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-a-long. 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 at Third St. and Fairfax Ave., 6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles. (323) 933-9211. farmersmarketla.com.
LIGHTS OF CHANUKAH FAMILY TOUR
Peruse Skirball’s display of chanukiyot and meet Judah the Maccabee. Part of the museum’s core exhibition, “Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America,” the tours are for families, providing an opportunity to learn the history and significance of Chanukah, according to the Skirball’s Web site. Tue. Through Dec. 24. 1 p.m. (daily tours). $10 (general), $7 (seniors 65-and-over and full-time students), $5 (children 2-12), free (children under 2 and Skirball members and everyone on Thursdays). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
Head to Atwater Crossing for an evening of funny stories and deep music on the second night of Chanukah. Organized by East Side Jews, Reboot and the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, tonight’s 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.
Westfield Century City Mall hosts live ice menorah carving, face painting, kosher treats and festive music — what more could a person want out of a Chanukah festival? Organized by Chabad of Century City. 5-7:30 p.m. Free. Westfield Plaza, near Brooks Brothers, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-3898. westfield.com/centurycity/news-and-events.
LIGHT UP HANUKKAH
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 Shabbas, 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.
UCB ORPHANS AND JEWS HOLIDAY IMPROV HOUR
Emmy-winner Ben Schwartz; Curtis Gwinn (Onion Nets Network); UCB instructors Todd Fasen and David Harris; video game designer/writer Nick Wiger and others take improv to Jewy heights, performing scenes based on audience members’ stories about their best, worst and craziest holiday memories. Lineup subject to change. Thu. 11 p.m. $5. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood. (323) 908-8702. losangeles.ucbtheatre.com.
Book a room at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club for the third annual Jewish Soulstice Weekend. This two-night Chanukah retreat features performances by singer-songwriters and comedians, buffet-style dinners and more. Clergy will be in the mix, with Rabbis Sharon Brous (IKAR), Susan Goldberg (Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock) and David Kasher (UC Berkeley’s Hillel) leading discussions. Plus, get outdoors and embark on an audio-guided hike in the desert. Singles, couples and families welcome. Kids will enjoy the hotel pool and supervised arts and crafts. Hosted by East Side Jews, Reboot and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Fri. Through Dec. 25. Rooms starting at $189 (based on availability; two-night minimum; book online with code “Laexodus” and get 10 percent off your stay). Ace Hotel & Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. acehotel.com/la-exodus.
DINNER, MOVIE AND MENORAH LIGHTING
If you’re in the San Fernando Valley and looking for an intimate way to spend Christmas Eve, consider tonight’s event at Temple Judea, featuring Chinese food (of course) and a screening of “Sixty-Six,” a critically well-received 2008 British comedy-drama about a boy whose bar mitzvah is the same night as the 1966 World Cup. England is competing, and so many of the invited guests make excuses to stay home and watch the game. Starring Helena Bonham Carter, the film is based on the real-life experience of director Paul Weiland (“Mr. Bean”). “Not so much a bar mitzvah film as the story of a boy who is desperate to be noticed,” Weiland told The Journal in 2008. Sat. 6-8:30 p.m. $15 (adults), $12 (children, 12 and under). Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. (818) 758-3800. templejudea.com.
Tonight’s celebration of Neo Jewish Rock features a diverse lineup of bands, conjuring up jammy sounds, acoustic folk, soul, hip-hop and alternative rock. Moshav Band, Jared Stein with Mikey Pauker and Friends, Brad Wallace and Mendi Baron perform. All ages welcome. A menorah lighting kicks off the evening. Proceeds benefit Kids of Courage, a nonprofit that helps families with seriously ill children. Sat. 7 p.m. (doors), 8 p.m. (show). $15. The Federal Bar, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 980-2555. thefederalbar.com.
MOISHE HOUSES’ HANUKKAH
Drink and party it up with 20-somethings from Moishe House LA (aka MoHoLA) and Moishe House San Fernando (aka Moishe House SFV). Celebrating the fourth night of Chanukah, the two young adult groups leave their home-based communities for the Hollywood bar Happy Endings. Bar games will be in the mix as well. Sat. 9 p.m. (approximately). Free (entry only). Happy Endings, 7038 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. 818 620 7573. moishehouse.org.
“HOW DO YOU SPELL CHANUKAH??”
Veteran comic actors Marc Silver and Douglas Dickerman dissect the mysteries of Chanukah in this two-man stage show. A self-described “Jewish alternative to usual holiday fare,” Silver and Dickerman co-wrote the production. HaSharim, Temple Isaiah’s adult choir, performs Chanukah songs at the conclusion of the evening. Sat. 7 p.m. (show). Free (must pre-register by phone). Temple Isaiah, 10345 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (818) 720-3558 (please call and leave you name, contact number and how many will be attending). templeisaiah.com.
LATKES AND VODKAS CHANUKAH PARTY
Young, Jewish and have nothing to do on Christmas? Jewish young professionals are invited to celebrate Chanukah with latkes, vodka drinks and plenty of ruach. Israeli dancing, stand-up comedy and a menorah lighting will be part of the festivities. Ages 21 plus. $5 entry fee includes two drink tickets. Sun., Dec. 25, 7-10 p.m. Temple B’nai Hayim, 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks. For more information, visit “Latkes & Vodkas Chanukah Party” on Facebook or call (818) 788-4664.
RU-JU-LA SECOND ANNUAL HANUKKAH BASH
Party it up with the Los Angeles Russian Jewish Network at South Restaurant and Bar, located in the Santa Monica area. Come for the free drink and appetizers included in the price of admission. Stay for the DJ, dancing and upscale sports-bar ambience. Sun. 7:30 p.m. $18 (advance), $20 (door). South Restaurant and Bar, 3001 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (323) 658-7302. jewishla.org.
“NOT A CHRISTMAS PARTY”
Most singles events are for specific age groups (e.g., young adults or seniors). Tonight’s party proves that age ain’t nothing but a number, as it’s open to ages 21-55. Organized by transdenominational nonprofit the Chai Center, the event features an open bar, refreshments and a DJ. Sun. 2-5 p.m. $10 (presale expires Dec. 24 at 10 p.m.), $15 (door), Private Encino mansion, 5324 Genesta Ave., Encino. (310) 391-7995. chaicenter.org.
BACK TO THE FUTURE-RETURNING TO THE BREED STREET SHUL
The Breed Street Shul serves as a symbolic reminder of the Jewish community that once thrived in its neighborhood. Today, a minyan will be held at the historic site for the first time in more than 25 years, with a morning service highlighting the fifth day of Chanukah. Rabbi Moshe Bryski of Chabad of the Conejo, Rabbi Yossi Baitelman of Chabad of Studio City, Rabbi Ahud Sela of Temple Ramat Zion, Rabbi Yanke Lunger of Shaarey Tzedek,Rabbi Yaakov Vann of the Calabasas Shul and lay leaders conduct prayers. A light Kiddush and shiur follow. Sun. 9 a.m. Free. Breed Street Shul, 247 N. Breed St., Boyle Heights. (818) 349-3932. campchesed.com.
FEDERATION FAMILY FUN DAY
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Zimmer Children’s Museum host a day of Chanukah-themed kids activities. A dance party, Chanukah bingo, storytime and a concert performance by children’s singer-songwriter David Tobocman and his band are among the day’s programming. Sun. 11 a.m. $10 (per family). Zimmer Children’s Museum, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8984. zimmermuseum.org.
“HA HA HANUKKAH”
Now that Christmas is over, and with Chanukah on the way out as well (tonight’s the seventh night), you might need a pick-me-up. Comedians Steve Mittleman, Mark Schiff, Al Lubel and Stephanie Blum step up, performing tonight with some surprise guests. Cantor Kenny Ellis hosts the event, appearing with his big band, Hanukkah Swings, playing re-arrangements of Chanukah classics. 18 and over only. Mon. 8 p.m. $15 (two-drink minimum not included). Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 656-1336. laughfactory.com.
MOSHAV AND THE WELLSPRING
Moshav Band and The Wellspring perform on the last night of Chanukah at the intimate concert venue The Mint. 18 and over only. Tue. 7:30 p.m. (doors), 8 p.m. (Wellspring), 9 pm. (Moshav). $10. The Mint, 6010 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 954-9400. themintla.com.
Like a little politics with your party? Join Democrats for Israel for a holiday bash, and bring your menorah. Tue. 7-9 p.m. free (members), $25 (general, online), $30 (general, door). Workmen’s Circle Cultural Center, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. dfi.10point10.com.
Some things go together like matzah balls and chicken soup; some don’t. And the wedding/kid combination traditionally falls into the latter category. After all, unlike the bar/bat mitzvah bash, which is generally a party designed with kids in mind, the wedding celebration has adult written all over it. Toss in a stressed-out bride, a drawn-out nuptial ceremony, imported caviar and free-flowing liquor, and you’ve got an event that’s about as kid-unfriendly as they come.
Nevertheless, the flower and ring bearer must march on. Not to mention that there are times when kids belong at the wedding. As in cases of second marriages and blended families (statistics show that in America alone, 1,300 new stepfamilies form daily), family obligations (it wouldn’t be nice to blow off your soon-to-be nieces and nephews, would it?) and out-of-town guest considerations (Cousin Howie and the gang came all the way from Florida to witness your big day. How could you ask him to deadbolt his kids in a claustrophobic hotel room with a rent-a-sitter for the night?).
Fortunately, it’s perfectly possible to welcome children at your wedding without compromising the sanctity of the event or the sanity of any involved parties. The following kid-friendly touches will help ensure your littlest guests remain happy and occupied throughout.
It’s in the Bag
Upon arrival, present children with a special wedding goody bag packed with items like crayons and coloring books and bride and groom paper dolls. Be sure to throw in some kid-friendly snacks like granola bars, raisins, and goldfish crackers to fend off any hunger-induced meltdowns during the ceremony.
Put Them to Work
Kids are amazingly capable of rising to the occasion — especially when they have an “important” job to do, like passing out wedding programs, manning the kippah station or ushering guests to their seats. And they needn’t clock out after the ceremony. At the beginning of the party, give each child a disposable camera labeled with his or her name and explain that they have been hired as a junior photographer. In doing so, you’ll not only keep little hands snapping and out of trouble, you’ll capture unique, child’s-eye-view imagery of your celebration that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Make It a Happy Meal
Let’s face it. Your pint-sized guests have a bagel’s chance at a Passover seder of successfully sitting through a five-course meal made up of exclusively grown-up fare. So ask your caterer to set up a kiddie buffet line. Nothing extravagant — a no-frills table topped with carrot sticks and ranch dressing, chicken nuggets and french fries is all it will take to keep the younger set satisfied. (Happy Note: This strategy is liable to work in your favor from a cost-per-head standpoint, too.)
Set Up a Playspace
Off in the corner of the ballroom — or a nearby nook or cranny — create a makeshift kid-zone. Blocks, LEGOs, board games, Play-Doh, minimal-mess art supplies, even a couple of muted GameBoys will give jittery kiddies a welcome retreat from the adult-oriented wedding festivities.
Arrange a Mitzvah Station
Include in your playspace an area where kids can take part in an act of gemilut chasadim (lovingkindness). Put out papers, markers and stickers and let children make cheerful cards for patients at a local hospital, or have them pack care packages for American and Israeli troops. By orchestrating such mitzvoth you’ll cap the festive flair of the evening with some good old-fashioned Jewish values.
If you will have a significant number of children in attendance (and some extra funds in your budget), consider hiring a kid-friendly entertainer to work the crowd at the party. Magicians fit the bill nicely as they traditionally don black-tie attire that won’t clash with the decor while captivating the interest of children and adults alike.
Send Them Hunting
Keep kids constructively mingling with the crowd with a wedding guest scavenger hunt. Give each child a pencil and a list of descriptions, such as “a member of the bridal party” or “someone from Georgia,” and challenge them to collect signatures of guests who meet each criterion. Award prizes to successful searchers.
Hire “Camp Counselors”
Truth be told, even taking kid-friendly measures, such as those mentioned above, can’t ensure your littlest guests won’t stray into the lobby for a round of elevator races or — worse yet — into a crowded parking lot or hotel swimming pool. Keep your troops safe and under control, while giving their parents a welcome break, by hiring some trustworthy individuals to act as camp-style counselors at your event. These responsible parties should orchestrate games and activities in the kiddie corner, ensure children move smoothly through the buffet line and other child-friendly activities and put out fires caused by sibling spats and other munchkin meltdowns. (Hint: If you have a sizeable age span among children, assign one counselor to the older kids and another to the younger group.)
Wind Them Down With a Video
If your wedding celebration will last into the wee hours, arrange for your event facility to set up a television and DVD player in a nearby-but-out-of-earshot-of-the-party spot. As the bewitching hour draws near, have your counselors invite all of the children to watch a G-rated late-night flick. Supply pillows, blankets and a couple of bags of popcorn and — with a little luck and a well-chosen movie (nothing too peppy or scary) — your crowd will be crashed by the closing credits.
Sharon Duke Estroff is an internationally syndicated Jewish parenting columnist, award-winning educator and mother of four. Her Jewish parenting book, “Can I Have a Cell Phone for Hanukkah?” is now available everywhere. www.sharonestroff.com.
Founders of Hollywood’s great studios, like Jack and Harry Warner and Louis B. Mayer, played down their Jewish heritage when they arrived from the East Coast. Now, more than 70 years after the beginning of Hollywood’s Golden Age, when talkies became the rage and Jews routinely Anglicized their names, film factories are playing up the Jewish angle by hosting some of the largest and most unique b’nai mitzvah parties in town.
In the “top that” game so common on the b’nai mitzvah circuit, having a party on the backlot or in a sound stage certainly ups the ante. Like the “Titanic”-themed bar mitzvah featured in “Keeping Up With the Steins” or the opulent fairy tale-like settings found on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” such celebrations are created with a sky-is-the-limit mindset, and most studios are more than happy to accommodate a Tinseltown simcha.
While hotels and similar destinations are able to include decor that reflects a feature-film theme, the studios can one-up these venues by hosting celebrations where a movie was actually filmed, accenting the space with props from the original production. And the special-event coordinators note that the cost of renting most studio space is comparable to space costs at many Los Angeles-area hotels.
But is the unbridled use of such secular settings the right tone for newly minted sons and daughters of the Torah? While some might decry the expense of a glitzy movie studio celebration as sending the wrong message about Jewish values, especially when most synagogues provide their space to members at no additional cost, others say there are other factors to consider when keeping the b’nai mitzvah kid in the picture.
Susan Shapiro said she was extremely happy with her daughter Sascha’s ceremony and celebration on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City last August.
Family and friends of all ages joined Sascha in a studio courtyard decorated to look like an outdoor garden for her bat mitzvah, which included a Torah reading and a Havdallah service. Afterward, the party next door in the Rita Hayworth Theater was an exclusive get-together for the bat mitzvah’s friends.
Sascha’s name was displayed on a large marquee, similar to what one would find at a movie premiere. Guests walked down a red carpet, enjoyed a Wolfgang Puck-catered meal, and danced the night away on a black-and-white checkered dance floor.
“It never would have entered into my mind to have the party there,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro got the idea to hold the simcha at Sony after Sascha, now 14, attended a friend’s Sweet 16 at the studio and returned home raving about the party.
“I was really happy. Everything was on site. And it was a safer option,” said Shapiro, a professional psychologist. “At a restaurant, kids would be wandering around all over. [At Sony] there were guards watching them.”
Since the studio can tailor the party to the interests of the bar mitzvah boy or bat mitzvah girl, pre-dinner activities at recent Sony celebrations have included a make-your-own-movie area, a video arcade and a studio tour.
“At a movie studio you can do almost anything,” said Pam Byrne, director of studio services for Sony, who added that the number of b’nai mitzvah on the lot has grown every year.
Event prices vary depending on whether the client wants a lavish or intimate gathering. And naturally, all of the extras come at a price.
Shapiro said the Sony bat mitzvah for her daughter cost about $20,000, which included the venue rental, caterer, photographer, invitations and party favors, among other expenses.
“Was it expensive? Yes,” Shapiro said of her daughter’s ceremony and party, which she estimates at about $35 per child. “Was it expensive by most people’s standards? Probably not.”
Many hotels and other popular b’nai mitzvah venues outside of synagogues are comparable in price to the studios.
At the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, a bar mitzvah party, which includes venue rental, food, taxes and 20 percent service charge can range between $35,000 and $50,000, according to Shaun Brown, assistant director of catering. The onsite caterers can host a kosher function.
At the InterContinental in Century City, rental fees range from $500 to $1,500, while meals average about $54 to $64 per person, not including alcohol and a 20 percent service charge.
Marsha Rennie, event producer at Paramount Studios, said rental fees for a party at their lot average about $2,000 for one of their smaller venues and can balloon to $11,500 for one of the larger areas, which can hold up to 5,000 guests. The Melrose Avenue lot features 10 venues, from the intimate gardens of Valentino Park to the massive outdoor New York Street. The studio does not feature in-house catering, although the event staff can recommend a vendor for those who need it.
It’s a slightly different scene across town at Universal Studios, where soundstage No. 6 is dedicated solely to special events. Universal event planners note that set decorators and prop masters have transformed the 5,000-square-foot space, and its adjacent Mediterranean-style courtyard, into just about everything under the sun.
“Some [clients] come with a clear idea, a party planner and a decorator; others will come in open to our suggestions,” said Scott Ackerman, Universal’s director of catering. “We had a space theme for a bar mitzvah, where we suspended giant florescent-painted planets. Instead of regular lighting we had black lighting, and we piped in fog as guests came in.”
For a “Wicked”-themed bat mitzvah, based on the “Wizard of Oz” prequel, a yellow brick road led the guests onto the sound stage, which featured the Emerald City and a round dance floor covered in a winding yellow brick road pattern. The table centerpieces included giant lollipops and licorice castles.
While No. 6 is the primary destination, Ackerman said any spot at Universal is open for parties, however no one has yet to celebrate a simcha at their Red Sea tour stop. And “Desperate Housewives” fans might be crushed to learn that Wisteria Lane is currently off-limits due to ongoing filming.
OK, I’ll be absolutely honest — I spent this past New Year’s Eve alone. Sure, I could have salvaged the situation with a round of frantic last-minute calling, but I never got around to it because I had to go and get into a fight. Fortunately, I was the only one who got hurt. You see, I picked a fight with myself. And on New Year’s Eve day, no less. Almost out of nowhere and with virtually no warning, I started in on myself.
So, who’s your lucky date for New Year’s Eve?
Please. You know darn well I don’t have any date tonight.
What? The Duke of Dating flying solo on New Year’s? I’m stunned. How can it be?
I don’t want to talk about it. It just worked out that way.
It doesn’t “just work out that way.” You worked it out that way. How many coffee dates have you had this past year?
Too painfully many to remember.
And not one of them was available for New Year’s Eve?
You don’t just ask someone out on a date for New Year’s Eve. It’s a very meaningful night. A very expensive night. It’s not for “a” date; it’s for “the” date.”
So with all those coffee dates, how come none of them worked out into “the” date?
You want a reason for each? She wasn’t attracted to me. I wasn’t attracted to her. She wanted someone who made more money. I wanted someone who talked about something other than herself. She wanted to have more kids. I wasn’t communicative enough for her. She didn’t have a sense of humor. I didn’t have a passion for four cats. Shall I continue?
You know what you’re doing, don’t you?
What am I doing?
It’s so obvious. For every woman you meet, you’re finding some reason, any reason, to keep you from starting a relationship.
Is it? You mean to tell me you meet a woman who’s perfect in every way, except she has four cats, and that’s the deal-breaker?
Look, I never said she was perfect otherwise. And besides, if I didn’t want a relationship, what am I doing spending all this time and energy meeting women?
You really want to know?
I asked, didn’t I?
You’re addicted to dating.
Get out of here.
Exactly. That’s the message you’re giving these poor women: “Get out of here.” For you, it’s all about the thrill of the chase. Ms. Right’s just around the corner. The next one’s going to be flawless. Well, get this, oh Sultan of Singles: There is no Ms. Right; there is no flawless, and there is no satisfaction for you if you keep on this way. One day you’re going to wake up to find yourself 78 years old and on your way to your next coffee date. That what you want, Pops?
Of course not. But none of the ones I’ve met this year feel right. I’ve had coffee dates where everything just clicks, we start dating, and before long, we’re in a relationship.
Sounds lovely. And where are those “everything-clicks” women now?
They didn’t work out.
They didn’t work out? Or you subconsciously torpedoed the relationship so you could get back to your addiction?
You know, I’ve about had it with you. You disgust me. Get out of my sight.
I can’t. I’m you and you’re me.
What did I do to deserve this?
Well, come on, don’t give up on me. What do you suggest?
I don’t know. Since I am you, I’m somewhat limited in my perceptions and insights.
You don’t have to insult me.
I’m sorry. OK, look, let’s try something different this year. One word: “Stop.” Stop the coffee dates. Stop the singles Web sites. Stop the matchmaking services. Stop the personals ads. Stop the singles parties and dances. Just stop.
Are you heading for a celibacy thing? Because that’s not what…
I’m trying to keep you from a celibacy thing. Just live your life. Do your work. Be with your friends and family. Volunteer for something. Be out in the real world. She’s out there, but you’re trying too hard. Stop trying. Start living.
I don’t know. I’ll think about it.
That’s all I ask. Now let’s get some Thai food, and for the love of God, no “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
I was in no mood to fight with myself any more. I picked up some Thai food. I called a few loved ones. I watched a Marx Brothers movie. And I gave some serious thought to what I’d said to myself. It wasn’t so bad. Yes, I was alone, but not lonely, really. And maybe next New Year’s Eve, I’ll have a date. She can even bring her cats.
North Valley JCC: 7:30 p.m. “Communication Prescriptives: A Guide to Healthier Relationships” with Celeste Charbonnet-Cross. $5 . 16601 Rinaldi St., Granada Hills. (818) 360-2211.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
UCLA: 8 p.m. UCLA Live’s Spoken Word series presents playwright, author and director David Mamet. $15-$35. Royce Hall, UCLA campus, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 825-2101.
Klutz Productions (21-45): 8 p.m. Party at Monroe’s Bar to benefit Operation USA’s Tsunami Relief Fund. $10. 8623 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 360-0066.
Jewish Outdoor Adventures: 10 a.m. Intermediate hike to Orchard Camp on the Mount Wilson Trail. Free. Carpools run from West Los Angeles and the Valley. For more information, e-mail JewishOutdoor@yahoo.com.
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Project Next Step: 8p.m. “Coffee Talk” with coffee and pastries. $7. 9911 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 284-3638.
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L.A.’s Fabulous Best Connections: Sportsmen’s Lodge supper and conversation. $10. R.S.V.P., (323) 782-0435.
Westwood Jewish Singles (45+):
7:30 p.m. Therapist Maxine Gellar leads a discussion on “The Use of Power in Relationships.” $10. West Los Angeles area. R.S.V.P., (310) 444-8986.
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New Age Singles: 6 p.m. Eat and Schmooze West L.A. sociable no-host dinner. R.S.V.P., (323) 874-9937.
Project Next Step: 7 p.m. Talking for Tolerance discussion “Is There Such a Thing as a Judeo-Christian Culture?” with African American Group Joshua Ministries. Simon Wiesenthal Center, Museum of Tolerance, 1399 S. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 772-2466.
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Conversations at Leon’s: 7 p.m. “Transitions, The Spice of Life.” $15-$17. 639 26th St., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P., (310) 393-4616.
New Start/Millionaire’s Circle: 7 p.m. Social in Beverly Hills. (323) 461-3137.
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USC Chabad: 6 p.m. Israel-themed Shabbat with Israeli food, songs and discussion. Guest speaker on the ingredients for success in the business world. 2713 Severance St., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (213) 748-5884.
JANUARY 28, FRIDAY
The Party Line
Nearly 30 political parties are vying in Israel’s Jan. 28
According to the latest polls, about 15 parties stand a
Following is a guide to the leading parties in the race:
Likud: The odds-on favorite, with a projected 32 seats in
Traditionally, the party has opposed any territorial
Labor: Labor has the largest number of seats — 25 — in the
With much of the Israeli electorate turning rightward, party
Shas: With 17 seats in the current Knesset, this fervently
Shinui: This dovish and secular party is the Cinderella
Meretz: When Yossi Beilin, the architect of the Oslo accords
National Union-Israel Our Home: Led by Avigdor Lieberman, a
The National Religious Party: This pro-settler party is
United Torah Judaism: This fervently Orthodox bloc, which
Yisrael Ba’Aliyah: This immigrant-rights party, which held
One Nation: This workers-rights party seeks to close the
Green Leaf: This party advocates legalizing marijuana. Polls
Herut: This nationalist party is expected to retain its sole
Hadash-Ta’al: The latest coalition in the Israeli Arab
United Arab List: A coalition of the Islamic Movement and
Balad: A nationalist, pan-Arabist movement, chaired by Azmi
Scandal Could End Sharons Career
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