Coinciding with the run of the “Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic” exhibition at the Autry National Center — and we hope, continuing well beyond — this issue of the Jewish Journal marks the beginning of a new monthly feature showcasing various aspects of Los Angeles’ Jewish history.
“This American Life” has earned acclaim for its in-depth coverage of news stories and unlikely subject matter. The popular radio program has redefined the way stories are told. Glass, host of “This American Life,” appears in person to reveal how the culturally significant weekly show went about “Reinventing Radio.” Live at his radio desk, Glass shares the secrets for how he unearths the drama and humor in everyday true stories, mixing clips, music and his own penetrating narration.
The president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, appears at Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation committed to community organizing efforts in Westside schools. Weingarten, an advocate for education reform and innovation, will discuss the current and future state of public education, the role of labor unions and the politics of change. Jewish public school teachers; member congregations of OneLA, a broad-based organizing coalition; and the general public are invited. Fri. 6:15 p.m. (Shabbat service), 7:45 p.m. (Weingarten speaks). Free.
Schloss, the childhood friend and stepsister of Anne Frank, appears in person to give a firsthand account of the discovery and printing of Frank’s diary as well as provide insights into Frank’s life. Much like Frank, Schloss survived the Holocaust hidden in a Dutch home before being discovered by the Nazis. A Holocaust educator based in London, Schloss is a trustee with the Anne Frank Educational Trust, U.K., and has shared her experience in the books “Eva’s Story” and “The Promise.” Tue. 6:30 p.m. Free. USC University Park Campus, Bovard Auditorium, Los Angeles. (213) 748-5884. chabadusc.com/anne.
Members of Temple Judea in Tarzana concluded a yearlong search for a new senior rabbi by voting to hire Rabbi Joshua Aaronson on Jan. 16. The spiritual leader of Temple Har Shalom in Park City, Utah, Aaronson will join Judea, a 1,000-member-family Reform congregation, on July 1, replacing Rabbi Donald Goor.
Barbara Heller likes to refer to herself as a “growing Jew.” The actress/singer has created a biographical show, “Finding Barb,” that traces her life from her dysfunctional family in Boca Raton, Fla., through her disappointing pursuit of an acting career in New York, to her indoctrination into Orthodox Judaism and, finally, to her present state of trying to balance her commitment to an observant life with her professional ambitions.
Calling all kugel aficionados! Whether it’s sweet or savory, the kugel is the ultimate in Jewish-American culinary creativity when it comes to the holiday or family gathering. Today, bring your best kugel (or your favorite tasting fork) to Yiddishkayt’s third quadrennial Kugl Kukh-Off. Part of the Silverlake Independent JCC’s annual Festival of Lights, which features live entertainment and fun for the entire family. Kugel drop-off and registration starts at 11 a.m. and tasting begins at noon. Sun. noon-3 p.m. Kugl Kukh-Off: $2 (all the kugel you can eat and judge).
Citing budgetary pressures, the Zionist Organization of American (ZOA) will vacate the small office it has rented in The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard later this month. The pro-Israel nonprofit exercised an opt-out clause in October, passing up the chance to renew its one-year lease on a small office space on the building’s fifth floor, for which it has paid somewhere between $800 and $1,000 each month, according to officials from ZOA and Federation.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Asaf Shasha, then 16, had everything a teenager could want: a loving family, good friends and a comfortable home. Still, Shasha couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to life than the fancy gadgets prized by the kids at his Jewish day school.
LAX workers were the first to begin the cheers. “Obama! Obama! Obama!” It didn’t take long for others to follow when the news broke out at Dodger Stadium on election night that Barack Obama had been re-elected president.
When theater producers Pierson Blaetz and Whitney Weston established Friends of Fairfax to help Fairfax High School in 1998, they came up with the Melrose Trading Post, a flea market held every weekend in the high school’s parking lot. But the annual $200,000 from the Trading Post has not been enough to help Fairfax High cover the shortfall it’s currently facing due to statewide cuts in education spending.
It’s an age-old, common dilemma faced by adult children of aging parents: What is the right thing to do when those parents begin to lose their faculties? That theme is at the heart of “Surviving Mama,” by playwright Sonia Levitin, which opens Oct. 12 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica.
It’s Sunday night, Erev Rosh Hashanah, and Hebrew chatter fills the air of a Masonic center on Westwood Boulevard. Approximately a dozen round tables covered in white cloths fill the large room.
When the Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences (AEA) opened in August 2010, part of the draw for parents was the chance for students at the Santa Clarita charter middle and high school to study Hebrew. Since then, AEA backers have submitted petitions to set up elementary schools in the Newhall School District, Los Angeles Unified School District and Ventura Unified School District, without success. In August 2012, a revised version of its twice-rejected petition for an elementary charter was submitted to the Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita. Among the changes in the newest version was eliminating offering Hebrew at the school, at least initially.
Daniel Joseph Martinez has a question, or, rather, he wants you to have one. Well-known as one of the art world’s favorite provocateurs, the Los Angeles native and resident has brought his unique brand of art-as-conversation-piece to Culver City’s Roberts & Tilton Gallery for his first L.A. gallery exhibition in a decade, “I Am a Verb.” But why is Martinez, a non-Jewish artist, getting coverage in the Jewish Journal? Well that’s simple, really; one of the works he made for the show is a series of photos of a hunchbacked, masked man with the Shema tattooed on his chest, along with a Muslim prayer inscribed in Arabic on one arm and a Catholic prayer in Latin on the other.
West Hollywood’s celebration of the written word features more than 220 authors and artists. Speakers include “Saturday Night Live” alum Rachel Dratch (“Girl Walks Into a Bar”) and comedy writer David Misch (“Funny: The Book”); Journal columnist Bill Boyarsky (“Inventing L.A.”); political commentators Robert Scheer (“The Great American Stickup”) and Nancy L. Cohen (“Delirium”); novelists David Brin (“Existence”), Seth Greenland (“The Angry Buddhist”), Tod Goldberg (“Living Dead Girl”), Gregg Hurwitz (“The Survivor”), Stephen Jay Schwartz (“Beat”) and Jerry Stahl (“Pain Killers”); and children’s writers Amy Goldman Koss (“Side Effects”) and Eugene Yelchin (“Breaking Stalin’s Nose”).
“Fundamentally, your job is not that different from my job,” screenwriter Alex Litvak told a room full of rabbis assembled at American Jewish University for the annual High Holy Days conference sponsored by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.
Hollywood stars and dancing rabbis came together for the 32nd annual Chabad “To Life” Telethon on Sept. 9. Held for the first time at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, the high-profile fundraiser raised approximately $4 million for Chabad of California.
Sitting in his recently rented campaign office on West Third Street in Los Angeles one afternoon in late August, Rep. Henry Waxman listed — one by one, from memory — some of the coastal and South Bay neighborhoods and cities that are included in the newly redrawn 33rd Congressional District where he’s running for reelection in November.
Gerald B. Bubis is 88, and he knows there are things he’ll never do again. He’ll never travel to Israel again, for one, and after 46 trips, that’s a tough one to swallow. Then there’s the fact that this author and/or editor of 12 books and 200 articles on serving the Jewish community now has a tremor in his hand that prevents him from putting pen to paper. He also can’t drive anymore, and he can’t stand up long enough to wash dishes.
The Saugus Union School District is set to hold a third hearing on Sept. 19 regarding a petition to establish an Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts & Sciences (AEA) charter elementary school in Santa Clarita. If approved, the school would be the second in the AEA family of charter schools, along with a charter high school in Santa Clarita that started its third year in August. It would also be one of a handful of charter schools on the West Coast where Hebrew is taught as a second language. Classes in Mandarin would also be offered.
LimmudLA honored its founders, Linda Fife and Shep Rosenman, in an evening of dinner, music and study on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens. LimmudLA is the local outlet of an international model of interdisciplinary, interdenominational, no-boundaries Jewish conferences and events. Founded in the United Kingdom more than 30 years ago, Limmud now conducts 60 conferences in 30 countries, all of them almost entirely run by volunteers.
Shalhevet high school is close to finalizing a deal to sell more than half of its 2.4 acres to a property developer who plans to build an apartment complex on the lot at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard. The plan will put Shalhevet on firmer financial footing, head of school Ari Segal told the Boiling Point, Shalhevet’s school newspaper. The school currently carries heavy debt and has limited funds for capital improvements and programming, Segal said.
Challenged by an 18-month waiting list numbering 400 people, the Jewish Home of Los Angeles has announced that it will add another campus — this time on the west side of Los Angeles. On Sept. 7, the Jewish Home closed escrow on a 2.5-acre site in Playa Vista.
The best-selling author of “Tuesdays With Morrie” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” sits down with Rabbi David Wolpe to discuss his new book, “The Time Keeper.”
Film composers who venture into the hallowed domain of the concert hall are sometimes greeted with raised eyebrows. Maybe that’s why film-music scholar Jon Burlingame called movie scores a “much-maligned stepchild of 20th-century composition.” Yet for English composer and conductor Benjamin Wallfisch, the differentiation has never been a problem.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" and "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" appears in person to read passages from his new novel "Telegraph Avenue." Set in Berkeley at the end of the summer of 2004, record store co-owners Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe and their midwife wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffee, face personal and professional problems that test the strength of their relationships and businesses. Writer Mona Simpson ("My Hollywood") leads a post-reading discussion and Q-and-A with Chabon and his wife, author Ayelet Waldman ("Red Hook Road"). Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 443-7000.
The latest production from Moriah Films, the Oscar-winning film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, explores of the life and times of Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism. Co-written and produced by Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and directed by Richard Trank, the film features narration by Ben Kingsley and stars Christoph Waltz as the voice of Herzl.
The Skirball screens four documentaries that address the richness, complexity and inherent contradictions of the Jewish experience in the modern age.
While hundreds of American athletes are eagerly anticipating the beginning of the Olympics in London this month, another Team USA is preparing for a different international competition.
In the June 8 Graduation section, I read about an 18-year-old young lady who helps rehabilitate abused horses and is moving into a nursing program with the goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon (“Healing Others, and Herself”). I am so proud of our community and its compassionate heritage.
Groman Eden Mortuary will be hosting a dedication ceremony on June 13 at 6:30 p.m. to commemorate its restoration. The ceremony will be officiated by Rabbi Jerry Cutler of Creative Arts Temple. He will be blessing the building and placing the prayers inside mezuzahs that will hang on the upper right side of certain doorways.
At President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress a week ago, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sat in an honored seat near first lady Michelle Obama.