December 15, 2018

What’s Happening in Jewish L.A. Mar. 31-April 5: Spago Seder, Nancy Spielberg and More


Spago Beverly Hills’ 34th annual seder serves up unleavened flatbread seasoned with shallot and thyme; homemade gefilte fish of whitefish, carp and pike; Judy Gethers’ matzo balls; and other items prepared by chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi. Meanwhile, executive pastry chef Della Gossert offers a menagerie of macaroons and macarons, fromage blanc cheesecake and more. Husband and wife Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Braier of University Synagogue of Irvine lead services. The evening raises funds for Mazon: The Jewish Response to Hunger. 5:30 p.m. $195 per adult, $80 per child under 12. Spago, Beverly Hills. 176 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 385-0880.


You’ve heard of a pub crawl? Venice spiritual community Open Temple holds “Exodus Seder Crawl: A Freedom Seder Experience Through Venice.” Instead of sitting at one table for the entire evening, attendees move from one table to the next on a quest driven by the Four Questions. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for surprises. 4-7 p.m. $36. The Open Temple, 1422 Electric Ave., Venice. (310) 821-1414.


Join Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue for an inspirational, communitywide seder, led by Rabbi Michael Schwartz and Cantor Marcelo Gindlin. The family-friendly evening features a fully catered, four-course meal; an English-Hebrew hagaddah; and traditional songs, stories and spiritual insights. 5-9 p.m. $60, adults; $20, children younger than 13. Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, 24855 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 456-2178.


The seder experience held at the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center revisits elements from its past seders, including a cocktail hour, with child care; a Beyond Bubbie’s Build-Your-Own-Charoset Bar; and a human tableau to tell the Passover story. In addition, an interactive art installation, Ruckus Roots’ “Freedom of Speech Wall,” provides a giant magnetic poetry wall on which participants can arrange words to express their thoughts or collaborate by building on an existing poem. The band Mostly Kosher performs live, and caterer Par Terre provides vegan, vegetarian and meat options. 5 p.m., cocktails; 6 p.m., seder; 7 p.m., dinner. $40, adults; $12, kids; free for children younger than 3. The Courtyard at Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, 1110 Bates Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 663-2255.


Nicole Guzik (left) and Erez Sherman (right).

Sinai Temple husband-and-wife Rabbis Nicole Guzik and Erez Sherman and Cantor Lisa Peicott lead a community seder ideal for families and children. The kosher menu includes chicken marsala, grilled shiitake mushrooms and flowerless chocolate cake. A traditional seder plate and wine will be placed at each table. Simultaneously, 20- and 30-somethings come together for a traditional seder led by Sinai Temple Rabbi Jason Fruithandler. Organized by ATID, Sinai’s young professionals group, the evening is open to ages 21-39 only. Family seder, 6:30 p.m. $72, Sinai Temple members; $78, general admission; $45, children 12 and younger. Sinai Temple, Gold Hall, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-1518. ATID seder, 6:30-9:30 p.m. $25–$45. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-1518.


Historic congregation Hollywood Temple Beth El tells the Exodus story in song. Attendees sing along to parodies of songs from Stephen Sondheim, the Beatles, Disney, Adele and more. Enjoy a fabulous meal with friends at one of the oldest synagogues in Los Angeles. 7-11 p.m. $20-$80. Hollywood Temple Beth El, 1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 656-3150.


A catered kosher-for-Passover meal, plenty of wine, singing and even some games highlight the seder dinner at Santa Monica congregation Mishkon Tephilo, one of the oldest continuously operating synagogues on the Westside. 7:30 p.m. $30-$70. Mishkon Tephilo, 206 Main St., Venice. (310) 392-3029.


Join IKAR young professionals group TRIBE for its third annual Passover seder. The kosher meal features options for those who eat kitniyot — legumes, grains and seeds — and those who do not. Dairy-free and gluten-free options are available. 8-10:30 p.m. $30. Habonim Dror, 8339 W. Third St., Los Angeles. (323) 634-1870.


Experience the seder through the eyes of women. The National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles (NCJW/LA) holds a kosher-for-Passover dinner celebrating prophetess Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, and other women who are “passed over” in traditional Jewish conversations. 6-9 p.m. $45, NCJW/LA member; $55, general. NCJW/LA Council House, 343 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-2930.


Rob Eshman.

Los Angeles forager, naturalist and self-styled “culinary alchemist” Pascal Baudar and “Foodaism” blogger and former Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman take a fresh look at Passover. With the flavors and themes of the holiday in mind, they discuss the array of plants that grow wild on hillsides, some having “migrated” from other countries and others native to California. Baudar will share samples of foraged greens to try, and Eshman will note which greens are relevant to Passover dishes. A light tasting of treats conceived by Baudar, Eshman and Skirball Chef Sean Sheridan follows. 8 p.m. $25, general; $15, Skirball members. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500.


Rachel Wolfson.

Stand-up comedy showcase “Jokes for Jews: April Shmuel’s Day” takes place on April Fools’ Day, which also happens to be Easter this year. Performers include Or Mash, Matt Kirshen, Jason Visenberg, Joshua Snyder and Rachel Wolfson. Texas comedian and Flappers regular Adam Feuerberg emcees. Interested in an interfaith comedic experience? The event immediately follows “Jokes for Muslims,” an evening of humor and hummus, beginning at 5 p.m. Jokes for Jews, 7 p.m. $20. Flappers Comedy Club, 102 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. (818) 845-9721.


Writer-producer Nancy Spielberg joins Camp Ramah in Ojai for a kosher-for-Passover dinner, Q-and-A, movie screening and dessert reception. The Conservative Jewish summer camp will screen Spielberg’s 2015 film, “Above and Beyond,” about a group of Jewish-American pilots who flew for Israel in the country’s War of Independence. 5:30 p.m. $150. Zimmer Retreat and Conference Center at Camp Ramah, 385 Fairview Road, Ojai. RSVP required at


Spend an evening with the Sinai Temple’s Men’s Club as the organization screens a prerecorded debate from August 2017 featuring Sinai Temple Max Webb Senior Rabbi David Wolpe and conservative commentator Dennis Prager weighing in on the great issues of the day. Men and women welcome. 6:30-9 p.m. $10, general; Free, Sinai Temple members. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-1518.


The ChaiVillageLA community seder is a lively communal experience featuring a specially written hagaddah and Cantors Lizzie Weiss and Tifani Coyot. Members of ChaiVillageLA — a multigenerational, multisynagogue community that enables congregants to age in place as they grow old — as well as adult members of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Temple Isaiah are welcome. The theme of the evening is “Sharing Our Journey.” In the spirit of the Passover holiday, the organizers are collecting new clothing to donate to Syrian children in need. 6 p.m. $36. Temple Isaiah, Social Hall, 10345 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-2772.

“500 YEARS”

Filmmaker Pamela Yates’ documentary “500 Years” follows the indigenous resistance movement in Guatemala and how a group of people committed to social justice stood up to power, racism and corruption to transform their country. The 2017 film, screening at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, documents events that led Guatemala to a tipping point in its history, from a historic genocide trial to the overthrow of a president. A Q-and-A with members of the cast and crew follows the screening. 7 p.m. Free, RSVP required. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, 100 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704.