Wilshire Boulevard Temple Began as Congregation B’nai B’rith – 1862

Congregation B’nai B’rith

Congregation B’nai B’rith received its charter to officialy found a synagogue from the State of California in 1862.

The 1st Congregation B’nai B’rith Building

Before that time religious services were held in various locations around town.

Joseph Newmark, uncle of Harris Newmark, conducted many of them. Although trained as a Rabbi, he was a successful businessman in early pioneer Los Angeles.

The synagogue continued to rent locations for the High Holy Days until it was able to open its first building, a beautiful Gothic structure in 1873 at the corner of Temple and Broadway.

“The most superior church edifice in Southern California.” –The Los Angeles Star


Plaque Commemorating the Location of the 1st Congregation B’nai B’rith

The 2nd Synagogue Building of Congregation B’nai B’rith

The Second Building – 1895

In 1895 the synagogue built a larger, Victorian  structure at 9th and Hope.

Both buildings were designed by Rabbi Abraham Edelman’s son, A.M. Edelman.


Wilshire Boulevard Temple 1930’s

The Current Location – 1919

Rabbi Edgar Magnin joined the conregation in 1915 as Assistant Rabbi to Rabbi Hecht, the fifth Rabbi of Congregation B’nai B’rith.

Magnin became Senior Rabbi in 1919, the congregation’s sixth Rabbi.

From the time of his arrival, Magnin understood the Westward movement of both the city as well as the Jewish community.

Thus began the development and plans for a new Wilshire Boulevard site, and the renaming of the congregation to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

The new temple opened in 1929.

In 1984 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple 2009

2011 started with Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s restoration project for the sanctuary and the further development of the surrounding city block