Jewish Journal

Picks and Clicks for April 18–24, 2009

by Dikla Kadosh

Posted on Apr. 17, 2009 at 5:05 am


Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries is inviting members of the community to participate in and contribute to its Holocaust observance event by bringing their own Shoah-related items and stories to share. Photographs, letters and other artifacts will be on display, and historians specializing in the era will be on hand to provide their perspectives. “Keeping the Testimony Alive Through Artifacts, Stories & Music” will start with a memorial service featuring a performance of Cantor David Nowakowsky’s works, followed by a procession of Holocaust Torah scrolls to the Grove of the Righteous Rescuers. Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Mount Sinai Simi Valley, 6150 Mount Sinai Drive, Simi Valley. (866) 813-8100. http://www.mountsinaiparks.org.

Artist Mitzi Trachtenberg incorporates fragments of documents, personal letters, photos and genealogy charts in her collage series — a body of work that was inspired by the Holocaust. Trachtenberg, along with Bill Aron, Carol Inez Charney and Ruth Snyder, will be featured in American Jewish University’s “Remembrance/Yom HaShoah” art exhibition, opening today. Hannelore Hillman, survivor and author, will be the guest speaker at the artists’ reception. Sun. 3-5 p.m. (reception). Gallery is open Sun.-Thu., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Through July 12. Free. Platt and Borstein Galleries, AJU, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777, ext. 201. http://www.ajula.edu.

The Hollywood Master Chorale, a 60-voice choir of men and women, will perform pieces composed by Cantor Mark Saltzman, Morten Lauridsen, Kenneth Neufeld and other local composers at Congregation Kol Ami’s “L.A. Composer’s Concert II.” The concert will include both secular music and spiritual works based on Jewish liturgy. Co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood. Sun. 3:15 p.m. (pre-concert discussion with composers), 4 p.m. (performance). $20 (adults), $15 (students/seniors/disabled). Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 960-4349. http://www.hollywoodmasterchorale.org.

Former neo-Nazi Tom Leyden will speak about his book, “Skinhead Confessions,” at the Museum of Tolerance. Leyden will be available to sign his book following the program. Sun. 2 p.m. Free. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. required. (310) 772-2527. http://www.museumoftolerance.com.

Max Leavitt, a punk-rock musician and former bandleader on “Last Call With Carson Daly,” stars in and directs “Dead, Therefore I Am,” a dark comedy he also penned. The plot revolves around a young man who at 30 is struggling with deep depression, until a goth-punk girl next door ignites in him a spark of hope. The play includes some nudity and adult content. Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m. Through May 24. $20. East Theatre at The Complex, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 960-7714. http://www.plays411.com/dead.

Brush up on Israel’s history, learn how to counter anti-Israel rhetoric and discover how to become an advocate for Israel at “Israel 101: An Advocacy Boot Camp for Young Professionals.” Sponsored by StandWithUs Young Professionals, 30 Years After and The Jewish Federation, this half-day seminar of lectures, videos and discussion sessions is for and by young professionals who want to get involved. Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free (includes kosher brunch). Jewish Federation Building, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For security purposes, registration is required. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Academy Award-winning producer Walter Mirisch will be the guest of honor at Books ‘N Brunch, a fundraiser for the Brandeis National Committee, Conejo Valley Chapter. Mirisch, who produced “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Some Like It Hot” and other Hollywood classics, will discuss his recently published memoir, “I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History.” Jacqueline Berger, author of “Love, Lies and Tears: An Intimate Look at America’s First Ladies,” will also appear at the program. Mon. 9:30 a.m. $40. Hyatt Westlake Plaza, 880 S. Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village. (818) 874-0044. http://www.brandeisconejo.org.

Author and filmmaker Sadia Shepard grew up in a home with a Muslim mother, Christian father and Jewish grandmother. Her mixed heritage includes ancestors from the Bene Israel, a community of Jews in India that believes it is one of the lost tribes of Israel. Fulfilling her grandmother’s dying wish, Shepard explores these roots in her memoir, “The Girl From Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories and a Sense of Home,” and her documentary, “In Search of the Bene Israel.” Join Shepard for a discussion of her memoir and screening of her film tonight, followed by a book signing. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Los Angeles. Mon. 7:30 p.m. $10 (general), Free (Skirball and JGSLA members). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.

Sinai Temple’s Yom HaShoah commemoration event, Voices of the Soul, will feature the music of composers from the time of the Holocaust and will include the synagogue’s clergy, Holocaust music scholar Nick Strimple, Cantor David Kane, vocalist Rickie Gole, dancer Tina Finkelman Berkett, musicians Aryell Cohen and Tali Tadmor and the USC String Quartet. Mon. 7:15 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. required to park in building. (310) 481-3243. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). http://www.sinaitemple.org.

The Republican Jewish Coalition’s Los Angeles Chapter is hosting a Town Hall Meeting and dessert reception with RJC National Executive Director Matthew Brooks. The conversation will center on the RJC’s mission and goals for the future. Mon. 7 p.m. (registration and dessert reception), 7:30 p.m. (program). $10 (current members), $20 (non-members). Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica, Luna Ballroom, 530 W. Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P. required. (310) 478-0752. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). http://www.rjchq.org.

Contemporary Jewish Music is one of several adult education courses being offered at the Skirball Cultural Center this spring. Taught by Jeff Janeczko, a doctoral candidate in the UCLA ethnomusicology department, the course explores the various musical styles that fall under the broad title of “Jewish music” — klezmer, spiritual, hip-hop, rock, folk and world music - and their significance to modern Jewish identity. Tuesdays through May 26 (six sessions). 7-9 p.m. $150 (general), $120 (Skirball members), $90 (students). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4651. http://www.skirball.org.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, will speak about the alarming recent surge in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial at the Museum of Tolerance’s Yom HaShoah commemoration. The program will pay tribute to the legacy of Simon Wiesenthal and include a live update from the Geneva Conference (Durban II) by Rabbi Abraham Cooper. Concert pianists Friederike Haufe and Volker Ahmels will perform music composed by artists persecuted by the Third Reich, in conjunction with the current exhibition, “Persecuted, Proscribed, Expelled — The Lives of Musicians During the Nazi Era.” Tue. 10 a.m. Free. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. Reservations required. (310) 772-2526. http://www.museumoftolerance.com.


Singer, songwriter and actress Lesley Wolman stars in a one-woman cabaret show that pays homage to 14 female Jewish musicians. “Jewish Women in Song ... A Celebration” honors the work of singers, lyricists and composers Molly Picon, Sophie Tucker, Janis Ian, Carole King, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Naomi Shemer and others. Accompanied by the Michael Asher Trio, Wolman will sing songs in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. Written and directed by Rick Lieberman. Wed. 8 p.m. Also, April 28 and 29. $25. Pico Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., Rancho Park. (800) 838-3006. http://www.lesleywolman.com.

Roni Hirshenzon’s oldest son was killed in a suicide bombing in Israel. His other son committed suicide five years later after his best friend was also killed in a suicide bombing. In spite of his tragedies, Hirshenzon works to promote peace and co-founded a support group for Israeli and Palestinian parents who have lost children in the conflict. The Shalom/Salaam Film Salon will screen “Another Side of Peace,” a documentary that chronicles this Israeli father’s path from grief and anger to reconciliation and activism. Co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek v’Shalom. Wed. 7 p.m. $5 (suggested donation). Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. http://www.circlesocal.org.

The City of Lights, City of Angels film festival is a celebration of French cinema that will include 30 features and 20 shorts with the country’s most gifted actors and filmmakers. Tonight’s film, “Hello Goodbye,” is based on a novel by Moshe Gaash and stars Gerard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant, who played in last year’s Israeli film, “The Secrets.” A well-off French couple travel to Israel to explore the husband’s Jewish heritage and end up moving there, only to face one problem after another. Wed. 6 p.m. Through April 26. $10 (adults), $7 (seniors). Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 289-5346. http://www.colcoa.org.


Ira Glass and select contributors will perform a two-hour, live stage version of the popular Chicago Public Radio show, “This American Life,” to be screened one night only at more than 400 movie theaters nationwide, including 17 in the Los Angeles area. The stories featured in “This American Life – Live!” will adhere to the theme “Return to the Scene of the Crime” and will be accompanied by visuals and a musical performance by Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dollhouse.” Thu. 8 p.m. $20. For a list of theaters, visit http://www.fathomevents.com.

Oliver Sacks has skillfully combined medicine and literature in bestselling books such as “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” and in numerous essays in publications such as The New Yorker, earning the nickname “the poet laureate of medicine” by The New York Times. Sacks will be featured at UCLA Live’s “Music, Healing and the Brain” spoken word program. Thu. 8 p.m. $25-$50. Royce Hall, UCLA, Westwood. (310) 825-2101. http://www.uclalive.org.

Rabbi Reuven Firestone will outline the similarities and differences between Judaism and Islam in a lecture that shares its title with his recent publication, “An Introduction to Islam for Jews,” part of Temple Beth Am’s People of the Book series. Firestone will also cover the history of the concept of jihad and how different sects of Islam view Jews and Israel, some of the topics he discusses in his book. Copies will be available for purchase after the lecture. Thu. 8-9:30 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7354, ext. 215. http://www.tbala.org/lehrhaus.

Author and Journal contributor Gina Nahai will be moderating a panel on the subject of book publishing, organized by the usc master of professional writing program. “The Literary Marketplace: The Changing Face of Publishing” will address topics such as the failing economy, the Internet, finding an agent and achieving both critical and financial success. On the panel: Louisa Ermelino, novelist and reviews director at Publishers Weekly Magazine; Barbara Lowenstein from the Lowenstein/Yost agency; and Suzanne Wickham, director of publicity at Harper One, a division of Harper Collins. Thu. 7:30 p.m. (discussion), 9 p.m. (reception). Free. Parking at structure X; enter gate 3 at McCarthy Way. USC University Club, Main Dining Room, downtown Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Israel’s hit show “Kochav Nolad” (aka “Israeli Idol”) is coming to Los Angeles to find its next superstar. Celebrating this occasion and Israel’s 61st Independence Day, DJs Eliran and Tal are hosting a Kochav Nolad Yom HaAtzmaut Party with Israeli television personalities and the show’s judges, Tzvika Hadar, Margalit Tzan’ani and Gal Uhovsky. The party will also feature live performances by an Israeli rock band, music by the DJ brothers and a limited number of auditions. Ages 21 and over. Thu. 9 p.m. (doors open). $25 (presale). Vanguard, 6021 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. To sign up to audition, visit http://www.mako.co.il. For tickets to the party, visit http://www.groovetickets.com (keywords “Kochav Nolad”).


The story of Hillel Kook, aka Peter Bergson, a Zionist activist who fought to rescue Jews in Europe during World War II and faced opposition from the U.S. government, journalists and even Jewish community leaders, is back for a second run. The Fountain Theatre and the Israeli Leadership Council are sponsoring the re-opening of “The Accomplices,” written by former New York Times reporter Bernard Weinraub. Fri. (preview performance). 8 p.m. $15. Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. Through June 14. $18-$30. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 663-1525. http://www.fountaintheatre.com.

Third-generation matchmaker and star of her own Bravo TV reality show, Patti Stanger will be sharing dating advice at Barnes & Noble with the same straightforwardness and sass seen weekly on “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” Stanger worked at the largest and oldest dating service in the United States, Great Expectations, before founding her own elite matchmaking company, the Millionaire’s Club, which caters to successful men with dating woes. Stanger will be signing copies of her dating guide, “Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate.” Fri. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes & Noble at The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0270. http://www.bn.com.

The Ahmanson Theatre is hosting the 30th anniversary of “Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show,” a Tony Award-winning revue that pays homage to the black entertainers of the historic Harlem Renaissance, with a particular focus on Thomas “Fats” Waller. Murray Horwitz was instrumental in conceiving the show; the lyricist also collaborated with Richard Maltby, Jr. — his partner for “Ain’t Misbehavin’” — on “An Evening of Sholom Aleichem” and co-hosts the annual NPR special, “Hanukkah Lights.” Fri. 8 p.m. Tue.-Sun. Through May 31. $40-$100. Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 628-2772. http://www.centertheatregroup.org.


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