A Welcome Message from Lila Guirguis, Karsh Center Director

The Karsh Center is the physical expression and vision of how a faith-based institution like Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) invests in the community in which it resides.

The Karsh Center was founded on the commitment from WBT to give back to our neighbors in the multicultural and diverse community of Los Angeles’s Koreatown. The Temple undertook a thoughtful, strategic-planning process to provide the infrastructure and resources to help establish a separate nonprofit organization, the Karsh Center.

Named after the Karsh family, the Karsh Center is designed to provide the fundamental necessities of local residents by offering an array of direct social services through a multi-organizational collaborative approach and a state-of-the-art volunteer engagement program. Our objective is to accomplish this with no restrictions, no judgments, and no barriers regarding who can receive support and care.

We have a small, close-knit staff that relies on the tremendous support and expertise of a significant volunteer force, made up primarily (but not exclusively) of WBT congregants.

Our approach to direct services recognizes that we cannot be everything to everyone, and that the people who walk through our doors enter with myriad needs. The Karsh Center is designed to be a welcoming space, and our expectation is that every individual is greeted with an open heart and that they feel heard and supported. We show them respect and understanding regarding their needs and provide a caring connection to services that can further assist the individual and his or her family.

Our collaborative practice furnishes agencies with a co-located space and the mutual expectation of working together, rather than in isolation. This collaborative model not only strengthens our nontraditional approach to community needs, it also forms a systematic method for creating a safety net for individuals and families. We believe that through the provision of services, the integration of a network of service providers, and the commitment of passionate and well-trained volunteers, we will empower and support people often marginalized or forgotten in our society—those on public assistance, the homeless, low-wage workers, women, children, and people of color. Our desire is that they stand with dignity and create a future for themselves in which they grow and thrive.

We hope that this site serves as an informational hub that inspires and explains who we are and why—and how—we do what we do. And, just as importantly, that it provides opportunities for you to pursue the values of tikkun olam through the investment of your time and energies, by taking action and becoming involved!