Jewish Journal


March 12, 2009

Picks and Clicks for March 14–20, 2009


“Photograph 51.”  Photo by Ed Krieger

“Photograph 51.” Photo by Ed Krieger


Rosalind Franklin, a young Jewish biophysicist, was the first person to capture an image of DNA. Known as “Photo 51,” it served as a basis for the renowned double helix structure. But the 1962 Nobel Prize for solving this major biological riddle makes no mention of Franklin. In “Photograph 51,” writer Anna Ziegler explores the role sexism and a breach of ethics played behind the scenes. Ziegler’s play won the 2008 STAGE International Script Competition and is now making its West Coast premiere at the Fountain Theatre. Previews March 14, 15, 18 and 19. Opens March 20-May 3. Thur.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 p.m. $15 (previews), $18-$30 (all other nights). The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 663-1525. www.fountaintheatre.com.

Swedish novelist Linda Olsson, whose debut novel, “Astrid & Veronika,” explores love and loss in the context of an unlikely friendship, is back with “Sonata for Miriam.” A Jewish composer, mourning the sudden accidental death of his daughter, leaves his New Zealand home and sets out for Krakow, Poland, to uncover his parents’ fate during World War II and for Sweden to follow a lost love. Olsson will be discussing and signing her novel today. Sat. 4 p.m. Free. Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-5320. www.vromansbookstore.com.

The Stefani Valadez Ensemble is the featured act during “Gifts of Song From Sephardi Cultures and Around the World” at the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Valadez is a third-generation musician whose latest CD, “Ladino Alive,” is a collection of songs from the Sephardic cultures of the Mediterranean. The ensemble’s musicians often change and could include Middle Eastern percussionists, a Turkish saz player, electrical and traditional bassists and flute and woodwind players. Sat. 8 p.m. $17 (members), $20 (general). Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.stefanivaladezmusic.com.

Theodore Bikel is a multifaceted artist whose talents include actor, folk singer, author, radio host and Jewish spokesman. The raconteur will reflect on his long, varied career during “Theodore Bikel: Actor as Activist,” part of the ninth annual Sylvia Alster Memorial Lecture Series at Temple Ahavat Shalom. Bikel’s presentation will be followed by a dessert reception. Sat. 8-10 p.m. $30 (general seating), $25 (Temple Ahavat Shalom members), $50 (sponsor with reserved seat), $100 (benefactor with reserved seat), $1,000 (four reserved seats and private wine and cheese reception with Bikel). Temple Ahavat Shalom, 18200 Rinaldi Place, Northridge. (818) 360-2258. www.tasnorthridge.org.


Jonathan Kirsch, author of “The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual: A History of Terror in the Name of God,” leads a lecture and discussion on “Torture: From the Inquisition to Guantanamo and Beyond.” The Los Angeles Times columnist and NPR commentator will draw parallels between the Salem witch trials, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and the war on terror. A book signing will follow Kirsch’s lecture. It is part of an ongoing series of Sunday morning lectures and discussions sponsored by the Sholem Community, a secular Jewish organization. Sun. 10:15 a.m. Free. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 216-0667. www.sholem.org.

The Susan G. Komen Los Angeles County Race for the Cure is taking place today at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Emily Procter and Poppy Montgomery will co-host the flagship fundraising event, which attracts more than 10,000 participants each year. The day’s activities include a co-ed 5K run/walk, a noncompetitive kids’ one-mile run, runner and survivor awards, prize drawings and a health expo. Sun. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration fees: $35-$40 (adults), $25-$30 (youth and seniors). Rose Bowl, Area H, Pasadena. (626) 577-2700. www.komenlacounty.org.

“Forgiveness and Atonement in Art, Theology and Music” will be the topic on the table at the sixth annual Interfaith Symposium and Concert. Speakers include Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, Valley Beth Shalom; the Rev. David Worth, Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Alexei Smith, L.A. Archdiocese’s director of ecumenical and interreligious affairs; and Getty art historian Jeremy Glatstein, with Valley Beth Shalom’s Rabbi Edward Feinstein moderating. A concert will follow the discussion, with Dr. Nick Strimple leading the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale and performances by the Choral Society of Southern California and the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir. The Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church and the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese are co-sponsoring the program. Sun. 1-5 p.m. Free. Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, 505 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. (818) 907-7194. www.jmcla.org.


Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, a history professor and director of Jewish studies at Arizona State University, will lecture on “Judaism and a Sustainable Future” as part of the Sylvia and Irving Ross Master Teacher Series at Temple Beth Am’s Westside Lehrhaus, a continuing adult education institute. The event is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Am’s Green Team. Thu. 7:45-9:30 p.m. $15 (Temple Beth Am members), $25 (guests). Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7354, ext. 215. www.tbala.org/lehrhaus.

Stephanie and Ron Green met, fell in love and got married — after 50. Hear their story and join the discussion, “Who Says It Can’t Happen? Finding Love After 50,” during Conversations at Leon’s, a salon-style gathering in a private home. The evening includes a complimentary buffet dinner, wine, soft drinks, coffee and dessert. Thu. 8 p.m. $17 (before Wed.), $20. Private home in Sherman Oaks. (818) 986-9899. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


The National Jewish Outreach Program created Shabbat Across America/Canada to encourage Jews in North America to celebrate Shabbat. Now in its 13th year, hundreds of synagogues across the continent will participate in the program by hosting free Friday night dinners and prayer services for those wanting to learn more about Judaism. To find local synagogues hosting a Shabbat Across America/Canada service, call (888) 742-2228 or visit www.njop.org.

Golden Globe-winner Sarah Jessica Parker stars in “Spinning Into Butter,” a film about a series of racist incidents at a liberal arts college in Vermont that wreaks havoc on the entire community. Adapted from Rebecca Gilman’s original Broadway play, the tale is based partially on the writer’s own experiences as a student at Middlebury College in 1983. Opens Fri. Check theater for show times. $7-$10. Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 848-3500. www.spinningintobutter.com.

Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills is hosting a bluegrass-themed worship service, “A Down Home Shabbat.” Open to the entire community, the service will include original music by Hazzan Mike Stein. The Stein Brothers will also perform with fiddles, banjos, bass, a dobro and mandolins. Fri. 8:15 p.m. Free. Temple Aliyah, 6025 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 346-3545. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.templealiyah.org.

Israeli air force Brig. Gen. (reserve) Relik Shafir will be the guest speaker at Valley Outreach Synagogue’s Purim Shabbat service. Shafir served on several historically significant Israeli air force missions, including the 1981 attack that destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in Osirak. Currently an IAF official spokesperson to the foreign press, Shafir can field questions about the recent Gaza incursion. Fri. 7 p.m. (services), 8:30 p.m. (speaker). Free (valet parking is validated by synagogue). Hilton Hotel, 6360 Canoga Ave., Woodland Hills. (818) 882-4867. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). www.vosla.org.

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