Pick of the week: Sunday, Sept. 25
ILAN RAMON DAY SCHOOL LAUNCH PARTY
Marking a new beginning for the Agoura Hills Jewish day school, tonight’s party celebrates Heschel West Day School’s re-naming for Israel’s first astronaut — Ilan Ramon Day School. The event features special guest appearances by astronaut Garrett Reisman; Team SpaceIL, a team of Israeli scientists competing for the Google Lunar X Prize; Consul General of Israel David Siegel and his wife, Myra Clark-Siegel; and producer Christopher Cowen; as well as a screening of Cowen’s “An Article of Hope,” a 2011 documentary about Ramon’s journey into space. Special appetizer reception with special guests for sponsors precedes the event, and a dessert reception for all guests follows. Sun. 5 p.m. $40 (individual tickets), $180+ (sponsorship packages). Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (800) 449-2787. ilanramondayschool.com.
WED | SEPT 21
The American-born Israeli actress, best-known for her recurring role as Rachel Heinemann on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and as the Russian madam title character on HDNet’s “Svetlana,” discusses and signs her new bawdy memoir, “Machu My Picchu: Searching for Sex, Sanity, and a Soul Mate in South America,” the follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2007 book, “Dork Whore: My Travels Through Asia as a Twenty-Year-Old Pseudo-Virgin.” Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. www.booksoup.com.
FRI | SEPT 23
For the past 10 years, fans of the Coen brothers’ L.A. noir comedy, “The Big Lebowski,” have gathered in cities around the world to celebrate their devotion to characters like The Dude and Walter Sobchak (“I don’t roll on Shabbos!”). This weekend, the festival returns to Los Angeles with a film screening at The Wiltern and a bowling party at Cal Bowl. Special guests to be announced for both events. Fri. Through Sept. 24. Friday: 8 p.m. $18.50. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Saturday: 9 p.m. $25. Cal Bowl, 2500 E. Carson St., Lakewood. (502) 583-9290. lebowskifest.com.
SAT | SEPT 24
ALKAN BEAT BOX
This New York-based band — featuring Israeli natives Ori Kaplan (saxophone), Tamir Muskat (drummer) and MC Tomer Yosef — performs its unique Nu Med sounds at the Conga Room. 21 and over. Sat. 8 p.m. $25 (general admission), $35 (standing room), $45 (VIP). Conga Room at L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown. (213) 745-0162. congaroom.com.
SUN | SEPT 25
“NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME”
Playwright Wendy Graf (“Behind the Gates”) charts the struggles of Hanna Jokhoe, a lesbian Muslim coming of age in pre- and post-9/11 Queens. Born in Guyana, where the local Creole has no word for “lesbian,” Hanna is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother is killed in a fire. In New York, she’s mocked by other students for wearing a hijab. And when her arranged marriage ends in disaster, the teen bride must reconcile her religious and sexual identities. Anna Khaja (“Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto”) stars in this one-woman show at National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles’ Fairfax headquarters. A discussion with Graf and guest speakers follows the performance. Proceeds benefit the Esther Lewin Emergency Survival Fund. Sun. 1:30 p.m. $50. NCJW/LA Council House, 543 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-2930. ncjwla.org.
“FIVE JEWS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO INVITE FOR PASSOVER”
Join award-winning Jewish performers for an afternoon of hilariously dark and compelling stories, Klezmer and comedy. This literary vaudeville show features Dennis Danziger (“A Short History of a Tall Jew”), Forward contributor Daniel Jaffe (“With Signs and Wonders”), Amy Ferris (“Marrying George Clooney: Confessions From a Midlife Crisis”) and singer-songwriter/comedian Eric Schwartz. Memoirist Amy Friedman moderates the evening, and musical guest Extreme Klezmer Makeover performs. Jewish delicacies served. Sun. 2-4 p.m. Free. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown. (213) 488-0599. lastbookstorela.com.
Known for pairing Persian melodies and Hebrew texts with electronic soundscapes, Dardashti performs Monajat, an evening of Middle Eastern musical poetry sung before the Jewish New Year. The multimedia concert is part of the Grand Performances series and inaugurates the New Jewish Culture Network initiative, which brings Jewish art to the United States and beyond. Sun. 8 p.m. Free. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.
MON | SEPT 26
“THE NAME MY MOTHER GAVE ME”
In this 2008 feature-length documentary written and directed by Eli Tal-El, a group of young Ethiopian and Russian Israelis travel to Gondar, Ethiopia. There, the Ethiopians, who are grappling with identity issues, revisit their pasts and undergo personal transformations. Mon. 6-9 p.m. Free. UCLA Center for Israel Studies, Royce Hall 362, Los Angeles. (310) 825-9646. international.ucla.edu.
TUE | SEPT 27
The all-female retro pop band — led by MOT vocalist-guitarist Susanna Hoffs — performs and signs copies of their long-awaited album, “Sweetheart of the Sun.” Best-known for hits like “Manic Monday,” “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame,” The Bangles celebrate their 30th anniversary with “Sweetheart,” their first album in nearly eight years. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes and Noble, The Grove at Farmers Market, 189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0270. barnesandnoble.com.
“GUNFIGHT: THE BATTLE OVER THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IN AMERICA”
Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean at the UC Irvine School of Law, joins UCLA School of Law professor Adam Winkler for tonight’s ALOUD discussion about how guns — rather than abortion, race or religion — have caused the American cultural divide. The two prominent law experts take their cues from Winkler’s recently released book, “Gunfight.” Tue. 7 p.m. Free; reservations required. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown. (213) 228-7025. lfla.org.