January 3, 2008
The Calendar Girls: Picks, kicks and plugs for January 5 to January 11
SAT | JANUARY 5
Eva Kor, the subject of the award-winning documentary, "Forgiving Dr. Mengele," will be a guest speaker at Nachshon Minyan as part of the congregation's Shabbat series, "Sermons for the Soul." Kor will discuss her controversial decision to publicly forgive the infamous Nazi doctor who performed medical experiments on her and countless others, and provide insight into her take on healing, self-empowerment and the power of forgiveness. 10 a.m. Nachshon Minyan at the Bahai Community Center, 4830 Genesta Ave., Encino.
SUN | JANUARY 6
Take a drive out to the popular posh desert oasis for the Palm Springs 19th Annual International Film Festival, which boasts an exciting new film showcase this year, "New Israeli Cinema: L'Chaim!" The festival is toasting Israel's 60th Anniversary as well as the explosion of remarkable Israeli films to hit the festival circuit in 2007. A few of the award-winning documentaries and features to be screened are, "The Champagne Spy," "Children of the Sun," "The Band's Visit" and Israel's submission for the Academy Award's Best Foreign Language Film, "Beaufort." So book a hotel room, make reservations at the spa, and make a weekend out of it! For more information and the screening schedule, visit http://www.psfilmfest.org.
The Workmen's Circle, a highly active organization dedicated to Jewish culture, Yiddishkayt and social justice, is celebrating one hundred years of activism in Southern California. Everyone is invited to attend the "California Centennial Gala and Awards Celebration," which will include performances by gifted local musicians such as Yale Strom and Elizabeth Schwartz, comedian Lou Charloff, Voices of Conscience and others. 1 p.m. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007.
The Social Circle, a unique singles group for people between the ages of 45 and 65, hosts a variety of fun activities every month: walks, picnics, brunches, dances, lectures and much more. Join the group today for the Will Rogers Hike/Walk and Picnic. You can choose between a fast-paced group and a leisurely-paced group for the hike, then meet up for a relaxing bring-your-own-lunch picnic on the grass. 10:30 a.m. (meet in parking lot). $7 (parking). Will Rogers State Historic Park, 1501 Will Rogers Park Road, Pacific Palisades.
(310) 204-1240. email@example.com.
Here's a new twist on tikkun olam: be a vegetarian and save the world. Well, sort of. The new one-hour documentary "A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World," produced by Jewish Vegetarians of North America, relates how Jewish teachings can help alleviate serious environmental threats. At their next meeting, president Richard Schwartz will introduce the film to The Jewish Vegetarian Society of Los Angeles. Come on meat-lovers, it's not so bad -- vegetarianism makes keeping kosher a whole lot easier. 2 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. For more information, call (818) 342-5555.
TUE | JANUARY 8
(WINE + FOOD)
Herzog Wine Cellars is hosting two new nights for foodies and oenophiles alike. At their Tierra Sur Restaurant, Mondays in the Mediterranean will feature an exploration of regional dishes that exemplify the food culture of Mediterranean nations, including specific ingredients, spices and preparation techniques. 5 p.m. $33. Midweek will inaugurate a series of Candlelight Wine Tastings, where couples can swish fruity wines during a tasting flight while listening to soothing music and tasting complementary small plates. Don't miss the opening night menu: Cabernet and Chocolate. 6 p.m. $15. Herzog Wine Cellars, 3201 Camino Del Sol, Oxnard. (805) 983-1560.
With ATID's Hebrew Language Program, you'll spend an intense seven weeks familiarizing yourself with the various nuances of the rich Hebrew language. Although you may not pick up the accent or attitude, ATID's instructors vouch that you will leave with knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet, basic reading, writing, and conversational skills -- making the terror when someone approaches you and says "shalom" a thing of the past. 7:30 p.m. Through Feb. 19. $70-$118. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3244. http://www.atidla.com/.
THU | JANUARY 10
The Jewish experience in the Western world has influenced myriad art forms: theatre, literature and painting. In an eye-opening exploration of the world of American and Jewish painting, history professor Samantha Baskind will examine the work of 20th-century Jewish painter R.B. Kitaj and how it was influenced by the "American Jewish Question." The lecture is in conjunction with the Skirball's exhibit, "R.B. Kitaj: Passion and Memory," which runs Jan. 11-March 30. 8 p.m. $10. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles.
(877) 722-4849. http://www.skirball.org.
The 17th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition is seeking to show their audience that a picture is worth more than just 1,000 words. This exhibition, which has won critical acclaim as one of the most esteemed art fairs in the country, incorporates digital, video,and classic photography for a modern, exciting atmosphere. Tonight's opening night gala and benefit will honor Julius Shulman. 6 p.m. $80-$20. Jan. 11-13. The Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica. (323) 932-5846. http://www.artfairsinc.com.
FRI | JANUARY 11
Ever dream of rubbing shoulders with the greatest playwrights of our time? Well, here's your chance, at "We Ã¢"Â¢ Playwrights," the Geffen Playhouse's benefit for their education and outreach program, "Geffen's Stage for Any Age." After a formal Q-&-A, you'll get to mix and mingle with these inspirational writers and find out how they were able to bring their vivid writing and imagination to the stage. Featured playwrights include: Joan Rivers, Jane Anderson and Donald Margulies. 8 p.m. $50. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue, Westwood. (310) 208-5454. http://www.geffenplayhouse.com.
Hollywood executive Leslie Oren discovered she had a knack for getting noticed. As senior VP of publicity for Fox Studios, she's used to touting the strengths of hit shows like "The Shield," "Saving Grace" and "The Girls Next Door." In her new book "Fine, I'll Go Online: The Hollywood Publicist's Guide to Successful Internet Dating," Oren dissects the online dating game to help eager romantics find the perfect mate. 7 p.m. Free. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-5320. http://www.vromansbookstore.com.