LABA in the News

14Y Announces New Artistic Fellows For LABA New York: A Laboratory For Jewish Culture

Works inspired by the theme of NIGHT to be created by Rachel Cantor, Noam Cohen, Malena Dayen, Elisheva Gavra, Zhenya Lopatnik, and more.

The 14th Street Y is thrilled to announce its 2024 artistic fellows for LABA New York, A Laboratory for Jewish culture. These fellows will spend the coming year exploring the creative and intellectual inspiration behind the idea of ‘Night’ through classical Jewish text. The fellows will each present a culminating performance or exhibition on the theme in Fall 2024.

The 13 artists selected for this year’s fellowship represent many areas of creative exploration, ranging from playwriting to opera to jewelry design. They include Rachel Cantor (fiction writer), Noam Cohen (nonfiction writer), Malena Dayen (opera singer/director), Adi Eshman (playwright/screenwriter), Ben Freeman (theater/music/ritual), Elisheva Gavra  
(photography/writing), Aya Goshen (art curator), Alan Jinich (multimedia storytelling), kori koolman (performance art), Zhenya Lopatnik (sand-art/music/storytelling), Yael Magnes (jewelry design), Nechama Winston (photography/video), and Ye’ela Wilschanski 
(time-based visual art).

“We are thrilled to welcome these fellows into the 2024 season at the 14Y and look forward to seeing what gifts they will give to our audiences, our community center and each other,” said Akia Squitieri, 14Y’s Director of Arts + Culture. “If past years fellows are any indication of what is to come, we are in for some beautiful new work, lasting community relationships, and the growth of the next generation of Jewish art and culture in New York City and beyond.”

LABA, a program of the 14th Street Y, uses classic Jewish texts to inspire the creation of art, dialogue and study. The fellows, a mix of visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians, actors and others, study classic Jewish texts in a non-religious, open-minded setting and use their learnings to inspire work, which is featured at 14Y Theater in a series of live events and performances.

“Ever since October 7, it has become very therapeutic to get together as a group at 14Y to focus on the written word and the way it moves us to creation,” shared LABA New York Director Chanan Ben-Simon. “Many of the artists expressed that they felt a new calling to feel safe in a community – which is something they can’t take for granted anymore- and to find a space where they can explore their art in relation to Jewishness, whether through a cultural or spiritual lens.”

“Around the globe, LABA artists will dive into the darkness of night, study ancient text illuminating the darkness with inspiration,” added Ronit Muszkatblit, Director of LABA Global. “Though their conversations are hyper local, they speak to a shared journey and open dialogue.  The act of deep engagement brings hope to the world, building meaningful bridges through storytelling, and weaving a network of possibilities, at night and during the day.”

Meet The Fellows

The 14th Street Y (14Y) is a vibrant community center grounded in the belief that 21st century Jewish values can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning for the individuals and families we serve throughout Downtown Manhattan. 14Y Theater focuses on social awareness and change through big picture narrative, placing artists at the heart of our community and seeking to create an inclusive cultural experience for all. 14Y is part of Educational Alliance’s network of community centers that provide a vast array of educational, cultural, and rehabilitation programs and help people of all backgrounds to flourish at all stages of their lives.

Supporters of 14Y Arts + Culture + LABA

CANVAS—a collaborative giving fund dedicated to Jewish arts and culture.

14Y Arts + Culture programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Supporters of 14Y Arts + Culture + LABA