Welcome to Lab/Shul, an artist-driven, everybody-friendly, God-optional, pop up, experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings based in NYC and reaching the world.


Being a Good Friend – StorahSteps @ Kolot Chayeinu on 10/25/14

Being a Good Friend 

by Susan Remick Topek, Associate Director Early Childhood & Family Engagement, The Jewish Education Project 

What do you get when you add Intention, meaning, excitement and Judaism? “When we open the Torah, we see that there is only black and white. We add the colors to the Torah, by adding our voices to the stories.”  Wisdom I have learned from Naomi Less & Shawn Shafner.

This Shabbat, 20 intergenerational families with children from 1 year to 5 years old, gathered to sing, dance, move, play and honor the Torah, by sharing it’s stories through their own voices. Naomi Less and Shawn Shafner, such inspired Storhatellers, had everyone, adults and children alike, feel as though they were not only hearing the story of brothers Jacob and Esau, but inviting them INTO the story, sharing advice and playing games and instruments with them. The kids (and adults) helped Jacob understand and practice how to share, use kind words, take turns, help out – all things that exemplify how to be a good friend (and brother). 

The Jewish journey of families with young children is important, exciting and meaningful. The Jewish Education Project with a grant from The Covenant Foundation supports and scaffolds the work of Storahtelling’s Lab/Shul, partnering with Kolot Cheyeinu, to develop ongoing learning experiences for families through their special Jewish lens.

Over the past year and a half serving as their mentor, learning and consulting together, I am in awe of the magic of Naomi and Shawn and how they engage families. This Shabbat was no different. Families met and exchanged ideas of what makes good relationships between  siblings, friends and families. I am honored to continue supporting and attending these innovative programs, and from the responses from the families who attended, they are looking forward to continue to attend and experience the many stories and voices of the Torah.

You can see the full photo album on Facebook HERE