Join Lab/Shul for the celebration of our fourth year + the revelation of our groundbreaking response to intermarriage and the evolving identities of Jewish Americans. Read Joy: A Proposal by Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie HERE
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JOIN US. WELCOME.
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June 13, 2017
7-10 pm
Manny Cantor Center
197 East Broadway NYC
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6PM
• VIP Reception for Welcome Committee and VIP Guests
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7PM
• “Welcome Home Monologues” Live Performance of True Stories from Our Community
• Keynote Presentation by Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie with Anita Diamant, Prof. Steven M. Cohen, Dr. Tobin Belzer, Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell and Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison
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8:30PM
• Dessert and Wine Reception
• Live music with the Lab/Shul All-Stars + Special Guests
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KEYNOTE PRESENTATION
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“Everybody-Friendly” is one of Lab/Shul’s defining taglines, but it is so much more: It is our path towards more welcoming, diverse, and vibrant communities everywhere. It is our vision of communities that build more bridges and fewer borders, that include rather than exclude, and that fear less and love more. Lab/Shul’s been pushing the envelope on this and many other fronts, and on June 13th, 2017, we’re going to push it farther.
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Join us on a rooftop overlooking the Lower East Side to celebrate “Everybody-Friendly” and to be part of a moment that redefines who and what is Jewish in 21st Century America.
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Since his rabbinic ordination in May 2016, Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie has been leading a research team exploring historical, sociological, and legal Jewish sources on intermarriage. They discovered applicable models of fluidity, inclusion, and participation in Jewish life that transcend the limitation of binaries and transform our contemporary views of what it means to belong.
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On June 13th, Rabbi Amichai will reveal this research, present a bold proposal, and discuss its radical implications in an open conversation with distinguished speakers: Anita Diamant, Prof. Steven M. Cohen, Dr. Tobin Belzer, Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell and Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison.
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CO-CHAIRS
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Nina & Rob Kaufelt
Rhona Silverbush* & Peter Vogelsang

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WELCOME COMMITTEE (in formation)
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Eric Aboaf & Cheryl Whaley
Jenna Arnold & Jeremy Goldberg
Marnie Berk & Jon Silvan*
Pamela Rubin Carter* & Jon Carter
Dr. John V. O’Leary & Dr. Renée Cherow-O’Leary*
Michael Dorf* & Sarah Connors
Sandi DuBowski & Eric Rockey
Michelle Freedman* & Jerry Block
Dorian Goldman & Marvin Israelow
Gina Goldman & Walter Schupfer
Deborah & Stuart Himmelfarb*
Liz Hirsch* & Karen Pratt*
Andrew Kassoy* & Margot Brandenburg
Marina Pinto Kaufman* & Stephen E. Kaufman
Lisa Kaye
Rebecca Odes & Craig Kanarick*
Jennifer Pehr* & Jon Adam Ross
The Peleh Fund
Ora* & Charles Ramat
Joyce Zinbarg Rosenthal* & Steven Rosenthal
Steven Rubenstein & Bess Wohl
Jeffrey Schoenfeld & Matt Holbein
Franny Silverman* & Mike Newman
Jerome L. Stern Family Foundation
Sarah* & Jeremy Sokolic*
Lynda Stern & Scott VanderVoort
Mamie Kanfer Stewart & Justin Stewart
Rachel Tiven
Madelyn & Steven Wils

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*Lab/Shul Board

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CORPORATE SPONSORS
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“WELCOME HOME MONOLOGUES”
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Behind the research, what are the real stories of inclusion and exclusion that make this new approach so urgently needed? Our year of research included dozens of interviews with our community. Together with some of New York’s most talented writers and actors, we crafted their stories into a moving mosaic of monologues, many voices all yearning to belong, inspired by Mayyim Hayyim’s original production, The Mikveh Monologues.
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Any questions, please contact our Operations Manager, Sarah Strnad, at [email protected] or 212.908-2523
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The Lab/Shul Office
125 Maiden Lane, Suite 8B
New York, NY, 10038

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SPEAKERS
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RABBI AMICHAI LAU-LAVIE is the founding spiritual leader of Lab/Shul NYC and the creator of Storahtelling, Inc. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performance artist, he received his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2016. Rabbi Amichai is a member of the Global Justice Fellowship of the American Jewish World Service, a founding member of the Jewish Emergent Network, a consultant to the Reboot Network, a member of the URJ Faculty Team and the Advisory Council of ORAM, an LGBT focused organization for refugees, asylum and migration. He was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009) and serves on the advisory committee of Faith House Manhattan. Rabbi Amichai has been hailed as “an iconoclastic mystic” by Time Out New York, a “rock star” by the New York Times, a “Judaic Pied Piper” by the Denver Westword, a “maverick spiritual leader” by The Times of Israel and “one of the most interesting thinkers in the Jewish world” by the Jewish Week. In 2016 The Forward named him one of the thirty-two “Most Inspiring Rabbis” in America.
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DR. TOBIN BELZER, PhD, is an applied sociologist who develops research and program evaluations to support the work of non-profit organizations and philanthropists. She is a Contributing Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) at USC. Belzer was a Visiting Scholar at the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford University (2014, 2015-2016) and a Research Associate at CRCC (2004-2014). She earned her Ph.D. in sociology and master’s degree in women’s studies from Brandeis University. With Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler, she is the co-editor of Joining the Sisterhood: Young Jewish Women Write Their Lives (SUNY Press, 2003).
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SENSEI ROBERT CHODO CAMPBELL co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. The organization delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service and meditation practice. In order to bring the work to a broader audience, he co-developed the Foundations in Contemplative Care Training Program. Chodo is part of the core faculty for the Buddhist Track in the Master in Pastoral Care and Counseling at NYZCCC’s education partner, New York Theological Seminary. He teaches in the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship. Chodo is a dynamic, earthy, and visionary leader and teacher, Chodo has travelled extensively in the U.S teaching in various institutions as well as bearing witness to the suffering of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and South Africa. His public programs have introduced thousands to the practices of mindful and compassionate care of the living and dying. 30,000 people listen to his podcasts each year. His passion lies in bereavement counseling and advocating for change in the way our healthcare institutions work with the dying. He is a Senior Soto Zen priest and Soto Zen Teacher.
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PROF. STEVEN M. COHEN is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR, and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at Stanford University. Among his books are The Jew Within (with Arnold Eisen), Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experience (with Charles Liebman). He was the lead researcher on the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011, and consultant to the Pew studies of American Jews (2013) and Israeli society (2015). The author of a dozen scholarly books and hundreds of articles, his op-eds have appeared in Ha’aretz, The Forward, and The Washington Post. While having published on Israeli, Russian, British and Canadian Jewry, his research focuses primarily on the changing nature of American Jewry, its demographic future, and changing relationship with Israel. Prof. Cohen received an honorary doctorate from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, the Marshall Sklare Award, and a National Jewish Book Award. He served for two terms as president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.
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ANITA DIAMANT is an award-winning journalist and the author of five best-selling novels including The Boston Girl, The Red Tent, Good Harbor, The Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night. She is also the founding president of Mayyim Hayyim: Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center in Newton, Massachusetts. Diamant has written six guidebooks to contemporary Jewish life, including recent updates to The Jewish Wedding Now and Choosing a Jewish Life. She has also published a collection of personal essays, Pitching My Tent. Her byline has appeared in local and national publications: The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple and many others. www.anitadiamant.com
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SENSEI KOSHIN PALEY ELLISON, cofounded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the first Zen-based organization to offer fully accredited ACPE clinical chaplaincy training in America, which delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice. Paley Ellison is the academic advisor for the Buddhist students in the Master in Pastoral Care and Counseling program at NYZCCC’s education partner, New York Theological Seminary. He has served as the co-director of Contemplative Care Services for the Department of Integrative Medicine and as the chaplaincy supervisor for the Pain and Palliative Care Department at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, where he also served on the Medical Ethics Committee. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Arizona Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship, and he is a visiting professor at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, of the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston Medical School. Koshin is the co-editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care (Wisdom Publications, 2016). He is a senior Zen monk, Soto Zen teacher, ACPE supervisor, and Jungian psychotherapist.
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PERFORMERS + WRITERS (in formation)
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EZRA BOOKMAN is a Miami raised, Dallas trained, New York City based director, poet, and performance artist. He earned his B.F.A from Southern Methodist University, recipient of the prestigious Meadows Scholars award and grant. His work has taken him everywhere from the Amazon in Venezuela to a goat farm outside of Jerusalem. After directing two world premieres for Brooklyn based writer Barbara Cassidy, Ezra is proud to be the first ever Program Associate for Lab/Shul.
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HANNA CHEEK is a NYC based actor, writer and theatre maker. As monologist with the critically acclaimed Pumpkin Pie Show and a member of Waterwell Productions, she has devised and performed socially conscious, politically driven theatre. She is a professor of Devised Collaborative Theatre Practice at The New School.
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MICHAEL BRADLEY COHEN is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, actor, director and stand-up comic. He is a founding member of American Centaur, an all-male classic/experimental theater company. He is a performing artist and Maven with Storahtelling. He has performed in theaters throughout New York City, regionally, and abroad. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. He most recently appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by David Cromer at Williamstown Theatre Festival, where he received the Rita Feldman Artist Grant.
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SIMON FEIL is an actor (www.simonfeil.com), speaking coach (www.elitalks.org) and sushi instructor (www.sushibysimon.com). Catch him in the current season of “Orange Is The New Black” as Bill Bayley. Hobbies include aerial silks and various crusades for the underdog (animals, children and stay-at-home dads).
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SHIRA KLINE is an internationally acclaimed, award winning performing artist recognized as a “revolutionary educator” and named one of the “new re-engineers of Jewish life.” A co-founder of both Storahtelling and Lab/Shul, she is the Director of Worship at Lab/Shul, NYC and works with young families here as the Director of Family Education. On the road, Shira works with a diverse array of Jewish communities to enliven rituals, holiday celebrations, and love for Jewish life and prayer. The product of a modern rabbi and a modern dancer, she blends words, story and music to create a rich experience for children and adults alike. Shira works with national organizations across the denominational spectrum facilitating professional development seminars on creative worship for clergy, educators, seminary students and lay leaders. She is on the faculty of Hava Nashira as well as adjunct faculty for the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School for Sacred Music. Shira tours extensively performing for families, adults, and teens in the United States, Israel, England, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. Her award winning Jewish kiddie rock albums along with her “Blog Sameach” are featured worldwide.
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NAOMI LESS is a Brooklyn-based, internationally celebrated singer/songwriter, ritual worship leader, musician and experiential educator. Her journey with Rabbi Amichai began as a founding company member of Storahtelling, joining the professional staff in 2007 as Director of Education and Training and continues today, as one of the founding Lab/Shul ritual leaders, Associate Director and Director of Storahtelling. Naomi runs music programming for youth including her signature initiatives: Jewish Chicks Rock and Jewish Kids Rock band programs. She is an activist, volunteer and consultant for causes such as Bring Back Our Girls NY; Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys; Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls; and other causes that promotes the safety, development and empowerment of young girls around the world. Naomi received training in spiritual leadership, music, facilitation/training and education from the following educational institutions: Northwestern University, Jewish Theological Seminary Davidson School, Institute for Informal Jewish Education at Brandeis University, Institute for Jewish Spirituality, ChangeCraft (formerly Center for Leadership Initiatives).
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JON ADAM ROSS has performed his one-man shows in over 90 cities around the globe. His newest endeavor is the ambitious inHEIRitance Project, which has Jon creating 5 plays in 5 cities over the next 3 years. The Leah/Rachel Play will premiere in Seattle later this spring and The Sarah Play will premiere in Kansas City this winter. Jon has also performed at the Guthrie Theater (MN), Playhouse on the Square (TN), and in NYC where his stage credits include: a dog, a 2,000 year old bird, an elderly orthodox Jew, a spurned housewife, a horse, a British naval officer in 1700’s Jamaica, a goat, Jesus Christ, a lawyer, a hapless police chief, and a cyclops. Jon holds a BFA in Acting from NYU/Tisch. For more info, visit www.inheiritance.org
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MARY ROUND is an actor and Artistic Associate of Voyage Theater Company, where she was last seen in Strindberg’s The Pelican. She is a member of The Living Theatre and toured last summer in the seminal Seven Meditation on Political Sadomasochism. She recently made her musical theater debut in Hair, with a cast of 60somethings. And she is so happy to be working again with the very talented Ezra Bookman!
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KATE SCELSA is a novelist, playwright, and performer. Her young adult novel “Fans of the Impossible Life” was published by HarperCollins in 2015, and a second YA will be out in 2018. Kate has been a member of Elevator Repair Service Theater since 2002. Upcoming work with the company includes a production of Kate’s play “Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf.” www.katescelsa.com
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FRANNY SILVERMAN is a creator of theatre, ritual and experiential learning opportunities for humans of all ages. She’s been telling Storahs since 2002 and soon after became Associate Artistic Director of Storahtelling. She is honored to be a new Lab/Shul Board Member, the next step in her journey with this merry band of misfit Jews. Franny is the Director of Learning and Action at Kolot Chayeinu, an independent, progressive congregation in Brooklyn, and in her “free time” Franny enjoys dismantling systems of oppression and tumbling down imagination rabbit holes with her toddler.
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