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.

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Pride, Pain, Progress

This past Friday President Obama sang along with mourners in Charleston, leading a moving rendition of “Amazing Grace.” And at the same time, here in NYC, celebrations erupted outside Stonewall with the great news from our Supreme Court. 

I was there on Christopher Street along with Lab/Shul friends and family, proud, happy, humbled, very emotional and grateful to be alive at this historical moment. But it wasn’t all just joy and pride. There was also perspective – a glimpse of greater purpose for the next milestones and the next challenges that we will undoubtedly face in the pursuit of progress, justice, and dignity for all. 

We paused on Friday to honor not just the memory of those slain in Charleston but the memory of all those who gave up their lives as victims of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, hate and fear. 

It is thus immensely auspicious for us to announce today an incredible opportunity for us to come together on July 25th to honor the memory of loss, trauma and terror that is shared by the Jewish community, the LGBT community, and each and every one of us. 

Tisha B’av, the ninth night of the month of Av, is the saddest night of the Jewish year. It reminds us of the pain of the past…and the power of memory to heal all wounds. 

This year we will gather at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan, opening their doors on a Saturday night for the very first time, for a truly unforgettable night. In grief with the past, committed to a better future for all, we will honor legacies, share stories, mourn, mend, and most importantly, be together.

I hope to see you all there,
Amichai Lau-Lavie
6/29/15