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.
Arnold Schwartzman, the artistic director of the “Voices & Visions” program and one of the most accomplished designers and documentary directors of our times, is a story unto himself. Recently, I spent a few very companionable hours at Schwartzman’s L.A. home as he shared some of the details of his personal journey and professional career.
As the citizens of the United States enter the home stretch of the quadrennial presidential elections, the Skirball Cultural Center is presenting four simultaneous exhibitions to show how the experiment in American democracy was born and how it is faring some 236 years later.
American pop culture is filled with ethnic cuisines, art and games that have traversed the veritable chasm from curiosity to mainstream success.
Tess Friedman passes Ethel Kamiyama a bowl of charoset, and Kimayama spreads a spoonful of the fruit and nut paste onto her shard of matzah. Kamiyama leans over her plate as the small sandwich crumbles at her bite, and nods at Friedman, signaling that she finds this foray into Jewish culture quite tasty.
Some theater patrons prefer to switch off their brain cells and watch a light-hearted play, while others opt for strenuous mental exercise.
Prestidigitation as a Jewish vocation? Could there be such a thing as Yiddeshe legerdemain? Pulling an answer out of its hat, the Skirball Cultural Center is set to open two shows: a traveling exhibition that originated at the Jewish Museum in New York, “Houdini: Art and Magic,” and a new show organized by the Skirball, “Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age.”
A novel approach to photography is exemplified in “Illuminated Reflections,” the current exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center Ruby Gallery, which features some 20 images based on Jewish themes from Israel, New York, Los Angeles and Mississippi — among them, a woman praying at the Wall in Jerusalem, the window of the Pike Street Synagogue on New York’s Lower East Side with a Star of David in the center, and a cotton field in Mississippi that was part of a series about Jewish life in the American South.
In April 2009, the Los Angeles wing of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) looked like it might shut down. The leading school for training Reform rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators and others had been badly hurt by the financial crisis, and its leaders were entertaining the possibility of closing two of its four campuses in order to eliminate a $3 million budget shortfall.
On a recent afternoon at the Skirball Cultural Center in the Sepulveda Pass, a little girl with a big red bow in her hair sat in a photo booth at the end of the “Monsters and Miracles” exhibit, printing out a souvenir bookmark.
As an "accidental Mexican" born to an Eastern European family, author and essayist Ilan Stavans has hurdled critics to become one of the nation's foremost commentators on Latino culture. As a Mexican American, he has written widely on immigration, the clash and fusion of languages and the quest for acceptance.
In 2000, the pope undertook a pilgrimage to and formally recognized the State of Israel, inserting a note between the stones of the Western Wall.
We like to think of our Annual Guide to the Best of (Jewish) Los Angeles as kvetch-proof. Our writers and editors provide personal favorites that are so idiosyncratic and eclectic that it's hard to argue. Year after year, by the way, Los Angeles is still our "Best Jewish City."
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival will appropriately mark Israel's 60th anniversary with an opening film on the country's transition from British mandate to independent state.
When it comes to Bob Dylan, I think it's fair to say that I'm a fan of long standing -- my wife still teases me about the time, shortly after we'd moved to Los Angeles, when in her car, radio on, she was surprised to hear me as a call-in contestant to KSCA's "Lyrically Speaking" correctly identify the author of the verse in question as, "My man, Bob Dylan."
So you might think that I would be excited to see "Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-66," opening at the Skirball on Feb. 8. But I was somewhat skeptical.
Calendar of Events in Los Angeles.
7 days in the Arts
Upon entering the museum, visitors will receive a grain of rice, representing themselves. Then, they will walk into a room filled with 300 million grains of rice - one for every person in the United States. The rice will be divided into piles, each one illustrating a statistic, such as the number of people who have walked on the moon or the millions of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. One grain of rice will stand for one person.
And there it will be, among all the piles: a large mound with 6 million pieces, representing each individual Jewish life lost in the Holocaust.
Annabelle Gurwitch and her book, "Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed," which includes the pink-slipped memories of folks like Robert Reich, Felicity Huffman and Bill Maher.
7 Days in the Arts.
When sexy authors like Erica Jong and Jerry Stahl get together onstage, you expect fireworks. But when I drag my friend Kay up to Skirball for the Writers Bloc conversation, the room is too bright, and Kay tells me Jong's blue-framed eyeglasses and gold necklace make her come off more Carol Channing than "sex goddess."
"Fish prices have tripled; fish form a significant part of our diet," Diamond told The Journal. "At the rate we're going, most of the world's major fisheries will be gone within a decade."
The weekly listing of arts events in the Los Angeles region for the week of December 3rd through 9th, 2005.
In 1927, a popular duo called The Happiness Boys had a hit song called, "Since Henry Ford Apologized to Me," which lampooned the car magnet's supposed contrition for the anti-Semitic content of his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent.
7 Days in the Arts
7 Days in the Arts
The journeys of 11 of the brightest names who left the Old for the New World are chronicled and visualized in the Skirball Cultural Center exhibit, "Driven Into Paradise."
"We only have your dad and my mom left," I told my husband then. "The rest of the week is too hectic for visits. We've got to get them over here for Shabbat."
I could never imagine how much more precious this time would become, having had no inkling that it would be so limited.
7 Days in Arts
7 Days in Arts
"Girl Culture" began while Lauren Greenfield was perusing pictures she had shot in Las Vegas for a German magazine. She kept returning to an image of a 30ish showgirl primping at her dressing table at the Stardust Hotel. Taped to her mirror were magazine cutouts of models and a note, "I approve of myself"; the surrounding area was cluttered with the beauty tools Greenfield first encountered at sleepaway camp. The photographer suddenly realized she had something in common with the showgirl.
A single album, inherited from his late father, led disc jockey Max Reinhardt to rediscover his Jewish musical roots. The recording was "Mish Mosh," by comedian and klezmer clarinetist Mickey Katz: "He does a version of Dean Martin's 'That's Amore' as 'That's Morris,' which my father, Morris, was forever playing for his Jewish friends," Reinhardt, 52, recalled from London.
"Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York," represents the largest collection ever amassed of Jewish silversmith work.
It would be hard to exaggerate the significance of The Jewish Federation's Addiction Conference held Monday at the Skirball Cultural Center. But to compare, think back to the Shechinah Conference held 20 years ago at Hebrew Union College, which helped consolidate and shape Jewish feminism. In its willingness to creatively address perhaps the biggest social issue of our time, the Skirball program is that big a deal.
For Ilana Besha, 19, the songs conjure up images of the first mass aliyah from famine-stricken Ethiopia to the Promised Land. "When word came to our village that we were going to Israel, it was like a dream come true," said the teenager, who was in Los Angeles last week with Shlomo Gronich and the Sheba Choir. But her long, exhausting journey was fraught with danger. As Besha, at 4, walked with her family across the Sudan, several of her baby cousins wasted away and died. "They are buried in the desert," she said.
This Sunday, the Skirball Cultural Center will celebrate the Jewish cultures of the Middle East with the first Mizrahi Festival in Los Angeles.
Comic Andy Kindler thinks prime-time TV has too many shows that play on racial stereotypes. So he has come up with his own idea. "I'm still trying to get my sitcom, "Jewey," off the ground," he confides. "In the pilot episode, I get chased by a pig."
The Skirball and the Huntington are located some 20 miles apart, but the institutions and their presidents existed in different worlds. The Huntington is situated in old-moneyed, Protestant San Marino, and its president is an old-line American of Norwegian descent.
The legendary writer-director-producer was speaking at a program that was part of the Skirball Cultural Center's "Spotlight" series -- which is devoted this season to television.
The expulsion of Jews from the IberianPeninsula 500 years ago brought a tragic end to a Jewish presencethat had thrived for centuries in Sepharad, the Hebrew word forSpain.
The Sephardic Arts Festival will take place this Sunday at the Skirball Cultural Center, and it's a welcome sign for Los Angeles' some 100,000 Sephardic Jews.
What is there about klezmer music that sends feet flying and excitement levels of certain Jewish audiences soaring? Nostalgia for the past or a just-found fondness for a "new" music"? Whatever it is, when the klezmer band struck up a "Freylach," almost instantly, a woman in a red baseball cap jumped to her feet, raised her arms to the sky and began bouncing joyfully to the music. She was quickly joined by someone in a jaunty straw hat and a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Danceaholic." Soon, there was an impromptu circle of happy bouncers -- young and old -- stepping lively under the warm California sun.