Dr. Gerald Picus and former L.A. City Councilwoman Joy Picus celebrated the gala opening of the $125 million Valley Performing Arts Center on Jan. 29. The two-hour star-studded event at California State University, Northridge, drew Valley performers, including Jane Kaczmarek, Noah Wyle, Nancy Cartwright, Dave Koz and Cheech Marin, as well as 1,700 guests.
Tifani Coyot, holding the Torah, was installed as cantor at Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills during Shabbat services on Jan. 28. Preschool families continued the celebration during morning services, and an installation gala welcomed Coyot on Saturday evening.
Matisyahu, seen with Rabbi Moshe Bryski, executive director of Chabad of the Conejo, performed an acoustic concert, “Matisyahu Unplugged,” at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Jan. 15. Comedian Mendy Pellin served as emcee during the evening, a benefit for Chabad of the Conejo’s building campaign, which drew 1,700 people. Photo by David Miller Studios.
Students at Temple Adat Elohim’s Hebrew School used socks to simulate the difficulty some disabled children and adults experience in everyday life. The synagogue’s annual Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month fair brings together families to sensitize and introduce children to the challenges faced by people with disabilities. Photo by Cyndi Levenson.
Rep. Brad Sherman, left, joined Rabbi Moshe Bryski in presenting Mosab Yousef with an American flag during the “Son of Hamas” lecture on Feb. 21, which drew 1,000 people to the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel. Yousef, who was disowned and denounced by his father, a leader in the Hamas movement, worked covertly to assist the Jewish state and provided information that prevented dozens of suicide attacks.
Addie Lupert, Rick Lupert and Cantor Jen Roher performed during “Sing Unto God a New Song,” an erev Shabbat service tribute to the life and legacy of Debbie Friedman, at Temple Ahavat Shalom in Northridge on Feb. 4. Photo by Al Lapides.
Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard hosted the fourth annual International Food & Wine Festival on Feb. 16. Guests sampled kosher wines as well as Mediterranean fare from Tierra Sur chef Todd Aarons.