Jewish Journal


June 12, 2008

Calendar Girls picks and clicks for June 14-20


Lewis Black

Lewis Black



If you could create the perfect Father's Day event, it would probably include action movies, sports and live entertainment, right? The Golden State Pops http://www.gspo.com.


Young professionals in their 20s and 30s are revving up for a Texas Hold 'Em-style world poker tournament hosted by Stephen S. Wise Temple's "W" group. The stakes include a six-month Westside Sports Club L.A. membership; Botox treatments or a lip augmentation; a one-week lift ticket at Vail, Breckinridge or Keystone Mountain ski resorts; sporting event tickets/concert tickets; and Krav Maga adult and child memberships. The high-energy evening, which includes a dinner buffet, will raise money for Atidim, an Israeli organization designed to build a stronger Israel through the potential of its adolescents. Sat. 7 p.m. $20 (non-players), $80 (early registration), $120 (at the door, with buy-backs available). Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-8561. http://www.wisela.org/temple.


If your Saturday night "must do" list includes meeting Mr./Ms. Right, spending the evening with a group of fun and interesting singles and reaching into the back of your closet for a grass skirt, join the folks of the Jewish Single Parents and Singles Association for a Hawaiian Extravaganza! Since its establishment, the singles group has grown from a casual hangout for singles and single parents to a living, breathing community of individuals who share a passion for culture and having a good time with like-minded singles. Sat. 7 p.m. $10. Mark's home; call for directions. (714) 846-3595. http://www.jspsa.com.



The trailer

Don't Israeli women deserve the right to pray, wear a tallit and read from the Torah alongside men at the holiest site in Israel? A group of courageous women, many of them from Los Angeles, united in a common goal to give all women the right to pray at the Western Wall. Their journey was captured on film by Yael Katzir in "Praying In Her Own Voice." The documentary follows Women of the Wall as they challenge the Israeli government and the entire Jewish world by raising questions and stirring up media attention through protests and public appearances. They also embark on a long legal battle that leads them all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court. Top L.A. Rabbis Naomi Levy and Denise Eger and executive producers Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus will participate in a panel discussion at the sneak preview of the film, showcased in the Israeli Film Festival. Sun. 3 p.m. $11. Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 848-3500. http://newlovefilms.com.


What's a summer Sunday without pulling those mud-caked hiking shoes out of your closet and enjoying the California outdoors? The Hike to Switzer Falls organized by Jewish Outdoor Adventures gives you that opportunity, as the well as the chance to meet new people. This 4-mile hike will take you through the majestic San Gabriel Mountains along the Arroyo Seco stream. No need to be a die-hard -- this hike is more about the scenery than the workout, although the inclines may just cause you to break a sweat. Don't forget to bring a swimsuit and the courage to jump right in! Sun. 9:30 a.m. Free. For location, call (310) 858-6875 or e-mail jewishoutdoor@yahoo.com. http://jewishoutdooradventures.com.


Usher in the glorious SoCal summer by spending an evening at the hot Bungalow Club with fellow young Jewish profs (that's professionals, not professors). Join the Jewish Federation's Young Leadership Division for a sizzling Summer Bash! Extending a helping hand to the L.A. Jewish community, its 25- to 45-year-old members engage in various community service projects, educational activities and exciting events. Partake in conversation, drinks and -- as always with Jewish events -- food. Sun. 7:30 p.m. $36 (online), $54 (at the door). The Bungalow Club, 7174 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8132. http://jewishla.org.


Check your XX chromosomes and head over to the women-only performance of "Miri Poppins Dance and Musical Production," presented by A Time For Dance, a studio catering to the creative needs of the Orthodox community. Bringing back childhood memories of the charismatic chimney sweep and the nanny with the magical purse, the exuberant all-female cast of the performance will have you singing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" Nina Kleinman, the show's assistant director said, "It's a fantastic opportunity for young Orthodox girls to be part of a big production. It's an outlet that they wouldn't get in their schools and the only chance they have to perform." So come and watch as a group of talented girls does Walt Disney proud! Sun. 11 a.m. $12-$18 (discount with advanced purchase). Beverly Vista Auditorium, 200 S. Elm Drive, Beverly Hills. (323) 404-0827. Atimefordance@sbcglobal.net.



Filmed in 1972, "Ben-Gurion Remembers" is a documentary that offers a unique look at the founding of Israel from the perspective of a still-young nation and its very first prime minister. The film was made by Simon Hesera to commemorate Israel's 25th anniversary and is now being screened for the first time in the United States as part of an Israel at 60 celebration hosted by American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Israel Film Festival. Interviews with Golda Meir, Abba Eban, Moshe Dayan and a young Ariel Sharon, along with footage of Ben-Gurion with Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman and Charles de Gaulle depict an ardent Zionist, a champion of the Negev and a brilliant leader. The special screening will be preceded by a cocktail reception with Israeli film directors and producers. Mon. 6 p.m. (reception), 7:15 p.m. (screening). $36. Laemmle Royal Theater, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles. (310) 552-3300. pgomperts@aabgu.org. http://www.israelfilmfestival.com.



Following news stories on the dismal situation in the Middle East can get pretty bleak and depressing. Cartoonist and political commentator Yaakov Kirschen, a regular contributor to The Jerusalem Post, brings light to a gloomy picture with his cartoon "Dry Bones," poking fun at the media and politics. In a multimedia presentation, co-sponsored by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, Kirschen will discuss how Israel is portrayed in the media and share stories behind his cartoon, which has gained worldwide popularity since its inception in 1973. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $5 (suggested donation). Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000.


Acclaimed author Andy Bostom is not satisfied with simply making presumptions about Islamic anti-Semitism. Instead, he will introduce well-researched evidence on its historic legacy in his newly published book, "Jihad and Islamic Anti-Semitism: Conjoined Threats to Life, Liberty, and Human Dignity." Learn about the link between Jihad and Islamic anti-Semitism relating to current, pressing situations in the United States and the Middle East in an event put together by the Zionist Organization of America, Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Temple Ner Maarav. 7 p.m. Free. Temple Ner Maarav, 17730 Magnolia Blvd., Encino. (818) 342-3363 or tsalama@zoa.org.


Debra Winger's acting career started after a nearly fatal accident that left her in a coma. Her thirst for life and drama lead to a television and film career that continues to flourish. The three-time Academy Award-nominated star has recently released her memoir, "Undiscovered," which features a series of vignettes from her life. Winger will share a deeply personal glimpse into what it takes to succeed -- and continue to do so in an age- and beauty-obsessed world. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $20 (JCC member), $24 (general). Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla. (858) 362-1348. http://www.lfjcc.org/.



Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning writer Tony Kushner's play-turned-HBO-mini-series "Angels in America" touched the lives of countless people for its bold willingness to grapple with issues of lesbian and gay relationships and AIDS in America. Kushner, who co-authored and received an Academy Award nod for the Steven Spielberg's "Munich," has a fascinating story of his own. "Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner," documents his life and work, starting with his defining childhood growing up gay and Jewish in the Deep South. Get together with friends for a potluck dinner and screening of the documentary made even more relevant in light of recent developments in the struggle for gay rights. Bring a main entree, side dish or drinks, but if you come empty handed, don't fret -- no one will be turned away. Wed. 6:30 p.m. (dinner), 7:30 p.m. (film). $5-$8. The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. http://www.wrestlingwithangelsthemovie.com.


Sexual desire is a theme that has been explored by many great thinkers and writers in American history. Tennessee Williams, one of the greatest American playwrights, delivers yet another steamy work of fiction in "Summer and Smoke," an L.A. Theatre Works audio performance for The Play's the Thing. In the production recorded live for radio broadcast, Alma Winemiller, the sheltered daughter of a Mississippi minister, desperately longs for the love of Dr. John Buchanan. He, however, is only interested in her sexual offerings. As Winemiller continues to yearn for his affections, see if her love or his temptation will prevail. Wed. 8 p.m. Through June 22. $20-$47. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 827-0889. http://www.latw.org.



If Jewish playwright Martin Sherman could have communicated with his Yiddish-speaking Ukranian grandparents as he grew up, perhaps he would have written plays about their journey to America. Instead, the boy who wasn't allowed to learn his family's native tongue penned a play about a steadfast and plucky woman who survived a tiny Russian shtetl, the Warsaw Ghetto, a ship called The Exodus and finally arrived on the sunny boardwalks of Atlantic City. "Rose," a one-woman performance, stars veteran actress Dorothy Sinclair, who describes the play as a perfect fit for her. "We were born at roughly the same time, though I had the good fortune to be raised in Chicago rather than a shtetl." Thu. 8 p.m. Also, Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m.; and Sun., 2 p.m. $25. Theatre 40, Beverly Hills High School Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 364-3606. http://www.theatre40.org.


Israeli-born artist Nathan Slate Joseph binds East and West together in the exhibit "Spices and Silk." Heavily influenced by countries along the Silk Road including Morocco, India, China, Indonesia and Mongolia, Joseph uses steel, pigment reliefs and vessels in his artwork. Creating abstract pieces by treating metal plates with pigments and acid, which are then left outdoors for the elements to oxidize, Joseph has made his mark on the New York City art scene, where his works grace the walls of many of the city's trendy galleries. Travel to the most exotic regions of the world, losing yourself in his universal, eclectic creations. Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Through June 29. Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 9606 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 278-4520. http://sundaramtagore.com.


Bring as many business cards as you can carry to the Jewish American Chamber of Commerce's Speed Networking and Business Mixer. The newly formed organization aims to help Jewish business owners and professionals connect to each other outside of a religious setting. Discover shared interests, exchange business ideas and enjoy hors d'oeuvres poolside at this unique social gathering. Thu. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $15 (members), $25 (nonmembers). Radisson Hotel Westside, 6161 W. Centenila Ave., Culver City. (866) 257-6117. http://www.lajewishchamber.com/.



The Sephardic Temple Young Leadership group has dished up exciting, interesting speakers throughout the years. Young leaders and members of several local Jewish organizations are now allying to create the first Young Leadership Summit, featuring The Jewish Journal's longtime link to the Iranian community, Karmel Melamed, who will lead a discussion on "What Does Judaism Mean to You?" Melamed will examine the role of his journalistic reporting in relation to the varying viewpoints of Jewish community members as well as how the Iranian Jewish community contributes to wider social activism. Fri. 8 p.m. Free. Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, 10500 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-7311. http://www.sephardictemple.org/.


Comic genius Lewis Black takes on two of the most buzz-worthy topics of our time -- politics and faith -- in his much anticipated book, "Me of Little Faith." In a series of satirical and honest essays, Black emphasizes the importance of a moral leader, rather than a religious one: "Since I don't have that much faith, I really don't care if my leaders have much either. But they constantly seem to want to show me just how religious they are and I DON'T CARE!" Going beyond faith on Capitol Hill, the Jewish comedian examines the discrepancies between people of opposing faiths, and he takes you on a journey of his own beliefs, or as he puts it, "lack thereof." Fri. 7:30 p.m. Free with book receipt. Vroman's Bookstore Courtyard, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-5320. http://www.vromansbookstore.com.


You don't need to be a synagogue member or even a regular temple-goer to bask in the warm celebration of Shabbat. Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills is an inviting Conservative Jewish congregation that makes every Friday night service a treat with a different twist. Tonight's theme is Bluegrass Shabbat -- an energetic, beat-infused service that brings ancient prayers into the modern world of sound. Composed and arranged by the synagogue's Hazzan Mike Stein, these musical Friday nights happen the third week of every month and rotate themes such jazz, rock, swing and more. All members of the Jewish community -- observant, secular, single-parent families, intermarried couples, blended families -- are welcomed with a smile and a song. Fri. 8:15 p.m. Free. Temple Aliyah, 6025 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 346-3545. http://www.templealiyah.org.


Not every Jewish woman was born to be a Jewish mother. Take, for example, Jewish Australian princess Susanna Brisk, the star of her own one-woman show, "Mamafied." When faced with the overwhelming challenges of motherhood and a mother whose life goal appears to be driving her to insanity, Brisk is forced to decide whether her family would be better off without her or whether it's finally time for her to step up to the plate and own up to the title of "mommy." Brisk is an Estonian-born Jewish actress whose life story will put a smile on your face and give mothers-to-be the resolve and confidence they need to jump the hurdles of becoming "Mamafied." Fri. 8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Through July 27. $25. Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 399-3666. http://edgemarcenter.org.


Sit in on an ultra-modern Passover seder with the Price family, who have more tales to tell than the haggadah. The comedic production "The Last Seder," written by Jennifer Maisel, begins with the family patriarch being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. His wife plans to place him in a convalescent home and move in with her neighbor, with whom she is romantically involved. The seder table is packed with Price's four daughters and their significant others, including the pregnant lesbian Julia and her partner Jane; Michelle and a guy she met at the train station; and the long-absent Angel, who has reunited with her former boyfriend, a non-Jewish African American. Despite the odd mix of guests, tradition can't escape from this family gathering. Fri. 8 p.m. Through July 27. $20-$24. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 655-7679, ext. 100. http://www.greenwayarts.org.

Celia Soudry contributed to this article

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