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Leonard Bernstein—the conductor, composer, and American musical impresario—was descended from a long line of Russian Jewish rabbis. That Talmudic chain was broken when his father emigrated from Russia and went into the beauty-supply business. Or maybe the Rabbinic gene just skipped a generation. Bernstein may be best known for the mambos of West Side Story, but he also composed sacred works, and he subtitled his third symphony the “Kaddish.” Tonight, a panel of experts discusses both Jewish mourning rituals and Bernstein’s deeply personal symphony. Read more >>> (Rebecca J. Ritzel)

The discussion begins at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville. Free. bsomusic.org. (877) BSO-1444.


Art and Soul is raising funds for Hurricane Isaac disaster relief with a Louisiana ship boil tonight. Executive chef Wes Morton is a Louisiana native, and he and owner Art Smith wanted to help the residents of Plaquemines Parish, a rural community severely hit by the storm. A $55 donation—100 percent of which will go to the Red Cross—gets you beer, bourbon, and boudin (plus plenty of shrimp). Weather permitting, the event will be held on the patio from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Call 202-393-777 to make a donation and confirm attendance. Art and Soul, 415 New Jersey Ave. NW. artandsouldc.com. (Jessica Sidman)


The D.C. Shorts Film Festival officially begins today at E Street Cinema and the U.S. Navy Memorial. Not sure what to see? City Paper‘s got your back: This week, we’ve been reviewing every single film playing in the festival. Check out what we’ve reviewed so far.

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