The Theme for LABA EAST BAY 2020 is HUMOR.

Humor is busy. It can yield joyful communion, and existential dread. It can be a weapon or defense, and a sign of despair. It can create tension, and relief. It can give us a sense of belonging, and the feeling that, when it really comes down to it, we are destined to be alone. The best part? It does all this at once.

Jews, well, we’re known to be funny. This year at LABA EAST BAY, we will trace our instinct for the wry one-liner, the “tight-five,” and the legions of High Holiday pulpit jokes back to the very beginning. Ancient Jewish texts contain lots of humor in a variety of flavors. There’s satire, wit, double-speak, and vulgarity. We will look at how this humor functions, how it’s colored our self-perception, and why we can’t quit it.

Please note, the work created during the humor year does not need to be funny! However, we do hope that you will be inspired by the messiness, contradictions, and humanity that lie at the heart of humor.

Most importantly, we’ll have a great time talking, eating, drinking, learning, and laughing in the lush, fertile, free-flowing, romantic, super-serious, and endlessly playful environment of LABA EAST BAY.