Meet the 2021 LABA Fellows who will be exploring the theme CHOSE-N:

Sivan Battat (she/they) is an Iraqi-Jewish artist & community organizer, focused on new play and musical development and Arab-Jewish cultural organizing. Sivan’s work is across genres – in the theatre, in community, in ritual celebration, and beyond. Sivan works to bridge justice work and cultural work, bringing the power of performance & story to our movements, and the vision of movement work to our theaters.

Annie Berman Annie Berman is a media artist living and working in New York City. Named one of Independent Magazine’s 10 Filmmakers to Watch, her films, videos, performances, and installations have shown internationally.

Abel Demian Goldfarb is a passionate storyteller, focused in the audiovisual arts. He is committed to search and highlight meaningful undermined stories in a personal and unique way. Always pushing the boundaries on conventional narratives, in search for a deeper connection with the audience. His work has been recognized with international distinctions in over 70 countries.

King David had his slingshot, Samson had his hair and Dvir has his lyrics. Whether it be through his Rap Battles of the Bible series, Moishe House Albums or his rock opera book report assignments, Dvir dances through life with a musical filter. As a hip-hop artist in his first year at the rabbinic school, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Dvir hopes to use his music as a means to allow people to access their spirituality.

Rebecca S’manga Frank is an actor, writer, director in the Theatre Arts. She’s performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Red Bull Theatre, Sundance Theatre Lab in Morocco and many off Broadway and regional theaters. TV credits include: Elementary (CBS), Prodigal Son (FOX), and an upcoming release on Apple TV. She’s a member of Society Theatre Co. based in New York. Rebecca is an intersectional storyteller in the movement for Black Lives

Born in Brooklyn, NY, librettist Ben Kaplan currently serves as Director of Education at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. His libretto for State of the Jews, an opera written with composer Alex Weiser, tells the story of Theodor Herzl and the toll his political activities took on his family life. His next libretto, for another opera collaboration with Weiser, is about the controversies surrounding a great Yiddish dictionary.

Rachel Joravsky is a scrappy, queer power Jewess born from socialist ashkenazic stock, who currently resides in Brooklyn. She writes and performs comedy, as well as frequently eats almonds she finds at the bottom of her bag. Rachel knows she must one day move off to Los Angeles to fulfill her life’s purpose of making TV shows about Black/Jewish solidarity, however she is putting off that move for as long as she possibly can. Google her.

Doron Perk studied in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel and received scholarships from The America – Israel Cultural foundation during the years 2003-2008. Doron danced in The Croatian National Theatre Ballet (HNK) in Split, The National Dance Company of Spain (CND) in Madrid, and The Batsheva Ensemble – The Young Company in Tel Aviv.
Doron has been a Gaga Movement teacher since 2015 and a dancer in ZviDance since 2016.

Mindy Pfeffer is an actor/playwright/solo performer/teaching artist/native New Yorker. She has appeared in over 60 plays in NYC and regionally. Her short and long plays have been produced in many small theaters. Mindy’s solo play about training for an Ironman triathlon was seen in several Fringe Festivals and off-off Broadway. She uses puppetry and theatre to teach about social justice and inclusion in NYC schools. Member AEA, Dramatists Guild.

Sam Sussman is a writer whose work has been recognized by BAFTA and Cannes. He has written for the Tel Aviv Review of Books, Haaretz, Dissent, and the Oxford Review of Books, and taught writing seminars in India, South America, and Europe. Sam is co-founder of Extend, an NGO that offers immersive learning in Israel–Palestine and has been featured at the UN. He holds degrees in philosophy, literature, and politics from Swarthmore and Oxford.

Visiting Fellow

Sam Lish is an NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholar pursuing a DPhil in Theoretical Physics as an artist and scientist. Both disciplines juggle macroscopic and microscopic views of the universe. My research utilizes mathematics and quantum mechanics to uncover properties about cell geometry. My artwork focuses on the dynamic interplay between nature and humanity’s creative interference. In sum, I study emergent properties that arise from an amalgam of parts.