September 19, 2019

Serious Learning for the Spiritual Seeker

Beyond her Shabbat and holiday services and eclectic events, many people are drawn to Rabbi Lori Shapiro’s Open Temple because of the variety of classes on offer. Among them are:

David Dassa hosts Israeli dancing before Shabbat services every third Friday. The dancing resumes in October.

Rabbi Daniel Bouskila’s Talmud classes. The next series begins after the High Holy Days. 

Other rabbis and chaplains offering classes include Tamar Frankiel, Rabbi Avivah Winocur Erlick, Rabbi Janet Madden, Chaplain Muriel Dance and Rabbi Lori Shapiro, who teach Soul Journey/Introduction to Judaism.

This fall, the Open Temple House will host a “transdenominational approach to Introduction to Judaism.” Said Shapiro, “I felt inspired to create an intro class that is taught by women (most in Los Angeles are run by men).  I also wanted to spotlight the incredible offerings of AJRCA graduates.”

Debra Schmidt, a chaplain, lawyer and spiritual director, teaches “Breakfast Club,” a weekly spiritual direction group of contemplative Jewish learning, meditation, holy listening, text and spiritually directed journaling.

Barbara Olinger formerly ran the famed parenting center at the Santa Monica YWCA until it closed two years ago. She joined Open Temple and helped create a parenting center serving new mothers parenting kids through teen years. Classes include a dad’s group, a new mom group, welcoming your second child group, as well as classes on parenting, non-defensive communication and other trending parenting topics.

Cin Kats and Jen Regan, a candle maker and an astrologer, respectively, run the New Moon Women’s Group, a monthly group in which members weave rituals of fire and the constellations into the Jewish calendar year.

Open Temple’s Shabbat dinner series covers hot topics including crypto currencies, plant medicine, issues surrounding the “Minecraft” and “Fortnite” video games, and others with local professionals on each of these topics.

Rabbi Shapiro hosts ‘Mood,” a learner’s minyan that runs during the winter for the newcomer to davening. It’s “Mood” as in Limmud and is a Shabbat morning offering with meditation, prayer and Torah.

Family Shabbat Fast Pass is a series of 10 experiences throughout the year for families with young children, including collaborations with PJ Library, recording artist Jennifer Paskow, and includes Havdalah dance parties, Pajama Tot Shabbat, sound baths, yoga, mindful parenting and other experiences.

Lex Lightning and Sharon Kopp host Sound Journey Sound Bath, a series of five “sound baths” throughout the year weaving prayer, scent, family experiences and other elements into a traditional sound bath.

Arts 36/Creative Torah Academy is the Hebrew School of the Arts, taught by arts professionals and rabbi/cantors. The bar and bat mitzvah program, aka b. mitzvah, is a personalized program that works with each family to create an impactful and meaningful bar or bat mitzvah.