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Wilshire Boulevard Temple Documentary ‘Restoring Tomorrow’ Acquired by Seventh Art (EXCLUSIVE)
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017
By Dave McNary, Variety

Seventh Art Releasing has acquired rights to Aaron Wolf’s “Restoring Tomorrow,” which documents the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s restoration, Variety has learned exclusively.

Read the story > 

Watch a video preview >


Confronting Hate and Rising Anti-Semitism, French Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy Makes Rare Los Angeles Appearance
Thursday, January 12, 2017

wilshire-weekly-bernard-henri-levy-214Jan. 12, 2017
By Don Levy, Wilshire Boulevard Temple

In a rare Los Angeles appearance, Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher, activist, and a great moral voice of our time, will be in conversation with special guest Rabbi David Wolpe at Wilshire Boulevard Temple this Sunday evening, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. 


Read the whole story >


Congregant Betty Cohen Named to Mensch List
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jan. 5, 2017
By Ryan Torok in The Jewish Journal

The 95-year-old Holocaust survivor is named to the Jewish Journal's Mensch List. 

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A Remarkable Experiment Taking Place in Los Angeles
Thursday, December 15, 2016

December 15, 2016
By David A Lash

Above the Law talks about how the Karsh Center is establishing a new standard of care for neighbors living side by side in a diverse world.

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KCRW Features Architect Rem Koolhaas Design for Audrey Irmas Pavilion
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 27, 2016

In a KCRW radio story on major international architects involved in Los Angeles area projects, Rabbi Leder is interviewed about the Rem Koolhaas design for the Temple's new events center, the Audrey Irmas Pavilion.

Listen now >


Rabbi Goldberg's Impact on the TV Show ‘Transparent’
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016
By Uriel Heilman in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency 

Actress Kathryn Hahn talks about how Rabbi Goldberg helps her play Rabbi Raquel on Amazon's groundbreaking series, ‘Transparent’. 

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Staff at New Karsh Center Will Reach Out to Community
Friday, March 18, 2016

March 16, 2016
By Ryan Torok

The Jewish Journal writes about how the staff and volunteers at the Karsh Center will impact our underserved neighbors.

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Restoring Tomorrow Red Carpet with Rabbi Steve Leder
Monday, February 22, 2016

February 2, 2016

Rabbi Leder reminds us what we've accomplished in this video on the Red Carpet of the Restoring Tomorrow premiere.

Watch the video >



A Filmmaker with an Eye for the Temple's Transformation
Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 27, 2016
By Avishay Artsy in The Jewish Journal

Congregant and Los Angeles filmmaker Aaron Wolf's documentary, Restoring Tomorrow, helps tell the tale of the synogogue's transformation.


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Naming our daughter: A celebration (without circumcision)
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 20, 2016
By Avishay Artsy in The Jewish Journal

Temple member Avishay Artsy writes about his daughter's simchat bat celebration.


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Congregant Steven Sunshine Named to Jewish Journal's Mensch List
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dec. 30, 2015
By Ryan Torok in The Jewish Journal

The Temple's own Steven Sunshine, a force behind our food pantries for more than five years, was one of 10 Angelenos selected for the Jewish Journal's 11th Annual Mensch List.

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Restoration Of Temple Gets—What Else?—Movie Treatment
Monday, November 30, 2015

Nov. 30, 2015
By Tess Cutler in Tablet Magazine

In its heyday, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the oldest Reform temple in Los Angeles and national treasure, was the "it" synagogue, abuzz with Hollywood elite during the Golden Age of film making.

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Documentary-maker rediscovers Judaism, family, self
Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nov. 29, 2015
By Martha Groves in The Los Angeles Times

When Aaron Wolf began interviewing synagogue members and shooting footage for a documentary about the restoration of the Temple, he considered himself a fallen-away Jew.

Read more >




Cy Twombly canvas from Sydney and Audrey Irmas auctions for $70.5 million
Friday, November 13, 2015

November 12, 2015
By David Ng in the Los Angeles Times

Proceeds from the sale of an abstract canvas are expected to go toward building a new events center at Wilshire Boulevard Temple that is set for 2019 and that will bear the name of Audrey Irmas. 


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Sale of Twombly Work to Help Fund Expansion of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sept. 16, 2015
By Jori Finkel in The New York Times

Philanthropist Audrey Irmas is pledging $30 million from the sale of an early Cy Twombly "blackboard" painting at Sotheby's to help the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple construct a new building by Rem Koolhaas right next door.

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L.A. arts patron selling Cy Twombly painting to fund synagogue events center
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sept. 16, 2015
By Mike Boehm in The Los Angeles Times

Audrey Irmas, a longtime donor to Los Angeles art museums and Jewish causes, will sell a large 1968 "blackboard" painting by Cy Twombly that she's owned since 1990 and use $30 million of the predicted auction proceeds of more than $60 million to help build a new events center at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown.

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Sotheby's to Offer $60 Million `Blackboard' Painting by Twombly—Money to go to Temple
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September 16, 2015
By Katya Kazakina in Bloomberg Business

Sotheby's scored the 1968 canvas from the Los Angeles-based collector Audrey Irmas for its evening sale of contemporary art on Nov. 11. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Audrey Irmas Foundation for Social Justice, with $30 million earmarked for Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

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Improved Campus, New Playgrounds Greet WBT Students
Friday, August 28, 2015

Aug 27, 2015
By Edwin Folven in The Park LaBrea News Beverly Press

The Temple's educational facilities have undergone extensive renovations and expansions over the summer.

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My Mother's Love Wins
Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015
By Rabbi Susan Goldberg in The Huffington Post

huffington post goldberg in the news hp

Rabbi Goldberg talks about how the Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states effects her family.

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The New York Times Describes The Next Big Thing For Our Temple
Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 23, 2015
By The New York Times

preservation magazine in the news hp

We now have plans to build The Gathering Place.

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In L.A.’s Koreatown, Wilshire Boulevard Temple bets big on the past for its future
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015

preservation magazine in the news hp

Read the story by the Global Jewish News Source. 

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Sanctuary Featured in Preservation Magazine
Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015
By Preservation Nation Blog

preservation magazine in the news hp

Read the blog by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

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Rabbi Goldberg, TV Consultant
Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014
By 89.3 KPCC / scpr.org

Rabbi Susan Goldberg is a consultant to the ground-breaking Amazon original series ‘Transparent’. 

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Our Temple in the Media
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 4, 2014

Susan Stamberg of NPR visited recently, and so did our local media.
Listen to NPR audio >

Korea Times: Wilshire Temple to co-run a new center with Korean community.
Click here for article >

Park La Brea News/Beverly Press: New center to encompass 'tikkun olam'.
Click here for article >

Travel Channel: Church Secrets and Legends
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014
By the Travel Channel

Rabbi Leder explains why the Temple undertook the restoration of the Sanctuary and the meaning of the treasures it contains. Wilshire Boulevard Temple was the only synagogue included in this three-part series.

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Jewish Journal: Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s musical Shabbat
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013
By Susan Freudenheim

If Disney Hall has competition for beautiful acoustics in a magnificent setting, it is Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

For the Shabbat evening service on Dec. 6, some 70 extraordinary musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic squeezed onto an extended bimah in the great sanctuary, whose newly restored vibrancy made this unique public event all the more exciting.

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Architect's Newspaper: God in the Details - Los Angeles' Wilshire Boulevard Temple completes stunning restoration
Friday, November 22, 2013

Sam Lubell

No architect in LA has mended more of the city’s historic icons than Brenda Levin. Gems in her portfolio include the Griffith Observatory, City Hall, the Wiltern Theater, the Bradbury Building, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, and Dodger Stadium, to name just a few.

And still none seem quite as spectacular as the newly-renovated Wilshire Boulevard Temple. After a two-year renovation, the ornate Byzantine/Moorish/Romanesque synagogue in the city’s mid-Wilshire district sparkles.

Built in 1929, the temple had never had a renovation. When much of its congregation moved to a new facility on the city’s west side in 1988 the deterioration progressed faster. Many wanted to stop investing in the temple altogether, but luckily the synagogue’s Senior Rabbi, Steven Leder, pushed hard for a new campus plan that included fixing up their original house of worship. In 2009, Levin and Associates, with a team that included Matt Construction, began the process, with construction beginning in 2011. The synagogue is still undergoing a capital campaign, which has thus far raised $123 million, to pay for the $50 million renovation and the larger master plan.

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Lilith: Why L.A.? Why Women? And Why Now?
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fall 2013
by Liz Safirstein Leshin

“Everything loose rolls west,” my mother observed when I moved to Los Angeles 22 years ago. People have always gravitated here to escape conformity, create provocative innovations in the arts and explore spiritual aspects of themselves. Increasingly, these explorations include Jewish identity.

Los Angeles Jews are borrowing the best from other cultures — a little like the hybrid Korean tacos so prevalent in our city’s food trucks — to create something new, relevant and delicious in the ways we worship and connect. Most of these new initiatives, often attracting elusive unaffiliated Jews, are led by women who are altering the way Jewish Angelenos eat, pray, love and live —  and creating waves across the country.



Jewish Journal: Moving and Shaking: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti visits Wilshire Boulevard Temple and AFMDA gala
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9, 2013
By Ryan Torok

More than 1,700 people, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, turned out for the community-wide dedication and interfaith choral concert at the renovated and recently reopened Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) in Koreatown.

Singer-songwriter Burt Bacharach performed “What the World Needs Now Is Love” during a special closing ceremony at the synagogue, with audience members singing along and recording the performance on their cell phones.




Jewish Journal: Camp garden helps kids’ generosity grow
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013
By Zan Romanoff

Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu is quiet in its off-season — or quieter, at least, if you’re used to seeing the space filled to bursting with energetic young campers. In the fall, it’s populated mostly by groups of adults who come through to use the grounds as a conference center, and there’s a distinct calmness in the air, a sense of relaxation that comes along with shorter days and southern light.



Los Angeles Times: Wilshire Boulevard Temple celebrates a revival
Thursday, September 5, 2013

The extensively renovated 1929 landmark of Jewish life in Los Angeles opens for the High Holy Days amid hopes for closer ties with its changing neighborhood.

By Martha Groves
September 5, 2013, 5:44 p.m.

Rabbi Steven Z. Leder implored his Wilshire Boulevard Temple congregants to "look up, just look up" at the now-gleaming, 100-foot-high dome of their historic sanctuary, and they did, mindless of the white kippot slipping off their heads.

He urged them to look down at the new cooling vents under the pews. On such a warm September evening in years past, the hundreds gathered for Rosh Hashana would have been schvitzing. "Air conditioning at last. Air conditioning at last. Thank God almighty, air conditioning at last," he said.
For Los Angeles' oldest Jewish congregation, this week's High Holy Days marked the official unveiling of the $47.5-million renovation and the beginning of a new mission in the storied temple's increasingly diverse neighborhood.




LA Weekly: Wilshire Boulevard Temple Launches a Unique Project to Bridge Religion and Art
Thursday, September 5, 2013

By Carol Cheh Thursday, Sep 5 2013

These days, a lot of people want to get in on the game of exhibiting contemporary art in Los Angeles. Talk of soon-to-open venues is proliferating, from Eli Broad's museum downtown and the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery co-headed by former MOCA curator Paul Schimmel to a new space housing art owned by the Marciano brothers of Guess Jeans.

One of the most exciting moves, however, comes from an unexpected source: the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a 150-year-old Reform Jewish synagogue. As a key part of its massive, 10-year renovation-and-redevelopment campaign, currently under way, the temple is commissioning or purchasing major works of art by blue-chip artists, many of them developed specifically for the new temple complex.



Curbed Los Angeles: Touring the Restored 1929 Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013, by Adrian Glick Kudler

The gorgeous, ornate Wilshire Boulevard Temple--known for its long connection to the entertainment industry--has been getting a much-publicized freshening; it's been closed for nearly two years and is set to reopen for High Holy Day services next week. Architect Brenda Levin, a member of the congregation, oversaw the work, which included a complete and thorough restoration of the incredible sanctuary dome and its oculus, as well as the murals depicting Jewish history (originally funded by the Warner Brothers and painted by set designer Hugo Ballin), the 24-foot-diameter stained glass window at the back of the sanctuary, the 30-foot-long spicebox chandeliers, and the enormous organ (which has been called "the most important organ in the West by people who know about organs). The mechanical systems were all upgraded and the altar was lowered and made more accessible.



Larchmont Buzz: Wilshire Boulevard Temple Shines Again
Monday, August 26, 2013

Julie Grist | August 26, 2013 |

Just  a mile and a half east of Hancock Park, the grand Wilshire Boulevard Temple was erected over 80 years ago and known as the “Temple of the Stars” for its original funding by three of the Warner brothers and producer Irving Thalberg in 1929. But it might also earn the moniker for its elaborate interior, which has recently been refurbished.
With the first segment of its $150 million renovation almost complete, the temple looks better than ever and hopes to draw a resurgence of Jewish congregants back into the heart of Koreatown. Since most synagogues in Los Angeles are based on the westside, Wilshire Boulevard Temple hopes to draw in younger jewish observers now settling in Los Feliz, downtown or Silverlake. The temple will also expand its community outreach in the neighborhood, with a planned expansion over the entire block to include a school and a social services center for the nearby community.



Jewish Journal: How do you raise $120 million?
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why major donors stepped up to save the synagogue

By Elyse Samuels

Cover Story

August 22, 2013

Ask Rabbi Steven Z. Leder what the mission of Wilshire Boulevard Temple is, and he’ll tell you, “We make Jews.” The temple started making Jews two centuries ago, in 1862, when the country stood divided, engaged in Civil War, with Abraham Lincoln as the president of the United States. Then known as Congregation B’nai B’rith, it was located first at Temple Street and Broadway downtown, and then moved to a larger space at Ninth and Hope streets. Eventually, in 1929, the synagogue — now the oldest in Los Angeles — moved into its third historic home, on Wilshire Boulevard between Harvard and Hobart boulevards, dominating its portion of the city’s spine.


New York Times: Second Act for the Temple of the Stars
Sunday, August 18, 2013

Published: August 18, 2013

LOS ANGELES — It was known as the Temple of the Stars: a soaring sanctuary capped by a 100-foot-wide Byzantine dome, built by Hollywood moguls on the eve of the Depression and splashed with the kind of pizazz one might expect at a movie palace rather than a synagogue.

But over the last 80 years, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple has become a monument to neglect, its handsome murals cracked, the gold-painted dome blackened by soot, the sanctuary dark and grim. A foot-long chunk of plaster crashed to the ground one night.



KCRW: The City of Angels in All Its Imperfect Glory
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
TUE JUL 9, 2013
Edward Goldman
Now, let's turn our attention to one of the most significant historical landmarks in LA – the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. This 1929 Byzantine-style building – after two years of extensive restoration – is scheduled to reopen in September. A couple of weeks ago, I went on a press walk-through given by Rabbi Steven Leder and architect Brenda Levin, known for the restoration of such landmarks as the Bradbury Building, the Wiltern Theater and Griffith Observatory.



LA Magazine: A Brucha for the Block: Inside Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Newly Restored Sanctuary and Redeveloped Campus
Friday, June 28, 2013

Posted on 6/28/2013 9:58:00 AM by Shayna Rose Arnold

What does the Los Angeles campus of Wilshire Boulevard Temple have in common with iconic structures like the Griffith Observatory, Dodger Stadium, City Hall, and the Bradbury Building? It has been lovingly restored by Levin & Associates Architects principal Brenda Levin. The architect was on hand Wednesday when the press was offered a sneak peek at the temple’s refurbished 1,658-seat sanctuary and a still-under-construction outdoor space, both of which are scheduled to be completed before the Jewish High Holy days begin this fall. “I’ve been really fortunate to work on major buildings in Los Angeles,” said Levin, “and the ones that give me the most pleasure are the ones that bring community together. This is a very internally-focused spaced, but it is as awe-inspiring [as Griffith Observatory] and very spiritual and moving for me.”


AP: $150 million reboot for Hollywood Temple to Stars
Sunday, June 2, 2013

By John Rogers — Jun. 2 3:54 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — From its very beginnings, the imposing marble edifice with the glistening copper dome rising 100 feet above the edge of downtown Los Angeles has been a major Hollywood production.

During the Golden Era, MGM co-founder Louis B. Mayer, along with fellow movie moguls Irving Thalberg, Carl Laemmle and the Warner brothers, helped bankroll the cavernous Wilshire Boulevard Temple, which debuted in 1929 as the cornerstone of the largest Jewish congregation west of Chicago.

The Tinseltown synagogue became known as the "Temple to the Stars" and served as the featured set location for everything from A-list weddings to an episode of "Entourage."


Los Angeles Times: Her turn to pay it forward: Philanthropist pledges $30 million for a synagogue's restoration
Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013|Martha Groves

Erika Glazer came of age at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, listening to the preachings of the late Edgar Magnin -- the "rabbi to the stars" who envisioned a grand sanctuary west of downtown Los Angeles and persuaded Hollywood notables to help fund it.

"He was always speeding things up," said Glazer, the daughter of shopping mall developer Guilford Glazer. "I remember as a kid he would skip [Torah] pages."

Now it's Glazer's turn to move things along. The philanthropist has pledged $30 million over the next 15 years toward the synagogue's ongoing restoration and redevelopment.


Times' Gallery of Photos:



Jewish Journal: The Architect and the Rabbi: Wilshire Boulevard Renovation is a Collaboration, History Lesson
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cover Story
August 1, 2012

By Susan Freudenheim

Early on a recent Wednesday morning, architect Brenda Levin bounded up the metal steps temporarily installed at the center of the historic sanctuary of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Leading the way up 10 flights — that’s 100 feet — she climbed to the normally inaccessible domed ceiling, high enough to touch the enormous Hebrew letters circling the oculus’ opening. Those letters, inscribed in gold, spell out the most sacred words of Torah: Shema Yisra’el ...


Hollywood Reporter: Hollywood's Hottest $150 Million Project Is an 83-Year-Old Synagogue
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

10:00 AM PDT 5/30/2012 by Gary Baum

Studio heads, agency chieftains and top producers have come together, "Avengers"-style, to save their iconic but decaying Wilshire Boulevard Temple -- an A-list house of worship far from the Westside.

There are a number of synagogues central to Jewish life at the loftiest reaches of the entertainment business -- Temple Israel, Leo Baeck and Stephen S. Wise among them -- but none has been as prominent for as long as Wilshire Boulevard Temple. It opened in 1929 at what was then the western edge of Los Angeles (now known as Koreatown) with key financial support from film titans Irving Thalberg, Carl Laemmle, Louis B. Mayer and brothers Jack and Harry Warner. These days, the congregation’s services are still so Hollywood-heavy that they were spoofed in a third-season episode of Entourage, when Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold crashed Yom Kippur to bend a studio head’s ear.



KCRW - Which Way, L.A.?: What’s happening at LA’s Wilshire Boulevard Temple?
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Posted April 17, 2012 by Saul Gonzalez

While driving down Wilshire Boulevard early one morning about a month ago, I spotted a beautiful combination of form, function and construction-an exo-skeleton of scaffolding enveloping one of L.A.’s  most treasured architectural monuments. It turns out Los Angeles’ historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple, home to the oldest Jewish congregation in L.A., is undergoing a $175 million dollar renovation and restoration project. It’s a project that Rabbi Steve Z. Leder who leads the congregation at Wilshire Temple, hopes will restore the luster of this mammoth house of worship and make the synagogue a hub of urban Jewish life in L.A. for the rest of our century.




LA Weekly: Wilshire Boulevard Temple's Revolutionary Murals Get a Facelift
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

By Tanja Laden Wed., Mar. 7 2012

If you've ever cruised along Wilshire Boulevard between Western and Vermont, you've probably noticed a massive, domed structure at Hobart Avenue, kitty-corner to an indoor golf driving-range. That building is the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, aka the Best Jewish Reform Synagogue Built by Hollywood, according to our 2011 Best of L.A. issue.

You might have also noticed that, these days, the temple is covered in scaffolding -- signs the 1929 landmark is in the middle of a multimillion-dollar renovation. The large-scale extended project includes a cleaning and restoration of the Warner Murals, commissioned by none other than Jack, Harry and Albert Warner, otherwise known as the Warner Bros. The artist, Hugo Ballin, would have been a whopping 133 years old today, so what better time to revisit his work than the present?



Los Angeles Times: Renewal For A Temple
Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Wilshire Boulevard landmark shows its age, but renovation is about to start
October 08, 2011|Martha Groves

As members of the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles gathered Friday evening to observe the start of Yom Kippur, the holy day of atonement, they were invited one last time to admire the Hollywood-influenced murals and other appointments of the aging Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

Early next week, workers will begin a floor-to-dome restoration of the 1929 Byzantine auditorium that is expected to last two years. The work is part of an ambitious campaign by the Reform congregation to draw a new generation of worshipers to the Koreatown synagogue.



Times' Gallery of Photos:


Wilshire Boulevard Temple

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