Open Temple

Board of Directors

Pamela Kasden Petrigliano

Secretary

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.

Denise Berger

Denise and her husband were among the founding families of Open Temple and have maintained a connection since the start.  Professionally, Denise merged her background in the business sector with her passion for corporate social responsibility to become a professor and consultant in organizational leadership.  She served as a Managing Director at Aon Risk Services, a global insurance broker and consultant, and then earned a doctorate in education from Pepperdine University. Currently she teaches at Pepperdine and Vanderbilt and is a founder and consultant at Gazelle Advisors, focusing on strategic development including financial excellence, marketing, organizational culture and effectiveness, and equity, diversity & inclusion. She is a board member at Environmental Charter Schools and Lionsraw. AND, Denise is the founder and designer of Aliki Designs – Greek-inspired, handcrafted, everyday elegant jewelry.

Denise and her husband are an interfaith couple who live in Manhattan Beach and are the proud parents of two college age children.

Natascha Shamis

Natascha is a teacher, private tutor and ocean conservationist. She was born in Hong Kong, grew up between New York and Berlin and before graduate school, did a stint in Tel Aviv interning for the Women’s International Zionist Organization. Natascha has a degree in psychology and early childhood education and a masters in mental health counseling.

On a summer night two years ago, Natascha drove to Venice and decided to park her car in the Electric Lodge. She heard music coming from the “house next door” and when she saw a sign for the “Open Temple for the Jew-ishly curious,” she decided to crash the party. It just so happened to be the opening night for the new recording studio. “After being so welcomed that night, I knew it was no coincidence I stumbled across Open Temple, I knew I had found my place.”

Natascha is an active member of both Heal the Bay and the Surfrider Foundation, advocating for cleaner waters and the eradication of single use plastics that jeopardize those who live in and enjoy the ocean. She free dives in a professional mermaid tail and teaches children about the ocean when she is “suited up” in her tail.

Nikki Lebow

President Emeritus

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.

 

Blake Fogel

Founding President

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.

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