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.
L.A. young adult groups celebrate Israel’s 65th Independence Day. This blue-and-white party (dress accordingly) at Hollywood club Lure features spinning by DJ Aviel, live performance art and drumming, drinks and kosher catering. 21 and older. Sat. 8:30 p.m. (“Get Back Israel Fair”), 9:30 p.m. (club night). $18 (online), $25 (door). Lure Nightclub, 1439 Ivar Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8138. jewishla.org/unite.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), longtime writer for “Saturday Night Live,” discusses “How the Jewish Tradition Has Influenced One Senator” for the University of Southern California’s 12th annual Warschaw Distinguished Lecture.
The popular public-radio series is back with live performances, featuring actors from stage and screen — including Leonard Nimoy, Josh Radnor and Parker Posey — reading classic and new short fiction about the pleasures and travails of everyday activities, from baking to ballroom dancing, card playing to movie watching, and knitting to sex.
Celebrate the Jewish people’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery with Pesach events that begin well before the first seder on March 25.
Explore multiple dimensions of Israel with Arieh Saposnik, director of UCLA’s Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, UCLA political science professor Steven Spiegel, visiting scholars and others during this One-Day University program at UCLA.
Denise, 46, shows up at our interview dressed to the nines. The woman is put together — from her perfectly coiffed hair down to her Christian Louboutin shoes.
Dedicated to the life and memory of journalist Daniel Pearl, this October music month features concerts across the globe, including today’s performance of “Songs of Salomone Rossi: Harmony for Humanity” by Tesserae at Contrapuntal Recital Hall in Brentwood. Other concerts include Ray Dewey (Oct. 16);
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem discusses reproductive rights and their importance in the upcoming presidential election. While this free event is open to the public, seating is limited. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sun. 7 p.m. Free. UCLA campus, Broad Art Center, Room 2160E, Los Angeles. (310) 825-4601. history.ucla.edu/events/gloria-steinem-lecture.
Television icon Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld") hosts tonight's nostalgic celebration at the Hollywood Bowl, which honors Hollywood's oldest major studio. Led by conductor and acclaimed film composer David Newman ("Anastasia," "Ice Age"), the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performs scores from Paramount's rich history, including "Wings," the first Academy Award winner for best picture, "The Godfather" trilogy, "Titanic," action-thriller "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" and many others.
The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony celebrates its 18th, or Chai, anniversary at the Ford Amphitheatre.
The most embarrassing aspect of Guershon’s life is that he’s 34 and lives with his mom, so of course I’ll lead with that. “I started film school and I [moved in with my mom], and the hardest thing for me was it seemed like [my friends] had all their s--- together. It was really hard for me to really go out a lot and date … and it’s gotten progressively harder. It’s kind of hard to say, ‘Yeah, I live at home.’ It was really embarrassing — especially when I hit 30. Then I started seeing my friends where I lived saying, ‘I got laid off. I can’t believe it, but I have to live with my parents again.’ So I said, ‘OK, this leveled the playing field a little for me.’ ”
When Isaac sits down to speak with me, I see the rugged beard with a shot of gray around the chin, the athletic build and the tight-fitting Israeli-style clothes, and I think, “I know exactly who this guy is.” He has an Israeli accent, so when he first says to me, “In Israel I was in the army and then came here and worked as a professional dancer,” I’m not sure I’ve heard correctly. A dancer? I ask him to repeat himself.
Lawrence is a South African Jew who has been in Southern California since he was 10. I met him through his sister, Francine, who briefly dated my eldest brother after they met abroad on a high-school trip. I hadn’t seen Francine in years, so she tagged along for the interview.
Alexa initially wrote to me because she was interested in one of my single peeps. She attached a picture of herself — a headshot, where she looked like she was 14 years old. My friend never responded, probably fearful of getting arrested on a date with a ninth-grader.
Ruthie, who is 81 now, was raised in Chicago. An abused child, she was sent away to live on a farm called Glen Eyrie in Delavan, Wis. “You know what it was like in the ’30s if you had a mean mother — no one talked about it. I know how to milk cows, kill chickens.”
Gary’s brother, Jason, is a recent single peep. And, like Jason, Gary’s a nice, easygoing guy.
Altara is an only child, raised in New York. She wants to find a man from the East Coast. And when she wants something, she goes after it. That’s how she got in this column.
American author Mitchell Gross was indicted for allegedly scamming women he met on an online Jewish dating service.
A close friend e-mailed me that he thought Rachel would be good for My Single Peeps. “I think you guys will hit it off well, as you have a lot in common — a dead dad, childhood ADD, you both write and act, and you’re ‘good people.’ ”