“LABA is the best. Obscure stories of rabbis and winds but also important and beautiful arguments about the huge tenets of truth and humor and faith. All couched in a community of supportive creative thinkers.”
– LABA NY fellow Liba Vaynberg / Year of Humor / 2019
LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture is a non-religious, Jewish house of study and culture laboratory which uses classic Jewish texts to inspire the creation of art, dialogue, and study. It aims to present Judaism’s rich literary and intellectual tradition in a free and creative setting, so that these stories and ideas spark new thought and art. The creative output from our House of Study pushes the boundaries of what Jewish art can be and what Jewish texts can teach.
Every year LABA chooses a new theme, and in 2021 the theme will be CHOSE-N.
We are looking for artists who will think about this word CHOSE-N from all of its angles and offer their unique perspective on what it means to choose, use choice, be chosen or not chosen, and how our lives are shaped by personal choices and the choices of others.
We cannot examine the word CHOSE-N without acknowledging what it means to be,
what the Ancient texts call, “the chosen” people. How can we grapple with both pride and shame of being part of a group that characterizes themselves as “chosen” in this day and age? And how, in so many ways, does the outside world choose to see us, as Jews, so differently than we choose to see ourselves?
What other groups do we align ourselves with that have been chosen to be looked upon favorably or negatively? By whom? And how has this affected our lives and experiences? And how do you choose to look upon others?
When we pick one person, one life path, or one creative project over another, we are inevitably closing the door on many others. How does the negative space of what we have not chosen also shape our world and lives, and how do we know we have chosen wisely, well, and honorably?
“LABA has been the space I needed to develop my new work, experiment and be inspired by other LABA fellows and Jewish texts. There is something very special and freeing about bonding with fellow artists over Jewish literary and see where that takes you. Take this journey if you can!”
– LABA NY artist Gili Getz // year of TIME // 2012
Join us in our thoughts and understanding about CHOSE-N and make the beautiful choice to join a community of makers, thinkers, ARTISTS who are also choosing to spend their time, energy and wisdom coming together to laugh, build, work, create and think together shaping newness and hope.
Applications for LABA New York and LABA East Bay are due November 16, 2020.