New Cast In the House Of LABA

Dear Friends,

Welcome to a new year of LABA.

A new year of ancient questions. A new year of investigating the laughter and the angst of HUMOR. From birth to death, pain complicates life–and humor, like a good analgesic, makes it palatable.

I look forward to introducing our 2019-2020 LABA fellows: Charlie BuckholtzCharles GershmanJared HoffmanMark KatzAnna LublinaRokhl KafrissenLiba VaynbergAri WolffWillie ZabarAnya Hoerburger, and visiting fellow Iris Bahr, inspiring artists, comedians, thinkers and creators of new Jewish culture. By sharing their paths and the works they are creating, they will explore and expand our notions of all sides of humor.

On these days leading up to Rosh Hashanah, we prepare to celebrate and dip our apples in honey while wondering if we’re going to make it through the gates and into the Book of Life. We can’t help but be awoken by the shrill yet glorious sounds of the shofar and think of the myriad Jewish comedians, philosophers, and artists who have riffed on this topic, inspired by the earliest tales in biblical times. After all, the first recorded scriptural laughter came in Genesis 18:12, from our favorite first Jewish mother, Sarah.

Take a look at the Fellows’ work and their upcoming projects and join us in plumbing the depths of our imaginations as we engage with humor, one of the most sustaining and time-tested aspects of Jewish identity; as Jon Stewart says, “I have complete faith in the continued absurdity of whatever’s going on.”


Laura Beatrix Newmark, Director of LABA