October 15, 2019


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In a video on his elijahdrinks.com Web site, Jaffe demonstrates his invention to a friend. Because he wanted a genuine reaction, he had a set-up that sitcom writers seldom encounter: “I had to do it in one take.” (Thus Jaffe mentions in the video that it sells for $29.95, when it’s actually priced at $34.95 plus shipping on the

Dariush live in Las Vegas 2007

The concert at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas was advertised as a “night to remember,” and it lived up to the hype.

During the Dariush Eghbali concert on Dec. 23, which drew about 5,000 Iranian Americans, local Iranian Jewish fans were shocked when the popular Iranian Muslim singer made what some considered to be an anti-Semitic remark between songs.

Despite a recent meeting with Eghbali, the controversy continues, more than three months later, as the Iranian Jewish community awaits an official apology from the singer.

During the concert, Eghbali quoted an alleged passage from a book he attributed to Lebanese American poet Khalil Gibran, best known in the United States for the book “The Prophet.”

In a video clip (since removed) from the Las Vegas concert posted to Eghbali’s Web site, dariush2000.com, the singer speaks in Persian, saying, “Different people have different talents.” He elaborates, saying that Iranians notice one bad tree in a beautiful park; Germans are power-seekers; Italians are fashion-oriented; and Jews are “mochareb,” which is the Persian word for “saboteurs.”

After making the statement, Eghbali reiterated that the words were Gibran’s and told the audience he had a message of harmony and peace for all peoples.

Iranian Jews who attended the concert began circulating e-mails denouncing the singer, calling for boycotts of his shows. Others called on Calabasas-based concert promoter Tapesh to pressure Eghbali into making a formal apology. Tapesh issued a written statement to the media indicating they were not responsible for the comment he made and did not endorse it.

In late February, Iraj Shamsian, a close Iranian Jewish friend of Eghbali, brokered a meeting between the singer and nine leaders from the local Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF).

“At the meeting Dariush said he really didn’t think Jewish people are saboteurs and it was something he read in a Farsi-translated book,” Shamsian said. “At the meeting he clarified that he never meant to hurt anyone and was sorry some people were hurt by what he said.”

Elias Eshaghian, chairman of the IAJF, said that while he and other Iranian Jewish leaders were initially pleased with the outcome of the meeting with Eghbali, they are awaiting a formal letter of apology from the singer.

“We are surprised that even though he expressed his regret over his statement … he has still not released a written apology to start healing the wounds in our community,” Eshaghian said.

Shamsian said the 57-year-old singer, who lives in Los Angeles and Paris, was shocked by the allegations of anti-Semitism and disappointed with the e-mails circulated about him.

“He was very hurt when he received those e-mails,” Shamsian said. “He told me it was one of the worst experiences of his life, because after 40 years of being a beloved performer in the Persian community he never thought Jewish people would think he was anti-Semitic. He’s always had a message of harmony amongst all people.”

The controversy surrounding Eghbali’s statement briefly unified the local Iranian Jewish community, which is often plagued by infighting. During a Jan. 2 meeting, nearly 70 Iranian Jewish leaders from different organizations gathered at the IAJF synagogue in West Hollywood to discuss the community’s response to Eghbali’s comments.

The community leadership agreed that a tempered response to the incident would be needed once the singer issued a formal apology.

“We need to respond to [Eghbali] properly but also calm our community because emotions are running high,” said Rabbi David Shofet of the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills. “We need to use our energies in more productive ways to help resolve other more serious issues the community faces.”

Iranian Jews who have seen the online video of Eghbali’s Las Vegas concert said his statement may have been insensitive but was not intended to be anti-Semitic when placed in context, since he was calling on all people of the world to set aside their differences and unite in harmony.

“There is no benefit in him [Eghbali] saying something negative about Jews,” said Bijan Khalili, an Iranian Jewish publisher. “Unlike Ahmadinejad who wins support in the Arab streets by bad-mouthing Israel and the Jews, Dariush wins nothing by make any alleged anti-Semitic statement — so it’s obvious there was no negative intent by him.”

Karmel Melamed has more on this story in the Iranian American Jews blog.

Khalili said Eghbali is not known to have made anti-Semitic remarks in the past and has enjoyed a strong Jewish fan base for 30 years.

Shamsian also defended Eghbali, saying the singer “does not have an anti-Semitic bone in his body [nor] have I never heard Dariush say anything anti-Semitic or express hate for any religious group.”

Eghbali, who is on tour in Europe, did not return repeated calls for comment.

Iranian Jews, for the most part, have enjoyed warm relations with their Muslim compatriots since both groups immigrated to Southern California following the 1979 Iranian revolution. Khalili and other local Iranian Jews said they did not want isolated incidents like the one involving Eghbali blown out of proportion and jeopardizing their existing friendships with Iranian Muslims.

Dariush Fakheri, one of the founders of the Eretz-SIAMAK Cultural Center in Tarzana, said he was disappointed with the IAJF for missing the opportunity to really engage Eghbali and educate local Iranian Muslims about anti-Semitism through help from Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation League.

“We are not radical Islamic leaders to issue fatwas against people who insult us,” Fakheri said. “We as Jews are a peace-loving people and should have put together seminars to educate Muslims about issues of anti-Semitism — after this incident we see the importance of gatherings such as these.”

Iranian Jewish activist Noorollah Gabai (left) and Iranian Jewish publisher Bijan Khalili at IAJF meeting on January 2. Photo by Karmel Melamed

Israeli singer Hadar Manor—who lives in London—was just named ‘Queen of the Underground’—and here’s why!

Silent slideshow shows images of the funeral in Jerusalem

Condolence visits are part of a rabbi’s life, but no one ever taught us how to make nine visits in a 48-hour period.

We arrived in Israel on the morning of Tuesday, March 11, and left Israel the following night. Our mission, representing the Rabbinical Council of America, was to express solidarity with the families of the victims of the terror attack at yeshivat Mercaz Harav, comfort the injured in the hospitals and visit the yeshiva.

We were joined at different parts of our trip by Rabbi Joseph Pollack of Boston, Rabbis Milton Polin and Jay Karzen of Jerusalem, and Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University, and Rabbi Joshua Joseph, his chief-of-staff.

During our two days in Israel, we never heard anyone call for revenge. What we heard was a determination to enhance Torah study, prayer, concern for the welfare of the nation and a vision to double the Mercaz High School enrollment from 250 to 500. This, it was said, would be the appropriate answer to the terrorist’s destruction.

We immediately traveled to Ashdod to visit the family of Doron Meherte, 26. Meherte arrived in Israel from Ethiopia at the age of 8 during Operation Solomon. He was an outstanding Talmud student who was studying for the rabbinate.

Known for his keen concentration, Meherte did not even notice the terrorist entering the library and was the only student killed while sitting at his table immersed in his studies. The volume he was studying became saturated with his blood and was buried with him.

Ro’ie Roth, 16, of Elkana, was passionate about prayer and would often be the last in the yeshiva to complete his daily prayers.

Yonatan Eldar, 16, of Shiloh was part of a close-knit group of friends. Because of his great love for the land of Israel, he became an avid hiker.

Yehonadav Hirschfield, 19 of Kokhav Hashahar was the grandson and great-grandson of two prominent American rabbis. He had completed studying the entire Mishna 70 times, and on that fateful night, he was completing the Mishna once again.

Avraham Moses, 16, of Efrat, the son of American immigrants, was beloved in his community for his exceptional acts of kindness.

Segev Avihail, 15, of Neve Daniel, was a prolific writer at his very young age.

Yohai Lifshitz, 18, of Jerusalem, blessed with an analytical mind, spent his days and nights in the study hall.

Neria Cohen, 15, the youngest victim, was an eager student who wrote sophisticated questions to Israel’s leading rabbis.

At each home, we were received with warmth. Each family remarkably demonstrated an incredible spirit and an awe-inspiring faith. We were shown blood-stained and bullet-burned books that the boys had been studying, and we heard remarkable stories about each boy’s commitment to Torah and acts of kindness.

Each family expressed the feeling that they were not alone in their grief and that the entire Jewish nation was mourning with them. One father remarked that he received calls from all over the world.

Our trip included hospital visits to the three most seriously wounded boys. The oldest was a 26-year-old father of two who suffered a serious arm injury. The youngest was ninth-grader Nadav Samuel. Nadav calmly recounted his experience of being shot six times in his arms and legs while taking cover behind a bookcase.

The most gravely hurt boy was Naftali Sheetrit, 16, from long-suffering Sderot. At the time of our visit, he was in a medically induced coma, with serious abdominal and leg wounds. We met his family sitting outside the intensive-care unit next to an Arab family also waiting on a loved one.

The surgeon who operated on Naftali had rushed to the hospital when he heard about the attack. He was the first to open the door of the ambulance, and when he saw how grave Naftali’s situation was, he wheeled him into the operating room without scrubbing. The boy had to be resuscitated twice during the procedure.

Our call to Mercaz Harav, together with Yeshival University’s Joel, was very emotional. Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, head of the yeshiva, gave us a walking tour of the library and a full description of the murderous attack. The signs of the horror were still visible. Contrary to press reports, the terrorist never had any association with the school.

Our brief visit reaffirmed our pride in Israel and its many unsung heroes. The boys who were murdered take their place among our nation’s martyrs, and the courageous survivors are a great inspiration.

Hershel Billet is the rabbi of Young Israel of Woodmere, N.Y. Elazar Muskin is the rabbi of Young Israel of Century City.

” border = 0 vspace = ‘8’ hspace = ‘8’ align = ‘left’ alt=”pick gif”>We know. March has been one long Purimpalooza with parties, megillah readings, carnivals, face paint and ubiquitous bounce houses. But, this party promises to be different: “Wet Hot American Purim” may not be as titillating as its title would imply, but it will certainly make you laugh. JDub records presents a screening of “Wet Hot American Summer,” the classic cult mash-up of summer camps starring Michael Showalter, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce, who will reunite on the silver screen of WeHo’s Silent Theater followed by a wet, hot party on the patio with Israeli D.J. Soulico spinning all night long. If you wear a camp T-shirt, you get a free Michael Showalter CD — now that’s the holiday spirit. Sat., 7:30 p.m. $20. Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 655-2520. For tickets, visit ” target=”_blank”>http://www.levantinecenter.org.

A fabulous Purim Ball will be hosted by Second Generation, an organization founded in 1978 that serves children of Holocaust survivors and is dedicated to Holocaust education and remembrance. Enjoy wine and vegetarian refreshments while exploring the unique setting that features Judaica and sports memorabilia in a two-story venue. Costumes are optional. Sat., 8 p.m.-midnight. $40 (members), $50 (general). Elm Collection, 150 S. Elm Drive, Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 277-4438 or e-mail sodawater52@gmail.com.

Spice up your Purim with a fragrant hookah, an elaborate henna tattoo and the mesmerizing gyrations of an authentic belly dancer at the steamiest O.C. party of the season, “Hookahs and Hamantaschen.” Sip cocktails with single and not-so-single young professionals, ages 21 to 45, and indulge in Middle Eastern cuisine while enjoying a live band and ogle fellow partygoers’ funky costumes (guests are encouraged to come dressed up!). Celebrate with the Young Leadership Division in an event sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Orange County, Taglit-Birthright Israel, Chemers Gallery and The Buddy Group. Sat., 8 p.m. $40. Dotlot Studios at The Buddy Group, 7 Studebaker, Irvine. (949) 468-0042. ” border = 0 vspace = ‘8’ hspace = ‘8’ align = ‘left’ alt=”pick gif”>Ever wondered what makes music particularly Jewish? Award-winning composer Michael Isaacson, recently honored as one of the 10 most distinguished Jewish sacred music composers in America, will delve into this topic during his book launch of “Jewish Music as Midrash: What Makes Music Jewish?” The Juilliard School of Music and Hebrew University trained composer has written and published more than 500 sacred and secular works, conducted and produced more than 50 CDs and albums and is the founding music director of the Israel Pops Orchestra and the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music. Sun., 2 p.m. $5 (suggested donation). The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, 525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. ” border = 0 vspace = ‘8’ hspace = ‘8’ align = ‘left’ alt=”pick gif”>Our old “friend” David Schwimmer has left Central Perk and now makes his directorial debut with “Run, Fat Boy, Run,” a raucous comedy about an overweight fellow who decides to get in shape and compete in the London Marathon. The new auteur will appear at “Reel Talk With Stephen Farber” and presumptively get grilled on what it was like to make his very first film — oh, and what it was like to kiss Jennifer Aniston. Mon., 7 p.m. $20. Wadsworth Theatre, Veterans Administration grounds, building 226, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 365-3500. ” border = 0 vspace = ‘8’ hspace = ‘8’ align = ‘left’ alt=”pick gif”>In 1980, autism affected one in 10,000 U.S. children. Less than 30 years later, one child in every 150 is diagnosed with the disorder. However, the gloomy statistic is no match for the uplifting new HBO documentary, “Autism: The Musical,” a day-by-day chronicle of a remarkable woman, Elaine Hall, herself the mother of an autistic child, who gathers a group of autistic children and teaches them to channel their emotions through the power of theater. The film focuses on the Los Angeles-based Miracle Project , which was designed to foster the writing, rehearsing and performing of autistic children’s own musical productions. Director Tricia Regan documented this powerfully cathartic process for six months, and the result is a moving tale of triumph over tragedy. Tue., 8 p.m. on HBO. For more show times, visit

Dear Senator Obama:

Twelve-hundred Jews booed you last month.

This happened at the “Live for Sderot” concert at the WilshireTheatre on Feb 27. All three presidential candidates each appeared on screen to deliver a videotaped statement of support for the Israelis undergoing a brutal campaign of terror in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.

Sen. Hillary Clinton appeared first, spoke clearly and decisively and received a smattering of applause. Then you came on. The crowd jeered throughout your brief statement and booed and hissed at the end of it. I didn’t have the opposite of an applause meter with me, but I’d say the reaction hit a low point when you said we must all look forward to a day when “Israeli and Palestinian children can live in peace.”

Jimmy Delshad, the Persian Jewish mayor of Beverly Hills, bristled. “Palestinian?” he told me. “It’s like he has to throw that in our face.”

Then Sen. John McCain appeared on screen, and the place exploded. Applause, cheers, standing ovations. McCain spoke with utter conviction of Israel’s right to live in peace, and when he was through, even more cheers.

That brief audition was as clear a demonstration as any of something I’ve noticed happening over the last few months: the giant sucking sound of Jewish support for the leading Democratic candidate.

This isn’t normal. Sen. John Kerry received 76 percent of the Jewish vote against President Bush, and no one even liked him. People say you may make history as the first black president, but it’s possible you might also make history as the first Democrat to lose the Jewish vote since 1920, when Warren G. Harding was elected president. (But that doesn’t really count, since a good portion of the Jews then, including my grandmother, Leah Fink, voted for the socialist, Eugene Debs.) Can you survive without the Jews? Sure, but in a general election their activism, money, influence and actual votes can make the difference in swing states like Ohio and Florida.

If the reaction of the crowd at that concert provided any guide, McCain could reap 40 percent to 50 percent with nary a socialist in sight. Granted, the “Live for Sderot” concert drew an intensely pro-Israel crowd, including many Israelis, and it was not a scientific sampling. In the California primary, for instance, Jews voted 49 to 47 percent for you over Clinton.

But there are plenty of signs that if you indeed become the Democratic nominee, you will have a lot of explaining to do between now and November. Why is this happening to you among a constituency that has voted reliably Democratic?

My friend Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor of The New Jersey Jewish News, has a few ideas on this. Latent racism is one. The black- Jewish comity of the civil rights movement gave way to mutual distrust beginning with the urban riots, black nationalism and putative leaders like Louis Farrakhan, who thought the best way to raise black America up was to put Jewish Americans down. Those wounds left scars — which your relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. tore wide open.

Then there is the lack of a track record. Yes, you received a perfect score from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. You have longtime Jewish supporters, some of whom, like campaign manager David Axelrod, have been integral to your campaign. Your record on Israel and other Jewish issues is solid — but not long. “We know Hillary; we know McCain,” a Washington pro-Israel activist told me last week. “Obama — we don’t know him.”

With Israel facing Hamas to the south, Hezbollah to the north and Iranian nukes further east, it’s hard to blame Jews for being hesitant to cast their lot with an unknown. Finally, there is what Carroll calls the “kishkas factor,” the lingering question among less partisan Jews whether you feel for Israel in your guts, or kishkas.

Your speech last Tuesday sought to address those concerns. You distanced yourself from the political outlook of your pastor, saying it is “a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.” That’s a good sign.

But in the interest of making this a fair fight, let me offer you some more advice: Read the story of Purim. That’s right, the way into understanding us is to read the 2,300-year-old Book of Esther, which Jews read every Purim. It’s the story of a Jewish woman who, despite her acceptance into the upper reaches of non-Jewish society, retains her devotion to her people. And it’s the story of a people who, despite their acceptance into the king’s court, even into the king’s bed, must always be prepared to confront and defeat their mortal enemies.

One can read the Purim story at many levels, but for your purposes, understand what it says about Jewish insecurity, about the nagging sense that no matter how powerful and wealthy and popular we are — and we are all those things — we never feel truly secure.

Yes, sometimes our insecurity gets a leg up on our good sense — one can cherish Israeli children and still sympathize with Palestinian children, for example. But, as Leon Wieseltier recently wrote, “The political exploitation of fear notwithstanding, fear is not always a fantasy.”

If you don’t have time to read the Book of Esther, check out YouTube. There’s a video floating around of a ceremony held earlier this year. As Israelis sing “Hatikva” on the grounds of Auschwitz, three Israeli fighter jets scream through the sky above the former death camp. Those two impossibly paradoxical images are us, circa 2008.

Yes, we want to be inspired — we are suckers for the next JFK, the next Rabin. But we also want to rest assured, and you’ll need to work harder on helping us feel secure, in our kishkas.

Obama’s Tuesday night speech: ‘A More Perfect Union’

Sabeel Conference

StandWithUs and American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) attended the All Saints Sabeel Conference (Letters, March 7). Rabbis [Steven] Jacobs and [Haim Dov] Beliak got basic facts wrong and grossly mischaracterized the event. The rabbis should not defend Sabeel and attack those who have raised red flags about Sabeel’s objectives and views.

Contrary to the rabbis’ claims, speakers did not advocate a two-state solution. The Rev. Ateek said he “didn’t care” if there were one or two states and elsewhere has repeatedly said one state is the “ideal.”

The conference’s Jewish anti-Zionist speakers, Gabriel Piterberg, Anna Baltzer and Marcy Winograd, all directly or indirectly advocated a one-state solution, which would mean an end to the Jewish state. When Winograd called for one secular state, she got a standing ovation.

These “moderates” twisted history beyond recognition, erased all context for Israel’s self-defense and exaggerated or lied about Israel’s current counterterrorism measures.

Speakers claimed that Palestinians are engaged in “nonviolence,” ignoring the wars and terrorism Israel faces and has faced for 60 years.

Their claim to nonviolence is deceptive. Despite their calm voices, their demonizing narrative is violent and an incitement for physical violence against Israelis.

The rabbis minimized the significance of Sabeel equating Palestinians and Jesus, but such deicide imagery has driven anti-Semitism and pogroms for centuries and gives further justification for Palestinian violence.

How could this event lead the rabbis to believe Sabeel promotes dialogue or to praise them while condemning those who seek fairness and balance? The Sabeel Conference imported the disfiguring propaganda of Arab anti-Israel radicalism into a Los Angeles church.

Mainline Christian support for these views will only inflame the Palestinian extremism at the heart of this ongoing conflict. The Rev. Bacon’s high praise of the Rev Ateek is a betrayal of Christian-Jewish friendship.

Roberta Seid
Education Director
Roz Rothstein
Gary Ratner
Western Regional Director
American Jewish Congress

Free Speech

Flemming Rose’s passionate appeal is fine as far as it goes, but let us Jews not be so smug about the ways our own fundamentalists disparage principles of free speech (“Free Speech and Radical Islam,” Feb. 29).

Last June, the gay pride movement tried to organize a march in Jerusalem that had to be canceled because of threats of violence from the Haredi community. In fact, the year before, a Haredi fanatic stabbed a gay demonstrator with a knife, who barely survived. It was a fanatical Haredi who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, permanently depriving him of his free speech.

Women who exercise their free speech rights to dress as they wish, pray at the Western Wall or even to sit on buses on certain routes through Jerusalem are beaten, stoned or mauled. And when the Orthodox rabbinate in Israel legally dominates all family rites, such as marriage and funerals, the free speech of every other variety of Jew (secular, Reform, Conservative, etc.) is severely abridged.

So it is not just the fanatics but the very State of Israel that actively suppresses its citizens’ speech and rights.

The problem is not with certain religions or certain cultures but with fundamentalism and fanaticism and their enablers, wherever these excesses occur.

We Jews are not immune.

Eric A. Gordon
The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring
Southern California District

‘Off-the-Handle’ E-mails

Though I am certain you will not publish this letter, as it is obviously not politically correct, I write to you nonetheless in the hope that those of you in decision-making positions will reevaluate the responsibility you carry as Los Angeles’ only Jewish newspaper.

How ironic that on your online discussion page you sanctimoniously disapprove of lashon hara (slander), yet when it comes to big news, it’s your duty to report it. A case in point is the article written about Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz (“Chai Center Rabbi Explains ‘Off-the-Handle’ E-mails,” Feb. 15). It is nothing less than character assassination.

Yet, alas, you are the only game in town for someone looking for local Jewish news. If editorially, as well as with news reporting, you would begin to present balanced news relevant and sensitive to all branches of Judaism, based upon the demographics of the L.A. Jewish population, many more would look forward to each issue, and you might really become what I sense you would like to be called: Los Angeles’ Jewish newspaper.

Yehuda Frischman
Los Angeles

Karl Rove

I thought your article was accurate on the experience of listening to Karl Rove (“Karl Rove Lecture Spins Crowd Animosity to Admiration,” Feb. 29).

I support the university in its wisdom to present speakers who are controversial.

The evening was fascinating, informative, and Rabbi [Robert] Wexler did a masterful job. I left thinking only how sad it is that a man like Karl Rove, with his brilliance and passion, does not choose to use his obvious abilities to make positive changes in the world.

Lynne Silbert
via E-mail

I fervently support American Jewish University and Gady Levy’s fine work, but hosting Karl Rove was a bad decision.

Rove is brilliant. He is also immoral, even for a politico. His tactics include spreading rumors that former Texas Gov. Ann Richards was a lesbian and that Sen. John McCain revealed intelligence to his North Vietnamese captors.

But I will remember him best as the master strategist of the wedge issue and the attack ad and withholding national Republican campaign dollars from local candidates who refused to follow him into the gutter.

Rove has consistently embodied a classic maxim of evil: The ends justify the means.

Thanks to Rove and former Rep. Tom Delay (R-Texas), our political culture is at its lowest point since Watergate. Principled Republicans who love their party and patriotic Americans who love their democracy would never give him a platform.

” target=”_blank”>www.snoa.com

Buzzy Gordon is a travel writer who writes frequently about Jewish communities around the world.

Trailer for the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, May 8


Sun., March 9
Barrage in “High Strung.” The young, hip cast of Barrage, a contemporary string ensemble, will dish out high-energy virtuosity in their newest show. The international cast features six violinists/vocalists, a drummer, a bass player and a guitarist who will present an amalgam of music, song and dance with a diverse fusion of cultures and musical styles. Join in on the spine-tingling fiddle-fest. 2 p.m. $35 (adults), $20 (17 and under), $10 (Pepperdine students). Pepperdine University Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-4522. http://www.barrage.org.

Tue., March 11
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The renowned dance company, founded by a giant of American dance, comes to Orange County for a program that incorporates gospel, jazz and popular music, modern dance and ballet. Highlights will include Ailey’s masterpiece “Revelations,” which has been performed on hundreds of stages around the world and has been received with awe and delight since its debut in 1960. As an added bonus, ticket holders are invited to a free performance preview with a member of the Ailey company, one hour before the show. 7:30 p.m. Through March 16. $25-$85. Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. http://www.ocpac.org.

“Lessons From Bernard Rudofsky.” In a day and age where body image is the craze, an exhibition of the work of late Austrian-born Bernard Rudofsky will display innovative concepts of the body and fashion in an exhibit presented by the Getty Center Research Institute. Rudofsky, an architect, designer and critic, believed that people in Western society lost their spontaneity to design liberating, not restricting, clothing. Devoting his life to exposing the West to foreign architecture paradigms and unfamiliar customs, this breakthrough artist wrote nine books and more than 100 articles on the subject. View Rudofsky’s work accompanied by a 296-page catalogue with contributions from several talented artists. Tue.-Sun. Through June 8. $8 (parking). The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7300. http://www.getty.edu/.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” It’s difficult to separate the dashing Johnny Depp from Sweeney Todd’s character, after having seen the recent film. Although Depp won’t be on stage at this show, you can still have an up-close-and-personal look at the eerie character in an exciting theatrical performance based on the 19th-century legend of a London barber driven to madness after a judge takes his wife and child away. Sweeney Todd, played by David Hess, plots his revenge with Mrs. Lovett, played by Judy Kaye, who conjures up surprisingly tasty meat pies infused with a secret ingredient. Adapted from a book by Hugh Wheeler, the production’s music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim with musical orchestrations by Sarah Travis. 8 p.m. Through April 6. $30-$90. Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. For tickets and additional show times, call (213) 628-2772. http://www.centertheatregroup.org.

Fri., March 14
“Beaufort.” The Israeli war film “Beaufort” stirred up scads of excitement this year with its Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination. Although the film didn’t win, it won many people’s hearts. Based on a novel by Ron Leshem, “Beaufort” was directed by Joseph Cedar and recreates the events prior to the Israeli troop withdrawal from the Beaufort military base in Southern Lebanon. Led by 22-year-old commander Liraz Liberti, played by Oshri Cohen, the small Israeli cohort of troops become weary of their mission when fellow soldiers are killed and injured. The film takes an in-depth look at the fear and drudgery of soldiers’ daily routines and examines the country’s ambivalence toward the 18-year presence in Lebanon. Playing in two locations: Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; and Laemmle’s Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. For tickets and show times, call (310) 274-6869 or (818) 981-9811. http://www.laemmle.com/index.php.

Tori Spelling at Barnes and Noble. Admit it, you have a tinge of curiosity about how Aaron Spelling’s daughter is prolonging her 15 minutes of fame. Since playing Donna Martin on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” the high-school soap-drama that started it all, Spelling has appeared on various reality TV series, wed and borne children and endured a public tussle with her mother over her alleged exclusion from her late father’s estate. Now, Tori Spelling is telling the story like it is with her new memoir, “sTORI Telling,” and today she’ll appear to sign books you can place alongside old “90210” posters. Just don’t expect her to talk about her “poor little rich girl” reputation. 7:30 p.m. Book purchase required for signing. Barnes and Noble at The Grove, 189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0366. http://www.bn.com.

“Strauss Meets Frankenstein” at the Long Beach Opera. In a dramatic and different double-bill, actor Michael York will perform Tennyson’s epic poem “Enoch Arden,” about the love and loss that ensues when three friends find themselves romantically entwined. The heartbreak of destiny is deepened by Richard Strauss’ rich, evocative score. The performance changes tone when the audience enters the wild, macabre underworld of Frankenstein where rodents, vampires, werewolves, John Wayne and Superman coalesce in a real monster of a musical. 8 p.m. Also March 15 and 16. $45-$95. Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Center Theatre, 300 E. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach. (562) 432-5934. http://www.longbeachopera.org.

Pasadena ArtWeekend. During a fun-filled weekend featuring more than 20 exhibitions, performances and cultural activities, Pasadena will host a comprehensive celebration of fine arts, visual arts, poetry, spoken word, music, storytelling and theater. Several cultural institutions will open their doors for “ArtNight,” offering a free peek at their collections. “ArtTalk” features a variety of performances, and the weekend is rounded off with “ArtMarket,” a design open market focusing on the work of students, faculty and alumni from Art Center College of Design and Pasadena City College, which will be available for sale. Sponsored by the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs with the Arts & Culture Commission. ArtWeekend will take place at various venues and times over the course of three days, and all events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (800) 307-7977 or visit http://www.pasadenaartweekend.com.

Gypsy Kings at Cerritos Center. Starting on the shores of the French Cote d’Azur, the Gypsy Kings fused South American rumba with fiery Spanish flamenco and their colorful blend of rhythms, leading to international success and recognition on the World Music scene. Tonight they “cast their spell” for a Southern California audience. 8 p.m. $45-$100. (562) 467-8818.


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Article reprinted with permission of The Forward.

Exclusive JewishJournal.com video: Dueling demonstrations –Muslim students led by Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Imam of Masjid Al-Islam in Oakland and a pro-Israel crowd in front of the Israeli Consulate Friday noon. Rabbi Daniel Bouskila leads the singing of “Ya’aseh Shalom.”

Exclusive JewishJournal.com video: Press conference at Israeli Consulate, Friday afternoon, March 7. Speakers, in order: Consul General Yaakov Dayan, City Councilman Jack Weiss, Rev. Billy G. Ingram, Rabbi Daniel Bouskila.

UPDATE FRIDAY 1:40 p.m.:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Young Israel of Century City are holding a memorial rally on Sunday, March 9 at 4 p.m., in honor of the eight yeshiva students killed in a terror attack at Mercaz Harav in Jerusalem.

The rally is set for Young Israel of Century City at
9315 W. Pico Blvd.

Invited to the memorial rally are City Councilman Jack Weiss, Mayor Antonio Villairaigosa and Israel Consul General Jacob Dayan.

The gathering is “to demonstrate outrage at what happened in Israel, to show solidarity with Israelis, and to protest the international outcry [saying] that Israel has overreacted in its defense,” said Rabbi Elazar Muskin, Rabbi of YICC.

StandWithUs and others will demonstrate in support of Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate at noon on Friday in response to a protest scheduled at the same time by the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union.

The protests will come one day after a terrorist attack on Yeshivat Mercaz Harav in west Jerusalem, in which eight people were killed and dozens wounded.

Los Angeles Jewish organizers are calling upon the community for a strong opposition presence at the local protest.

“Please come and show your support for Israelâ€(tm)s right to defend herself,” Allyson Rowen Taylor, an L.A. community organizer unaffiliated with any organization, wrote in an email blast sent out on Thursday. “Over seven yeshiva student murdered today in Jerusalem while the Arabs cheer,” she wrote about the students from Mercaz Harav, a religious Zionist yeshiva in Jerusalem killed Thursday.

“Itâ€(tm)s clearly going to be an out-of-context demonstration,” Roz Rothstein, president of StandWithUs, said of the MSU protest. “They will undoubtedly fail to recognize the reason that Israel was led to have to go into Gaza — these rockets are being launched indiscriminately everywhere,” she said, referring to the hundreds of rockets that have hit Israel since the withdrawal. “Israel has a right to protect her citizens.”

In response to the Jerusalem shooting, Rabbi Elazar Muskin of Young Israel of Century City and the Religious Zionist of America in Los Angeles are encouraging Los Angeles area rabbis in their Shabbat sermons to say tehilim for the murdered students, and to read their names aloud. A spokesman for the Rabbinical Council of America said the group is considering a rabbinical mission to the Jerusalem yeshiva to console the families and students there.

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Oshri Cohen, the star of Beaufort, is caught off guard by me, Orit, the relentless paparazza, as he leaves for LA to attend the Oscars


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