With Chanukah marking the rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees’ defeat of Judea’s Seleucid rulers more than 2,000 years ago, the week of the holiday turned out to be the perfect time for the Academy of Jewish Religion, California (AJR-CA) to celebrate the opening of its new campus in Koreatown.
More than 1,700 people, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, turned out for the community-wide dedication and interfaith choral concert at the renovated and recently reopened Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) in Koreatown.
Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu is quiet in its off-season — or quieter, at least, if you’re used to seeing the space filled to bursting with energetic young campers. In the fall, it’s populated mostly by groups of adults who come through to use the grounds as a conference center, and there’s a distinct calmness in the air, a sense of relaxation that comes along with shorter days and southern light.
Ask Rabbi Steven Z. Leder what the mission of Wilshire Boulevard Temple is, and he’ll tell you, “We make Jews.” The temple started making Jews two centuries ago, in 1862, when the country stood divided, engaged in Civil War, with Abraham Lincoln as the president of the United States.
My old office, on the 15th floor at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Kingsley Drive, looked directly at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. It would have been an ideal location to set up a time-lapse camera to document the slow but historic changes that have taken place there over the past few years.
“Come on! Come on, everyone, we’re here to make mispachah [family].” That was the rallying cry in the crowded courtyard of Wilshire Boulevard Temple on the night of July 20, as well-dressed young women skilled at walking in heels circled boys in button-downs, looking for a man who would make their mothers (and grandmothers) proud.
The Rev. Patrick Desbois, secretary to the French Conference of Bishops for relations with Judaism and adviser to the Vatican on the Jewish religion, appeared at Wilshire Boulevard Temple on May 22 to discuss his effort to locate the mass graves of the approximately 1.5 million Jews who were murdered in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust between 1941 and 1944.
Synagogue leaders are reporting that the Springs Fire has affected Jewish institutions in Ventura County, including Malibu camps run by Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) and synagogues Temple Ner Ami, Temple Etz Chaim and Temple Adat Elohim.
Wilshire Boulevard Temple has received a pledge of $30 million from Los Angeles philanthropist Erika Glazer to assist with its ongoing restoration and redevelopment.
A naturalized citizen from South Korea was arraigned today on charges related to the numerous bomb threats made Dec. 18 against Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) in Koreatown and a police squad car parked adjacent to its campus, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The man arrested in connection with fake bomb threats made against a Los Angeles synagogue was also charged with vandalizing it earlier this month.
Police responded to multiple bomb threats targeting the Koreatown home of Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) and a police squad car parked adjacent to the campus on Dec. 18, disrupting life for much of the workday at one of Los Angeles’ largest synagogues and its surrounding neighborhood.
My childhood best friend was Billy Thein. We met at Encino Elementary School in Mrs. Bernstein’s third-grade class, and were pretty much inseparable after that. Billy was funny and smart and cool — and in a public school packed with the striving, anxious, gawkward spawn of suburban Jewry, cool stood out.
Early on a recent Wednesday morning, architect Brenda Levin bounded up the metal steps temporarily installed at the center of the historic sanctuary of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Leading the way up 10 flights — that’s 100 feet — she climbed to the normally inaccessible domed ceiling, high enough to touch the enormous Hebrew letters circling the oculus' opening.
When Gudrun and Daniel Brock opened their front door, Aaron, the couple’s 6-year-old son, ran to hug his teacher from Wilshire Boulevard Temple, whom he had not seen in more than a year. Only she heard him whisper: “I missed you so much.”
Rabbi Bruce Raff, Temple Judea’s longtime director of education, is leaving the Valley Reform congregation at the end of the 2011-2012 school year for a rabbi educator position with Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s religious school, according to a Feb. 28 e-mail to Temple Judea congregants.
A fresh crop of young students will study at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple this fall when Brawerman East Elementary School opens for the first time. Brawerman East will be located on the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple campus, the site of the oldest congregation in Los Angeles, in the Koreatown neighborhood. Dr. Hannah Bennett, the newly appointed principle of Brawerman East Elementary, said the location in the nearly 150-year old building makes for an exciting opportunity.
A preschool class at Wilshire Boulevard Temple has helped raise more than $3,000 for Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, inspired by a successful heart surgery for one of the students’ siblings. When 9-month-old Matthew Stevelman was just 10 days old, he underwent heart surgery because his two main arteries were in the wrong position and didn’t allow for enough oxygen in his blood.
" . . . People are thinking psychologically that they are poor, or less wealthy, so it creates this difficulty for institutions to raise basic capital, as well as operational monies . . . "
It's too bad, but I didn't know from Pesach until rabbinic school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
Korean Americans and Jews gathered at Wilshire Boulevard Temple to dialogue about mutual understanding and to discuss conditions in the formerly Jewish Wilshire Center district, which is now home to the largest Korean population outside of Seoul.
More than 20 years ago, as I looked over family papers with my late father, I came across a letter referring to my "conversion." Curious, I asked
what that meant. With some self-consciousness, my father first shared with me the fact that I had a Catholic baptism as a 2-year-old child in Vienna, Austria.
When Steven Leder was 14, he got into some trouble with the law. Rather than send him to reform school, his parents sent him to a Reform Jewish summer camp in Wisconsin.
With pomp, ritual and the added joy that comes when a long wait precedes a happy event, the Los Angeles school of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) ordained its first rabbis May 5 at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
The timing could not have been better.
When the California Museum of Ancient Art scheduled its lecture series on "The Archaeology of Ancient Israel" to begin Monday, May 14, at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, it could not have known that Rabbi David Wolpe's Passover sermon touching on doubts about the historical accuracy of the Exodus story would spark a wave of local interest in Biblical archaeology.