In a world that grows ever smaller so that pain experienced across the globe is felt profoundly and instantly across the oceans, our hearts cry out for the senseless loss of lives in New Zealand in this latest round of racist terrorism. Even as we celebrate the levity of Purim and our own rescue from the hands of those who would seek our demise, we extend our empathy and compassion, born of experience, to the families of the victims.
Read Rabbi Naomi Levy’s prayer of pain and compassion here.

Rabbi Yoshi Goes Country
New Nashville-Inspired Album Aims to Put Some Twang Into Trope

Rabbi Yoshi has tapped into the great Americana tradition and created some golden country classics for his new album “ZweiBack in the Saddle Again.” Following in the footsteps of absolutely none of the great country/western songwriters, the ambitious record will feature surefire Jewish country hits such as “Rabbi on the Range,” “Lassos n’ Lox,” “Friends in High Holy Places,” as well as the ballads “Talmuddin’ with My Puddin’” and “Stand By Your Cantor.” As Yoshi explains, “I’ve always been enamored of country and western music, so this is a natural extension of that passion. Also, I bought a cowboy costume for the Purim Carnival and needed an additional way to justify my receipts.” He has been hard at work on tunes such as “I Left My Tallis in Dallas,” “These Tefillin Were Made for Wrappin’,” and “Yes, There Are Jewish Cowboys.” The Rabbi is quick to point out that “country music has a storied Jewish history — just look at Patsy Klein!” [Editor’s note: we tried to correct him. We really, really did.]

The album is due to hit record stores as soon as he finds musicians, singers, recording engineers, producers, a music label, craft services, potential buyers, and also what’s a record store?

Literally Best Purim Carnival Ever
Thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, visitors, staff, and clergy for making this year’s Wild Wise West Purim Carnival a rootin’ tootin’ success!

Relive the fun on all of our social media accounts:

Instagram: @WiseSchoolLA | @StephenWiseTemple | @Wise_CYE
Facebook: @WiseSchoolLA | @WiseLA | @WiseCYE

Featured Class
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.

This Week’s Torah Portion: Tzav

Friday, March 22
6:15 p.m. | Shabbat Services | Plotkin Chapel

Led by Rabbi Ron Stern and Cantor Nathan Lam
Watch live on Friday night: Facebook |

Saturday, March 23
9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study | Chapel Study
10 a.m. | Shabbat Morning Services | Plotkin Chapel
Led by Rabbi Josh Knobel and Cantor Emma Lutz

Next Week

Friday, March 29
6:15 p.m. | Shabbat Services | Sanctuary

Led by Rabbi Sari Laufer and Cantor Emma Lutz

Saturday, March 30
9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study | Chapel Study
10 a.m. | Shabbat Morning Services | Plotkin Chapel
Led by Student Rabbi Bryan Zive and Cantor Emma Lutz

Learning Opportunities with Clergy
Talmud Study with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback: Wednesday, March 27 | 12 p.m. | Udko Annex
Bible Study with Rabbi Ron Stern: Monday, April 1 | 9 a.m. | Temple Conference Room

Do Your Shabbat Shopping at the Wise Gift Shop

Our Gift Shop is the perfect spot for all of your Shabbat needs!
All Challah trays, challah covers, and kiddush cups are now 25% off.

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.

Wise Debuts Eight New Snuggly Torahs

The Wise clergy team is thrilled to announce that all Torahs on campus have been replaced with brand new scrolls that are infinitely more cuddly. “We all love Torah,” said Rabbi Sari Laufer, “but a key question of my rabbinate has always been: can the Torah be slightly more adorable?” In a recent photo shoot, Rabbi Laufer joined Rabbi Ron Stern, Rabbi Josh Knobel, and Cantor Emma Lutz in “auditioning” the new Torahs. “I love them,” explained Rabbi Ron Stern, “they’re a brilliant addition to our campus and the only foreseeable problems are that they can’t be unrolled and there’s no actual writing in them. But other than that: fabulous!”

Family Day: Open Basketball
Sunday, March 24 | 
2-4 p.m. | Katz Family Pavilion

All Wise families are invited to come and use the Katz Family Pavilion for basketball. One coach will be present as a “supervisor”.  Every person attending must sign a waiver (minors need an adult signature). All participants will be asked to sign waivers; parents will sign for children under 18.
For more information, please contact Ryan Hosler at

Teen Summer Volunteer Opportunities with Wise Readers to Leaders

Wise Readers to Leaders, our flagship literacy program now entering its 8th year, is seeking teen volunteers for our 2019 summer program! Junior Literacy Leaders make our program truly special and have a lasting impact on kids’ lives. If your likes working with children and want to make a difference in the life of youth from under-served districts, please learn more and apply at
For more information on any of our programs, please contact Melissa Schneider or Riley Runburg.

Vote here by March 26 for Wise Readers to Leaders to win a Lakers Youth Foundation Grant!

New Wise Machzor: Few Opportunities Left to Support Our Project
by Cantor Nathan Lam

Thank you to the many of you who have already contacted us to fulfill the wonderful mitzvah of supporting the publication of our new Machzor. This is an exciting once-in-a-generation chance to dedicate a Tribute Listing in honor or memory of a loved one or simply as a way of celebrating your family’s commitment to our community. I don’t want you to miss the opportunity to participate in this project.

  • We need you to respond by April 1 with your dedication in order to complete publication by this July.
  • Simply call or email our development department at 310.889.2234 or with your dedication wording.
  • There is a 50 character limit for the dedications.
  • Each dedication will be printed in every copy of the Machzor.


Wise Parents Association presents
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.

Wise Jams
Thursday, March 28 | 8-10 p.m.

Please join us for a night of music jamming at Wise! Jam with Rabbi Yoshi, the David Kates, and the Stephen Wise Temple musicians and singers! 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!

 Wise Temple Youth (WTY) presents
A Screening of Academy Award-Winning Documentary:
Period. End of Sentence

Sunday, March 31 | 6-8 p.m. | Plotkin Chapel

Wise Temple Youth invites all teens to our showing of the award winning documentary, Period. End of Sentence! Dinner will be provided from Panda Express.
Registration is free, you do not need to be a member of WTY to attend. Bring your friends!
For more questions please email Jake, our Youth Advisor, at
See you at the show!

Less Than Two Weeks Away!
Jewish World Watch presents 
13th Annual Walk to End Genocide

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

What does Purim have to do with Jewish World Watch’s 13th Annual Walk to End Genocide? This week we recounted Esther and Mordechai’s courage in standing up to King Ahasuerus of Persia when his counselor Haman threatened genocide of the Jewish people. When genocide and mass atrocities are still happening in our time, such as ongoing atrocities in Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), we, too, can be like Esther and Mordechai. We can be the Upstander.
We must not stand idly by.
Please join the Wise Walks Team today!
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.

Wise Women presents
Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?
Wednesday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

Join the women of our Wise community for a ladies’ night out featuring Passover preparation to stimulate your mind, feed your soul, and spruce up your table. Enjoy a glass of wine and dessert as we create beautiful seder and matzah plates using the art of decoupage. This event is open to all adult Wise members AND guests, so bring your mom, sister, cousin, and BFFs!
RSVP required by March 25. This is a 21+ event.

Wise members: $18
Guests: $36

Wise Women presents
Mahj and More

Wednesday, April 3 |
1-5 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: May 1, June 5, July 10 & August 7 (all sessions at 1pm in Udko Annex)*

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.

Center for Jewish Life presents:
Study Kabbalah Online with Rabbi Yoshi

Wednesdays: April 10, 17, 24 | 7-8:15 p.m.
This class will be exclusively held online. Login information will be provided to registrants.

Kabbalah is associated with a range of Jewish mysticism. Interestingly, the word “kabbalah” means “that which is received.” In our study we will open ourselves to a higher level of consciousness so that we can look at the world differently—to see God where we may not have seen God before.
Ultimately, we study Kabbalah to make ourselves better: kinder, deeper, more aware of our soul. We take this path not only to elevate our thoughts but also in the hope that kabbalah will impact our daily behavior. Join this mystical yet surprisingly practical journey toward an elevated and kinder life.

Free for Wise members
($36 for guests)

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.

Wise Years
Thursday, April 11
10 a.m. | Registrations Begins | Plotkin Foyer
10:30 a.m. | Program Begins | Plotkin Chapel

Joan Rosenberg, PhD, will highlight how to build confidence, emotional strength, and resilience as she discusses keys ideas in her recently released book, 90 Seconds to a Life You Love. In his presentation on “The New American Jew,” Dr. Steven Windmueller will be examining the new behaviors and trends that are contributing to the dramatic changes impacting the 21st century Jewish community.
Film: The Butterfly, an endearing story about how a cranky butterfly collector’s perspective changes when he meets eight-year-old Elsa.


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.

Shabbat Morning and Passover Services
Saturday, April 20

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 at 6 p.m.
Led by Rabbi Ron Stern and Cantor Emma Lutz

Come together as one community to celebrate the birth of freedom into the world. Along the way, enjoy Jewish teachings and songs. We look forward to an uplifting evening of joyful music, a special Kosher-for-Passover dinner, and creating wonderful memories together with family and friends.

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

Shabbat Morning and Passover Yizkor Services
Saturday, April 27

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

Wise Readers to Leaders Annual Celebration
Sunday, April 28 | 4:30-6:30 p.m. 

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

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.

Wise Jams
Thursday, June 20 | 8-10 p.m.

Please join us for a night of music jamming at Wise! Jam with Rabbi Yoshi, the David Kates, and the Stephen Wise Temple musicians and singers! 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!

Skirball Cultural Center presents
Let My People Come

A Passover Experience with Miry’s List New Arrival Supper Club

Friday, April 5 | 6:30 p.m. | Skirball Cultural Center

In preparation for Passover, enjoy wine and an elaborate Syrian dinner infused with the symbols of the holiday and prepared by a family who recently resettled in LA with the support from Miry’s List. Rabbi Sarah Bassin (Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills) will begin the meal by connecting the Jewish value of welcoming the stranger to both the holiday’s story and the experience of refugees today. Then hear the family’s arrival stories in a discussion moderated by Evan Kleiman (KCRW’s Good Food).

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

Wednesday, April 17 at 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.”

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

We observe the yahrzeits of:
Hinda Adler*, David Alhadeff, Michael Aratow*, Hannah Leh Baumgarten*, Morad Chaman, Rose Cohn*, Harvey K. Cousens*, Kate Federman*, Oscar Ginsburg*, Dr. Joseph Goldfarb*, Helen Greenwald*, Bertha Gutman*, Henry Joelson, Isadore Kahn, Dr. Mark L. Karp, Debbie Krasne*, Cheryl Diane Kurtzman*, Irving H. Levin*, Elliott David Lokitz*, Jesse Luxenberg*, Gertrude Maier*, Mildred Niver Marzell*, Leanore Ziv Miller*, Benjamin Morris*, Etty Morris*, Ira Norris*, Ernst Pinkus*, Sally Rosenthal*, Daniel Rubinstein*, Diane Joy Silver*, Sam Snookal*, Mollie Snookal*, Maurice Storch*, Joseph Tushinsky*, Murray Weinstein*, Henry Albert Weiss*, Adele Wiener, Dr. David Wine*

*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:

Laurie Crasnick on her daughter Sophia Crasnick becoming Bat Mitzvah
Sholeh and Bahram Saba on their son Ethan Saba 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 Jackie Harrell on her loss

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

Cheryl Kurtzman, by Selma Kurtzman and Family

David Williams’ 90th Birthday and 2nd Bar Mitzvah, by Ginny and Norton Sharpe

Dorothy Cohen, by Joyce Adler Cohen

Ira Norris, by Nancy Norris and Family
Dr. Mark L. Karp, by Donald and Doreen Nortman

David Williams’ 90th Birthday and 2nd Bar Mitzvah, by Batya Malick

David Williams’ 90th Birthday and 2nd Bar Mitzvah, by Roberta Novick

Rabbi Ron Stern, by Mehran Khorsandi and Guita Balakhane

Jessica Lebovits and Ryan Mannon’s marriage, by Arthur and Ginny Kahn

Debi and Marc Graboff, on their daughter Jessica’s marriage to Joshua Glick, by Janine and Rick Kolodny

Hinda Adler, by the Adler Family
David Alhadeff, by Sylvia Alhadeff Ward
Henry Joelson, by Alan, Yasmina, Rachel and William Joelson
Isadore Kahn, by Ellen, Buddy, Adam, and Leslie Dorfman​​​​​​​
Debbie Krasne, by Douglas and Felice Williams
Debbie Krasne, by Marilyn and David Williams
Ernst Pinkus, by the Pinkus Family
Adele Wiener, by Jill and Aly Kaufman

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.

Do you want to reach us? 

Are you having a lifecycle event? Or would you like to be added to this email list? 

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