Board of Directors
Nikki and her husband Dave Lebow are active members of the Venice community. Nikki is on the Advisory Board for Miriam’s House as well as the Board of Directors for the Dyslexia Association of Southern California and is an avid fundraiser. She is the President of the Parent’s Association and chairs social events at Park Century where her daughter attends school. Her experience at Open Temple with her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah inspired her to help Open Temple grow so that others could experience the meaningful ritual shared by her family and guests.
Chèri Washburn Wallin
Chèri Washburn Wallin and her family are relatively new to the LA area and found Open Temple shortly after arriving. Chèri and her husband Eric have been married for nearly 20 years, and have four children, two in college and two attending high school. Chèri is enthusiastic about working to build Open Temple’s presence in the community, and enjoys working with the development team. At Open Temple she appreciates the opportunities for growth and welcoming new members. She feels it is an honor and privilege to be a part of such an important establishment in our community.
Brandon Scott Barney
Brandon is a broadcast journalist and technology entrepreneur. He is co-host of LA’s longest running public radio program covering the digital revolution: KPFK 90.7 FM’s Digital Village Radio. His segment, DigitalCulture.LA, co-produced and co-hosted with Brittney Gallagher, focuses on the history and future of science and technology and how computers and the internet are changing our society.
Brandon is currently a member of the Venice Chamber of Commerce’s Venice Media District subcommittee focused on sharing Venice’s media innovations with the world. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Venice Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra that sends music teachers into Venice Beach’s public elementary schools. Brandon also teaches computer classes to Jewish seniors at Jewish Family Service’s Israel Levin Senior Center on the boardwalk in Venice Beach. He misses his hometown, Beachwood, Ohio, a small Jewish suburb in Northeastern Ohio, and he never felt quite at home in Venice until he met Rabbi Lori Shapiro and became a member of the Open Temple community. Brandon was honored when Rabbi Lori invited him to join the Open Temple board and is focused on community, interfaith and international engagement.
Alden Oreck recently moved to Venice from Tel Aviv. A native of New Orleans, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Masters in Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. Since graduating, Alden has worked in a variety of global marketing, strategy and consulting roles at Fortune 50 tech firms.
In his free time, Alden can be found in his garden, running half marathons and playing beach volleyball.
Alden found Open Temple last year and experienced the most meaningful Yom Kippur he has ever had. He is grateful to work with Lori and the entire Open Temple team.
For the past 8 years, Douglas has led the Development and Communications team at Green Dot Public Schools, a major LA-based non-profit that operates 26 public schools, with 1300 employees and a $175MM annual budget. During this time Green Dot has raised over $130MM to support Green Dot’s growth within Los Angeles, Memphis TN and Tacoma WA. A long actor resume across mediums includes major studio films, network television, Broadway, leading regional and experimental theatre, and commercial voice work. Douglas lives in Venice with his wife, Nancy Goodstein and daughter Vivien. He has been a proud and participating member of LA’s Jewish community and the Venice community for 20 years and is honored to be supporting the vision and growth of Open Temple.
Blake has made a name for himself in leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, asset management and repositioning. As a determined entrepreneur, Blake rose through the ranks at some of the industry’s top firms, eventually becoming a member of the executive team, and then Vice President at Westwood Financial Corp. (WFC). At the time WFC owned and managed over 8 million square feet of retail space spanning 13 states and 25 markets. Additionally, Blake and his teams have sold over $200 million in assets and acquired over $650 million in new assets. Now, Blake has brought that experience and acumen to the Venice-based Fogel RE, growing his footprint and continuing his impact on the industry.
Blake has been present at Open Temple Happenings since our first Rosh HaShanah, and has a hunger for all things spiritual.
Stephanie Shuken loves family, community, spirituality, and Judaism. A ballet dancer from Maryland, she earned a BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase. After living in New York City for ten years, Stephanie moved to Los Angeles thirteen years ago. Stephanie is the creator and owner of Village Arts & Enrichment Center in the Pacific Palisades, a creative studio she established ten years ago that provides parents and children a safe, warm atmosphere for imagination based play, socialization, and family connections. Stephanie has found Judaism in a new and beautiful way with the birth of her daughter, Georgina, now 2 years old, and sees Jewish rites and rituals as partners for integrating all parts of self: wife, mother, business owner – as she strives to be a “menschette” in all things. Contributing to Open Temple brings excitement into her life and tons of inspiration for creating community where all who participate will thrive and be spiritually nourished.
Cari Chanin has strong ties to the Venice community since the early 1970’s when her family moved to the area. She attended SDSU then went abroad to France with The School For International Training where she studied French, lived on a dairy farm, drove a tractor, made wine and became a passionate Francophile. Returning to the US, Cari continued her love of travel as a “Stewardess” for the iconic TWA. After seeing the world for a few years, Cari went back to CSULB and graduated with a BA in Political Science and was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.
Pursuing a love of film, Cari went on to have a long and successful career in business and film production management for such notable directors as Barry Levinson and Luc Besson. At the same time, she earned her Real Estate License at UCLA and became a Notary Public. She then went on to be the managing partner of a specialty construction firm working with many Venice architects and homeowners.
Cari is a passionate advocate for animals and served on the Board of Directors as President for Santa Monica based The Forgotten Dog Foundation. She continues her mission as an independent rescuer working with non-profits rescues around the state. Currently a Realtor in Venice, Cari believes in giving back and donates to benefit these animals. She is also an avid Sailor who enjoys yacht racing, spending time on long walks with her beloved dogs, and enjoying the company of her friends and family.
Cari is excited to bring her experience to Open Temple and happy to have found a spiritual home here.
Pamela Kasden Petrigliano
Pamela carries over 17 years of experience in the Digital Marketing space and was responsible for launching several successful start-ups. She began her career in Marketing Research, supporting such clients as MTV, American Express, Kimberly-Clark and Coca-Cola, and then moved onto launch and manage the CRM initiative at Sony Pictures. She spent the following 8 years at MXM, one of the largest digital agencies in the U.S.. In her role as Group Account Director, she successfully applied her client service, strategic and analytical skills to accounts such as Gerber, Purina, Disney, Juicy Juice, PowerBar, Buitoni, and other Nestlé brands. Finally she joined two colleagues and fulfilled her entrepreneurial desire by launching 7th Floor Digital, a boutique digital marketing firm in Los Angeles with a focus on consumer marketing and e-commerce. Pamela earned a B.A. degree from Cornell University.
Pamela loves bringing people and ideas together. Whether it’s forming a mutually beneficial business partnership, uniting friends or (at age 9!) realizing that the local tailor’s leftover leather scraps were the perfect raw materials to meet schoolyard demand for Cabbage Patch Kid mini-skirts – she revels in making connections. In her free time, Pamela has played an integral role in the launch of a very successful restaurant in Santa Monica, she researches and consults friends on the LA food scene and enjoys planning dinner parties with her husband and two kids. However, something was missing in her life. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY and attending services at a temple with a very close knit community, which her Grandfather was a founding member, she hoped to discover a similar connection for her family. In the search for an organization which was open to their interfaith marriage & supported their desire for spirituality, she and her husband were introduced to Open Temple. When they arrived at the Electric Lodge, they were immediately struck by the energy, creativity & warmth of the community. Rabbi Lori’s service was different from anything they had ever experienced & they found that it was the first service their kids actually sat through & enjoyed! Each event they attended thereafter continued to inspire them both spiritually and intellectually. Recognizing that Open Temple fulfills a much needed role in a community where Jews long to connect with their roots in a more innovative and progressive way, it is with great joy that Pamela has accepted a position on the board.
Ezekiel Brennan Cantor-Baum
Eze is a third-grader at PS1 elementary school in Santa Monica. When he is not attending Open Temple Board meetings, he enjoys playing with friends, building in Minecraft, and playing sports. He is an avid participant in Creative Torah with Rabbi Lori, and, this year, he plans to master the entire Hebrew alphabet.
Julie is not a third-grader, but she is Eze’s mom. She is an entrepreneur and attorney. An expert on issues in law and medicine, she teaches a course on reproduction, medical ethics, and the law at the UCLA School of Law. She is an aficionado of minimalist architecture, modern art, and Italian design.
One who occupies oneself with the needs of the community is as though one has occupied oneself with Torah.
Talmud Yerushalmi, Berakhot