May 21, 2019

What’s Happening: Solidarity Shabbat; Israel Film Festival


Solidarity Shabbat
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles joins other communities in gathering individually and collectively this Shabbat to bring voices and prayer together. Attend a synagogue of your choice and join with others to help show solidarity and support for the Pittsburgh Jewish community following the Oct. 27 deadly shooting at a synagogue there. This Shabbat will be filled with healing, prayer, community, love and spirituality for Pittsburgh, the L.A. community and the greater Jewish community around the world. Through Nov. 3. Contact your local synagogue for information on its solidarity Shabbat program.

Valley Film Festival
The 18th annual Valley Film Festival features several Jewish-themed films, beginning with “We’ll Never Make It” on Friday; “The Longest Knife,” a 12-minute film that is part of the “Made in the (818)” shorts program on Saturday; and “Wild Honey” on Sunday. “We’ll Never Make It,” a 12-minute film, is about a young woman who gets stranded by the side of the road with her unhinged Jewish grandmother and autistic brother on the way to a family wedding. 7 p.m. Friday. $14. “The Longest Knife” is about the Night of Long Knives, a 1934 purge of rival Nazi leaders by Adolf Hitler. 3 p.m. Nov. 3. $14. “Wild Honey,” a comedy starring Rusty Schwimmer, follows a middle-aged Jewish woman struggling to get her life back in order. 10 a.m. Nov. 4. $14. All screen at Laemmle NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (310) 478-3836.


“Israel’s Response to Volatilities in Syria and Turkey”
Jonathan Davis, vice president for external relations at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel, discusses the current situation in the Middle East. Davis heads the Raphael Recanati International School and is on the advisory board of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. Sponsored by the Jewish Platform for Advocacy and Community Engagement. 9:30 a.m. Shabbat service, 11:30 a.m. lecture. Free. Limited seating. RSVP to The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 276-4246.

“Springfield Confidential”
Television writer Mike Reiss discusses jokes, secrets and outright lies as a writer for the animated sitcom “The Simpsons,” as part of the 20th annual Jewish Book Festival in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. 7:30 p.m. $18 advance, $20 door. Temple Beth Israel of Pomona, 3033 N. Towne Ave., Pomona. (626) 445-0810.  


Mitzvah Day Opportunities
Several San Fernando Valley congregations are holding Mitzvah Day activities. Congregation Or Ami will create more than 500 personalized “comfort bags” for children entering emergency foster care. Help is needed to collect items such as school supplies, toys, books, games and personal hygiene products. Drop off items at the Or Ami lobby. Everyone is welcome to volunteer filling bags on Sunday. Volunteers also needed for setup (Nov. 3), event crew and snack donations. Visit the website to sign up. 11:15 a.m. Congregation Or Ami, 26115 Mureau Road, Suite B, Calabasas. (818) 880-4880.

Valley Beth Shalom asks volunteers to create packages or handwritten letters to send to military personnel; collect food for food banks; prepare meals for homeless shelters; and collect toiletries, socks, underwear and T-shirts for veterans. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 530-4035.

Kol Tikvah asks volunteers of all ages to help make care packages, pack lunches, write to Israeli military personnel, make dog toys and more. No RSVP needed. 11:15 a.m.–1 p.m. (818) 348-0670, ext. 218. Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills.

Activities at Shomrei Torah Synagogue will address the homeless crisis in Los Angeles County. Volunteers are needed to cook meals for LA Family Housing, make sandwiches for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, make fleece blankets for children in shelters, write cards and notes, fill bags with food for the needy, and beach cleanup. Donation requests include travel-size toiletries, gently used jeans, new or used towels and blankets, socks to make dog toys, and extra Halloween candy. 9:30 a.m.–noon. Shomrei Torah Synagogue, 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills. (818) 854-7650.

Jewish Culture Tour
Activist and historian Shmuel “Barrio Boychik” Gonzales leads a walking tour of Boyle Heights, the first Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles. Explore scenes that once throbbed with anti-fascist marches, radical labor organizers and uneasy coexistence. Walkers meet in front of the East Side’s iconic Breed Street Shul. Bring comfortable shoes and bottled water. Children ages 12 and up are welcome. 2–4:30 p.m. $10–$15. Breed Street Shul, 247 N. Breed St., Los Angeles.

“Live in Israel, Study in English”
Jonathan Davis, vice president for external relations at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel’s first private university, leads an informational session about earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Israel. Students and their parents are welcome. 5–7:30 p.m. Free. IAC Shepher Community Center, 6530 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills.

“Music Meets Fine Art”
This celebration of Jewish-inspired art and music from South America features Mordecai in concert, a silent auction of art by Bernard Korzeniak, drinks and a raffle. A portion of funds collected during this event will benefit the Morasha Educational Center. Originally from Uruguay, Mordecai sings original tunes with a Latin flavor and greatest hits in Ladino, Spanish, Portuguese and English. 6 p.m. $20 online; $26 at the door. Kehillat Ahavat Israel, 8066 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 630-2993.

Sephardic Music Celebration
“Untold Stories Concert” celebrates the Sephardic musical and storytelling traditions of Persia, Syria, Morocco and other Arab lands from which Jews fled during the 20th century. The event honors Mizrahi Commemoration Month and the 850,000 Jews displaced from Arab countries. Melodies of celebration, prayer, longing and love are weaved among personal stories of Sephardic homelands. Organized by JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) and Temple Beth Am. 7–10 p.m. $20 online, $25 door. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353.


Writings and Speeches of Elie Wiesel
Stephen Wise Temple Rabbi David Woznica, who conducted seven public dialogues with the late Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, revisits Wiesel’s long and celebrated life in a two-night series. Analyzing Wiesel’s speeches, writings and video testimonies, Woznica examines Wiesel’s thinking about world issues and Judaism. 7:30 p.m., Nov. 5 and 12. $40. American Jewish University Familian Campus, Shapiro Synagogue, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 440-1572.


“A Father’s Story”
Stephen Flatow, author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” appears at the 20th annual Jewish Book Festival of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. On April 9, 1995, Flatow’s daughter, Alisa, a twenty-year-old college student traveling in Israel, was murdered in a Muslim terrorist bus bombing. In his book, Flatow, a New Jersey real estate lawyer prior to his daughter’s death, describes how the tragedy changed his life’s mission and made him determined over the past 23 years to bring to his daughter’s killers and their Iranian sponsor to justice. 7:30–9:30 p.m. Free. Temple Beth David of the San Gabriel Valley, 9677 Longden Ave., Temple City. (626) 445-0810.

32nd Israel Film Festival
The opening night gala of the two-week Israel Film Festival, an annual showcase of nearly 40 Israeli films, documentaries, television series and shorts, honors producer Jason Blum (“Get Out”) and Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher. The West Coast premiere of Nesher’s film “The Other Story,” which explores the divide between Israel’s secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews, follows the awards ceremony. Screenings and events, with 25 Israeli filmmakers participating in discussions with audiences, run through Nov. 20. Opening night: 7:30 p.m. $50 general admission, $150 VIP. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Steve Tisch Cinema Center, Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 247-1800.


“Mavericks, Mystics and False Messiahs”
Beverly Hills Synagogue Rabbi Pini Dunner celebrates the launch of his debut book, exploring an array of unusual historical episodes, odd characters and startling stories of modern Jewish history. USC Religion and Jewish Studies Professor Jessica Marglin participates in a Q-and-A session about the book with Dunner. A book signing follows. 6:30 p.m. doors, 7:15 program. Free. Beverly Hills Synagogue, 9261 Alden Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 276-7650.

“The Pain of Two Homelands: A Literary Lens”
Jewish education consultant Rachel Korazim, who specializes in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education, explores a common theme to Israeli literature: that even the most ardent Zionist immigrants experienced difficulty adjusting to their new land. Through the prose and poetry of Korazim, Lea Goldberg, Amos Oz and others, attendees gain insight into writers’ homesickness for the old country and also their expressions of hope for a better future in Israel. 7:30 p.m. $10. American Jewish University Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 440-1572.

“The Zionist Ideas”
Zionist historian, political commentator and journalist Gil Troy, author of “The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland — Then, Now, Tomorrow,” and Jewish Journal Publisher and Editor-in-Chief David Suissa discuss the outcome of the midterm elections and what they mean for the Jewish community, the U.S. and Israel. They also examine whether civility can be restored in these divisive times. 7:30 p.m. Free. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-8403.