Memories of Yom Kippurs of the Past

Today, there was an article in the Los Angeles Times about Wilshire Blvd Temple closing their sanctuary for two years of renovations, starting tomorrow (just after Yom Kippur). That brings back memories…

After we moved out of Westchester when I was young, our family switched congregations to WBT. I soon joined their youth group, TAG, and became part of the High Holy Day Choir. This included numerous trips back and forth to WBT for rehersals (I remember carpooling with Leslie, Lida, and Alex), culminating with our doing youth services in the Warner Youth Center, on the 3rd floor of the main building. This also included fasting, and I still remember the feeling as the concluding services ended. Later, the youth choir took over the family services that were being held in the Piness Auditorium, across from the main sanctuary. I don’t think, in any of my years at WBT, I ever actually attended a HHD service in the main sanctuary.

So what is Wilshire going to do while the main sanctuary is down? According to the article, “During the 18 to 24 months of construction, regular Shabbat services will be in an auditorium across from the sanctuary. Weekly bar and bat mitzvahs will also be held there. For next year’s Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services, the temple has rented the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.” What this means is that Piness Auditorium (which may not be in great shape itself) will be the interim sanctuary. Of more interest is the use of the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion for high holy days. I can’t even imagine how they will do the Torah procession there, especially if they have people in the balconies!