Jewish Journal


February 25, 2009

Picks and Clicks for February 28–March 6, 2009


The details might be sketchy, but that only adds to the allure of ORT America Next Generation’s Carnaval. The location is a closely guarded secret (to be disclosed upon R.S.V.P.), the live entertainment is a mystery and the pricey admission ($100!) inspires dreams of what extravagant delights await you at this enigmatic bash. One thing we do know is that a top-shelf open bar will spice up the evening and hors d’oeuvres will keep you from fishing olives and cherries out of the garnish tray. And we also know that ORT provides much-needed education and training to communities around the world, helping people help themselves. We’ll raise a top-shelf toast to that! Sat. 8 p.m. $90 (prepaid), $100 (at the door). Private residence in Beverly Hills. (800) 701-3018, ext. 100. www.ortamerica.org (click on the Calendar tab).

Jewish female artists set out to explore the theme, “Like Water on Rock,” in a variety of mediums — painting, sculpture, collage, photography and video — and in a host of ways, including through the concepts of time, change, human influence and persistence, among others. Their work will be on display at the Platt and Borstein Galleries for the Jewish Women Artists’ Network’s 2009 National Juried Exhibition. The artists organization, part of the National Caucus for Art, is the only special-interest group for professional Jewish female artists in the United States. Meet the nearly two dozen women who contributed their artistic vision to the show at the gallery’s artist reception and brunch. Guided tours are available. Sun. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free admission and parking. The exhibition will run Sun.-Fri. through April 5. Platt and Borstein Galleries, American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 476-9777, ext. 201. www.ajula.edu.

With her flowing red hair, abundant freckles and sweet voice, pop singer Cathy Heller appeals to kids on a whimsical, as well as educational, level. The songs on her cheerful “Say Hello to the Sun” CD convey life lessons about the environment, taking responsibility, friendship and family. The up-and-coming entertainer has recently penned songs for Kodak and the Jim Henson Company, as well as Champion Sportswear, and is developing her own television show, coming soon to a tube near you. Catch this bright and bubbly star on her way up at one of two upcoming performances: Sun. 11:30 a.m. Free. Storyopolis, 14945 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Also, March 15, 1-4 p.m. $100 (includes a concert, song-writing workshop, bound book and CD created by your own child). Scribble Press, Westside Pavilion, 10800 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. cathy@cathyhellermusic.com. www.cathyhellermusic.com.

Thousands of Jewish children are believed to have been hidden in Belgian convents during World War II. Altruistic nuns and priests took them from the arms of frantic parents and passed the children off as Catholics to save their lives. “Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Jews From the Nazis” by Suzanne Vromen is a moving account of these children’s ordeal. Vromen, who was hidden as a child, gathered records, assembled testimonies and interviewed the nuns and hidden children to tell a tale of courage, survival, selflessness and faith. Vromen will read passages from her book and discuss her research at a reception hosted by Child Survivors of the Holocaust Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Sun. 1:30 p.m. Free (donations are welcome). LAMOTH, 6435 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704. www.lamoth.org.

Although his talk is organized by the Republican Jewish Coalition, Journal contributor Dean Rotbart will be discussing some of today’s hottest topics. Rotbart, a former Wall Street Journal columnist and Internet entrepreneur, will speak on “Winning the War of Words and Ideas,” addressing the economic stimulus package, the havoc Bernard Madoff created, supporting Israel and conservative values. Sun. 1:45 p.m. (registration and light refreshments), 2:15 p.m. (program). Free (current paid RJC members), $20 (guests). Beverly Hills Library Auditorium, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. R.S.V.P. required. (310) 478-0752. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.rjchq.org.


Lilia Skala was not only a theater star in Austria but also the country’s first female architect. She fled her homeland in the 1930s, before Hitler rose to power, and ended up a penniless refugee toiling in a New York zipper factory. Lilia fought her way back onto the stage — and not just any stage but Broadway — as well as the silver screen opposite Sidney Poitier in “Lilies of the Field.” Her granddaughter, Libby, tells her remarkable life story in, “Lilia!” playing for one night at The Groundlings as part of the Gary Austin Improv show. Austin, the founder of The Groundlings, teaches a workshop where playwright Libby Skala first conceived and developed her homage to her grandmother, which then went on to play at the Leeds Jewish Performing Arts Festival and the Manchester Jewish Museum. “An adoring portrait ... deliciously poignant ... Libby is magnetic in a part that clearly means the world to her,” according to The New York Times. Mon. 8 p.m. $12. The Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 934-4747. www.groundlings.com. www.liliatheplay.com.


Doctors told Keri Bowers that her autistic son might never walk or talk. Taylor, now 20, is a student at Moorpark College enrolled in five film classes. A childhood filled with painting, drama, music and filmmaking — thanks to his artist mother’s own interests — dramatically improved his communication skills, self-confidence and social abilities. Bowers, who is a public speaker and educator on disabilities, produced the film, “Arts: Disabilities, Possibilities and the Arts,” which illustrates how creative expression is a critical tool for the development of children with disabilities — a method that is rapidly picking up steam. The film also demonstrates how the arts can be more than enrichment and therapy; the various disciplines offer possible career paths and lifelong passions. The Friendship Circle and Normal Films present the premier screening of “Arts,” followed by a Q-and-A session with Bowers and the artists featured in the film. Tue. 7 p.m. $5 (before March 2), $8 (at the door). Westlake Village Twin Theatre, 4711 Lakeview Canyon Road, Westlake Village. (818) 865-2233. www.friendshipcircleca.com/arts


If you don’t know Judy Zeidler, you don’t know Jewish cooking. The author of “The Gourmet Jewish Cook,” “Judy Zeidler’s International Deli Cookbook,” “30-Minute Kosher Cook” and “Master Chefs Cook Kosher” has often treated Journal readers to her scrumptious holiday recipes. Chef Judy welcomes the community into her own kosher kitchen for an intimate lesson courtesy of American Jewish University. “Cooking With Judy: A Fun Purim Menu” is an opportunity to learn how to whip up a holiday feast that’ll please kids and impress adults. The only requirement for this culinary course is a prior knowledge of fun. Wed. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $64. Zeidler residence, address disclosed upon payment. (310) 440-1246. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.ajula.edu.


For more than two decades, the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics have been splashing musical influences on their already textured klezmer canvas. The layers of color — folk, Balkan, jazz, Arabic, African — have contributed to an eclectic repertoire that prompted Time Out New York to write: “Jewish traditional music is just the starting point for songs that jump, rock and swing — sometimes all at the same time.” The contagiously energetic ensemble will play in a UCLA Live concert that will touch upon the entire scope of the Klezmatics’ career, from their adaptation of never-recorded lyrics by Woody Guthrie to their collaboration with “kosher gospel” artist Joshua Nelson. Never losing sight of their old-world spiritual core, the innovative performers inspire audiences to dance, as well as rejoice. Robin Williams said, “If you can hear this music and not see God, you are ... blind.” Thu. 8 p.m. $38-$60. Royce Hall, UCLA, Westwood. (310) 825-2101. www.uclalive.org.

In her book, “We Plan, God Laughs!” Rabbi Sherre Hirsch offers a 10-step program for those recovering from life’s disappointments, of which there cam be many nowadays. Subtitled, “Ten Steps to Finding Your Divine Path When Life Is Not Turning Out Like You Wanted,” the book incorporates biblical stories to teach life lessons. For example, Hirsch recounts the story of Jacob and Esau to illustrate Step 3, letting go of past hurts and fears in order to live in the present. Publishers Weekly, which recommends the book, wrote: “Anyone who can advise readers to take your chicken, put all your oopses on it, swing it around a few times and call it a day in a way that makes complete sense is worth reading.” Hirsch will be leading an interactive program, “Finding Your Divine Spark” for young (21-39) professionals, courtesy of ATID, with dessert and spiked coffee (that should speed up the spark hunt). Thu. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free (members), $5 (guests), $10 (at the door). Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3244. i.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.atidla.com.


Seven years after donating $2.5 million toward the creation of a theater in Culver City, Kirk Douglas is gracing its stage. Word on the street is that the 92-year-old Hollywood icon has been promising to perform at his namesake theater for years, but who knows what finally made him take the leap. Perhaps the answer is in the title: “Before I Forget” is a scripted one-Douglas show all about, well, Douglas. In this rare theatrical appearance, Douglas will share stories about his life and acting career — the stroke he suffered in 1996 that left him unable to speak, his numerous starring roles, his return to Judaism — Douglas will undoubtedly charm, inspire and delight audiences in this rare theatrical appearance. Center Theatre Group donors were given first crack at tickets to the four performances of “Before I Forget,” so if there are any remaining spots in the 317-seat theater, they’ll go quickly. Fri. 8 p.m. Also, March 8 at 2 p.m., March 13 at 8 p.m. and March 15 at 2 p.m. $25. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (213) 628-2772. www.centertheatregroup.org.

Composer Samuel Adler will light up the marquee at Temple Emanuel’s Synaplex Shabbat service this Friday night. The German-born son of a cantor, who became a choir director at 13, will showcase a sampling of his music, performed by the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale.  Adler holds degrees from Boston and Harvard universities; was a professor and department chairman at the Eastman School of Music; has penned more than 400 compositions, and served on the faculty at the prestigious Juilliard School. In addition to putting his musical talents on display, Adler will also be exhibiting his strong faith in a musical sermon. This special service may be the main attraction, but there’s more to the monthly Synaplex Shabbat: dinner, children’s programs, wine-tasting and more. Fri. 5:30 p.m. Free. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. (310) 288-3737, ext. 232. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.tebh.org.

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