People

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People

Lori Schneide ShapiroFounding Rabbi

Lori Schneide Shapiro

Rabbi/Artistic Director/Founder

Founder of The Open Temple centered 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 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. 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.

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Kirsten Hudson

Managing Director

A New York native, Kirsten is, above all else, an enthusiast and generalist. She believes less in titles and roles than in getting things done. That said, her work (and titles) have ranged broadly, and have included financial analyst, writer and editor, producer, director of production, and (her favorite catchy title) Chief Wrangler. She’s also cleared a lot of clutter. After years of failed attempts, she has finally achieved escape velocity from the for profit world and is excited to be working with Rabbi Lori in the amazing adventure that is Open Temple.

Kirsten believes in walking, public transport, and the power of intentional and accidental communities, and will welcome anyone, any night, for a potentially crappy dinner at her place. Said dinner is served at 5pm. Kirsten has a big love of science, faith, and startups of all kinds and believes in the laudability of wonder. She is a pragmatically minded optimist.

She and her husband Matt are the proud parents of the glorious Arrow, born in 2011. She holds a BA from Williams College, and did graduate work at Cambridge and Harvard universities.

Kate Berman

Outreach and Co-Creatorship Coordinator 

A graduate of the University of Southern California and a born and raised New Yorker, Kate recently left a career in marketing analytics to join Open Temple. Her several years’ experience conducting high-level market research and analytics reporting on behalf of Fortune 500 companies has given her the business savvy and attention to detail to make a difference at the organization.
Raised in the Manhattan Modern Orthodox community learning Talmud and Torah daily, Kate rediscovered (and reawakened) her Judaism through her participation in Open Temple shabbats and events. She is thrilled to be a member of the Open Temple staff and to bring her diverse experiences to the Open Temple community.

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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.

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Gina Draklich

Administrative Support

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.

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One who occupies oneself with the needs of the community is as though one has occupied oneself with Torah.

Talmud Yerushalmi, Berakhot