Creative Torah Academy

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A Creative Torah Academy of the Arts

Our program has been adapted for 2020-21 year in accordance with health guidelines to promote safety, meaning, and our natural need for personal connection. We will continue to adapt as guidelines shift.  

What if creative spiritual practice was a part of Jewish education? If the paintbrush, dance shoe, sense of humor, yoga mat, and drum kit were as integral a part of Jewish education as a tallit, siddur, and Hebrew letters? Open Temple’s Creative Torah Academy is a unique Jewish Journey for students to engage in Torah, Jewish Civilization, Thought and Traditions through art, music, movement, theater, nature and spirituality. Our studio sessions, creative activities, discussion forums, guest artists and visits to locations around Venice and Los Angeles nurture the Jewish imagination and critical thinking.

We believe in setting families up for success. We depart from the traditional weekly Hebrew School obligation and offer a program that blends these experiences:

  • Twice monthly small group experiences in private backyards
  • Once every other month community family experiences outdoors and around town
  • Shabbat and holiday engagement opportunities
  • At-home “DIY” Jewish living kits

“Judaism is the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people.”

-Mordecai Kaplan, Founder, Reconstructionist Judaism

The most enduring element of the Jewish people is adaptability. At CTA, we not only teach the next generation of Jews about the content of Jewish history, thought and peoplehood, but methods that drive Jewish adaptation. The disciplines of art and spirituality are the lenses through which we refract the “hidden Jewish light” that the Torah teaches us was created on the first day of creation, and collectively explore what is revealed through this “bending” of tradition.

CTA brings the Open Temple methodology of “performance art ritual” — engaging prompts, contemporary conflicts, creative departures from text and tradition — into the “Hebrew School” classroom, where the classroom is transformed into an atelier, dance and yoga studio, and black box theatre. Our students are young people who thrive in the creative and individualistic curriculum, who think for themselves and enjoy sharing their individuality with others to create something larger together. Our students are the children of intermarried couples, assimilated Jews, Jews without Jewish education, or Jews with too much Jewish education, Jews who feel disenfranchised or alienated from Jewish life or Jews on the periphery and their children. Open Temple provides a place for all of the “Jew-ly curious” to reclaim our spiritual center right where we are and apply the knowledge we possess to the knowledge we inherit. Together.

School Fees

Participation in Creative Torah Academy compliments other Offerings in our community and the outcomes impact the whole family. This requires that families become Open Temple co-creators before beginning CTA. If our suggested co-creator rates aren’t affordable for your family, please contact us and we will work with you to open up access.

Our 2020-21 rates are as follows:

Arts 36 (ages 6-9): $1800

Venice Yeshiva (ages 9-11): $1800

B Mitzvah (ages 12-13): $6500

Register by August 15, 2020 and we will waive our 5% processing fee!

Enrollment is open now for Fall 2020/5781. For further inquiry and to sign up:

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The evening was amazing, the service was more than wonderful and one that everyone is still talking about. Our friends and family were left with a feeling of knowing what they sat through – a loving, warm service that transmitted the knowledge of what the process was all about. They experienced a Bar Mitzvah in a way none have done so before (as did we).

– Max’s Mom