LABA Returns

By Laura Beatrix Newmark, Director LABA New York “…like the strength of a blessing, as we go  Quietly on with what we shall be doing, and sing Thanks for being enabled, again, to begin this instant.” -from At the New Year by John Hollander, And so it goes, after 15 months of pivoting our LABA

Back to the Future: Utopia 1.0 revisited through Spring 2021 post-vaccinated, mask-fogged lenses this Shavuot

By, 2021 LABA Fellow Annie Berman Our current Zeitgeist is filled with dreams of renewal, reawakening, return – a return to a better world.  Is that even possible? Are human beings capable of creating  a world anew, or can we only work towards reforming, healing. Are there limits to human imagination? I write this as

Grandfather Visit – Dance Testimony

by 2021 LABA Fellow Doron Perk When I started to work on a dance piece to honor the memory of my grandfather, Prof. Kalman Perk, I knew I would use Mendelssohn. He loved classical music, mostly opera. He knew all the names of composers and singers. Mezzo, a channel for mainly operas and ballet, would

Dwelling, Passover Edition

by Ronit Muszkatblit, Director of Arts and Culture, Artistic Director of LABA Dwelling in a Time of Plagues is a Jewish Artist collaboration that spans six cities: NYC, Baltimore, Toronto, Boston, Charlotte and Detroit, funded by CANVAS a Jewish Funders Network.  Seven Jewish artists have created original pieces that represent a current plague of our

New Year נומי: Choose to be a Dreamer

by 2021 LABA Fellow Dvir Cahana The theme for this year’s Laba art fellowship is “Chosenness”. And so, in writing this blog, one question keeps coming up in my mind. What makes this week chosen from all other weeks? This weekend is a very exciting weekend in the Jewish calendar. Not because I am going

The Revolution Will Be Open Questions and Listening…Live

by Rebecca S’manga Frank, 2021 LABA Fellow Thank you Gil Scott Heron (not me) for the reminder that whatever the revolution is, it does not happen in a virtual world from home. That means that revolutionary change would appear to be hamstrung by the Covid-19 pandemic, but not necessarily so. There are at least two

The LABA Fellows Have Been CHOSE-N!

By, Laura Beatrix Newmark, Director of LABA NY Welcome to a new year of LABA. A new year of ancient questions and modern realities. A new year of investigating the core tenet of much of Judaism, to ask questions, and that very elusive concept of choice and chosenness. This is a year like no other,


By Laura Beatrix Newmark, Director of LABA NY Hillel said many things in his lifetime but a particular few lines has gotten more air time in recent years than many other Rabbinic scholars. “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I’m only for myself, who am I? If not now,

Project America

LABA Rabbinic Intern Kendell Pinkney interrogates the meaning of America today. ‘I wish I could be optimistic,’ I uttered hesitatingly, my eyes more pinned to the ground than on the faces arrayed across my computer screen, ‘but to be real, I think I am done with the American Project.’ As soon as the words dribbled