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Wilshire temple celebrates a revival

September 06, 2013|Martha Groves

Leder has generated most of the donations needed for the project. Gifts have come in all sizes, he said, "from $18 to $36 million." Donors included philanthropist Tony Pritzker, real estate magnate Fred Sands, investment guru Stanley Gold, entrepreneurs Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and Erika J. Glazer, the daughter of shopping mall developer Guilford Glazer. She pledged $30 million over the next 15 years, and the Wilshire campus has been named in her honor.

Martha Karsh, a temple member, said she and her husband, Bruce, supported preserving the sanctuary but also "believe deeply in the Jewish value of tikkun olam -- healing the world by helping those less fortunate -- and we wanted to support our temple's community outreach as well." The Karshes donated $5 million to build the Karsh Family Tikkun Olam Center, which will house the social services. (Bruce Karsh is chairman of Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times, and co-founder of L.A. investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, the largest single holder of Tribune stock.)

Leder, who had surgery for a herniated disc 10 days before preaching at Rosh Hashana services Wednesday, said he had high hopes for the expanded nursery school and the new elementary school, which will serve families raising Jewish children. "It's the young who bring the elders into a tribe," he said. "The children are ... bringing the parents back into Jewish life."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, September 08, 2013 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 56 words Type of Material: Correction
Wilshire Boulevard Temple: In the Sept. 6 Section A, an article about Wilshire Boulevard Temple's restoration and plans to engage more with its Koreatown neighborhood said that Rabbi Susan Goldberg runs East Side Jews, a group putting a new spin on Jewish traditions. Goldberg is the group's rabbi in residence. She does not run the program.

In the last couple of years, he said, the temple has added perhaps 80 families, most of which were previously unaffiliated with another religious institution. (Last year, with construction going on, the temple held its High Holy Days at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion).

The temple recently hired Rabbi Susan Goldberg, who was at Temple Beth Israel in Highland Park and runs Eastside Jews in Silver Lake, a group putting a new spin on Jewish traditions. Part of her charge is to revamp worship at the Wilshire campus.

"There is a waking up on the east side of town," Goldberg said. "People are looking for new models. My coming to Wilshire Boulevard Temple was about the temple's saying: 'We are here in this community, and we want to be connected to all these neighborhoods.'"

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martha.groves@latimes.com

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