January 15, 2019

Calendar: March 3-9, 2017

Maya Avraham. Photo courtesy of YouTube.

SAT | MARCH 4

UNPLUG L.A.

Join Reboot and Open Temple for an “Unplugged Party” in celebration of Reboot’s National Day of Unplugging. Your phone will be checked at the door. Step off the grid to listen to live music, play board games, visit the analog photo booth, and more. Event dedicated to the late Levi Felix, founder of Digital Detox and Camp Grounded; $3 of each ticket will be donated to Camp Grounded in his memory. 21 and older. 7 p.m. $18; tickets available at eventbrite.com. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. nationaldayofunplugging.com.

A TOAST TO HEROES

Honor a group of 10 young Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers visiting Los Angeles who have been wounded in combat. Food, drinks and an open-bar after-party with a DJ spinning until midnight. All proceeds go to Lev Chayal’s program for wounded IDF soldiers. Black-tie attire. 8 p.m. VIP reception; 9 p.m. cocktails and buffet. $180 for individual reservations; $100 for young professionals ages 21 to 35. Tickets available at eventbrite.com. Venue TBA. levchayal.com.

SUN | MARCH 5

ALONG THE GOLDENEH LINE: JEWISH LIFE AND HERITAGE OF NORTHEAST L.A. AND THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY

A chartered bus will take riders alongside the Metro Gold Line into the San Gabriel Valley on a tour that will focus on the area’s unique Jewish heritage and its contemporary community life. Wear comfortable walking shoes — the tour includes two miles on foot. Instructors include Stephen Sass, president of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California since 1989, and Jeremy Sunderland, who is on the board of directors for the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California. Space is limited. Lunch on your own. 9 a.m. $58. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777. wcce.aju.edu.

NEFESH B’NEFESH ISRAEL ALIYAH FAIR

The ninth annual Nefesh B’Nefesh Israel Aliyah Fair offers the opportunity to gather aliyah information under one roof. Professionals will discuss financial planning and budgeting, choosing a community, building a strategic job search plan, navigating the health care system, buying or renting a home in Israel, and more. 10 a.m. for retirees and empty nesters; noon for students and young professionals. Free. Shalhevet High School, 910 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. nbn.org.

“HIGH NOON: THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST AND THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN CLASSIC”

cal-hign-noon“High Noon” is more than a Western; it is also a story about the Hollywood blacklist. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel will discuss his book about  screenwriter Carl Foreman, producer Stanley Kramer, director Fred Zinnemann and actor Gary Cooper, and how their creative partnership was influenced — and crushed — by political repression and agendas. Book signing to follow presentation. 2 p.m. $14; $10 for students and seniors; $6 for children; free for members. Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles.

THE LOS ANGELES BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA

The Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra presents its 22nd annual concert, featuring the voice of Mark Goldenberg, cantor at Young Israel of Century City. 3 p.m. $35-$45. Herbert Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (626) 483-2731. balalaikala.com.

“VISIONS FOR A SHARED SOCIETY: THE ‘TRIBES’ OF ISRAEL”

Elana Stein Hain, director of leadership education at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, will discuss the core values of some of the “tribes” that compose Israel today, and how a divided people build a shared society. Part of the Synagogue Collaborative Lecture Series. 4 p.m. $20. (Post-lecture dinner and discussion extra; RSVP only.) Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. shalomhartman.org/LAcollaborative.

“LABSCAPES: VIEWS THROUGH THE MICROSCOPE”

“Labscapes” presents vivid images from the mysterious and usually unseen wonders that exist under the powerful lenses of the microscopes of some of the world’s most renowned researchers at Technion — Israel Institute of Technology. A special presentation by students will be followed by the grand opening. RSVP requested: jose@ats.org or (310) 254-9899. 5 p.m. presentation; 6 p.m. reception and exhibit. Through March 27. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. ats.org/labscapes.

MAYA AVRAHAM

Before joining The Idan Raichel Project, Maya Avraham was a widely sought-after backup singer for Israeli superstars such as Eyal Golan, Sarit Hadad and Shlomi Shabat. She will sing some of The Idan Raichel Project’s greatest hits as well as her own songs. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35. Gindi Auditorium at American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777. wcce.aju.edu.

“FROM SHTETL TO STARDOM: JEWS AND HOLLYWOOD”

This panel discussion features Vince Brook of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television; David Isaacs, TV scriptwriter, producer and Emmy winner; Shaina Hammerman, Jewish film, literature, religion and cultural historian; Josh Moss, visiting assistant professor of film and media studies at UC Santa Barbara; and Ross Melnick, associate professor of film and media studies at UCSB. 6:15 p.m. dessert reception; 7 p.m. panel. Free. RSVP by March 3 at wbtla.org/shtetl or (424) 208-8932. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401.

TUES | MARCH 7

GOOGLE FOR GENEALOGISTS

Learn how to use Google Earth and Google Maps to gather information about where your ancestors lived, and how to educate yourself and meet other like-minded individuals (and perhaps relatives) using Google’s social media. Mary Kathryn Kozy, who has been researching her family history for more than 35 years, will speak at this meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County. 7 p.m. Free. Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest, Thousand Oaks. (818) 889-6616. jgscv.org.

THURS | MARCH 9

ELON GOLD

cal-elon-goldComedian, writer and actor Elon Gold kicks off the Purim weekend with a night of comedy, drinks and a DJ. Also featuring Alex Edelman. 8 p.m. $40. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (888) 645-5006. sabanconcerts.com.

“THE AUSCHWITZ VOLUNTEER”

Explore the ethical and religious implications of the Holocaust at this event. Wine and cheese reception will be followed by a multimedia program and discussion about the Polish underground’s mission that sent officer Witold Polecki into Auschwitz to gain intelligence and build resistance among the prisoners. 7:30 p.m. $8. Burton Sperber Jewish Community Library at American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1572. wcce.aju.edu.

Putting L.A.’s Jewish culture on the map

Los Angeles, which has an estimated Jewish population of 600,000, is developing the first citywide Jewish history document in California — part of what may be the largest survey of its kind in the world.

The document will attempt to pinpoint places such as synagogues, restaurants and hospitals that have been vital to the Jews in the city over a period of more than 125 years. It is part of a larger project called SurveyLA, which is being run by Los Angeles’ Office of Historic Resources and backed by a $2.5 million grant from the J. Paul Getty Trust. The multiyear survey will cover the years 1850 to 1980 and identify the historic contexts of other diverse communities throughout the city as well, including the Latino, LGBT, Asian- and African-American populations. 

Research has already begun, but a public kickoff for the Jewish component will take place on March 13 at American Jewish University from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The Office of Historic Resources is inviting locals to share personal stories and learn more about the project.

“The meeting is an effort to tap into the collective memory of the Jewish community around the city to help inform the creation of this historic context statement,” said Ken Bernstein, manager at the Office of Historic Resources and principal city planner for the Department of City Planning. “What are some places that still remain important? What are the places that have contributed to the community and the growth of it? We want to hear from a broad cross-section of Jews in L.A.”

Some topics that will be discussed at the kickoff meeting include Jewish spirituality and religion, commerce and business, arts and culture, the entertainment industry and social organizations. The document also will address how the L.A. Jewish population has moved geographically over the years, highlighting areas such as Boyle Heights, Fairfax, the Valley and Pico-Robertson.

“It’s important to fully document the role the Jewish community has played, as well as to make a full effort to document all of those places that have been important to the evolution of the Jewish community in L.A.,” Bernstein said. “We need a tangible collection of L.A. Jewish history.” 

The statement will not only be an in-depth look at the Jewish population here, it also will inform city leaders on how to identify and safeguard specific places in L.A. that the Jewish community finds significant. 

On a broader scale, according to the project’s website (

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Jewish community leaders honored as “Local Heroes”

Jewish community leaders Zane Buzby and Stephen Sass were honored at the 14th Annual Local Heroes Awards on Tuesday, Oct. 18, organized by KCET and Union Bank, N.A.

Buzby is the founder of the Survivors Mitzvah project, which provides financial aid to Holocaust survivors living in Europe.

Stephen Sass, president of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California, has spearheaded the effort to revitalize the Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights.

Story continues after the jump.

The culmination of a yearlong “Local Heroes” campaign that aired on public television station KCET, the event also honored community activists working on behalf of local women, Asian Americans, African-Americans and Latinos. The ceremony took place at the Club Nokia at L.A. Live.

“I feel terrific about being honored,” Buzby said in an interview. “It was great company to be in, and it’s really nice that they acknowledged the good that’s going on in the world.”

“With so much strife and so much craziness,” Buzby added, “it’s good to know that there other people out there striving to do something good.”

In their professional lives, Buzby directs sitcoms for television and Sass works for HBO as vice president of legal affairs.