BIG SUNDAY WEEKEND
America’s largest community service festival, which started in 1999 as Temple Israel of Hollywood Mitzvah Day, attracts nearly 50,000 people from every neighborhood, race, religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic group to hundreds of projects in communities across Southern California. Volunteer projects include such activities as planting gardens at schools, fixing up homeless shelters and sprucing up dog parks. Big Sunday Weekend also features concerts, book fairs and blood drives. Fri. Through May 5. Various times. Free. Various locations. (323) 549-9944. bigsunday.org.
SAT MAY 4
Fueled by the artistic vision of choreographer-philosopher Boris Eifman, who told the Journal that he creates “Russian ballets with a Jewish soul,” this acclaimed dance company showcases “Rodin,” an expedition set at the crossroads of passion and insanity, based on the turbulent relationship between famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin and fellow artist Camille Claudel, his mistress and muse. Through May 5. Sat. 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. $29-$109. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org.
“I’M NOT RAPPAPORT”
West Coast Jewish Theatre presents the story of a friendship between two elderly men — Nat Moyer (Jack Axelrod), a feisty, eccentric Jewish leftist who weaves good-natured con games in order to get his way; and Midge Carter (Carl Crudup), a cantankerous African-American who is afraid that he is going to be put out to pasture as his age becomes an issue at his workplace. Through June 23. Sat. 8 p.m. $35. Pico Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 860-6620. westcoastjewishtheatre.org.
MON MAY 6
The Brooklyn-born Jewish composer, violinist and improviser delivers a solo performance during “VLN & VLA,” an epic concert of music for violin and viola. Other guest performers include Andrew Tholl, CalArts violin faculty Lorenz Gamma and CalArts alum Andrew McIntosh. Mon. 7 p.m. $10 (CalArts students/faculty/staff), $16 (students), $20 (general). Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, 631 W. Second St., downtown. (213) 237-2800. redcat.org.
TUE MAY 7
DUO DEL SOL
Israeli native Javier Orgman, who was raised in Uruguay, received violin training in El Sistema, the same place where Gustavo Dudamel learned to play. He and guitarist Tom Farrell make up this musical duo. Specializing in global post-rock, Duo del Sol performs tonight in Los Feliz. Tue. 8 p.m. $12. Rockwell: Table and Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 661-6163. rockwell-la.com.
WED MAY 8
Chef and restaurateur Judy Zeidler teaches the “Italian” way to prepare pastas of all shapes and sizes during her monthly live cooking demonstration, “Cooking ‘Around the World.’ ” Zeidler, a Journal contributor, author of “Italy Cooks” and an instructor at American Jewish University’s Whizin Center for Continuing Education, will be joined by a surprise guest Italian chef. The meal concludes with dessert. Wed. 10 a.m-1 p.m. $64. Location provided upon RSVP (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). (310) 440-1246. wcce.ajul.edu.
Pro-Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs presents an evening of comedy at the Hollywood Improv with stand-up comedians Avi Liberman, a regular on E!; Mark Schiff, who has opened for the likes of Jerry Seinfeld; Chris Spencer (“Vibe”); and Michael Loftus, a writer on the FX sitcom “Anger Management.” Proceeds benefit The Koby Mandell Foundation, which provides support to Israeli families affected by terrorism. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $80 (advance purchase), $90 (door), $100 (VIP). Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood. (310) 836-6140. standwithus.com.
“PEOPLE OF THE BOOK”
A new collection of essays, “On Sacred Ground: Jewish and Christian Clergy Reflect on Transformative Passages From the Five Books of Moses,” features more than 100 clergy sharing the passages from the Torah that have brought meaning to their lives. Tonight, a diverse panel of local contributors — including Rabbi Elliot Dorff, rector and professor of philosophy at American Jewish University; the Rev. Janet Bregar of Village Lutheran Church of Westwood; the Rev. Thomas Eggebeen, interim pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church; and the Rev. Sylvia Sweeney, dean and president of the Bloy House/Episcopal Theological School of Claremont — read from their reflections, answer questions and engage in an interfaith dialogue. The book’s editor and publisher, Jeff Bernhardt, appears as well. Wed. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039. S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7354, ext. 215. jewishla.org.
THU MAY 9
“CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS IN CRISIS”
L.A. Unified School Board member Steve Zimmer; Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president and CEO of Community Coalition; Nancy Ramirez, western regional counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); and John Rogers, UCLA associate professor and director of the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access, discuss “California Schools in Crisis: Closing the Achievement Gap.” Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry moderates the panel, which is co-sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles; the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, MALDEF, the Los Angeles Urban League and the Anti-Defamation League. Thu. Noon. Free. NCJW/LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 852-8503. ncjwla.org.