The LABA Theme for 2020-2021 is CHOSEN

Chosenness sounds like an ancient, archaic, concept that stands in sharp contrast with our contemporary claim that all humans were created “special”. But is that really so? Does not the book of Genesis, the foundational myth of our monotheistic civilization, tell us that Abel, Adam’s son, was the chosen over Cain, his brother? Do we not recognize, in spite of ourselves and our cultural conditioning, that some of us are more inspired, have a greater potential and a more dramatic calling? Is our artistic journey, like all other human endeavors, really comprised of one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration, or is it more correctly described by the cruel words of the great Zero Mostel: “Or you have it, or you don’t”?

This year at LABA we will contemplate the various ways in which our culture dealt with chosenness throughout its long history, and study an array of Jewish texts, both ancient and contemporary, that ponder chosenness in myriad contexts from the tangible to the intangible. From marginalization to the inequality of destiny, Superman myths to the daunting choices past, present, and future, including this year’s impending national election, we will delve into and explore our ancient text and modern tomes. Most importantly, we will have a great time studying, drinking and creating art together in the lush, fertile, free-flowing, romantic, super-serious and endlessly playful environment of LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture.

Applications are LIVE and can be found here.