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Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

February 14, 2002 | 6:59 pm

Musically Inclined Kinders

The Music Center's 2002 Spotlight Awards for excellence in the visual performing arts among junior high and high school students have been announced by Fred Roberts, chairman of the Spotlight Awards, and Walter Grauman, creator-executive producer.

The finalists will perform at the gala competition on April 2 at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Six winners will be awarded $5,000 cash scholarships. Runners-up will receive $2,500 scholarships. Jeff Margolis will produce the gala for the second year in a row.

The following Jewish students are among the semifinalists in the performance category:

  • Chelsey Forbess, 16, of Harvard Westlake in Beverly Hills (Non-Classical Voice)
  • Alison Friedman, 16, of Newbury Park High in Newbury Park (Non-Classical Voice)
  • Rebecca Kimbrell, 17, Ramona High School in Riverside (Non-Classical Dance - Modern)
  • Tobin Chodos, 15, L.A. County High School for the Arts in L.A. ( Jazz Instrumental - Piano)
  • Noah Kaplan, 17, Crossroads in Los Angeles (Jazz Instrumental - saxaphone)
  • Lisa Hendrickson, 15, L.A. County High School for the Arts in Northridge (Classical Voice - Soprano)
  • Kate Feld, 17, Orange County High School of the Arts in Orange (Classical Voice - Soprano)
  • Yevgeniy Milyavskiy, 17, Cleveland Magnet High in Tarzana (Classical Instrumental - Piano)
  • Hila Schoffman, 17, Taft High in Woodland Hills. (Classical Dance).

The Rebuilt and the Beautiful

Kirk and Anne Douglas have donated $2.5 million toward a renovation of the Culver Theater, whose facade is a designated a landmark. The preserved movie house, which opened in 1947, will be reopened in 2004 as the Kirk Douglas Theater. The building will have 400 seats in the main theater and an additional 100 in an upstairs facility. Steven Ehrlich, the Culver City-based architect working on the project, estimated the refurbishing's total cost at about $8 million. The downtown Culver City theater, which will be operated by Center Theatre Group, will house play development programs of Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum. Douglas, of course, began his career on the New York stage.

A Call to 'Arms'

A special screening of the 2000 Oscar-winning documentary "Into The Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport" was held at UCLA's Melnitz Hall, as part of its Contemporary Documentary series, co-sponsored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Moderator Robert Smolkin hosted, as the film's director, Mark Jonathan Harris, and producer, Deborah Oppenhiemer, fielded questions from a packed house after the showing.

Great Scott

NBC stars piled into the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Jan. 31 to honor NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa, who was presented with the Dorothy and Sherril C. Corwin Human Relations Award by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Emmy-winner Bradley Whitford of "The West Wing" hosted the evening, and NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell delivered the keynote address. NBC Entertainment President Jeffrey Zucker presented the award to Sassa. Accepting the award, Sassa said, "If the events of the past year have taught us anything, it's that organizations like the [AJC] are vital, not only to the survival of our country, but to the survival of the whole world."

New Villagers

Westwood Village Synagogue, the self-proclaimed "friendly Modern Orthodox shul," welcomes Rabbi Mel Gottlieb to its fold as its spiritual leader and Torah teacher. It also welcomed Rebbetzin Dr. Annette Gottlieb and their children, Adam, Akiva, Floryn and Micha.



Kallah Calling

More than 120 B'nai B'rith Youth took part in a Regional Weekend at Camp Max Strauss designed to encourage them to explore their own Judaic beliefs. Teens Darin Lazarus and Maya Ben Barak were the two youth leaders responsible for coordinating, planning and running the entire weekend.

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