Jewish Journal


December 26, 2008

Calendar Girls Picks and Clicks Dec. 27- Jan. 2: Hot Rod Chanukah, Moroccan New Years Eve


See Saturday night listing

See Saturday night listing


The week has been loaded with holiday merrymaking, but if you've got a drop of energy left, you'll want to make it last all night long at the Hot Rod Chanukah Party hosted by The Jewish Federation's Young Leadership Division and Birthright Israel Next. These two powerhouse party throwers are combining their talents to throw a C-Class holiday bash with all the upgrades: a vodka and latke lounge, live entertainment, appetizers, dessert, free Chanukahtinis (one per person), raffle prizes, half-priced drinks and a No Limit Texas Dreidel tournament. All this, amid the motorized gleam of the iconic Petersen Automotive Museum. Ages 21-45. Sat. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $10 (prepaid Birthright alumni), $36 (prepaid), $54 (at the door). Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8132. Alumni may buy tickets at http://www.birthrightisrael.com. Non-alumni may buy tickets at http://www.jewishla.org.

Rock the Dreidel is being advertised as the real deal holiday party for the younger end of the young professional set. Jewlicious, Gesher City and OC Hillel are just a few of the local orgs heading this south-of-L.A. soiree, which promises an Israeli DJ, a menorah lighting, free sufganiot and what seems to be the hottest game of the holiday season: Texas Hold'em Dreidel. Long Beach hot spot Sachi's, with it's old-school Atari games and alluring day beds, has agreed to host the Jew fest. Free shuttles from the JCC OC. 21 and over. Sat. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $10 (presale), $15 (at the door). Sachi's Bar and Club, Seaport Marina Hotel, 6400 E. Pacific Coast Highway., Long Beach. (562) 426-7601, ext. 1521. ibakal@alpertjcc.org. http://www.alpertjcc.org.

Christmas carols may dominate the holiday song sector, but Khaneke (Yiddish for Chanukah) also has a respectable list of sing-along-worthy tunes. Join in on the fun at the Yiddish Khaneke Karaoke and Holiday Sing-a-long, where the seventh night will be filled with your favorite songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, English and any other language you bring to the table. Song sheets will be provided so everyone can sing together, but solo performances are encouraged. You may accompany yourself with an instrument, bring an accompanist or bring sheet music for Kathryn Rowe to accompany you on the piano. Stage-shy song-lovers are also welcome to e-mail suggestions for the sing-along to Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring. The night would not be complete without a candle-lighting ceremony and delicious holiday refreshments. Sat. 7:30 p.m. $10 (members), $15 (guests). Workmen's Circle, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. circle@circlesocal.org. http://www.circlesocal.org.


While other 9-year-old boys were busy playing video games with their schoolmates, preadolescent Zach Gartenberg was writing a story about his younger brother, who is autistic. Signs that Mori, Zach's brother, was different from other kids came early. At the age of 2, Mori stopped talking. Sometimes he would get so frustrated at things he was not able to express in words that he would bang his head on the floor. Next came numerous visits to doctors. And eventually, a diagnosis. But as with countless other families dealing with an autistic child, putting a name to Mori's condition was only one small step in dealing with the realities of a brain-development disorder. Now grown up, big brother Zach Gartenberg is presenting and discussing the book he wrote as a child, "Mori's Story: A Book About a Boy With Autism." An important insight into how children cope with special-needs siblings, this is a reading all families could benefit from. Sun. 3-4 p.m. Free. Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8648. http://www.jclla.org.

Nope, the Chanukah celebrations aren't over yet. That's one of the great things about being Jewish, isn't it? Instead of one night of merriment, the parties just go on and on and on... Jumping right in is the Israel division of The Jewish Federation/ Valley Alliance, which is throwing its own holiday family festival complete with a magician, festive singing, a menorah-lighting ceremony, and -- old magazines? Actually, attendees are asked to bring some along to turn them into a menorah. Not to worry, there will be expert magazine-menorah-makers on hand to help with the project. Sun. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Free. The Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3206. http://www.jewishla.org.

The glow from a week's worth of sugary sufganiot, warm family gatherings and gift exchanges can go a long way in making you attractive to the opposite sex. That, coupled with an inviting, relaxed ambiance set by the South Bay Jewish Singles at Coco's Restaurant, could just be the perfect combination for a personal Chanukah miracle. Ages 39-58. Sun. 5 p.m. Coco's Restaurant, 28300 S. Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes. (310) 519-1359. sbjts@cox.net.

JConnect is no stranger to bringing L.A.'s Jewish community together, but this gathering is for women only. As part of their monthly women's gathering series, guest speaker Tova Hinda Siegel will be discussing "A Light Unto Our Nation: Are WE Women the Guiding Light?" Siegel, a certified midwife and very active in the city's Jewish community, is in a unique position to discuss women and their relationship to Israel. The conversation will take place over a kosher potluck brunch, so make sure to bring along your favorite dish. Sun. 11:45 a.m. Only cost is your contribution to the potluck. JConnectLA, 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 322, Los Angeles. R.S.V.P to Michal@JConnectLA.com for the exact address of the event. http://www.jconnectla.com.


Sababa is extending you the only opportunity -- or at least the only one we know of -- to usher in a new and more hopeful year surrounded by fellow members of the tribe and snag a smooch with someone your bubbe would approve of. The Rockin' Moroccan New Year's Eve Party will transform the popular hangout Club Fuel in Studio City into a Moroccan-style lair of rich tapestries, lush cushions and sensuous belly dancers. The feast will not be limited to just your eyes: There will also be a decadent kosher Moroccan buffet by Bazilikum Caterers and Chef Sharon On, a free hookah patio with a variety of sweet flavors and a champagne toast at midnight. Sababa's loyal DJ duo, Ziv and Titus, will be spinning '70s, '80s, hip-hop, dance, house and plenty of hip Israeli crowd-pleasers. Part of the proceeds from this relatively affordable NYE bash (a nod to the struggling economy) will be donated to Yad B'Yad, a nonprofit that provides services to abused children in Israel. 21 and over. Wed. 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. $48 (prepaid via PayPal), $58 (at the door). Club Fuel, 11608 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (310) 657-6650. http://www.sababaparties.com.

If you're still searching for a way to spend your New Year's Eve, why not attend the event that has been dubbed the "biggest New Year's party on the Westside." In a special one-night engagement, Paris-based pianist/actor Hershey Felder will ring in the New Year with a performance of "George Gershwin Alone," winner of four 2007 Ovation Awards, including best musical. The musical, dubbed, "Hershey Felder's The American Songbook Sing-A-Long" for this one-night performance, has been hailed for melding different formats into one: part concert, part portrait, part sing-along. A complimentary champagne toast and dessert will follow the night's two performances, and Felder himself will be joining the audience in a countdown to the New Year. Wed. 7 and 10 p.m. $150. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood Village, Los Angeles. (310) 208-5454. http://geffenplayhouse.com; http://www.ticketmaster.com.

With a long list of Top 40 favorites, such as "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Yakety Yak," "Stand by Me" and "On Broadway," the show, "Smokey Joe's Café," is a musical mishmash of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller hits that is ideally jubilant for the holiday season. Since its premiere on Broadway in 1995, the 39-song revue has been nominated for seven Tony Awards, and won a Grammy Award for the legendary Jewish duo's songs and featured special appearances by megastars. Starring in this NoHo production of "Smokey Joe's" are DeLee Lively, Robert Torti and a host of other talented stage veterans. Special performances include two New Year's Eve shows, one with a champagne reception, the other followed by an all-out party with the cast. Wed. 4 and 9 p.m. Through Jan. 4. $55-$150 (New Year's Eve shows); $45-$55 (regular shows). El Portal Theatre, Mainstage, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-4200. http://www.elportaltheatre.com.


Rabbi YY, as Yehuda Yonah Rubinstein is fondly known, is one of the most requested Jewish speakers in the United Kingdom. There, he is a regular broadcaster on national radio and television and was named one of the top five people in Britain to turn to for advice by the Independent newspaper. He has written innumerable essays and a couple of books, including "Dancing Through Time" and "That's Life." Jewish Learning Exchange is hosting this veteran public speaker and teacher with a gift for fusing Torah, modern-day challenges and humor at a special weekend starting tonight. Rubinstein will lead Melava Malka on Saturday night and speak on the subject of what Judaism says about dreams. Guests are asked to specify if they need sleeping accommodations and/or meals. Fri.-Sat. $36. Jewish Learning Exchange, 512 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. Call (323) 857-0923 or e-mail info@jlela.com to register and to receive a detailed schedule. http://www.jlela.com.

Two words: wine and cheese. Those are the goods being handed out at Temple Emanuel's "Wine Tasting for Young Professionals," an event geared toward the twenty and thirtysomething crowd -- a growing constituency at the Beverly Hills synagogue. The event is part of the synagogue's Synaplex Shabbat -- a multioption service that has something for everyone in the community: a healing service, toddler-friendly program, dinner and the grand finale, the "Shabbat Unplugged" musical service. So, young pros, drink, be merry and start your new year off with an uplifting Shabbat. Fri. 5:45 p.m. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. (310) 288-3737. http://www.tebh.org.

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