By Ilene Schneider
Whether you’re a Mah Jongg player, a history buff, a movie afficionado or somebody who just wants a good laugh, there’s something for you in the Orange Cunty Jewish community this month. Make a call, check a website and enjoy the multitude of events.
Wednesdays, February 5-26
The Merage Jewish Community Center offers “Let’s Talk History with Dr. Don Schwartz: The History of American Relations in the Middle East.” Dr. Don Schwartz, Emeritus professor of history at California State University of Long Beach, was named “Distinguished Lecturer” by the Organization of American History. The Middle East has been the focus of U.S. foreign policy ever since the end of the Cold War. This lecture series will trace American involvement in the Middle East over the past 100 years and will analyze why that region has been so crucial to American interests. The cost for JCC members is $60 and for the public, $72. For details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, February 5
Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo is holding “An Evening of Film, Story & Inspiration” to feature the film “The Time In Between,” which explores the lives of three unique individuals and their encounters during the turbulent years of the Vietnam war. The encounters changed their lives and are still being unpacked. The evening also celebrates the inspiration of 70 years of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s leadership. For details, contact email@example.com.
Thursday, February 6
The Merage Jewish Community Center offers “What to Eat When – A Strategic Plan to Improve Your Health & Life Through Food,” a revolutionary guide that reveals how to use food to enhance your personal and professional life and increase longevity. Dr. Michael Roizen offers choices that benefit people the most, whether it’s meals to help them look and feel younger or snacks that prevent diseases. Dr. Roizen is a medical consultant in the Dr. Oz Show, author of four #1 New York Times Best Seller books and the originator of the RealAge.com website. The cost for members is $18 and others, $22. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Friday, February 7
The UCI Center for Jewish Studies presents a lecture, “Anti-Semitism: Then and Now.” The presenter, Lisa Lampert-Weissig of UC San Diego has done research that explores questions of anti-Semitism and representations of the outsider in literature in English, French and German. Her current projects include a book on the legend of the Wandering Jew in medieval and modern contexts, essays on monsters in contemporary popular culture, and “Remappings,” a digital project on the Jewish presence in medieval and early modern England undertaken with Professor Kathy Lavezzo of the University of Iowa. The lecture is in UCI’s Humanities Gateway Bldg., Room 1002. It is free and open to the public.
Sunday, February 9
The OC International Jewish Film Festival presents “Redemption” at Regal Westpark 8 (3735 Alton Parkway, Irvine). The bagel breakfast begins at 9, followed by an introduction by screenwriter and psychologist Dr. Michael Berlin at 10 and then the movie. In this Israeli drama, ultra-Orthodox Menachem, eking out a living stocking grocery shelves, is forced to reform his secular rock band to finance his daughter Geula’s cancer treatments.
Sunday, February 9
The Irvine Hebrew Day School presents “Plant & Learn on Tu B’Shvat” and “Pop Up Kosher Café.” The free community event for families offers educational programs, gardening workshops and a mural installation. The event is funded in part by a grant from the Albert and Rhoda Weissman Arts Endowment Fund, a joint program of the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County and Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County. Irvine Hebrew Day School is at 1500 E. 17th St., Santa Ana.
Thursday, February 13
The JCC Mah Jongg: Tournament and Luncheon welcomes all levels of players. There are gift certificates and prizes! Enjoy a continental breakfast, fabulous lunch and a friendly game. Friends of members pay member price. For a beginner table, please contact Geri at (949) 435 – 3400 Ext. 303. The cost is $36 for JCC members and $40 for the public.
Saturday, February 15
Temple Beth David presents a fun-filled evening with Sunda, a hilarious stand-up Jewish comedian and chef. A reception will immediately follow, featuring some of Sunda’s own recipes from her Kosher Soul Food cookbook. There is a whole lot to laugh about when you’re a Swedish, Black Jew who grew up looking like a Puerto Rican. Then your mother gives you a Hindu name and sends you to an Irish Catholic School. Tickets are $60. Call (714) 892-6623 or visit www.templebethdavid.org/community/upcoming-special-events.
Sunday, February 23
The Congregation B’nai Israel Child Development Center presents its 21st annual Purim Jubilee. The children’s performance will be followed by a silent auction, refreshments and other festivities. Tickets are $36 and $54. Congregation B’nai Israel is at 2111 Bryan Ave., Tustin. For details, contact email@example.com.
Tuesday, February 25
Professor Nadine Koch Steinberg, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, will discuss “Controversies Over Fake and Real News.” What is fake news? How prevalent was fake news in the 2016 and 2018 elections? What impact is this misinformation having on the electorate and our political system? The event is presented by the Women’s Connection at University Synagogue.