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."