December 15, 2018

What’s Happening in Jewish L.A. April 13-19: Wisdom and Wellness Events and More


Set in Frankfurt in 1946, this comedy-drama follows a Jewish man who recruits friends from a displaced person’s camp to sell linens at inflated prices to unsuspecting Germans, so they can raise enough money to leave Germany for the United States. Peppered with Yiddish flavor and wit, the film tells the story of the Jewish men and woman whose grit enables them to succeed against all odds in post-World War II Germany. Various times. $12 general, Monday-Thursday; $13 general, Friday-Sunday. Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. Laemmle Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (310) 478-3836.


Father Patrick DeBois.

Father Patrick Desbois, president and founder of Yahad-In Unum, an organization that has identified mass graves of Jews killed by Nazi mobile killing units, is the special guest at the Beverly Hills Synagogue Yom HaShoah dinner. His appearance follows the January publication of his new book, “In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets,” a follow-up to his acclaimed “The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews.” 7:30-9 p.m. $50 young professionals, $75 Beverly Hills Synagogue members, $85 general. Beverly Hills Synagogue, 9261 Alden Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 278-7650.


The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) holds its annual communitywide Yom HaShoah commemoration in Pan Pacific Park, focusing on Jewish resistance during the Holocaust and marking the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Survivors, their children and grandchildren, as well as community members of all backgrounds, come together for a day of remembrance. The program begins with “A Tale of Two Families,” a conversation between reunited Holocaust survivors Alice Gerstel Weit and Simon Gronowski. Nancy Rubin, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, delivers the keynote speech. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m., docents lead hourly tours of the museum, including a new exhibit focused on the uprisings in camps and ghettos during the Holocaust. Noon, “A Tale of Two Families”; 2 p.m., commemoration ceremony. Free. Pan Pacific Park, 7600 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704.


More than 80 events, lectures and workshops highlight this festival of learning on Jewish wisdom and its impact on well-being. On Sunday, Madeleine Brand of KCRW-FM’s “Press Play,” moderates “Hear Her, Heal Her: A Jewish Conversation about Women’s Health,” featuring Dr. Beth Karlan of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Rabbis Jaclyn Cohen, Dara Frimmer and Susan Goldberg. Then, over the course of two weeks, additional gatherings include: “Zumba for the Jewish Soul; “We Love Each Other — And It Still Takes Work: Healthy Communication in Interfaith and Intercultural Jewish Families”; Mental Health Shabbat;  “Women’s Mitzvot With Rabbanit Alissa, Rabba Ramie and Ms. Atara Segal”; “The Letters of Your Name: A Journey to Your Soul”; “T’Shuvah: A Jewish Response to the Opioid Epidemic”; “The Complex Inner World of Jewish Teens in a #MeToo World”; “Gratitude: The Healing Power of Giving Thanks”; and “Songs and Yoga Poses of Peace.” On April 29, the closing concert, “Shir Joy: A Taste of L.A. Jewish Music,” honors the memory of songwriter Debbie Friedman and features performers Julie Silver, the Nefesh Band, Hillel Tigay and Friends, and others. Organized by the Kalsman Institute, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Through April 29. Various times. Free. Various locations. For additional information, visit


Get your hands dirty at the Shemesh Organic Farm, located on the Camp JCA Shalom campus in Malibu. Spend time with residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home’s Eisenberg Village, embellishing and filling flowerpots to spruce up their home for spring. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles coordinates a day of giving back at six of its local social service partners: Baby2Baby, ETTA, L.A. Family Housing, Los Angeles Jewish Home, Rosie’s Foundation and Shemesh Organic Farm. Volunteers of all ages are welcome at the organic farm, while the other projects have minimum age requirements. Baby2Baby: 10 a.m.-noon; ETTA: 1-3 p.m.; L.A. Family Housing: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Los Angeles Jewish Home: 9:30-11:30 a.m.; Rosie’s Foundation: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Shemesh Organic Farm: 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Advance registration required. Various locations. For more information, visit


In observance of Yom HaShoah, the Persian-Jewish congregation Nessah honors the survivors of the Shoah. Attendees at this brunch meet, greet and serve the survivors from their communities. In partnership with the iCare Foundation, which teaches youth to care through action. All ages welcome. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $10 donation per person. Nessah Congregation, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-2400.


Last summer, Temple B’nai Hayim and Congregation Beth Meir, two Conservative synagogues in the San Fernando Valley, entered a formal agreement to become a single congregation. On Sunday, the congregations celebrate the formal installation of Rabbi Richard A. Flom and Rabbi/Chazzan Jason van Leeuwen. Come take part as the joined communities celebrate with music, a lunch buffet, desserts, beverages and a silent auction. 2-5 p.m. $54. Temple B’nai Hayim, 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 788-4664.


Sharsheret, a nonprofit organization supporting young Jewish women facing breast cancer, holds “Women for Women: Breast Cancer Support and Prevention for Every Age,” an informative and empowering evening where sisters, daughters, mothers and friends learn how to revamp their diet and boost their immune system, how to understand the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and how to support family and friends. Speakers are Beller Nutritional Institute CEO Rachel Beller, Sharsheret Support Program Consultant Shera Dubitsky and Dr. Taaly Silberstein, an OBGYN at Providence Tarzana Medical Center. Part of the “Jewish Wisdom and Wellness: A Festival of Learning” series. 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Bais Yaakov, 7353 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 409-2300.


“Rabin: In His Words”

In this 2016 documentary, Erez Laufer, a veteran film editor in the United States and his native Israel (“The War Room,” “My Country, My Country”), shows the private and political sides of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the kibbutznik who evolved from commander of Israel’s armed forces during the Six-Day War into a leading advocate of peace with his country’s enemies. The film relies only on Rabin’s own voice and writings, without interviewing any of his former friends or foes. 6:30 p.m. Free. UCLA, Haines Hall, Room 220. (310) 825-9646.


Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Temple of the Arts and the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles hold their fourth annual Yom HaZikaron Community-Wide Night of Remembrance in honor of the memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers. Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg delivers remarks. 6:45-8:45 p.m. Free. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 658-9100.


It’s human nature to look inward to affirm our dignity and right to security. But sometimes humans are compelled to enact a vision for society defined by justice and equity for all. How do we balance our tribal needs with our universal values? Join a Strive Class with Rabbi Sarah Bassin of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, who discusses the tension built into human existence: when to focus on ourselves and when to care for others. Also April 24 and May 1. 7 p.m. Free; reservations required. Space limited. Private residence; address given upon reservation. (310) 288-3737.


Mordechai Kedar, who has forged a reputation for defending Israel in interviews with Al Jazeera, the BBC, France 24, U.S.-based Arab-language TV channel Alhurra and others, talks about Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. $5. 7 p.m. JEM Community Center, 9930 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (213) 254-3162 or (310) 275-2877.


Congregation Kol Ami hosts a panel discussion on “The Fragile Dialogue: New Voices in Liberal Zionism,” a new collection of essays that explores the diverse perspectives of the progressive Jewish community on Israel and Zionism. Kol Ami’s founding rabbi, Rabbi Denise L. Eger, moderates the panel. Participants include the book’s co-editor, Rabbi Stanley M. Davids, and three of the book’s contributors, Joshua David Holo, dean of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and rabbinical students Max Chaiken and Eric Rosenstein. A book-signing follows the panel, with copies of “The Fragile Dialogue” available for purchase. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP at Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 606-0996.


“The Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto,” a radio play that first aired on NBC in December 1943, marks the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when residents of the Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw staged an armed revolt against Nazi deportations to extermination camps, the most significant act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Directed by Temple Beth Emet of Burbank Rabbi Mark Sobel. 7 p.m. Free. City of Burbank Community Services Building, Room No. 104, 150 N. Third St., Burbank. (818) 860-2472.


Brad Zimmerman.

“Did you know in Jewish tradition, a fetus is not considered viable till after it graduates from medical school?” Playwright Brad Zimmerman stars in his comedy about the grit and passion it takes to succeed as an artist. The New York Times wrote, “Delicious! Distinctly original and powerfully poignant. … Great comedy!” 3 and 8 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. Sundays. Through June 10. Tickets start at $45. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third St., Burbank.


Meet the candidates for the chief law enforcement officer for Los Angeles County and learn about the duties of the position. Candidates include retired sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva; retired sheriff’s Cmdr. Robert (Bob) Lindsey; and incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell. Free. 7:30-10:30 p.m. Hollywood Temple Beth El, 1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 656-3150.