The Voices of Israel
by Rabbi Sari Laufer

Once, I was hit by an egg. It was hard-boiled, it was thrown at me, it hit me in the neck, and it hurt.
Let me rewind. Thirty years ago, in December 1988, a group of women—Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and everything in between—gathered at the Kotel, the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Now, women come to the Kotel every day, so on the surface there would be nothing surprising about this. But these women came with a Torah; they came to lead a traditional service, according to Jewish law, in which they could wear tallitot, read from and bless the sefer Torah, and sing in their full voices.


Get ready for the rootinest, tootinest Purim party this side of Shushan!
Bring your lil’ cowgirls n’ cowboys down to the Wild Wise West for the funnest, fastest, carnivalest day of the year.
Earlybird wristbands are on sale now:
$40 for kids (5-18 years old)
$20 for lil’ cowpokes (2-4 years old)
Free for adults and kids under 2.

Prices go up after Friday, March 15 at 12 p.m.
Food and beverages not included.


Howdy, Pardner!
Stroll on up to the saloon, grab some prairie dew to wash down that hot rock, and enjoy great food, great laughs, and even greater company at our annual “Purim for Grown-Ups.” Featuring theatrical performances from the Smith-Drori Stephen Wise Temple Theatre Company and music from the Kates-Sackler Country Jamboree, you’ll be glad you didn’t miss out. Festivities will include music, dancing, food, and plenty of quality schmooze-time. Note: this is strictly a 21+ event.


That’s So 90s!
Our 20s and 30s are invited for a totally tubular throwback Purim party for our 20s/30s–food, open bar, dancing, and Purim festivities! 
#ThrowbackThursday 80s/90s costumes encouraged!
21+ ONLY
Thursday, March 21 | 7 p.m.
Tickets $18 in advance/$28 at the door

*First 50 registrants will receive a discounted Lyft code
Feel free to forward this event to your favorite millennial!


Assemble Purim Goodie Packs for Your Favorite College Kids!
Tuesday March 12 | 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Wise parents are invited to get together for lunch and to pack Purim gifts for their college kids. The event is kindly hosted by Stephanie Jacobs. Her address in Holmby Hills will be provided on RSVP.

Also if you have NOT already provided your college student’s current mailing address and would like them to receive a package, add your child’s address here.



This Week’s Torah Portion: Pekude

Friday, March 8
6:15 p.m. | Shabbat Services | Plotkin Chapel

Led by Rabbi Ron Stern and Cantor Emma Lutz
8 p.m. | Soulful Shabbat | Sanctuary
Led by Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Cantor Nathan Lam

Watch live on Friday night: Facebook |

Saturday, March 9
9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study | Chapel Study
10 a.m. | Shabbat Morning Services | Plotkin Chapel
Led by Rabbi David Woznica and Cantor Emma Lutz

Next Week

Friday, March 15
6:15 p.m. | Shabbat Services | Plotkin Chapel

Led by Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Cantor Nathan Lam

Saturday, March 16
9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study | Chapel Study
10 a.m. | Shabbat Morning Services | Plotkin Chapel
Led by Rabbi Sari Laufer and Cantor Emma Lutz


Learning Opportunities with Clergy
Talmud Study with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback: Wednesday, March 13 | 12 p.m. | Udko Annex
Bible Study with Rabbi Ron Stern: Monday, March 18 | 9 a.m. | Temple Conference Room



Homes for Heroes

We’re always grateful for your incredible efforts to support our veterans just moving into permanent housing. This month, our partners are helping 8 formerly homeless women who served in our armed forces move into new apartments: but they’re moving in without basic appliances, furniture, or the everyday items that make a house a home. YOU can help by making a donation to our Homes for Heroes program: all funds go towards helping them with new items for their new homes!


How Do You Want to Change the World?

You have the ability to make a difference! But how do you want to do it? Tell us your preferences and we’ll keep you updated about all of the exciting ways to join with Wise and other partner groups to effect real change in the world. Tell us if you want to support environmental causes; volunteer to house and feed the homeless; support organizations in Israel doing life-changing work; or become a mentor to a young person in need. Select what you want to learn more about: you’ll be the first to know the latest news about tikkun olam causes that inspire you the most.




Kol HaKavod to Lori and Rob Goodman for being honored with the Israel Bonds Shimon Peres Leadership award at the International Prime Minister Club dinner in Miama, Florida on Sunday, March 3.




Center for Jewish Life presents
Museums with Mario

The Getty

Tuesday March 12 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

With a collection this important you start with a single picture in pastel seen through the eyes of a practicing artist. We will focus on Manet and his use of black.
$15: Stephen Wise Temple Members
$20: General Public

Parking $15 per car


Annual Library Luncheon
with Dr. Stephen Aizenstat

Wednesday, March 13 | 12 p.m.

Come join us for a stimulating lecture from Dr. Stephen Aizenstat about “The Hidden Intelligence of Your Dreams”. Tickets are $50, lunch is included.


Wise Women presents
Mahj and More

Wednesday, March 13 |
Updated time for March!: 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Wise members and guests are invited to join other Wise Women for our monthly open play day: Mah Jongg, Canasta, Bridge or any other game you’d like! This month, please join us after the Library Luncheon at our updated time of 2pm. Groups or single players and all levels (beginners to experts) are welcome and encouraged! If you have a Mah Jongg set, please bring it along. Snacks and light refreshments will be served. This is a free event, we kindly ask for your RSVP.
*Save the date for upcoming Mahj & More sessions with newly added summer dates: Wednesdays April 3, May 1, June 5, July 10 & August 7 (all sessions at 1pm in Udko Annex)*


Wise Years
Thursday, March 14
10 a.m. | Registrations Begins | Plotkin Foyer
10:30 a.m. | Program Begins | Plotkin Chapel

Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein (Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State University Los Angeles) will address the complexities of our rapidly changing political climate. Award-winning documentary filmmaker and screenwriter Paul Boorstin will discuss his biblically-inspired novel David and the Philistine Woman. Film: In Search of Israeli Cuisine, an exploration of the 100+ diverse cultures of Israel through food. 


Center for Jewish Life presents
How to Read the Bible: A Class for the 21st Century
with Rabbi Ron Stern and Rabbi Josh Knobel

Thursdays: March 14, 21, April 4 | 7:30–9 p.m.

We will explore sections of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) through the lens of modern scholarship. Using the latest insights into the origins and historical context of the Bible, we will discover how understanding the texts in their cultural milieu, along with the added perspective of archeological research, allows us to gain even richer appreciation of the motives and wisdom of our ancestors. This unusual and cutting-edge reading of the Bible will lead to a deeper relationship with the texts and an awareness of how these texts speak to us in ways never considered by scholars from our ancient past.
The Bible is our sacred text because our ancestors have handed its wisdom to us through the centuries and because countless interpreters have shepherded it into our hands. This class returns after a successful debut last year with a look at new texts. Join us as we continue this exciting journey into our past that will radiate wisdom into our lives today.


Shabbat Morning Service: Women of the Wall
Saturday, March 16 | 10 a.m.

On Rosh Hodesh Adar 30 years ago, a group of women came together at the Western Wall in Jerusalem with one purpose: to demand the right to pray, with tallitot and Torah and with full voice, at Judaism’s holiest site. In honor and support of Women of the Wall for their three decades as the leading voice for equality and religious freedom in Israel, join Cantor Emma and Rabbi Sari for a special Shabbat morning service. With special music, liturgy, and learning, we will come together in strength and in joy, answering the call of Women of the Wall to “let me hear your voice.”


Wise Guys presents…Conversations
.45 Caliber, Why It’s OK for Some Jews to be Armed

Tuesday, March 19 | 7:30 p.m.

Join Rabbi Josh Knobel for this very first in a series of conversations designed for modern Jews. Featuring Los Angeles cardiologist Reed Wilson, Executive Director of MVAT James Colbert, and Fred Kogen, the founder of Bullets & Bagels, Southern California’s premier Jewish shooting club, “.45 Caliber” will explore the lives of Jewish gun owners, as well as the principles of ethical, responsible gun ownership in the 21st Century.
People of all genders are invited to enrich this meaningful conversation.


Wise Parents Association presents
Go All-In for the 9th Annual Poker Tournament

Thursday, March 26 | 7 p.m.

The 9th Annual “All-In” Poker Tournament is back, but with some new and exciting additions. Bring your best game for a chance to win huge prizes at Wise School.  It will be a memorable night of great food, friends, and friendly gambling WITH AN OPEN BAR! All are welcome!


Center for Jewish Life presents:
The High Holy Days: Exploring the New Stephen Wise Temple Machzor 
with Cantor Nathan Lam

Tuesdays: March 26, April 2, 16 | 7:30–9 p.m.

The prayers, readings, and music of the High Holy Days create an emotional journey that helps to shape the spiritual experience for our most sacred days and set us on the path for a new year. In this course we will explore the new Stephen Wise Temple machzor, lovingly written and edited by your Wise clergy to capture the unique experience of our community’s worship during the Days of Awe. We will listen to the music and discuss its emotional impact as we also analyze readings and texts from the machzor that create and shape our perspectives on prayer.


Jewish World Watch presents 
13th Annual Walk to End Genocide

Sunday, March 31 | 10 a.m. | Pan Pacific Park (google map link)

The Walk to End Genocide is a community event that brings together advocates of all ages and backgrounds in one united voice to say: “We will not stand idly by while genocide and mass atrocities occur.”  The Walk helps to raise awareness of ongoing atrocities in Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Funds raised from the Walk allow Jewish World Watch to continue its work to educate, advocate, and support projects in these conflict-affected areas.  
Please join the Wise Walks Team! 
For questions, contact Team Captain Diane Kabat (Email:, phone: 818.501.1836)


Wise Melton School presents
Maintaining Balance

Tuesdays: April 2, 9, 30; May 7 | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This four-part course takes a look at classic and modern Jewish texts that relate to our contemporary challenge of balancing the needs and demands of family, work, community and self. How can Judaism help us restore balance? This is a great introduction to the Melton School curriculum! New students are encouraged and welcome. No prior Melton School participation is required.


Tot Shabbat and Baby Playdate
Saturday, April 6
9 a.m. | Baby Playdate (12 months and younger)
10 a.m. | Tot Shabbat Service

Gather together with our community for a festive service! Our Clergy and song leaders lead our music- and story-filled service that introduces the youngest members of our community to the joy of Shabbat. Parents and grandparents will love it too!  Special for parents with newborns, we’ll have a baby playdate for an hour leading up to Tot Shabbat.


Center for Jewish Life presents
Intermediate Classical Hebrew 

Mondays: April 8 – July 1 | 7 p.m. 

This class, taught in English, focuses on Siddur and Biblical Hebrew with an emphasis on reading and comprehension. Students will improve their reading and pronunciation and will learn to read and understand basic classical Hebrew, such as prayers. Cost is $315.


Rosh Hodesh Women’s Gathering
Wednesday, April 10 | 8:30 a.m.

Join us to celebrate Rosh Hodesh, a beautiful experience for women by women filled with Torah, poetry, song, love, community, and friendship. Please feel free to bring a friend and include in your RSVP.


Soulful Shabbat
Friday, April 12
Dinner | 6:30 p.m.
Services | 8 p.m.

Soulful Shabbat is a one-of-a-kind musical service, one of Wise’s most popular traditions. Join our clergy and our Soulful Shabbat musicians and singers for a spiritual evening featuring the rhythms and melodies our members have come to love.


Torah Trek with Rabbi Ron Stern
Saturday, May 4 | 9 a.m.-11 a.m. | Topanga State Park

Join us on May 4th for a “Torah Trek” in the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga State Park. We’ll do some hiking and stop at our usual place for a little wisdom from Jewish tradition. We’ll meet at 9:00 a.m in the parking lot at the main entrance to Topanga State Park at Tripet Ranch off Entrada Road. The hike will take about two hours. There’s a parking fee, payable by credit card.


Wise Guys presents…Conversations
Man Up, Defining Jewish Masculinity for the 21st Century

Thursday, May 30 | 7:30 p.m.

Join Rabbi Josh Knobel for this pivotal entry in a series of conversations designed for modern Jews. “Man Up” will explore how Jewish men can turn the tide against a culture of sexual harassment and assault that has left far too many women in our world at risk of abuse and exploitation. Discover how to acknowledge and combat misogyny without compromising your manhood, how to be woke without mansplaining, and how to raise empowered, feminist, Jewish men for the 21st century.
People of all genders are invited to enrich this meaningful conversation.




Nefesh B’Nefesh presents
2019 Los Angeles Aliyah Fair
Tuesday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. | Young Israel of Century City
Wednesday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. | Sherman Oaks Courtyard Marriott

This is your chance to have ALL your Aliyah questions answered under one roof! Meet with Israeli professionals, and get step-by-step guidance from the experts. Israeli vendors and service providers will be able to provide answers and guidance about the topics most critical to your Aliyah planning, including employment, insurance, taxes, real estate, financial planning, and much more. This is a great opportunity to meet other Aliyah-minded individuals and is open to all, whether you are planning Aliyah in the near future or further down the line. Light refreshments will be available.



We remember with love those who died in recent days and weeks:
David Habif, Shelton (Shelly) Pepper, Mollyann Schroeder, Jean Strauber, Irwin Tallarico

We observe the yahrzeits of:
Jack Atlas*, David Baumgarten*, Andrew Bender*, Pierre Guido Bertholdi*, Renee D. Bienenfeld*, Barnett Caplan*, Robert Young Desmond*, Shulamit Dor*, Esther Faber*, Edward G. Fogel*, Anna M. Kahn*, Rose Landfield*, Sam Leebove*, Eric Lightner*, Harry Love*, Abe Margolis, Nicholas N. Lubin*, Mort R. Markus*, Hazel Maslan*, Florence D. Ravins*, Lawrence A. Robbins, Bessie R. Rosen*, Joyce Rosenberg*, Tonia Rosenblatt*, Lillian Rothschild*, Sam Schiller, Morris Schlissel*, Martin Seehoff, Mitchell Shames*, Hyman Silverman*, Fanny Snookal*, Carol Wheeler, Jack Wolf*

*Designated on our memorial walls

Mazal Tov

Shehechianu Moment

Do you have a milestone birthday or anniversary approaching? We’d like to celebrate your special day on the bima during Friday evening Shabbat Services! Invite your family, join your Wise community, make it a “shehechianu moment” – a time to give thanks for life, health, and the blessings that enable you to reach this great moment in your life. Let us know by emailing Arlene Spiegelman or calling 310.889.2272 and she’ll make sure to schedule a date that works for you. We’d love to share your celebration!

Mazal Tov to:

Jacob and Andrea Hall on the birth of their son Jude Valentine Hall
Brenda and Omid Hamid on their son Noah Hamid becoming Bar Mitzvah
Mona and Afshin Shargani on their daughter Talia Shargani becoming Bat Mitzvah


We reach out as a community and offer our support and deepest sympathy to those among us who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

Pam and Jeff Balton on the loss of Pam’s step-father Shelton Pepper
The family of Jean Strauber on her loss
Lauren Bartlett on the loss of her father Irwin Tallarico
Charles Schroeder on the loss of his wife Mollyann Schroeder


We honor our loved ones, our family simchas, and our communal losses through charitable giving. To give in honor or in memory of a cherished family member or dear friend, please visit

Ann S. Epstein, by Norman, Carole, Mark, Laura, Rebecca, Madeline and Adrienne


David Williams’ Bar Mitzvah, by Marty and Evy Lutin


Lawrence A. Robbins, by Lynda Robbins


Fannie Gesundheit, by Susie, Daniela, and Jaime Gesundheit


Eleanor Davis, by Michael and Bonnie Blumenkrantz


Mel Green and Harriet Cohen, by Laurie and Steve Bird


Debbie Gordon’s Birthday, by Edward and Carol Horowitz


Carol Wheeler, by Bill and Harriet Zolan
Pam Balton’s stepfather, Shelton Pepper, by Richard and Janine Kolodny

Jessica Lebovits and Ryan Mannon’s marriage, by Edward and Deena Nahmias
Jessica Lebovits and Ryan Mannon’s marriage, by Glenn and Carin Freeman
Jessica Lebovits and Ryan Mannon’s marriage, by Rob and Lori Goodman
Jessica Lebovits and Ryan Mannon’s marriage, by Shelly and Don Levy
Lori and Rob Goodman, for being honored by Israel Bonds, by Richard and Janine Kolodny


Ann Kusnitz, by Myron and Harriet Kusnitz
Enayatollah Shenassa, by Behnam and Sharona Shenassa
Gilbert Sheinhaus, by Carol Sookman
Gloria Gans, by the Koppelman Family
Louis Friedman, by Barbara and Dana Friedman, Eileen, Jim, Katie, and Lauren Bral, Cheryl, Dan, Gregory, and Mitchell Klatchko
Michael Igdaloff, by Harold Igdaloff



We appreciate our wonderful volunteers:

Center for Jewish Life Volunteers:
Susan Firestone
Freda Moscowitz
Barbara Sampson

Tammy Steinman

Nosh Volunteer:
Susan Firestone

Gift Shop Volunteers:
Terrie Baumann
Rochelle Fox
Lori Rubin
Carol Sookman

Have a great idea? Share it with us by submitting it to our online suggestion box.

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Would you like to get involved? Check out upcoming Temple and School events. 

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Stephen Wise Temple | 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive | Los Angeles, CA 90077
Shabbat Shalom