January 18, 2020

What’s Happening: Sephardic-Latino Concert, ‘For Sama’ Doc

“For Sama”


Wolrd AIDS Day Shabbat
Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC) and Congregation Kol Ami, the community’s largest LGBTQ+ congregations, observe World AIDS Day, which takes place Dec. 1. After BCC’s monthly Shabbat Dinner in the Neighborhood, the congregation holds a World AIDS Day Ruach Chayim Shabbat service. On Dec. 1, the Center for Spiritual Living joins Kol Ami for an interfaith ceremony. Beth Chayim Chadashim: Dinner 6-7:45 p.m., service 8-9:30 p.m. Service is free. 6090 Pico Blvd. (323) 931-7023. bcc-la.org. Congregation Kol Ami 5-6 p.m. Free. 1200 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 606-0996.


Federation Toy and Book Sale
Today is the final day for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ monthlong, 14th annual Festival of Lights Toy and Book Drive, which yields thousands of gifts each December for the neediest and most deserving children and their families across Los Angeles. Order and ship toys directly to the Federation via its Amazon Wish List. All donations must be received by 5 p.m. For additional information, contact Melissa at (323) 761-8161 or myork@jewishla.com.


Hiking with Families
amilies that hike together stay together. So come join families of Shomrei Torah Synagogue at Malibu Creek State Park for three hours of hiking and socializing. Meet in the park’s parking lot and be sure to bring water, snacks and a blanket to rest at the post-hike picnic. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Malibu Creek State Park, 1925 Las Virgenes Rd., Calabasas. (818) 854-7650.

Seniors Comedy Show
What happens when you bring together comedian Mark Schiff and two other comics? The answer is comedy that seniors can relate to. The latest installment of Senior Comedy Afternoons, “Holly Jolly Holidays,” features Schiff, who is also a Journal columnist; Brian Kiley, lead writer for Conan O’Brien; and stand-up comedian Jann Karam. Entry fee includes a three-course luncheon. First five 100-year-olds enter free. Noon doors. 12:30 p.m. luncheon, 1:30 p.m. show. $75 luncheon and show. $40 show only. Proud Bird Restaurant and Events Center, 11022 Aviation Blvd., near LAX. (714) 914-2565.

Lilly Maier

“Arthur and Lily”
At the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Lilly Maier, author of “Arthur and Lilly,” relates the story of her almost accidental friendship with a Holocaust survivor, despite their 60-year age difference. Arthur Kern was placed on a Kindertransport at age 10. Returning to his native Vienna 60 years later, he met then-11-year-old Maier. She explains the story behind “Arthur and Lilly,” Maier’s account of how she and Kern have come to shape each other’s lives. 3-4 p.m. $10 suggested donation. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Pan Pacific Park, 100 S. The Grove Drive. (323) 651-3704.


Sarah Hurwitz

“Here All Along”
Sarah Hurwitz, former first lady Michelle Obama’s chief speechwriter for both terms of the Obama presidency, discusses her new book, “Here All Along,” with Stephen Wise Temple Rabbi David Woznica. Hurwitz’s focus will be on her happy reintroduction to Judaism, which, she says, has been “Here All Along.” Registration required. Light wine and cheese reception opens the evening. 6:30 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. program. Free for temple members, $18 guests. Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive. (310) 476-8561.

Jews and Early Cinema
While Jews’ influence on the early studio system and American cinema a century ago is indisputable, Rabbi Jon Hanish poses a seldom-asked question during his series at Kol Tikvah: The next two Monday nights, Hanish, who holds a graduate degree in film production from USC, questions whether Jewish pioneers in Hollywood hid, denied or openly demonstrated their religious and cultural identities. In these two classes, he focuses on Hollywood’s heyday, the 1920s-1950s. Class time tonight and Dec. 9: 7-8:30 p.m. $18 per class. Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 348-0670.

Sephardic-Latino Connection
Attention third-, fourth- and fifth-graders: It’s time for the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony’s annual two-day visit to two Valley day schools. The ensemble performs free education concerts at Adat Ari El this morning and at Valley Beth Shalom the morning of Dec. 3. The concerts feature guest artist Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, and their theme is, “A Patchwork of Cultures: Exploring the Sephardic-Latino Connection,” which is about getting acquainted with our Spanish ancestors. 11 a.m. today at Adat Ari El, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village. (818) 766-9426. adatariel.org. Dec. 3: 11 a.m. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000.



“We Shall Not Die Now”

“We Shall Not Die Now”
Seventy-five years after the Holocaust, the new documentary “We Shall Not Die Now,” by the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and Blackbird Pictures, features Ben Ferencz, the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials and Cantor Moshe Taube, No. 22 on Schindler’s List, demonstrating the resilience of those who rebuilt their lives after the unimaginable. Michael Berenbaum, director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at American Jewish University, and film director Ashton Gleckman participate in a post-screening Q-and-A. 7-10 p.m. $10. Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S. Main St. (213) 617-1033. Tickets available at eventbrite.com. For additional information, visit the link above.

The Battle of My Life”
Peace of Mind: The Israel Psychotrauma Center, which helps Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) veterans recover from the stresses of military life, organizes a multimedia evening at Sinai Temple, featuring music and remarks by IDF veteran Nir Rubin. During the program, which is free and open to the public, Rubin reflects on his career and life after the military. 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. program. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd. (310) 474-1518. Register by clicking the link above.


Saba Soomekh

“Forty Years After”
The culture and flavor of the Jewish community of Los Angeles has become more diversified in the past four decades. With that in mind, the migration and mutual impact of tens of thousands of Persian Jews after the 1979 Iran Revolution are the subject of a three-part monthly series, “Forty Years After: The Los Angeles Persian Jewish Community,” featuring Iranian-Jewish scholar Saba Soomekh in dialogue with Stephen Wise Temple Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback. Their subject tonight is “Identity.” Their Jan. 8 program focus on “Sexuality” and their Feb. 19 event examines “Culture.” Tonight: 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive. (310) 476-8561.

The Great Debates
Almost since the beginning of the Jewish people, scholars and ordinary Jews have argued over whether Hillel or Shammai was the superior teacher. Professor Gail Labovitz of American Jewish University revisits the millennia-old disagreement and the distinctions between Hillel and Shammai when she joins Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) Senior Rabbi Ed Feinstein in discussion. Feinstein and VBS Rabbi Noah Farkas host this series of Wednesday evenings about the controversies that shaped Judaism. 7-9 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000.

“Sustainable Nation”
The film “Sustainable Nation” follows three people committed to bringing sustainable water solutions, many of which were developed by Israel, to a planet perceived to be growing thirstier.  Kehillat Israel calls the program a Hanukkah sustainability screening, caring for a water-starved world. 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. film. Panel discussion to follow. Free. Kehillat Israel, 16019 W. Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-2328. 

“Churchill and the Jews”
Join Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum at his home campus, American Jewish University, for “Churchill and the Jews.” He discusses Churchill’s remarkable loyalty to the Jews during the war years when anti-Semitism was more prevalent and explains why an oversized bust of Churchill stands today near the Western Wall. 7:30 p.m. $20. American Jewish University, Alan Shapiro Memorial Synagogue, 15600 Mulholland Drive. (310) 440-1572.


“For Sama”

“For Sama”
For more than five years, Waad al-Kateab filmed her life throughout the deadly conflict in Aleppo, Syria. During this period, she married a doctor and they had a baby, Sama. She never let any event interrupt her filming of the deadly violence that engulfed the region. The documentary, “For Sama,” is a moving film about love, laughter, loss and sacrifice. After the film, al-Kateab and fellow director Edward Watts will take questions. Not recommended for children younger than 12. 7:30 p.m. Arrive early to view the exhibitions. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. (310) 440-4500.

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