music, mixed drinks and good company during tonight’s party, organized by young professionals organization JConnectLA. Ages 18 and over. Singles and couples welcome. Thu. 8-11 p.m. $10 (advance), $15 (door), $50 (VIP booth). Bungalow Club, 7174 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 277-5544. jconnectla.com.

FIREHORSE
Singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Leah Siegel’s latest project, a four-piece art-rock band, performs music from the group’s debut album, “And So They Ran Faster…,” at Hotel Café. Ages 21 and over. Thu. 9 p.m. Hotel Café, 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 461-2040. hotelcafe.com.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: June 19-June 29, 2011


WED | JULY 20

L.A. GALAXY JEWISH COMMUNITY NIGHT
Cantor Yonah Kliger of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills sings the national anthem as the L.A. Galaxy faces off against the Columbus Crew. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $36. The Home Depot Center, 18400 S. Avalon Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 288-3737. tebh.org.

YOUNG ADULT SUMMER SOIREE
Young professionals (ages 25 to 45) mingle, network and enjoy kitschy fun, including a photo booth, a handwriting analyst and a caricature artist at tonight’s swanky poolside bash at the W Hotel. Organized by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Young Leadership Division. Wed. 7-10:30 p.m. $20 (advance), $25 (door). W Hotel, 930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8324. jewishla.org.


THU | JULY 21

‘MATE’
Genius, recluse, champion, outcast — the true story of chess phenomenon Bobby Fischer comes to the stage. The Actors’ Gang production examines Fischer’s often self-destructive obsession with the game and his complicated relationships with women, including his mother. Charting his rise as the world’s foremost chess player, “Mate” follows Fisher through his downfall as he becomes increasingly paranoid and isolated from society. Written by Lolly Ward and directed by Eric Tucker, the play offers a unique portrait of a man who was once the public face of American dominance during the Cold War. Thu. Through Aug. 6. 8 p.m. $10 (advance), pay-what-you-can (door). The Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 838-4264. theactorsgang.com.

TRAVELING PICKLE FACTORY
Learn the history of the American kosher dill, how to make one and what makes a pickle kosher. Rabbi Shmuel Marcus of Chabad of Cypress leads the interactive workshop, part of Grand Performances, an outdoor summer entertainment series in Los Angeles held at downtown’s California Plaza. RSVP for do-it-yourself pickle kit to pickle@grandperformances.org (only 150 kits available, limit two kits per e-mail address). Thu. 8 p.m. Free. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.


FRI | JULY 22

JEWLYWEDS
Tonight’s program, “Holy Marriage — Wholly Meaningful,” includes Shabbat dinner with Rabbi Adam Kligfeld, singing, dancing and a discussion on how Jewish teachings can create successful marriages. For newly married couples (five years or less) and engaged couples only. Fri. 6:30 p.m. (services). 7:45 p.m. (program). $36 (per couple). Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353. tbala.org.


SAT | JULY 23

THE KLEZMATICS
Catch a Skirball screening of director Erik Greenberg Anjou’s feature-length documentary, “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground,” which offers a candid, on- and off-stage look at the Grammy-winning Yiddish-roots band, delving into the members’ private lives and creative process. After the doc, drive to Thousand Oaks to catch the band live at the Open Borders music and arts festival. “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground”: Sat. 2-4 p.m. Free (no reservations). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org. Concert: Sat. 6 p.m. $20-$35. Open Borders, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 497-1018. openborders2011.com.


SUN | JULY 24

CREATING AN EVENT TO REMEMBER
Planning a bar or bat mitzvah, wedding, naming ceremony or some other simcha? Event professionals discuss what to expect during the planning stages and offer advice on décor and floral design, catering, music and entertainment, working within your budget and integrating spiritual traditions with modern celebrations. A Q-and-A follows. Light refreshments served. Sun. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free (advance reservations recommended). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.

LORIN SKLAMBERG
Can’t get enough of The Klezmatics? Sklamberg, the group’s lead singer, performs historic and contemporary Yiddish folk, theater songs, Chasidic spirituals and tunes from The Klezmatics’ 2006 album, “Wonder Wheel,” which features lyrics by Woody Guthrie. Sun. 7:30 p.m. $18. Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena. (626) 798-6236. coffeegallery.com.


Nick Kroll

TUE | JULY 26

NICK KROLL & FRIENDS
You might know him as the incorrigible Rodney Ruxin, a Jewish product-liability attorney, on “The League,” Stu from HBO’s “The Life and Times of Tim,” or El Chupacabra, Reno’s only Latin radio show DJ, on “Reno 911.” Kroll, co-author of “Bar Mitzvah Disco,” performs and hosts an evening of stand-up. Comedian Aziz Ansari and another special guest are slated to appear. Tue. 9 p.m. $25. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 855-0350. largo-la.com.


WED | JULY 27

WEDNESDAY NIGHT PAJAMA-RAMA
Kids and toddlers get to party with their PJs on at the Zimmer Children’s Museum during this monthly summer-only event, featuring Krazy Kid Karaoke and Rock-a-bye Storytime. Wed. 5-7:30 p.m. $8 (adults), $5 (children 2-17), free (children under 2). Zimmer Children’s Museum, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 101, Los Angeles. (323) 761-8989. zimmermuseum.org.


THU | JULY 28

Film: “LIVE FROM JERUSALEM”
Zubin Mehta conducts the Israel Philharmonic with soprano Renée Fleming and tenor Joseph Calleja in this one-night-only performance. Filled with majestic arias and duets, the concert honors the legacy of American tenor Richard Tucker and will screen at more than 400 theaters nationwide. The American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Associates (ages 21-45) hosts Margaritas and Music, a special reception with drinks and appetizers at Pink Taco prior to the live delayed HD broadcast at the Century City AMC. Thu. 5:30 p.m. (pre-concert refreshments at Pink Taco), 7 p.m. (film). $35 (includes Pink Taco reception and AMC admission). Westfield Century City Mall (level 2), 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles). (212) 697-2949. afipo.eventbrite.com.

“CHOICE: AN INTERFAITH PERSPECTIVE”
The National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles hosts a community panel discussion and workshop on women’s choice and how it pertains to various faiths. Learn how to lobby on choice, how to get your letter to the editor published and how to meet with your legislators. Light refreshments served. Thu. 9 a.m.-noon. Free. NCJW/LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 852-8503. ncjwla.org.


FRI | JULY 29

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN
Feinstein, one of the foremost interpreters of American standards, joins the Singing Stars of Television — Wayne Brady, Florence Henderson, Cheyenne Jackson and Dick Van Dyke — and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to perform songs from the Great American Songbook. Second show Sat., July 30. Fri. 8:30 p.m. $11-$158. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. (323) 850-2000. hollywoodbowl.com.

LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST
The Anti-Defamation League Latino-Jewish Roundtable and Valley Beth Shalom host state Sens. Alex Padilla and Kevin de León as well as Assemblymen Bob Blumenfield, Mike Feuer and Felipe Fuentes for a discussion on “The State of Higher Education in California.” Kosher dietary laws observed. Fri. 8 a.m. Free (advance registration required). Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. RSVP to (310) 446-4241. vbs.org.

Calendar picks and clicks: Jan. 5–Jan. 14, 2011


THU | JAN 6

(CURRENT EVENTS)
Reza Aslan, the Iranian American author of “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam” and editor of the recently released anthology “Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes From the Modern Middle East,” lectures on “Iran, Israel and The U.S.: Conflict or Cooperation?” Afterward, he discusses the topic with Sinai Temple’s Rabbi David Wolpe and signs copies of his books. Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. (310) 474-1518. sinaitemple.org.


FRI | JAN 7

(RELATIONSHIPS)
Learn the characteristics of a healthy relationship as therapist Karen Kass leads a discussion during Marriage, Myths & Martinis.  Shabbat chicken dinner is included, a vegetarian option available. Fri. 6:30 p.m. (Shabbat service), 7:30 p.m. (dinner). $36 (per couple). Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-2384. tbala.org.


SAT | JAN 8

(MUSIC)
Kol Echad, Milken high school’s a cappella group, performs a benefit concert to raise funds for the Israeli orphans of Yemin Orde Youth Village, who lost their homes in the recent Carmel Fire. Sat. 7:30 p.m. $10-$36 (VIP packages also available). Robert Margolis Theatre, Milken Community High School, 15800 Zeldins Way, Los Angeles. (310) 440-3500. milkenschool.org/onevoice.


SUN | JAN 9

(SYMPOSIUM)
Celebrate the life and work of Avraham Sutzkever, a Yiddish poet who helped form the avant-garde literary group known as Yung Vilne (Young Vilnius) in the 1930s. Sutzkever’s works chronicled his childhood in Siberia, his life in the Vilna Ghetto during World War II and his escape to join Jewish partisans. “Celebrating Sutzkever” features a keynote and discussion with Harvard’s Sutzkeva scholar Ruth Wisse, a family concert with youth choirs from Valley Beth Shalom and New Community Jewish High School as well as an evening concert that includes chamber music and art songs by Lithuanian composer Anatolijus Senderovas and Israeli German composer Gilead Mishory. A newly commissioned work for soprano and chamber ensemble by David Lefkowitz, UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music composition chair, will premiere at the event. Sun. 2:30 p.m. Free. (Dinner available for $10). American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1279. ajula.edu.

(GENEALOGY)
Got a grifter grandparent in your family tree? Ron Aron, author of “The Jews of Sing Sing” and the new book “Wanted: U.S. Criminal Records Sources & Research Methodology,” shows you how to track down your jailbird relatives, access their records and put their mug shots up on your Facebook page during “Wrongful (W)rascals of the West: Researching Jewish Criminals and Black Sheep Relatives.” Sun. 1:30 p.m. Free (Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles members), $5 (guests). University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. jgsla.org.


MON | JAN 10

(EDUCATION)
“Outside the Classroom,” the 31st annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute, focuses on the child-directed Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education and ways to help children connect with nature. Topics include “Jewish Connections to Nature and the Outdoor Classroom,” “Everything You Do Indoors Can Be Done Outdoors” and “Using Great Literature to Connect Children to Their Feelings.” The director and teachers from the host school, Adat Ari El, which is Reggio inspired and features an outdoor classroom, will be available to discuss adapting the approach for other early childhood centers. Mon. 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $100. Adat Ari El, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village. (323) 761-8635. bjela.org.


WED | JAN 12

(ISRAEL)
ALOUD at Central Library’s Interfaith Series features “I Shall Not Hate” author Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Gazan fertility specialist who lost three of his daughters during Operation Cast Lead in 2009, appears in conversation with Washington Post journalist Laura Blumenfeld, author of “Revenge: A Story of a Hope.” In her memoir, Blumenfeld recounts her search for the Palestinian man who shot her father while he was visiting Israel. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles. (213) 228-7025. lfla.org.


THU | JAN 13

(POLITICS)
The National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles (NCJW/LA) hosts a discussion with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who will offer “An Inside Report … What’s Happening on the Hill.” Thu. 1-2:30 p.m. Free. NCJW/LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 852-8503. ncjwla.org.

(MUSIC)
Tufts University’s co-ed Jewish a cappella group Shir Appeal, which sings Jewish folks songs, Israeli rock, liturgical music and American songs with Jewish themes, performs at Temple Akiba. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $20. Temple Akiba, 5249 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City. (310) 398-5873. templeakiba.net.


FRI | JAN 14

(SHABBAT)
Rabbis, reverends and artists lead a musical Unity Shabbat service at Sinai Temple in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Special guests include the Rev. Mark Whitlock of the COR AME Church, the Rev. Jeffrey R. Thomas of Skid Row’s Central City Community Church, and journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, who leads a discussion on “Faith and Future in the Middle East.” Following the service, attendees can participate in a peanut butter-and-jelly assembly line to make sandwiches that will be given out to the homeless. And ATID hosts the ATID LOUNGE for 20- and 30-somethings. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-1518. sinaitemple.org.

Calendar Picks and Clicks: Dec. 16-24, 2010


THU | DEC 16

(COMEDY)
Iranian American comedians Maz Jobrani and Michael perform during “An Evening of Fun and Laughter” at Nessah Synagogue. Proceeds benefit the synagogue’s preschool and teen club. Beer, wine and refreshments served. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $95 (VIP), $65 (regular), $35 (students). Nessah Synagogue, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-2400. nessah.org.


FRI | DEC 17

(FILM)
A university secretary is drawn into espionage and a love triangle when her Polish Security Service fiancé pressures her to become the lover of a well-known Jewish professor with suspected anti-communist ties in “Little Rose.” Set against the backdrop of an anti-Semitic campaign launched by Polish communists in 1967, co-writer and director Jan Kidawa-Blonski shows how a totalitarian regime can crush the human spirit in one’s own home just as surely as on the streets. Fri. Various times. $11 (general), $8 (seniors). Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.


SAT | DEC 18

(ART)
Shelley Adler, a former Jewish Journal production designer; producer Eve Brandstein; and mixed-media artist Michael Knight take part in an artists’ talk at The Artists’ Gallery in Santa Monica. After sharing their insights, you can peruse the artists’ exhibitions. Adler’s “New Work” transforms old snapshots into paintings, Brandstein’s “Word Forms” places poetic text around paintings of the human face and body, and Knight’s “Border Crossings” mixes hand drawings and monoprints to create “digiglyphs,” a term he coined. Sat. 3 p.m. Free. TAG Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., D-3, Santa Monica. (310) 829-9556. taggallery.net.


SUN | DEC 19

(SPORTS)
Jeanie Buss — Lakers executive vice president, daughter of team owner Jerry Buss and longtime girlfriend of coach Phil Jackson — discusses and signs copies of her recently released memoir, “Laker Girl,” for Shomrei Torah Synagogue’s Men’s Club. New York Times best-selling co-author Steve Springer, a former Los Angeles Times sportswriter and Shomrei Torah congregant, will appear with Buss. Sun. 9:45-11:45 a.m. Free. Shomrei Torah Synagogue, 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills. (818) 348-5821. shomreitorahsynagogue.org.

(HISTORY)
The Jewish veterans featured in the documentary “About Face: The Story of the Jewish Refugee Soldiers of World War II” escaped Nazi Germany for the United States and Great Britain only to return to their former home to fight fascism in the European theater. Join filmmaker Steven Karras and executive producer Michael Berenbaum, director of American Jewish University’s Sigi Ziering Institute, for a screening of the film and a discussion about Karras’ book, “The Enemy I Knew: German Jews in the Allied Military in World War II.” Sun. 4 p.m. $10. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1548. ajula.edu.


MON | DEC 20

(HISTORY)
Learn about the Shanghai Ghetto through the documents and photographs from one family who fled Austria for China during World War II. Charles Millett, who grew up in the Shanghai Ghetto, leads an in-depth exploration of his family’s collection. Mon. Noon-1 p.m. Free. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, 100 S. The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704. lamoth.org.

(COMEDY)
Comedian Sarah Silverman, author of the best-selling memoir “The Bedwetter,” hosts an evening of stand-up comedy with Dax Shepard, Chelsea Paretti, Jeffrey Ross and a special musical guest. Mon. 9 p.m. $25. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 855-0350. largo-la.com.


THU | DEC 23

(RELIGION)
“One of the biggest challenges facing a parent and a grandparent today is the uncertainty whether our children will continue to follow in the ways of Judaism, in the Derech Hashem,” said Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Orthodox Union’s West Coast director. The 20th annual Orthodox Union West Coast Torah Convention, “Keeping Our Values for the Next Generation,” features a variety of distinguished speakers addressing values — as they relate to daily life in schools, homes, shuls and the community — at numerous local synagogues during the four-day regional event. On Thursday, a plenary discussion at Beth Jacob Congregation focuses on “Keeping Our Kids and Grandkids on the Derech.” OU President Stephen J. Savitsky speaks Friday night as part of a panel, “Defining Our Values – The Effect of Polarization in the Jewish Community,” at Congregation Mogen David. On Sunday, a closing session at Young Israel of Century City features Savitsky with Rabbi Shaul Robinson and Journal senior writer Julie Gruenbaum Fax addressing “The Future of Orthodoxy.”  Thu. Through Dec. 26. Various times and locations. (310) 229-9000, ext. 200. ouwestcoast.org.

(SINGLES)
Party like a rock star with more than 1,200 young Jewish professionals during The Ball 2010 at The Colony, which raises money for The Guardians. Thu. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $30 (advance), $40 (door). The Colony, 1743 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. losangeles.letmypeoplego.com.


FRI | DEC 24

(SINGLES)
Make a love connection amid the old Tinseltown glamour of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as JDate and Stu and Lew Productions brings you the 17th annual Schmooz-a-Palooza. The Erev Christmas event also features an earlier three-course kosher-style Shabbat dinner at the hotel’s Public Kitchen and Bar (separate admission). Fri. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $30 (general), $100 (VIP), $125 (VIP with table/bottle service). Dinner: 6:30 p.m. $45. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. jdate.com/schmooza.

MLK Observances; Beethoven @ LACMA; Alpha Dog Rising


Saturday the 13th

Craig Taubman’s regular “One Shabbat Morning” service gets a special theme for this one Shabbat. Dedicated to families who have children with special needs, this morning’s affair will begin with guest speaker and educator Dr. David Ackerman discussing his experiences with the special-needs community, followed by a service of song and celebration and Kiddush lunch.

9:15 a.m. Adat Ari El, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village. (818) 766-9426. ‘ target=’_blank’>kmozart.com.

6 p.m. Free. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-6000. ‘ target=’_blank’>www.museumoftolerance.com.

Tuesday the 16th

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In a colorful, patchwork-reminiscent style, painter Bonnie Stone touches on themes of women’s roles and family life, as well as Judaic subjects. Tobey C. Moss Gallery presents some of her recent watercolors, in “Bonnie Stone: A Woman’s Touch,” featuring works like “Game of Chance” and Voyager,” which pay homage to both Marc Chagall and Stone’s Jewish heritage.

Opening reception Jan. 13, 2-5 p.m. Jan. 13-March 10. 7321 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 933-5523. ‘ target=’_blank’>www.alphadogmovie.com.

Friday the 19th

End the week on a spiritual note with one more event honoring the message of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This evening, Rabbi Stewart Vogel and the Temple Aliyah choirs collaborate with Grammy-winning gospel artist and pastor Andrae Crouch and the choir of his New Christ Memorial Church. The result will be a Gospel Shabbat, weaving ancient liturgy with gospel music for an inspirational interfaith service.

8:15 p.m. Temple Aliyah, 6025 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 346-3545.

Tisha B’Av Dilemma: Day of Solemnity or Celebration?


Traditional Jews mark Tisha B’Av by fasting, reading from the Book of Lamentations and observing rituals of mourning.

Not all congregations observe the solemn day, however. Tisha B’Av at The Valley Temple, a Reform synagogue in Cincinnati, took on a less somber demeanor last year. Temple Sisterhood members spent the holiday busily hosting their annual rummage sale, sorting through piles of household goods, toys and clothing and hawking them to prospective buyers.

In all fairness, the scheduling of the rummage sale on Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, which falls this year at sundown on Aug. 2, was not deliberate. But the fact that Sisterhood members were not aware of the holiday, according to one spokesperson who asked not to be identified, reveals that Tisha B’Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar for Jews, is also a nonevent in some, usually Reform, congregations.

It also reveals how the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred in both 586 B.C.E. and 70 C.E. and which Tisha B’Av commemorates, resonates differently among various denominations.

“There’s a challenge for Reform Jews around the observance of Tisha B’Av, and communities make all kinds of choices,” said Rabbi Sue Ann Wasserman, the Union for Reform Judaism’s director of worship, music and religious living.

The Valley Temple was not the only Reform synagogue last year to host a rummage sale or new member brunch on Tisha B’Av. This is not surprising considering that references to the Temple’s rebuilding have been moved from the Reform movement’s liturgy. Granted, Reform Judaism does not deny the existence of the Temple or its historical role.

“But the difference theologically is that we’re not looking for restoration of the Temple and Temple sacrifices,” Wasserman said.

Some Reform Jews, as did 19th century Rabbi David Einhorn, actually see the holiday as celebratory, crediting the destruction of the Temple and the subsequent exile of the Jews with enabling the Jewish people to survive and become “a light unto the nations,” as prophesied in the Book of Isaiah (42:6 and 49:6).

Tisha B’Av is observed in most Conservative synagogues, according to Rabbi Ed Feinstein, spiritual leader of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino.

“The question for Jews like us is what does it mean to celebrate Tisha B’Av at a time when Israel is ours and Jerusalem is ours,” he said.

His congregation, in fact, tackled this question at a Tisha B’Av discussion several years ago, where, drawing on the Shavuot model of study, they spent two hours learning and debating. Afterward, they read the Book of Eicha, as Lamentations is called in Hebrew, and prayed.

Valley Beth Shalom traditionally partners with Adat Ari El in neighboring Valley Village for Tisha B’Av services. While both Conservative and only 10 minutes apart, the synagogues embody very different cultures, reflected in opposite approaches to the fast’s observance. Valley Beth Shalom engages in discussions; Adat Ari El, which is hosting this year’s service, favors a more emotional approach. This year, the service, in addition to reading the Book of Lamentations, will consist of some modern dramatic readings and the lighting of six candles, to commemorate the Holocaust and other tragedies that occurred on the ninth of Av, according to Rabbi Moshe Rothblum.

There doesn’t seem to be a basic theology or ideology concerning the role of the ancient Temple in Conservative Judaism, according to Feinstein. He believes that the age of animal sacrifices, appropriate at one time, has been superseded by an age of prayer, relegating the Temple to a symbol.

“When I read the prayers asking for the rebuilding of the Temple, I interpret that to mean the unification and redemption of the Jewish people,” he said.
At Reconstructionist Temple Beth Or in Miami, Rabbi Rebecca Lillian observes the eve of Tisha B’Av with her 125-family congregation. Usually the program includes a reading of excerpts from Eicha, followed by a contemporary take on Tisha B’Av, such as a discussion of Milton Steinberg’s “As a Driven Leaf,” a novel that unfolds during the time of the Temple’s destruction.

This year, Lillian is taking a slightly different approach. Tisha B’Av eve will include readings from Eicha, as usual. The following evening, congregants will focus on Darfur and modern genocides, a project of the temple’s social action committee.

“The destruction of the Temple was in many ways a genocide, killing Jews and kicking them out,” she said.

References to rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem have been removed from Reconstructionist liturgy. But because the movement is decentralized, individual synagogues have ample leeway in terms of how they celebrate various holidays, Lillian said.

There’s no ambivalence in the Orthodox world, however, concerning the role of the Temple.

“We pray [for its rebuilding] three times a day,” said Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, which represents the ultra-Orthodox community.

Orthodox congregations across the spectrum continue to commemorate Tisha B’Av in traditional ways, such as observing a 25-hour fast from sundown to the next night, not wearing leather shoes, sitting on low stools or on the floor during the evening service and reciting Eicha and other elegies.

It is a day of absolute mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem’s two Temples. For many Orthodox Jews, and increasingly across the denominational spectrum, the day also encompasses other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people on the ninth of Av, including the fall of Betar, the last stronghold of the Bar-Kochba Revolt, in 135 C.E., the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492, and the beginning of the Jews’ deportation from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka in 1942.

Additionally, many in the ultra-Orthodox community memorialize the Holocaust on Tisha B’Av rather than on Yom HaShoah, the traditional day of commemoration for most Modern Orthodox and other denominational congregations. This is due, in part, to a reluctance to add new holidays or days of mourning to the calendar. More importantly, according to Shafran, “The illustrious rabbinical leaders of a quarter-century ago felt that nothing short of Tisha B’Av could suffice for a tragedy as great as the Holocaust.”

But in the ultra-Orthodox, as well as Modern Orthodox, communities over the past few years, on the afternoon of Tisha B’Av, a revolution of sorts has been taking place in many of the nation’s largest cities. Instead of what Shafran describes as “sleeping or sitting around and suffering,” groups of Jews are gathering by the thousands in large halls to hear dynamic speakers expound on relevant topics such as senseless hatred or hurtful speech.

“It’s become a mass movement of Jews from one hall to another, and it’s become a very dynamic day,” Shafran said.

7 Days in The Arts


Saturday, March 25

Hollywood Fight Club’s current production “A Lively … and Deathly Evening With Woody Allen” brings to the stage three written works by the Neurotic One. Woody Allen’s “God,” “Death Knocks” and “Mr. Big” all deal with existential dilemmas as only Allen can.

Through April 2. 8 p.m. (Saturdays), 8:30 p.m. (Thursdays), 3 p.m. (Sundays). $14. 6767 W. Sunset Blvd., Suite No. 6, Hollywood. R.S.V.P., (323) 465-0800.

Sunday, March 26

Jewish school spirit can be found in abundance on the USC campus this weekend. The Jewish Student Film Festival has coordinated a weekend of Jewish activities, which culminates in today’s film fest. Friday evening, attend Shabbat services at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion followed by Shabbat dinner at USC Hillel; Saturday, attend “Jewzika: A Night of Jewish Musicians” featuring Dov Kogen and the Hidden, SoCalled and the Moshav Band.

Film fest: Free (students), $5 (general). Jewzika: $10 (students), $12 (general). ” width=”15″ height=”1″ alt=””>

Monday, March 27

“Minimalist Jukebox,” L.A. Philharmonic’s minimalism festival, gives us music by Steve Reich on March 25 and 26, including “Tehillim,” the composer’s music for Psalms. Then today, also in conjunction with the Minimalist Jukebox, California EAR Unit explores the theme with Lamon Young’s “Composition No. 7,” David Rosenboom’s “The Seduction of Sapentia” and other works.

Reich concerts: ” target=”_blank”>www.lacma.org or (323) 857-6010.

Tuesday, March 28

Those seeking romance and mystery look no further than the last place you’d think of. National Council of Jewish Women steams things up with “An Evening of Literature and Conversation” with romance authors Loraine Despres and Dora Levy Mossanen, as well as mystery writer Rochelle Krich. Jewish Community Library Director Abigail Yasgur moderates.

7:30-9:30 p.m. Free. 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (323) 651-2930, ext. 512.

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Dora Levy Mossanen

Wednesday, March 29

Tonight it’s sex, drugs and a night at the Writers Bloc. Authors and cultural icons Erica Jong (“Fear of Flying”) and Jerry Stahl (“Permanent Midnight”) converse about writing at the Skirball.

7:30 p.m. $20. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., ” width=”15″ height=”1″ alt=””>


Thursday, March30

Step inside to view the Getty Garden — as photographed by Becky Cohen — at the Persimmon gallery. Lovely permanent pigment prints from transparencies Cohen shot for the book “Robert Irwin Getty Garden” are on view through April 22.

310 N. Flores St., Los Angeles. (323) 951-9540.

Friday, March 31

“Methodfest,” the only film festival “dedicated to the actor,” opens tonight and continues through April 7. Count on panels, tributes, workshops, galas and plenty of self-importance. But you can also catch a few intriguing indie flicks, including tonight’s opening coming-of-age film, “Dreamland,” starring Agnes Bruckner, John Corbett and Gina Gershon, among others.

Woodland Hills and Calabasas. Prices vary. ” width=”15″ height=”1″ alt=””>

7 Days in The Arts


Saturday, February 25

Havdallah includes a redemption song tonight. Following services at Beit T’Shuvah, con man turned rabbi Mark Borovitz talks to Rabbi Ed Feinstein about his story, as outlined in his bestselling book “The Holy Thief,” newly released in paperback.

5:30 p.m. (havdallah), 6:30 p.m. (conversation). Free. 8831 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 204-5200.

Sunday, February 26

Sephardic culture is placed center stage in this weekend’s colloquium at Cal State University Long Beach, titled “My Heart Is in the East and I in the Uttermost West.” The weekend begins with a concert of Ladino music by Vanessa Paloma and Jordan Charnofsky on Saturday, continues today with various lectures and closes with a presentation this evening on Sephardic musical traditions in Italy, Corfu, Salonica and the New World.

Saturday: 8 p.m. $5-$50. Sunday: Noon-8:30 p.m. Free. Locations on CSULB campus vary. (562) 985-4423. www.csulb.edu/programs/jewish-studies.

Monday, February 27

Jewish lit maven and Tel Aviv University professor Hana Wirth-Nesher visits us this week. Tonight, see her presentation on the writings of Grace Paley as part of the Jewish Community Library and The Jewish Federation’s Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Book Salon. Tomorrow, USC Casden Institute sponsors her talk on “The Accented Imagination: Speaking and Writing Jewish America” at Temple Emanuel.

Monday: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free. Private residence. R.S.V.P., (323) 761-8644 or resource@jclla.org.
Tuesday: 7 p.m. Free. 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. R.S.V.P., (213) 740-3405 or casden@usc.edu

Tuesday, February 28

In theaters now is Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film of the year, “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.” The film tells the true story of the German anti-Nazi activist and heroine, and has already garnered awards in Germany — its country of origin — as well as three European Film Awards.

Laemmle Theaters: Town Center, Encino; Music Hall, Beverly Hills; Monica 4, Santa Monica; Playhouse, Pasadena. Â

Wednesday, March 1

The controversial, and now out of hiding, Salman Rushdie, is tonight’s star of the Music Center Speaker Series. The Indian-born British author’s public appearances are rare, but he speaks this evening in conjunction with his newly released novel of magic realism, “Shalimar the Clown.”

8 p.m. $45-$200. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 271-6631. www.ticketmaster.com.


Thursday, March 2

Hillel at UCLA and the Daniel Pearl Foundation present a Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture by Larry King, on “The Art and Science of the Interview: Musings About Everything.” Hear King speak live and in person, in a talk moderated by law professor Laurie Levenson.

7:30 p.m. Donation requested. Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA, Lee and Irving Kalsman Campus, 574 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 208-3081, ext 107. R.S.V.P. by Feb. 27, www.uclahillel.org.

Friday, March 3

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy with a little help from National Jewish Outreach Program. The group has organized the 10th annual “Shabbat Across America” tonight, which will have thousands of Jews across the country and Canada participating in the rituals of Shabbat prayer and dinner. Many L.A.-area synagogues are taking part, so see their Web site to find one near you.

(888) 742-2228. ” width=”15″ height=”1″ alt=””>

Food for Thought


The only thing worse than going to most luncheons is having to write about them — blow-by-blows of well-meaning, well-deserved appreciations and thank yous and speeches that go on too long.

So on my way over to the Luxe Summit Hotel in Bel-Air last month I decided I wasn’t going to write more than a brief about this year’s Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educators Awards luncheon.

But here’s the thing: This event really is one of the most inspiring afternoons on the local Jewish calendar.

Maybe it’s because teachers are so notoriously underappreciated. And the event, which focuses solely on teachers and principals in our day schools, makes everyone in the room want to pump their arms and let out a big “Woo-hoo!”

The luncheon is well produced, featuring videos of the surprised recipients learning of the honor during assemblies at their own schools. These films of celebrating, table-banging kids — and shocked and teary-eyed teachers, getting drawn out hugs from colleagues — are the centerpiece of the luncheon.

And then after lunch we got to hear from the five recipients themselves; each received a $10,000 prize. In their allotted two minutes they did what they do so well: teach.

Rabbi Berish Goldenberg, principal of Yeshiva Rav Isaacson-Torath Emeth Academy, told about the troublemaker kid who got called into the principal’s office for the 50 billionth time. But this time, after the same lecture, he came out, changed his ways and within months became a model student.

What did it?

During the principal’s ranting and raving, the secretary buzzed in with a phone call. And the principal told her, “Sorry, I’m meeting with somebody very important now. I’ll have to call back.”

Somebody important. That’s all the kid heard.

Next up was Vivian Levy, who has taught third grade at Sinai Akiba Academy for 30 years. She told of the bearded fellow who approached her recently and said, “Don’t you remember me?”

And then she did. He was the kid who couldn’t sit still, whose hyperactivity had made school unbearable for him.

“You believed in me,” he said to her. “And you helped me to believe in myself. I was a handful in third grade, and you encouraged me and told me I could do it.”

Today, he is an emergency-room physician.

“What a perfect match for his learning style,” Levy said.

Chaya Moldaver, the beloved second-grade teacher at Yavneh Hebrew Academy, analyzed the patriarch Jacob’s trait of wanting blessings for his descendants. That, she said, is what inspires teachers to pass the heritage from one generation to the next.

Robin Solomon is up to her second generation of students at Adat Ari El Day School — and she hopes to retire before the third starts arriving. She said her decades as a kindergarten teacher have taught her that teaching is not magic — it’s simply about loving children, and helping them love Judaism.

And then there’s the educator I will always think of as Dr. Powell. Twenty years ago, Bruce Powell was my principal at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles, the first of three high schools he helped establish in Los Angeles. He also was founding principal of Milken Community High School, and four years ago founded The New Community Jewish High School, which has gone from 40 students to 270.

Back when Dr. Powell was my principal, he taught us that when you give a speech, you always grab the listeners with a good joke or a story. So I was a bit surprised when he opened with a potentially dry episode in which the sages of the Mishnah try to distill Judaism into pithy bullet points. But then came his own distillation: “It’s really all about lunch.”

Which was his way of saying so much more. How Judaism is about community (sharing lunch), tzedakah (providing lunch), nurturing others (making lunch) and standing up for your identity (matzah sandwiches for lunch) — and being willing to ask for a major donation (over lunch) for something other than yourself.

And this event — this lunch — lunch epitomized the common denominator of Jewish community through education.

Where else would you end up with a tableful of black hats right next to a table with a woman rabbi?

They eat the same food. They nod at the same words of Torah. They bentsch (say the blessing after meals) together.

Go find that anywhere else — and I mean anywhere.

And here’s a fitting postscript. One of last year’s recipients, Maimonides Academy Rabbi Mordechai Dubin, who teaches fourth graders and music, used his $10,000 award to produce a CD for kids. Its title is “I Made This World for You”; each of the 14 songs is based on a portion in the book of Genesis. This selection, along with the follow-up song, “I Believe,” based on Maimonides 13 principles of faith, have become hits in day schools across the city, and even the country. As a result, children as young as 3 are now quoting from Genesis and Maimonides.

So great teaching begat recognition, which begat more great teaching. And more recognition. And in the world of teaching, where recognition is not always easy to come by, that’s worth writing about.

 

Arts in L.A. Calendar


Read and post calendar items at ” target=”_blank”>www.hiphopshabbat.com

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Jan. 21-22. Times vary. Jeffery Kahane plays “Mozart Piano Treasures.” Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Ave., Glendale. (213) 622-7001.

Norton Simon Museum: Sat. Jan. 21. 1 p.m. “Heroes and Heroines” Family Day explores artwork featuring brave men and women of the past. $4-$8. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-6840.

L.A. Opera: Jan. 21-Feb. 19. Production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” See article on page 4.

Temple Adat Elohim: Sat. Jan. 21. 7 p.m. Comedy night features Allan Murray, Larry Omaha, Steve Mittleman, Wendy Kamenoff and Michael Rayner. Includes catered buffet dinner, live auction and door prizes. $40-$50. 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. (805) 480-9667 or (805) 375-1164.

Ahmanson Theater: Jan. 22-March 5. Pre-Broadway engagement of Oscar Wilde’s comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” 601 W. Temple St., Los Angeles. (213) 628-2772.

USC Hillel: Sun. Jan. 22. 4-6 p.m. Opening of USC branch of Makor/Source Gallery, featuring 23 different works by the same artists featured at the UCLA branch. 3300 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles. (213) 747-9135, ext. 14.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza: Jan. 24- Feb. 5. Production of musical “Mamma Mia!,” featuring the music of ABBA. 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 449-2700.

Old Globe Theater: Wed. Jan 25- March 5. World premiere of Bob Dylan musical, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp. $45-$75. 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. (619) 234-5623.

Music Center Speaker Series: Thurs., Jan. 26, 8 p.m. Dan Rather, former anchor and managing editor of “CBS Evening News,” will speak. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (213) 972-3494.

UCLA Live: Thurs., Jan. 26, 8 p.m. Double bill, Israeli singer Chava Alberstein with Paris group Les Yeux Noirs in a gypsy-klezmer fusion. $15-$38. Royce Hall, UCLA campus. (310) 825-2101.

LACMA West: Jan. 27-29. Times vary. 21st Annual Los Angeles Fine Print Fair features graphic art from 25 different artists. Opening reception on Friday benefits the Graphic Arts Council of LACMA. $35-$50. 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 933-5523.

Temple Isaiah: Fri., Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Hip Hop Shabbat features Dr. J$ and the OJGs. 10345 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. ” target=”_blank”>www.speakersla.com.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza: Thur. Feb. 16. The Russian National Ballet performs “Swan Lake.” $34-$49. 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 449-2700.

Forum Gallery: Feb. 17- April 1. Exhibit, “Modernism:The Aesthetic of Change.” 8069 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 655-1550.

Fullerton Civic Light Opera: Fri. Feb. 17- March 5. Performance of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical “Cats.” $25-$49. Plummer Auditorium, 201 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton. (714) 879-1732.

Stephen S. Wise Synagogue: Fri. Feb. 17. 6 p.m. Hip-Hop Shabbat features Dr. J$ and the OJGs. 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Bel Air. www.hiphopshabbat.com.

Bowers Museum: Sat., Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m. Lecture by Dr. Robert Garfias, “Music and Visual Arts as a Reflection of a Society.” 2002 N. Main Street, Santa Ana. (714) 567-3600.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza: Sat., Feb. 18. Stand-up performance George Lopez of “The George Lopez Show.” 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 449-2700.

UCLA Live: Sat., Feb. 18. Jazz instrumentalist Alice Coltrane performs with sons Ravi and Oran. Special guest the Dwight Tribe Quartet. Royce Hall, UCLA campus. (310) 825-2101.

Music Center: Wed., Feb. 22- Sun. Feb. 26. Times vary. Three different programs of dances presented by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater troupe, featuring choreography by Ronald K. Brown, Sarah Vaughn and more. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-7211.

Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble: Sat. Feb. 25, 8:30 p.m., Sun. Feb. 26, 2:30 p.m. “Colors of Israel: The Many Facets of Jewish Culture Reflected in Dance and Song.” Also featuring Israeli singer Noa Dori. $36, $54, $72. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 449-2787.

Bowers Museum: Sun. Feb. 26. 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Movies series featuring Oscar-winning film “Nowhere in Africa,” about a German Jewish refugee family in Kenya, with screenwriter Michael Berlin. 2002 N. Main Street, Santa Ana. (714) 567-3600.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza: Feb. 26. “An Afternoon with Rogers and Hammerstein,” starring Dick Van Dyke featuring local high school choirs performing. 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 449-2700.

Calendar



The Jewish Journal is no longer accepting mailed or

faxed event listing information. Please e-mail event listings at least three

weeks in advance to:
calendar@jewishjournal.com
.

By Keren Engelberg

Calendar

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EVENTS

Lev Eisha: 7:30 p.m. Andy Hill, former UCLA basketball player and inspirational speaker, discusses “Miracles Do Happen: How You Can Be Touched by an Angel.” $25. Adat Shalom, 3030 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles.(310) 475-4985.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Hermosa Beach Playhouse:
2 p.m. and 7 p.m. “Ethel Merman’s Broadway.” $45. Pier Avenue at Pacific Coast Highway. (310) 372-4477.

OPEN HOUSES

he New JCC at Milken: 10 a.m.-
4 p.m. Open house for new and old members. Also, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Koreh L.A. teen literacy corps training session for eighth-12th graders. 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3390.

EVENTS

Temple Akiba: 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. American Red Cross blood drive.
5429 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City.
(310) 398-5783.

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LECTURES

UCLA Israel Studies Program and International Institute: 4-5:30 p.m. “Arafat’s Legacy … and How It Spins Out Now” with Kenneth W. Stein. Free. UCLA Law School Room 1357, enter campus at Hilgard and Wyton. (310) 825-0604.

Jewish World Watch: 7:30-9 p.m. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) on community response to the Darfur refugees. Valley Beth Shalom, Encino. (818) 784-5224.

ARTS &
ENTERTAINMENT

University of Judaism: 11 a.m. Cellist Tina Guo performs as part of the Young Artist Concert Series. Luncheon follows. $12-25. Bel Air. (310) 440-1283.

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ARTS &
ENTERTAINMENT

Adat Ari El: 7:30-9:30 p.m. “Bedtime Stories for Grownups” with Donna Rifkind. Wynn Meeting Room, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village. (818) 766-9426.

Temple Ner Tamid: 9:30 a.m. Tea and Torah four-part “Tradition” lecture series meets Wednesdays. $10-$15. Fellowship Hall, 10629 Lakewood Blvd., Downey. (562) 861-9276.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Skirball Cultural Center: Opening of the exhibit “Driven Into Paradise: L.A.’s European Jewish Emigres of the 1930s and 1940s.” Free. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., LosAngeles. (310) 440-4500.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Colburn School of Performing Arts:
7:30 p.m. Concert composed by Menachem Wiesenberg. Free. 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 621-2200.

SHABBAT

Nashuva: 6:45 p.m. Nashuva community service-oriented Kabbalat Shabbat. Westwood Hills Congregational Church, 1989 Westwood Blvd., Westwood.” width=”1″ height=”30″ alt=””>

Tu B’Shevat

Saturday, Jan. 29

Congregation Mishkon Tephilo:

12:30 p.m. Seder celebrating the New Year of Trees. PETA’s Aaron Gross speaks on “Kashrut, Religious Values and the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” 206 Main St., Venice. (310) 392-3029.

Sunday, Jan. 30

B’nai B’rith, The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life of Southern California, Jewish Historical Society, JQ International, Nashuva and Temple Beth Israel: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A morning of planting and revitalization. Plant trees and shrubs at Temple Beth Israel. 5711 Monte Vista St., Highland Park. (310) 841-2970.

Congregation Kol HaNeshama: Noon-3 p.m. Tree planting at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. All ages. (949) 551-2737.

Westside Jewish Community Center: Noon-4 p.m. Community festival themed, “Old Roots, New Growth.” Games, art, tree planting and live music. Free.

5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles.

(310) 938-2531, ext. 2250.

Beth Shir Sholom: 12:30 p.m. Community Tu B’Shevat celebration.

1827 California Ave., Santa Monica.

(310) 453-3361.

Singles

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Singles Helping Others: 9 a.m.-noon. Walk rescued dogs with the Amanda Foundation in Beverly Hills.

(818) 907-2427.

Nessah Synagogue: 1 p.m. Tu B’Shevat celebration for young professionals and college students. $26. 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 247-1226.

G.E.E. Super Singles (20s-40s):

5:30 p.m. Drinks and progressive dinner. $35. Sportsmen’s Lodge, 12833 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 501-0165.

Conversations at Leon’s: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Night Mixer. $15-$20.

639 26th St., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P.,

(310) 393-4616.

Temple Ramat Zion and North Valley JCC: 7:30 p.m. After New Year’s Bash with live music by “Nightlife” and dancing. $15-$20. 17655 Devonshire Street at Zelzah Ave., Northridge. (818) 366-4801.

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Jewish Outdoor Adventures:
9:45 a.m. Intermediate hike to Strawberry Peak from Red Box. Carpools from West Los Angeles, the Valley and Angeles Crest Highway.” width=”1″ height=”30″ alt=””>

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Israeli Folk Dancing: 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Classes by Israel Yakove meet Mondays and Thursdays. $7. 2244 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 839-2550.

Project Next Step: 8 p.m. Coffee Talk with coffee and pastries. $7. R.S.V.P., 1399 S. Roxbury Drive, third floor, Beverly Hills. (310) 772-2466.

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Westwood Jewish Singles (45+):
7:30 p.m. Therapist Maxine Gellar leads a discussion on “Involvement With the Unavailable.” $10. West Los Angeles area. R.S.V.P., (310) 444-8986.

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Wilshire Boulevard Temple:
7:30 p.m.-midnight. David Dassa’s weekly dance lessons with beginner lessons at 7:30 p.m., regular class at 8 p.m. and open dancing at 9:15 p.m. $7. 2112 S. Barrington Ave., Los Angeles. ddassa@att.net.

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Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California (20s-30s): 8 a.m. Monthly meeting open to all members for planning and discussing membership development, programs, conferences and award dinners. University of Judaism,

15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. R.S.V.P., skorin@uj.edu.

Conversations at Leon’s: 7 p.m. Discussion about “What Women Really Want, a Woman’s Perspective.” $15-$17.

639 26 St., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P., (310) 393-4616.

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New Age Singles (55+): 6 p.m. No-host dinner at Nibblers followed by a creative arts Shabbat service at Temple Beth Am. Nibblers, 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Temple Beth Am, 1039 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 838-7459.

Nashuva: 6:45 p.m. Nashuva community service-oriented Kabbalat Shabbat. Westwood Hills Congregational Church, 1989 Westwood Blvd., Westwood.” width=”1″ height=”30″ alt=””>

Upcoming Singles

Elite Jewish Theatre Singles:
6:30 p.m. Attende a no-host dinner social followed by the musical “Chicago” at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. $42.50. R.S.V.P.,
(310) 203-1312.

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Elite Jewish Theatre Singles:
8 p.m. No-host dinner social and
“2-Across” in the Santa Monica area. $19 (prepaid). R.S.V.P.,
(310) 203-1312.

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J-Ski (20s-40s): Taos Ski Trip. $759. R.S.V.P.,
JskiLa@aol.com
.

A Boutique With Benefits

Shop for relief this Tuesday, Feb. 1. Beverly Hills boutique outlet Treasure Depot invites Jewish Journal readers to a Shopping Party and Tsunami Relief Fundraiser that offers a 10 percent discount off already 70 percent marked-down high-end shoes, clothes and accessories by Jill Stewart, Marc Jacobs, Sergio Rossi and others. In addition, 10 percent of all sales for the week of Feb. 1-8 will go to American Jewish World Service’s Asia tsunami relief effort.

5:30-8:30 p.m. 9921 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 552-3301.

A Plethora of Pages


Sunday, Nov. 9

Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles: 3 p.m. "On the Road With Lamb Chop Show," with Mallory Lewis. Jewish Community Library, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8648

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 10 a.m. Breakfast and discussion with law professor Michael Bazyler about his book, "In Holocaust Justice: The Battle for Restitution in America’s Courts." Temple Beth Shalom, 14564 East Hawes Street, Whittier. The event will be repeated on Tuesday, Dec. 2. For more information, call (626) 967-3656.

Monday, Nov. 10

Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles: 7 p.m. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz will talk about his new book, "Opening the Tanya." B’nai Judea Congregation, 8906 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8644.

Wednesday, Nov. 12

Mount Sinai Memorial Parks-Sinai Temple: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The first West Coast Jewish Children’s Literature Conference. $55. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information and reservations, call Susan Dubin, (818) 886-6415.

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 8 p.m. Donna Rosenthal will discuss her book, "The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land." $5. Temple Ami Shalom, 3508 E. Temple Way, West Covina. For more information, call (626) 967-3656.

Thursday, Nov. 13

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 8 p.m. Rabbi Edward Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino will discuss his book, "Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life." Temple Beth Israel, 3033 North Towne Ave., Pomona. For more information, call (626) 967-3656.

Sunday, Nov. 16

Mount Sinai Memorial Parks-Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles: 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The Jewish Children’s Bookfest. The Triangle at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, 6150 Mount Sinai Drive, Simi Valley. For more information, call (866) 266-5731.

KOREH L.A.: 9:30 a.m. Volunteer training. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8153.

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 10:15 a.m. Breakfast, discussion and study session with Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, author of "The Receiving: Reclaiming Jewish Women’s Wisdom" and "With Roots in Heaven." $5 breakfast, $15 study session. Temple Amit Shalom, 3508 E. Temple Way, West Covina. For more information, call (626) 967-3656.

Tuesday, Nov. 18

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 8 p.m. Former public defender, now stay-at-home mother, Ayelet Waldman will discuss the most recent books in her Mommy Track Mystery Series, "Death Gets a Time-Out" and "Daughter’s Keeper." $5. For location and reservations, call (626) 967-3656.

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles: 7 p.m. Robert A. Rosenstone, professor of history at California Institute of Technology, will discuss his first novel, "King of Odessa." Jewish Community Library, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8648.

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 11:30 a.m. At this special luncheon, cookbook author Marlena Spieler will discuss and conduct demonstrations from her most recent book, "The Jewish Heritage Cookbook." $36. For location and reservations, call (626) 967-3656.

Thursday, Nov. 20

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 8 p.m. Gregg Hurwitz will discuss his book, "Kill Clause." Scripps College Campus, Malott Commons, Hampton Room. 345 E. Ninth St., Claremont. For more information, call (626) 967-3656.

Sunday, Nov. 23

Jewish Community Library Los Angeles: 3 p.m. "The Drama of Jewish History" with author Gloria Mikolwitz. Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8648.

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 10:30 a.m. Family event with Sylvia Rouss, author of the "Sammy Spider" series. Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, 1434 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 967-3656.

Sunday, Nov. 23

Jewish Community Library Los Angeles: 4 p.m. "Lose Yourself" with Jewish rapper Etan G. Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8153.

Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys: 7 p.m. Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis will discuss his newly reissued book, "In God’s Mirror: Reflections and Essays" at this special event. Congregation Shaarei Torah, 550 S. Second Ave., Arcadia. For more information, call (626) 967-3656.

Tuesday, Dec. 2

Jewish Community Library Los Angeles: 7 p.m. Author Joan Leegant will lecture and have a booksigning of "Hour in Paradise," which was recently chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. For more information, call (323) 761-8648.

Sunday, Dec. 7

Jewish Community Library Los Angeles: 3 p.m. "Exploring Faith and Generosity" with author and Holocaust survivor Sonia Levitin. Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8648.

Sunday, Dec. 14

Jewish Community Library Los Angeles: 3 p.m. "The Very Best Chanukah Gift," with children’s author, Joanne Rocklin. Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles For more information, call (323) 761-8648.

Thursday, Dec. 18

Jewish Community Library Los Angeles: 11 a.m-1 p.m. Chanukah at The Grove. For more information, call (323) 761-8648.

Sunday, Dec. 21

Jewish Community Library Los Angeles: 3 p.m. "Kosher Sushi" parent-child workshop with chef Juniper Elkman. Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8648. — RB

A Persian Artist’s Crowning Moment


Yosef Setarehshenas wants to revive and introduce Jewish Persian art to the world.

And on the Jewish New Year of 5764, he plans to do it through a unique Persian calendar that will incorporate four different calendars: The Hebrew (Jewish); the Persian (Solar); the Arabic (Lunar) and the English (Christian), with complete explanations of Persian Jewish events for the past 126 years.

"Even the dates Jewish soldiers were killed in the Iran-Iraq war are mentioned," Setarehshenas said.

The calendar will be published by Iranshahr Association, a subsidiary of Sherkat Ketab, the biggest publisher of Persian books and text in Los Angeles. The calendar will be shipped to Persian communities in New York, Europe, Iran and Israel — and Reseda’s Ben David synagogue has ordered nearly 500 copies, said Setarehshenas, 41.

Art — and Iran — are in Setarehshenas’ blood: He only arrived in Los Angeles two and a half years ago. The eldest of five children, Setarehshenas’ mother, Malek Molayem, played the tar, a Persian instrument, and she took up the hobby of rug weaving.

From a very young age, Setarehshenas has been involved in writing and drawing; his short stories appeared in children’s newspapers in Tehran.

"Art is endless," he told The Journal. "Life without art is like heart without love."

Setarehshenas obtained a graduate degree in industrial design, and in his spare time he wrote poetry and played guitar.

Setarehshenas started to use his talents to serve the Jewish community. He designed copper plates of Moses holding the Ten Commandments, and donated several of them to the Iranian Jewish community to honor Persian students. His name, which means astrologist in Farsi, got him interested in the subject of calendars, which is the subject of one of his books, "Conformity of Seconds" (he penned other Jewish books such as "Haftara Treasures," a review of Jewish history, culture and philosophy).

Setarehshenas began in earnest to revive Jewish traditional works of art. He designed and prepared a silver pair of rimonim — the crowns that adorn the Torah scroll sticks — for a Sephardi Torah decoration. It took him almost nine months to produce both one-pound crowns made out of 90-carat silver. Each are adorned with beautiful Persian silverwork, as well as a small Stars of David, combining Persian and Jewish art.

"I have had the best Persian artists make these rimonim," Setarehshenas told The Journal. "Some parts have been done by the best silver-making firms in Isfahan."

"In Iran when I wanted to start making the rimonim or other religious works of art, I would explain the Jewish meaning of the object to the Muslim workers and artists who were going to do the job … they did the job with great appreciation and respect. Even when they wanted to put a piece of work down, they considered it a holy object and would do it very carefully," Setarehshenas told The Journal.

Setarehshenas came to Los Angeles in 2001, joining his wife, Hayedeh, and their two children, Shahrooz and Caroline. He runs a business in the Valley, and still spends much time in art and writing — including contributing to various Persian publications in Los Angeles.

He wants to use the same style of the rimonim to make more traditional Jewish silver objects such as mezuzahs and wine jugs. His latest work, inspired by his mother, was a Persian rug using the copper plate sketch of the figure of Moses holding the Ten Commandments on the rug.

He will stop at nothing to produce Jewish Persian art.

"I want to introduce Persian Jewish culture to those who do not know about it. My wish is to keep the rich Iranian Jewish heritage alive and pass it on to the next generations," he said.

Majority Report


As America sets out on its most fateful hour of Middle East diplomacy and decision-making in a decade, American Jews are sending two clear messages to Washington.

Unfortunately, the messages conflict.

One group is saying, "We support Israel, so we don’t support the ‘road map.’"

The other group’s message is, "We support Israel, so we do support the road map."

First, let’s focus on the area of agreement.

The last several weeks in Los Angeles leave no doubt about the intensity of the Jewish community’s support for Israel. A nonstop schedule of lectures, meetings, receptions and banquets have filled the communal calendar on either side of Israel Independence Day. The events ranged from well-attended Yom HaAtzmaut parties to a series of talks by the Israeli journalist David Landau to memorial services for Israel’s fallen soldiers to a rally against media bias at National Public Radio to visits by Israeli officials like MK Natan Sharansky and MK Matan Vilnai.

The range of attendees demonstrated the breadth and depth of concern. There were packed meetings held just for the Persian Jewish community, expatriate Israelis, Century City lawyers, Hollywood insiders, UCLA students, single professionals, area rabbis, wealthy donors and grass-roots activists.

People who, a year ago, were lamenting the seeming apathy of the Jewish community toward Israel were amazed by the turnouts.

At the Israeli Consulate’s birthday bash for Israel, held annually at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Yariv Ovadia, consul for communication and public affairs, gazed out at the huge crowd, a mix of wealthy activists, politicians and diplomats, and said that the pro-Israel spirit has reawakened in Los Angeles.

"It took a while for the situation to sink in," he said, "but it took a while in Israel, too."

A suspicious package left at the front desk led to a bomb scare and a one-hour lockdown, but didn’t faze the guests, who kept chatting even as the package was exploded in a bomb-squad container outside.

Concerns over terror didn’t keep the crowds away from last Sunday’s Israel Festival, which drew 35,000 people to Woodley Park. It was an enormous and spirited turnout, demonstrating both the coming of age of Los Angeles’ Israeli Jewish community, which spearheaded the event, and the across-the-board support Israel enjoys.

On her recent visit to Israel, Managing Editor Amy Klein interviewed Tahg Adler, an Angeleno who recently immigrated to Israel.

"World Jewry is the body," Adler said, "and Israel is the heart. You need a strong heart to keep the body going."

The aptness of the metaphor was apparent over these past weeks. Our identity as Jews, the very strength of the community, is bound up in the fate of the Jewish nation. You can’t underestimate the power of Israel to shape the Jewish community here. Israel is the issue that even roused the latent activism — the latent Jewishness — of Hollywood Jewry. It wasn’t a sense of social action or kabbalah that prompted their activity, it was a sense of Israel in crisis.

Now for the disagreement. While our support for Israel is deep and growing, the consensus on what to do in the face of the crisis is fractured.

Those who oppose the "road map to peace" that President George W. Bush has proposed for the Israelis and the Palestinians say it endangers Israel’s security and rewards two years of Palestinian terror with a place at the negotiating table. "The U.S. is back in the mode of pressuring Israel for real concessions or the Palestinians for phony promises," a message from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs read.

Those who support it say the road map is calibrated to Palestinian rejection of terror — if terror continues, the process stops — and provides the best way out of a dire situation.

There are strong ideological and religious arguments on the left and the right. But the greatest argument for those of us in the center isn’t a matter of ideology, religion or politics. It’s a matter of third-grade math.

This week, Israel’s largest newspaper, Yediot Aharanot, reported on recent figures released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (www.cbs.gov.il/engindex.htm) on the population of greater Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: West Bank Arabs — 2.2 million; Gaza Arabs — 1.3 million; non-Arab Christians — 0.3 million; Israeli Arabs — 1.3 million; Jews — 5.1 million.

Numbers never tell the whole story, but these come close. By retaining control of the West Bank, Gaza and the Palestinian populations therein, Israel will either cease to be a primarily Jewish State, or will become an undemocratic one, where a Jewish minority rules an Arab majority.

"The Jews, therefore, are barely 50 percent of the empire," wrote the (centrist) editors of Yediot. "This was the last Independence Day when we could try to breathe the fragrance of a Jewish majority. Starting next week — we’re the minority."

The road map is not the perfect way out of this looming disaster, but it is the best option available, put forward by a president who is one of Israel’s staunchest supporters.

That’s a message that I, for one, hope Washington hears.

A Hands-On Holiday


Teachers have known for a long time that hands-on projects can bring a message home better than any lecture or study session.

And perhaps there’s no holiday on the Jewish calendar that better lends itself to creative manual labor — for kids and adults alike — than Sukkot, which comes this year on Sunday night, Oct. 4, and extends through Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Jews around the world observe the biblical fall harvest festival, which commemorates Israel’s sojourning in the desert, by spending a week eating in — or even living in — huts with vegetation as a roof. In addition, four species of plant — palm, myrtle and willow branches, and the citron, or etrog — are used in synagogue and home rituals.

The holiday is often a time when families and friends gather to build and then enjoy the sukkah, sharing meals and parties in the highly creative and individualized structures.

Here are the stories of a congregation and a family who took the opportunity to invest themselves physically and spiritually in the fall festival that ends the month-long High Holiday cycle.

It May Be Small, But It’s Kosher

Like many, Esther and Avraham Brander designed and built their own sukkah, decorated it and invited friends over to share in the holiday.

What makes their sukkah unique is that it is 5 feet high, and Esther is 7 years old and Avraham is 8.

The brother and sister, with help from their 4-year-old brother, Yaakov, used 3/4-inch plastic pipes with connectors for the frame, and fabric for the walls.

“They get very excited about things that are their own,” says their mother, Batyah Brander, assistant English principal of Ohr Haemet, a girls high school on Robertson Boulevard, and wife of Asher Brander, rabbi of the Westwood Kehilla.

Batyah helped the children puzzle the pieces together and secure the connectors to make sure the structure was steady. She estimates that the youngsters, who attend Toras Emes day school on La Brea Avenue, did 80 percent of the work on their own.

They also chose a kosher spot in the yard, where no trees hang over the 4 1/2-x-10-foot structure — and where the sukkah is out of sight of the family’s full-size sukkah.

Esther and Avraham are accustomed to these types of projects. They make their own challah and recently started making grape juice, stomping on the fruit (through plastic bags) and bottling it with their own labels.

“I never have to yell at them to come to the table for kiddush, because it’s their own grape juice,” Brander says. And on sukkah-building day, they got their homework done in a flash.

“They learned a lot more than if we just built it ourselves and let them sit in it,” Brander says.

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