Each month, the Venice Chamber of Commerce features members in the Member Spotlight Email Blast. Open Temple was featured in the February 2021 spotlight! Are you a member that would like to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Interview with Zach Lasker, Executive Director
Open Temple re-enchants Judaism and creates an Open Door for Everyone to go on their Jewish Soul Journey. We activate ritual moments, spiritual assembly, and learning that bring Judaism to contemporary life as we inspire Jewish curiosity, creativity, and critical thought (for the Jew-ishly curious and those who love us) with the objective to reinvigorate our human potential towards more meaningful, connected, and purposeful lives that transform ourselves and the world.
How are you helping support the community? Open Temple continues to cultivate a vibrant tapestry of the Venice community, connecting individuals looking for community. We are a place for people to engage in deep soul work while transforming themselves and the community around them. This year, our focused growth is in two specific areas:
- VENICE BEACH SUMMER CAMP: This June, Open Temple launches the Venice Beach Summer Camp. Serving campers 5 years and up, our urban campers experience the enchantment of Venice: mornings at the beach engaged in water play, sports, and sand activities; afternoon elective in the arts with local artists, gardeners, and chefs. Most of all, our campers’ exploratory adventures cultivate confidence for our kids as urban explorers around our Venice neighborhood. Our camp follows LA County Department of Public Health guidelines for COVID safety. Learn more and sign up for registration information.
- SOCIAL JUSTICE CIRCLE: Transforming Venice and Ourselves. Our Social Justice Circle leads with curiosity asking “What is the intention and impact of this initiative?” This year, we explore the issue of homelessness in Venice: its root causes, the road to permanent housing, and how we can make a meaningful impact. We work in partnership with Grassroots Neighbors, Safe Place for Youth, Venice Community Housing, St. Josephs Center, PATH, and our local officials. We are non-partisan and lead with curiosity and love. Learn more about our Happenings.
How are you adapting? Open Temple weaves community in Venice through Ritual Happenings, Creative Classes, and Multi-Media portals into Spirituality and Jewish Life, all with a 21st-century vibe.
Words of wisdom/advice: It’s all right here, in our community. Venice is going through dynamic changes through COVID Times; that being said, Venice is a living entity in and of itself. Our beloved creativity, the people we attract, our natural resources and beauty endure and sustain us. It’s time for us to figure out how to “walk freely about the cabin again,” and dance, meet with our neighbors and roll up our sleeves to re-enchant our beloved and enchanting neighborhood. Open Temple offers silent disco dance parties, live Shabbat services, creativity pods, women’s groups, salons, and more – all live and social distanced and safe – to remind us that we need to figure this out as things will not be changing for a while. And that is OK because we can create a new and inspiring normal. Together.