February 27, 2020

What’s Happening: Tu B’Shevat Celebrations, Democratic Primary Forum

FRI FEB 7

Shabbat Shira
Celebrating 220 years of Reform Jewish music and history, Temple Isaiah and Beth Chayim Chadashim, merge their choirs to welcome Shabbat and Tu B’Shevat. Dinner to follow. 5:45 p.m. pre-Oneg. 6:15 p.m. Shabbat service. 7:30 p.m. dinner. Free. Temple Isaiah, 10345 W. Pico Blvd.

SAT FEB 8

“Perspectives on the Problem of Hate in America”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who has devoted much of his life to confronting anti-Semitism, speaks to Knesset Israel in Beverlywood. He is joined by a fellow expert on hatred, Pastor William Smart Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for Southern California. 9 a.m. service. 10:40 a.m. guest speakers. 11 a.m. Q&A session. 11:30 a.m. sushi Kiddush. Knesset Israel, 2364 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverlywood.

“Iran’s Hegemonic Ambitions”
Daniel Schueftan has been a consultant to consecutive Israeli governments from the 1980s and heads the International Graduate Program in National Security at the University of Haifa. He will speak on “The United States, Israel and Iran’s Hegemonic Ambitions.” Suitable for all ages. Sponsored by IDEA (Individuals Devoted to Education and Awareness). Noon luncheon follows 9 a.m. services. $26 adults, $18 children under 13. Nessah Synagogue, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills.

“Songstruck 2020”
Commemorating Shomrei Torah Synagogue’s 25th anniversary, the Conservative synagogue holds “Songstruck 2020,” showcasing cantorial soloist Jackie Rafii and special guests. Wilshire Boulevard Temple Cantor Lisa Peicott and two new artists, David Childs, a cantorial intern at Sinai Temple, and Josh Goldberg, songwriter, producer and student cantor, share the stage with Rafii. Daniel Raijman directs the band. 6:30 p.m. pre-concert cocktail party. 8 p.m. concert. $75 general admission. $175 reserved seat and cocktail party admission. Shomrei Torah Synagogue, 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills.

SUN FEB 9

Oscar Night: Helping the Hungry
Help Kehillat Israel pack some of the 15,000 meals being prepared for the Rise Against Hunger program. Free dinner included. Ages 8 and up are welcome. 5 p.m. Free. Kehillat Israel, 16019 W. Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades.

WED FEB 12

Modern Orthodox Changing?
The Shalhevet Institute convenes its “Let’s Talk” program in a private home. Elana Stein Hain of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America addresses the subject, “Modern Orthodoxy in Transition: On Religion, Politics and Social Change.” Na’amit Sturm Nagel serves as moderator. 7:30 p.m. Address upon RSVP at a.schwarzberg@shalhevet.org.

Flatow at Beth Jacob
After his daughter, Alisa, was murdered by terrorists in the Gaza Strip 25 years ago, attorney Stephen Flatow initiated lawsuits against the Islamic Republic of Iran and international banks that processed the terrorists’ funds. He discusses, “A Father’s Story.” 7:30 p.m. Free. Beth Jacob Congregation, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills.

THU FEB 13

L.A. County DA Candidates Forum
Ahead of the March 3 primary election, the National Council of Jewish Women-Los Angeles (NCJWLA) holds the Los Angeles County District Attorney (DA) Candidates Forum, featuring incumbent Jackie Lacey; George Gascon, a former L.A. police official who most recently served as San Francisco’s district attorney; and Rachel Rossi, the first former public defender to run for DA. The NCJW co-sponsors the candidates’ forum with the League of Women Voters, among other groups. 6:30- 8 p.m. Free. NCJW-Los Angeles, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles.


Tu B’Shevat

Sometimes it seems Tu B’Shevat, which takes place this year on Feb. 10, has more nicknames, including New Year of the Trees and Birthday of the Trees, than recognition. Here are some celebrations around the community.

FRI FEB 7 

Kol Tikvah Tu B’shevat
The event features food, fun and activities for all ages. Bring a canned fruit or vegetable for the West Valley Food Pantry. 5:15 p.m. Tot Shabbat service. 5:30 p.m. activities and hosted dinner. 6 p.m. adult text study. 6:45 p.m. Shabbat service followed by dessert. Free. Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. RSVP for the dinner at the link above.

SUN FEB 9 

Westside JCC Festival
The Westside Jewish Community Center’s celebrations include a bounce house, food, music, carnival games, face painting, family art and free trees from City Plants. Rain or shine. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Free. Westside JCC, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd.

Vegan Seder
Enjoy an organic vegan seder at Beth Chayim Chadashim, led by Rabbi Jonathan Klein, rabbinic chair of Jewish Veg L.A. Bodhi Thai provides the kosher vegan meals. 6-8 p.m. $22. Beth Chayim Chadashim, 6090 Pico Blvd. Contact Shantal at LA@JewishVeg.org with any questions.

“Tu B’Shevat in the Desert”
Friendship Circle Los Angeles celebrates “Tu B’Shevat in the Desert” with children and young adults with special needs and their families. 1-3 p.m. Friendship Circle Los Angeles, 1952 S. Robertson Blvd. RSVP with Chanie@FCLA.org.

Plant Sale for Tu B’Shevat
Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park is opening its low-water native plant garden to the wider community. More than 20 species are available for purchase. You are invited to plant seasonal produce and participate in an 11 a.m. seder with home garden produce. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Israel, 5711 Monte Vista St., Los Angeles. RSVP at the link above.

“Family & Me!” at AJU
The Burton Sperber Jewish Community Library and PJ Library collaborate to present Sunday Morning Storytime, featuring music and dancing with Doda Mollie, singing, crafts and an interactive story for preschoolers ages 3-6 and their grandparents, parents or other special persons. 10 a.m. $25 per family. American Jewish University, Sperber Library, 15600 Mulholland Drive.


Have an event coming up? Send your information two weeks prior to the event to ryant@jewishjournal.com for consideration. For groups staging an event that requires an RSVP, please submit details about the event the week before the RSVP deadline.