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May 31, 2012 10:46 am

Hollywood Synagogue Gets Hollywood Makeover Priced at $150 Million

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Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, California. Photo: wiki commons.

The Wilshire Boulevard Synagogue in Los Angeles is one of the oldest operating synagogues in California, and after a 10 pound piece of plaster fell from the ceiling, the congregants, many of whom are Hollywood executives, decided it was time for an upgrade.  A $150 million upgrade.

“It’s a very bold statement, this temple,” says John Fogelman, a member of the Wilshire Synagogue, and a partner at ICM, one of the world’s leading talent agencies. “You can’t deny it’s projecting strength and fortitude from a group that had a lot of these types of structures in Europe, and a lot of them don’t exist any longer. So when you walk through those doors, there is an extraordinary set of feelings, from courage to pride to, quite frankly, defiance. And there is also a sense of serious responsibility since it’s ours.”

On high holy days, you can find the heads of Warner Brothers Studios, Dreamworks Studios, and Hasbro Studios, all attending services.  During the 3rd season of HBO’s Entourage, the synagogue was portrayed as the place to go to make a deal – although it was Yom Kippur and a deal was not made.

“I loved the fact that I knew a lot of people in the congregation,” Stacy Snider, head of Dreamworks told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was comforting.”

Renovations are expected to be completed in time for high holy day services in 2013.

“It reaches back to the pioneer days of not just Jewish Los Angeles but Los Angeles itself,” Stephen Sass, a VP of legal affairs at HBO and the president of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California said. “It’s the oldest continually operating synagogue in the city.”

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