A few pictures, long ago, of Wilshire Blvd. and the temple:
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: August 18, 2013
LOS ANGELES — It was known as the Temple of the Stars: a soaring sanctuary capped by a 100-foot-wide Byzantine dome, built by Hollywood moguls on the eve of the Depression and splashed with the kind of pizazz one might expect at a movie palace rather than a synagogue.
From the minute one walks into the grand sanctuary of the Wilshire Temple, there are reminders that this is no ordinary synagogue, with ample evidence of its Hollywood past: Irving G. Thalberg, the film producer, and all three Warner brothers were among its major benefactors.
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Murals at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple depicting Jewish history “were a radical artistic statement,” the senior rabbi said.
The walls are covered with murals depicting stages of Jewish history through 1929. They were painted by Hugo Ballin, who for much of his career was a Hollywood art director, and were commissioned by the Warner brothers.
“The murals were a radical artistic statement because the second of the Ten Commandments forbids graven images, so Jews shunned iconography and figurative art,” Rabbi Leder said. “These guys just decided to make a different statement.”