Jewish Journal


May 31, 2013

June 1-7




More than 20 dramas, documentaries, comedies, foreign language films and shorts will be shown at seven venues from Thousand Oaks to Beverly Hills. Highlights at the eighth annual L.A. Jewish Film Festival include tonight’s star-studded opening-night gala celebration with the premiere of the comedy “Putzel,” starring Susie Essman (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Melanie Lynskey (“Two and a Half Men”); “Neil Diamond: Solitary Man,” a documentary on the music icon; “Becoming Henry/Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir,” with Polanski addressing every aspect of his celebrated and controversial life; “My Father and the Man in Black,” the untold story of Johnny Cash and his talented but troubled manager; and “When Comedy Went to School,” the closing-night film, which presents an entertaining portrait of the country’s greatest generation of comedians. A program of the Jewish Journal. Sat. Through June 6. Various times, locations. $40 (opening-night gala), $7-$12 (films). (213) 368-1661. lajfilmfest.org.


Rabbi Anne Brener, a psychotherapist and director of spiritual development at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California; the Rev. Janet Bregar, a pastor of Westwood’s Village Lutheran Church; and the Rev. Tom Eggebeen, interim pastor at Hawthorne’s Calvary Presbyterian Church, reflect on the passages from the Five Books of Moses that guide their lives. Jeff Bernhardt, editor of “On Sacred Ground,” moderates. Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom hosts. Sat. 12:30 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000. vbs.org.


The Industry, Los Angeles’ home for new and experimental opera, presents this showcase of excerpts from six new operatic works-in-progress. Included are Brooklyn composer Aaron Siegel’s “Brother Brother,” an operatic work for percussion, strings, choir, soloists and actors that explores the enigma of brotherhood, and “Pierrot Lunaire,” a new theatrical song cycle by rising star composer Mohammed Fairouz with libretto by cultural critic and poet Wayne Koestenbaum (“The Anatomy of Harpo Marx”). The performances feature the modern music collective wild Up, conducted by Christopher Rountree and The Industry’s music director, Marc Lowenstein. Sat. 2 p.m. Free. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 443-7000. hammer.ucla.edu.



This annual gathering near Pico-Robertson builds bridges among local neighbors, businesses and nonprofits, and celebrates the cultural diversity of the community. This year, the 16th annual SoRo (South Robertson) Festival features a variety of L.A.’s hottest gourmet food trucks, including Kosher Grill on Wheels; more than 60 vendors, with the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles and ORT America among them; a boutique with Jewish artwork for sale; live musical entertainment and dancing. Attractions for children include a rock climbing wall, arts and crafts, and more. Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. South Robertson Boulevard, between Cattaraugus Avenue and Beverlywood Street (just north of the 10 Freeway at the Robertson Boulevard exit). (310) 295-9920. soronc.org.


JTeenLA’s “Telling the Jewish Story” showcases a diverse range of short films from Southland students. Halston Sage of Nickelodeon’s “How to Rock” introduces the festival, and a teen filmmaker panel and reception follow the screenings. A program of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, BJE — Builders of Jewish Education and The Righteous Conversations Project. Sun. 3 p.m. $6 (students, seniors), $8 (adults). Laemmle’s Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (213) 368-1661. lajfilmfest.org.


For those who are curious about Superman’s Kryptonian name, Kal-El, which is Hebrew for “vessel of God,” or who have ever wondered why the origin story of the world’s first superhero seems like it’s straight out of the Book of Exodus, today’s discussion explores the Man of Steel’s Jewish roots. Marking 75 years since Superman debuted in the June 1938 issue of Action Comics, Larry Tye, author of “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero,” the first full-fledged bio of Superman; Geoff Johns, chief creative officer at DC Comics; Jack Larson, television’s original Jimmy Olsen; and “Superman” director Richard Donner appear in conversation. A Q-and-A and book signing follow. Sun. 2 p.m. $8 (general), $6 (members), $5 (full-time students). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.



If you’re interested in learning about Turkey’s Jewish community, which has a long history of self-sufficiency, don’t miss tonight’s shmoozefest, featuring young Jewish voices from Turkey discussing their traditions, triumphs and challenges, which continue to define their community. Organized by Entwine, the young adults outreach movement of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and presented in association with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Wed. 7-10 p.m. Free. Mama’s Secret Bakery & Cafe, 8314-8316 W. Third St., Los Angeles. jewishturkeyla.eventbrite.com.



Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic stars Barbara Sukowa as the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Arendt. Using footage from the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial — during which Arendt introduced her now-famous concept of “the Banality of Evil” in her controversial reporting of the trial for The New Yorker — and weaving a narrative that spans three countries, von Trotta turns the invisible passion for thought into immersive and dramatic cinema. Fri. Various times. $11 (general), $8 (children under 12, seniors). Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles. Laemmle Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. Laemmle Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.

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