Joe the Plummer. Tina Fey. Yes We Can. Terrorist ties. Maverick. Hockey mom. It's time to put the contentiousness of Election 2008 behind us. Republicans or Democrats, we are all Jews. To reunite the community, LimmudLA is hosting a "Healing Havdalah," where cheering and jeering, political debates and heated discussions will be strictly forbidden; the only major decision you'll have to make is where to spread your blanket on the beach. A Torah-inspired learning session about healing community differences will follow. Bring musical instruments, drums, blankets and something warm to wear (no "Another Mama for Obama" sweatshirts, please). Sat. 7 p.m. sharp (Havdalah does not wait). Free. Dockweiler Beach, where 105 Imperial Highway meets the beach. (310) 499-1787. email@example.com. http://www.limmudla.org.
Beth Lapides is 100 percent happy -- 88 percent of the time. But Lapides will certainly be making everyone around her cheerful when she performs her "evolutionary entertainment." Lapides, a comedian and creator-host of "Un-Cabaret," has appeared on "Sex and the City," "The Today Show" and "All Things Considered," among other programs. During the 1992 presidential election, she tried to make First Lady an elected office and received as many electoral votes as Ross Perot. Sat. 8:30 p.m. $15-$20. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica. (310) 315-1459. http://bethlapides.com.
SUN | NOVEMBER 9
Lights, camera, auction! The ninth Los Angeles Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is kicking off its week long cinematic celebration with a silent auction, dinner and a screening of "Three Mothers." Based on a true story, the film follows the lives of triplets born in Egypt in 1942 as they are forced to leave their home, eventually settling in Israel. The award-winning documentary "The Longing -- The Forgotten Jews of South America," about South Americans who long to affirm their long-hidden Jewish faith, will also be featured during the fest. Rabbi Daniel Bouskila will be honored with the Maimonides Leadership Award for his years of service to the Sephardic Educational Center, and "West Wing" and "House" producer Eli Attie will receive the Cinema Sepharad Award. Sun. 4 p.m. $250 (opening gala). Through Nov. 16. $12 (screenings). Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; Majestic Crest Theater, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 601-6302. http://www.sephardicfilmfestival.com.
There are countless remarkable tales that came out of the Holocaust, and the AFI Film Festival has chosen to spotlight one during its Closing Night Gala. "Defiance" is based on the true story of three brothers, who took refuge in a dense forest during World War II and lead a courageous movement that saved the lives of 1,200. Starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell, the film was directed and co-written by Edward Zwick, the filmmaker behind the sweeping epics "Glory," "Legends of the Fall," "The Last Samurai," and most recently "Blood Diamond." "As a student at the AFI, I was encouraged to tell stories with meaning and purpose, and I have tried to hold onto that belief in my career," said Zwick, who spent 10 years on this "labor of love." Sun. 7:45 p.m. $25. Arclight Hollywood 10, 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (866) 234-3378. http://www.afi.com.
In a powerful precursor to the Holocaust, 92 Jews were killed, 25,000 people were arrested and 200 synagogues were destroyed in one night in 1938. That night, remembered today as "The Night of Broken Glass" or Kristallnacht, will be commemorated at Loyola Marymount University when acclaimed photographer, filmmaker and writer Rick Nahmias presents his multimedia exhibit "Last Days of the Four Seasons." Nahmias, who is best known for chronicling the struggles of California's agricultural workforce, traces the lives of 100 Polish, Hungarian and Russian Jews who survived the Holocaust and established a refuge in the Catskill Mountains. Professor of Jewish Studies at Cal State Northridge Beth Cohen will deliver a keynote address, "Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America: Facts and Fictions of the Early Years." Sun. 1 p.m. Free. Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 338-7850. http://www.lmu.edu.
Join the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust for its inaugural dinner, which will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The "1939" Club, an organization of Holocaust survivors and descendants, will be honored. Student Emma Peretz will also be recognized for her stellar commitment to the museum. Broadway star and folk singer Theodore Bikel will perform with Tamara Brooks on piano. Sun. 5:30 p.m. $300. Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 651-3704. http://www.lamuseumoftheholocaust.org.
Not that the subject of Israel is ever out of focus for organizations like StandWithUs and The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, but the aptly titled "Israel In Focus" conference will give the Jewish state center stage above issues like the new president-elect, the economy and the housing market. Featured experts will include Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch, who will share some of the latest outrageous videos he has unearthed on Palestinian TV; Roberta Seid, who will demonstrate how StandWithUs rouses college kids with a presentation on Israel 101, history and Zionism; and Micah Halpern, a political and social commentator with the latest developments in the turbulent Middle East political scene. Additional sponsors of this event are Sinai Temple Israel Center and the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles. Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $75 (includes breakfast, lunch and all sessions). Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 836-6140 ext. 0.
Leave your to-do lists at home and spend an entire day focusing on yourself. "A Day for Women" at the Alpert JCC offers a rejuvenating experience of a different sort that doesn't include massages or spa treatments. The theme is "Small Steps Toward Change" and the activities and discussion groups will center on how to make changes in ourselves as well as the world around us, starting with small efforts. The keynote speaker will be "Hours of Devotion" author Dinah Berland. Your day of spiritual pampering will also include lunch, a creative writing/art workshop and a Women's Boutique (what's a women's day without shopping?). Sun. 10:30 a.m. $36 (young adults 18-28), $52 (AJCC members), $58 (non-members). 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. (562) 426-7601 ext. 1067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. http:// www.alpertjcc.org.
MON | NOVEMBER 10
Somewhere there's a little kid who needs a friendly face, a little advice and likely some quality time with a caring adult. You can be that mentor and friend through Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, which is hosting a social mixer at Clear in Studio City. This is the perfect setting to ask questions, meet current Bigs and enjoy the cool ambiance of a Valley favorite. You must be 21 and over to enter the bar. Mon. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Free. Clear Lounge, 11916 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (323) 456-1160 or email@example.com. http://www.jbbbsla.org.
TUE | NOVEMBER 11
Well, Election 2008 is over at last. Now what? Renowned political experts will be on hand to help make sense of the results in "It's Finally Over: Why, How and What Now?" Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and former director of communications for John McCain, and Lynn Vavreck, a former Bush I White House staffer and assistant political science professor at UCLA, will examine state and national issues in light of Nov. 4. Switch gears and prepare yourself for the changes ahead. Advance registration required. Tue. 7:30 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401. http://www.wbtla.org.
WED | NOVEMBER 12
You don't have to be a foodie or even an avid cook to enjoy a presentation by Jayne Cohen. The author of "Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover's Treasury of Classics and Improvisations" will join Deb Swartz and Deanna Clark of Old Town Cooking School in Pasadena to discuss Jewish aesthetics, Mark Rothko and Barbie dolls. What do Barbie dolls have to do with cooking? We have no idea, but you can find out during this evening of conversation, demonstrations and tastings with Cohen, where the culinary queen will also tell you how to celebrate Chanukah with a modern twist. Wed. 7-8 p.m. Free. Pasadena Central Library, DRW Auditorium, 285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena. (626) 791-0358. http://www.oldtowncookingschool.com.
Los Angeles has its advantages, but juggling family life with work can be a struggle, especially in a city where hour-long commutes are common. Thankfully, Hadassah of Southern California has put together an important panel discussion that will offer hopelessly busy urbanites some advice. At "Stress and the City," Rabbi Naomi Levy, clinical psychologist Beth Leedman, Chinese medical practitioner and acupuncturist Drew Francis, and fitness and wellness specialist Ada Janklowicz will teach women how to best balance life and unwind. Wed. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $25 (dessert reception included). American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Familian Campus, Los Angeles. (818) 343-9316. http://www.southerncalifornia.hadassah.org.
THU | NOVEMBER 13
Nanci Neidorf Christopher was in her mid-30s when she felt her biological clock go off. With no knight in shining armor in sight, she decided to adopt. "... And Baby Makes Two -- An Adoption Tale" is this Jewish mom's tumultuous and inspiring story, which enjoyed an extended run at the Santa Monica Playhouse last year. This one-night only performance coincides with National Adoption Month and aims to raise awareness of the oft-misunderstood parenting option. Proceeds from the evening, which includes a live auction and a Sweet Lady Jane cake and champagne reception, will go to the American Liver Foundation, Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services and The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Thu. 8 p.m. $35 (single), $60 (pair), $100 (four tickets). The Other Space at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica. (310) 285-2200. http://www.andbabymakestwo-anadoptiontale.com.
FRI | NOVEMBER 14
Spend the weekend with Beliefnet.com co-founder/editor-in-chief Steven Waldman, whom Time magazine describes as "one of the nation's top spiritual innovators." During the David Cohen Scholar-in-Residence Weekend, Waldman will discuss "Church, State, God and Politics: Past, Present and Future Religion in America," accompanied by a Shabbat service. Saturday's services will be followed by a study session led by Waldman and a luncheon. Waldman, with the help of Glendale Mayor John Drayman, will bring the weekend to a close with a lecture and Q-and-A session on Sunday. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m. Fri. and Sat. morning Shabbat services, free; $10-$25 for all other events. Temple Sinai of Glendale, 1212 N. Pacific Ave., Glendale. (213) 626-5863; (818) 246-8101. http://www.albrooks.com; http://www.temple-sinai.net.
-- Lilly Fowler contributed to this article