Lab/Shul

God-Optional, Everybody Friendly, Experimental Community for Sacred Jewish Gatherings.

Lab/Shul

Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie co-founded Lab/Shul in 2013 and currently serves as senior clergy and ritual leader.

The Lab/Shul community is dedicated to exploring, creating and celebrating innovative opportunities for contemplation, life cycle rituals, the arts, life-long learning and social justice. Building on Storahtelling’s vision and practice, Lab/Shul seeks to redefine the role of sacred gatherings that nourish our thirst for meaning, connection, spirituality and community.

Interested in learning more? Visit labshul.org for more info and upcoming events.

Below the Bible Belt

929 chapters, 42 months, daily reflections

Below the Bible Belt

Rabbi Amichai’s 3+ years interactive online quest to question, queer + re-read between the lines of the entire Hebrew Bible, with daily reflections, weekly videos and monthly learning sessions. How can a closer and critical reading of this cornerstone of our culture help us rethink our values and live more honest, happy, healthy lives?

Check it out and subscribe to the Below the Bible Belt Substack.
Follow Below the Bible Belt on Instagram.

Activism

 Speaking out for justice, dignity, democracy and equity worldwide

Activism

Rabbi Amichai is an active voice for justice, dignity, democracy and equity worldwide. Over the years has devoted time and energy towards human rights initiatives, immigration reform, peace efforts in Israel/Palestine, Interfaith dialogue, LGBTQ justice and inclusion, and environmental efforts.

His current affiliations include:
A member of Rabbis for Human Rights, co-founding member of the Jewish Emergent Network, founding faculty member of the.Reboot Network, serves on the Advisory Board of the Sulha Peace Project for Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers, the Leadership Council of the New York Jewish Agenda, the Advisory Council for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and as an advisor to Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. In recent years he’s been engaged as an organizer, speaker and leader with pro-democracy and pro-peace protests and projects in the United States and Israel through work with The New Israel Fund, T’ruah, Unexeptable and Standing Together.

His past affiliations include serving on the advisory team of The International School of Peace in Greece, serving refugees from around the world; Board member of ORAM – Serving LGBTIQ Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Board member of Nehirim – serving LGBTQ Jewish in North America, 2016-2018 Fellow in the Global Justice Fellowship of the American Jewish World Service.

Sabbath Queen

A documentary by Sandi DuBowski

Sabbath Queen

SABBATH QUEEN, a feature documentary filmed over 21 years, follows Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s epic journey as the dynastic heir of 38 generations of Orthodox rabbis including the Chief Rabbis of Israel. He is torn between rejecting and embracing his traditional destiny and becomes a drag-queen rebel, a queer father, and the founder of Lab/Shul – an everybody-friendly, God-optional, artist-driven, pop-up experimental congregation. SABBATH QUEEN joins Amichai on a lifelong quest to creatively and radically reinvent religion and ritual, challenge patriarchy and supremacy, champion interfaith love, and stand up for peace, ceasefire, and an end to the Occupation in Israel/Palestine. The film interrogates what Jewish survival means in a difficult rapidly changing 21st century.

The SABBATH QUEEN World Premiere will take place on June 9th at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

For the latest updates, follow @SabbathQueenfilm on Instagram, visit www.sabbathqueen.com and sign up for news and mailing list at hello@sabbathqueen.com.

BECOMING

Rites of passage marking life’s milestones and transitions. All ages. Everybody-Friendly.

Becoming

“BECOMING”, conceived and led by Rabbi Amichai, is Lab/Shul’s newest project, reimagining coming of age journeys and rituals for individuals of all ages and stages of life. Rites of Passage help us grow up, be better at being more helpful, more human, stage by stage throughout our lives.

Inspired by Jewish coming-of-age ceremonies, BECOMING makes meaning of life’s milestones through study, conversation, storytelling and ritual creation in small cohorts of fellow seekers, witnessed by and in the context of community.

The project, currently in pilot phase, will launch in 2025.

Learn more here >

Listen to Rabbi Amichai discuss BECOMING on Judaism Unbound >

STORAHTELLING

Integrating Judaism’s oldest form of sacred storytelling with contemporary stagecraft.

Storahtelling

Storahtelling™, Inc., founded in 1999 by Amichai Lau-Lavie, is a unique method integrating Judaism’s oldest form of sacred storytelling with contemporary stagecraft. By using innovative leadership training programs and theatrical performances, Storahtelling makes ancient stories and traditions accessible for new generations, advancing Judaic literacy and raising social consciousness.

Storahtelling started off as a ritual theater company, by 2007 it grew to include a training institute, focusing on its signature pedagogy, The Maven Method™.

The Maven Method draws from the ancient tradition of Torah reading alternating with an interpretive translation in the local language. Trained Storahtelling Mavens transform Scripture into script, bringing sacred narratives front and center as personally and collectively meaningful conversations.

In 2012 the Storahtelling company of artists, led by Lau-Lavie created the Lab/Shul community, an artist driven, everybody-friendly congregation with the Storahtelling methodology core to its vision and unique approach to ritual and spiritual life. Through Lab/Shul the Storahtelling approach continues to develop, focusing on the following three areas:

  • Maven Training: Annual training programs for clergy, educators and artists who become Mavens in their local communities. (Coming back in 2025).
  • Storah Service: Interactive theatrical performances of the Torah Service.
  • BECOMING: Training of teens and adults to be storytellers in our B-Mitzvah and GENerate programs, reimagining coming of age experience by utilizing the Maven Method.

Learn more here >