By Ilene Schneider
Adar is always a happy month in Judaism. Purim, celebrated on March 9 and 10 this year, is a fun holiday for people of all ages. Local congregations have services, carnivals and other events.
March is also a time for other programs throughout the community, from galas to educational programs to shows. Check out our listings and enjoy them.
Sunday, March 1
1 PM and 7 PM
Chabad Women Program at Merage JCC
The Gavel and the Hammer, an original jukebox musical, about women, by women, for women, is about Devorah and Yael, two women who lived in Biblical times during the era of the Judges. Together these courageous women won a war, defeated an evil general, and saved the Jewish people. The show is produced by Chabad Women of Irvine, but is a unifying event as the cast stars talented women and girls (over age of Bat Mitzvah) from communities across Orange County. It is an opportunity to promote family-friendly, Jewish theater in celebrating these incredible women from our history.
The cast stars women from different backgrounds, affiliations, and careers. We have mothers and students, two mother-daughter duos, small business owners, business professionals, and community theater veterans. All cast members are volunteers. This will be writer-director E. L. Tenenbaum’s sixth show with Chabad Women. Tenenbaum is an author of young adult novels.
For tickets, contact Chabad of Irvine at (949) 786-5000.
Sunday, March 1
University Synagogue Cooking Program
In a University Synagogue adult education program called “Cooking Through The Jewish Year,” Mark Bregman explores Purim cooking and focuses on hamantashen. Nobody will leave hungry.
RSVP to Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (949) 553-3535.
Sunday, March 1
2020 Vision: Looking through the Lens of Hadassah
Atid Hadassah’s annual fundraiser will be held at Strawberry Farms Gold Club. The evening will features dinner, dancing and a talk by Joshua Rednik, chief development officer of Hadassah. Proceeds from the event will benefit the 360 Degrees of Healing campaign. For details contact email@example.com.
Friday, March 6
University Synagogue Persian Purim Carnival
Festivities — dance party games, a bounce house, Persian dinner and a 21+ beer and wine garden — begin at 5 when the Purim Carnival opens. Dinner catered by Parties by Panache is Mediterranean and vegetarian. Family Services are at 6, and the carnival resumes at 7.
Call (949) 553-3535 for details.
Saturday, March 7
Vegas Night at Merage JCC
DJ Randy from Extravaganza Party Productions and DJ Jason “Kidjay” Wagers will go head to head in an epic battle of music at Vegas Night at the Merage JCC. This fabulous “fun”raising event will feature a Vegas style buffet dinner and dessert (dairy and pareve); dueling DJ’s; blackjack, roulette and craps; signature cocktails; silent auction; wine opportunity drawing and grand prize opportunities for all. Proceeds benefit the Dan & Lynn Bernstein Scholarship fund.
For tickets, contact the Merage JCC at (949) 435-3400.
Friday, March 13
Elijah The Prophet: The Man Who Never Died
The Community Scholar Program (CSP) will present Prof. Daniel C. Matt — a teacher of Jewish spirituality and one of the world’s leading authorities on Kabbalah and the Zohar — at the Merage Jewish Community Center. In the biblical book of Kings, Elijah the prophet is transported to heaven in a fiery chariot. According to rabbinic tradition, he was transformed into an immortal angel. Ever since his ascent, he has appeared on earth again and again-not only at ever Seder and every circumcision, but whenever people are in need or when they seek spiritual guidance or enlightenment. In this session, Daniel Matt (who is writing a biography of Elijah) will trace his transformation from a biblical zealot to his second career as a compassionate Jewish superhero.
For reservations and other details, contact CSP at (949) 682-4040.
Sunday, March 15
Women’s VOICES at Hotel Irvine
The annual Women’s VOICES luncheon, entitled “Color Our Future Bright,” features keynote speaker, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, co-founder and brand ambassador of OPI. Suzi was born in communist Hungary to parents who survived the Holocaust and who later brought her to the U.S., where she achieved the American Dream. Women’s Philanthropy will honor Ann Moskowitz as Woman of the Year. Ann has chaired the Passport to Jewish Life Committee, playing an instrumental role in helping families gain access to scholarships for Jewish education, summer camp and other programs that foster Jewish identity for their children.
For reservations, questions about the event or sponsorship, contact Jahanna at Jahanna@JFFS.org or 949.435.3484.
Sunday, March 15
Israeli superstar Noa at the Irvine Barclay Theatre
NOA is an internationally beloved singer-songwriter from Israel, who has performed on the world’s most prestigious stages, including the White House, Carnegie Hall, and the most important theaters of Europe. A passionate performer, she brings to the stage a program including songs from her inspiring and original repertoire. At the heart of the concert are songs from “Letters to Bach,” her newly released album produced by the legendary Quincy Jones. Together with her longstanding collaborator Gil Dor, Noa has released over 15 albums which have sold millions the world over. Noa was the first Jew to perform in the Vatican 15 years ago and has done so many times since. She wrote lyrics to and recorded the hugely successful theme song for the Academy Award winning film “La Vita e Bella.”At the event, sponsored by Aviva and Fred Forster, CSP members can get a 10-percent discount by calling the Barclay box office and mention that they are friends of the Forsters.
For more information, call the Irvine Barclay Theater at (949) 854-4646.
Tuesday, March 17
Historic Evening with Anne Frank’s Stepsister
Eva Schloss will share her experiences as the childhood friend and stepsister of Anne Frank, including accounts of the publishing of Anne’s famed diary. The presentation will take place at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and will be suitable for people of all ages including teenagers. This is a special opportunity to hear a first-hand account from someone whose life intersected with one of the most compelling figures in our history.
Eva survived her concentration camp experience and made her way to England. Since 1985, Eva Schloss has devoted herself to holocaust education and global peace. She has recounted her wartime experiences in more than one thousand speaking engagements. She has written two books and has had a play written about her life.
This is event is sponsored by Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport and the Irvine Barclay Theater. Tickets are $30 to $75. A Sponsor VIP package, featuring priority seating, a private reception and book signing with Mrs. Schloss is also available. Tickets are available at: www.AnneFrankOC.com.
Saturday, March 28
Working Wardrobes, a 30-year Orange County nonprofit dedicated to helping people get back on their feet and back in the workforce, is holding its first veteran event since the devastating fire destroyed its headquarters on February 2, 2020. The 3rd annual VetNet Walk in Their Shoes event will take place at Lakeview Park, near Irvine Lake in Silverado, on Saturday, March 28, at 8 AM, featuring a 5K walk, fun run, and finish line festival.
Companies and organizations interested in participating in the event can designate a team captain, name and register here: http://workingwardrobes.org/walk/. The fundraising goal of the event is $100,000! There are still opportunities to sponsor a team or sponsor a mile marker. For those interested in sponsorship, please contact Marissa Chery, Working Wardrobes Event Manager, at MarissaC@workingwardobes.org.
Sunday, March 29
Celebrating 2020 Vision: the CBI Annual Gala
Congregation B’nai Israel will hold its annual gala at the synagogue. The event, which will features cocktails, dinner, music and auctions, will honor Arie Katz, Heather Katz and Sandy Klein. Various sponsorships are available.
For information and reservations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.