Stories from the Temple Bulletin, Wilshire Weekly, and other news.
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 Mitzvah...in 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.
Audrey Irmas Pavilion donors describe their enthusiasm for Wilshire Boulevard Temple and how they envision the Audrey Irmas Pavilion will serve the community.
Close your eyes and imagine you’re walking through a quaint, secluded college campus nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Sprawling fields and other natural settings are woven between preserved Spanish-style buildings. Imagine it’s summer—there aren’t too many people around, so it’s pretty quiet. You make your way toward the south side of the campus when, suddenly, you begin to feel a familiar energy. You hear the sound of children playing, the sound of laughter, the sound of people having the time of their lives. You may never have stepped foot on this college campus, but you’ve been here before. You’re at camp.
In our Early Childhood Centers, the Atelier, or “art studio,” is a place where children come to explore, create, and express themselves through multiple mediums. It is a magical space, filled with natural light and soft music, and set up with intentionality.
The expression “safety first” is not just an expression but a way of life for our Temple. We all know that the world has changed, and being prepared to prevent incidents like those that occurred in Pittsburgh, Poway, and recently in New Jersey is vitally important. This means that we now spend far more than we ever imagined would be necessary to secure our campuses, services, schools, and programs.
This month, we begin the second book of Torah, Exodus. The new Pharaoh’s need for power and control increases as he brings harshness and slavery to the Israelites.
Children in our nursery schools begin their days with morning meetings in which their teachers ask them questions about the previous day. The group spends time discussing and reflecting, then prepares for the day ahead. Because our curriculum is inspired by the innate inquisitive spirit of each beautiful child, it is a daily practice for our teachers to tailor their programs to meet their students’ needs. It is a core philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.
But how is that also a Jewish approach?
As many of you know, two years ago we replaced the Purim Carnival with an event we deeply believe does far more to teach our students about the wonderful values, traditions, and meanings found in this holiday. Our Purim with a Purpose Celebration is dedicated to the value of dignified giving. On Purim there are four mitzvot, or commandments, that the Jewish people fulfill. The fourth, and our inspiration for Purim with a Purpose, is Matanot Le’evyonim, or “Gifts to the poor.”
We are so proud and honored to partner with Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Karsh Family Social Service Center to help improve the lives of our underserved neighbors.
When the idea of a happy family gathered around the holiday table, menorah or Christmas tree runs smack into the reality of a recent divorce, a kid in rehab, a parent with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home or the death of a loved one after a long battle with cancer or a sudden accident, it really hurts. Let’s face it, the holidays can be awful when you or someone you love is suffering, or when that someone is gone forever.
Enjoy the recording of Let There Be Light, an interfaith holiday concert
During their final year of nursery school, we provide the TK and DK children with opportunities to joyfully engage with elders in our L.A. Jewish community by going on three field trips during the months of November through February. This year, we are excited to partner with two new senior centers: our Mann Family ECC with the Los Angeles Jewish Home’s Eisenberg Village, a continuing-care retirement community, and our Glazer ECC with the Garden of Palms assisted-living center.