Calendar Picks and Clicks: May 25–31


SAT MAY 25

“OH, MOTHER!”

Jewish Women’s Theatre sets the record straight about Jewish mothers in this new salon show featuring stories, poems, memoirs and songs. Performers include Shelly Goldstein, Annie Korzen and Monica Piper. Dessert reception and post-show Q-and-A included. Through May 26. Sat. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $25-$35. NCJW/LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. jewishwomenstheater.org.

“HEART SONG” 

Rochelle is in the midst of a midlife crisis, feeling lost and alone — until she takes a Flamenco class. Her immersion into Spanish music, song and dance takes her on a journey of sisterhood, faith and discovery in the world premiere of writer Stephen Sachs’ new comedy-drama. Sat. Through July 14. 8 p.m. (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), 2 p.m. (Sunday). $34, $25 (students, seniors – Thursday and Friday only). The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 663-1525. fountaintheatre.com.


SUN MAY 26

BEVERLY MAGID

In Magid’s new novel, “Sown in Tears,” Leah Peretz is trying to survive life on the Pale of Settlement in 1905 czarist Russia. She must defend her children following a brutal attack on her village and deal with the advances of a Russian officer who is attracted to her despite his antipathy toward the Jews. Magid, a founding member of the MorningStar Commission, a group of industry women who advocate for a more accurate portrayal of Jewish women in film and TV, discusses her book and signs copies during this Local Authors Day event, which also features Robert Diemer and Barbara Jacobs. Sun. 4 p.m. Free. Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Coloroado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-5320. vromansbookstore.com.


MON MAY 27

MEMORIAL DAY 

Remembrance services for veterans take place countywide. Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary hosts VA Greater Los Angeles’ Rabbi Barbara Sachs Speyer and Bea Cohen, who at 103 is the state’s oldest living female veteran; Groman Eden Mortuary’s gathering with Jewish War Veterans of the USA-Post 603 features a keynote presentation, reading and special tribute to Jewish-American veterans; and Conejo Mountain Memorial Park’s “Lest We Forget” includes a flag ceremony, live music and a memorial wreath tribute. Mon. Hillside: 10 a.m. Free. Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, 6001 W. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles. (800) 576-1994. hillsidememorial.org. Groman: 11 a.m. Free. Groman Eden Mortuary, 11500 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills. (800) 522-4875. Conejo Mountain: 11 a.m. Free. Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, 2052 Howard Road, Camarillo. (805) 482-1959. conejomountain.com.


TUE MAY 28 

“LIGHT OUT OF THE DARKNESS” 

Last winter, UCLA students interviewed Holocaust survivors and documented their experiences through audio narratives and photographs for the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Student Andrew Rosenstein’s photos serve as the basis of UCLA Hillel’s new exhibition, “Light Out of the Darkness: Memories of the Holocaust.” Today’s opening includes a conversation between Rosenstein and Todd Presner, director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Tue. 3:30-5 p.m. (opening). Free. Hillel at UCLA, 5764 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 208-3081. ucla.hillel.org.


WED MAY 29

“NOBODY DOES IT BETTER”

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, singer Melissa Manchester and Cantor Magda Fishman are the featured performers during Temple Beth Am’s communitywide concert gala. Honoring the philanthropic Ziering clan, the event also features a musical tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. Wed. 7 p.m. $75-$250. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. sabantheatre.org.


THU MAY 30

THE ISRAEL CONFERENCE

Bridging the shores of the Mediterranean and the Pacific, entrepreneurs, investors, executives and tech enthusiasts from around the world converge on this two-day annual gathering at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset to learn about Israeli businesses and discover the next big trend. The conference’s fifth year features more than 70 speakers from Israel-facing companies — Activision, IBM, Paramount Pictures, Qualcomm — discussing their successes, breakthrough technologies, markets, deals and exits. Program includes meals, networking opportunities and entertainment. Thu. 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Through May 31. $345 (advance), $480 (door). Luxe Hotel, 11461 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 445-5388. theisraelconference.org.


FRI MAY 31

“NOW YOU SEE ME” 

Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent and Dave Franco star in this caper flick written by Ed Solomon (“Men in Black) and filmmaker Boaz Yakin (“Remember the Titans”). The Four Horsemen, a team of the world’s greatest illusionists, stage daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances and then reward their audiences with money, all the while staying one step ahead of the law. Fri. Various times, prices and theaters. nowyouseememovie.com

NATAN SHARANSKY 

The Soviet refusenik, Israeli politician, author and human rights activist appears as Beth Jacob Congregation’s scholar-in-residence. Highlights of his visit include a community dinner and lecture on Friday as well as a Saturday afternoon community lunch and learn, where Sharansky appears in conversation with Jewish Federation of Los Angeles CEO and President Jay Sanderson. Through June 1. Fri. 7:45 p.m. (Friday night community dinner and lecture). Sat. 2 p.m. (lunch and learn). $28 (Friday night), $25 (adults, Saturday lunch and learn), $25 (children, Saturday lunch and learn). Beth Jacob Congregation, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills. RSVP required for dinner and lunch (310) 278-1911. bethjacob.org

AIPAC and Sharon Get What They Need


A troubled but still potent American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) got a boost this week from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who addressed its largest-ever policy conference in Washington, with a record 4,500 delegates gathered for three days of speeches, workshops, schmoozing and lobbying.

And the pro-Israel lobby giant, in turn, gave Sharon what he wanted most: an explicit endorsement of his government’s imminent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, backed up by a Tuesday lobbying effort that urged lawmakers to continue U.S. support for the plan. This week’s events lay the groundwork for expected new requests for U.S. aid to Israel, to help carry out the disengagement.

AIPAC, which like other major pro-Israel groups has been accused of being tardy and unenthusiastic in its support for the disengagement, was careful to signal support without allowing the plan and the emotional debate over it to become the centerpiece of the high-profile conference.

Unswayed by outbursts of heckling when Sharon spoke on Tuesday, the AIPAC leadership explicitly endorsed his plan in a resolution approved by the executive committee as part of the group’s 2005 “action agenda.”

The committee overwhelmingly rejected amendments offered by Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein that would have “spelled out the costs” of the Gaza “expulsion of Jews,” according to the ZOA leader.

Natan Sharansky, former minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora affairs addressed the crowd but did not talk about the reason for his resignation from the Sharon government — or his unhappiness over the Gaza plan.

And AIPAC sessions on the Gaza disengagement were “fair and reasonably effective in making the case for what the Prime Minister is doing,” said an official of a dovish Jewish group attending the conference.

“Given differences within the AIPAC membership over the Gaza disengagement,” said the source, who requested anonymity, “I think they did a good job of showing support and lining up the membership behind the prime minister.”

But a former AIPAC official, also speaking not for attribution, characterized the group’s endorsement as unenthusiastic.

“The real story is that they were forced to make a statement supporting it as part of the price for getting Sharon to speak to them,” the source said. “The mood in the hall was skeptical — that was evident every time a speaker mentioned it — but they had no choice.”

From the rostrum, speakers praising Sharon’s plan produced limited applause or stony silence; scattered through the vast convention center were delegates wearing the blank orange buttons signifying solidarity with Gaza residents opposed to the pullout.

Several hecklers were ejected when Sharon addressed the conference on Tuesday, promising to carry out the disengagement “according to the timetable and the decisions authorized by the Government,” and to work with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “as long as we do not risk our security. That is the red line.”

Sharon promised that the disengagement “will increase Israel’s security and reduce friction between the Palestinians and us. It will help advance our national strategic interests, promote our economy and prosperity and advance the development of the Negev and the Galilee.”

And he strongly endorsed the international quartet’s “road map” for Palestinian statehood, calling it “the only political plan for a peaceful solution with the Palestinians.”

But he also emphasized that the road map will be implemented in stages and that “true peace will only be realized after full security is achieved and terrorism is eliminated.”

As a goodwill gesture, he announced plans to release an additional 400 Palestinian prisoners.

Ardent peace groups praised AIPAC for standing behind Sharon.

“They did the right thing,” said Seymour Reich, president of the Israel Policy Forum. “AIPAC’s highly visible support for the Prime Minister’s disengagement plan sends an important message to the administration and to Congress.”

And that includes to members who might be inclined to erect roadblocks to U.S. support for the Gaza plan, he said.

AIPAC delegates had more than 450 lobbying appointments on Tuesday; support for the plan, along with continuing U.S. aid to Israel and stronger efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program, were at the top of their agenda.

“We’re very pleased that AIPAC has given its formal endorsement to the U.S. government’s support for the disengagement initiative,” said Debra DeLee, president of Americans for Peace Now. “This new policy position reflects the broad backing that disengagement enjoys in the American Jewish community and in Israel. “

AIPAC Still Packs Them In

AIPAC policy conferences are always exercises in political theater scripted to make a point about the group’s power.

But the stakes were higher than ever this year as AIPAC friends and foes alike looked for signs that the ongoing federal investigation of two fired AIPAC employees over leaked classified documents have put a dent in AIPAC’s presence on Capitol Hill.

There was no sign of weakness at Monday’s banquet, attended by almost enough senators to invoke cloture: 55, about the same as 2004. They were joined by 215 members of the House, up from 177 a year ago — by several accounts an all-time record.

The turnout reflected congressional confidence AIPAC will emerge unscathed from the current investigation — and also an extensive grass-roots effort by the group to encourage attendance.

During AIPAC’s famous “roll call,” congressional guests were greeted with ovations ranging from the tepid to the tumultuous (Sen. Lincoln Chaffee, R-RI, widely seen as cool toward Israel, produced barely a ripple; Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., almost brought the house down).

All four top congressional leaders spoke to the Monday night gathering in speeches that generally stuck close to AIPAC’s talking points for the week: assurances of continuing U.S. support for Israel, warnings to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to do more than just talk about curbing terrorism and sober words about the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.

Also in attendance were administration officials, top political party leaders and numerous members of the diplomatic corps, most notably two envoys from Libya.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, now chair of the Democratic National

Committee, and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, filling in for Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman, addressed the group on Sunday night, agreeing on the need for strong U.S.-Israel relations but disagreeing on which party can best maintain them.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, signaling that the administration does not regard the pro-Israel lobby group as treif because of its ongoing troubles, received strong applause when she said the administration’s goal of democracy in the Middle East is “unassailable and incontrovertible,” and urged the Palestinians to “advance democratic reforms and dismantle all terrorist networks” as it pursues statehood.

But she was greeted with only faint applause when she said that Prime Minister Sharon’s Gaza disengagement plan “presents an unprecedented and incredibly delicate opportunity for peace and we must all work together to capitalize on this precious moment.”

Rice also praised the recent Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, but said “Syria must also remove its intelligence forces and allow the Lebanese people to be free.”

Worries Over Federal Probe

Although no charges have been filed against the fired AIPAC employees being investigated by federal authorities, the controversy shadowed the conference and produced anxiety among delegates and the numerous Jewish leaders who came to show their support for the lobby group.

“There’s anxiety; there’s a cloud over [AIPAC],” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “So it is important for leaders of the American Jewish community to be here and show support.”

Foxman expressed the view of many conference attendees.

“There are so many things we don’t know, so many unanswered questions about the investigation,” he said.

“What’s remarkable is how they have been able to keep this conference focused on their big issues like Iran and terrorism,” a former AIPAC official said. “But you hear a lot of talk about [the investigation] in the hallways. Mostly, it’s people asking what’s going to happen next. And none of us has any real answers. I’m not sure AIPAC’s top officials know.”

A member of the large Los Angeles delegation downplayed the effect of the probe on AIPAC’s lobbying juggernaut.

“I’m not concerned about the health of the organization,” said Lee Zeff, a Realtor from Beverly Hills. “I’m not concerned about the reputation in Congress.”

As evidence, Zeff noted the veritable waiting list of congressional leaders lined up to address the conference.

Zeff added that the delegates were not especially focused on the FBI probe: “People are thinking about Iran. People are thinking about Hezbollah … Hamas….”

Zeff’s wife, Linda Macdonald, who is not Jewish, did express concern, particularly about misconceptions she’s noticed among relatives in her native England. From the soundbites they’ve heard, she reported, people are assuming AIPAC was involved in spying. As a result, Macdonald said, she’s found herself doing more public relations for both AIPAC and Israel.

AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr addressed the undercurrent of worries in an opening speech on Sunday, repeating his claim that “we now know — directly from the government — that neither AIPAC nor any of its current employees is or ever has been the target of this investigation.”

And he pledged to “take the steps necessary to ensure that every employee of AIPAC, now and in the future, conducts themselves in a manner of which you can be proud — using policies and procedures that provide transparency, accountability and maintain our effectiveness.”

Additional reporting courtesy of Washington Jewish Week.

 

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

April 2 /SATURDAY

SHABBAT

B’nai Tikvah: 6:30 p.m. Hot Dogs and Havdallah Under the Stars. Candle- and spice box-making follows. $15 (per family). 5820 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester. R.S.V.P., (310) 645-6414.

LECTURES

The Emmis Foundation: “The Big Lie: News, Media and the Fiction of Nonfiction” featuring Harvey Sheldon on the untold story of the news media and the Holocaust. 7855 E. Horizon View Drive, Anaheim Hills. (714) 281-5929.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Consulate General of Israel L.A.: 2003 Israeli Academy Award-winner “Nina’s Tragedies,” a film about an Israeli boy, opens this week. Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. www.laemmle.com.

April 3 /SUNDAY

PASSOVER

Skirball Cultural Center: 10 a.m.-
4:30 p.m. “Discover Your Personal Exodus Story: A Passover Seminar for People of All Faiths.” Lectures on history and art history, a writing workshop, hands-on ceramics and tour of the holidays gallery. $20-$60, plus $10 for ceramics workshop. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4651.

EVENTS

Hillel Foundation of Orange County/ Israel on Campus Coalition of Orange County/Caravan for Democracy/ StandWithUs: 8:30 a.m. (Sun.)-6 p.m. (Mon.). “Making the Case for Israel: A Two-Day Conference Presenting an Accurate Picture of Middle East Reality.” $36 (students), $75 (per day, nonstudents). UC Irvine and Merage Jewish Community Center, 1 Federation Way, Suite 200, Irvine. (800) 969-5585, ext. 247.

Beth Hillel Day School: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Designer Apparel Fundraiser with up to 93 percent off the original retail. Free admission. Temple Beth Hillel Activities Building, 12326 Riverside Drive, Valley Village. (818) 986-9052.

Temple Isaiah: 11:30 a.m. Steve Platt memorial “Par-tee” Golf Tournament. Golf, light lunch, refreshments, tee prizes and buffet dinner with awards and drawing. $250. Canyon Country Club, 1100 Murray Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. (760) 325-2281.

Valley Beth Shalom Jewish Vegetarian Society: 2 p.m. Dr. Shirley Hon discusses “Protein – Myths and Facts.” Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 349-2581.

Workmen’s Circle: 4 p.m. Comedian Howard Berger opens for Jeff-Chaim Goldberg, who performs original songs and Jewish music. $5-$10. 1525 S. Robertson Ave., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 552-2007.
Congregation B’nai Emet: 7 p.m. Barbara Lanzet leads a discussion on “The April Dilemma” for interfaith families celebrating Passover and Easter. Part two of an interfaith program sponsored by Jewish Federation.
4645 Industrial St., No. 2C, Simi Valley. (800) 581-3723.

New Community Jewish High School: 7 p.m. Students perform Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” with lighting, sound, sets and choreography by industry professionals. Also, April 4, 7 p.m. $7-$12. The New JCC at Milken, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills.
(818) 348-0048.

April 4/MONDAY

CLASSES

Bais Chana of California Women’s Yeshiva: 11 a.m. “Painlessly Preparing for a Panic-Free Pesach” with Esther Simon. $18. Los Angeles Residence. R.S.V.P., (323) 634-1861.

April 5 /TUESDAY

EVENTS

Stanford Jewish Alumni of Los Angeles: 7 p.m. Book signing with Vincent Brook, author of “Something Ain’t Kosher Here: The Rise of the ‘Jewish’ Sitcom” followed by vegetarian appetizers and Herzog Cellars’ kosher wines. Beverly Hills residence. $24. R.S.V.P. by April 1, (213) 763-7377.

April 6 /WEDNESDAY

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Jewish World Watch: 7:30 p.m. Ruth Messinger discusses “Genocide in Sudan.” Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.
(310) 474-1518, ext. 3243.

Cinema Bar: 8:30 p.m. Peter Himmelman concert. 3967 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City. (310) 390-1328.

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APRIL 7/THURSDAY

University of Judaism: 8 p.m. “Memory and the Monument After 9/11” a slide lecture by James E. Young. Free. Gindi Auditorium. 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. R.S.V.P., (213) 470-3405.

Noy Productions: 8:30 p.m. “Rita: The Concert.” See page 31 for more information.

APRIL 8 /FRIDAY

SHABBAT

Ahavah (20s-30s): 7:30 p.m. Shabbat by the Beach potluck dinner for young professional women. $5. Marina Del Rey residence. ahavah_la@hotmail.com.


UPCOMING:

April 11

Chapman University: “An evening of Remembrance and Hope” black-tie dinner with Elie Wiesel. For information call (800) 253-8569.

Singles

APRIL 2 /SATURDAY

New Age Singles: 4 p.m. No-host movie and dinner in West Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (323) 874-9937.

The New JCC at Milken (21+): 6:30 p.m. Syrah wine tasting. $25 (members), $35 (public). 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3269.

APRIL 3 /SUNDAY

Singles Helping Others: 9 a.m.-noon. Sort food items at the SOVA food bank. Light physical activity required. 6027 Reseda Blvd., Reseda. (818) 884-5332.

Elite Jewish Theatre Singles: Noon. American-style Sunday brunch at the Magic Castle. $41.50 (includes admission, brunch, tax and tip). 7001 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles. Prepaid reservations only, (310) 203-1312.

Jewish Singles Volleyball: Noon-3 p.m. Weekly coed beach volleyball game. Court 11 or close to it. Playa del Rey, where Culver Boulevard meets the beach.
(310) 402-0099.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza: 3 p.m. Israeli singer Noa Dori joins Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble in “Neshama: Stories of the Soul.” $26-$72. 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 449-2787.

Chef Richard’s: 6 p.m. (reception), 6:45 p.m. (dinner) Family-style Chinese dinner with wine reception. Free parking. $30 (prepaid reservations only). Uncle Chen’s, 16624 Ventura Blvd., Encino. R.S.V.P.,
(818) 995-3455.

New Age Singles: 7 p.m. Starlight Ballroom Dance with mixers and line dances, wine and refreshments. $10-$12. University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Brentwood. (310) 472-1391.

The New JCC at Milken: 8 p.m. Swing dancing workshop with an introduction to jitterbug/East Coast swing, foxtrot, waltz, cha cha, rumba and more. $5-$10. 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills.
(818) 464-3269.

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APRIL 4/MONDAY

Singles Helping Others: 7 p.m. Monthly meeting to socialize, meet others and hear about new events. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 591-0772.

Coffee Talk (30s and 40s): 8 p.m. Weekly discussion group. $7. 9760 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-4595, ext. 27.

APRIL 5 /TUESDAY

L.A.’s Fabulous Best Connection: Pizza supper and conversation at La Piazza for all ages. 6301 W. Third St., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (323) 782-0435.

Westwood Jewish Singles (45+): 7:30 p.m. “Being real.” $10. West Los Angeles.
(310) 444-8986.

APRIL 6/WEDNESDAY

Nexus: Wed., April 6, 7-9 p.m. The first meeting of the Nexus OC book club will discuss Alan Dershowitz’s “The Case For Israel.” Also, Schmooze and Java Coffee House Night happens on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 7-9 p.m. Coffee Plantation, 18122 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley. www.jewishnexus.org.

APRIL 7/THURSDAY

Conversations at Leon’s: 7 p.m. “Calling in ‘The One.'” $15-$17. 639 26th St., Santa Monica. (310) 393-4616.

UCLA Hillel (18-26): 7 p.m. “Turbo-Dating,” spend seven minutes with seven single guys or gals. Limited seating; first come, first served. Free mocktails and light refreshments. Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life, 574 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. by Wed., April 6, uclaturbodating@yahoo.com.

APRIL 8/FRIDAY

Beach Hillel/Jewlicious: 6 p.m.-Sun., April 10. “Jewlicious @ The Beach” a gathering of the tribe weekend with students and young adults from California and Arizona. $36-$100. Alpert Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. jewlicious.beachhillel.com.

ATID: 7:30 p.m. Friday Night Live Shabbat service and after event with Rapid Networking. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3244.

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Strike a Jewish Pose

Done with downward-facing dog? Try an Aleph instead. This Sunday, Bat Yam Hadassah’s “Under 50” group does Jewish Yoga. Yoga Garden owner Ida Unger leads a one-hour introductory session in “Yoga and Judaism,” which combines discussion and practice of yoga postures that correspond to letters from the Hebrew alphabet. A social hour and light refreshments follow.

Sun., April 3, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $18-$20. 30s and 40s. Yoga Garden Studios, 2236 26th St., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P., (310) 478-6596.

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