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Temple News

Stories from the Temple Bulletin, Wilshire Weekly, and other news. 
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Hamentaschen Recipe for Purim

On this episode of our digital recipe series "Welcome to My Kitchen," Wilshire Boulevard Temple's Executive Director Donna Nadel teaches us how to make hamentaschen for Purim.

Donna first learned this recipe in her kids' preschool class and they've become a holiday staple in her household. In fact, Donna mails out these festive cookies to her children every Purim.Her favorite filling? Apple! Her kids prefer chocolate chip.  Enjoy this quick and delicious recipe (see below)! Chag Purim Sameach.

And, if you'd like to learn more about Purim, Rabbi Joel Nickerson lays out the four mitzvot (commandments) associated with the Book of Esther in this fun video.


Welcome to My Kitchen: Donna Nadel


(Hamen's Hats for Purim)
Recipe by Donna Nadel

1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar 
2 eggs
4 teaspoons of orange juice (but Donna uses 9)
4 1/2 cups of flour 
1 teaspoon of baking soda 

Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar until blended.  Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the flour a little at a time until dough starts to form.  Then add the orange juice.

Roll the dough out on a floured board.  Cut into circles using the rim of a cup or a glass.  Put about a teaspoon of filling (cherry or apple pie filling, chocolate chips, poppy seed filling) in the center of each circle.  Pinch the corners of the circle making a triangle. Coat with egg whites for shine (optional).

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.  ENJOY!

Clergy 2019 Reflections

2019 Clergy Reflections

Kicking off a new decade, we asked our clergy to look back and share their greatest takeaways from 2019. It was a year filled with milestones and beginnings. Here's what they shared with us!

Rabbi Leder:  2019 taught me how much we all need each other--young and old, men, women, people of all faiths and colors. We cannot make the world better alone.

Cantor Peicott: Greatest accomplishment of 2019 was becoming a mother to a beautiful baby boy. My greatest lesson as I entered this parenting journey is that no matter how hard I try to be, I am not in control and sometimes I have to just see where this ride of life takes me.

Rabbi Ben-Naim: We closed the decade with one son going from a gap year in Israel to college, one living for 4 months in Israel and one preparing for Bar a zone of abundant gratitude. The blessing of shaping the Jewish future in Brawerman and celebrating the success of our esteemed graduates...the decade was spectacular. The future is so bright.

Rabbi Nickerson: Becoming a part of the WBT team and the warm welcome my family and I have received from this incredible community!

Rabbi Nanus: This past August I spent 10 days in Berlin which broke my heart broke as I experienced the tragic void once filled with a vibrant community of 500,000 Jews. More than ever, we American Jews must cherish our beliefs and traditions, cultivate our culture and fight to preserve who we are. If not us, then who?

Rabbi Eshel: I would have to say the most profound and meaningful moments and memories was the success of camp this past summer at Channel Islands. We saw the manifestation of the values we have been teaching for generations…namely, that camp is the people and the experiences we create together. The “place” is the laboratory and the tool, but the true essence of camp is the people. Camp is family and that can never be taken away from us.



Purim with a Purpose, 2019: Matanot L’evyonim!

Purim with a Purpose is back, and this year, like last year, we are getting silly, celebrating, and creating a very special day of service and learning for our Religious School students. On Purim there is a mitzvah called matanot l’evyonim (gifts to the poor). In our city, we have a large community of people living below the poverty level. We are partnering with our very own Karsh Family Social Service Center to work to improve the lives of our underserved neighbors by creating three types of gift bundles: baby supplies, Mother’s Day pampering items, and kitchen essentials. 

As a family, you are asked to support Purim with a Purpose by sponsoring at least one of these gift bundles.

Sponsorship dollars raised by your donations help support Religious School programs and Karsh Center clientele. Each gift bundle costs $36. 

Save the dates for Purim with a Purpose: Sunday, March 10, at the Irmas Campus and Sunday, March 17, at the Glazer Campus (during regular Religious School hours). More information is available at 

B'nei Mitzvah in Israel and Purim with a Purpose

No words can describe the experience of sharing b’nei mitzvah in Israel with Wilshire Boulevard Temple students, their families, and Rabbi Eshel and his family. It was truly a special experience, and nine of the b’nei mitzvah student participants were from the Religious School! A big thank you to the Goldhirsh-Yellin Foundation, who provided a generous subsidy for all students having their Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel, in memory of Bernard and Wendy Goldhirsh. 

Community is everything, and with Purim with a Purpose just around the corner, I hope you will continue to help support our efforts to reach more families and provide them with opportunities to participate in all that this community has to offer. There is so much for everyone. Sponsor Purim and “Buy a Bundle!” Support religious school scholarships while at the same time supporting Karsh clientele. If every family sponsors at least one bundle for $36, we will reach our goal! More information is available at


- Cathy Gordon, Head of Religious School

2020 Census Opportunities

On March 12, the effort to count every resident in the United States will once again officially start, as Census responses are collected. For the first time, the Census will be almost entirely digital. Individuals who don’t have personal computer access are being directed to community spaces that will host kiosks to fill out the Census. The Karsh Family Social Service Center is proud to be a Census kiosk site this year, and from March 12 through the end of April, we will welcome our clients, neighbors in Koreatown, and members of the community at large to come make sure that they are counted. 

Read More about 2020 Census Opportunities
Bundling Matanot L'evyonim

We are so proud of Jonas and Leni Schneider! Grade 7 Religious School students, the brother-and-sister duo shared their b’nei mitzvah February 1. 

Look at these incredible centerpieces from their celebration. All of the edible fresh fruits and vegetables were donated to the Karsh Center food pantry to be disbursed the Sunday morning following the Schneiders’ simchah. This is an important part of what we hope to teach our students. 

Read More about Bundling Matanot L'evyonim
Camp Kulam Day 2020!

Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps believes that every child deserves a Jewish-camp experience. However, four years ago, we noticed that there wasn’t a local program that provided that life-changing experience to the special needs community of the greater Los Angeles area. We reached out to HaMercaz, a division of Jewish Family Service that works intimately in the special needs community, and started brainstorming about what kind of program could engage this community in a meaningful and affordable way. Fast-forward to today—we’re so excited to host our fourth-annual Camp Kulam on May 17, 2020, at the Temple’s Irmas Campus!

Read More about Camp Kulam Day 2020!
Gala Thank Yous!

On February 1, our Erika J. Glazer and Mann Family Early Childhood Centers held their Annual Gala: After Hours @ Wilshire. All proceeds from this amazing night help support scholarships and enrichments for our Early Childhood Centers. We are all so fortunate to be part of such a committed, passionate, and generous community. It gave us great pride and joy to see our community of parents come together in support of our schools to benefit the scholarship fund and operating budget. 

Read More about Gala Thank Yous!
Finding Honor and Friendship in Israel

Our commitment to instilling the values of integrity, kindness, and honor come before anything we teach in a textbook. So, when we travel to Israel with our soon-to-be graduates, we’re more than happy to hear them recall historical facts they’ve acquired throughout their seven years at Brawerman. But the most profound and lasting impression they can make is when they put others first. Picking up a bag that was left behind, helping a classmate who loses their footing while hiking down Masada, making room for another seat at the breakfast or dinner table aren’t checklist items on a report card or a multiple-choice question on a standardized test, but they are what truly matters. 

Read More about Finding Honor and Friendship in Israel
Gifts of Purim

The month of March contains one of the most enjoyable holidays of the year—Purim. While it is known for carnivals, costumes, and comedy, there are themes of the holiday that help move us beyond the joy of dressing up and acting silly. In addition to our tradition demanding that we celebrate the holiday with sometimes raucous behavior, there are two Purim mitzvot that touch on deeper values: Matanot l’evyonim is the commandment to give gifts to the poor, and mishlo-ach manot are the gifts, the packages of goodies, we give to our friends.

Read More about Gifts of Purim
student smiling from a sanitation truck

Last week was jam-packed with field trips! On Tuesday, Grades 1 and 2 saw the play The Emperor's New Clothes at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre. Students were not only treated to the performance, but also enjoyed talking to the actors and actresses, some of whom were also in elementary school, after the play. Students learned about all of the hard work that goes into putting on a theatrical production.

On Tuesday, Grade 1 students headed off campus to the West LA Sanitation Yard. In conjunction with their study of recycling in the classroom, students saw the different types of garbage trucks and learned how to properly sort trash. They reflected on the importance of recycling and connected it to the Jewish value of bal tashchit, which means "do not destroy."


Read More about Brawerman West learns Outside the Classroom
The Karsh Center getting ready to distribute groceries

In our first week since the City’s "Safer at Home" policy took effect, the Karsh Family Social Service Center distributed food, diapers and personal hygiene products to over 600 families and individuals living in over 20 Los Angeles area zip codes. While "social distancing" limits many of the usual services offered at the Karsh Center, we can also still help many of our 30 social service collaborators provide some essential services remotely, such as mental health counseling, legal support, ESL classes, and census assistance for completing the form online.

Read More about Caring for Our Neighbors