Toots Shor counted Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason among his closest friends. His eponymous saloon on New York's West 51st Street attracted legendary sports heroes, movie stars, gangsters and working stiffs. Now award-winning filmmaker Kristi Jacobson has made a documentary about what Edward R. Murrow called America's greatest bar. "Toots" is narrated by the celebrated bar owner himself; and Mike Wallace, Gay Talese, Walter Cronkite and many others pay tribute to this quintessential watering hole and its owner. Sat. Through Nov. 27. Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles. http://www.tootsthemovie.com; http://www.downtownindependent.com.
Max Gold is said to be the "father of fusion art." Now what exactly is fusion art? "There was a piece I had in mind that couldn't be created with the traditional mediums," Gold said, "so I invented a way to fuse digital art and hand painting as a means to an end. This kind of work is still in its infancy, but I believe it will grow into as profound an artistic movement as there has ever been. Future artists will push limits far beyond what I can imagine now." Luckily, we get a sneak peak at this new art movement when Gold presents his work in person at the artist's opening reception of "Max Gold: Fusion Art." Sat. 7-9 p.m. (reception), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Mon.-Thu.), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Fri.). Through Jan. 2. Free. A Shenere Velt Gallery, Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. http://www.circlesocal.org.
Children's Day predates Mother's Day and Father's Day in the United States, but it just never caught on as a national holiday. Folks in the San Fernando Valley are hoping to change that with an inaugural Children's Day event. The day will begin in Woodley Park, where more than 20,000 people are expected to gather for festivities that will include L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Aaron Carter, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), L.A. Dodger legends and Laker A.C. Green, along with an X-Games skating clinic, the David Beckham Soccer Academy, rock climbing, a space museum, a petting zoo and an F-16 flyover, among other events. Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Woodley Park, Van Nuys. http://www.childrensday2008.com.
Not only does Young Israel of Century City have a totally hip program guide -- a colorful, graphic-heavy glossy with comic book-style Kaboom! and Gevaltic! exclamations and a superhero mascot named YICC-Man -- the Modern Orthodox synagogue also has a calendar loaded with interesting events. "From Ethiopia to Israel" is a presentation by Rabbi Sharon Shalom, the first Ethiopian Jew to be ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Born in Ethiopia, Shalom was practically smuggled into Israel in an undercover Mossad operation in 1982. He went on to become an officer in the Israeli army and is currently studying for a doctorate in Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University. In addition, the seasoned speaker is also teaching a course on the history of his own people -- Ethiopian Jews -- at Bar-Ilan. Sat. 4:45 p.m. (after Mincha). Free. Young Israel of Century City, 9317 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 273-6954. http://www.yicc.org.
When four cousins travel to New York to visit their ailing grandmother during Thanksgiving weekend, it soon becomes clear that the family's anxieties are misplaced. Instead of mourning the potential loss of a loved one, the cousins compete for their portion of their rich grandmother's will. Watch as this dysfunctional German Jewish family falls apart and then comes back together in an evening of connected one-act plays, "The Children's Table." But don't wait. This weekend marks the final performances of Jeffrey Davis' semiautobiographical play. Sat. 8 p.m. Also, Sun. 3 p.m. $15-$20. Hollywood Court Theatre, 6817 Franklin Ave., Hollywood. (323) 664-9752. http://www.hollywoodumc.org.
SUN | NOVEMBER 23
We're sure the mensches at Hatzolah meant no offense to grandmas when they publicized their annual B-B-Que Disaster Preparedness and Safety Fair with the slogan, "This Ain't Bubbie's B-B-Que!" The volunteer emergency rescue team undoubtedly saves the lives of many bubbies, but the message they're putting out is that their all-you-can-eat, family-friendly fair is not for the feeble footed. Adults can focus on the serious stuff, like stocking up on emergency supplies and listening to a DWP presentation, while the kids can take advantage of the cool stuff: exploring a real fire engine, sitting in a police car and getting finger printed (hopefully this will be the only time that'll happen). Sun. 1-5 p.m. $36 (minimum donation per family, bubbies included). Shaarey Zedek, 12800 Chandler Blvd., Valley Village. (818) 450-7383.
Cheating husbands, corrupt kings ... there are plenty of biblical characters who merit scrutiny. Take Joseph's brothers, for instance. Among the charges they could face today: murder, kidnapping, assault, human trafficking. Well, Joseph's brothers will finally get their day in court at American Jewish University's annual Trial of Biblical Characters. Don't fret if you feel like you don't know the story well enough to turn in your verdict. Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom will begin the day by preparing jurors with a tutorial on the biblical text. Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $45. Brandeis-Bardin Campus, 1101 Peppertree Lane, Brandeis. (310) 440-1246. http://www.ajula.edu.
MON | NOVEMBER 24
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara are teaming up to present a Community-Wide Commemoration of Kristallnacht, revolving around two haunting photography exhibitions. "The Holocaust Archive Revealed: Photographs of Richard Ehrlich," presents "the staggering bureaucracy of the Nazi regime." Visitors will see photographs of the catalog drawers, stacks of paperwork, and other archival materials that helped members of the regime carry out previously unimaginable crimes. Among the items on display is the original Schindler's list. In "Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky," two artists capture Poland's Jewish communities through photographs taken before and after the war. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Mon.-Thu.), 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Fri.) Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Tue.-Sun.) SBMA. Through Dec. 28. Bronfman Center, 524 Chapala St.; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St., Santa Barbara. (805) 957-1115. http://www.jewishsantabarbara.org.
TUE | NOVEMBER 25
Jewish philanthropists Peachy and Mark Levy have contributed generously to the future of the Jewish community, but the power couple has also invested in preserving its past. "Prisms of Jewish Life: Selections From the Peachy and Mark Levy Family Judaica Collection" displays 135 objects they accumulated over the course of five decades. The collection features items from diverse communities across the globe, ceremonial objects used in synagogues and homes, traditional pieces and contemporary works of art, pieces made by artisans and fine artists and objects created in Israel, a special focus of the Levy collection. Tue. Through Feb. 8. Free (members), $5-$10 (museum admission). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Thanksgiving, a secular American holiday, is the perfect opportunity for religions to find common ground: We all eat turkey, we're all commemorating the same historical event (or myth) and our kids bring home the same traced-hand turkeys Hence, the 14th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Valley Beth Israel in North Hollywood. Joining the Jewish congregation are Panorama Presbyterian Church, St. Genevieve's Catholic Church and Pacifica Institute of Turkish Armenian Muslims, who will bring their clergy and choirs with them. Tue. 7-9:30 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Israel, 13060 Roscoe Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 782-2281.
WED | NOVEMBER 26
Temple Etz Chaim and United Methodist Church in Thousand Oaks have been sharing a parking lot and co-existing amicably for more than a quarter of a century. Every year on Thanksgiving, the neighboring houses of worship unite not only to share parking spaces, but also for prayers. The annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, a longstanding tradition, is a joyous affair open to all members of the Jewish community. The UMC choir and TEC band will each perform its brand of liturgical melodies, and after the sing-along, an oneg with refreshments will give attendees an opportunity to converse and share thanksgivings with members of another faith -- something everyone should be doing more often. Wed. 7:30 p.m. Free. Temple Etz Chaim, 1080 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. (805) 497-6891. http://www.templeetzchaim.org.
If one night of overindulgence isn't enough for you, you can join fellow unattached Jews in their 40s and 50s for an all-you-can-eat Pre-Thanksgiving Feast hosted by Jewish Singles Meeting Place. What's better about tonight's Thanksgiving spread at Hometown Buffet? No family drama, no cheesy "what are you thankful for this year?" moments, and no dishes to wash. Reservations are mandatory, so be sure to sign up before noon the day of the event. And who knows, perhaps you will have something new to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Wed. 7-10 p.m. $11.99. Hometown Buffet, 6705 N. Fallbrook Ave., Canoga Park. R.S.V.P. to events hotline, (818) 750-0095.
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