SAT/SUN | MAY 17/18
BIG SUNDAY WEEKEND
Big Sunday Weekend continues with every possible volunteer opportunity, from hosting kids-in-need on a harbor ride to repainting and planting gardens at Bethune Middle School to making new friends at a Beverly Hills retirement home. Everyone can participate, and everyone gets lots of nachas in return. Sat. and Sun. All day. Free. Various locations. (323) 549-9944. bigsunday.org.
SUN | MAY 18
CELEBRATE ISRAEL FESTIVAL
Begin the day with Israel solidarity by participating in the Celebrate Israel Walk, assembling at 9:30 a.m. at Motor Avenue and Pico Boulevard. Then, stay and enjoy the all-day Celebrate Israel festival, complete with marionette and reptile shows for kids, performances by Jewish day-school choirs, Israeli folk-dancing with David Dassa and, of course, tons of great food. Finishing off the day are special performances by Automatic Toys and The Idan Raichel Project. You’ll enjoy the many community organization booths, including the Jewish Journal’s, with special appearances by our staff. Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5 online, $10 at the door. Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2551 Motor Ave., Los Angeles. celebrateisraelfestival.com
“KNISH: IN SEARCH OF THE JEWISH SOUL FOOD”
Get ready for a dough-licious lecture! Award-winning journalist Laura Silver shares her biography of the flaky treat. More than just a recipe exploration, Silver chronicles the history of the pastry and her own discovery of family roots in Poland. The author, a research associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, also will be doing a cooking demo, which will feature tastings. Sun. 2 p.m. $12 (general), $10 (members and students). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
LAG B’OMER BEACH BONFIRE
Nashuva invites you to this spiritual beach-side celebration. A holiday that remembers a landmark moment for the practice of kabbalah, the evening will include a bonfire, drum circle, music, and hot dogs and marshmallows for roasting. If you want to hang out before settling under the starry night, come early for Frisbee-throwing and kite-flying! RSVP requested. Sun. 7 p.m. Free. Dockweiler State Beach, between lifeguard stations 52 and 53, 12501 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey. nashuva.com.
MON | MAY 19
“HIDING IN A CAVE OF TRUNKS”
In Ester Benjamin Shifren’s historical saga, the members of a prominent Jewish family live in Shanghai until World War II takes away their century-long privileged lifestyle, forcing them into a POW camp for five years, until their relocation to Hong Kong and then Israel. Shifren, who was born in China, has gone on to become an author, musician and international public speaker. Light refreshments will be available. Reservations requested. Mon. 12:30 p.m. Free. Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles. (310) 825-4836. international.ucla.edu/china.
WED | MAY 21
“HUMANITY, NOT: CAPTURED EMOTIONS OF THE HOLOCAUST”
In his new book, author Ari Babaknia thoroughly examines through words and images some of the emotions of victims, perpetrators, bystanders and survivors of the Holocaust. “Humanity, Not” includes drawings by Ardeshir Mohasses, a leading and internationally recognized cartoonist and graphic artist; a selection of his drawings will be on exhibition. Babaknia, a Johns Hopkins-trained physician, is also author of “The Holocaust,”a four-volume series written in Farsi. He will be signing copies of his new book following the program. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP required. The Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-8403. museumoftolerance.com.
In 2006, a soldier named Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas. His father, Noam Shalit, did not rest until his son returned safely home, launching a campaign for his son’s release that would ultimately last over five years. This is his story. Join the Israeli-American Council for an exclusive discussion with Noam Shalit, who will speak about his family’s experience through the years that Gilad was in captivity, and what life has been like since his return. RSVP required. Wed. 7 p.m. $10. Home of board members Mirit and Yossi Rabinovitz in Tarzana. Address given upon RSVP. (818) 466-6440. israeliamerican.org.
THU | MAY 22
Maybe you’re one of the rare people who has everything together and always feels a calming sense of balance. But if you’re not, “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time” is a book from which you could benefit. Schulte, a Washington Post staff writer, explores why Americans, despite growing technology meant to simplify life, are living chaotic day-to-days. More important, the author has some solutions. Thu. 8 p.m. Free. Reservations recommended. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.