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LABA NY, the first and longest-running LABA hub, is based at the 14th street Y,  in the East Village of New York City. This location is rich in history, from Yiddish theater houses that used to dominate the neighborhood a century ago, to the avant-garde punk rock halls that were popular around 50 years ago. LABA helps keep that spirit of artistic innovation and rebellion alive in this century,

LABA NY was founded in 2007 by Stephen Hazan Arnoff, the former Executive Director of the 14th Street Y in the East Village, writer and teacher Basmat Hazan, and artist Anat Litwin. In 2010 LABA became more formalized under the helm of Ronit Muszkatblit, Elissa Strauss, and Becky Skoff with a curriculum, application, DRUNK night of study and wine flights, the LABAlive performance season, and an artists-based Tikkun for Shavuot which eventually morphed into “Into the Night,” the most popular downtown Tikkun in New York City. In 2019, Laura Beatrix Newmark took over as Artistic Director of LABA NY.

LABA NY gives culture-makers in one of the most fast-paced cities in the world a chance to stop and immerse themselves in a rich source of inspiration and a tight-knit community. Yes, New York is one of the most creative, and Jewish, cities in the world. Still, LABA scratches an itch. There are few other opportunities for culture-makers with any background to go this deep into the ancient Jewish canon and to be told that these texts belong to them as much as anyone else. When LABA NY gets together in a classroom at the 14th Street Y and becomes absorbed in a passage from the Torah or Talmud, it’s as if all the lights of New York have dimmed, if only for an hour, and all they can see, all they can feel, is the page in front of them and the people around the table wrestling with the words.

The 14th Street Y, a Jewish community center in the East Village, is a vital neighborhood resource that welcomes people of all backgrounds. We provide a variety of programs with a distinctive downtown point of view, emphasizing excellence, innovation, creativity, and a questioning spirit. We are inspired by Tikkun Olam, or repair of the world, in all that we do — a value that represents and renews the vitality of our Jewish heritage and its place in our diverse and vibrant community. The 14th Street Y is a proud part of Educational Alliance’s network of programs throughout downtown Manhattan.

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