BHTOTA, led by Rabbi David Baron, has assembled an all-star team to manage all of our members' needs. Whether you are seeking help with naming your newborn baby, preparing a bar/bat mitzvah, planning a wedding, exploring a conversion, or looking to attend High Holy Day and monthly Shabbat services, our dedicated staff would be happy to help. Don't hesitate to call our office: 323.658.9100.
James Blatt, President
Attorney James E. Blatt often refers to a phrase that has been ingrained in him since high school: “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins." Mr. Blatt was committed to making a better life for himself than the one in which he was raised in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. At the age of 17, Mr. Blatt headed to Los Angeles to start a new life. When people comment on how hard it is to practice law successfully in Los Angeles, or anywhere for that matter, Mr. Blatt always replies that it is nothing compared to life working in a coal mine. He currently serves as the proud president of Temple of the Arts.
Adrienne Baron was born, raised, and educated in New York City. After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts, she attended acting classes at Herbert Berghof Studios, with Uta Hagan, the Neighborhood Playhouse with Sandy Meisner, and studied music and voice at Julliard School of Music. She performed in classical concerts as well as Broadway shows both in New York and abroad. After moving to Los Angeles, she attended both UCLA for interior design, and later GIA for gemology, specializing in diamonds and black pearls. Adrienne has two beautiful children, a daughter who teaches at a Jewish day school and a son in music production. Adrienne’s passion for our Temple is expressed through the creation of our Bimah, as well as the renovation of the theater's historic reception room and ladies room. She believes whatever you choose to do in life, do it as well as humanly possible, always be thorough, and follow through.
Matt Lichtenberg is a CPA who started his career at Price Waterhouse and Co. and ventured into entertainment business management in 1981. He is a partner at Level Four Business Management, LLC with a client list reflecting a heavy presence in the world of comedy in addition to artists from all aspects of the entertainment industry. He is known to occasionally inject some humor into the business and his best advice is “live within your means.” Matt is a New York City native currently living in Pacific Palisades with his wife Maria Demina, an internationally renowned concert pianist, and two future musicians: their sons, Asher (8) and Maksim (5).
Mr. Axelrod has three children and one granddaughter. He splits his time between homes in Beverly Hills and the Silver Strand in Marina Del Rey. He and his wife Tana are season ticket holders and supporters of the LA Phil and the Los Angeles Opera Company. Mr. Axelrod focuses his practice on bankruptcy, creditors’ rights issues and financial restructuring matters. Over the course of his career, he has served as trustee and counsel to the trustee or receiver in several Securities Investor Protection Act liquidation proceedings, and federal equity receiverships. He has also represented Fortune 500 companies as well as most of the major underwriting houses.
Dorian Bilak has been an active member of the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills community for most of his life. He lives in Beverly Hills with his wife Frances and their two children, Michael (age 12) and Maddie (age 7). He is a graduate of the Beverly Hills School System and attended several colleges in the Los Angeles Area (Otis Art Institute, SCI-ARC, UCLA and the University of Judaism).
Dorian is a real estate investor and oversees a group of companies that invest in and manage commercial properties throughout the western states. He is also an owner and principal in a capital and debt advisory company in Newport Beach. He is active with a number of charities and non-profit organizations (The Jewish Federation, Save a Heart, American Friends of the Israel Museum), and has held or currently holds board positions at the Westwood Kehilla Synagogue, Shalhevet School, LINK, and Bound Angels.
Raymond Rosenthal and his wife Peggy Shapiro Rosenthal are proud parents of children Wendy, Erin, Jessica, Samantha, and David. They are also proud grandparents of Avery, Ryan and David. Ray and Peggy were married by Rabbi Baron, are proud longtime Sustaining Members of our Temple, and pillars on our Founder’s Wall. Ray went to Fairfax High School, and then to The University of Texas, where he earned his BA. Ray also served on the Brentwood School Board of Directors (2001-2011), Jewish Big Brothers, and was Chairman of Food Division UJF (1976-1985). Ray is president of King Meat Inc., Director Transpac Foods, and Director of King Food Service Hawaii.
Ari Ryan is a multi-faceted creative entrepreneur; he is an accomplished real estate investor, restaurateur, film director and philanthropist. Ryan is an active investor, developer and manager of a large commercial and residential real estate portfolio. He also owns and operates several successful restaurants in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago. In addition, Ryan has worked as a free-lance film director/producer and his directorial debut was distributed by HBO. He also works as a business consultant for start-up enterprises and devotes much of his time to charity service. Amongst many other charitable endeavors, Ari is a Co-Founder of the YLD of The FIDF LA and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The FIDF Western Region. Ari has also served as the YL Co-Chair for the Los Angeles Division of AIPAC and is currently a member of AIPAC’S National Council. Ryan attended USC majoring in film production and business administration.
Jill Black Zalben
Jill Black Zalben, daughter of longtime members and philanthropists Joyce and Stanley Black, graduated from The American University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in Public Communications. Jill is the director of the Joyce and Stanley Black Family Foundation, and in 2004, joined Black Equities Group, becoming involved with property management and acquisition of retail and industrial properties. Jill has been involved with several organizations including The Jewish Federation, Vista Del Mar, Beit T’Shuva, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, and served on the board of Beyond Shelter for four years, an organization that combats poverty and homelessness in Los Angeles. She has two children, Zach and Torie.
James Ross has almost forty years experience as an attorney. After completing his studies at the University of North Carolina and Tulane University School of Law, he served as a Federal Prosecutor in the United States Tax Court and as a corporate litigator. He also served as a principal in several real estate development and syndication projects. Mr. Ross now divides his time between practicing law and serving as a Director and Partner of a firm that provides financing for the development of municipal, educational, and medical facilities. He and his wife, Darolyn Austin Ross, are long time Sustaining Members of Temple of the Arts and currently reside in Beverly Hills.