Beth Am Weekend, Rabbi Family Runs Marathon, Wise Groundbreaking

November 17, 2022
From left: Rick Kolodny, Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, Lowell Milken, Janine Kolodny, Martha Karsh, Bruce Karsh and Tami Weiser. Courtesy Stephen Wise Temple/Stephanie Kleinman

On Nov. 13, Stephen Wise Temple and Schools celebrated the start of a new era by breaking ground on the transformational Aaron Milken Center for Early Childhood Education. 

Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, Head of School Tami Weiser, Aaron Milken Center Director Keri Loventhal, Lowell Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Cofounder Lowell Milken, donors, community leaders, and distinguished guests gathered together to mark the historic occasion.

Additional guests included temple president Steve Bram and building committee chair Leandro Tyberg. 

Wise School Head of School Tami Weiser is joined by young Wise learners at the groundbreaking for the Aaron Milken Center for Early Childhood Education. Courtesy Stephen Wise Temple/Stephanie Kleinman

When it opens in the fall of 2024, the state-of-the-art center will be a nurturing space for Wise’s youngest students and their families to gather, learn, and discover, embodying Wise founder Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin’s dream of providing lifelong Jewish education to all those who seek it. Aaron Milken Center will also serve as a living tribute to the late son of lead donors Lowell Milken and Sandra Salka Milken.

“It is our hope that the Aaron Milken Center will not only perpetuate Aaron’s memory but enliven it,” Lowell Milken said. “With this new campus, we will build on the program that he and so many children have benefitted from, while expanding it physically, conceptually, and professionally. We see the Center contributing tangibly to our heritage and experience as a Jewish community, benefiting Stephen Wise Temple — an institution dear to our hearts — while reaching meaningfully and innovatively toward the future.”

Designed by Abramson Architects, the 20,000-square-foot educational village on Wise’s mountaintop campus will feature a unique mix of indoor and outdoor spaces to facilitate learning and play, along with specialist areas, including an art studio, learning kitchen, music room, and tinkering space.

The construction of the $30 million center will help ensure Wise’s continued role as an international leader in Jewish early childhood education, according to a Stephen Wise Temple statement.

Stephen Wise Temple Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, his wife Jacqueline Hantgan and their three daughters. Courtesy of Stephen Wise Temple

Stephen Wise Temple Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and his entire nuclear family ran in the New York City Marathon together on Nov. 6 to raise money for paralysis research, running for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. 

The family ran in memory of Rabbi Zweiback’s father-in-law, Henry Hantgan, who was confined to a wheelchair for the last 10 years of his life. Running as part of Team Handsome Hank, their hope was to raise awareness about the amazing work the foundation is doing related to spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders. 

Zweiback leads one of the largest Reform congregations in the country. In a recent interview with the Forward, the rabbi said training for the marathon brought the family closer together.  

Temple Beth Am Weekend Steering Committee. From left, front: Tal Link, Teri Cohan Link, Danielle Berrin, Dorit Rabinyan and Rabbi Rebecca Schatz. From left, back: David Myers, Eddie Levine, Joel Grossman, Rabbi Adam Kligfeld and Ethan Pack. Courtesy of Beth Am

Temple Beth Am’s inaugural Baruch Link Scholar in Residence Program was a resounding success. Guests came from throughout Los Angeles, and from as far as Israel and Canada to join in an inspiring Shabbaton.

The weekend—held Oct. 28-30—featured the acclaimed Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan.

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