What’s Happening: Z3 Israel-America Conference, ‘Shtisel Uncovered’

January 22, 2020
“Every Person Has A Name”


Shabbat Farbrengen at VBS
Longtime Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) Cantor Herschel Fox leads a unique Shabbat farbrengen featuring his legendary voice and the participation of father-and-son Cantors Jackie and Danny Mendelson. In addition to tonight’s concert, the Mendelson cantors participate in a Shabbat morning service. Afterward, they sit down for a conversation with VBS Senior Rabbi Ed Feinstein. Tonight: 5-5:45 p.m. service, 7:30-10 p.m. Shabbat farbrengen. Shabbat morning: 9:30 a.m. service, 12:30 p.m. Shabbat shiur. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino.


“Every Person Has a Name”
The Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys revives the memorable phrase of the Holocaust, “Every person has a name,” as it holds a reading of Shoah victims’ names during 25 hours on the steps of Pasadena City Hall. After the opening ceremony at 7 p.m., the names of Holocaust victims are continuously recited until 8 p.m. Sunday night. The vigil program coincides with the United Nations’ annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, which this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Survivors and their children are invited to participate in reading the names. Contact Jason Moss at jmoss@jewishsgpv.org for more information. Pasadena City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.


Reporter’s Family Story at Skirball
This afternoon at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Moroccan-born National Public Radio business reporter Aarti Namdev Shahani discusses her new book, “Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares,” which hints at her difficult, tragic immigrant experience, a 14-year problem centering on her father’s imprisonment. She appears with writer Eric Barker as she opens up about her family’s fight with the U.S. justice system she believes sought to destroy her family’s dream. Books will be available. Book signing follows. 2 p.m. $12 general admission, free for Skirball members. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

“Israel and America 2020”
The Z3 (Zionism 3.0) Project, which works to strengthen Diaspora-Israel relations, and Stephen Wise Temple hold an all-day conference dedicated to understanding how to speak to others across our ideological divides. “Israel and America 2020: Spanning the Divide to Find Common Ground” features breakout sessions with speakers from the Shalom Hartman Institute, Reut Institute, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and The Forward, among others. Among the participants is Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief David Suissa and Journal contributing writer Esther D. Kustanowitz. The opening plenary examines the opportunities and challenges of having two strong Jewish communities, and the closing plenary focuses on Israel’s public image. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. $72 Wise members, $90 general public, $36 young adults 40-and-under, $18 students with ID. Complementary lunch included. For educator discount, contact z3@wisela.org from your school email account. Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-8561.

“Violins of Hope” at Sinai
The community is invited to Sinai Temple to celebrate the much talked about “Violins of Hope” project, a collection of string instruments rescued from the Holocaust and restored by Amnon and Avshi Weinstein, a father-and-son team of Israeli violinmakers. The evening includes a mini concert and a screening of the 2012 documentary “The Return of the Violin.” Additionally, Holocaust survivor Susanne Reyto, chair of Violins of Hope in Los Angeles, speaks. 6-8 p.m. $10 Sinai members, $20 general. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd.


Historic Polish Film
“The Last Stage,” a Holocaust film directed by a former Auschwitz prisoner, screens at Hollywood Temple Beth El. A panel dialogue follows. Participants include the Consul General of the Republic of Poland Jaroslaw Lasinski, Polish Film Festival President Elizabeth Kanski, Rabbi Haim Beliak and Beth El Rabbi Norbert Weinberg. 7 p.m. $12. Hollywood Temple Beth El, 1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., West Hollywood. For more information, contact Carmen Fraser at temple@htbel.org.

How the Media Covers Israel
Veteran journalist Jodi Rudoren, who spent decades with The New York Times before recently becoming editor-in-chief of the Forward, brings an insider’s perspective to the much-debated topic of how all media cover Israel. The former Jerusalem bureau chief of the Times speaks at UCLA on the challenges of Middle East reporting. Afterward, Rudoren speaks with professor Dov Waxman and takes questions from the audience. Noon-1:30 p.m. Free. Bunche Hall, Room 6275, UCLA, 315 Portola Plaza.


Pnina Pfeuffer

“’Shtisel’ Uncovered: The New Haredim”
Operating on the theory that if the progressive left is to regain power in Israel it must seek out new partners it never has considered. Shtisel Uncovered: The New Haredim” explores new ways for leftists to think about political coalitions. Named for the popular and groundbreaking Netflix series, the event organized by the New Israel Fund and Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills features “Shtisel” co-creator Yehonatan Indursky and prominent Charedi social activist Pnina Pfeuffer. 7 p.m. Free. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 300 N. Clark Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 288-3737.

“A Compass for Compassion”
Instead of taking a seat and listening to others theorize about solutions for homelessness, Temple Akiba holds “A Compass for Compassion.” A panel of experts discusses current initiatives on the homelessness crisis before inviting the audience to participate in breakout sessions. Karlo Silbiger, chair of the Culver City Committee on Homelessness, leads a lineup of speakers that includes SHARE Director Jason Robison, John Helya of the Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System and Lee Winkelman of the Religious Action Center. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Temple Akiba, 5249 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City.

“Religion as We Know It”
How did we come to separate religion from our secular life in contemporary culture? That is an issue Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack Miles investigates in his new book, “Religion as We Know It: An Origin Story.” At Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Westside campus, Miles meets with Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom to address a number of related topics. 7:30 p.m. Free. Irmas Campus, Westside, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd.


“The Jewish Cookbook”
To celebrate the publication of “The Jewish Cookbook,” author and culinary maven Leah Koenig demonstrates the diversity of Jewish cuisine at the Skirball Cultural Center. Moving far beyond brisket and latkes to Hungary’s tender cabbage strudel and Rome’s dried fruit-studded cookies, Koenig invites her audience to enjoy a taste and purchase a signed copy of her book. 7:30 p.m. $15 members, $20 general admission. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Sepharad and Beyond
Sephardic culture is the subject when the Shalhevet Institute convenes the second session of its “Let’s Talk” series. Discussion centers around Sarah Abrevaya Stein’s and Michael David Lukas’ new books about Sephardim, respectively, “Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century” and “The Last Watchman of Old Cairo.” For the address of the meeting place, contact Rabbi Ari Schwarzberg, director of the Shalhevet Institute, at a.schwarzberg@shalhevet.org.


“Who Will Write Our History?”
Award-winning filmmaker Roberta Grossman presents and discusses her 2018 Holocaust documentary, “Who Will Write Our History?” about the Polish historian Emanuel Ringelblum, who died in the Warsaw Ghetto, and the secret archive of the Warsaw Ghetto. Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Hillel Newman welcomes the audience. This is the first of three monthly “Educate Against Hate” speaker series events by the American Society for Yad Vashem. Limited seating. No tickets at the door. 7 p.m. reception. 7:30 p.m. program. $50 per evening, $100 for all three. SFIXIO Restaurant, 9737 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. For more information, contact Donna Elyassian at delyassian@yadvashemusa.org.

UCLA Hillel Art Openeings 
Artists Mark Strickland, a humanist known for depicting the worst that humans do to one another, and Susan Cooper, who often combines two and three dimensions in her art, are featured in UCLA Hillel’s Winter Art Openings. The titles of the exhibitions, Strickland’s “Between Heaven and Hell, Fears and Desires,” and Cooper’s “Story Line: My Family’s History,” start to explain the distinction in their styles. Mary Leipziger’s “India Through a Jewish Lens” continues on display. 7-9 p.m. Free. The Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts, UCLA Hillel, 574 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles.

Roberta Grossman

Klezfarad Concert at UCLA
Four decades ago, multi-instrumentalists and Argentine Jews Cesar Lerner and Marcelo Moguilevsky, sometimes known as the Lerner-Moguilevsky Duo, formed a prolific team specializing in Ashkenazic and Sephardic music. They call it Klezfarad — music created through the use of electronic media, loops, flutes, piano and more. In concert at Schoenberg Hall at UCLA, their sound is not quite Argentine folk or tango or jazz or contemporary, but parts of all of them. 7:30-10:30 p.m. Free. Lani Hall, Schoenberg Music Building, 445 Charles E. Young Drive East. schoolofmusic.ucla.edu. RSVP at the link above.

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