WED | JAN 19
Jeff Garlin, co-star of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and author of the 2010 memoir “My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World,” hosts Jeff Garlin’s Reading Group at Book Soup. Tonight’s group discusses Bernard Malamud’s 1961 novel, “A New Life,” which takes on the American myth of the West as a place of personal reinvention. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. booksoup.com.
THU | JAN 20
Leo Castelli reigned for decades as America’s most influential contemporary art dealer, discovering Jasper Johns and showcasing such artists as Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol. The UCLA Center for Jewish Studies hosts New York University’s Annie Cohen-Solal, author of “Leo and His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli” and “Jean-Paul Sartre: A Life,” who presents a portrait of the enigmatic Castelli and traces his family, whose fortunes rose and fell for centuries before they fled European fascism. Thu. 4-6 p.m. Free. UCLA Faculty Center, 480 Charles Young Drive E., Los Angeles. (310) 825-5387. cjs.ucla.edu.
Join Sinai Temple’s Rabbi Nicole Guzik and the young professionals of ATID’s Green-Social Action Committee for a Tu B’Shevat Cooking Class. Learn the basic ingredients of the Jewish people’s relationship with food, and leave with a deeper understanding of the holiday as well as some great recipes. Thu. 7 p.m. $8 (members, advance), $12 (general, advance), $15 (door). Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 474-6801. sinaitemple.org.
Peace and Justice Resource Center founder-director Tom Hayden, a ’60s peace and civil rights activist who served for 18 years in the California legislature, discusses “Prospects for Peace” during a colloquium event at the Skirball organized by the Plato Society of UCLA. A Q-and-A follows. Thu. 12:45 p.m. (coffee, tea and cookies reception), 1:30 p.m. (lecture). Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 794-0231. uclaextension.edu/plato.
FRI | JAN 21
Valley Beth Shalom celebrates Shabbat Shira with new works of sacred music by composers and fellows of the newly inaugurated Max Helfman Institute of Jewish Music during its evening service. Coming from the worlds of film, television and the recording industry, the composers have stretched their musical vocabulary by creating music for the synagogue. The debut performance features Cantor Phil Baron and special
guests as well as the Valley Beth Shalom Choir and Instrumental Ensemble under the direction of Noreen Green. Fri. 8 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000. vbs.org.
SAT | JAN 22
“Stories From the Fringe: Women Rabbis, Revealed!” a new play written by Rabbi Lynne A. Kern and Ronda Spinak and directed by Eve Brandstein, examines the stories of 18 L.A. rabbis, including Sharon Brous, Rebecca Dubowe, Denise Eger, Zoë Klein, Naomi Levy, Laura Geller and Miriyam Glazer. Laraine Newman, Caroline Aaron and Richard Kind star in tonight’s VIP Night reading. Q-and-A follows Sunday night’s performance. Sat. 7 p.m. $85. Sun. 7 p.m. $65. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. jewishwomenstheatre.org.
SUN | JAN 23
Lisa Loeb heads up the fourth annual Zimmerpalooza benefit concert, which includes performances by music acts Funky Divas, Anita Braids and Rhythm Child With Norm Jones as well as magician Justin Kredible. Kids can participate in art projects, and a light brunch will be served. Sun. 10 a.m. $50 (children 2 and older), $100 (adults). Zimmer Children’s Museum, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8141. zimmermuseum.org.
Don’t use your Jewish name in public. Don’t speak a word of Yiddish. Don’t cry over your murdered relatives. Hunter College Russian professor Emil Draitser, who lived in the anti-Semitic, post-World War II Soviet Union, draws on these and other oppressive experiences during an afternoon discussion, “Shush! Growing Up Jewish Under Stalin,” which is also the title of his memoir. A book signing follows. Sun. 2:30 p.m. Free. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. RSVP required, (310) 772-2526. museumoftolerance.com.
Malibu’s Shalom Institute hosts a day of activities during its Tu B’Shevat Festival, include a tree planting and gardening, concerts, Israeli dancing, hiking, a climbing wall, bungee trampoline, a Big Green Scavenger Hunt and more. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 (per person), free (children 3 and younger). 34342 Mulholland Highway, Malibu. (818) 889-5500. shalominstitute.com.
Fun-filled, green-inspired activities for kids await during Westside JCC’s annual Tu B’Shevat Festival, including a tree planting, petting zoo, pony rides, games and other entertainment. Sun. Noon-4 p.m. Free. Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 556-5250. westsidejcc.org.
TUE | JAN 25
Galia Golan, a prominent Israeli political scientist and a Peace Now co-founder, leads a talk, “Is There an Arab-Israeli ‘Peace Process?’ ” for UCLA’s Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israeli Studies. Tue. 5-7 p.m. Free. Humanities 169, UCLA, Los Angeles. (310) 825-9646. international.ucla.edu/israel.
THU | JAN 27
Marian Kolodziej, a Polish Catholic, remained silent about his internment at Auschwitz for most of his life. During his later years, after suffering a stroke, he confronted his memories through art as part of his rehabilitation. The documentary short “The Labyrinth: The Testimony of Marian Kolodziej” explores his drawings and installations, which now fill a church basement near Auschwitz. The film screens tonight at the Museum of Tolerance to commemorate the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the liberation of Auschwitz. A discussion follows. Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 772-2526. museumoftolerance.com.
Uruguayan musician Jorge Drexler, who won an Oscar in 2005 for his original “Motorcycle Diaries” song “Al Otro Lado del Rio,” makes a rare Los Angeles appearance. The chart-topping Jewish Latin pop singer blends traditional Uruguayan music with bossa nova, pop, jazz and electronica for deeply personal songs about love, identity, race and religion. Thu. 8 p.m. $25 (full-time students), $30 (Skirball members), $35 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
FRI | JAN 28
Join JSki for a three-day ski and snowboarding trip to Mammoth Mountain. Includes round-trip luxury bus transportation, two nights condo lodging, round-trip transportation to and from slopes. Lift tickets, rental packages and lessons not included. Fri. Through Jan. 30. 5:15 p.m. (bus departs from the Federal building in Westwood). $232. (818) 342-9508.