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Your Sunday Mornings
Monday, January 27, 2014

For families with young children, there’s no lounging around with coffee and the paper on a typical Sunday morning. By 8:30 a.m. the kids have most likely been up for hours, breakfast is a distant memory, and a long day stretches ahead. 

We have a great way to jump-start your Sunday and get the whole family active and engaged: Baby and Me classes at the Early Childhood Centers of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Offered at both the Irmas and Glazer Campuses, the classes are specifically designed for working parents who don’t have time for parent-child classes during the week, though everyone with children two and under is welcome to join. 

Our play spaces, equipped with state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, age-appropriate toys and climbing equipment, offer myriad materials for your children to explore and enjoy, under the watchful guidance of a caring early-childhood development specialist. And while the tots are on their voyage of discovery, adults can discuss a pertinent topic generated by the facilitator as well as share any and all child-development questions. 

You can join in at any time of year. We offer many other classes, including Baby Yoga, Grandparent and Me, and Shabbat Shalom class. Call (424) 208-8900 for details or log onto wbtla.org/ECCbabyandme.

How to Help the Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Effort
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We have carefully examined many of the disaster response organizations and can recommend these two with confidence:

Direct Relief (www.directrelief.org)

Founded in 1948, Direct Relief is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides medical assistance to people around the world who have been affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest. Thanks to generous material and financial contributions from individuals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment manufacturers, Direct Relief can work with healthcare professionals and organizations on the ground and equip them with the essential medical supplies and equipment that they need to help people recover from a disaster.
Direct Relief’s assistance programs are tailored for the particular circumstances and needs of those who have suffered from the effects of natural and man-made disasters. Direct Relief also establishes partnerships with local organizations to provide health services to people in rural areas of a country that are poor and lack basic healthcare infrastructure.

Team Rubicon (www.teamrubiconusa.org)

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Since its creation in January 2010, Team Rubicon has impacted thousands of lives – in Haiti, Chile, Burma, Pakistan, Sudan, and here at home, in Vermont, Maryland, Missouri, and Alabama. Team Rubicon reaches victims outside the scope of where traditional aid organizations venture: victims on the fringe.

Sanctuary Dedication Photo Album
Monday, October 28, 2013

On Sunday, morning, September 29, Temple families celebrated the consecration of our newest students,
we installed our newly completed Torah and filled the Sanctuary with joyful Jewish rock. That evening, the Sanctuary overflowed with beautiful choral music and the good will of more than 1700 Temple members, friends and neighbors in a truly memorable celebration.

The complete family photo album is at www.WilshireBlvdTempleAM.photoherald.com; the evening album is at www.WilshireBlvdTemplePM.photoherald.com.

You can purchase the photos on the website.

Disaster Response Team Aids in Colorado Flood Relief
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Seventeen inches of rain pummeled Boulder County, Colorado, the second week of September, half of it in a single day, doubling the record set nearly 100 years ago. This massive deluge combined with light winds at high altitudes focused in one area created a perfect and deadly storm. The toll was daunting: flood waters covering a
massive 200-mile stretch affecting 17 counties at an estimated cost of $2 billion; eight confirmed deaths; 1,500 homes destroyed and another 18,000 damaged, many beyond repair.

In the wake of the flooding, the Temple’s Disaster Response Team made up of Temple member volunteers,
deployed to Colorado to help in what was dubbed Operation Muddy Waters. Working with NECHAMA, our disaster response partner, our team emptied flooded homes and tore out damaged drywall, insulation and flooring to help rebuilding begin as quickly as possible.

Most important, we showed those most affected that they are not alone. “You came all the way from California?” an elderly man asked with tears in his eyes. “Wow! We thought everyone forgot about us.”

-Rabbi M. Beaumont Shapiro

Learn more about our Disaster Reponse Team here >. To see the full set of photos, visit our event gallery.

September 29 - The Grand Reopening of Our Renewed Sanctuary
Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013
 will be remembered as one of the most extraordinary and historic days in our congregation's history. The grand reopening of our beloved Magnin Sanctuary at the Erika J. Glazer Family Campus was a sold-out, epic citywide affair.

Festivities began with our Family Celebration and Jewish Rock Concert, with a jam-packed lineup featuring: a grand processional; Klezmer musicians; blowing of the shofar; a historic group photo of all the kids; blessings on the bimah; special gifts; gourmet cupcake reception; the hugely moving presentation of our new, very own Torah;     and an incredible kids’ concert by Jewish rock star Sheldon Low and his band.

(Photo Couresy the Jewish Journal:  L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Erika Glazer, Archbishop Jose Gomez, Rabbi Elissa Ben-Naim and Senior Rabbi Steven Leder)

In the late afternoon, our sold-out Community-wide Dedication and 
Interfaith Choral Concert brought together congregants, honored guests including Mayor Eric Garcetti and Archbishop José Gomez, and what seemed the entire city of Los Angeles, to the dedication of our renewed Sanctuary. The event featured a transcendent interfaith choral concert with no less than seven local choruses with 150 joyous voices, including: The Cantorial Choir of the Academy for Jewish Religion; the Choir of Wilshire Boulevard Temple; 
First Congregational Church Choir; the Los Angeles Cantors’ Choir
; the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus
; Saint Cyril of Jerusalem Church Choir
; and the Sacred Praise Chorale of the Faithful Central Bible Church.

The event concluded with a glorious closing performance by legendary singer-songwriter Burt Bacharach.

You can relive these extraordinary events on our streaming video page.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple would like to thank everyone who helped make Sanctuary Sunday one of the most memorable days in the Temple's long history.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 - Knowing Saves Lives
Thursday, August 29, 2013

Individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish (Central or Eastern European) ancestry have a one in 40 chance of carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. This is at least a ten times greater probability than that of the non-Jewish population. Many Jewish women and men are not aware that they carry one of these gene mutations.

Women who carry mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer and up to a 45% risk of developing ovarian cancer. Men who carry BRCA mutations also have increased cancer risks and like women, can pass the mutation on to their children.

The Basser Research Center for BRCA has put together a fact sheet to help those at risk. Click the image below and learn more. Knowing saves lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Save the Date:

Breast Cancer Awareness and Advocacy Conference
February 23, 2014,
3:30-6:00 pm Irmas Campus

Restoring Tomorrow - Video
Monday, July 01, 2013

Please take 4 1/2 minutes to view this inspiring video about the history of the Temple and the decision to restore it. It’s a great story and we are all part of it! Watch now >

Off to Camp!
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

camp_farewellOn June 19, parents waved fond farewells as the familiar yellow buses headed off to Malibu for the first session at Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp.
 
Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

The Temple Campus Becomes the Erika J. Glazer Family Campus
Friday, May 31, 2013

A Great Gift for Our Future and a New Name Now

Erika Glazer grew up in Los Angeles, and like her fellow Wilshire Boulevard Temple congregants with deep roots in the city, she has seen our neighborhoods rise and fall—and rise. When she was a little girl and Rabbi Magnin was in the pulpit, Westside congregants would routinely head east on Wilshire Boulevard to shop at Bullock’s Wilshire (which opened in 1929, the same year as the Temple) or to spend a celebratory evening at the Cocoanut Grove, the Ambassador Hotel’s famous nightclub. By the time Erika’s children, Alexandra and Zachary, were growing up in Beverly Hills, the neighborhood around the Temple Campus had become gritty and unwelcoming. Both kids celebrated their b’nei mitzvah at the Irmas Campus.

Today, Erika says, “I like going downtown. Downtown is happening!” Our downtown-adjacent Temple Campus is “happening” too, in large part because of Erika’s great generosity and emotional connection to the Temple. As a real estate developer and art collector, she appreciates the neighborhood’s revival and the Temple’s architectural beauty. “If you were traveling in Europe, this is the kind of awe-inspiring synagogue you would see,” she says. Erika’s recent pledge of $30 million over 15 years, the largest single gift ever made to a synagogue in Los Angeles, will go a long way toward ensuring that our Sanctuary, and our other ambitious plans for the campus, will inspire awe, and nurture Jewish life, for generations to come. The funds will be used to cover debt payments on the tax-free-bond financing of the next phase of the campus project, now budgeted at $160 million. Coming soon are the renovation of our 1929 and 1962 school buildings plus the construction of the Karsh Family Tikkun Olam/Social Services Center and a sports facility, both contained within a parking pavilion. Groundbreaking will take place in Summer 2014.

No doubt Erika’s name is familiar to you because her earlier generosity has already provided us with the Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center at the Temple, where our future generations are being forged. Now the entire Temple Campus will officially be named the Erika J. Glazer Family Campus of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. We extend a heartfelt public thank you to Erika for dramatically leading the way to a strong and beautiful future.

Writing Our New Torah Begins
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On March 19 and 22 our Sofer (Torah scribe) met with Temple congregants and families to help write our new Torah scroll. Learn about this once-in-a-lifetime endeavor and sign up for future scribe dates >

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shesh Besh Gives Concert for Peace at the Irmas Campus
Thursday, April 25, 2013

On April 7, we had the extraordinary privilege of presenting Shesh Besh, the Arab-Israeli music ensemble under the auspices of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. This Concert for Peace was sponsored by Israel Bonds and Wilshire Boulevard Temple in honor of Israel Independence Day. Over 300 people filled the Marcia Israel Chapel Auditorium at the Irmas Campus to listen to classical and Middle Eastern music by some of Israel’s top artists. It was a joyful afternoon followed by an outdoor buffet of Israeli food, socializing and the purchasing of Israel Bonds.


For more photos from our Shesh Besh event, visit our event gallery.

A Very Moving Yom HaShoah Soul Sounds Shabbat with Noel Paul Stookey
Thursday, April 25, 2013

People are still talking about Yom HaShoah Soul Sounds Shabbat, which took place Friday night, April 5. It began with a moving, personal introduction by Rabbi Karen Fox and a beautiful rendition of “Ani Ma’amim” sung by Cantor Don Gurney. Afterwards, dramatic readings and poetry were interspersed through the service and presented by congregants Caroline Aaron, Morgan Feldman and Josh and Amy Heisler, and our bat mitzvah Michelle Balson. This was followed by an outstanding performance by Noel Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul and Mary. Noel sang a new song that he had composed for the Holocaust and explained why he, a non-Jew, was inspired to do so. There was also a ceremony to light memorial candles for the Six Million by congregants who had lost relatives in the Holocaust. We closed with Noel Paul Stookey leading everyone in the singing of ‘"Blowin’ In the Wind.” It was an experience not soon forgotten.


For more photos from our Yom HaShoah Soul Sounds Shabbat event, visit our event gallery.

Our First Gourmet Adult Pesach Seder
Thursday, April 25, 2013

On Tuesday night, March 26, we held our first gourmet Adult Pesach Seder at Akasha Restaurant in Culver City. Led by Rabbi Beau Shapiro and Director of Adult Programs Susan Nanus with live musical accompaniment, 120 people enjoyed a creative, participatory Seder, reading from a new modern Haggadah. This was followed by a  sumptuous Pesach meal. As guests were seated at tables of no more than eight, everyone was able to socialize and meet new people as they dined. The evening was a huge success and we're already making plans for another Seder in 2014.


For more photos from our gourmet Adult Seder event, visit our event gallery.

Temple Campus Progress Report
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A New Bimah for All

When the Temple opened in 1929, wheelchair access was not a standard design feature. For all the years since, family members and friends with disabilities could not experience the honor of sitting on the bimah or being called to make an Aliyah (reading from the Torah or reciting a blessing over the reading). Now, with newly constructed side ramps to the bimah—beautifully crafted with marble stonework—everyone, regardless of physical limitation, can participate fully in our services and events.

We have also made it a priority to enhance the intimacy of communal worship by lowering the bimah and extending it forward, bringing our clergy closer to the congregation. To do that we had to sacrifice a number of seats in the Sanctuary, but we believe the tradeoff is well worth it. Judaism is community, after all. And we’ve ensured our community remains connected more than ever, now and into the future.

We have restored and reinstalled the original pews in the Sanctuary balcony. Soon the process will be repeated on the main floor. The brand new carpet was designed by Brenda Levin, the architect of the renovation and longtime member of the Congregation, to echo the curving grillwork over the bimah.

These are the final months of work before we open the doors to the renewed Sanctuary for High Holy Days 2013. Soon our members and friends will experience unprecedented accessibility and comfort in the most beautiful, awe-inspiring and spiritual room in all of Los Angeles.

But the story of renewal doesn’t end with the reopening of the Sanctuary in September. Following this momentous accomplishment in our Temple’s history, we will barely catch our breath before embarking on the next phase of the Temple Campus project: the construction of the Karsh Family Tikkun Olam Social Services Center. The Temple has big plans to serve the Los Angeles community and will need your help to make it happen. We’ll share more details in the coming months.

Response to Boston Bombing
Monday, April 15, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the violence that occurred in Boston on Monday, April 15. In light of the situation, we have cancelled Brawerman Elementary School’s Grade 6 trip to Boston. As always, we remain vigilant and in close contact with law enforcement authorities to ensure security at the Irmas and Temple Campuses as well as at the Temple Camps.
 
Howard Kaplan, Executive Director
Cory Wenter, Security Director

Teen Social Action Mission to New Orleans
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Over President's Day weekend, our group of 27 from Wilshire Boulevard Temple and Kehillat Israel traveled to New Orleans for an interactive, informative and memorable journey. We were educated on the city’s devastation both pre and post Hurricane Katrina. By touring the Lower 9th Ward we witnessed first-hand the horrific effects of the hurricane on the community. But we also explored the lively city of New Orleans, immersing ourselves in its rich and diverse culture. 

We utilized our newfound knowledge and understanding of those impacted by Katrina by volunteering at a local community garden, NOLA Green Roots—dedicated to creating a nutritious and sustainable food source for greater New Orleans. By extending a helping hand, we felt a connection to the city; our passion for assisting others put towards an indescribable mitzvah. 

The bonds we created among us were profound. Through exploring the French Quarter, bowling with locals, listening to jazz at Preservation Hall and exploring the voodoo culture in New Orleans’ oldest cemetery, we left a community and returned a family. We were given the ultimate gift by visiting Touro Synagogue (one of the oldest in the country). Experiencing the New Orleans culture through a Jewish lens alongside my Temple friends was an unforgettable experience. Attending Shabbat services reminded me that the Reform movement exists outside the boundaries of West Los Angeles, and helped further connect me to my Jewish identity. Programs like this make our Temple’s teen community such a powerful force for good. I eagerly look forward to more opportunities like this in the future!

If you have any questions or would like your teen to participate in one of our dynamic programs, please email our Director of Teen Programs Herschel Bleefeld at hbleefeld@wbtla.org.

-Lily Zweig

The Groundlings Did Purim!
Wednesday, March 06, 2013

On Saturday night, February  23, the Groundlings came to Wilshire Boulevard Temple to help us celebrate Purim—Gangnam Style. Over 200 congregants filled Stalford Hall at the Temple Campus to enjoy a sumptuous Korean Barbecue buffet and hamataschen, followed by a very special rendition of the Megillah. First, Cantors Gurney and Caro chanted a portion, followed by a comedic English translation read by our clergy. This was then followed by hilarious improvisations by the world famous Groundlings improv troupe. People could not stop laughing all during the evening, and everyone had a riotously good time.

For more photos from our Groundlings Do Purim event, visit our event gallery.

Follow Us On Facebook. All of Us.
Friday, March 01, 2013

Were you aware that our schools and camps have their own Facebook pages, in addition to our Temple page? If you haven't yet, be sure to "Like" each one and start following us today. We update regularly with information on special events, news and other items of interest, photos, videos and much more. It's one of the best ways to stay connected and involved with everything we do.

Here are the links:

Early Childhood Centers

Brawerman Elementary School East

Brawerman Elementary School West

Camp Hess Kramer

Gindling Hilltop Camp

Wilshire Boulevard Temple

MLK Shabbat Both Rousing and Uplifting
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On January 18, members of the Gospel Choir from West Angeles Church of God in Christ joined us in a special Martin Luther King, Jr. Shabbat celebration. Members of our clergy read excerpts from some of Dr. King’s most famous speeches, which were interspersed with gospel and Jewish liturgical music. This included a duet with Cantor Gurney and the gospel choir, while photos of Dr. King were projected behind them. Four hundred Wilshire Boulevard Temple congregants of all ages attended the service, clapping and singing along. This inspiring, uplifting service was followed by a special Oneg Shabbat of barbecued chicken, roasted potatoes and salad, corn muffins and apple and pecan pie tarts.

For more photos from our MLK Shabbat, visit our event gallery.

Sephardic Soul Sounds a Gorgeous Success
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A beautiful Sephardic Soul Sounds Shabbat was held on February 1. Cantor Gurney and Rabbi Leder explained the Spanish roots of Sephardic Jews, which was followed a service filled with Latin American, Middle Eastern and Ladino (a language composed of Hebrew and Spanish) music. Two hundred and eighty congregants were present for this special evening which was followed by an Oneg Shabbat of Sephardic food and pastries.

Send a Pesach Care Package to Your Child
Monday, February 25, 2013

Shalom everyone!

During Pesach we are not always able to be with our children. This year, if they cannot be home with us, we want to send a little bit of home to them. We want our children to know that even though they are away, their Temple community is thinking of them. Here is how you can help: Please send me your children’s names and current mailing addresses so we can send a special care package for the holiday.

Again, please send your children's information ASAP—and no later than March 11—to my assistant Denise at dmagilnick@wbtla.org, and we will provide them a little taste of home!

Rabbi David Eshel

Our Bat Mitzvah—Hyla Merin (Markel)—Receives Father's Long Lost War Medals
Friday, February 22, 2013

Hyla Merin (Markel) had her bat mitzvah at our Temple—May, 1978. She is now the recipient of her WWII veteran father's Silver Star and Purple Heart medals, previously lost and recently discovered.

The story first appeared in the Associated Press on February 17, and was picked up by press around the world.

Read about her extraordinary and moving experience in the Times of Israel, via the Associated Press.

What It Means to be a Jew
Thursday, February 14, 2013

I've never met Andrew Lustig. But Andrew Lustig has the answer to the question: what does it mean to be a Jew? Andrew Lustig knows what Anne Frank, Adam Sandler, Sandy Koufax, Enya and Schindler’s List have in common. Andrew weaves together a multitude of images and sounds. Whenever I watch his video clip, I feel proud. I never taught Andrew, but I would be proud if he were the graduate of my day school or religious school or camp. Andrew is a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, who loves Israel, is moved by the sound of the shofar and struggles with issues like keeping kosher. His mom is a lawyer and his dad an accountant. I’ve never met Andrew Lustig but he wears his Jewish pride and Jewish identity on his (virtual) sleeve in this striking YouTube clip. Andrew knows he is the next link in the sacred chain of the Jewish family. 


The question it raises for me is what do our Jewish youth have to say about being Jewish in 2013? The conditions are ripe for cultivating Jewish pride and identity in our congregation where we are actively building Jewish souls, Jewish hearts and Jewish minds. As our 2012 confirmation class created their own versions of videos inspired by the work of Andrew Lustig, it became clear that the value of being Jewish, and the pride, is strong and still at the center of our vision at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

Happy viewing >

Rabbi Elissa Ben-Naim

Los Angeles Times Features New Story on the Temple Campus Redevelopment
Monday, February 11, 2013

Los Angeles Times journalist Martha Groves again covers the Temple redevelopment in the Sunday, February 10 edition of the newspaper. The story features Erika J. Glazer's new, profoundly generous donation to the project, as well as an update of our progress.

Read about it >

See the Times' gallery of photos by Anne Cusack >

Previous article by Ms. Groves in the Los Angeles Times >

When the Waters Recede: On the Ground in the Aftermath of Sandy
Thursday, February 07, 2013

“The water was at the top of that fence,” an elderly man says to us, pointing to a seven-foot high rusted chain-link fence. “The ocean and the bay just came together, right through my house,” he shares as his eyes fill with tears. Standing in a driveway on a deserted street in Far Rockaway New York, the human cost of Sandy hits us.

For four days a small team from the Temple traveled with our director of safety & security, Cory Wenter, and me throughout the Rockaways and the South Shore of Long Island, aiding in the ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief effort. We spent our days gutting homes destroyed by the floodwaters; pulling up floors, tearing down drywall, ripping out insulation—demolishing anything and everything we could, without bringing down the structure itself. Hours of dirty, backbreaking, exhausting and rewarding work. Three families will eventually be able to move back into their homes because of the work our team accomplished. And that’s what it was really all about—the people.

We met Frank our second day. A successful Jeweler in the 80s, he was long retired and living on a fixed income, supporting his daughter and struggling to make ends meet. Last summer his hot water heater burst, flooding his basement. He spent the little savings he had to repair the water damage—then Sandy came.

“Thank you, guys,” he said with the most sincere gratitude I’ve ever heard or felt. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.” He refused to let us leave until he fed us lunch—a couple of pizzas from the neighborhood pizzeria that just reopened.

“Where are you guys from?” he asked as we ate.

“Los Angeles,” we responded.

“Really? I visited there once. Beautiful! What else are you doing while you’re here?” he questioned us.

“This is it. We came to work. We came to help. That’s it,” we told him.

“You came all the way from California to help for a few days?” He looked at us with surprised eyes, welling with tears. “Thank you. Thank you. God bless you.”



Interested in joining Rabbi Shapiro on a Relief Trip in the future? Contact Denise Magilnick.

Gindling Hilltop Camp Featured in a News Segment on Extra!
Thursday, January 17, 2013

The television news magazine "Extra!" ran a story on "Campowerment"—a weekend women's event that took place recently at Gindling Hilltop Camp.

See it here >

Leaving a Legacy...
Monday, January 14, 2013

Believing that Camp “provided them some of the most wonderful experiences of their lives,” Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps has received a bequest from beloved former camp art director Gerrie Schusterman and her husband Mel. Vivid artwork created by campers under Gerrie’s direction still provides a glorious backdrop on walls, in windows and throughout Camp. The Schustermans directed that their bequest be used for the purpose of “maintaining and developing programming and facilities for arts and crafts” at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps.

At the time of Gerrie’s death, camp alum Larry Dressler wrote a tribute to her, a portion of which follows and exemplifies how many felt about Gerrie:

“Gerrie helped me to befriend the artist within. She taught me to appreciate color, light and texture. She taught me attention to detail and the value of making something that was intended to last forever. She gave me permission to experiment, to work outside the lines, and to listen carefully to the ideas of those around me.

Perhaps more than anyone I have known, Gerrie embodied tikkun olam. She made the world a more beautiful, more nurturing, more human place. While many will see Gerrie’s legacy as the amazing art she leaves behind, those of us who knew her understand that her greatest legacy is that there are hundreds of us who see it as our work to continue hers.”

Because of Gerrie and Mel’s extraordinary gift, future campers will also be able to experience art and the creative process taught to so many under Gerrie’s guidance, and will be able to continue the work that was so important to both of them.

Cheri Lauterbach
Camp Alumni & Development Director

Rabbi Fox Installed as President of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis
Friday, January 11, 2013

Rabbi Karen Fox was installed as the President of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis on January 9, 2013, which represents reform religious leadership of over 100 congregations on the west coast.

In the Wake of Sandy Hook
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our profound sadness over the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is immeasurable. In the wake of this horrible event, we offer words of comfort as well as some suggestions on how to address this situation with your child.

We Choose Life

Jews are commanded to choose blessings over curses, and life over death. It’s not that evil doesn’t exist. It’s that good, and we its ally, can triumph over evil. Must we forgive what happened? We cannot forgive what is unforgivable. What we can do is choose this moment to count our blessings and ease the suffering of others.

A funeral cannot be held on Shabbat or a holiday, but a bris must be conducted—even on Yom Kippur. Death can wait—but never life. In our darkest hours of abandonment, we stand and recite the Kaddish—a prayer that does not mention death even once. It speaks only of life and God’s goodness. We sit shivah for seven days. But then the sages commanded us to rise from grief and walk back into life. Jews walk back into life.

The prayer book tells us that God remembers the good in each of us despite our mistakes. It also asks us to remember the good in each other and in the world. We are not blind to evil, but neither are we blind to its more powerful twin. There is so much good in the world; so much. Jews believe in the power of goodness. Jews choose life.

Let us join together in keeping the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in our thoughts. Let us remember that we are part of a miraculous community. Together, we bring light to dark moments with prayers and action. Together, we choose life.

Your child's safety and some tips on how to speak to them about this tragedy

We want our congregants to know that the safety and security of our children always comes first.Our armed security staff is trained and prepared to prevent and respond to threats that might occur. We have comprehensive emergency and disaster response protocols in place which include regular lockdown drills. We follow strict protocols during pick-up and when permitting visitors on campus.

The following are some suggestions on how you may want to address this situation with your child. It is an excerpt from Dr. Richard Besser, M.D. with some additional information from Rachel Bernstein, School Counselor for Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

It is important to remember that children of different ages and levels of development will react differently to the tragedy. Here are some tips to help tailor your conversation to your child’s needs:

Children younger than 7

Shield them from this. They do not need to know about it. However, they may hear it from adults who are not being careful and are discussing in front of them or with older siblings. It is therefore good to know how to address it with a younger child just in case the child overhears something and asks questions. You can be sensitive while keeping it short and simple: “You are safe. This happened very far away. You don’t need to worry.” Then give them a hug, change the subject and let the other adults and older siblings know to be mindful about not discussing it with young ones around, whenever possible. In addition, parents should not be watching the news with nursery school-age children in the room.

Children 7-12

They need to know that they are safe, and they’ll look to you for cues. If you are sobbing uncontrollably, overly angry or unable to express your feelings, it might affect how they process the tragedy. But if you’re expressing appropriate emotion—like sadness, concern and empathy—they are going to see that it is okay to be worried about this.

You want them to talk about it. You want to ask, “How do you feel about this?” And then it’s important to support their feelings. If your child says, “I’m really scared,” avoid saying, “There’s no need to be scared.” Instead, tell them, “We’re going to keep you safe, and they got the bad guy.”

Children older than 12

With teenagers, you really want to engage them. Ask them why they think this happened, and do they think anything could have prevented this. You can generate a real conversation. You might also be able to inspire them to participate in a community project or some act of charity, so that they believe they are taking positive action.

For more information on how to speak to your child about this event, read How Children Deal with Tragic Events in the News by Fred Rogers.

Super Storm Sandy Relief for West End Temple in Queens, New York
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Super Storm Sandy brought unimaginable destruction to the East Coast this fall. Let’s all do our part to help.

Thousands are displaced and without homes to return to—communities devastated. One such community is West End Temple on Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York. West End Temple is a small Reform congregation just steps from the water. As four feet of mud and water came through the doors of the sanctuary, they were able to save their Torah scrolls, but little else.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple has committed to helping West End Temple rebuild their library, as well as replace their prayer books and Torah commentaries. Each of us as members of Wilshire Boulevard Temple can play a small role in helping another congregation heal and rebuild. Purchase a prayer book or Torah commentary for a congregation in dire need.

Torah Commentaries: $60
Prayer Books: $40

Donate here to Super Storm Sandy relief for West End Temple >

For questions or to order prayer books and Torah commentaries by phone please call Denise Magilnick (424) 208-8930 or email her at dmagilnick@wbtla.org.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Super Storm Sandy. Let’s all do our part to help.

100% of all funds raised will go to benefit West End Temple in Queens, NY.

Two Ways to Help
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Israel Trauma Coalition

Join the Wilshire Boulevard Temple community, in partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, in support of the Israel Trauma Coalition’s work to help our families in Israel manage the long-term effects of living under the constant threat of terrorism. Though the recent conflict has ended, the impact on the people of Israel, especially in the most affected areas, will be ongoing. Your donation is needed to continue providing immediate trauma counseling to children and their parents, as well as funding for a counseling hotline, first responder support, and expanded training for hospital staff and municipal emergency response teams. One hundred percent of the funds raised by Wilshire Boulevard Temple members will go directly to the Israel Trauma Coalition.

How to Help:

Please make your generous donation now at: https://secure.jewishla.org/page/contribute/support-the-israel-trauma-coalition
You can also make a donation by calling (323) 761-8413, or by mail:
The Jewish Federation – The Israel Trauma Coalition
6505 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1000
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Yachdav Senior Center – Shaar Hanegev; Aging in the Shadows of Qassam Rockets

Yachdav Senior Center is a pensioners club on the grounds of a school and college next to Sderot, a town that has been repeatedly bombed and particularly so in this last round of violence. In order to allow the elderly—who founded the region—to continue with their lives in a dignified manner, the Yachdav Senior Center provides them with a wide-range of activities including meals, individual treatment, transportation, sports activities, art and craft lessons, academic-level lectures and enrichment activities.

How to Help:

Send a check (see bank details) or transfer a donation through the P.E.F. endowment.
http://pefisrael.org/ Tel (212) 599-1260 or Fax (212) 599-5981
Contact:
Varda Goldstein
Resource Development Director
Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council
972.77.9802659/ 054.675.5146

 

Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center Earns Prestigious NAEYC Accreditation
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.

“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Carol Bovill, Director of Early Childhood Centers of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. “NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.” Our teachers and administrators work with parents to create a learning and nurturing environment incorporating the Reggio Emilia and Montessori philosophies. The Early Childhood Centers of Wilshire Boulevard Temple create an atmosphere where mutual respect can be found amongst the children, teachers and parents and recognizes those children as being competent individuals.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center of Wilshire Boulevard Temple went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. The program received NAEYC Accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

In the 25 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs. “The NAEYC Accreditation system raises the bar for child care centers and other early childhood programs,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, Ph.D, executive director of NAEYC. “Having earned NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center of Wilshire Boulevard Temple is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education.”

The NAEYC Accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible.

The NAEYC Accreditation system was created to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, a program must meet each of the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.

For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit www.naeyc.org/academy 

Thank you to our Associate Director, Fredda Loewenstein, Glazer Site Director, Sherrie Zadok, NAEYC Coordinator, Dayna Lerner, Operations Manager, Heidi Sorenson, and to all of our teachers and parents.

We are looking forward to another terrific year.

Carol Bovill, M.A., Ed., Director
Early Childhood Centers
Wilshire Boulevard Temple .

Daily Reflections for Elul
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The month of Elul is referred to as “the month of repentance,” “the month of mercy," and “the month of forgiveness.” Elul follows the months of Tammuz and Av, months noted for two immense historical sins of Israel, the sin of the Golden Calf and the sin of the faithless spies.

The four letters of the name Elul are an acronym for the initial letters of the phrase in the Song of Songs (6:3): “I am to my beloved and my beloved is mine.” “I am to my beloved”, to God, in repentance and desire for t’shuvah - repentance. “And my beloved is mine”, with God as merciful and forgiving to each of us. This is the month that says “the King is in the field.” All can approach God and experience God’s presence.

Elul is the month of preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur that occur in the month of Tishrei. It is the month in which Moses ascended to Mount Sinai a third time, for a period of forty days from Rosh Chodesh Elul (the beginning of Elul) through Yom Kippur, when he descended with the second tablets of the covenant. In this period, God reveals great mercy to the Jewish people.

Our work in the month of Elul is to be worthy of approaching God and of approaching each other in a true spirit of repentance and spiritual growth. We hope that these daily thoughts and reflections below will inspire you and stir you toward meaningful personal contemplation and action.

 

Elul 1 – Never Forget Imagine someone whose business hounds them through many streets and across the market-place the livelong day. That person might almost forget that there is a Maker of the world. Only when the time for the Afternoon Prayer comes, does he remember: ‘I must pray.’ And then, from the bottom of her heart, she heaves a sigh of regret that she has spent her day on vain and idle matters. He runs into a by-street and stands there, and prays: God holds that person dear, very dear and that prayer pierces the firmament. [Israel Baal Shem Tov—18th C.]

Elul 2 – Personal Responsibility I am fully responsible for everything I think and do.

Elul 3 – Pardon Me “Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all." [Thomas Kempis]

Elul 4 – Speak In Peace Don't talk when people can't hear you; Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: Do not appease someone in the time of their anger. [Talmud]

Elul 5 - A Full Life Rabbi Eliezer said: “Repent one day before your death.” His disciples asked: “Does anyone know on what day he will die?” “All the more reason to repent today,” answered the Rabbi, “in case you die tomorrow. Thus a person’s whole life should be spent in repentance.” [Talmud, Shabbat 153a]

Elul 6 – Release All Resentment “Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” [Buddha]

Elul 7 – The Weightiness Of Sin No sin is so light that it may be overlooked. No sin is so heavy that it may not be repented. [Moses Ibn Ezra]

Elul 8 – Kindness Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. [Albert Schweitzer]

Elul 9 – The Depth Of Your Power If a person were able to survey at a glance all he has done in the course of his life, what would he feel? He would be terrified at the extent of his own power. [Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel]

Elul 10 – Regret Don't regret what you said; rather, regret what you didn't say when you had the chance. [Anonymous]

Elul 11 – Divinity In Humanity There is divinity in each one of us, a holy spark at our core.

Elul 12—Opening Our Eyes Just as the hand, held before the eye, can hide the tallest mountain, so can the routine of everyday life keep us from seeing the vast radiance and the secret wonders that fill the world. [Chasidic saying, 18th Century]

Elul 13 – The World Rests On Your Shoulders Rabbi Meir used to say, “Great is repentance, for on account of one true penitent, the entire world is pardoned.” [Talmud Yoma 86b]

Elul 14 – Reciprocal Forgiveness Forgive your neighbors [their] transgressions, and then when you pray, your sins will be forgiven. [Ben Sira 28:2]

Elul 15— Receptivity to Repentance Rabbi Moses of Kobrin commented: “In Psalm 90 we read: ‘You turn the human heart to contrition and say: Repent, you children.’ However, I say, ‘If You, God, turn people to despair, You cannot expect them to repent. Grant them their needs and then their hearts and minds will be receptive to return to You.’” [Chasidic]

Elul 16 – When To Speak “Teach me, dear God, when to keep silent and when to speak; and when I speak, O God, save me from using Your wonderful gift of speech to humiliate or hurt others.” [Reb Nachman of Bratzlav]

Elul 17 – Imperfection Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. [George Soros]

Elul 18 – Don’t Judge Harshly We should be lenient in our judgment, because often the mistakes of others would have been ours had we had the opportunity to make them. [Anonymous]

Elul 19 – A Greater Future Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. [Paul Boese]

Elul 20 – What Is The Story Of Your Life? Days are scrolls: write on them what you want to be remembered. [Bachya ibn Pakuda, 11th C.]

Elul 21 – One Step At a Time How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment to start to improve the world. [Anne Frank]

Elul 22 – Strength In The Face of Challenge Just as a small fire is extinguished by the storm whereas a large fire is enhanced by it, likewise a weak faith is weakened by predicament and catastrophes whereas a strong faith is strengthened by them. [Viktor Frankel]

Elul 23 – Free Will God does not predetermine whether a person shall be righteous or wicked; that God leaves to us. [Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei 3]

Elul 24 – Live In Each Moment Ben Azzai used to say: Do not despise any person and do not consider anything impossible; for there is no one who does not have his hour and there is nothing that does not have its place. [Pirkei Avot 4:2]

Elul 25—On Wisdom Ben Zoma said: Who is wise? The one who learns from everyone. [The one who sees what is to be.]...Who is strong? The one who subdues his evil impulse...Who is rich? The one who is content with his lot...Who is honored? The one who honors others. [Pirkei Avot 4:1]

Elul 26—Actions Speak Louder Than Words “Friends, what does it say about the people of Nineveh? Not, ‘God saw their sackcloth and their fasting,’ but, ‘God saw their deeds—that they had turned back from their evil way.’ [Jonah 3:10] And in his admonition, the prophet says: ‘Rend your hearts, and not your garments.’” [Joel 2:13]

Elul 27— Be The Change That You Hope For Where have you spoken of changes you want to make in yourself, but have not done so? [Mishnah]

Elul 28— We Choose Our Own Way Do not imagine that character is determined at birth. We have been given free will. Any person can become as righteous as Moses or as wicked at Jereboam. We ourselves decide whether to make ourselves learned or ignorant, compassionate or cruel, generous or miserly. No one forces us; no one drags us along one path or the other. We ourselves, by our own volition, choose our own way. [Maimonides]

Elul 29 - What Are the Criteria by Which God Will Judge Your Life? Raba said, When one is led in for Judgment he is asked, 1. Did you deal faithfully [i.e., with integrity]? 2. Did you fix times for learning? 3. Did you engage in procreation? 4. Did you hope for salvation? 5. Did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom? 6. Did you understand one thing from another? [Talmud, Shabbat 30b-31a]

Experience 5773
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Our fall programming brochure has arrived!

The Experience brochure includes all Wilshire Boulevard Temple programming for Fall 2012. Find adult activities, services, family fun events and more! Keep it handy all spring long so you can stay in touch with "your" Temple and get involved. All activities and events are also included here online and you can easily RSVP for anything you are interested in.


Download the Fall 2012 Experience >>

Download the Fall 2012 Calendar of Events >>

Didn't get your copy? Call us at (213) 835-2138 and request another be mailed to you or pick one up at any of our offices.

One Sunday
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Our food pantries only work because Temple members, just like you, donate two hours of their time—they show up. That’s all it takes to make our food pantries run and continue to feed tens of thousands of hungry people every year.

54,000. That’s the number of people our food pantries have fed so far this year. Each and every Sunday, at the Temple Campus and at OPCC in Santa Monica, we feed hundreds of the most needy in our city. It has become a tradition for us to donate food to our food pantries during the High Holy Days season. Last year’s drive for tuna and peanut butter was our most successful in our history—we collected enough tuna and peanut butter to stock our Temple Campus Food Pantry for an entire year. This year we’re trying something different. This year we’re not asking you to donate food. We’re not asking you to donate money. We’re asking you to donate time—one Sunday.

You see, we can have all the food in the world at our food pantries, but unless we have enough volunteers on a Sunday morning to distribute it, it’s useless.

Give us one Sunday. Commit to showing up at either our Temple Campus or Santa Monica OPCC Food Pantries one Sunday in the next year—it’s worth more than any other donation you can make, and it just might change your life.

Torah Online
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Click here to read the Torah Online

Temple Members Help Save Lives at Care Harbor
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Sunday after Yom Kippur, nearly 75 of our Temple members gave time and talent to save lives.

Thousands of patients descended on the Los Angeles Sports Arena for the Care Harbor Free Health Clinic. Makeshift exam rooms and 100 dental chairs covered the ground floor, many of them staffed by medical and dental professionals who are also Temple congregants. Like many of the Temple's general volunteers, Rabbi Beau Shapiro spent much of the day escorting patients from the check-in area to the medical, dental or vision clinics. In the space of 150 yards they shared their stories with him.


“I was here at 1:00 a.m. last week to get a wristband and there were already 500 people in front of me in line,” an elderly woman tells the Rabbi. “But it was worth it! My eyes have been blurry for years and I could never get them checked out.”

“Thank you for what you all are doing,” a middle aged man told Rabbi Shapiro as he and other volunteers made their way toward the dental clinic. “This is the first time I’ve been to the dentist in 15 years. I tried to get here last year but I was too late.”

Rabbi Shapiro only spent a few brief moments with the patients as he escorted them to their destination, but in those short interactions, he came to understand that what he and the other volunteers were doing was changing their lives, and in many cases, saving their lives. He says to his fellow volunteers and congregants, "on behalf of the thousands of patients who we helped, thank you for showing up and for making such a profound impact in the lives of so many. Thank you."

A Letter to Brawerman East
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Nothing speaks more about the success of Brawerman Elementary School East than this wonderful letter from a parent:

Hi All,

Over the past few months Toby and I have spent an amazing amount of time thinking about, and discussing the school. The reasons for this were not only our interest in Kayden's education, but also the role that the school had in our choice of homes.

As most of you know we sold our home in May and have been living in a temporary home until we could find a new place. What you may not know is that over the past months, we found several places we could have lived, but each would have made Kayden's staying at Brawerman East unlikely. In the end we decided to wait until we found a place that made sense (in terms of proximity) to the school.

I wanted you to know that Toby and I decided that keeping Kayden at Brawerman East is one of the best things we could do for him! We are very impressed with all four of the teachers (and others) he has had thus far, and it's clear to us that the kids are learning wonderful social and spiritual lessons that go far beyond reading and writing. While the houses and communities we considered had much to offer, we felt that nothing we found was worth moving Kayden away from this really wonderful school.

Toby and I wanted to say that your collective dedication to the kids, and responsiveness to the parents is obvious.

So in a nutshell, thanks for making this school so great, and we hope to stay a while! HAVE FUN!

Sam Berkow, i.e. Kayden's Dad.

Meet & Greet: Become a Shabbat Welcomer!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

December 11, 2012

Although we are a large congregation, we want to create the welcoming and warm community feeling of a small village.

We can accomplish this as we meet and greet each and every person who comes through our synagogue doors. Volunteer to present a friendly face on Friday evenings at both the Irmas and Temple campuses. Attend one training session to learn about our Wilshire Boulevard Temple history, architecture and programs and in the process, meet new friends and prepare to meet even more when you greet congregants with a joyous “Shabbat shalom!”

For more information, contact Cheryl Garland, Membership Director at (213) 388-2401

A Letter To Brawerman East
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nothing speaks more about the success of Brawerman Elementary School East than this wonderful letter from a parent:

Hi All,

Over the past few months Toby and I have spent an amazing amount of time thinking about, and discussing the school. The reasons for this were not only our interest in Kayden's education, but also the role that the school had in our choice of homes.

As most of you know we sold our home in May and have been living in a temporary home until we could find a new place. What you may not know is that over the past months, we found several places we could have lived, but each would have made Kayden's staying at Brawerman East unlikely. In the end we decided to wait until we found a place that made sense (in terms of proximity) to the school.

I wanted you to know that Toby and I decided that keeping Kayden at Brawerman East is one of the best things we could do for him! We are very impressed with all four of the teachers (and others) he has had thus far, and it's clear to us that the kids are learning wonderful social and spiritual lessons that go far beyond reading and writing. While the houses and communities we considered had much to offer, we felt that nothing we found was worth moving Kayden away from this really wonderful school.

Toby and I wanted to say that your collective dedication to the kids, and responsiveness to the parents is obvious.

So in a nutshell, thanks for making this school so great, and we hope to stay a while! HAVE FUN!

Sam Berkow, i.e. Kayden's Dad.

Temple Members Help Save Lives at Care Harbor
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Sunday after Yom Kippur, nearly 75 of our Temple members gave time and talent to save lives.

Thousands of patients descended on the Los Angeles Sports Arena for the Care Harbor Free Health Clinic. Makeshift exam rooms and 100 dental chairs covered the ground floor, many of them staffed by medical and dental professionals who are also Temple congregants. Like many of the Temple's general volunteers, Rabbi Beau Shapiro spent much of the day escorting patients from the check-in area to the medical, dental or vision clinics. In the space of 150 yards they shared their stories with him.

“I was here at 1:00 a.m. last week to get a wristband and there were already 500 people in front of me in line,” an elderly woman tells the Rabbi. “But it was worth it! My eyes have been blurry for years and I could never get them checked out.”

“Thank you for what you all are doing,” a middle aged man told Rabbi Shapiro as he and other volunteers made their way toward the dental clinic. “This is the first time I’ve been to the dentist in 15 years. I tried to get here last year but I was too late.”

Rabbi Shapiro only spent a few brief moments with the patients as he escorted them to their destination, but in those short interactions, he came to understand that what he and the other volunteers were doing was changing their lives, and in many cases, saving their lives. He says to his fellow volunteers and congregants, "on behalf of the thousands of patients who we helped, thank you for showing up and for making such a profound impact in the lives of so many. Thank you."

High Holy Days Sermons 5773
Thursday, October 04, 2012

Read our clergy's Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur sermons!

Read the High Holy Days Sermons 5773 >>

ONE SUNDAY
Friday, September 14, 2012

Our food pantries only work because Temple members, just like you, donate two hours of their time—they show up. That’s all it takes to make our food pantries run and continue to feed tens of thousands of hungry people every year.

image

54,000. That’s the number of people our food pantries have fed so far this year. Each and every Sunday, at the Temple Campus and at OPCC in Santa Monica, we feed hundreds of the most needy in our city. It has become a tradition for us to donate food to our food pantries during the High Holy Days season. Last year’s drive for tuna and peanut butter was our most successful in our history—we collected enough tuna and peanut butter to stock our Temple Campus Food Pantry for an entire year. This year we’re trying something different. This year we’re not asking you to donate food. We’re not asking you to donate money. We’re asking you to donate time—one Sunday.

You see, we can have all the food in the world at our food pantries, but unless we have enough volunteers on a Sunday morning to distribute it, it’s useless.

Give us one Sunday. Commit to showing up at either our Temple Campus or Santa Monica OPCC Food Pantries one Sunday in the next year—it’s worth more than any other donation you can make, and it just might change your life.

SIGN UP FOR THE TEMPLE CAMPUS FOOD PANTRY >>

SIGN UP FOR THE OPCC FOOD PANTRY >>

Experience 5773!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our fall programming brochure has arrived!

Fall Experience 2012

The Experience brochure includes all Wilshire Boulevard Temple programming for Fall 2012. Find adult activities, services, family fun events and more! Keep it handy all spring long so you can stay in touch with "your" Temple and get involved. All activities and events are also included here online and you can easily RSVP for anything you are interested in.

Download the Fall 2012 Experience >>

Download the Fall 2012 Calendar of Events >>

Didn't get your copy? Call us at (213) 835-2138 and request another be mailed to you or pick one up at any of our offices.


 

Daily Reflections for Elul
Monday, September 10, 2012

The month of Elul is referred to as “the month of repentance,” “the month of mercy," and “the month of forgiveness.” Elul follows the months of Tammuz and Av, months noted for two immense historical sins of Israel, the sin of the Golden Calf and the sin of the faithless spies.

The four letters of the name Elul are an acronym for the initial letters of the phrase in the Song of Songs (6:3): “I am to my beloved and my beloved is mine.” “I am to my beloved”, to God, in repentance and desire for t’shuvah - repentance. “And my beloved is mine”, with God as merciful and forgiving to each of us. This is the month that says “the King is in the field.” All can approach God and experience God’s presence.

Elul is the month of preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur that occur in the month of Tishrei. It is the month in which Moses ascended to Mount Sinai a third time, for a period of forty days from Rosh Chodesh Elul (the beginning of Elul) through Yom Kippur, when he descended with the second tablets of the covenant. In this period, God reveals great mercy to the Jewish people.

Our work in the month of Elul is to be worthy of approaching God and of approaching each other in a true spirit of repentance and spiritual growth. We hope that these daily thoughts and reflections below will inspire you and stir you toward meaningful personal contemplation and action.



Elul 1 – Never Forget
Imagine someone whose business hounds them through many streets and across the market-place the livelong day. That person might almost forget that there is a Maker of the world. Only when the time for the Afternoon Prayer comes, does he remember: ‘I must pray.’ And then, from the bottom of her heart, she heaves a sigh of regret that she has spent her day on vain and idle matters. He runs into a by-street and stands there, and prays: God holds that person dear, very dear and that prayer pierces the firmament. [Israel Baal Shem Tov—18th C.]


Elul 2 – Personal Responsibility
I am fully responsible for everything I think and do.


Elul 3 – Pardon Me
“Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all." [Thomas Kempis]

Elul 4 – Speak In Peace
Don't talk when people can't hear you; Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: Do not appease someone in the time of their anger. [Talmud]

Elul 5 - A Full Life
Rabbi Eliezer said: “Repent one day before your death.” His disciples asked: “Does anyone know on what day he will die?” “All the more reason to repent today,” answered the Rabbi, “in case you die tomorrow. Thus a person’s whole life should be spent in repentance.” [Talmud, Shabbat 153a]

Elul 6 – Release All Resentment
“Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” [Buddha]

Elul 7 – The Weightiness Of Sin
No sin is so light that it may be overlooked. No sin is so heavy that it may not be repented. [Moses Ibn Ezra]

Elul 8 – Kindness
Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. [Albert Schweitzer]

Elul 9 – The Depth Of Your Power
If a person were able to survey at a glance all he has done in the course of his life, what would he feel? He would be terrified at the extent of his own power. [Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel]

Elul 10 – Regret
Don't regret what you said; rather, regret what you didn't say when you had the chance. [Anonymous]

Elul 11 – Divinity In Humanity
There is divinity in each one of us, a holy spark at our core.

Elul 12—Opening Our Eyes
Just as the hand, held before the eye, can hide the tallest mountain, so can the routine of everyday life keep us from seeing the vast radiance and the secret wonders that fill the world. [Chasidic saying, 18th Century]

Elul 13 – The World Rests On Your Shoulders
Rabbi Meir used to say, “Great is repentance, for on account of one true penitent, the entire world is pardoned.” [Talmud Yoma 86b]

Elul 14 – Reciprocal Forgiveness
Forgive your neighbors [their] transgressions, and then when you pray, your sins will be forgiven. [Ben Sira 28:2]

Elul 15— Receptivity to Repentance
Rabbi Moses of Kobrin commented: “In Psalm 90 we read: ‘You turn the human heart to contrition and say: Repent, you children.’ However, I say, ‘If You, God, turn people to despair, You cannot expect them to repent. Grant them their needs and then their hearts and minds will be receptive to return to You.’” [Chasidic]

Elul 16 – When To Speak
“Teach me, dear God, when to keep silent and when to speak; and when I speak, O God, save me from using Your wonderful gift of speech to humiliate or hurt others.” [Reb Nachman of Bratzlav]

Elul 17 – Imperfection
Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. [George Soros]

Elul 18 – Don’t Judge Harshly
We should be lenient in our judgment, because often the mistakes of others would have been ours had we had the opportunity to make them. [Anonymous]

Elul 19 – A Greater Future
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. [Paul Boese]

Elul 20 – What Is The Story Of Your Life?
Days are scrolls: write on them what you want to be remembered. [Bachya ibn Pakuda,
11th C.]

Elul 21 – One Step At a Time
How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment to start to improve the world. [Anne Frank]

Elul 22 – Strength In The Face of Challenge
Just as a small fire is extinguished by the storm whereas a large fire is enhanced by it, likewise a weak faith is weakened by predicament and catastrophes whereas a strong faith is strengthened by them. [Viktor Frankel]

Elul 23 – Free Will
God does not predetermine whether a person shall be righteous or wicked; that God leaves to us. [Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei 3]

Elul 24 – Live In Each Moment
Ben Azzai used to say: Do not despise any person and do not consider anything impossible; for there is no one who does not have his hour and there is nothing that does not have its place. [Pirkei Avot 4:2]

Elul 25—On Wisdom
Ben Zoma said: Who is wise? The one who learns from everyone. [The one who sees what is to be.]...Who is strong? The one who subdues his evil impulse...Who is rich? The one who is content with his lot...Who is honored? The one who honors others. [Pirkei Avot 4:1]

Elul 26—Actions Speak Louder Than Words
“Friends, what does it say about the people of Nineveh? Not, ‘God saw their sackcloth and their fasting,’ but, ‘God saw their deeds—that they had turned back from their evil way.’ [Jonah 3:10] And in his admonition, the prophet says: ‘Rend your hearts, and not your garments.’” [Joel 2:13]

Elul 27— Be The Change That You Hope For
Where have you spoken of changes you want to make in yourself, but have not done so?
[Mishnah]

Elul 28— We Choose Our Own Way
Do not imagine that character is determined at birth. We have been given free will. Any person can become as righteous as Moses or as wicked at Jereboam. We ourselves decide whether to make ourselves learned or ignorant, compassionate or cruel, generous or miserly. No one forces us; no one drags us along one path or the other. We ourselves, by our own volition, choose our own way. [Maimonides]

Elul 29 - What Are the Criteria by Which God Will Judge Your Life?
Raba said, When one is led in for Judgment he is asked,
1. Did you deal faithfully [i.e., with integrity]?
2. Did you fix times for learning?
3. Did you engage in procreation?
4. Did you hope for salvation?
5. Did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom?
6. Did you understand one thing from another? [Talmud, Shabbat 30b-31a]

Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center Earns Prestigious NAEYC Accreditation
Friday, August 31, 2012

Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.

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“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Carol Bovill, Director of Early Childhood Centers of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. “NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.” Our teachers and administrators work with parents to create a learning and nurturing environment incorporating the Reggio Emilia and Montessori philosophies. The Early Childhood Centers of Wilshire Boulevard Temple create an atmosphere where mutual respect can be found amongst the children, teachers and parents and recognizes those children as being competent individuals.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center of Wilshire Boulevard Temple went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. The program received NAEYC Accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

In the 25 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs. “The NAEYC Accreditation system raises the bar for child care centers and other early childhood programs,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, Ph.D, executive director of NAEYC. “Having earned NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center of Wilshire Boulevard Temple is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education.”

The NAEYC Accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible.

The NAEYC Accreditation system was created to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, a program must meet each of the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.

For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit www.naeyc.org/academy.

Thank you to our Associate Director, Fredda Loewenstein, Glazer Site Director, Sherrie Zadok, NAEYC Coordinator, Dayna Lerner, Operations Manager, Heidi Sorenson, and to all of our teachers and parents.

We are looking forward to another terrific year.

Carol Bovill, M.A., Ed., Director
Early Childhood Centers
Wilshire Boulevard Temple

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