GOOD MORNING: In place of its usual venue (the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills), the Temple Shalom for the Arts will hold its second-day Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year’s service, Sunday, Sept. 12, at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. That was the place where Buford O. Furrow Jr. on Aug. 10 began firing randomly, wounding three small boys, a teenage girl and a 68-year-old female receptionist, before continuing his rampage, killing a Filipino-American postman. Rabbi David Baron of the Temple Shalom toured the Center this week and decided this had to be the place to hold the second-day services. “When our children ask us where we stood after this despicable episode,” said Baron, “we need to be able to answer ‘With our brothers and sisters.'” As part of this special service, children will sound the traditional ram’s horns (shofars) as a call to unite on the Jewish New Year, 5760, in support of families of North Valley Jewish Community Center and for the family of slain postal worker, Joseph Ileto. Performers and artists of all faiths are being invited to the service to express their support … In addition, at the Sept. 20 Yom Kippur service of the Temple Shalom (returned to its Wilshire Theatre stand), John Mauceri, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, will conduct a 10-minute excerpt of “The Eternal Flame,” Kurt Weill’s opera which he recently preemed to rave reviews in Germany, the origin of the Holocaust-themed work. Further, Mauceri (who is not Jewish) has been invited by the Gewandhaus of Leipzig to conduct a concert of movie music written by Jewish composers who fled Nazi Europe. And, as of Wednesday, Mauceri has agreed verbally with the L.A. Philharmonic to return for a 10th year as the Bowl’s principal conductor, when he will have completed 200 performances. When Mauceri’s contract was under discussion, 100 members of the Hollywood Bowl orch, unbeknownst to Mauceri, sent a letter (signed with their names/instrument) to encourage the L.A. Philharmonic to come to terms with him. They did.
LEW WASSERMAN AND GRANDSON Casey have purchased an Arena League Football team for Los Angeles, the Avengers. Lew says it’s his first involvement with a sports team — but allows that it’s Casey who is calling the signals. The expansion team will play eight home games in the new Staples Center, starting in April. Lew says, “It should be wonderful. This is a new world!” For the uninitiated, Arena Football is played on a 50-yard (indoor Astroturf) field with an eight-member team playing with a regulation NFL football (and uniforms). We’re told the NFL is interested in buying 49.9% of the league. Ducats for the eight-game season range from $56 to $800. The always charitable Wassermans have also set up a ticket bank, Turf Dreams, for ducats for local charities of your choice … “Dr. Seuss,” “Sesame Street,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Hobbit,” Hans Christian Andersen and Grimm’s Fairy Tales — these are a few of the books to be read by celebs joining L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan and Jewish Federation president John Fishel to launch the Federation’s “Literary Project for Youths,” Sept. 8, 11 a.m. at the L.A. Public Library. This event, called Koreh, L.A., will place volunteer celeb readers (needed!) in first-to-third grades at 33 public schools to help children improve their reading skills. According to the L.A. Times, 67,000 third-grade students in So. Cal “can hardly read at all” … Camp Planet Hope, founded by Sharon Stone and sister Kelly, was forced to evacuate 150 homeless mothers and their children who had been spending a week’s vacation in the Angeles National Forest due to the nearby forest fires. The group was, however, cheered by going-away bagsful of gift items from back-to-school clothing to toys — plus food by California Pizza Kitchen.
SOPRANOS’ STAR JAMES GANDOLFINI, with a choice of feature roles from MGM, New Line and Fox, would really like to do a romantic comedy, reports his Writers & Artists agent David Brownstein. Gandolfini, Emmy-nominated for the smash hit HBO series, will be on hand for the awards, even though he shuns the limelight … Quincy Jones, who appeared with Frank Sinatra at the Sands and was on hand for the heydays of the Rat Pack (he’s readying the B’way musical “Sammy”), will be in the audience at the Desert Inn tonight to catch “The Rat Pack.” He dined with Tina Sinatra and other friends Tuesday at BevHills before leaving for Vegas and the opening of the Paris hotel. “I can’t believe it,” said Quincy, “I’m looking out of my hotel room — and I see the Eiffel Tower.” The last time Quincy and I talked in Paris was at the bar of the Ritz hotel! On his return from Vegas, Jones adds his talents to another global venture: NetAid … The Entertainment Industries Council Inc. is spearheading a major meeting of Hollywood’s creative community (early Nov.) to discuss guns in films and TV. “The idea is to get past finger-pointing on philosophical debates and encourage the creative side of the industry to develop its own depiction and suggestions for use in the portrayals of violence in films and TV,” says EIC prez-CEO Brian Dyak. “The industry recognizes that something must be done and the place to start it is with the people responsible for creating content.” EIC board of trustees members include Les Moonves, Frank Biondi, Norman Brokaw, Barry Diller, David Geffen, Ted Harbert, Alan Horn, Sherry Lansing, David Wolper, Aaron Spelling, Suzanne de Passe, Sid Sheinberg and Gordon Davidson, among others.