About Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Wilshire Boulevard Temple is many things:
- A center for Jewish spirituality and celebration.
- A place for lifelong learning and friendship.
- An engaged congregation where every person makes a difference.
Our history in brief:
One of our country’s most highly respected Reform congregations, Wilshire Boulevard Temple has been responding to the needs of the Los Angeles Jewish community since our founding in 1862 as Congregation B’nai B'rith, the first synagogue in Los Angeles. In 1872, we built our first Temple on Fort Street (now Broadway Avenue) in downtown Los Angeles. As a response to increasing membership, the congregation moved to a larger structure at Ninth and Hope Streets in 1895.
Continued growth brought us to Wilshire Boulevard in 1929, which resulted in the change to our current name. Our 1929 Sanctuary entered the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
In response to the needs of our growing families and the awareness of how summer camp could expand children's experience of Judaism and the wider world, we founded Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu in 1952, and in 1969, Gindling Hilltop Camp. To provide year-round educational and retreat facilities for our adults, we opened the Steve Breuer Conference Center at Camp Hess Kramer in 1988.
Ten years later, we responded to membership growth in the West Los Angeles area by dedicating our beautiful, modern Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus, which serves as an educational, worship, cultural, and community center.
In September 2013, we rededicated our historic Magnin Sanctuary after completing its renovation and restoration. Work currently continues at our 3.9-acre Erika J. Glazer Family Campus. In June 2014, we begin construction of a new multi-story building along Sixth Street, which will feature rooftop sports facilities and parking for 450 cars and will house the Karsh Family Social Service Center to provide our neighboring community with dental, vision, and mental health care, legal services, and our ongoing food pantry. The overall project also includes the renovation of our two school buildings and the construction of new celebration facilities. We’re building a vibrant Jewish village for our congregation, for the wider Jewish community, and for our neighbors in the heart of Los Angeles.
We at Wilshire Boulevard Temple look forward to providing liberal Jewish inspiration and resources to many future generations of Jews in Los Angeles and to being a good neighbor to the wider Los Angeles community.