What’s Happening: Mehta and Mahler, Walking Tour, Musical Satires

January 2, 2020
“The Song of Names”


Zuben Mehta

Zubin Mehta and Mahler
Los Angeles favorite Zubin Mehta, former music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection,” a musical classic widely regarded as overwhelmingly transcendent. Mehta is joined by the L.A. Philharmonic on three occasions this weekend at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. For lovers of symphonic melodies, is there a more pleasant way to open the New Year? 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $20-$240. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles.

First Friday Shabbat
For the first Shabbat of the new calendar year, Congregation Kol Ami is celebrating with a sushi meal. The evening with the LGBTQ community kicks off with Kabbalat Shabbat services at 6:30 p.m. First Friday dinner is at 7:30 p.m. $18 for dinner. Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood.

“The Song of Names”

“The Song of Names”
Holocaust-themed film “The Song of Names,” from the director of “The Red Violin,” opens today in three theatres. Tim Roth and Clive Owen star in Francois Girard’s historical drama about a man’s search for his best friend from childhood. Orphaned by the Holocaust, he later vanished and never was found. Laemmle Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino; Laemmle Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com. Regency South Coast Village, 1516 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana. Buy tickets here or by clicking the link above.


The Big Shabbat
Three weeks after Nessah Synagogue was vandalized, the Iranian Jewish congregation in Beverly Hills strikes a welcoming note with “The Big Shabbat.” Organized for young professionals and young couples, the gathering offers a blend of learning, praying and celebrating followed by a hot and exquisite Kiddush. Rabbi Yitzchak Sakhai leads services. 9 a.m. Simcha Hall. Free. Donations appreciated. Nessah Synagogue, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills.

Ghostly Historic Sites
Shmuel Gonzales, aka the Barrio Boychik, guides people through parts of old Los Angeles that cradle ghostly memories of a century ago. During this walking tour, “Ghostly and Ghastly,” Gonzales leads participants to haunted old sites across downtown. Among them are the grounds of the infamous Chinese Massacre of 1871 and the Pico House, a grand hotel built by California’s last Mexican governor. 5:45 p.m. check-in. 6 p.m. walking tour begins. Arrive early at the L.A. Plaza de Cultura y Artes, the La Tienda Bookshop, 501 N. Main St., Los Angeles. $25.


Engel Chamber Concert
Adat Ari El’s 26th annual Engel Chamber Music Concert features the quartet  David Kaplan and Friends performing Mozart and Brahms. Joining pianist Kaplan are Vijay Gupta on violin, Jonathan Moerschel on viola and Eric Byers on cello. A reception with light refreshments follows the performance. 2 p.m. Admission is free. Reservations are requested. David Familian Chapel, Adat Ari El, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village.


“Homelessness in 2020: An Overview and a Jewish Lens”
In the past year, homelessness has become one of the most serious issues across Los Angeles. Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas of Valley Beth Shalom, chair of the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority, explores the crisis through a Jewish lens. He recently led a two-year campaign to address homelessness in Los Angeles County and writes widely on social justice and millennials. The event is organized for University Women at American Jewish University. Noon-1:30 p.m. From $30. American Jewish University Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles.

Rabbi David Wolpe
Join Rabbi David Wolpe for his learning and lunch series, “Great Jewish Lives: Remarkable Jews from Ancient Times to Today.” The Sinai Temple leader delves into the lives of historical figures who have contributed to the world and have inspired contemporary Jews. Beginning with the Bible, he traces a variety of Jewish, spiritual ideas and movements throughout history. Noon-1:30 p.m.  Free for Sinai members, $25 for general. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd.


“The Jew in the Ashram”
“The Jew in the Ashram,” actress-educator Amanda Miller’s solo show at the Whitefire Theatre, is a poignant and funny account of her experiences in an ashram in India years ago as she struggled with her mental health. Guided by an Indian guru, she reflects on Jewish summer camp and Judaism’s role in the lives of her late father and his Holocaust survivor mother whom he never knew, and she reconnects with her own cultural roots. At select moments, the audience is invited to move, chant and reflect on their own spiritual journeys. The performance is staged for one night only. 8-9 p.m. $20. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.

“American Jews… In the Trump Era”
In his book “Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict Over Israel,” UCLA Professor Dov Waxman argues that Israel has become a source of division in the American Jewish community. Tonight at UCLA, he expands on this as he discusses “American Jews, Israel and Anti-Semitism in the Trump Era.” The lecture is organized by the Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning and Hillel at UCLA. 7-9 p.m. Free. Hillel at UCLA, 574 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. RSVP requested by clicking the link above.

“The Head vs. The Heart”
The choice between emotions and the intellect has plagued civilization since the first morning in the Garden of Eden. Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) Rabbi Ed Feinstein weighs in when discussing, “The Head vs. the Heart: What Does God Want?” The evening is part of VBS’ Wednesday evening “College of Jewish Studies” series, which examines historic controversies. 7-9 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino.

Jewish Musical Satire
Comedic folksinger, stand-up comedian and screenwriter David Misch looks at how Jewish musical satire shares with klezmer, Marc Chagall and Sholem Aleichem an awareness of, amusement at and sympathy for human fallibility. The multimedia presentation, “Jewish Musical Satire With David Misch,” draws on sounds old and new, from Rodgers & Hammerstein and Carole King to Randy Newman and Rachel Bloom’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” 7:30 p.m. $15. Sperber Jewish Community Library, American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles.


“The World that We Knew”
American Jewish University librarian Lisa Silverman leads a discussion about Alice Hoffman’s fantastical novel “The World That We Knew.” Set during World War II, the book is about a rare golem that aids in the salvation of a young girl who is sent to the home of a renowned rabbi, fleeing the Nazis. 2 p.m. $10. Sperber Jewish Community Library, American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles.

Global Briefing on Anti-Semitism
Peering into the past and assessing the present-day explosion of anti-Semitism, the kickoff event in this four-part series at Wilshire Boulevard Temple examines “Anti-Semitism on the Right: Christian Anti-Judaism, White Supremacy and Holocaust Denial/Distortion.” The remaining dates in this series are Feb. 27, March 5 and April 2. 7:30 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles.

Have an event coming up? Send your information two weeks prior to the event to ryant@jewishjournal.com for consideration. For groups staging an event that requires an RSVP, please submit details about the event the week before the RSVP deadline.

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