Architecture Lab

Paying it forward at a grand sanctuary on Wilshire Boulevard

Erika Glazer came of age at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Now the philanthropist has pledged $30 million over the next 15 years toward the synagogue's ongoing restoration and redevelopment.

Erika Glazer came of age at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, listening to the preachings of the late Edgar Magnin — the “rabbi to the stars” who envisioned a grand sanctuary west of downtown Los Angeles and persuaded Hollywood notables to help fund it.

Paying it forward at a grand sanctuary on Wilshire Boulevard

Scaffolding covers the temple as work continues on the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles on March 6, 2012.

Now it’s Glazer’s turn to move things along. The philanthropist has pledged $30 million over the next 15 years toward the synagogue’s ongoing restoration and redevelopment.

The donation, which gives her naming rights for the temple’s Koreatown campus, will be earmarked to cover debt payments on tax-free-bond financing of the $150-million project. The temple’s board is slated to vote this week on whether to approve the next phase of the campus’ redevelopment.

“The day that Erika said yes, I felt an enormous weight … lifted from my shoulders,” said Rabbi Steven Z. Leder, who is spearheading the temple’s campaign. “We have cleared an enormous hurdle.”

Plans at the Reform congregation call for a kindergarten-through-sixth-grade day school, a parking structure and a social services facility to feed, clothe and provide basic medical and legal aid for area residents.