According to Mordecai Kaplan, known for many important works of Jewish thought, including many on Modern Judaism, Judaism is “the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish People.” A Modern Judaism is always changing, innovating, evolving. Modern Judaism comes to life and is not the same in any one place or time, and Open Temple in Venice, CA is Modern Judaism’s newest innovation. Open Temple re-enchants Jewish ritual with fresh perspectives on traditional Judaism with the outcome being a Modern Jewish Judaism that is making Judaism more contemporary by its influence. Many communities express modern Jewish expressions of Jewish life; however, Open Temple embodies what is modern in a cutting edge way. Our services, in a black box theatre, incorporate concepts of the Modern Jewish life – we are as open to expressions through digital media as we are meditation. Our school is a modern Jewish approach to Hebrew school – our students study Judaism through the lens of the arts, and integrate art, music, movement, theatre, dance and more to create Modern Jewish Ritual.
Our Modern Jewish approach engages students in modern Jewish ideas through dance, theatre, music, art, weaving and more expressions of Modern Judaism and the arts. Open Temple’s women’s groups are a modern Jewish take on traditional Jewish ideas. We have a once a month Rosh Hodesh group where women can explore their modern Jewish identity through community, creativity and a shared meal.
The counterpart to this modern Jewish spin on female community is our men’s group, which meets at Open Temple house monthly and encourages our community of men to find their Jewish voices outside of what tradition has told men to be. Modern Jewish Shabbat dinners include explorations into CBD, Death,Women’s health, micro-dosing, and allow the conversations we see in the media to become Modern Jewish conversations rooted in Torah and rabbinic interpretation. Our band converts traditional Jewish songs into new contemporary and modern Jewish expressions, and we are known to “mash up” traditional Jewish music and convert them into Mode and Modern Jewish classics through reworking them into Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Madonna, Motown and more. This cutting edge, Modern Jewish expression of Judaism invites the participant into a form of Jewish spirituality that is fresh, fun and uniquely modern in its application of Jewish ideas and thought for a Modern Jewish appeal.
Our approach also possesses many new takes on tradition; the result is a fresh and modern Jewish look at the world around us. Open Temple’s application of Modern Jewish ideas creates a Jewish experience that is contemporary, fun, and accessible for all who identify as a Modern Jewish Jew.