Open Temple

Venice Freedom Seder

2015sedar2

WHAT:
Venice Freedom Seder

WHEN:
Saturday, April 4th 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

WHERE:
Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
Free Valet ParkingFeaturing the Music of the Open Temple Beit T’shuvah Band
and a Bedouin Tent
Wilderness Vibe
so
You Can Let Go.

Click Here For Tickets

$55* (before March 30)
$75* ( April 3)
$85 (at door)
$18* (for kids under 13)

Everyone is Welcome

Dinner will feature both Vegan/Vegetarian and Poultry Options
*plus Eventbrite ticket handling fee

Hannukah

Hannukah on the Canal and Boat Parade

JTA: Women rabbis at forefront of pioneering prayer communities

jta2

Innovative Women Rabbis
Clockwise from top left, Rabbi Lori Shapiro of Open Temple, Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum of The Kavana Cooperative, Rabbi Noa Kushner of The Kitchen, Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann of Mishkan Chicago, Rabbi Naomi Levy of Nashuva and Rabbi Sharon Brous of Ikar. (Courtesy of the congregations)

…Open Temple, founded to reach out to Jews with very little Jewish background, has focused on education, and on community-building through events celebrating major holidays and b’nai mitzvot. The community already has a Hebrew school and b’nai mitzvah program, and is preparing to introduce regular Shabbat services in the coming year.

a-open-temple-event1

Open Temple holding its family Rosh Hashanah service. (Jordan Teller)

Several of the communities are moving toward affiliating with one another in a more formal way.

In May, Brous, Kushner, Nussbaum and Heydemann — along with Romemu’s Ingber, Amichai Lau-Levie of Lab/Shul in Manhattan and Rabbi Scott Perlo (a former rabbinic intern at Ikar) from Sixth & I Historic Synagogue — met at the Leichtag Ranch north of San Diego to discuss ways to work together more closely and potentially articulate a common vision. The group’s participants, who jokingly call themselves the G7, said the discussions had not yet turned into anything concrete, but suggested that something more definite would be forthcoming in the coming weeks and months.

They all stressed that they were not looking to form any sort of movement.

The innovative communities and their rabbis are increasingly being cited as models for the Jewish future. Several were honored in the Slingshot Fund’s newly issued directory of innovative Jewish organizations, and Levy says she travels on a monthly basis to speak to synagogues about spiritual outreach and creativity.

How precisely these communities will evolve remains an open question. And in certain ways, they already have — adding new services as the congregations grow and as members’ needs and desires change. Kavana has created a Hebrew immersion preschool and religious school, and has added adult education programs as its cohort of older congregants grows. The Kitchen’s “Shabbatify” program organizes Shabbat dinners of 12 to 20 people in participants’ homes, and the community is in the process of opening a store to sell its self-designed prayer books and a Passover game.

But Myers, an Ikar member from its early days, says that as the communities grow and evolve, those that wish to survive in the long term will inevitably need to develop their institutional forms and find new ways to generate and harness energy.

The Jewish Daily Forward: Female Rabbis Lead Pioneering Prayer Communities

forward

A decade ago in Los Angeles, two organizations opened their doors with a call to prayer — or they would have if they had any doors to open.

Ikar, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Nashuva, led by Rabbi Naomi Levy, were conceived separately. But when they launched in 2004, both offered a novel, and in many ways similar, approach to Jewish spirituality and community — regularly scheduled, rabbi-led services that were not affiliated with any movement or institution, that met in rented space, and that were avowedly not synagogues.

Clockwise from top left, Rabbi Lori Shapiro of Open Temple, Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum of The Kavana Cooperative, Rabbi Noa Kushner of The Kitchen, Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann of Mishkan Chicago, Rabbi Naomi Levy of Nashuva and Rabbi Sharon Brous of Ikar. (Courtesy of the congregations) Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/12/14/life-religion/female-rabbis-at-forefront-of-pioneering-prayer-communities
Clockwise from top left, Rabbi Lori Shapiro of Open Temple, Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum of The Kavana Cooperative, Rabbi Noa Kushner of The Kitchen, Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann of Mishkan Chicago, Rabbi Naomi Levy of Nashuva and Rabbi Sharon Brous of Ikar. (Courtesy of the congregations)

“We were trying to walk into the conversation about Jewish identity and community and ritual without preconceived ideas about where we would land,” Brous told JTA, describing the beginnings of Ikar. “What we were trying to do didn’t follow any model that already existed.”

Since then, however, the format pioneered by Nashuva and Ikar has become its own recognizable model, and similar spiritual communities with a noticeably common style have sprung up in a number of other cities across the country. Prayer is designed to be heartfelt and arouse the spirit. Often there is clapping, dancing and singing without words. Worshipers tend to skew young, informal and hip. The groups don’t own buildings; typically they meet in up-and-coming or already desirable neighborhoods. The communities are led by charismatic rabbis who stress innovation and outreach to Jews who feel alienated from existing Jewish institutions. They are nondenominational. They often don’t know exactly how to describe themselves.

And most, but not all, have one more common element: They were founded, and are still being led by, women rabbis.

In 2006, Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum launched The Kavana Cooperative in Seattle. In 2011, Rabbi Noa Kushner opened The Kitchen in San Francisco and Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann initiated Mishkan Chicago in the Windy City. In 2012, Rabbi Lori Shapiro started Open Temple in the West Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice.

Read more >

Jewish Journal: Women rabbis at forefront of pioneering prayer communities

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A decade ago in Los Angeles, two organizations opened their doors with a call to prayer — or they would have if they had any doors to open.

Ikar, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Nashuva, led by Rabbi Naomi Levy, were conceived separately. But when they launched in 2004, both offered a novel, and in many ways similar, approach to Jewish spirituality and community — regularly scheduled, rabbi-led services that were not affiliated with any movement or institution, that met in rented space, and that were avowedly not synagogues.

“We were trying to walk into the conversation about Jewish identity and community and ritual without preconceived ideas about where we would land,” Brous told JTA, describing the beginnings of Ikar. “What we were trying to do didn’t follow any model that already existed.”

Since then, however, the format pioneered by Nashuva and Ikar has become its own recognizable model, and similar spiritual communities with a noticeably common style have sprung up in a number of other cities across the country. Prayer is designed to be heartfelt and arouse the spirit. Often there is clapping, dancing and singing without words. Worshipers tend to skew young, informal and hip. The groups don’t own buildings; typically they meet in up-and-coming or already desirable neighborhoods. The communities are led by charismatic rabbis who stress innovation and outreach to Jews who feel alienated from existing Jewish institutions. They are nondenominational. They often don’t know exactly how to describe themselves.

And most, but not all, have one more common element: They were founded, and are still being led by, women rabbis.

In 2006, Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum launched The Kavana Cooperative in Seattle. In 2011, Rabbi Noa Kushner opened The Kitchen in San Francisco and Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann initiated Mishkan Chicago in the Windy City. In 2012, Rabbi Lori Shapiro started Open Temple in the West Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice.

The Wandering Jew Truck / A Spiritual Food Truck

jewtruck_logo_forweb

 

The Jewish Innovation
The Wandering Jew Truck /A Spiritual Food Truck engages the Jew-ishly curious and those who love us in public spaces serving spiritual nourishment and Jewish enchantment. Creative programs provoke thought, conversation and community at Los Angeles food truck gatherings and Jew-y and non-Jew-y Festivals. With a schedule of offerings including Shabbat Services, guest speakers, Torah Study, Sustainable Drive-in Movie Nights and Havdalah Happenings, community is created by pulling up a lawn chair and introducing yourself. The Jew-Truck will work with a roster of local and national Jewish community collaborators to reach families and individuals outside of traditional community circles. Our bio-diesel fueled truck rolls with the values of welcoming, egalitarianism, and justice for all. A new Mishkon for a new generation.

The Impact
A modern Mishkan, the Wandering Jew Truck draws from an ancient symbol of community in-gathering, reaching new Jews at every “Happening”. In the 21th century, our lifestyles do not revolve around one center. We want to focus our spirituality on community building without the yoke of synagogue mortgages. With a post-Pew study call for action for engaging the unaffiliated and disaffiliated, the Wandering Jew Truck serves the second most visited tourist site in S. California — Venice Beach. With dynamic and creative Jewish programming, community and curiosity, the Jew Truck will re-enchant Jewish life in an already out of the box beach community. The Wandering Jew Truck — a Spiritual Food Truck.

What the money is for

Building a Jew Truck is kind of like building a Mishkan. We need the entire community to help. Artists. Educators. Mechanics. Rabbis. Bubbes. All money raised for the Wandering Jew Truck will go towards truck purchase, refurbishment, design and maintenance.

Monies raised will go directly to our non-profit’s fundraising campaign to support the following:

Used Step Van: A Step Van is like a FedEx truck. We will purchase a used diesel motored truck and make improvements to it for reliability and bio-diesel fuel.

Skins: A food truck is a rolling piece of art. A local Venice artist will be commissioned to provide the design and art for the Jew Truck.

Truck Refurbishment: The Jew Truck will have a cozy interior with cupboards, bookshelves and nooks to store materials for our events. Included but not limited to: movie screen, iPads, lawn chairs, books, art supplies, sound equipment, and other Jew-y supplies.

 

GirlieGirlArmy: The Wandering Jew Truck

logo_new

Imagine this: a feminist, veg-loving, animal-loving, breastfeeding Mother, who is also a Barnard brainaic married to a Doctor turned eco-activist, opens a synagogue for those who don’t feel at home at traditional synagogues and wants to explore their Judaism in a 21st century sort of way. Artists, explorers, half Jewish, mixed-religion couples, members of the LGBT community, rock n rollers, heart surgeons, atheists, athlete, vegans, open-minded thinkers are all embraced at this warm community in Venice, California called The Open Temple.

Imagine walking into a synagogue with no snide looks if your skirt is too short or you have a tattoo, imagine all veg-events that are kid and dog friendly! A synagogue where eco-ethics are the forefront of the agenda, it exists.

Now Rabbi Lori Schneide Shapiro is upping it a notch.

Imagine these two words: Jew Truck.

Imagine they became this:

jewtruck_logo_forweb

Really.  Imagine a Jew Truck rolling around town serving spiritual nourishment and Jewish enchantment at food truck gatherings, Art Crawls, Jew-y events, or in a parking lot at a State Park showing a movie.  Imagine the community it could create for those seeking Jewish community outside of traditional synagogues.  The Open Temple started in 2012 and is now really gaining momentum, and as a “pop-up community” Rabbi Lori is now starting a campaign to support the communities vision of what that might look like.

Lori Schneide ShapiroFounding Rabbi
Lori Schneide Shapiro
Founding Rabbi

Enter the “Wandering Jewtruck; A Spiritual Food Truck.”

Here’s her plea to GGA Jews;

We’re moving this idea into reality through grant writing and crowd-funding and we need your help.

First – grant givers love seeing a lot of people give a little to an idea.  That’s where you come in…

Might you be able to offer a donation from the heart (it’s tax deductible) to our cause?  Whatever you can give would be great…plus, there’s SWAG (meaning, we give you something back)!

Here’s a link to learn more about the JewTruck and to offer your support:

Jewcer.com/Jewtruck

Again, I am so in awe of what is happening here in Venice and West LA with the growth of Open Temple.   There is a real need to capture all of the unaffiliated Jews and provide a home for them that matches their contemporary values.  With the Jew Truck, I know that we can keep it rolling!

If you are a Los Angeles curious Jew looking for spiritual relief or a heightened state of consciousness, we highly recommend getting involved with this progressive community. Shabbat Shalom!

High Holidays 5775

Family Services

High-Holidays-5775

Sukkot on the Canal Farm