Lifecycles

Wise is a life-giving community. We seek to nurture each other with love and provide strength to one another in times of joy and difficulty. Our clergy remain ever responsive to the various needs of our community and our Wise Hearts network connects members to members to provide the support that is the very backbone of your Wise congregation.

Clergy members are available for our members for pastoral counseling and perspectives throughout all of life’s journeys. You may contact our clergy directly if you would like to speak with one of us privately. Click here for contact information

In addition to clergy, the Wise Hearts member network can provide meals, visits, and assist with other needs. Help is only a click away.  Click here.

The information here will provide you with important links to information about the various times along the Jewish life-cycle where Wise can be of assistance.

Births, Baby Namings, Brit MIlah.
For information about Births, Brit MIlah, and Baby Namings click here.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah
An entire portion of our website is devoted to information about Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Click here.

Births, Baby Namings, Brit Milah

Wise clergy are available to work with you as you prepare for and welcome your new addition. We can assist with the selection of names, facilitate naming ceremonies, and assist you in selecting a mohel for the brit milah (circumcision ceremony).  Click here for the clergy page to make your connection.

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Bar and Bat Mitzvah

An entire portion of our website is devoted to information about Bar and Bat Mitzvah.  Click here.

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Marriage

The clergy at Wise is available for your wedding. In addition to same faith weddings, clergy will officiate at interfaith marriages and LGBTQ ceremonies as well.  Click here for more information.

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Healing

Clergy are available to support members facing serious illness and challenging health choices. In times of serious health crises your clergy are here for you. By integrating our warm personal support along with the perspectives of our Reform Jewish tradition we can bring you and your family strength and guidance. Clergy make hospital and home visits, we offer prayers and a loving hand.

We can also assist families as they make difficult decisions when facing the end of life.

Members may email clergy by clicking here to reach the clergy page or you can call the temple to set up an appointment or arrange for a visit.

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Loss and Mourning

There are stars up above so far away
we continue to see their light long, long after the star itself is gone.
And so it is with people we loved,
Their memories keep shining ever brightly
Though their time with us is done.
But the stars that light up the darkest night,
These are the lights that guide us.
And as we live our days, these are the ways we remember them.

Yesh kokhavim she’oram magi’a artzah rak ka’asher heym atzmam avdu v’eynam.

Yesh anashim  she-ziv zikhram me’ir ka’asher heym atzmam eynam yoter bitokheynu.

Orot eyleh – ha-mavhikim bi-kheshkat ha-laila – heym shemarim la’adam et orot ha-derekh.

  יֵשׁ כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁאוֹרָם מַגִּיעַ אַרְצָה רַק כְּאַשֵּׁר הֵם עַצְמָם אָבְדוּ וְאֵינָם

  יֵשׁ אֲנָשִׁים שֶׁזִּיו זִכְרָם מֵאִיר כְּאַשֵּׁר הֵם עַצְמָם אֵינָם יוֹתֵר בְּתוֹכֵנוּ

אוֹרוֹת אֵלֶּה הַמַּבְהִיקִים בַּחֲשֵׁכַת הַלַּיְלָה –הֵם שֶׁמַּרְאִים לָאָדָם אֶת אוֹרוֹת הַדֶּרֶךְ

Hannah Senesh

An important note about mourning and loss during the COVID-19 outbreak:

In these highly unusual times we are all adjusting to the obligation upon all of us to save lives by insuring that we keep a safe distance from others. And, at the same time, there might possibly be times when families must gather. These, of course, include times of loss. We’d like to make you aware of requirements instituted by the Los Angeles Area Board of Rabbis for funerals. By sharing this information with you, we hope to facilitate your own planning should the need arise.

Our initial meeting with your family will be conducted using video or audio connections via computers or phones. Funeral services are best conducted at graveside only and if necessary a canopy will be provided. Only immediate family should attend the service. Any contact among those present at the funeral is to be avoided. This includes the sharing of objects such as the shovel for filling the grave or the kriah ribbons torn as a sign of mourning. We will all understand that the gesture of placing a hand over one’s heart indicates the very sentiments that a handshake or hug reflects in normal times.

It is possible to use a cellphone to transmit images of the funeral to those who cannot be present. Under most circumstances we strongly recommend that those over 70 avoid the service altogether so as to preserve their own health.

Shiva services will be conducted via the same video or audio connections as the initial family meetings.
We realize that these requirements add an additional layer of complexity during the very time when you need community most.

The clergy at Wise will endeavor to do our very best to offer you comfort and to insure that those whose presence will reassure you can be present during your time of loss.


We extend our deepest condolences to you in the hour of your loss. Our clergy endeavor to be present for you to the best of our abilities to help soften your pain.  

Should you need a clergy person because of an immediate death. Please call the temple directly and you will receive an immediate response. After hours, the answering service will direct your call appropriately.  Click here for guidance when you face the loss of a loved one.

Important: So that our clergy will be able to serve you most meaningfully, please do not set a funeral time without coordinating that time with the officiating clergy person.  

Hillside has an excellent guide to answering children’s questions about death. Click here to download it.

Wise clergy are available to lead shiva services at any member’s home. We also recommend this website for assistance with shiva. Click here.

Wise Temple’s practice is to send an email notice to the entire congregation upon the death of a member or their loved one. When you notify the temple of your loss, we will ask your consent to send the email and work with you to ensure that we include the correct information. This email can include information about charitable contributions in memory of the deceased as well.

Memorial Plaques and Yahrzeit Walls

It is a widely observed Jewish tradition to commemorate the passing of a relative or loved one on the walls within a temple. All temples and many organizations devote an area within or near the sanctuary to memorializing those that have departed on a dedicated memorial wall.

Nameplates or plaques are inscribed with the English names of the departed along with the date of death in the standard calendar format. Our two plaque options (slate or glass) are pictured below. The slate plaques are located in our main Sanctuary, while our glass plaques are located in the rooms on each side of the ark in the Sanctuary.

Jewish Family Support with Various Life Challenges

Wise is a partner congregation with the Ezra Network of Jewish Family Services and supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Individuals can inquire about financial assistance and government program eligibility, access to one-on-one sessions with a social worker, legal counselor or job counselor, as well as referrals for other services, and information about upcoming workshops. A social worker is assigned to Wise to provide essential support and information. You may reach the social worker by dialing: (323) 600-5722

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