Jewish Journal


February 18, 2009

Picks and Clicks for Feb. 21–27, 2009


Redcat’s International Children’s Film Festival

Redcat’s International Children’s Film Festival

If your kids are too young to appreciate the Oscars, consider taking them to a film event the whole family can enjoy: Redcat’s International Children’s Film Festival. There’s “Witaj Polsko! Three Decades of Animation From Poland,” as well as a collection of award-winning short films, including “Game Changers: Films About Growing Up,” an international collection of short live-action films that demonstrate grit, good humor and an extra dose of moxie, and “Jump,” a documentary about the sport of competitive jump rope. On March 1, Nickelodeon will also host a sneak peek of new shows for 2009, along with new episodes from programs like “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora the Explorer.” Sat. 12 p.m. $5 per screening. Also on Feb.22, 28, March 1, 7 and 8. Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. Second St., Los Angeles. (213) 237-2800. www.redcat.org.

Mezzo-soprano Iris Malkin is the beautiful young face of Israeli musicianship. A graduate of the prestigious Jerusalem Academy of Music and winner of the American Israel Cultural Foundation Study Scholarship, Malkin will be performing alongside pianist Linda Zoolalian, who studied at USC’s Thornton School of Music, and Edward Trybek, a protégé of respected guitarist Scott Tennant. This free community concert is part of the Trinity Lutheran Church’s annual concert series. Sat. 2 p.m. Free (donations are appreciated). Trinity Lutheran Church, 1340 11th St., Manhattan Beach. (310) 937-7275. www.palosverdes.com/tlcmusic/tlcmbs2.htm

Do the Oscars have you in movie mode? The Long Beach Jewish Film Festival can scratch that itch. The films screened at this two-day fest may not be Oscar contenders, but they have garnered international awards. The program, sponsored by the Jewish studies program at Cal State Long Beach, among other organizations, includes screenings of “The Secrets,” an Israeli film about seminary students pushing the boundaries of their religious world; “Yiddish Theater: A Love Story,” a documentary that follows the struggle of a legendary Yiddish actress as she tries to keep Yiddish theater alive; “To Life,” a Chilean dramedy, and “Noodle,” a witty and touching tale of an Israeli flight attendant who finds herself stuck with an abandoned Chinese boy. Sat. 7:30 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. $12 (per screening), $40 (festival pass). CSULB University Theater, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach. (562) 426-7601. www.alpertjcc.org

Comedy writer and actress Annie Korzen, who played Doris Klompus on “Seinfeld,” specializes in taking comic revenge on those who slight Jewish women. In her first show, “Yenta Unplugged,” Korzen rails (musically and hilariously) against the stereotyping of Jewish women and actresses; as a guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she talked about “Ethnic Men Who Reject Their Own Women,” and in her newest exploration of yentahood, “Yenta: Straight From the Mouth,” the occasional Journal and NPR contributor offers constructive criticism, witty humor and musical entertainment in a way that only a talented Jewish woman could. Sat. 3 p.m. (And Sun. 7 p.m.) Through March 22. $15. West Coast Ensemble, El Centro Theatre, 800 N. El Centro Ave., Hollywood. (323) 460-4443. www.westcoastensemble.org


The only organization of professional Jewish women artists in the United States is holding its annual juried exhibition of painting, sculpture, collage, drawing, photography, video and installation. This year, the Jewish Women Artists’ Network is working with the theme, “Like Water on Rock, which relates to “the phenomenon of the soft continuous drip of water that eventually erodes a hard rock to personal, familial, communal or global challenge and change.” Thirty selected women artists from across the country will be featured, each interpreting the theme in their own way. Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Through April 5. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Berg Dining Hall, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777, ext. 201. www.ajula.edu

Three words: Cuban Jewish Salsa ! First generation Cuban American Iliana Rose with her band and special guest, David Zasloff, will be inspiring the crowd to jump to their feet with Latin tunes. It’s all part of the highly successful Kol Hashamayim, or Voice of the Heavens, music series at Kol Ami. Zasloff will play his salsa shofar, while Rose will display her range of talents: piano, percussion, clarinet, vocals, all while throwing English, Spanish and maybe even a little Portuguese at you. Sun. 2 p.m. $25 (members), $35 (guests). Kol Ami Congregation, 1200 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 606-0996. www.kol-ami.org

Here’s a startling fact: If you’re a Jewish high school or college student, there’s an 85 percent chance that someone on your campus will try to convert you at some point. Jews for Judaism, an organization that is arming Jews with the intellectual and spiritual tools to fight back, is hosting the Be-True Student Leadership Conference. The daylong event, for high school and college students, will feature Jesse Cooper, a former college football star who struggled to maintain a strong connection to his Judaism, as well as workshops on understanding and strengthening Jewish identity and cultivating leadership skills. Sun. 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Free (lunch included). Shalhevet, 910 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. Pre-registration required. (310) 556-3344. www.be-true.org

It’s a subject that scares and fascinates us all but is rarely discussed. Sinai Temple is bringing death out into the light with a multipanel symposium, “Death and Dying: Can We Talk?” Rabbi Mordecai Finley of Ohr HaTorah Congregation will deliver the keynote speech about the holy duty of attending those who are dying or grieving. Other topics that will be explored include euthanasia, palliative medicine, continuing the spiritual connection to the deceased and what to do — emotionally, psychologically and in terms of Jewish custom — when someone dies in your presence. Sun. 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $30 (advance registration), $40 (at the door). Price includes breakfast and snacks. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3243. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Donna Brazile was the first African American to manage a major presidential campaign (Al Gore). Mike Murphy is an influential Republican consultant, advising folks like Arizona Sen. John McCain, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And Maureen Dowd is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times. They’ll all be discussing the political and societal issues that shape our country today with PBS anchor Jim Lehrer as part of American Jewish University’s Public Lecture Series 2009. Mon. 7:30 p.m. $245 (series subscription), $495 (sponsor subscription). Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. (310) 440-1246. www.ajula.edu/pls.

The Oscar-nominated animated feature, “Waltz with Bashir,” might well be this year’s foreign-film Oscar winner by the time art director David Polonsky begins his talk at Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment and Technology. Polonsky, who developed the hauntingly beautiful aesthetics of the documentary by Ari Folman, will talk about the Israeli war film and show clips of it one night after the Academy Awards are announced. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, “Waltz with Bashir” has garnered vast critical acclaim, with particular focus on the stunning animation. Mon. 7 p.m. Free. SMC Academy of Entertainment and Technology screening room, 1660 Stewart St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3777. www.smc.edu


Considering how many cultures Pearl Sofaer embodies, it makes perfect sense that she would need multiple mediums to express them. The cantor and author of “Baghdad to Bombay” writes, cooks and sings the cultural influences that have left impressions on her life. Born in Bombay (today Mumbai), Sofaer is an Iraqi Jew whose family originated in Baghdad and Kirkuk. The family’s sojourn in Burma and Bombay ended when India was partitioned in 1947, and once again the family migrated to various parts of the world, including the United States, where Sofaer now lives and serves as the cantor for Barah Congregation in Palo Alto. She will be reading from her book, a memoir of tales from around the world that includes exotic recipes, as well as performing songs from a variety of traditions. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Kahal Joseph Congregation, 10505 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-0559. 

How-to advice — from automotive repair to creating a personal Web site — is great for the do-it-yourselfer. But when it comes to celebrating Shabbat, it couldn’t hurt to get a little direction. Judy Soffer, the woman behind Judaic Workshops, is leading a primer on the values, rituals and messages behind the Shabbat. This hands-on workshop will take participants through Friday night prayers and rituals, while offering advice on creating a unique and meaningful Shabbat experience for the entire family. Participants will also receive a Shabbat prayer book and an accompanying CD of prayers and songs. Tue. 7 p.m.-8:45 p.m. $15. Congregation Or Ami, 26115 Mureau Road, Suite B, Calabasas. R.S.V.P. is required. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). judaicworkshops.com


If you’re struggling with commercial property issues, have we got a lecture for you. David Upshaw will host “Succeeding in Turbulent Times,” a discussion about changes in the legal climate and successful property-negotiating techniques. Upshaw is vice president and general counsel for the Irvine Co.’s office properties division. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Orange County, dietary laws will be observed. MCLE credit is available. Wed. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $18. Jewish Federation of Orange County, 1 Federation Way, Irvine. (949) 435-3484. www.jewishorangecounty.org

Before heading off to college to pursue an education, post-high school Israelis who have grown up in the United States can spend 11 months in Israel getting the education of a lifetime. Israel Gap Year is an extraordinary opportunity for young adults to strengthen their bond to Israel, develop leadership skills and provide support for underprivileged communities in Israel. Israeli Consul General Jacob Dayan will be hosting an introduction to the program, which only costs $500 plus a plane ticket. Bring your questions and your teens. Thu. 8 p.m. Free. Israeli Consulate, Jerusalem Hall, 6380 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1700, Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. to (323) 852-5527 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.israelgapyear.com.


When Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis learned of the mass killings in Darfur, Sudan, he did not stand idly by. Instead, he admonished the Jewish community to stay true to the words “never again.” The result is Jewish World Watch, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Global Soul will mark this occasion, along with honoring the lifetime achievements of Schulweis with appearances by Afro-beat/roots performer Adaawe, Armenian storyteller Alidz Agbabian, gospel singer Paula Bellamy, hip-hop artist Delicious Venom and others. Community service credit offered. Thu. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $36 (students) $180 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 285-7700. http://www.jewishworldwatch.org and www.globalsoul.org.

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