How We Speak: The Talmud Weighs In
by Rabbi David Woznica

The role of the priest is front and center in the Torah reading this week. It is the priest’s responsibility to protect the community from the skin disease called Tzara’at and to bring spiritual aid to those who were suffering from it. The Rabbis of the Talmud found it of interest that so much of the Torah would be devoted to a disease of the skin and concluded there was greater significance to the disease than the physical.


Wise Women Make Meaning and Prepare for Passover 

Ushering in Passover, over 60 women gathered on April 3 for a fun evening of schmoozing, learning, and crafting at Wise Women’s Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? While we do not answer the Four Questions during the Seder itself, the answer was clear on April 3. The room was filled with women across the Wise community; we came together across backgrounds, generations, and even the 405 to connect with each other and get in the Passover spirit.



The Stories We Tell: Supplemental Readings for Your Seder

Your Wise clergy have teamed up for a new Haggadah supplement that includes new perspectives on Passover and the traditions of our People. We hope that the pieces in this supplement will inspire conversations around your Seder table; even more than that, we hope that they will inspire you to tell your own stories, sing your own songs, and ask your own questions. In addition to the words in this supplement, the Wise clergy have curated many wonderful resources to enhance your Seder, including family-friendly ways to celebrate and learn.


This Week’s Torah Portion: Metzora

Friday, April 12
6:15 p.m. | Shabbat Services | Sanctuary

Led by Rabbi Sari Laufer and Cantor Emma Lutz
8 p.m. | Soulful Shabbat | Plotkin Chapel
Led by Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Cantor Nathan Lam

Watch live on Friday night: Facebook |
*Please note there will be no pre-service nosh.

Saturday, April 13
9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study | Chapel Study
10 a.m. | Shabbat Morning Services | Plotkin Chapel
Led by Rabbi David Woznica and Cantor Paul Dorman

Next Week

Friday, April 19
5 p.m. | Erev Pesach | Plotkin Chapel *EARLIER TIME

Led by Cantor Nathan Lam
*Please note
there will not be a nosh nor will there be child care this evening.

Saturday, April 20
9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study | Chapel Study
10 a.m. | Pesach Festival Morning | Sanctuary
Led by Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Cantor Nathan Lam

6 p.m. | Passover 2nd Night Seder Zeldin Herschenson Hall
Led by Rabbi Ron Stern and Cantor Emma Lutz


Learning Opportunities with Clergy
Bible Study with Rabbi Ron Stern: Monday, April 15 | 9 a.m. | Temple Conference Room
Talmud Study with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback: Wednesday, April 17 | 12 p.m. | Udko Annex




If you’re looking for a new Haggadah for your festivities, the Wise Gift Shop can help. Short Haggadot, colorful Haggadot, family-friendly Haggadot: inspire new meaning in your holiday with our wide array of options. This week all seder plates are 25% off. Furthermore, in recent days our shop has seen a drastic increase in its local frog population! Hop on by and pick up a few for your table.

Stop by during our weekday hours or at Shabbat services:
Mon-Thurs | 2-4 p.m.
Friday | before and after services
Cant make it during our regular hours? Contact Gila at 310.889.2210.


Passover SOVA Drive
Final Day: Friday, April 12

During the Passover season, help us remember the struggle of our ancestors by providing aid to those in need today. Fill your brown SOVA bag (coming home with students during the first week of April) with non-perishable food items and drop them off in various locations on campus including the parking garage (by our lost and found station) and the SOVA bin in the Sanctuary lobby. 
Helpful tip: in preparation for Passover, include your unopened chametz for SOVA!
Questions? Contact Jennifer Smith.


Feast of the Firstborn
Friday, April 19 | 7:30 a.m.

Gather for prayer, study, and celebration alongside the firstborn children in our community. Since antiquity, firstborn children in Jewish families have fasted from sunrise to sunset on the day prior to the first Passover Seder. The fast, first recorded in the Babylonian Talmud, represents an expression of gratitude for being spared from the tenth plague upon Egypt. In modern times, few Jews observe the fast, as most firstborn children instead choose to attend an obligatory feast. This practice, also from Talmudic times, teaches that Jews must break a fast in order to celebrate certain significant joys for the community, including the conclusion of study of a tractate of Talmud.


Shabbat Morning and Passover Services
Saturday, April 20 | Plotkin Chapel

9 a.m. | Torah Study
10 a.m. | Morning Service
Led by Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Cantor Nathan Lam


Passover Second Night Seder
Saturday, April 20 | 6 p.m. | Zeldin Herschenson Hall
Led by Rabbi Ron Stern and Cantor Emma Lutz

Join together as one community to celebrate the Jewish festival of freedom. We are preparing a spectacular Seder that will include an uplifting celebration of learning, joyful music, memorable experiences for children and adults, as well as a special Kosher-for-Passover dinner. Together we’ll create wonderful memories with family and friends.

Wise members: $65
Guests: $75
Children (12 and under): $30


Shabbat Morning and Passover Yizkor Services
Saturday, April 27 | Plotkin Chapel

9 a.m. | Torah Study
10 a.m. | Passover Yizkor Service
Led by Rabbi David Woznica and Cantor Emma Lutz


The Israeli “High Holy Days”: A Celebration of the Jewish People

From May 1 to May 9, Jews around the world will commemorate Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Haatzmaut. This journey of memory, honor, and festivity lends us an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a people connected across land through times of joy and grief. We hope you will join us for events (on and off our Wise campus) in these moments of memorialization as well as celebration as we honor our shared history and the promise of Israel’s future.


Mitzvah May is Coming!

Each year on Mitzvah Day we commit to an entire year of changing the world. This year, we’re doing things a little differently. Mitzvah Day has become Mitzvah MAY! Celebrate the culmination of all the ways in which our Wise community has participated in acts of loving kindness and sought to make a difference in our local and broader communities. Join us on Sunday, May 5 at Wise for a wide variety of projects to participate in–there is something for everyone!

Join us at the conclusion of Mitzvah Day for our 1st Annual 6th Grade vs. Faculty Charitable Sports Tournament! Watch as 6th graders take on their teachers and our staff in a fierce game of basketball—all in the name of raising enough funds to be able to purchase a wheelchair (or two!) for the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled, this year’s 6th Grade chesed organization. Entry to the game is $5 per child or $20 per family – with 100% of proceeds going straight to the ISCD. You can purchase tickets by clicking the link below.



Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Rabbi Ron Stern to Lead Adult March of the Living Trip

In April 2020, join Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Rabbi Ron Stern on the most iconic and unforgettable walk through the darkest time in Jewish history by participating in the Adult March of the Living. The group will visit some of the deeply significant locales in Poland including Krakow and Warsaw as well as the concentration camps in the vicinity. Encounter the amazing resurgence of Jewish life in Poland. Finally, the group will join thousands of high school students from across the globe who make an epic trek of freedom into Auschwitz concentration camp. Afterwards there, will be an optional add-on visit to Israel highlighting those experiences rarely open to basic tours: cultural experiences, regional tours, and complex political insights.


Wise Walking Group
Sunday, April 14 | 10 a.m.
Meet at the Chatsworth Community Recreational Center Parking Lot | Google Map

Join our intrepid Wise Walking Group as they visit different picturesque and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods all over Los Angeles! The group meets monthly on Sunday mornings for exercise, conversation, and community while enjoying Southern California’s natural beauty and historic areas. This month, the group will journey to Chatsworth Park South (1.4 miles in a circular direction) followed by lunch at The Country Deli.
Newcomers welcome! Email Shirley Sniderman to RSVP and learn more.


Camp Wise presents
Spring Break Sports Camp 2019!

Week 1 | April 15-19 
Week 2 | April 22-25

Can’t wait for summer? Looking for a great way to spend Spring Break? Are your kids currently in Kindergarten through Grade 6? We are proud to announce our first Spring Break Sports Camp at Camp Wise LA! Run by our Camp Wise Team, this program will get your kids on their feet in a setting and with friends and counselors that they already know and love! Though this program is more focused on sports, “campers” will still get a chance to revisit some of their favorite Camp Wise traditions, such as Maccabi Day and morning circle, and have options to do other activities such as Arts & Crafts, Dancing, and more! Deadline to register is April 12.
Email or visit our Camp Wise website for more information.


Wise Readers to Leaders Annual Celebration
Sunday, April 28 | 4:30 p.m. 

Join Wise Readers to Leaders for our Annual Celebration. A night filled with an exciting silent auction, a wine and cheese reception, a screening of our documentary, and a presentation of our JLL Awards. 


Wise Women presents
Mahj and More

Wednesday, May 1 |
1 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! 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: June 5, July 10 & August 7 (all sessions at 1pm in Udko Annex)*


Mitzvah May Tot Shabbat and Baby Playdate 
Baby Playdate | 4:30 p.m. | (12 months and younger)

Tot Shabbat | 5:15 p.m. 

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.
Kick off Mitzvah May with a Tot Shabbat featuring special mitzvah-themed projects, a light family friendly dinner and, of course, a story-filled service led by our clergy and songleaders that introduces the youngest members of our community to the joy of Shabbat. Parents and grandparents will love it too! Recommended for kids up to age 5.


Wise Guys present
Torah Trek with Rabbi Ron Stern

Saturday, May 4 | 9 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.


Rosh Hodesh
Wednesday, May 8 | 8:30 a.m. | Sanctuary

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 their name in your RSVP.


Soulful Shabbat
Friday, May 10
Dinner | 5:30 p.m. *SPECIAL TIME
Services | 7 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.


The Rise of Global Anti-Semitism: How We Can Respond
with Elan Carr, Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism, in Dialogue with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback

Sunday, May 19 | 7 p.m.

Elan S. Carr serves as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. As Special Envoy, he advises the Secretary of State and is responsible for directing U.S. policies and projects aimed at countering anti-Semitism throughout the world. Special Envoy Carr served on the National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he was a voting member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and he was a board member of Operation Gratitude. In the course of his work in the Jewish community, he has been a recognized leader in the fight against anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses and around the world. Please join us for a very important and special discussion between Special Envoy Carr and Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback.


Stephen Wise Temple, Israel Policy Forum, and Anti-Defamation League present
Across the Generational Divide: Examining the Past, Present and Future of Israel Engagement
Tuesday, May 21 | 7 p.m.

This program, part of the nationwide “Across the Divide” series, is designed to showcase a constructive dialogue about Israel across the generational, political, and denominational divides within the American Jewish community. The panel, moderated by Rob Eshman (former Editor in Chief, the Jewish Journal), will feature Batya Ungar-Sargon (Opinion editor, Forward), Yair Rosenberg (Senior Writer, Tablet Magazine), and Tabby Rafael (Co-Founder, 30 Years After). Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback will offer additional remarks.


Housing the Homeless:
Dinner with Tommy Newman, Director of Public Affairs for the United Way

Friday, May 24 | 7:30 p.m.

Join Tommy Newman, Director of Public Affairs for the United Way’s “Everyone In” campaign for a Shabbat dinner to discuss the United Way’s role as the coordinator of L.A.’s comprehensive response to homelessness. These initiatives include prevention strategies, support for subsidized housing, construction of affordable housing, bridge and permanent supportive housing, and management of services for the homeless. This is the most important step that moves L.A. towards a coordinated and comprehensive approach to dealing with housing for the homeless in the community.


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.


Wise Jams
Thursday, June 20 | 8 p.m.

Please join us for a night of music at Wise Jams with Rabbi Yoshi, David Kates, and fellow musicians from the Wise community. Are you an ace on the bass? Get your kicks on the sticks? Bring your axe, your sax, your vox, and your chops. We’ll supply the mics, amps, sheet music, and a rockin’ good time!


Kol HaKavod to Wise member Briana London Sitzer who will be one of the featured authors at this weekend’s LA Times Festival of Books on the USC campus. Her book Shanghai Torah, Yuanfen, was published last year and on April 13 and 14 she will sign copies of it at booth 521. If you take plan to enjoy this beloved annual event, be sure to stop by and say hello to Briana!


Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and The Defiant Requiem Foundation present
Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín

Wednesday, April 17 | 8 p.m. | Royce Hall, UCLA

Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín is a unique and profoundly moving multimedia concert-drama featuring a full performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass. It tells the story of the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt concentration camp (Terezín) during World War II who performed the monumental Verdi Requiem while experiencing the depths of human degradation. With only a single smuggled score they performed the famous oratorio 16 times, including a final, infamous performance before senior SS officials from Berlin and an International Red Cross delegation. Conductor Rafael Schächter told the choir, “We will sing to the Nazis what we cannot say to them.”


Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies presents
Israeli-American Exchanges: Israel in 3D Community Conference
Sunday, May 5 | 10 a.m. | UCLA Covel Commons

Israel is a nation that has been greatly impacted by America. But the country of 8 million people has also influenced the United States in many ways. At Israeli-American Exchanges, experts and practitioners will explore “cross-border” connections between the two countries in three major areas – Entertainment, Religion and Business & Technology – and how each society has influenced the other.


American Jewish University Whizin Center presents
Israeli Folk Dance Classes

Everyone is welcome to participate in AJU’s Israeli Folk Dance classes, from beginners to advanced dancers or people who are just looking to get up and move. AJU offers many Israeli folk dancing classes taught by a master teacher as well as tap and dancercise. They also offer Tai Chi, Yoga, and other classes to help reduce stress and improve flexibility.


We remember with love those who died in recent days and weeks:
Gavin Asherson, Fran Beiser, Habib Farahnik, Jackie Harrell, Rahim Yaghoubian

We observe the yahrzeits of:
Doris Anderson*, D. William Antignas*, Irving Ashkenas, Solomon Baggin, Steve Bardin*, Dr. Sherwood Berman*, Lawrence Bloch, Rose Bronstein, Ellen Byrens*, Joan A. Condon*, Sam Cooper*, Anna Fidler, Mae Fisher-Morber*, Gerald D. Freed*, Albert R. Friedel, Jacob Friedman*, Emma Fuchs*, Stanley Ginsburg*, Morris Glassman*, Donna “Shelly” Glick*, Miriam Glickman, Steven Goldstein, Emil Goodman*, Ernest Goodman*, Clifford Harris, Shirle Dorothy Horowitz, Sylvia Kantor*, Margaret Kottwitz, Bernard Krausman*, Abraham J. Levington*, Roz Levy, Allan Liebert*, Bernice Lustgarten, Robert Lustgarten, Johanna Maas*, Beatrice Marsiglia*, Annette Michaels*, Martin Otelsberg*, Ida Picker*, Julius Root*, Helene Michelle Rosenfeld*, Ruth L. Saperstein*, Howard Schneider*, Maurice Schwartz*, Abba Martin Sirkin*, Amy Beth Sturman, Johanna Trattner*, Mildred Trepeck*, Louis Weiss

*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:

Cheryl and Bradley Cohen on their son Maxx’s engagement to Ashley Holt.
and Ziv Pas on their son Julian becoming Bar Mitzvah.
Carrie Povar on the birth of her great-grandson Cole Luca Levinsohn, grandson of Michael Povar and son of Hillary Levinsohn and Dirk Levinsohn.
Eszter and Ariel Neuman on the birth of their daughter Maya.
Andrea and Gregory Noveck on their son Gaddiel becoming Bar 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.

The family of founding generation member Helen Levin on her passing.


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

Solomon Baggin, by Sally and Marty Levine


Roz Levy, by Evy and Marty Lutin

Carly’s 24th Birthday, Love, Eema, Brady, and of course, Romeo
Rabbi David Woznica’s Birthday, by Laurie Ackerman and Carly Ackerman-Canning


Rabbi Herscher, for officiating at Lilah Beatrice’s baby naming, by Rose and Warren Reid


Carly’s 24th Birthday, Love, Eema, Brady, and of course, Romeo


Louis Weiss, by Steven and Lisa Weiss


Shirle Dorothy Horowitz, by Carol and Ed Horowitz


Habib Farahnik, by Glenn and Carin Freeman

Doris Goodman’s recovery, by Harriet and Myron Kusnitz


Lawrence Bloch, by Susan Bloch-Kay and Stephen Kay
Martin Otelsberg, by Jerry, Scott, Emily, Charlotte, Finley, and Parker Otelsberg, and Michelle and Eric Massi


Our Wise Women Lay and Professional leadership, by Janine & Rick Kolodny


Abba Martin Sirkin, by Carol and Ed Horowitz
Anna Fidler, by Morel and Brenda Fidler
Bernice Lustgarten, by Margie Marenus
Clifford Harris, by Ellen Glick, Kevin Harris, Meggan Harris, and Scott Harris
Donna R. Glick, by Marshall Glick, Marni Glick, and Heather Glick-Atalla
Ernest Goodman, by Lori and Rob Goodman and Family
Margaret Kottwitz, by Lisa, Bill, Juliet, and Amanda Sobel​​​​​​​
Robert Lustgarten, by Margie Marenus​​​​​​​
Ruth L. Saperstein, by Gail L Ravins



We appreciate our wonderful volunteers:

Nosh Volunteer:
Susan Firestone

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

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