Jewish Journal

Picks and clicks for March 15-21

by Dikla Kadosh

Posted on Mar. 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm

See Monday

See Monday


pick gifHelp find a cure for a condition that affects too many of our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. Fight breast cancer with more than 15,000 men, women and children at the 12th annual Komen Race for the Cure, a 5K walk/run and 1K "fun run" for kids. Proceeds from the race go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure national research programs and supports breast cancer screenings, education, diagnostic tests, and treatments for L.A. County women. Join emcees Laura Diaz of CBS 2 News, Sylvia Lopez of KCAL 9 News and Gary Bryan of K-EARTH 101 in the "Celebration of Life Survivor Ceremony." After the race, rehydrate and learn about the latest advances in health, massage therapy, alternative relaxation treatments and how to take an active role in your breast health at various tents and vendors. 7 a.m (registration); 9 a.m. (opening ceremonies). $25-$40. Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena. To register, call (626) 577-2700 or visit http://www.komenlacounty.org.

Sometimes it helps to laugh away the pain. Political smarts and cunning wits come together in Stand Up for Peace, a comedy group that humorously unites Jewish and Arab portrayals of an age-old conflict. Scott Blakeman and Dean Obeidallah will bandy jokes, politics and storytelling as the headliners tonight at The J's "Comedy Cabaret." 8 p.m. $30-$36 (includes two drinks). Merage JCC, One Federation Way, Irvine. (949) 435-3400. http://www.jccoc.org.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Progressive Jewish Alliance and Americans for Peace Now are hosting representatives of the Israeli-Palestinian Center for Research (IPCR) to discuss possible solutions in "Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: A First-Hand Account from Both Perspectives." The discussion features Gershon Baskin and Hanna Siniora of the IPCR, a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think tank devoted to developing practical solutions for the conflict. Baskin, CEO of the organization, founded the Institute for Education for Jewish-Arab Coexistence. 7:30 p.m. $5 (suggested donation). Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 476-2861. http://www.ipcri.org.

Calling all eco-warriors to battle in Malibu Creek! Heal the Bay will be commander-in-chief for dozens of volunteers who will help restore the Malibu Creek State Park watershed by removing harmful plants and manmade litter, as well as planting beneficial native species during a four-hour eco-program. All volunteers are welcome (14+); no previous restoration experience is required. The knowledgeable Heal the Bay folks will teach you everything you need to know, and will also provide the tools and refreshments needed to aid you in the mildly strenuous activity. No R.S.V.P. required -- just show up! 9 a.m. Lower parking lot of Malibu Creek State Park, 1924 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas. (310) 451-1500. http://www.healthebay.org.


chinese dragon
Celebrate Purim with the Friendship Circle, an organization dedicated to providing Jewish children with special needs social, recreational and Judaic programs. The Friendship Circle of Los Angeles is hosting a Purim concert and festival with Rabbi Michy and friends. The theme is Chinese, so dress your kids up as dragons, warriors or egg rolls (Queen Esther is fine, too!) and come partake in the arts and crafts, Chinese buffet, games and activities. Volunteers from Sinai Akiba Academy will be assisting the children if necessary. 1-3 p.m. $5. Friendship Circle of L.A., 9581 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-3252; http://www.fcla.org.

Dinah Berland unexpectedly stumbled upon a 19th century book of prayers written "for the use of the daughters of Israel" in a Mar Vista bookshop. The discovery inspired her to translate the prayers into English and publish them anew (see Amy Klein's article, "Prayers for Women, by a Woman." ). Berland will discuss the history of these prayers and how she adapted them into poems in "Hours of Devotion: Fanny Neuda's Book of Prayers for Jewish Women." 2 p.m. Free. Santa Monica Public Library, Main Library's Multipurpose Room, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8600. http://www.smpl.org/.

purim carnival illustration (PHOTOGRAPHY)
Driving past one of the many onion and strawberry fields in Oxnard, you probably wouldn't think to stop and chat with the farm workers responsible for much of the produce you consume. In Rick Nahamia's photography exhibit, "The Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers," these seemingly invisible agricultural workers are portrayed in a rare light by showing their sun-beaten faces and humble personalities through a perceptive lens. The in-depth photo documentary, which includes bilingual text, explores issues surrounding the high moral cost of feeding America. 2-4 p.m. (opening day). Regular museum hours for the rest of the exhibit's run. Through April 25. $10 (children), $11 (seniors), $13 (adults). Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-9036. http://museumoftolerance.com.

Along with the usual festivities -- pony rides, face painting, clowns, raffle contest -- Temple Beth Haverim's cool carnival boasts a loyal yearly crowd of 1,000 people and raises $10,000 for temple programs. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. Red Oak Elementary, 4857 Rockfield St., Oak Park. (818) 991-7111.

Join the communitywide Long Beach fifth annual Community Purim Celebration, which will include performances by local youth jazz bands and a unique mezuzah auction in which the highest bidder will snag one designed by Bette Midler. Noon-3 p.m. Free admission; activity tickets available for purchase on site. Alpert JCC, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. (562) 426-7601. http://www.alpertjcc.org.

Don't miss out on a joyous Purim carnival in the San Fernando Valley jam-packed with entertaining activities for the whole family. Look out for the castle jump, bungee run and petting zoo. Enjoy festive music while getting your face painted (with the name of your favorite presidential candidate?) or devouring all-American classic hot dogs, popcorn or glatt kosher Persian kabobs and Israeli food. With a magic show, clown, juggler, costume and raffle contest, come with the energy for a rocking day of festivities. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Eretz-Siamak Cultural Center, 6170 Wilbur Ave., Tarzana. (818) 342-9303. http://www.eretzsiamak.org/.

Friends of Valley Cities JCC is throwing a fun-filled Purim festival in honor of this frolicsome holiday. Stock up on plenty of raffle tickets because your kids will be itching to win the grand prize Nintendo Wii with "Guitar Hero." 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. $1 activity tickets. Friends of Valley Cities JCC, 13164 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 786-6310. http://www.valleycitiesjcc.org.

"The Island on Bird Street" was a place of refuge for a young boy struggling to survive in a Polish ghetto. After being separated from his father during the Nazi invasion, young Alex musters the will to go on by drawing upon a childhood of learned family values. Based on the novel by Uri Orlev, First Look Studios is celebrating the DVD release of this film with a screening and panel discussion, moderated by Michael Berenbaum and featuring producer Rudy Cohen, Dr. Sam Edelman of American Jewish University and Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels of Beth Shir Sholom. 4 p.m. Free. AJU, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. R.S.V.P. to (424) 202-5090 or rsvp@firstlookstudios.com.


pick gifImpassioned young professionals from all over Los Angeles are being called to rally for the State of Israel. "Standing in Unity" will be an inspiring call to action and show of solidarity for the students who were killed at a Jerusalem seminary last week. The interdenominational event features leading rabbis from three movements: Orthodox Rabbi Yitz Jacobs of Aish LA, Reform Rabbi David Baron of Temple Shalom for the Arts and Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe on his home court. So come together and shout so loud for Israel that all of the Southland will hear your call! Mon. 7 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-1518.

In a special four-artist series at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) titled, "Intersections: A Celebration of Performing and Visual Arts," performance artist Andrea Hodos and visual artist Judith Margolis will showcase their vibrant, richly colored works of art. Margolis, creative director of Bright Idea Books/Jerusalem and art editor of "Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues," will deliver brief remarks during the artist reception. During her residency at HUC-JIR, Hodos, the director of "Moving Torah," collaborated with faculty and students to depict the Israelites' journey across the sea in an ensemble piece, "On Dry Ground." Enjoy hors d'oeuvres while mingling with artists at the aesthetically pleasing and thought-provoking exhibit. 6:30-9 p.m. (artist's reception). Through May. Free. HUC-JIR, 3077 University Ave., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P required, (213) 749-3424. http://www.huc.edu.

This New Zealand native comic queen actually has photos on her Web site in which she poses half-naked, her racy bits covered by challah! Soon you can get your fill of the smart, sassy storyteller known as Deb Filler, who promises to have L.A. audiences in stitches with her one-woman show, "Well, I'll Tell Ya..." 8 p.m. $20-$25. Steinway Hall at Fields Pianos, 12121 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 471-3979 or jeannine@frankentertainment.com and http://www.fillerup.ca/.

Simon Wiesenthal
The remarkable life of Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal has been chronicled in a lauded recent documentary, "I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal." The Conejo Jewish Academy invites the community to a screening of the film, which details Wiesenthal's tenacity in surviving the genocide and his life-long quest to catch escaped Nazi war criminals (he succeeded in tracking down more than 1,100) and fight prejudice against all people. Pre-purchased tickets are highly recommended for this screening. 7:30 p.m. $10. Westlake Village Cinema, 4711 Lakeview Canyon Road, Westlake Village. For more information, call (818) 991-0991. For tickets, visit http://www.regencymovies.com.

We probably don't have to tell you about the television sensation "Dancing With the Stars," where nimble dancers are paired with celebrities for a hot-blooded ballroom-style dance competition. But what you might not know about tonight's premiere is that Members of the Tribe Steve Guttenberg ("Three Men and a Baby"), Marlee Matlin ("The L Word") and Marissa Jaret Winokur ("Hairspray") are going to be strutting their salsa for millions of fans across the nation. 8 p.m. on ABC.


Piercing graphics of mocking skeletons interacting with doomed military men compose the two-color prints of artists Kurt Brian Webb's exhibition, "War: Dance of Death in Black and White and Blood Red All Over." In a haunting splash of war and death imagery, Webb uses obscene gestures -- sexual, violent and offensive -- to reveal a cold, calculating metaphor for death and the power of immortality. Full of stinging wit and biting sarcasm, the art evokes the basest of human vice and folly. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Mon.-Thu.), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Fri.). Through May 4. Free. Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. http://www.circlesocal.org.


to die in jerusalem art
pick gif After a screening of the powerful and controversial film, "To Die in Jerusalem," about a young Jewish woman killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber who detonated herself in a Jerusalem market, a team of conflict mediation specialists known as Mediators Beyond Borders will hash out the conflict and attempt to do what no statesman has yet accomplished: resolve it. The lofty goal of "Foreign Exchanges: A Mirror Image of You" speaks to the heartfelt effort of the folks at the Levantine Cultural Center, who promote difficult discussions as an alternative to the greater danger of violence. 6-9 p.m. $10-$20 (requested donation). Beverly Hills Library Auditorium, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 657-5511. http://www.levantinecenter.org.

Before donning your costumes and shaking your groggers, visit the Skirball for a refresher course on Queen Esther, Mordechai and King Ahasuerus. The "Purim Spotlight" will cover the history and customs of our revel-heavy holiday, which commemorates the deliverance of the Jews under Persian rule as recorded in the Book of Esther. This special program is free with admission and no reservations are necessary. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Through March 21. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.


We can all thank producer Walter Mirisch for some of our all-time Hollywood film favorites: "The Magnificent Seven," "West Side Story," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Some Like It Hot" and "In the Heat of the Night." Very impressive, wouldn't you agree? Go to Book Soup and thank him in person when he appears to discuss and sign his new book (with the fabulous title): "I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History." 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. http://www.booksoup.com.


pick gifAlthough it's not really kosher for Jews to dress up for Halloween, we can certainly go all out on our similarly spirited holiday -- Purim! Feast and frolic at Temple Beth Torah's Purim dinner and festivities. Rummage through your costume chest and dress up the kids, too, for a Shabbat service and Purim spiel put on by Cantor Michael Anatole, Rabbi Lisa Hochberg-Miller and Janis Knight. Sip wine or wash down your "Hay-Man" meatballs (sweet and sour meatballs) and Queen "esta-pasta" (fettuccini and marinara sauce) with drinks such as "Haman's poison" and "Queen Esther's delight." Also available for your dining pleasure are salad, veggies, rolls and cookies. Don't worry about the calories -- you'll laugh it off during the Purim spiel. $6 (children), $10 (adults). 6:30 p.m. Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura. (805) 647-4181. http://www.templebethtorah.com/.

In a plot reminiscent of the 2006 film, "Stranger Than Fiction," wherein a novel-writer and her typewriter dictate the actions of real-life character and protagonist, acclaimed playwright Richard Greenberg and Ovation Award-winning director Stuart Rogers present "The Violet Hour." A World War I-era publisher must decide whose work to publish -- his lover's memoir or best friend's novel -- amid the mysterious appearance of a machine that predicts the future of the play's protagonist, affecting lives and relationships in haunting and unwary ways. 8 p.m. Through April 19. $20. Tribe Theatre, 5267 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (800) 838-3006. http://www.theatretribe.com.


Featuring the art of Diane Destiny, Merrilyn Duzy and Norma Jean Squires, American Jewish University (AJU) explores our multifaceted universe in a mixed-media exhibition, "Women in Space." Destiny portrays the techie side of outer space by using computer-generated images with a large format ink-jet printer through which images and objects are scanned, manipulated, enhanced, erased, duplicated, painted and collaged. Duzy takes a spiritual approach relating the vastness of space and symbols to humankind. Squires delves into the intellectual aspect of the unknown, contemplating microcosmic and macrocosmic elements of the universe. Through May 16. Free. AJU, Platt-Borstein Gallery,15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. For more information, call (310) 476-9777, ext. 201. http://www.ajula.edu.
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