The Kindness of Strangers

One heroic man gets his place in history

MON 1/12

Although on different continents, the cordial relationship between Jews and the Japanese during World War II proved to be tenacious, thanks largely to the selfless efforts of one man. Many people have heard of Oscar Schindler, thanks in part to Stephen Spielberg. But not many know about Chiune Sugihara. The award-winning documentary Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness tells the story of this Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania during the 1930s and '40s. As Germans advanced on Lithuania in spring 1940, Jews were desperate for passports to flee the country. Sugihara stayed behind to help them, and against orders from his commanders in Tokyo, he and his wife, Yukiko, spent four weeks writing visas by hand. Of the 6,000 to 12,000 Jews with Sugihara visas, most ended up in Kobe, Japan, until after the war, and Sugihara was responsible for the third-largest Holocaust rescue. He ultimately lost his job as a diplomat but years later gave this reason for his actions: "They were human beings, and they needed help." The film is being shown at 3 p.m. as part of "Visas for Life: Righteous and Honorable Diplomats" at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, 1770 Monroe St., Hollywood. Call 954-921-3274. -- Audra SchroederJew and Me

They do weddings and bar mitzvahs

SUN 1/11 More than 2,000 people are expected at the sixth-annual Jewish Lifestyle Show, held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hilton Deerfield Beach (100 Fairway Dr., Deerfield Beach). Now, if you're hopelessly goyish, the thought of a Jewish fashion show may take you back a bit. Rabbis? Of course. Comedy writers? Naturally. But fashion designers? You got a lot of chutzpah to throw out such a facacta idea, eh?

But in fact, the show includes almost everything you'll need for the perfect wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, anniversary, birthday, or random other Important Life Event. The event, which is put together by Jewish Brideand Jewish Journal, includes DJs, photographers, videographers, florists, caterers, travel agents, entertainment companies, bakeries, bridal and tuxedo stores, and a host of other companies that can provide assistance not just for God's chosen people but for anyone else planning a special event. Admission to the show is $2. Call 954-721-5660. -- Dan SweeneyRockin' 'Round the Park

At McTyre Park, people dance on wheels

THU 1/8 You don't have to skate along the same old beachside or skate park. Find a new, fun venue for the wheel-minded pedestrian this Thursday as McTyre Park (3501 SW 56th Ave., Pembroke Park) hosts Rock 'n' Roll Around the Park from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Anyone with a bike, skateboard, inline skates, or other set of wheels is welcome to skate along to music, which we all know makes the process a lot more fun -- why do you think every Rollerblader in the world insists on wearing a headset? Along with the skating fun, the park offers light refreshments, prizes, demonstrations, and safety tips from experts. Admission is free. Call 954-964-0283. -- Dan SweeneyThe Local Scene

THU 1/8 If you're tired of fellow artists' complaining about starving and whatnot, come to the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth) for the Local Scene discussion. Whether you're an independent artist, interested in opening a gallery or alternative art space, or trying to start an artist collective, your opinions are welcome and encouraged. Do something! Check it out at 7 p.m. Call 561-582-0006. -- Audra Schroeder

 
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