We're all looking for ways to support Israel these days -- and here's one more. In celebration of Israel Independence Day, the Women's International Zionist Organization, in cooperation with Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School, has planned an Israel Solidarity Concert, showcasing Israeli entertainer Avi Toledano. Toledano will perform songs in English, Hebrew and French. Tickets are $36 (general) and $50 (at the door). Or better yet, be a silver, gold or platinum sponsor. Your extra donation will get you two tickets with preferential seating, a listing in the evening program and the satisfaction of knowing you've performed a mitzvah. 9-11:30 p.m. Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School, 5200 Bonita Canyon Road, Irvine. For more information, call the JCC at (714) 755-0340.
Call it a melting pot or call it a salad bowl, the point is that this is a country of immigrants. Celebrate the intersection of world cultures in our city at the "My America Festival" at the Skirball Cultural Center. There'll be music, dance, storytelling, food and art workshops. So you can expose your kids to some world jazz music or let them play dress-up with Indian saris and they may not even realize they're learning something. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free (Skirball members and children under 12), $8 (general), $6 (seniors and students). 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 655-8587.
Are you ready for your close-up? You'd better be before heading over to the Wyndham Bel Age Hotel tonight. The Synagogue for the Performing Arts will be hosting "The Five Most Influential Casting Directors in Film, Television and Variety," as they discuss the secrets of auditioning and booking jobs and answer questions. The panelists have cast for movies, soap operas and commercials. Five lucky winners will get the chance to read for the casting directors, so make sure you've got your monologue prepared! The tax-deductible $50 donation will go entirely to the synagogue. 7-10 p.m. 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. For more information, call (310) 472-3500.
They span the worlds of the modern and the historic, both in the subjects of their compositions and in the media they've chosen for expressing their art. Kasia Czerpak-Welinski, Margaret Handwerker, Michael Iofin and Pavel Vogler come from the same place, but these Polish artists have taken their shared history in very different directions. "From Europe to the Golden Age," is the University of Judaism's exhibition of these artists' works. Meet the artists on April 28, at a reception in their honor. Runs through June 30. Platt-Bornstein Gallery Hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday. (Beginning in May the university will be closed on Sundays.) 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. For more information, call (310) 476-9777, ext. 203.
To cut or not to cut? That is the question two Jewish couples must face in "The 8th Day," a documentary about circumcision, by filmmaker Keren Markuze. Markuze, who was brought up in an insular Jewish community in Montreal, explores the social, cultural, medical and religious reasons behind circumcisions. See the film and join in a discussion with Markuze after the screening at the Midnight Special Bookstore. 7:30 p.m. Free. 1318 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. For more information, call (310) 393-2923.
In the mood for some Yiddish American pie? Then how about a slice of "Picon Pie." The musical, written by Rose Leiman Goldemberg, tells the story of Molly Picon, one of the biggest stars in Yiddish theater. Barbara Minkus stars as the woman who somersaulted her way into so many hearts, including the heart of Jacob "Yonkel" Kalich, her manager and lover. Runs Thursdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. through summer. $23.50 (Thursdays), $25.50 (Saturdays and Sundays). Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica. For more information, call (310) 394-9779 ext 1.
Need to detox your soul? Go north! Camp Ramah in California's beautiful 96 acres in the Ojai Valley will give you a smog-free breather, while artist-in-residence Neshama Carlebach, daughter of famous rabbi and singer Shlomo Carlebach, will lift your spirits with her music. Reporter and journalist Stuart Schoffman will also be in attendance to discuss Israel's current challenges. The Ramah Academy Series weekend retreat starts Friday afternoon before Shabbat and concludes midday Sunday. For more information, call (310) 476-8571.
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