In 2006, the Venerable Abbot Shi Yongxin of Songshan Shaolin Temple appointed 34th generation Shaolin monk Shi Yanran to lead a team of Shaolin monks to California in search of a location to establish the first North America branch organization of Shaolin Temple, in order to more directly share Shaolin culture with the American people. In February 2008, Shaolin Temple USA officially opened as a Zen Buddhist Temple and Shaolin Kung Fu Academy in Fremont, California. Master Shi Yanran serves as Director and continues to search for a suitable site to build a permanent home for Shaolin Temple USA. The Temple now offers daily Buddhist studies and meditation as well as Shaolin Kung Fu, Qigong and Shaolin Wellness classes to people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds. The Shaolin masters who participate in this collaboration are among sixteen 34th-generation ordained Buddhist monks of Songshan Shaolin Temple, now stationed at Shaolin Temple USA. Trained from childhood in Buddhist teachings and Shaolin Kung Fu under Abbot Shi Yongxin, they have served as ambassadors of Ch’an Buddhism, Chinese culture and Shaolin Kung Fu in many cultural exchange missions in over 60 countries performing for audiences including Queen Elizabeth II, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Many of them have participated in theatrical productions featuring Shaolin Kung Fu such as Wheel of Life, Shaolin Warriors and The Temple.