Lori Schneide Shapiro
Founding Rabbi/Artistic Director, The Open Temple, Venice, CA.
“For the Jew-ishly Curious and those who love us.”
Founder of The Open Temple in Venice, CA, Lori’s rabbinate is dedicated to reaching unaffiliated and intermarried families and seekers. Previously the Director of Jewish Life and Senior Consultant for Interfaith Relations and Outreach at the University of Southern California Hillel, Lori’s transdenominational rabbinate was informed by her studies at the American Jewish University, years living in Israel studying within an Orthodox Jewish framework and graduation from both the Academy for Jewish Religion/California as well as the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Lori and The Open Temple are a part of a national incubator supporting cutting edge and innovative Jewish programming mentored by Rabbis Without Borders and CLAL. Currently, she is completing her training as a Spiritual Director with the Yedidya Center for Spiritual Direction and is a member of Spiritual Directors International, the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and the Sandra Caplan Beit Din. In 2016, Councilman Mike Bonin presented Rabbi Lori with the Spirit of Venice Award in honor of her work with Open Temple, and in 2017 Open Temple was recognized internationally in the LA Slingshot Guide as well as chosen to be a member of the Upstart accelerator’s 10th cohort, an honor of distinction in the Jewish Start-up world. In 2018, Rabbi Lori and Open Temple were selected as members of Cohort 2 by the Open Dor Project. She and her husband, Dr. Joel Shapiro, live in the Venice (CA) canals with their daughters, Harel and Golda. Lori is a graduate of Barnard College.
Shira Fox is an LA native who most recently served as Cantor and a spiritual counselor for Beit T’shuvah, a recovery-based community/congregation and treatment facility that integrates Judaism and the Creative Arts. In addition to serving as the Cantor of Temple Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills from 2013-2015, Shira has also been an Artist in Residence with Jewish Women’s Theater. She also held the position of B’nai Mitzvah Program Coordinator from 2006 to 2012 for Kehillat Israel, Pacific Palisades, where she invested her passion for Judaism towards a love for teaching kids and Jewish communal work. Shira grew up immersed in Synagogue music and life as the daughter of an LA based Cantor. She holds a degree in Literature/Creative Writing from SUNY.
Rachel Bordeleau, originally from the Midwest, recently moved to Los Angeles after working as a textile designer on the east coast. With a diverse background in all things art and events, Rachel has found a home with Open Temple’s adaptive and creative programming. In her free time, Rachel loves to bake treats, go on hikes, and daydream about finding a place to compost in the city.
Open Temple Studios Manager
Idan Meyer is an internationally known World Music devotional singer and a healer. His musical journey has covered a vast exploration of many traditions, languages and sacred soundscapes. Idan spent his 20’s in Ashrams, Hindu spiritual centers in India. Later on, he connected with his own tradition, the Jewish Mysticism. Idan’s passion brings a new life and energy to ancient, sacred texts. As we listen to his interpretations of mantras and prayers from different traditions, we can hear a universal message that allows every man and woman to drink the nectar of love.
The Open Temple Band
Open Temple Musicians
Through the creative experience and practice of playing in the band, band members learn active listening, tolerance and social cues. They gain an appreciation of their own importance in the group while respecting the roles of their fellow band members.
When the Open Temple Band performs for the community, there is a self-perception that they are giving the gift of music to their audience. Their hard work, both as individuals and as a group, is rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, acknowledgement of their talents, and an appreciation of their efforts. Participants gain self-esteem and sense of purpose by making people happy with their music.
Artist in Residence
Josh Berkowitz currently serves as Co-Artistic Director of Electric Lodge in Venice Beach. His curatorial work focuses on the breaking of insularity among the greater Los Angeles Performance Community. Josh has been the host of the monthly first Friday event High Voltage which acts as a hub for a wide range of performers from variety acts to site-specific dance. Berkowitz has produced over 30 events at Electric Lodge in the last year and has re-modeled the structure to personalize the organization’s artistic influence.
Accountant / Bookkeeper
Gina Draklich is a freelance bookkeeper who also provides a variety of administrative and marketing services to her clients. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she studied Art History in college and had a twenty-five year career in film marketing before opening her own bookkeeping business. In her free time she likes to paint and walk on the beach. She is also an animal rights advocate and volunteer.
One who occupies oneself with the needs of the community is as though one has occupied oneself with Torah.
Talmud Yerushalmi, Berakhot