PICK OF THE WEEK:
Tue., Feb. 21
Incumbents Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) are competing in a much-publicized — and expensive — race to represent the newly redrawn 30th Congressional District in the San Fernando Valley. Tonight, Sherman, Berman and Republican contender Mark Reed appear in a candidates’ debate presented by The Jewish Journal. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman, staff writer and Berman v. Sherman blogger Jonah Lowenfeld and columnist Bill Boyarsky ask the candidates about their foreign and domestic policy, including their stances on Iran, Israel and local matters. This is the second public debate between the candidates in advance of the June primary, and The Journal’s panelists plan to dig deep into their records and positions. Tue. 7:30 p.m. Free. Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. (213) 368-1661. templejudea.com.
SAT | FEB 18
“LOVE SONGS FROM A NEIGHBORING VILLAGE”
Traditional Eastern European masters Michael Alpert (accordion, vocals) and Julian Kytasty (bandura) perform a special concert that blends the musical traditions of the Pale of Settlement. Part of the YidARTS 2012 season, the program features lyrical love songs, ballads of courting, and melodies of marital mayhem and tragic separation. Sat. 7:30-9 p.m. $8. West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. (213) 389-8880. yiddishkayt.org.
SUN | FEB 19
CHAVERIM IN CHARMONY
This fun-filled karaoke-style event features performances by members of Chaverim, Jewish Family Service’s social activity group for adults with developmental disabilities. Come and help vote for the top singer. Part of Inclusion Awareness Month (IAM), a series of events for families during national Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. Sun. 2-5 p.m. $10 (reservations requested). The JCC at Milken, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3360. jewishla.org/iam.
TUE | FEB 21
“JUDEO-SPANISH COMPARATIVE STUDIES”
The inaugural UCLA Ladino symposium features graduate students presenting literary, linguistic and cultural perspectives on the Sephardic community. Topics during this all-day symposium include “Semantic-Lexical Variation of Judeo-Spanish,” “The Sephardim in Morocco: A Comparative Study of Three Journals,” “Turkish and Moroccan Judeo-Spanish Culture in the Throes of Nationalism,” “Orthographical Practices of the Judeo-Spanish Sephardim” and “Latino Jewish Experiences in the U.S.” Keynote speakers include Alicia Sisso Raz (“Haketia: Discovering the Other Judeo-Spanish Vernacular”) and Rachel Amado Bortnick (“Understandings and Misunderstandings: Confounding Differences Between Spanish and Ladino”). Tue. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free. UCLA, Charles E. Young Research Library, Presentation Room, Los Angeles. (310) 267-5327. cjs.ucla.edu.
WED | FEB 22
JEWISH WRITERS CIRCLE
Valley Beth Shalom’s Rabbi Ed Feinstein leads a text study with playwrights and film and television writers on “The Book of Beginnings: Genesis.” Participants include Emmy winner Leonard Dick (“Lost”), Sarah Goldfinger (“Grimm,” “CSI”), Universal Television story editor Michael Halperin, Jewish World Watch playwright-in-residence Stephanie Liss, Jamie Pachino (“Fairly Legal”), Lynn Roth (“The Little Traitor”) and Rhonda Spinak, Jewish Women’s Theatre’s artistic director. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 530-4098. vbs.org.
THU | FEB 23
The current U.S. poet laureate appears in conversation with Robert Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. Levine, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, reads from his work and discusses his life, literature and his time in California. The author of 20 poetry collections, including the recent “News of the World,” his honors include the Pulitzer Prize and two National Book Awards. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown. (213) 228-7025. lfla.org.
FRI | FEB 24
JEWLICIOUS FESTIVAL 8
Board the Queen Mary for a three-day festival of Jewish music, culture and learning. Ska and reggae band The Aggrolites headline Saturday night, along with such bands as Moshav and Dustbowl Revival. Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”) serves as the festival’s keynote speaker; stand-up comedians Todd Barry and Moshe Kasher perform; and writers, entrepreneurs and humanitarians discuss topics including alternative health, Israeli politics, relationships and the entertainment industry. Shabbat services for all denominations are held on the ship’s sun deck, overlooking the ocean and the bay. Overnight accommodations (standard cabins and deluxe cabins) available. 18 and over. Fri. Through Feb 26. 3 p.m. (festival opens). $20-$600. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach. (310) 277-5544. jewliciousfestival.com.