Open Temple

People

Rabbi Lori Schneide Shapiro

Founding Rabbi/Artistic Director

“For the Jew-ishly Curious and those who love us.”

Founder of 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 (MA in Rabbinics) as well as the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (MA in Jewish Studies). Rabbi Lori and Open Temple began as a part of a national incubator supporting cutting edge and innovative Jewish programming mentored by Rabbis Without Borders and CLAL. Rabbi Lori and Open Temple were then admitted as a member of Upstart Labs’ 10th Cohort and as a member of David Cygielman’s Open Dor Project. Rabbi Lori is a graduate of the Spiritual Direction program with the Yedidya Center for Spiritual Direction and is a member of Spiritual Directors International. Rabbi Lori is a member of the current cohort of the Interfaith Inclusion Leadership Initiative and is a proud Lion of Judah. Rabbi Lori is a member of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and the Sandra Caplan Beit Din. She and her husband, Dr. Joel Shapiro, live in the Venice canals with their two daughters and labradoodle.

Rabbi Ilana Grinblat

Director of Education and Family Programming

Rabbi Ilana Berenbaum Grinblat serves as a spiritual leader at Temple Har Shalom, Open Temple, and Temple Beth Shalom in California. For six years, she served as the Vice President of Community Engagement for the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. She is the author of The Viral Spread of Hope: Finding Inspiration in Tough Times (published in September 2022), Castles and Catch: Spiritual Lessons Children Teach Us published by Author House (July 2015) and Blessings and Babysteps: The Spiritual Path of Parenting published by Behrman House in 2011. She is a regular contributor to the Jewish Journal. She holds an honorary doctorate of divinity from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. For nearly twenty years, she taught Midrash (biblical interpretation) at the American Jewish University’s, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, where she was ordained in 2001. She is the wife of Tal (a franchise lawyer) and mother of two children, Jeremy (age 18) and Hannah (age 15).

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

Talmud Yerushalmi, Berakhot

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 finally achieved escape velocity from the for profit world, and hasn’t looked back.

Kirsten believes in walking, public transport, and the power of intentional and accidental communities. 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. She holds a BA from Williams College, and did graduate work at Cambridge and Harvard universities.

Jayne Bennett

Administrative Coordinator

Jayne grew up in North Carolina, just north of Raleigh. She graduated from Elon University in 2020, then moved across the country to complete a year of service with Jubilee Year Los Angeles. Open Temple was her assigned service site, and she spent a year as a Jubilee Fellow at Open Temple before becoming an official Open Temple employee. She wishes she had an engaging story about how she decided she wanted to work at nonprofits, but the truth is that the idea just came to her one day and she decided to run with it. That decision led Jayne to the Jubilee Year program and Open Temple, and the rest is history!

Brandy Cain

Jubilee Intern

Brandy Cain grew up in Athens, Georgia (go Dawgs!) and moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Coker University in South Carolina with a BA in Psychology. Brandy is Open Temple’s new Jubilee intern. She decided to participate in the Jubilee service year, and work with nonprofits in general, as a way to give back, and make sure that the next generation is able to have the resources and tools available to succeed. Brandy’s hobbies include shopping, listening to music, reading, brisk walking, and coffee drinking.

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.

Avi Sherbill

Avi Sherbill is a certified sound therapist who has over 12 years of sound production experience with a background in addiction treatment and an education in Music Composition from the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jordana Reim

As both a spiritual guide and well-being coach, Jordana combines her trained modalities to meet individuals wherever they are on their path. Pulling from 15 years of training, her certifications include yoga, meditation, emotional intelligence, sound healing and Ayurvedic massage. With over 10 years of success in corporate America as an Advertising Producer, Jordana seamlessly bridges the worlds of wellness and western working culture for her clientele. While rooted in Eastern philosophy, Jordana shares ancient wisdom in relatable ways for modern day living. Jordana founded 180 Retreats after immersing herself in transformation, traveling to ashrams, monasteries and even cliffside caves in India, Nepal and Thailand. Leading personal growth retreats, she combines learning of local culture and ritual with reflection, yoga, meditation and nature. Her retreats in 2019 include a spiritual journey through Northern India and a trekking excursion to Everest Base Camp.