Start off the year with a little Jewish "Kumbaya" down in Tustin. Dale Schatz leads Congregation B'nai Israel in an Alternative Shabbat that promises to be "just like camp, but without the bugs!" So go on. You know you've missed those Debbie Friedman classics.
Noon-5 p.m. Movie screening at 1:30 p.m. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500.
More Jew music today, this time of the Eastern European variety. Cantor Hershl Fox performs a matinee concert titled, "Let Us Sing Yiddish!" sponsored by the resilient Los Angeles Yiddish Culture Club. Refreshments will be served. 2 p.m. $4-$8. 8339 W. Third St., Los Angeles. (310) 275-8455.
This afternoon and evening, a Jerusalem teacher who leads classes about the three mitzvot for women offers wisdom on the spiritual component of making challah. She'd rather us not print her name here, but what you should know is this is more than just a cooking class. Small groups of women gather in homes to learn the power of challah-making as a way of connecting with God. 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Hancock Park residence. (310) 839-0613. email@example.com
Do they know their group name means "towel" in Hebrew? Hard to say. But one thing Magevet clearly does know is a capella. The Yale University Jewish a capella group performs an all-ages concert of Hebrew music this evening at Kehillat Ma'arav.
7 p.m. $5 (adults), Free (children 18 and younger). 1715 21st St., Santa Monica. (310) 829-0566.
PBS makes the point today that English is most definitely not our national language. "Do You Speak American?" airs this evening on KCET, and follows Robert MacNeil around the United States as he investigates the varied jargon and dialects that make up our melting pot – from New England's Havahad yahds to South Carolina's African-influenced Gullah (with subtitles).
8-11 p.m. www.kcet.org.
With the end of November elections came a short but welcome respite from the political high season. But face it. You've been jonesing for some of that backbiting and mudslinging. Enter the Museum of Television and Radio today, then, and get your fix. The "Prime-Time Politics" screening series features two documentaries, "Journeys With George," which follows George W. Bush's first campaign for the presidency, and "True Life: I'm a Candidate," a portrait of two young untested contestants for the House of Representatives.
148 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 934-2250.
Shylock is everywhere this month, including the Met Theater Company starting today. Their modernized version of Shakespeare's classic, "The Merchant of Venice." resumes today through Jan. 22. See how this 20th century New York variation holds up against the original, and the Pacino one in theaters now.