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

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,

The Jew Without Memory

by LABA Rabbinic Fellow Kendell Pinkney Several years ago, I was fortunate to travel to Stockholm with a group of young American and European Jewish lay leaders and entrepreneurs to take part in a Jewish life program. The program was described as a week-long intensive where we would discuss “big Jewish ideas,” study with renowned


JEWISH ARTISTS & MUSEUMS LAUNCH GROUNDBREAKING DWELLING IN A TIME OF PLAGUES. Coinciding with the Jewish holidays of Sukkot and Passover, outdoor artinstallations — in Portland, Ore., LA, Tucson and New York — respond to contemporary crises. At a time when artists, along with countless others, are facingunprecedented challenges as a result of the global

Free Advice

LABA Fellow Charlie Buckholtz writes about his experience giving free advice as both a standup comic and a rabbi. I’d felt for a while that I was stuck in my standup, and it sucked. I mean for one thing…I was doing standup! Writing jokes and stories I thought were funny and getting up on open