Academy Award winner and peace activist Yuval Ron brings his ensemble to a stage near you. With focused efforts to lessen the national, racial, religious and cultural divides that often dominate the Middle East, Ron chooses to celebrate, unite and bridge these gaps.
This Iranian-American knows a thing or two about uniting sounds. Along with his Texas-based ensemble, Shafinury creates music that not only denies geography, but also time. He combines Iranian, Indian, Mexican and Texan sounds with modern electronic beats and American folk/rock; pinpointing an exact origin might be a challenge — so just sit back and enjoy. Hosted by KCRW DJ Tom Schnabel. Sat. 8 p.m. Free. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.
Celebrate Jewish culture with Southern California-based klezmer band Mostly Kosher’s bandleader and singer Leeav Sofer and Janice “Rachele the Matchmaker” Mautner Markham on violin. They perform songs and stories from across the globe as part of the family series “Big!World!Fun!” at the Ford. Sat. 10 a.m. $5 (adults), free (ages 12 and younger). John Anson Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood. (323) 461-3673.
While it might not be your usual cantorial music resource, the band has had a long relationship with Hebrew and Judaism.
The Marx man is back. Almost. Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante re-creates his PBS portrayal of the famous comedian. The evening will include some of the best Groucho anecdotes and songs, like “Hooray for Captain Spaulding” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.” Accompanied by an on-stage pianist, it will be a lively night full of laughter. Sat. 8 p.m. $30 (general admission). Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-7529. pasadenaplayhouse.org.
Isn’t February just too far away? Valentine’s Day comes early courtesy of East Side Jews, Jewlicious and Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
In Lebanese writer-director Ziad Doueiri’s latest drama, Israeli Arab surgeon Amin has his picture-perfect life in Tel Aviv turned upside down when police inform him that his wife was killed in a suicide bombing at a restaurant — and they believe she was responsible.
American Jewish University’s inaugural arts festival begins with an evening of contemporary dance with BODYTRAFFIC and the L.A. Dance Project, directed by Benjamin Millepied, a choreographer best known for his work on “Black Swan.”
More than 20 dramas, documentaries, comedies, foreign language films and shorts will be shown at seven venues from Thousand Oaks to Beverly Hills.
Bridging the shores of the Mediterranean and the Pacific, entrepreneurs, investors, executives and tech enthusiasts from around the world converge on this two-day annual gathering at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset to learn about Israeli businesses and discover the next big trend.
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.
The 18th annual Festival of Books features more than 100 panels, stage presentations, music and children’s programs. Authors include Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), singer Lisa Loeb, chef Susan Feniger and Journal contributors Jonathan Kirsch and Bill Boyarsky. Historian Jon Wiener moderates a discussion on “Holocaust Lives” with panelists Kirsch, Joe Bialowitz, Lillian Faderman and Marione Ingram. Sat. Through April 21. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sunday). Free (indoor Conversations and Book Prizes require tickets). University of Southern California campus, Los Angeles. events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks.
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.
This Arab-Jewish ensemble, composed of three members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and four musicians from Israel’s Arab community, performs a concert for peace in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s 65th birthday. Sun. 4-6 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (424) 208-8932.
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.
One-third of the legendary Peter, Paul & Mary, the folk icon and political activist has reinvented himself by authoring children’s books that draw on egalitarian themes.
From the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood, West Los Angeles to the Eastside, synagogues and organizations celebrate one of the year’s liveliest holidays, which begins Saturday night. Highlights include Nashuva’s megillah rock opera, the Groundlings performing the story of Esther at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and Sinai Temple poking fun at Taylor Swift and Cee Lo Green during its Purim Grammys. Between family-friendly events, activities for teenagers and risqué fare for ages 21 and older, there is something for everyone.
Twelve artists explore personal spiritual healing in the works on display in this new exhibition.
Set in 1930s Algiers, this animated adaptation of the beloved series by French comic-book artist Joann Sfar tells the story of a widowed rabbi, his beautiful daughter and a cat that swallows the family parrot and gains the ability to speak.
IKAR’s Rabbi Sharon Brous and Rabbi Ronit Tsadok, American Jewish University’s Rabbi Aryeh Cohen and leaders of social justice organization Bend the Arc discuss the November ballot initiatives through a Jewish lens, addressing what Jewish tradition says about the death penalty, criminal justice and income equality.
When Israeli documentary filmmaker David Fisher discovers the memoir of his late father, a Holocaust survivor who was interned in Gusen and Gunskirchen, Austria, Fisher decides to retrace his father’s footsteps.
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.
The Broadway debut of “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone satirizes organized religion in lewd, crude — and musical — fashion. The story of two mismatched Mormon missionaries who are sent to Africa to proselytize pagans was deemed “best musical of this century” by The New York Times, won nine Tony Awards last year — including Best Musical — and is playing at the Pantages for a limited run. Fri. Through Nov. 25. 8 p.m. $35-$175. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (800) 982-2787. broadwayla.org.
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.
L.A. performance artist and avant-garde clown April Hava Shenkman channels the comedy queens of Hollywood’s golden age for advice and wisdom. Follow Shenkman’s pursuit of happiness in this one-woman, cabaret-style performance. Sun. Through July 29. 9-10 p.m. $10. Atwater Crossing, The Platform at ATX Kitchen, 3245 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 284-8265. atwatercrossing.com.
Actress Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”) delivers the opening keynote during this daylong event, dedicated to strengthening the power of multigenerational Jewish women in Southern California. Workshops include “The Jewish Mandate for Social Action,” featuring a discussion on tikkun olam moderated by Rabbi Denise Eger, “Speaking Up: A Discussion of Issues Facing Women in Israel Today,” “Protecting Women’s Rights: Practices, Politics and Policies” and “The ABCs of Health Care: Access, Benefits and Costs.”
There are many ways to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary, and the Skirball Cultural Center is leading with its strength by offering a series of wide-ranging programs of art shows, music, film and lectures.
Gafni was appointed to the Wisdom Chair at Stephen S. Wise two years ago -- despite anecdotal allegations that he had a history of sexual misconduct. The temple's senior rabbi this week issued a short statement denouncing Gafni.
KEREN'S CORNER, lectures, arts and entertainment, and events around town.
The weekend was spectacular, not only from an intellectual standpoint, but as a Jewish parent and communal professional. It was refreshing to see so many generations of Jewish families -- some with children, some without -- learning together, singing together and laughing together.
Nonie Darwish spreads an Egyptian newspaper across her knees and points to an old black-and-white photograph of a family. She identifies her father, mother and siblings in the photo.
How did Israelite religion develop and evolve in its earliest years? What influences led to the centralization of power during the First Temple period? And how did changing perceptions of God fit into all of this?
7 Days In The Arts
While the Los Angeles community has it share of rabbis and teachers who can teach a great class or two, there is always an allure of having someone come in from overseas as a special guest speaker. But now, airplanes are no longer necessary to get an overseas speaker to talk in Los Angeles.
7 Days In The Arts
David Woznica was anything but a model Hebrew school student.
About six months ago, Gregory Rodriguez, a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times opinion section, phoned his friend, Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, West Coast regional director of the American Jewish Committee (AJ Committee). Rodriguez had attended events purported to promote intellectual fellowship among diverse Angelenos, but had found them not-so-diverse. "There's a lot of lip service paid to crossing barriers in this city, but many gatherings are organized around political or ethnic lines," Rodriguez said.
To mix things up a bit, the two friends went on to launch a program, co-presented by the Los Angeles Public Library. The series, Zócalo, which means "public square" in Spanish, will gather Eastsiders and Westsiders for private discussions and public lectures on crucial civic issues. It kicks off at the downtown Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium on April 9 at 7 p.m., when the Economist's Washington correspondent Adrian Wooldridge, co-author of "The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea," will describe his take on the corporation as "an engine that can work for the public good as well as ill," Greenebaum said.
I spent most of this past week at the United Jewish Communities (UJC) General Assembly (GA), the annual gathering which, this year, brought nearly 4,000 Jewish communal representatives (and journalists) from North America, Israel and elsewhere overseas.
While the military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians continues, there is one war the Jewish state appears to have lost -- without even a struggle.
Driven by a personal desire for intellectual growth, Arie Katz set out last year to attract to Orange County the sort of eminent Jewish scholars that few synagogues can afford to woo on their own. With little more than his own chutzpah and considerable networking skills, the Newport Beach attorney won support and financial backing from the area's most influential Jewish agencies to establish a community scholar-in-residence program. Its first event, at 7 p.m. Jan. 28, will kick off at the Jewish Federation Campus in Costa Mesa with the arrival of Avigdor Shinan, an Israeli professor and author.
Los Angeles largely ignored Arnold Schoenberg, arguably the most influential and controversial composer of the 20th century, when he labored at USC and UCLA during the last 17 years of his life.
As if to make up for the slight, the city's musical and cultural institutions will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Schoenberg's death with an array of concerts, lectures and symposia through next March.