December 10, 2018

What’s Happening: Jewish Names, Life in Russia and Voter Forum



Friday Night Unplugged
Join the Young Jewish Professionals group for a scotch and sushi cocktail hour, music and a meditative Kabbalat Shabbat led by Rabbi Mendel Simons and an a cappella group. This event was created with a vision to inject soul and meaning into the Friday night service. Evening attire. 6-8 p.m. $15. 9261 Alden Drive, Beverly Hills.

“Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable”
This 90-minute documentary focuses on the work of late photographer Garry Winogrand. Toting a Leica M4 camera, Winogrand harnessed the serendipity of the streets in 1960s and ’70s America; he captured spontaneous images of everyday people, from the “Mad Men” era of New York to the early years of the women’s movement and the post-Golden Age of Hollywood, all while observing themes of cultural upheaval, political disillusionment, intimacy and alienation. This first cinematic treatment of his work, which includes selections from thousands of rolls of film still undeveloped upon his unexpected death in 1984, features interviews with American photographers Tod Papageorge and Jay Maisel, and “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner. Showtimes on the Laemmle Theatres website. $12 adults, $9 seniors (62 and older) and children 11 and younger. Laemmle Playhouse, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (310) 478-3836; Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 478-3836.

Writer-director Matan Yair’s coming-of-age film focuses on 17-year-old Asher, who has been an impulsive troublemaker for his entire life. Asher is compelled by rage and violence but also possesses charm and street smarts. While his strict father sees him as a natural successor to the family’s scaffolding business, Asher finds a different masculine role model. Torn between the two worlds, Asher seeks a chance for a new life and identity. When a sudden tragedy occurs, he has to take the ultimate test of maturity. Starring Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik and Yaacov Cohen. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Check the Laemmle Theatres website for showtimes. $12 adults, $9 seniors (62 and older) and children 11 and younger. Laemmle Town Center, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (310) 478-3836; Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 478-3836.



“Cohen, Levi, Yisrael: Jewish Names Around the World
Sarah Benor of Hebrew Union College discusses the history and sociology of Jewish names from around the world. Part of Temple Judea’s Sunday Scholar Series. 9:15-10:45 a.m. Free and open to non-temple members, but reservations are required. Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana.  (818) 758-3800.

“Everyday Jewish Family Life in Tsarist Russia”
ChaeRan Freeze, a professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, discusses the daily struggles of ordinary Jews in tsarist Russia as they confronted changes in family life, religion and new government regulations such as registration, military conscription and opportunities to settle outside the Pale of Settlement. Her talk includes archival documents from the former Soviet Union. Presented by the Jewish Genealogy Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Free. Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. (818) 889-6616.

Duo Klavitarre in Concert
Polish husband and wife Jolanta and Maciej Ziemski, who perform on piano and guitar as Duo Klavitarre, offer a selection of chamber duets. Their performance features the music of Jewish French-Polish composer Aleksander Tansmann — who fled Europe for Los Angeles in 1941 and resumed his career in France after World War II — and pieces by Chopin and Brahms. 4 p.m. $15 general admission, $10 students. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. 100 S. Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704. 

Carmen and Louis Warschaw Distinguished Lecture
Since 1999, the Carmen and Louis Warschaw Distinguished Lecture at USC has explored the diverse ways culture and heritage have influenced Jewish politicians. This year’s lecture will be delivered by Jason Kander, the first millennial elected to a statewide office. Called “the future of the Democratic Party” by former President Barack Obama, the 32-year-old Kander is a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, where he investigated corruption in the Afghan government. He returned home to Missouri, where he continued to fight government corruption as a state representative and secretary of state. His currently is running for mayor of Kansas City and is also the president of Let America Vote, which fights voter suppression. Reception 4:30 p.m., lecture 5:30 p.m. Free. USC University Park Campus, Los Angeles. (213) 740-4996.



“Tamar’s Sukkah” Book Reading
Bring your kids, up to age 8, to the PJ Library at the Zimmer Children’s Museum for a reading of “Tamar’s Sukkah.” The picture book, written by Ellie Gellman and illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki, tells the story of Tamar and her friends as they decorate her sukkah and learn about cooperation, friendship and how to make a sukkah. The reading is followed by activities in the library’s art studio. 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. $5. Zimmer Children’s Museum, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8984.

AJRCA Lunch and Learn
With the controversy over who can perform conversions to Judaism still roiling Israel, the subject for the Academy of Jewish Religion’s first “Lunch and Learn” event of the season examines the different standards for conversion among the different streams of Judaism. Chaplain Muriel Dance, executive director of the Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din of Southern California and an AJRCA alumna, leads a discussion over lunch. 12:20-1:10 p.m. Free. Academy of Jewish Religion, California, 574 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (213) 884-4133.


“Your Vote Counts: A Ballot Initiative Forum”
Come November, Californians will not only vote for governor and congressional representatives, but they will also have to decide on a dozen ballot initiatives, including four that cover affordable housing and rent control. The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, in association with Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, helps to clear up your questions with a nonpartisan panel. Dan Schnur, professor at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, moderates the discussion with panelists Renee Chanon, former president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; Wendy Greuel, a member of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission; and Pete Peterson, dean of Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. Help with registering to vote, requesting absentee ballots and ways to get involved also are available. 6-8:30 p.m. Free. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8000.



An Evening With Dennis Prager
Conservative commentator Dennis Prager speaks at Valley Beth Shalom about news from the front pages in the United States and Israel. A fixture in Los Angeles since the 1970s, Prager is a best-selling author and columnist who has a nationally syndicated radio talk show on 150 stations, on which he promotes his nonprofit venture, Prager University. Organized by the Jewish Republican Alliance. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $22 general admission, $25 after 5:45 p.m. on the date of the event. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. For more information, visit their website.

“Good and Mad” Author
Feminist author and commentator Rebecca Traister, daughter of a Baptist mother and a Jewish father, discusses the most effective way to harness women’s anger for social change. In support of her latest book, “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger,” she appears in conversation with actress Tracee Ellis Ross, co-founder of the Time’s Up movement and a TED expert on the force of feminine fury. 7:30 p.m. $20; $38 includes a copy of “Good and Mad.” Ann & Jerry Moss Theater, New Roads School, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. For more information, visit their website.

“The Last Palace”
When Norman Eisen, former U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia, moved into his residence there, he found a swastika affixed to the underside of a table. Inspired to explore the intersection of his family’s Holocaust roots and his new home, he wrote the book “The Last Palace.” Eisen, a political commentator for CNN and a former ethics czar during the Obama administration, discusses his recently published work at American Jewish University. 7:30 p.m. $10. American Jewish University’s Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 440-1572.

Maccabi Haifa vs. L.A. Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers’ annual preseason showdown with Israeli professional basketball squad Maccabi Haifa Basketball Club is a slam-dunk opportunity for any basketball fan to express love for Israel. 7:30 p.m. $5-$49. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles.

“Chutzpah and Salsa”
Jewish Women’s Theatre relates the stories of women from Cuba, Chile and Argentina in “Chutzpah and Salsa.” The play addresses what it means to be born with a Latina heart and a Jewish soul. The stories begin similarly to many Jewish tales, with the fleeing from persecution in Eastern Europe, Syria and North Africa. 8 p.m. on Oct. 11 and Oct. 13. 2 p.m. on Oct. 14. General admission $35, students and seniors $20, door $40. No children under 14 admitted. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., No. 102, Santa Monica. (310) 315-1400.  

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