By Ilene Schneider
Closely following on the heels of Passover are Yom HaShoah and Yom HaAtzmaut. Join organizations throughout the community to remember the Holocaust and celebrate Israel’s independence.
Wednesday, May 1
In a Yom HaShoah observance, eighth grade students at Shir Ha-Ma’alot will teach the congregation about why it is necessary to keep the Holocaust forever in our memory. The short documentary, “A Call to Remember” will be viewed, and David Schaecter, the Holocaust survivor who recounted his experiences in the film, will be interviewed.
Shir Ha-Ma’a lot is at 3652 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612. Contact the congregation at (949) 857-2226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, May 1
There is no place for hate in today’s world. Sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom Sisterhood Maxine Horowitz Cultural Series, TBS Sisterhood will present the movie, “Who Will Write Our History.” The 96-minute documentary by Roberta Grossman and Nancy Spielberg will feature the voices of Three-time Academy Award® Nominee Joan Allen and Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody and is based on the book by Samuel Kassow.
In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told.
Temple Beth Sholom is at 2625 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705. Tickets ($10 general; $5 student) are available at: https://tbsocsisterhood.brownpapertickets.com.
Thursday, May 2
6:30 p.m. Dessert; 7:00 p.m. Film introduction by Rabbi Rachlis
In observance of Yom HaShoah, the Orange County International Jewish Film Festival will present a special screening of “Who Will Write Our History,” which will play globally to remember the Jews who died in the Holocaust. Based on the true story of historian Emanuel Ringelblum, “Who Will Write our History” employs archival footage, interviews and first-person writings of a group imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto to secretly document the war from the Jewish point of view.
The film will screen at the Regal Westpark 8 Theater, 3735 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA. For details, contact University Synagogue at (949) 553-3535.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 3, 4, 5
The Orange County Community Scholar Program will present a three-part Israel Literary Series with Dr. Rachel Korazim in celebration of Israel’s 71st birthday. Dr. Korazim, a freelance Jewish education consultant specializing in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education, is involved with Jewish education worldwide: creating and implementing in-service training programs for educators, writing educational materials, counseling and teaching. As one of the founders and directors of a special program for Israeli soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds, she was responsible for creating the educational framework and training teachers for the implementation of the program.
Friday May 3
Forbidden Games – All about Censorship
(Brown Bag Lunch Event at Las Lomas Community Center, 10 Federation Way, Irvine, CA 92603)
During the 70 years of the state and even before, poets and lyric writers were pushing envelopes too far by the standard of others. The authorities exercised censorship and banned these works from the radio and other venues. What are those censored poems and songs? What did the “Powers that be” try to hide and silence? How did we get to find out about them after all?
Saturday May 4
Homeland and Identity
(Saturday evening event at at Las Lomas Community Center, 10 Federation Way, Irvine, CA 92603)
This session is based on Amos Oz’s novel, A tale of Love and Darkness. It focuses on the first few chapters of the book all based in the neighborhood of Mekor Baruch, where the writer had spent his early years. His notions of home and homeland as they develop in his childhood examine Jerusalem juxtaposed to Tel Aviv, Vilna, Kovno and the Kibbutz he will later make his home. The influences of parents, a very special teacher, Zelda, and the spirit of the post Holocaust years in the Land of Israel, prior to its independence, all come together to create a unique notion of what makes a Homeland.
Sunday May 5
How to Become an Israeli?
(Sunday morning event at the Samueli Jewish Campus, 1 Federation Way, Irvine, CA 92603)
The Aliya experience is probably the most popular venue of becoming an Israeli. We are after all, a nation of immigrants and descendants of immigrants. In this session we will listen to poets and lyric writers who instruct new immigrants how to stop being who they are, and quickly turn into upright Sabras. Need I add… and the pain of it all.. .
Cost is $18 per person for each event or $36 for all three. It is free to CSP Legacy Circle and 5779 members. For more information, contact Arie Katz, Orange County Community Scholar Program, at (949) 682-4040 or email@example.com.
Sunday, May 5
Join the Hadassah Atid group for an elegant evening celebration, “Israel, the Small Giant,” at the Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach 92660, on Sunday, May 5. The event will feature special guest speaker, Chaya Gilboa, director of Jewish engagement at the Leichtag Foundation, and a live musical performance by Mostly Kosher, the acclaimed klezmer gypsy-rock band.
Proceeds benefit the Atid Group’s 360° of Healing – Full Circle Campaign commitment for the purchase of a Consultation Room on the Oncology/Hematology floor in the re-imagined iconic Round Building at Hadassah Hospital – Jerusalem.
The cost is $150 per person. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, May 6
The Confronting Extremism Initiative will present Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, which combats extremism, terrorism and all forms of hate in the real world and online, at Pacific Ballrooms ABC, UCI Student Center. Recognized as the foremost authority on extremism, the Center provides resources, expertise and training which enables law enforcement, public officials and internet and technology companies to identify and counter emerging threats.
Much of Segal’s time with ADL has been devoted to evaluating the activity and tactics of extremist groups and movements from across the ideological spectrum, training law enforcement officers and publishing reports and articles on a wide range of extremist topics. He has briefed members of congress, is regularly interviewed by national and international media outlets and provides his expertise at conferences around the world on issues of terrorism, extremism and anti-Semitism, both offline and online. For details, see https://orangecounty.adl.org.
Thursday, May 9
Bashert Bakers will hold its first Challah bake to help raise money for 360 Degrees of Healing at the home of Flori Rosenthal of Bashert Hadassah. Bashert Bakers will be meeting every 4 to 6 weeks for the double mitzvah of baking challah for our Shabbat tables and donating tzedakah to Hadassah. Every Challah Bake session will have a new variation on the challah recipe or the braiding.
The cost is $18 Hadassah member/$20 non-Hadassah. RSVP by 5/1 to ensure getting challah ingredients to Flori at email@example.com.
Tuesday, May 14
The Women’s Connection of University Synagogue Presents a Maj and Fashion Show Luncheon. From classics to up-to-the-minute trends, business savvy to day-off casual, Blondies boutique is dressing women in fashionable, comfortable statement clothing including ponchos, tunics, skirts, pants and accessories. Check out the US supermodels – Doreen, Cheryl, Shelley, Sherry, Jerri, Barbara, Nadine, Ruti, Sari, Arlene, Emma, Charlotte and Susan – as they make the rounds dressed to the nines.
Everyone who attends scores 10 percent off the first purchase. Enjoy lunch catered by Parties by Panache and, of course, mah jongg! For details, contact University Synagogue at (949) 553-3535.
Sunday, May 19
Faith and Issues Forum
In light of the events of the past 9 months, the Interfaith Council of Rancho Santa Margarita will present a faith and issues forum about what happens when our faiths are threatened by intolerance and instability on Sunday, May 19, at 2:30 p.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 23802 Avenida de la Carlota, in Laguna Hills. Rabbi Heather Miller of Temple Beth El of Aliso Viejo, Sheik Tarik Ata of the Orange County Islamic Foundation and Reverend Pat McCaughan, vicar of St. George’s Episcopal Church, will have an open dialogue about houses of worship being attacked and how faith leaders are dealing with it.
For more information, call Dot Leach at (949) 709-0976.
Sunday, May 19
Mark Hammond will speak about “How to Analyze DNA for Genealogy Purposes” at the May meeting of the Orange County Genealogy Society at Temple Beth Sholom, 2625 N. Tustin Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705. He will cover the basics of interpreting DNA test results, how each company presents your data and what it means, tools these companies provide to work with your matches, how to prioritize your testing and test results to suit your goals. He will also discuss third-party tools that bring specific benefits to working with your results that are usually not provided by the testing companies. The lecture will also offer a review of ethnicity estimates and touch on Jewish DNA and the challenges it presents.
Sunday, May 26
Join Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine for a Whiskey and Cigar Lounge. Bring your favorite whiskey to share — unopened, unflavored, and unblended. Snacks will be provided.
The cost is $10 per person. For details, contact Beth Jacob at (949) 786-5230.