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.
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.