Calendar Picks and Clicks: Oct. 27–Nov 2, 2012


SAT OCT 27

“Seeds of Resiliency”

Documentarian Susan Polis Schutz’s new film introduces us to 12 diverse people who have survived tragedies and challenges by having hope and helping others, including a Holocaust survivor who believes that “the worst can bring out the best in us,” a man who escaped war-torn Uganda and now assists other refugees, and a Korean professor who became a quadriplegic but does not consider himself unfortunate. Sat. Various times. $5. Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Laemmle’s Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.

SUN OCT 28

“Midrashic Mirrors”

An art exhibition and panel discussion marks the completion of “Midrashic Mirrors: Creating Holiness in Imagery and Intimacy,” a book project developed by a group of female artists and writers at Temple Israel of Hollywood, which illustrates how the creative process animates the nexus between Torah and our personal lives. A wine, cheese and dessert reception kicks off the festivities, followed by a walk-through of the installation. Afterward, Rabbi Michelle Missaghieh facilitates a discussion with the project’s authors and artists. The event concludes with a first-edition book signing and sale, with proceeds benefiting Temple Israel’s education scholarships. Sun. 3-6 p.m. Free. Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org.

Propositions Party

Are you confused about the propositions? Temple Kol Tikvah holds a nonpartisan forum for California voters to learn about of the issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. Speakers present the pro and con positions on all 11 of the state propositions, which include tax initiatives to fund schools, labeling of genetically modified food, three-strikes reform, an end to the death penalty and increased penalties for human trafficking. Sun. 3-6 p.m. Free. Temple Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 348-0670. koltikvah.org.

“Unbroken Spirit”

Former Soviet refusenik Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich, who at the age of 22 attempted to hijack a plane to the West to raise awareness about the desperate plight of Soviet Jews, discusses and signs the newly released English translation of his memoir, “Unbroken Spirit: A Heroic Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival.” Sun. 7 p.m. Free (reservations required). Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-8403. museumoftolerance.com/unbrokenspirit.

MON OCT 29

“Jewish Values and the 2012 Ballot”

IKAR’s Rabbi Sharon Brous and Rabbi Ronit Tsadok, American Jewish University’s Rabbi Aryeh Cohen and leaders of social justice organization Bend the Arc discuss the November ballot initiatives through a Jewish lens, addressing what Jewish tradition says about the death penalty, criminal justice and income equality. Mon. 7:30 p.m. Free. Westside JCC, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 634-1870, (323) 761-8350. ikar-la.org, bendthearc.us/events.

TUE OCT 30

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor Zubin Mehta leads the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Schubert’s Symphony No. 3, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Brahms’ Symphony
No. 1. Pianist Yuja Wang also appears. Tue. 8 p.m. $47-$156. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 850-2000. laphil.com.

THU NOV 1

“Rita in Concert: A Celebration of My Roots”

Israel’s diva reconnects with her Iranian roots and brings a world-music experience to UCLA as part of her U.S. tour. Rita performs selections from her latest album, “My Joys,” which features contemporary renditions of classic Iranian songs, blending Tel Aviv-inspired club music, pop and gypsy sounds with Farsi lyrics. Sponsored by the Iranian American Jewish Federation. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $35-$200. UCLA campus, Royce Hall, 240 Royce Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 825-2101. cap.ucla.edu

Pete Wilson and Gray Davis

Former Govs. Wilson and Davis discuss Propositions 30 and 38, initiatives on the November election ballots that promise to raise additional money for K-12 education and community colleges. Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles and Journal columnist, moderates. Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free. Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. wisela.org.

FRI NOV 2

2012 Kindertransport Association Conference

The Kindertransport Association, a nonprofit that unites children Holocaust refugees of the Kindertransport rescue movement with their descendants, hosts “Generation to Generation: Honoring the Legacy, Transforming the Future,” a three-day biennial international gathering. Workshops and speakers explore the legacy of the Kindertransports, a rescue movement that took place on the eve of World War II and saved nearly 10,000 German, Austrian and Czech children. Fri. 7 p.m. Through Nov. 4. $330 (Kindertransport Association members), $370 (general). Includes two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, programs and complimentary shuttle from John Wayne International Airport. Hotel registration: $99 per night (single or double occupancy). Irvine Marriott Hotel, 18000 Van Karman Ave., Irvine. (516) 938-6084. kindertransport.org

24-Hour Party People


There’s a guy in line behind me whose name I can’t remember but who is a good friend of a 50-year-old I once dated whose name I also can’t remember, which is kind of ironic — I stopped dating him because he’s too old, and it’s my memory that’s failing.

But that’s neither here nor there tonight as we wait outside in the wet foggy cold for one last winter holiday party. While something like 80 percent of Americans are enjoying their eggnog and recovering from time spent with their dysfunctional families, we Jews are smushing into a West Hollywood hotspot.

I’m here with my friend Jon, my former trainer, whom I’d “won” at a Jewish Federation auction. It’s a good thing he’s with me because that will help me get through meeting every guy whose name I can’t remember. (“This is Jon,” I will say, hoping the other person will then introduce himself.) Jon also is on hand to shield me, as needed, from the plethora of men here.

There’s 1,000 people, a fair amount of sleaze, and I’m almost afraid to walk alone in the throngs. The ratio is 2-to-1 men. Still, I confess I’m happy with the crowd. Sometimes it’s nice to go to a Jew party in Hollywood: Among the short, the dark-haired, the rhythmically challenged, I might rate a 9, as opposed to a mere 6 among the Amazonians of Shiksaville.

Jon gestures over to a Steve Wright-look-alike at the bar.

“There’s that frizzy-haired guy we see at every party,” he says disdainfully.

Just then it hits me: If we see Frizzy-Haired Guy at every party, doesn’t that mean that he sees us at every party? Am I the type of person who is at every single party? It’s true that I’ve already been to the Progressive Jewish Alliance party, and will probably also attend the Chabad, Kabbalah Centre and various house parties, but does someone walk into a party, spot me, and say, “Oh no, she’s here; I guess it’s that kind of party?”

I see other familiar faces, too. There’s the Israeli guy I walked out on at my date at the Coffee Bean. There’s this girl whose e-vites and e-mails I’ve been assiduously avoiding for years. There’s that NRA sympathizer whom I got into a fight with at a Shabbat meal. And there are also my friends, lots of them, and we gather in the less-crowded rooms upstairs for some air. It seems one of those nights when there are so many people — too many people — no one will meet a soul, so you might as well just have fun.

“Let’s play a drinking game,” I tell my friends. “For every person whose picture you’ve seen on JDate, take one sip.”

My friend Tom pipes in: “For every girl — or guy — you’ve gone out with, that’s two sips.”

“What about people you’ve slept with?” Tom’s friend asks.

“That’s a whole drink, my friend,” Tom says.

“As long as you’re driving me home,” he replies.

“What about a girl you’ve gotten a marriage proposal from?” Eric asks me quietly as the others scope the room. It turns out that this woman — he once went out with her, sort of — cornered him a few minutes ago and told him she thinks she loves him and wants to marry him.

“I think you’ve automatically won the game,” I tell him.

Just then Sharon walks by.

“Hey Eric, do you know Sharon?”

They do that dumb thing where they act like they don’t know each other because they obviously do, and Eric shoots me a look.

Too late I realize that this is the girl who cornered him. But I know her. I know she was probably drunk and probably kidding — but still I see how that kind of situation might be a little “Fatal Attraction.”

Enough games. It’s time to head downstairs again, where Jon and I dance for half a song at a time till the DJ ruins perfectly good ’80s music with cuts of house music (are we so old?). By about 2 a.m., Jon and his friend want to leave, but I haven’t met one new person all night. I have a rule of three: Three new guys a party.

Someone is taking a picture of me. So I go over and introduce myself. Conversation runs dry like a martini, but still, that’s No. 1.

Israeli guy comes over with his friends; he’s forgiven me for running out on our date — actually, I think he likes me more — but he introduces me to his South African friend. That’s No. 2.

I’m tired. I sit down — my heels have only a four-hour standing time on them. Then a guy named David approaches. Unfortunately he’s wearing a chain, but still, he’s No. 3.

Jon and his friend and I head to a deli for a post-mortem on the party: it looks like quite a number of others are there doing the same thing. Around California the holidays are winding down, but could it be that for us Jews, the fun times have only just begun?

11:59 and No Plan


It’s almost 2006, and I’m almost proud of myself. Almost.

I’ve accomplished most of my 2005 New Year’s resolutions: Been a devoted daughter/aunt/sister/friend, got a new job, got into grad school and bought a new, sumptuously soft forest green couch, complete with a plush, inviting ottoman.

I just fell short in one area: Newly single just days before 2006, I’m also planless for New Year’s Eve (NYE).

Not this again.

Rolling off holiday season parties, the dreaded latke rush and the change-of-season blues, the idea of planning a fabulous evening is as appealing to me as poking my eyes with cocktail stirrers. Coupled (and often oblivious) defectors from the ranks of singles get to hang out in their jammies, and it’s acceptable if they’re hard-pressed to stay up past midnight. Meanwhile, folks like me have been deluded into the possibility of meeting someone new, and perhaps getting the elusive midnight kiss. We mustn’t spend this night alone, right? Competitive by nature, determined in spirit, I must create something unforgettable out of something rather routine. I need (another) resolution.

Think, lovely, think. (Yes, I try to call myself that as often as possible.)

In my 20s, I experienced the traditional NYE rites of passage — the requisite friends, alcohol, money-wasting and romantic storylines. Now in my 30s, NYE should be a piece of cake.

At least, theoretically.

Days before NYE, my Gmail’s “Reply to All” feature has been officially and mortally abused by friends opining about their grand NYE wishes. This party, that suggestion, these friends, those people.

Haven’t I learned my lessons?

As young college grad learning about money, I sought value. So, I once paid $150 (about a week’s pay at the time) to attend a 5,000-person party at some chi-chi club. To reserve my spot at this ultra-exclusive event, I delivered my check (in-person) to some guy named “David,” who lived on the other side of town.

Over the course of the evening, I tried to get my money’s worth of bottom-shelf open bar, which nearly obliterated the vibe of the tremendous space, thumping music and huge crowd. Sure, I may have met some people there. But the most memorable part was the weather. See, when I finally decided to leave, I discovered that my coat (and others) had been stolen by other value-seeking party goers.

Another year, my search for NYE romance found me spending quality time with tasty amaretto sours (pre-cosmo, post solo-cup stage). Friends and I packed into a local bar with my crush of the year. Decked out — my curly hair blown out straight as could be — I sweated the evening away with my crush of the year, dancing and chatting. Crush and I were amorous, adorable and insatiable. That is, until the sours soured, sending me for refuge to the “not-so-lady-like-room,” where my best friend dutifully held my quickly curling locks in my moment of need.

Then there was my NYE in Israel, which found me chatting in broken Hebrew in some random man’s apartment on a random block in Tel Aviv. (I think we talked politics, then got engaged for the night — although I forget his name.)

The Holy Land seemed a bit far the following year so I pranced around NYC to arbitrary parties full of folks “like me,” and missed the ball drop as I returned a favor of hair-holding for my friend. (You’d think we would have learned to carry hair bands by then.)

“Maturity” — or at least experience — soon taught me to crave people and good food rather than an open bar. So I fondue-d and taboo-ed — often with coupled friends — and escaped unscathed, and better, well-fed. One year, I even enabled the romance of others by throwing my own 75-person bash (free for others, $$$ for me) in my not-so-big apartment and arranging a shidduch (not for myself).

And the crowning glory? The year my boyfriend whisked me away to a bed and breakfast, where I enjoyed good company, a delicious meal and a taste of hope for a future — without NYE chaos. I got my midnight kiss, and was gleefully home minutes after the ball dropped.

These grounded, mature attempts took the most effort, involving months of preparation, but the glory clearly didn’t last (although they were easier on my liver).

So here we go again. That anticipated yet dreaded night returns, begging for attention and causing frenzied chaos. I inspect others’ plans. I try to piggyback. I attempt new plans, but it’s too late for “interesting” things. Ridiculous notions of what could be reverberate in my head. I flash back to the overcrowded bars, to the nervous energy of the Dec. 31-11:59 p.m. combo, and to the porcelain and flushing water. I catch my breath, and suddenly everything is clear.

There will be no strobe lights and no clinking glasses. No slinky black dresses and certainly no uncomfortable shoes. Instead, I see dimmed lights, my menu of choice and, yes, all-cotton, drawstring sweats.

Maybe, NYE is Just Another Night. And you know what else? Come Dec. 31, single or coupled, bloated or malnourished, contemplative or perfectly content, not only will I have reached my truly consequential goals for the year, I will also have one damn cozy couch on which to celebrate.

Yes, so I’m pretty proud of myself. Too bad it only took me 3,646 days to figure it out.

Dara Lehon, a freelance writer living in New York City, can be reached at dlehon@yahoo.com.

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Dated


You know how Harry Potter has a scar emblazoned on his forehead from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Dan has a big T for Trouble on his, marking him as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Dated.

Let me start in the middle: I go to this party at an awful place in Santa Monica, in some dark and crowded and loud basement bar, and I feel like I’ve accidentally, anachronistically stepped into a college party circa 1992 except that everyone here is old — by old I mean my age — and it’s hard to have a proper conversation.

Of course you don’t go to a bar for proper conversations — I’m not that old — but you can hardly see anybody or anything except the mosh pit of bodies swaying in 2-by-2 dancing/flirting/making-out duets. Maybe it’s just one of those nights when I feel terribly left out of everything no matter where I go. (I’ve just come from a Shabbat dinner with lots of married couples and kids — try finding an outfit that fits both these occasions.) Or maybe it’s Dan.

I met Dan a few weeks ago at an awesome party downtown. It was held on the entire floor of an industrial building on Spring Street, where a dozen or so artists were showing their work — mostly photographs and paintings but with a couple of jewelry and clothing designers interspersed. The lighting and the ceilings were low in a way that made everyone look more scintillating than they might in a retro basement bar in Santa Monica. Of course, it could have been the flutes of wine or the chocolate truffles. Or could it really have been Dan?

I wasn’t even looking to meet someone. I was actually dating someone else.

Which is why Dan and I could talk like normal people, and not single people on the make, dressed up in our best costumes and our most sparkly personalities, working furiously to obfuscate our skeletons beneath endless layers of jaunty jingles. So we talked about — what else? — relationships.

My one-two analysis: Dan has commitment-phobia, candy-store syndrome, and/or model rocket-scientist disorder. The thing is, like with milk or eggs, he can predict the exact shelf life of his relationships, but he goes for it anyway, pretending it’s real because he wants the comfort. He’s the guy that, out of the blue, when things were going perfectly well, says that things are not going well at all and disappears like he’s in the FBI Witness Protection Program. Dan is like many of my male single friends — friends I swear I’m going to dump because of the pain and torture they subject on womankind.

On that particular night, Dan’s problems didn’t bother me, because I had someone else. But then a little while later, I didn’t.

So when Dan called a few weeks later to invite me to this party in Santa Monica. I remembered his periwinkle eyes and his scruffy brown hair and the way he constantly touched my arm for punctuation. I said yes.

I finally locate him among the throngs, and we start talking. The problem is, we continue our conversation where we left off a few weeks ago: He regales me with his dating problems. How this one girl in Northern California is outdoorsy and smart but she lacks passion. How this other girl in Los Angeles is an aerobics instructor with an awesome body but not an intellectual.

“I want someone who is smart and challenging and has interests and is Jewish,” he says. “Is that too much to ask for?”

“Me!” I want to say. “Me! I’m smart, I’m Jewish, I’m passionate, I’m outdoorsy, I’m cool. What’s wrong with me?”

But I know: We’ve entered the friend zone. I’m like the fat girl in high school that boys confided in but never dated. Except that in high school I was the girl that everyone dated and didn’t confide in. So, I don’t know what to say when Dan points out the hot waitress. Okay, it’s hard to ignore her: fake boobs, butt tattoo, nimble waist that is so out of place in this dump — but am I such stuffed cabbage that I have to hear about the next entrée?

I’ve always heard stories of couples who were friends before they started dating, or people who claimed to have married “their best friend.”

But how is that possible? How can you see a person stripped of all their games, their pretensions, their public face, and still go through with it anyway?

Even in the darkness of this alcohol-drenched room, I can see Dan clearly: I’d never get anything more than an extended one-night stand that seemed like a romance. And he’s told me way too much about his technique and the endgame.

So I said my goodbyes and left Dan to go after the hot waitress. That’s what friends are for, right?

 

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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SHABBAT

Valley Beth Shalom Sisterhood:

9 a.m. Women’s Minyan with the theme “The Flame and the Soul: Reflecting God’s Light.” 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 343-3078.

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LECTURES

Jewish Artists Initiative of Southern California: 2-4 p.m. “Jewish Sources: Space, Time and Memory” panel discussion on “Too Jewish – Not Jewish Enough: Jewish Art in the Art World.” Jewish Federation, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 740-3405.

Kehillat Ma’arav: 7:30 p.m. Trudi Alexi speaks on “Spain and the Jews: A Paradoxical Relationship.” $10-$12. 1715 21st St., Santa Monica. (310) 829-0566.

EVENTS

Sinai Temple: 12:30-4 p.m. (Sun.) and 8:30 a.m. –6 p.m. (Mon.) Used book sale in the library. 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3215.

Westside Jewish Community Center: 1-4 p.m. Fiftieth anniversary celebration. Free. 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 938-2531.

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LECTURES

The New JCC at Milken: 7-9 p.m. “Bringing Meaning by Caring for Others,” part of the “Lights in Action Speaker Series.” Free. Finegood Arts Center, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3300.

Jewish World Watch: 7:30 p.m. “Genocide – Emergency: Sudan – Who Will Survive?” Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (818) 788-6000.

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EVENTS

Daphna and Richard Ziman: 6-8 p.m. Fundraiser reception for mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg. $500-$1,000. Beverly Hills residence. (310) 966-2613.

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EVENTS

Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring:

1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Reading and book signing for Florence Weinberger’s “Carnal Fragrance.” Free. 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007.

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LECTURES

Sherry Frumkin Gallery: 7 p.m. “Meet the Press; How the Media Covers the Israeli-Palestine Conflict” panel discussion with journalists Amy Wilentz, Hussein Ibish and Rob Eshman. Free. Studio 21, Santa Monica Airport, 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 397-7493.

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DECEMBER 17/FRIDAY

CHANUKAH

Sat., Dec. 11
Happy Minyan: 8 p.m. Chanukah concert and stories by Shlomo Katz. Congregation Mogen David, Los Angeles. (310) 285-7777.

Sun., Dec. 12
Klezmer Jews: 9 a.m.–noon. Chanukah Concert. Santa Monica. (310) 398-6055.
The Center for Sport and Jewish Life: Noon-6 p.m. Celebration with L.A.’s largest menorah and celebrity guests. Universal City. (818) 758-1818.
Chabad of Conejo Valley and Friendship Circle: 1-3 p.m. Extravaganza for children with special needs. Los Angeles.
(323) 653-1086.

Chabad of Ventura County: 2-5 p.m. “Chanukah at the Harbor” with the commanding officer of Ventura County Naval Base. Ventura. (805) 658-7441.

Congregation Mishkon Tephilo:
5:30 p.m. Party and Doda Mollie’s “Chanukah Pajamikah” sing-along. (310) 392-3029.
Sephardic Congregation of Northridge: 5:30 p.m. Chanukah celebration. Northridge. (818) 481-9709.

Tuesday, Dec. 14
North Valley JCC: 1 p.m. Seniors (55+) Chanukah Party. Granada Hills.
(818) 360-9384.

Friday, Dec. 17
Cheviot Hills Senior Citizens Club: 10:45 a.m. Latke Party, boutique and live entertainment. West Los Angeles.
(310) 652-7508.

Singles

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Harbor Jewish Singles (55+): 6 p.m. Chanukah party with catered dinner and gift exchange. $12-$14. Private residence in Orange. (714) 939-8540.

Sephardic Singles Havurah (40s-60s):
7 p.m. Chanukah celebration and potluck dinner with candle lighting, prayers, songs and dancing. $5. R.S.V.P.,
(323) 294-6084.

Elite Jewish Theatre Singles: 8 p.m. No-host dinner social followed by the play, “Play It Again, Sam.” $17. Santa Monica area. R.S.V.P., (310) 203-1312.

Jewish Singles, Meet! (30s and 40s):
8 p.m. Chanukah party. $10. Private Encino residence. R.S.V.P. by Dec. 10, (818) 750-0095.

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Singles Helping Others: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Assist the National Council of Jewish Women with their holiday flea market sale. (323) 663-8378. Also, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sierra Madre 2005 Rose Parade float decorating. (818) 345-8802.

Jewish Outdoor Adventures: 10 a.m. Hike to Saddle Peak via Backbone Trail followed by hot tub and Chanukah party. Free. Piuma Road, Malibu. JewishOutdoor@yahoo.com.

Conversations at Leon’s: 2-5 p.m. “The Modern Wines of China” wine tasting. $15. 639 26th St., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P., (310) 393-4616.

ATID (21-39): 4 p.m. Adventures in Judaism II presents “Chanukah: Lights, Miracles, Action!” $30. 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3244.

G.E.E. Super Singles: 7 p.m. Holiday Latke Party. $12-$15. R.S.V.P., (818) 501-0165.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple: 10 a.m.-noon. Lox Lattes and Learning program discussion with journalists Bob Baker and Paul Feldman on “Journalism and Israel: Is There an Anti-Israel Bias?” $50-$65. Private residence. R.S.V.P., rabbidennis@aol.com.

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Nexus: 7:30 p.m. Weekly dance classes for beginner and intermediate levels and open dance. $6. 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. www.JewishNexus.org.

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Westwood Jewish Singles (45+): 7:30 p.m. Discussion on “Commitment, the Big C.” $10. West Los Angeles area. R.S.V.P., (310) 444-8986.

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New Age Singles (55+): 6 p.m. “Eat and Schmooze” no-host dinner at Tony Roma’s Restaurant. 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 874-9937.

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L.A.’s Fabulous Best Connections: Dinner at Marmalade Cafe. R.S.V.P., (323) 782-0435.

Conversations at Leon’s: 7 p.m. “Sex, What Do Men and Women Really Want?” $15-$17. 639 26th St., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P., (310) 393-4616.

New Start/Millionaire’s Circle: 7:30 p.m. Social honoring men who do charity work. Beverly Hills. R.S.V.P., (323) 461-3137.

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Chai Center (40-55): 7 p.m. Singles Friday Night Shabbat. West Los Angeles area. R.S.V.P., (310) 391-7995.

Upcoming Singles

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DECEMBER 26, SUNDAY


Age-Old Dilemma


My friend Lindsay’s friend, Michelle, hosted a 30th birthday bash for her friend, Beth, last Saturday night. So of course I was there.

And so was birthday girl Beth’s friend Michael’s friend, Rob. And Rob was hot.

Six-foot-two before breakfast, with broad shoulders and blue eyes, Rob had the kind of sarcastic bite that kept me entertained. He worked for a music label, traveled often and liked my smile. And for the first hour and a half of the party, he liked me — until I mentioned that I was a junior at UCLA when the Bruins won the national championship.

"So wait, you graduated college in ’96? I didn’t even graduate high school until ’97."

Insert awkward pause here.

Still awkward….

And after what seemed like an excruciatingly long time for Rob to do the math, he said, "I can’t believe you’re 28. You don’t look old."

And the round goes to Rob with the K.O. punch. I don’t think of myself as old. I get carded often, I still wear pigtails and I have the same energy I had when I was a high school cheerleader (not to mention the uniform — which comes out on occasion).

But none of that mattered to Rob once he discovered our age difference. I’ve heard younger men are supposed to find older women alluring, because we’re experienced vixens who can teach them a thing or two. But Rob wasn’t interested in a private lesson with me. He mumbled something about me being old enough to have seen "Star Wars" in the theater and him being born in the ’80s. Then he grabbed his full beer cup, said he needed a refill and sprinted toward the nearest minor in a miniskirt. I was going to run after him, but who can run with my arthritis? Oy. An alter-kacker like myself doesn’t need to go shlepping after some shmendrick she just met at a party.

Now, Rob’s reaction to my Mrs. Robinson status would have hurt less had it been unique. But the truth is that not only do younger men prefer younger women — older men prefer younger women. The guys who should be in my dating pool are splashing around in the kiddie pool. They, too, are looking to meet a barely legal girl. How low do they go?

Most men follow the Seven principle. To find their lowest dating denominator, guys divide their age by two then add seven. Any girl of that age is considered fair game. According to the formula, guys at 28 dip as young as 21. 40-year-old men are snogging with 27-year-old chicks. Even Abraham went 10 years younger with Sarah. And since that worked out pretty well, Jewish men feel free to follow in their patriarch’s footsteps and date the younger babes.

So where does this leave me? Do I follow some predetermined dating age rule, too? Of course. All women do. The female formula for age and dating goes something like this:

Never discuss your age. Flirt at will.

Single gals are well aware that exposing our age to a suitor too soon has costly consequences. If our number’s too high, men’ll toss us in the ineligible pile faster than you can say early-bird special. Which is why we women reveal our cleavage, but not our age.

But why does age even matter? Why are men so determined to date younger women? It’s a physical thing. Men are attracted to women who can still pull off knee socks and a little plaid skirt. And they prefer if you pull them off slowly. It’s a Peter Pan thing. Men don’t want to grow up, and they think dating a girl who is younger will keep them younger. And it’s a commitment thing. Men are convinced that women past their mid-20s have just one thing on their minds. And it’s five letters longer than what men have on their minds.

Well men, stop being so ageist. A 22-year-old with a Britney bod can be looking for kids, a picket fence, and a man on a short leash while a 35-year-old woman with a doctorate might be looking to play the field.

Young Rob was too quick to judge. He said himself that I didn’t look old. And trust me, he was looking. And while I may be 28, I’m not some psycho husband hunter who’s looking to lasso in any unmarried cowboy who happens to ride my way.

The point is, men should consider a woman’s social age, not her actual age, when making a dating decision. But I’ll be the Blanche Deveraux of Leisure World before men start thinking that logically.

Sure, fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you’re young at heart. But in the L.A. singles scene, it’ll happen a lot faster if you’re young and hot.


Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at sports@jewishjournal.com.

The Matzah Bull


Christmas Eve 2001. Bing Crosby’s on my radio, Jimmy Stewart’s on my television and I’m on my couch.

I usually find a night with my remote pretty satisfying, but tonight it’s not hitting the spot. Tonight I’m feeling grumpy, disheartened and a little bit lonely.

It just seems like everyone else has someplace to be. There are stockings to hang, friends to meet. Most other Jews have Chinese food to eat. And here I am kicking it home alone. No fam, pal or jolly man in sight. My peeps all bailed on our plans to hit up the Matzah Ball dance. And I know Santa won’t be paying this naughty girl a midnight visit. I’m just settling into an "I don’t have a date. I’ll never have a date. I hate the holiday season. Bah humbug" huff, when I remember the comic.

Earlier that day, The Journal’s associate editor, Adam, tossed me a piece of Bazooka. The gum was jaw-crack hard, but the comic was mighty good. Bazooka Joe said: "You can’t hit the ball if the bat stays on your shoulder."

Or in my case, you can’t hit on men if your butt stays on your sofa. In Los Angeles, it’s easy to stay home with a quart of Chunky Monkey, a bottle of Merlot and an "I’ll always be single" attitude. But, that behavior only perpetuates your sans man status.

To live and date in L.A., you have to put yourself out there. Take a risk. Be all that you can be. So armed with my red tube top, my super-low jeans and my new proactive attitude, I decide to brave the Matzah Ball on my own. I have nothing to lose. I might end up back where I started. But I might bag a little drummer boy. Won’t find out if I don’t go out.

I’m two strides out of my cab when I hear, "Are you heading to the

Matzah Ball?"

Meet Matt and Josh, two fine looking Jews. They inform me it’s like Nate ‘n Al’s on a Sunday morning in there: totally crowded.

"We’re meeting friends for beers at Saddle Ranch while we wait for the line to go down. Why don’t you join us?" Mom said never talk to strangers, but she didn’t say anything about tall, Jewish, single strangers. Besides, the whole point of my adventure is to meet new people. So I follow my pied pipers across Sunset Boulevard.

Once we hit Saddle Ranch, it’s go time! Matt serves up a round of shots, and some small-talk chasers. Where are you from? What do you do? Who do you do? Josh is into hiking, Matt’s into music and I’m into them. These guys are great. Our conversation comes fast; our drinks come faster. And just as I’m getting my buzz on, the rest of Matt’s Jew crew arrives. Suddenly, I have more men than Santa has reindeer. And each man’s more interesting than the next. There’s Dashing and Smashing and Doctor and Victor. Comic and Cutie and — well, you get the picture. I haven’t met this many smart, Jewish men since I walked in on the wrong side of the

mechitza.

Can’t believe I almost stayed in to snuggle up with "A Very Brady Christmas."

I’m flirting my little kishkes off when the crowd starts whooping and hollering. All eyes turn to the mechanical bull. Some city slicker is actually staying in the saddle. Before I can say "bucking bronco," the boys pay my bull-riding fee. I’m hesitant at first — but all work and no play makes me a dull Jew.

So in the Bazooka Joe spirit, I sign a waiver, hand Matt my ID, and name Josh my "in case of emergency." Well somebody buy this Jewish babe some chaps, cause I stayed up for two full rounds (which is more than I can say for my tube top. Note to self: not ideal rodeo wear).

The bartender yells "last call" all too soon. I never even made it to the dance, but if my goal was to find good times, good laughs and genuinely good guys, then mission accomplished. The Magnificent Seven are the type of fun, friendly, easygoing men who make my jingle bells rock. And to think, I almost didn’t

meet them.

So I grab some chutzpah — and a handful of matchbooks — and write down my number. "I’d like to stay friends with you guys. So I truly hope one of you calls." And one of them did. Matt. The very next day — but partially because this Cinderella left her ID at the ball.

And although a year later I’m not dating any of my Matzah Ball menches, the Bazooka Joe comic still hangs on my fridge. It reminds me to go to that party, accept that blind date, embrace the dating adventure. Cause Joe was right. You may swing and miss. You might even strike out. But you gotta take the pitch to

find out.

"Afterschool Special" lesson learned: I’ve got to start chewing more gum.

Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at sports@jewishjournal.com.

Wingman Wanted


Let’s talk about Ruth and Naomi, two smokin’ hot babes who Thelma and Louised it from Moab.

Ruth could have ditched her friend to find a new dude. But instead, she played her “where you go I go, where you stay I stay” wingman card and schlepped across the desert with Naomi. My girlfriends used to be like that.

I used to have plenty of unhitched, “work all day, flirt all night, no sleep ’til Brooklyn” party pals. It was “where you drink I drink, where you flirt I flirt.” Whether it was Friday night at El Carmen or Saturday night at Jones, chasing men was always a group effort. My wingmen and I were a TEAM: Together Everyone Attracted More.

To catch Los Angeles’ top guns, we followed a “stay on my wing, I’m-taking you all the way in” game plan. See, Jewish guys hit the singles scene in packs, or at least pairs. Order a cute boy? Side of his hot friend coming right up. Look at Moses and Aaron, or Ben and Jerry. I’m telling you, where there’s a Will, there’s a Wayne. And since men stick by their “no mensch gets left behind” mantra, they don’t ditch their dude just to chat with a chick, no matter how shayna her punim.

That’s where my wingman comes into play. I need a friend for his friend, a babe for his buddy. I work bachelor No. 1, while my wingman takes what’s behind bachelor No. 2. We’re talking, “attention single shoppers, there’s a two-for-one sale on babes at the bar.”

But lately, I find myself flying solo on a Saturday night. Oh where, oh where did my single friends go? Seems the chicks in my clique are all dating, married or hauling around gargantuan diamonds. So they traded girls’ night out for couple’s night in. My fellow “fight for your right to party” gals have settled into committed relationships, leaving this Laverne without a Shirley. And where there’s no schlemiel, I’m not getting schlimazel.

So, I’m looking for a few good wingmen. Fellow bar-hopping, boy-hunting, unattached women who still want to make the most of their bachelorette lives. Problem is, in Los Angeles, cool chicks are as rare as real breasts. So I’m having a hard time finding fun women I actually like. When did it become so difficult to make new female friends? I don’t even know where to meet them.

When I want to meet men, I just pick them up. It’s easy. I pick them up at bars on Fridays, playing volleyball on Saturdays, watching my Bears on Sundays, even in the grocery line on Mondays. I can meet men with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back. But women are less likely to respond to that. So I’m not sure how to hook this up. There’s no Speedfriending or JPal. And I’m not the “shop ’til you drop, oh I love what you’re wearing, let’s drink nonfat decaf ice-blended mochas and hang out at the paint-it-yourself pottery place” girly girl type. Maybe I should use the Jedi mind trick: these are the new friends you are looking for. Or perhaps I should take out a wingman wanted ad: Single Jewish female seeking fun female friends. Age 25-35. Must have appetite for adventure, no ring on finger and the ability to tag-team flirt with a dynamic duo. Applicant should have accurate bachelor radar, a thorough understanding of the buddy system and a quick response time to the universal sign for “please rescue me from this nudnik.” No plans for marriage in the near future preferred. A strong sense of loyalty and friendship a must.

It’s that last part that matters most. Despite the fact that the mind of the unmarried man says two blondes are better than one, I attract lots of guys when I brave the singles scene alone. I just show a little pupik, shake a little tuchus and I pick up a whole minyan of men hoping to dance the horizontal hora.

So there’s more to a wingman than the old dating “divide and conquer.” A wingman’s a fantastically fun friend who’s up for long chats, happy hours and chick flicks. She’s a confidante, an accomplice, a partner in crime. She’s a “laugh out loud, cry on her shoulder, lean on me when you’re not strong, girls just wanna have fun” gal. And, like Ruth, a wingman should be ready to accompany me on long treks across the desert, ’cause I’m a big fan of the spontaneous all-girl Vegas roadtrip.

So if you’re a fellow “fly by the seat of your tallit” girl who, lately, has found herself flying solo — you can be my wingman anytime.

Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at sports@jewishjournal.com.

Calendar & Singles


Calendar

SATURDAY/8

Sinai Temple: 9:30 a.m. Shabbat services. 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 474-1518.

Barnes & Noble: 2 p.m. Author Peter J. Levinson discusses and signs “September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle,” a book about the famous band leader. 111 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. For reservations or more information, call (626) 683-8551.

Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles: 8 p.m. “One People, Many Stories,” hour-long radio show celebrating Chanukah with celebrities such as Bill Pullman reading works from authors such as Sheldon Oberman to I.B. Singer, on KPCC-FM. Also: Sun., Dec. 9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrities such as Doris Roberts will read stories at the Skirball Chanukah festival. $8 (adults); $4 (children). 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For tickets or more information, call (323) 655-8587.

Adat Shalom: 7 p.m.-11 p.m. USY teens meet to babysit children of all ages. Features movies, games and food. $5 (per hour, per child). For reservations or more information, call (310) 390-6549.

The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Yale Strom and Klazzj, klezmer/jazz musical performance. $12 (members); $15 (nonmembers); 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 552-2007.

Young Israel of Century City: 7:30 p.m. “A Night of Comedy and Song,” featuring Journal contributor Mark Schiff, followed by a dessert reception. $100 (one ticket); $180 (two tickets). Silver Screen Theater, 8687 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. For reservations or more information, call (310) 273-6954.

SUNDAY/9

Temple Emanu El: 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Students ages 5-12 will perform Chanukah songs with the Laurel Canyon Retirement Community. 5527 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village. For more information, call (818) 562-6644.

Beth Jacob Synagogue: 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Chanukah carnival with rides, a moon bounce, petting zoo and more. 910 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 278-1911.

Kol Neshama Performing Arts Conservatory: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. “Chanukah Scenes,” performance for women and girls only with music and dancing. $10. The Ivar Theater, 1605 Ivar Ave., Hollywood. For more information, call (310) 772-8221.

Chabad of the Marina: 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. Chanukah festival with grand menorah lighting, moon bounce, clowns, balloons, raffles, music, prizes and food. $5 (general admission). 2929 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey. For more information, call (310) 578-6000.

The Beverly Hills Hotel: 5 p.m. The first night of Chanukah is kicked off by 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Jack Glicksman lighting the menorah, and Rabbi Yosef Cunin speaking on the significance of the holiday. Reception and musical entertainment will follow. 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills. For reservations or more information, call (310) 208-5159.

Congregation Kol HaNeshamah: 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Chanukah festivities with food, Israeli dancing and singalongs at the Northwood Community Center in Irvine. $10 (adult nonmembers); $5 (children nonmembers); $8 (adult members); $4 (children members). For more information, call (949) 551-2737.

Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center: 10 a.m.-noon. “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Early History of the Bible,” lecture and breakfast. $3. 1434 N. Altadena Drive. For more information, call (626) 798-1161.

Temple Beth David: 2:30 p.m. “Three Faiths, Three Holy Seasons, One Common Quest for Peace,” lecture regarding Christianity, Islam and Judaism and their fundamental tenets. 9677 Longden Ave., Temple City. For more information, call

(626) 287-9994.

MONDAY/10

National Council of Jewish Women: 11:30 a.m. Annual Chanukah luncheon and fashion show, benefiting children’s services. $35. The Calabasas Inn, 23500 Park Sorrento Drive, Calabasas Park. For more information, call (818) 986-8365.

Temple Israel of Hollywood: 9:15 a.m. Clinical Psychologist and author Wendy Mogel discusses her book, “The Blessings of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children.” Refreshments served. For more information, call (323) 936-1850.

UCLA Female Sexual Medicine Center: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. “Let’s Talk About Sexual Health,” free workshop led by a therapist, nurse practitioner and research coordinator, all available for questions. The Westside Pavilion, 10800 W. Pico Blvd., Community Room C, Los Angeles. For reservations or more information, call (310) 208-2222 ext. 229.

Beverly Hills Public Library: 7 p.m.-9 p.m. “The Charming Pimp: Bashevis Singer’s Infatuation With the Underworld,” presentation by author Susan Dworkin. 444 N. Rexford Ave. For more information, call (310) 288-2220.

Committee for Judicial Independence: 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. “Justice Hangs in the Balance: The Federal Courts and Our Basic Rights at Risk,” lecture by Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way. University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Brentwood. For reservations, call (323) 223-4462 ext. 3157.

TUESDAY/11

The Jewish Federation: 8 a.m. Breakfast reception featuring Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo discussing Sept. 11 and hate crime. Four Seasons Hotel, 300 Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. For more information, call (323) 761-8077.

WEDNESDAY/12

Fairfax Senior Citizens Center: 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Holiday party with raffle prizes, dancing and refreshments. Also: Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. New Years Eve Party featuring food, entertainment, party favors, food and drinks. $20. 7929 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. For tickets or more information, call (323) 653-1824.

Calabasas Shul: 6:30 p.m. Heroes of Freedom Chanukah Celebration 2001 with latkes, donuts and music at the Calabasas Commons. For more information, call

(818) 591-7485.

B’nai Tikvah Congregation: 7 p.m. Community candlelighting and singalong. 5820 Manchester Ave., Westchester. For more information, call (310) 645-6262.

Temple Beth Shalom: 10 a.m. Pan tournament with prizes ranging from $50 to $100 and a continental breakfast. 3635 Elm Ave., Long Beach. For reservations or more information, call (562) 594-8817.

Jewish Studies Institute: 7 p.m. “Does Yoga Help or Thwart Our Spiritual Focus?” discussion about yoga and its relationship to Judaism and the Torah, as part of the Talkback series. $4 (members); $5 (nonmembers) Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 552-4595. ext. 21.

Sinai Temple: 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen will speak on the country’s security and economic situation, followed by a dessert reception. 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For reservations or more information, call (323) 761-8220.

Anti-Defamation League: 7:30 p.m. “The Role of Coalition Building in a Diverse Los Angeles,” panel and reception led by Marjorie B. Green, director of Educational Policy and Programs. $20. Wyndham Bel Age Hotel, 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. For reservations or more information, call (310) 446-8000 ext. 230.

THURSDAY/13

Temple Sinai of Glendale Seniors: Noon-2 p.m. Chanukah celebration with latkes, dreidel spinning, gifts and songs. 1212 N. Pacific Ave. For more information, call (818) 766-8700.

American Civil Liberties Union: 6 p.m. Annual Bill of Rights Dinner honoring individuals who have preserved civil rights featuring Antonio Villaraigosa, Fred Davis and Jerry Offsay, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. For reservations or more information, call (213) 977-9500.

KCET: 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Documentary of seven Palestinian and Israeli children and their intimate and detailed accounts of the war and peace efforts in the Middle East.

Singles

SATURDAY/8

Palos Verdes Singles: 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Party at a private home with live entertainment, dancing, a catered buffet and a complimentary bar. $25. For more information, call (310) 372-6071.

The Wise Years (60+): 7 p.m. Party with live entertainment and food. Toy donations accepted for charity. $5 (members with a gift); $7 (nonmembers with a gift); $17 (all those without gifts). For more information, call (310) 395-1235.

SUNDAY/9

L.A.’s Best Connection: 2 p.m. Chanukah lunch. For location and more information, call

(323) 782-0435.

Jiffy Date (25-39), (49-60): Meet for introductions in the Westside. $20. For more information, call (310) 276-6200.

MONDAY/10

Israeli Dancing: 8 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Open session dancing. For more information, call (800) 750-5432.

TUESDAY/11

Isralight (20-40s): “Nights of Light” class with an emphasis on Chanukah. For more information, call (310) 552-9420.

WEDNESDAY/12

The Learning Annex: 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Party at Lush, benefiting the Sept. 11 Fund. $19 (in advance); $24 (at the door). 2020 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 478-6677.

Shari Mindlen: 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. “How to Meet Someone Over the Holidays,” workshop. $20. The Empty Stage, 2372 Veteran Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 394-2647.

THURSDAY/13

Conversations!: 7:30 p.m. “Would You Marry Yourself?” lecture. $15. For more information, call

(310) 315-1078.

FRIDAY/14

Sinai Temple: 7 p.m. Friday Night Live, service, refreshments and socializing. 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 474-1518.

 

MONDAY/2

Singles Helping Others: 7 p.m. General meeting to plan events and activities. For more information, call (323) 769-1307.

Israeli Folk Dancing: 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dance session with Israel Yakovee. Also: Lessons every Thursday with Michelle. $6. 2244 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (800) 750-5432.

TUESDAY/3

Singles Helping Others: 7:30 p.m. Fourth of July celebration at the Hollywood Bowl, with fireworks. $18. For reservations or more information, call (323) 851-9070.

Bridge for Singles (59+): 7:30 p.m. Intermediate players meet at a private West Los Angeles home. $4. For more information, call (310) 398-9649.

Jewish Association of Single Professionals (25-55): 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Independence dance party with appetizers, dessert and no-host bar. $20. Lush, 2020 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. For more information, call (323) 656-7777.

Social Circle (35-59): 8 p.m. Blue Jeans Bash with a live Oldies band, dancing, food and drinks. $20 (members); $25 (nonmembers). Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Dr., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 476-8561.

Stu & Lew Productions (21-39): 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Fourth annual Summer Blowout dance party. $20 House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. For tickets or more information, call (310) 364-2301.

WEDNESDAY/4

L’Chaim Entertainment (21+): 9:30 p.m. Party with singers and a DJ playing international, salsa, Middle Eastern and hip-hop music. $10. Dinner available with reservations. Beverly Hills Cuisine, 9025 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 289-4435.

Nexus (21-39): 2 p.m. Independence Day potluck picnic, with volleyball, canoeing, barbeque and fireworks at North Lake, Woodbridge, Irvine. For more information, call (714) 974-2279.

Jewish Singles Meeting Place (30’s-40’s): 5 p.m. Barbeque party at a private home in celebration of the 4th of July. For reservations or more information, call (818) 780-4809.

New Age Singles (55+): 2 p.m. Fourth of July potluck pool party. $3 (if accompanied by food); $10 (without food). For members only. For reservations or more information, call (310) 473-1391.

Jewish Single Parents & Singles Association: 3 p.m. Picnic with games and fireworks. Yorba Linda Middle School, 4845 Casa Loma Ave., Yorba Linda. For more information, call (909) 262-1788.

THURSDAY/5

Conversations!: 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker leads discussions with food and drinks, every Thursday. $15. For reservations or more information, call (310) 315-1078.

FRIDAY/6

New Age Singles (55+): 6:30 p.m. No-host dinner, followed by Shabbat services at Adat Shalom Temple. For reservations or more information, call (310) 854-0358.

UPCOMING

Palos Verdes Singles (35+): Sat., July 7, 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Dance party with dinner at a private home. $25. For reservations or more information, call (310) 372-6071.

New Start (30-75): Sun., Aug. 5. “A Romantic Evening With the Gatsbys,” event with food and drinks. For more information, call (310) 478-3137.