The LABA theme for 2022 is BROKEN. 

We are broken vessels, and we live, according to Jewish mysticism, in a broken vessel. The chaos is never-ending, as is our longing to put the pieces back together.

Don’t be scared. Our brokenness, as individuals, as a people, and as a society, is what pushes us to think, feel and change. All the things that make life interesting, that make it worth living, despite the suffering and struggle, come from brokenness. Except, of course, for those times when the brokenness is just too much and the only possible outcome is tragedy.

Art sits at the intersection of the tension between the longing for wholeness and the inevitability of brokenness, as do Jewish texts. They push us to imagine a more unified, perhaps, utopian existence, while at the same time wrestling with the fault lines upon which we all exist.

In 2022, LABA will dive into the pain and pleasures of brokenness through our study of ancient Jewish texts, as we contemplate the ways in which brokenness is foundational to the Jewish tradition, and the ways in which brokenness plays out in our individual psychology and the world around us. Layered into this, we will also consider our dual-edged impulse to heal, which can just as easily lead us to a remedy as it can disillusion us–particularly in this age of self-optimization.

Most importantly, we’ll have a rich time talking, eating, drinking, learning, and laughing in the lush, fertile, free-flowing, romantic, super-serious, and endlessly playful environment of LABA New York: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture.