Jewish Journal

Picks and Clicks for March 28–April 3, 2009

by Dikla Kadosh

Posted on Mar. 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm



Todd Herzog is an up-and-coming performer who brings Jewish liturgy and spirituality to his acoustic pop music. Herzog will be the featured performer
tonight at the Saturday Night Concert Series, a joint project of Shomrei Torah
Synagogue and Temple Kol Tikvah for the West Valley community. The next concert, on May 9, will feature Michael Hunter Ochs and his band. Sat. 8 p.m. $15 (students), $25 (general). Shomrei Torah Synagogue, 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills. (818) 346-0811 ext. 107. http://www.shomreitorahsynagogue.org.

Monty Hall will serve as master of ceremonies at an evening of comedy hosted by The Guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging. The line-up at Comedy Club 2009 features Sarge, the star of the Broadway show, “I’m Black, But God Knows I’m Jewish,” Andy Kindler, Ray Jessel and Shawn Pelofsky. A private reception before the event is included for all tickets $300 and above. Sat. 6:30 p.m. (reception), 8 p.m. (show). $75 (Guardians’ Young Division members). $150-$500. Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 479-2468. http://www.laguardians.com.

Singles and couples are welcome at the March Madness Dance, the biggest event Jewish Singles Meeting Place puts on every year. The singles group is for people in their 40s and 50s. DJ TNT will be playing the latest hits, and suggested attire is dressy casual. Sat. 8 p.m.-midnight. $20. Temple Ner Maarav, 17730 Magnolia Blvd., Encino. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). (818) 750-0095.


Idan Raichel
Idan Raichel

The Idan Raichel Project, a popular Israeli ensemble of musicians headed by the dread-locked Raichel, has released a new album, “Within My Walls.” Recorded over the past several years as the band performed around the world, the album includes tracks in Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, Swahili and Cape Verdean Creole. The multicultural crew is touring the United States and will stop in Los Angeles for one performance that will showcase songs from the new album, as well as old favorites such as “Boie” and “Milim Yafot.” Sun. 7:30 p.m. $45-$100. The Orpheum Theater, 842 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. Tickets can be purchased through Keshet Chaim, (818) 986-7332. http://www.kcdancers.org.

The town of Vilna in Lithuania (then Poland) once had a thriving Jewish community. The Holocaust wiped out 95 percent of this population. “The World Was Ours” is a documentary that focuses not on the way the Jews of Vilna died, but rather how they lived — with a dedication to culture, the arts and education, a deeply religious heritage and a sense of social responsibility. The film, with narration by Mandy Patinkin, is being screened during the Reel Film Festival for Women, a forum for films directed, written or produced by women. Sun. 8:30 p.m. $11. Festival runs March 27-April 2. Laemmle Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (818) 749-6162. http://www.reelfestivalforwomen.org.

The Progressive Jewish Alliance is marking its 10th anniversary of fighting for social and economic justice with a gala that’s themed “Advocacy for a New Era.” PJA 10 Live will honor Erwin Chemerinsky and Daniel Sokatch, who will engage in a discussion moderated by The Journal’s Rob Eshman. Sun. 5:30 p.m. (cocktails), 6:30 p.m. (program). $60 (students), $180 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. http://www.pja10live.org.

The Shalom Institute in Malibu is hosting a “Fun and Wacky Passover Family Adventure” that will recreate some of the experiences of the Passover story. Interactive activities for children include the chance to travel out of Egypt into the Promised Land, toil on the land, watch the Ten Plagues re-enacted, make crafts for the seder table and ride a zip line across the Red Sea to freedom. There will also be music by Robbo and Cindy Paley, as well as a show starring Carl Weintraub. The day doubles as a Camp JCA Shalom Open House and tours will be conducted throughout the day. Sun. 1-5 p.m. Free. Shalom Institute, 34342 Mulholland Highway., Malibu. (818) 889-5500. http://www.shalominstitute.com.

JCafeLA, the sporadic party for young professionals in their 20s and 30s hosted by Aaron’s Tent, is back for another round of cocktails, live music, socializing and matchmaking. This time the venue, which changes every time, is a private Hollywood club that is normally closed to the public. The evening will also feature live jazz, kosher hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a raffle with prizes. The Jewish Federation Young Leadership Division, ATID, Jewlicious and the Zionist Organization of America are co-sponsoring the event. Sun. 7-10:30 p.m. $15 (in advance), $20 (at the door). Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills, 9900 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. http://www.jcafela.com.

Every year, the Conejo Valley Friendship Circle organizes a “Friendship Walk” to raise money for the programs they offer for children with special needs and their families in the San Fernando and Conejo valleys. The money raised during this 5K walk will support activities such as winter camp, teen volunteer training, outings, fitness programs, fairs, festivals and holiday programs. The walk culminates with the Friendship Festival and Carnival with a kosher barbecue, music, BMX stunt show, face painting, an awards ceremony and entertainment. Sun. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. No fee to walk; donations are encouraged. 30345 Canwood St., Agoura Hills (starting point). Willow Elementary School, 29026 Laro Drive, Agoura Hills (festival). (818) 865-2233. http://www.friendshipwalk.org


“The Funeral Planner Goes to The White House” is the second of Lynn Isenberg’s planned fictional trilogy about a young Jewish entrepreneurial woman who brings a zesty new approach to the funeral industry. The two books spawned a series of webisodes starring actress and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Joss Stone and a real life business, The Tribute Network, a social media Web site for all things tribute related. The Los Angeles premiere party for the novel and digital comedy series is happening tonight, with musical performances, celebrity guests, networking and socializing. Mon. 7 p.m. $30 (includes a copy of the book, a CD and appetizers). Gyenari Restaurant, 9540 Washington Blvd., Culver City. http://www.thetributenetwork.com.


For the 10th year, the Anti-Defamation League is bringing together two communities for their Jewish-Latino Passover Seder Dinner. Rabbi Heidi Cohen and Bishop Cirilio Flores will lead the evening’s participants through the entire seder in three languages — Hebrew, English and Spanish. Singing, discussion and, of course, a meal complete the event. Several hundred people attend each year’s interfaith seder and seating is by reservation only. Tue. 6-9 p.m. $10 (children), $20 (adults). Temple Beth Sholom, 2625 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana. (714) 979-4733. 


Inside the Story, a program that invites artists to share their thoughts and creative processes with the public, is hosting a conversation with noted Los Angeles artist Ruth Weisberg. Weisberg’s solo show at the Norton Simon Museum recently closed, but her work is currently on view at the Jack Rutberg Fine Arts gallery, where she will be discussing her art and the work of seminal artist Hans Burkhardt. Wed. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $35. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, 357 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 367-5140. http://www.insidethestory.com.

The Method Fest Independent Film Festival’s closing night film is about a feisty Jewish girl whose quest to fit in leads to a comically chaotic double life. Written and directed by Cathy Randall, “Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger” is a smart comedy that tackles teenage angst, high school politics and bat mitzvahs. The Method Fest is an eight-day festival, running from March 26-April 2, showcasing breakout performances in independent films. The closing night screening will be followed by a reception at The Rack restaurant in Woodland Hills. Wed. 7 p.m. $10. $85-$195 (festival passes). Regency Agoura Hills 8 Theatres, Auditorium 5, 29045 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills. (310) 535-9230. http://www.methodfest.com.

Yiddishkayt Los Angeles and Jewish Artists Initiative invite the community to a seder that blends Jewish tradition, the arts, Yiddish culture and a political philosophy, Doikayt, that emphasizes the here and now. Doikayt: A Community/Arts/Yiddish Seder, L.A. is Egypt, L.A. is the Promised Land will explore how our city is a place of both freedom and oppression, and connect that idea to the story of Passover. Artists such as choreographer Andrea Hodos and theater troupe Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras will interpret the themes of slavery and liberation though a variety of mediums, including theater, music, dance and the visual arts. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $12 (with an object that answers the question, “What represents Los Angeles and Passover to you?”), $18 (general). Westside JCC, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 389-8880. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). http://www.yiddishkayt.org/doikayt.html.


Gabriel Byrne
Gabriel Byrne

The Award-winning HBO drama, “In Treatment” based on the Israeli show, “Be-Tipul,” is in its second season, and a full day conference at UCLA is being dedicated to discussing its significance on numerous levels: the show’s meaning for Israeli television and society, the challenges of marketing Israeli television in Hollywood and adapting the concept for an American audience, and how the show has inspired a general discourse on psychotherapy. Featured speakers include Hagai Levi, “Be-Tipul” creator and executive producer of “In Treatment”; Yoram Yovell, Haifa University professor, psychotherapist, author and host of the Israeli TV show, “Heart to Heart Talk”; Rick Rosen of Endeavor Agency, representing Israeli producers in bringing shows to the United States; and others. The UCLA Israel Studies Program, Law School Entertainment and Media Law and Policy Program, and the School of Theater, Film and Television are sponsoring this event. Fri. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $10 (free for UCLA students). James Bridges Theater, UCLA campus, Westwood. No R.S.V.P.; tickets sold at the door..(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). http://www.international.ucla.edu/israel.


In “Bart Got a Room,” newcomer Steven Kaplan plays a nerdy Jewish high school senior whose anxiety over finding a prom date is only heightened by the fact that an even bigger nerd than him — Bart — has already snagged a date and a hotel room for the big night. William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines play the well-intentioned but totally clueless parents. Q-and-A session with director Brian Hecker will follow the opening night screening. Fri. 7:30 p.m. (screening). $10.50-$11.50. AMC Broadway 4, 1441 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. Check Web site or local theaters for additional show times http://www.bartgotaroom-movie.com.

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