A new center at Wilshire Boulevard Temple is helping some of its neighbors in a big way.
To mark the occasion, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson were among dignitaries at the dedication last month of the Temple’s Karsh Family Social Service Center, 3750 W. Sixth St.
Set to serve thousands of community members annually, the center is hailed as the most comprehensive outreach of any synagogue in the country and perhaps the world — due to the significant needs of its neighbors, Temple officials said.
Services offered at the center, entered from Sixth St. between Hobart and Harvard boulevards, include dental, optometry, legal aid, mental health and family services, civics and English-as-a-second language classes, literacy programs, and children’s book distribution. There is also a food pantry, which has operated on site for nearly 30 years and is part of the Hope-Net collaboration.
Within a five-mile radius of Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s historic campus, approximately one-third of adults go hungry some of the time, and nearly four in 10 adults cannot afford dental care. An estimated one in four families in the community lives below the federal poverty level.
Also at the Nov. 10 opening were Elizabeth Ross, director of the Karsh Center; Temple Senior Rabbi Steven Z. Leder and Rabbi M. Beaumont Shapiro and Martha and Bruce Karsh and members of their family.