February 21, 2020

Experts Talk BDS, Journalist Souad Mekhennet


Rimonim Shabbat
Celebrating multiple generations of its San Fernando Valley-based community, Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) holds a Rimonim Shabbat service and dinner for adults and children. Children are encouraged to attend and enjoy VBS’ new “prayground,” designed for young ones during services. 5 p.m. dinner. 6:30 p.m. Rimonim Shabbat service. Dinner: $28 adult members, $32 general, $12 children ages 5-12. No charge for ages 4 and under. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino.

Shabbat with Muslims
Celebrating the relationship between Temple Beth Am’s Pressman Academy and the Islah Academy, the communities come together for a Shabbat Sovev service — sitting and singing in the round — and community dinner. Afterward, Rabbi Chaim Tureff of Pressman and Islah Imam Jihad Saafir engage in dialogue, followed by a Q&A session. 4:45 p.m. Shabbat Sovev service. 6:15 p.m. community dinner. $20 adults, $16 children ages 2-12. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles.


“Is Religion a Bad Thing for Humanity?”
Drawing on the wisdom of Great Britain’s former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Sephardic Temple Rabbi Tal Sessler continues his monthly post-service “Shabbat Torah Chat.” In “Is Religion a Bad Thing for Humanity?” Sessler cites Sacks’ perspectives on the challenge of religious fundamentalism and violence that is religiously inspired. 8:30 a.m.-noon services. All Shabbat classes take place after services and Kiddush. Free. Sephardic Temple, 10500 Wilshire Blvd.

Shabbat for Young Families
If you have little ones, Beth Jacob Congregation looks forward to welcoming you to its Young Professional Families with Little Ones luncheon. The guest speaker is Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, selected as a CNN Hero in 2014 for his work in founding Kids Kicking Cancer. Meanwhile, children’s programming will be available. 9 a.m. Shabbat services. $35 per adult, $15 per child. Ages 2-and-under are free. Beth Jacob Congregation, Rubin Hall, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills.


“Under the Jello Mold”
Picture an envelope with the words, “In case of death. Love, Mom.” Actress, playwright and Temple Isaiah member Jennie Fahn performs her touching and hilarious award-winning one-woman play, “Under the Jello Mold,” at Temple Isaiah. In this comedy about the end of her mother’s life, Fahn reveals the unlikely location of her mom’s post-mortem instructions and her mother’s biggest secret. Light snacks and a Q&A session with Fahn follow the performance. 4-6 p.m. $18. Temple Isaiah sanctuary, 10345 W. Pico Blvd.

Sunset Healing Service
Adat Ari El provides a safe and friendly space away from the onslaught of weekday traffic and noise at its Sunset Healing Service. The Conservative Valley Village synagogue’s service includes mediation, soothing music and healing strategies for coping with life’s difficult realities. 7 p.m. Adat Ari El, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village.

Jerusalem Youth Chorus
Billed as a choral and dialogue program for Israeli and Palestinian youth, the Jerusalem Youth Chorus headlines a Valley Beth Shalom concert that includes the Los Angeles choral group Tonality, whose themes address social justice, and singer and actress Ari Afsar. The Youth Chorus was formed to inspire singers and audiences around the world to work for peace, justice, inclusion and equality. 7 p.m. $15-$25. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino.


Jewish Security Town Hall
In the wake of the rapid rise in the number of anti-Semitic attacks across America, the community convenes for the Pico-Robertson Jewish Security Coordination and Town Hall. Business owners and concerned community members are encouraged to attend. The focus of the discussion is retail businesses. Location of the meeting is provided only to registrants. 8:30-11:30 p.m. Free. Register at eventbrite.  


“All the President’s Men”
“All the President’s Men” screens at the Skirball Cultural Center. Among their best-remembered roles, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the journalists who investigated the break-in of Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Office Building, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. This is part of the Skirball’s series of free Tuesday afternoon screenings. 1:30 p.m. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Souad Mekhennet

An Evening with Souad Mekhennet
German journalist Souad Mekhennet discusses her experiences interviewing Middle East terrorists with Jewish Journal Publisher and Editor-In-Chief David Suissa and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC). Besides her interviews with al-Qaida, Taliban and ISIS killers, Mekhennet, a national security correspondent for The Washington Post, explains her role in helping solve the case of a Nazi war criminal who had gained safe haven in Egypt. SWC will present Mekhennet with its International Leadership Award. 7:30 p.m. program with reception to follow. Free, registration required. Museum of Tolerance, Peltz Theater, 9786 W. Pico Blvd.

Sholem Aleichem Short Stories
In the century since his death, the life and stories of Sholem Aleichem have become increasingly glamorized. Shomrei Torah Synagogue Rabbi Richard Camras reads from and discusses Aleichem’s stories. In the first of two nights of short stories, Camras shares “Tevye’s Daughters,” in which the central character from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” tells Aleichem about his seven daughters, five of whom play leading roles in his stories. In the conclusion of the short stories series on Jan. 21, Camras reads from Etgar Keret’s
“The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God.” 8-9:15 p.m. Free for synagogue members, $10 general. Shomrei Torah Synagogue, 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills.

Saba Soomekh

What is the BDS Movement?
How much do, or should, you know about the 15-year-old anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement? Two experts from the American Jewish Committee, Saba Soomekh and Zev Hurwitz, pose this and related questions this morning in an open-to-the-public class at Sinai Temple. Their discussion is titled “What Is the BDS Movement and How Do We Address This Issue With Our Children?” Light breakfast provided. 8-9 a.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire  Blvd.


“A Year with Mordecai Kaplan”
As part of American Jewish University’s “Big Ideas, Bold Future” series, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson shares the wisdom of Mordecai Kaplan, a renowned thought leader and Jewish giant of the 20th century. In his new book, “A Year With Mordecai Kaplan: Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion,” Steven Carr Reuben, rabbi emeritus of Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, selects a quote from each weekly Torah portion, applies Kaplan’s insights and follows with a story from his long career. 7:30 p.m. $15. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive.

Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman
In Alice Hoffman’s new novel, “The World That We Knew,” set in wartime Berlin, Hanni Kohn knows she must send away her 12-year-old daughter to protect her from the Nazis. The worried mother, daughter of a rabbi, creates a mystical creature sworn to protect her daughter. Discussing the book, Hoffman appears at the Museum of Tolerance and engages in conversation with Deborah Thompson, formerly Hoffman’s research assistant and now manager of the museum’s bookstore. Refreshments along with a book sale and signing follow the program. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP required. Museum of Tolerance, Peltz Theater, 9786 W. Pico Blvd.

Israeli Ensemble
The renowned Israeli family ensemble Colin Schachat and Sons performs with special guest Cantor Netanel Baram. The L.A. University Festival Orchestra, led by musical director Tomer Adaddi accompanies them. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $36 balcony, $72 risers, $125 preferred seating, $200 includes pre-show reception. Beverly Hills Synagogue, 9261 Alden Drive, Beverly Hills. For tickets, email concert@yinbh.org.


Jews and 2020 Elections
With only 10 months until the presidential election and less than one month before the voting begins with the Iowa caucuses, this evening at Wilshire Boulevard Temple features three writers offering their insights on the race for the White House. Former Journal columnist Danielle Berrin, Wall Street Journal national religion reporter Ian Lovett and author Steven Windmueller, a longtime leader in the Jewish community, share their views. A Q&A session follows. RSVP requested. 7:30 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple Irmas (Westside) Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd.

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