“That Person Could Be Dead. It’ll Be Hilarious.”

LABA fellow Richard F Saudek (clown) talks to Brian Dailey (juggler) about their theater piece, DEAD and ALIVE. In the piece, after finding a dead body, a man feels obligated to perform the Jewish rites of shemira, or “guarding” the body. But the body has other ideas. Dailey and Saudek will perform it at LABAlive

“People Want Meaning and Good Visuals”: an Interview with Jessica Tamar Deutsch

LABA fellow Jessica Tamar Deutsch is a New York-based artist and creator of the Illustrated Pirkei Avot. Her work explores the intersection of ancient tradition and contemporary culture. Here she discusses her life and work with Amy Handelsman. Deutsch will be presenting animation and drawings at LABAlive III on Thursday, May 23rd at 7:30pm. Click


Thursday, April 18, 2019 // 7.30pm The Theater at the 14th Street Y This LABA season, teacher Liel Leibovitz and fellows have been delving into Jewish texts about the very nature of existence. Our LABAlive series is you opportunity to experience the fellows’ groundbreaking, genre-breaking, and heartbreaking new work inspired by these studies. LABAlive 2

Composer Yonatan Gutfeld on Life, Death, and Poetry

“I walk around New York City with my guitar,” says Yonatan Gutfeld. “That’s how I spend my days. I teach in pre-schools, music in Hebrew, and I perform at events for the Hebrew-speaking community.” Raised in Jerusalem, he studied the cello and served as pianist and singer in the Israeli Air Force band. He then


The first LABAlive of 2019 was a resounding success. The house was packed, the performances outstanding — an evening demonstrating why LABA is the premier incubator of Jewish culture in New York City. Check out some photos from: Ari Brand’s Missing (play)Maya Ciarrocchi’s Site: Yizkor (text and visual art) Yochai Greenfield’s It Gets Bitter (play)Alex

“Are You Listening, Father?”

Wrestling with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3: Kaddish By Amy Handelsman Is Leonard Bernstein the most “Jewish” composer? It’s not an easy question to answer, but his third symphony is certainly packed with Jewish themes. In January, I was privileged to sit in on LABA Fellow Alex Weiser’s three-part lecture series on seminal Jewish composers

The Blue Marble

Ari Brand is an actor, musician, and lifelong New Yorker. He has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, and across the country. Brand spoke to us about his current LABA project, a play based on his own experience of discovering that his father, the renowned pianist Natan Brand, lived much of his life as a gay man. Natan Brand died of AIDS in 1990. I had

The Challenge of Godot in Yiddish: Talking to Actor Richard Saudek

By Amy Handelsman The New Yiddish Rep’s Waiting for Godot—in Yiddish with English supertitles—runs through January 27th at the the Theater at the 14th Street Y. Tickets available here. Current LABA fellow Richard Saudek appears as Lucky.  Saudek’s brilliant clown show boop beep appears Februrary 6th through 17th, also at the Theater of the 14th Street Y. Tickets for beep boop available here. In Samuel Beckett’s revolutionary play, Waiting for Godot, we see two sad sacks in bowler hats and suspendered pants: Estragon (nicknamed Gogo) and

Reconsidering Julie Herzl, Theodor’s Unhappy Wife

By Alex Weiser When Julie Naschauer, the wife of Theodor Herzl—father of modern political Zionism—died in 1907 at the young age of 39, she was mourned as a beloved figure of the Zionist movement. It was only four years after Theodor died at the age of 44. The headline of her obituary in the Yiddish