Education and Inspiration, Grounded in Strategic Planning
Education and Inspiration, Grounded in Strategic Planning
Songleader Boot Camp (SLBC) provides powerful Jewish leadership training for clergy, Jewish educators, religious and day school teachers, family engagement and early childhood specialists, teen leaders, Jewish camping staff, and veteran and new songleaders. Led by nationally renowned Jewish thought leaders, educators, and music artists, SLBC teaches participants specific skills and strategies to inspire transformative change in their Jewish communities. At SLBC, education and inspiration are grounded in strategic planning.
SLBC programs include SLBC national and regional conferences, individual coaching, and leadership training seminars for synagogues, synagogue board of directors, and Jewish conferences.
The SLBC National Conference, held every February in St. Louis, features a wide range of dynamic courses that explore a holistic approach to powerful and effective leadership in the Jewish world. The SLBC National Conference experience is soaked in inspirational Jewish music and communal singing. Participants do not need to sing or play an instrument to fully experience ALL that SLBC has to offer. Music is just one of many vehicles for connection and inspiration that is explored at SLBC conferences.
SLBC is a national signature initiative of the St. Louis Jewish Community Center.
The Songleader Boot Camp (SLBC) National Conference is one of the top immersive Jewish leadership training opportunities in the country led by nationally renowned Jewish leaders, educators and music artists. SLBC teaches participants about the many vehicles they have to create powerful, interactive connections, expand leadership abilities, and learn specific skills and techniques to inspire change in their communities. SLBC offers a profound exploration of the physiology, psychology, strategy, and execution behind explosive Jewish teaching and songleading.
Jewish Community Center
2 Millstone Campus Dr, St. Louis, MO 63146
Sunday, February 16: 2pm to 10:30pm
Monday, February 17: 8:45am to 10:30pm
Tuesday, February 18: 8:45am to 3:30pm
September 1 – October 4: Early Bird Rate*: $345
October 5 – January 16: Standard Rate: $395
• All SLBC Activities and Materials
• Meals During SLBC Hours
*Full Payment is required to secure your spot!
• Ground Transportation (to/from airport, hotel, conference): $35
• Shared Hotel Room (Sun & Mon): $140
• Private Hotel Room (Sun & Mon): $280
• Additional Night Shared Hotel Room (Sat): $70
• Additional Night Private Hotel Room (Sat or Tues): $140
Kosher meals and snacks provided during conference hours
Participants range from 12 to 100+ years old
Participants are encouraged to bring instruments if they play one. You don’t need to be a musician!
If you wish to cancel your SLBC National Conference registration ($395) on or before January 1, 2020 there is a $150 cancellation fee. No registration fees will be refunded after January 1, 2020.
* Expenses already incurred by SLBC will not refunded after January 30 including hotel and ground transportation.
SLBC group rates are offered to encourage congregations, camps, Jewish organizations, and entire Jewish communities to work strategically towards creating meaningful and lasting systemic change on an organizational or community-wide scale. SLBC group participants leave SLBC with a shared vocabulary, skill set, and strategy for creating lasting impact in their home communities. SLBC groups will have opportunities to work together as a group to draft a Strategic Road Map specifically created for their organization. This SLBC Strategic Road Map outlines a unified vision, goals, milestones, and specific action items.
SLBC also offers Group Coaching throughout the year to further support organizations in implementing their strategic plans. For more information about SLBC Group Rates, contact Elisa Heiligman at [email protected] or 314.991.0909.
I have never seen anything like SLBC in any other environment. The level of inspiration is so high and the commitment to translation is so significant.
– Rabbi Sharon Brous, IKAR, Los Angeles, CA
I don’t know of any place like this place. SLBC is a blend of music and conversation and inspiration and worship and really collective thinking together about what are the needs of our time. SLBC is transformative!
– Rabbi Bradley Artson, American Jewish University, Los Angeles, CA
SLBC is proud to partner with Ramah National Commission for the SLBC Ramah Shabbaton weekend (Feb 14-16) that leads into the SLBC National Conference (Feb 16-18). The SLBC Ramah Shabbaton focuses on t’fillah (song) and shira (song) leadership skills that are specific to Conservative Movement settings, providing the time, space, and atmosphere for in-depth learning, strategizing, and spiritual transformation. The SLBC Ramah Shabbaton is open to participants from all denominations.
Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel
191 W Port Plaza Dr, St. Louis, MO 63146
Friday, February 14: 4:30pm
Sunday, February 16: 2PM (culminating with the beginning of the SLBC National Conference)
$195 (registration includes ground transportation, food, materials, and two nights in a shared hotel room. Private room upgrade can be purchased for an additional $135)
Kosher meals and snacks provided
Participants range from 13 to 100+ years old
Participants are encouraged to bring instruments if they play one. You don’t need to be a musician!
If you wish to cancel your Ramah Shabbaton registration ($195)on or before January 1, 2020 there is a $150 cancellation fee. No registration fees will be refunded after January 1, 2020.
* Expenses already incurred by SLBC will not refunded after January 30 including hotel and ground transportation.
If you’re a person who knows that there is the transcendent and it is accessible to us and prayer is the way to reach toward it, then come to SLBC and they will show you the first rungs on the ladder. And the climbing? That’s yours.
– Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, CA
There are leadership skills that people are born with and there are leadership skills that people can cultivate. And without cultivation, it doesn’t matter how talented you are…you really can’t become the best that you can be. SLBC gives tangible, practical takeaways in how to be the best prayer-leader, how to be the best Songleader, how to be the best jewish leader you can be.
– Rabbi David Ingber, Romemu, New York, NY
Touring Jewish Musician, Songleader, and Composer: Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Josh Warshawsky is a nationally touring Jewish musician, songleader, and composer. Josh seeks to build intentional praying communities, and travels to synagogues, camp and schools across the country sharing his music and teachings on prayer. Josh considers himself a seeker, pray-er, gatherer, music creator, and lifelong Torah learner. He is originally from Chicago, and has released three albums of Jewish music. Josh’s melodies are written intentionally to express the deep meaning of the words of our tradition. Josh was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. For more information check out
We are proud to bring back beloved, featured presenter, Shira Kline, to the 2017 SLBC National Conference. An award winning New York-based performer and music educator, Shira travels both nationally and internationally with her kiddie-rock band, Shir LaLa, delivering a dynamic, interactive program of joy and spirit, story and song.
Shira is an outspoken supporter of active learning and practicing presentation skills in a real-world setting in order to achieve mastery. “Doing it in front of the mirror will only get you so far. SLBC is a really great safe environment for people to climb up those steps, trip fall down, smile get back up, try it again and make their way to the top,” she said.
Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.03.39 PMRaised in the world of music and the tradition of Torah, Shira has worked for over a decade with a diverse array of Jewish communities to enliven rituals, holiday celebrations, and love for Jewish life and prayer. Shira’s innovative approach was recognized by The Jewish Week in 2011 when they honored her as one of their “36 Under 36: The New Re-Engineers” of Jewish life.
Shira is a worship leader and presents engaging programs for all ages, including Tot Shabbat, adult Jewish music meditation and professional development workshops for early childhood and music teachers. She is also on the faculty of Hava Nashira, URJ Jewish Music Institute, and the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Cantorial Certification Program. Shira is a founding company member of Storahtelling and Lab/Shul in which she is an actor, writer, and ritual leader.
Founder/Spiritual Leader, Romenu
Rabbi Ingber was named by Newsweek as one of 2013’s top 50 most influential rabbis in the United States as well as by The Forward as one of the 50 most newsworthy and notable Jews in America, Rabbi David promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. A major 21st Century Jewish thinker and educator, his rich perspective, open heart and mind, and full-bodied approach to Jewish learning has brought him to speak throughout the United States and worldwide throughout Canada, Europe and Israel.
Rabbi David’s distinct approach to Torah, rabbinical teaching, and ritualistic practice is informed by his own personal seeking and learning from a wide cross-section of sacred traditions and faiths. He is enlightened by Jewish mysticism and Chassidut, fusing these beliefs with those of other ancient philosophies and world views. Particular influences include 18th Century Kabbalist and Founder of Chassidut, Rabbi Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov; the great 19th Century Ishbitzer Rebbe, R. Mordechai Leiner; and leading 20th Century thinkers from Kabbalist, Rav Abraham Isaac Kook to psychologist, Carl Jung and integral philosopher, Ken Wilber.
Rabbi David has taught at such eminent institutions as the Academy for Jewish Religion, Columbia University, CUNY, Jewish Theological Seminary, Limmud LA, New York University, the 92nd Street Y, Pardes, The Skirball Center at Temple Emmanuel, and Yeshivat HADAR. He sits on the Board of Directors of Aleph and Synagogue 3000 Next Dor’s Working Group of Sacred Emergent Communities where he continues to teach.
Raised Modern Orthodox in New York, Rabbi David studied at several distinguished yeshivot in Jerusalem and New York including Yeshiva University, Beit Midrash L’Torah, Yeshivat Chaim Berlin, and Yeshivat Chovovei Torah Rabbinical School. He also studied philosophy, psychology and religion at New York University. Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of Renewal Judaism, ordained Rabbi David in 2004. Prior to founding Romemu, Rabbi David was Rabbi-in-Residence at Elat Chayyim Retreat Center.
Cantor Ellen Dreskin is an innovative leader in today’s reform movement. Her expertise extends from music to synagogue transformation, from experiential education to enlivened liturgy and mysticism. She has worked with Jews of all denominations from Houston to Chicago and Los Angeles to Boston, both as a scholar in residence and in her capacity as past Director of Programs for Synagogue 2000, a national, notfor-profit institute dedicated to revitalizing and re-energizing synagogue life in North America.
Ellen has served as Cantor and Educator for congregations in Cleveland and New York, and has taught for many years on the faculty of URJ Summer Kallot, Hava Nashira, and the URJ Kutz Camp Leadership Academy. She is a native Texan, a graduate of HUC-JIR School of Sacred Music, has a Master’s Degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, and is proud to have received her honorary Doctorate of Music from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Touring Artist/Educator, SLBC Founder & Executive Director
Rick Recht is the executive director of SLBC and the top-touring musician in Jewish music playing over 150 concerts a year in the United States and abroad. Recht is widely recognized for his appeal to youth and family audiences not only as an exceptional musician, singer/songwriter, and entertainer, but also as a role model for involvement in Jewish life. He has become an icon for Jewish youth in the United States, elevating the medium of Jewish music as a powerful and effective tool for developing Jewish pride and identity among the masses. Recht is the national music spokesman for The PJ Library and the founder and executive director of Jewish Rock Radio (501c3), the first high-caliber, 24/7, Jewish rock internet radio station.
Touring Artist/Educator, Asheville, NC
Billy Jonas is “Bridging Divides,” through rhythm and song, to heal divisions within ourselves, families, communities, and the world. Ask him about “Songs for Bridging Divides 2020 and Beyond!” Billy has captivated audiences worldwide since 1987, using voice, guitar and “industrial re-percussion” (instruments made from found objects). He currently tours with “The Billy Jonas Band,” and with the Muslim/Christian/Jewish super-trio, “Abraham Jam.” When home, Billy is a cantorial soloist at Congregation Beth HaTephila in Asheville NC. From the White House to the Middle East and beyond, each concert is a soul-spelunking, heart healing, joy-filled journey.
Senior Rabbi,Temple Emanuel, Denver, CO
Joseph Black has served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Denver, CO since July, 2010 – previously serving as Rabbi of Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1996-2010. He served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1987-1996. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Education from Northwestern University in 1982 and his Master’s degree and Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1987. In 2012 he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from HUC-JIR. Rabbi Black serves as a Chaplain in the Colorado House of Representatives and is Past President of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council. A Nationally recognized musician, he has recorded 5 albums of original Jewish music and published two songbooks. He also is an accomplished writer and poet. Rabbi Black has published several poems and articles in leading national literary and academic journals. He is a frequent contributor to anthologies and collections of Jewish writing. He has recorded five critically-acclaimed albums of Jewish music, a songbook and two videos. Two of his songs, Boker Tov and The Afikoman Mambo have been made into Children’s books and distributed by the PJ Library. His most recent book, There Once Was A Man From Canaan: The Five Books of Limerick, is a collection of Limericks based on each torah portion. He has performed his original music in many communities in the United States and Canada and has received numerous honors for his performance and composition. Rabbi Black is a pioneer of Jewish Contemporary music. He has performed for congregations and communities around the world. His recordings and books have received accolades from sources as diverse as The New York Times, Haddasah Magazine, Parent’s Choice, The American Library Journal and Kids First: The Coalition for Quality Children’s Video. As a musician, Rabbi Black is known for his guitar virtuosity, soaring voice and lyrics that are at the same time, funny, inspirational and thought provoking. His music is an extension of his Rabbinate.
Touring Artist/Worship Music Leader/Educator, Brooklyn, NY
Naomi Less (Brooklyn) is an international singer, composer, musician, educator and Founding Ritual Leader of Lab/Shul. Naomi’s signature initiatives include the Jewish Women Rock show on Jewish Rock Radio (host) and TRYmester, a touring performance piece about fertility challenges (co-creator/performer). Naomi’s training in spiritual leadership, music, facilitation and education is from: Northwestern University, JTS Davidson School, Institute for Informal Jewish Education, Institute for Jewish Spirituality and ChangeCraft. Naomi’s music is sung in worship communities worldwide, online at labshul.org and anywhere you hear or watch music.
Mikey Pauker (pronounced pow-ker) is a folk/world artist from Berkeley, California. His new album, ASCENSION, is an invitation to listen to the call of our inner wilderness and to greet our darkness with understanding and an open heart. It was recorded in raw, live instrumental sessions — a departure from Mikey’s more electronic past recordings — under the guidance of Grammy-nominated producer Warren Huart (The Fray, Trevor Hall, Matisyahu). With songs like “Say Yes” and “I AM”, listeners are elevated with catchy melodic hooks and reggae/rock beats. The “RISE Vulnerable Rally” music video swept the world touching the hearts of over 1 million viewers this past year.
Growing up in Orange County, Mikey’s early experiences at underground shows exposed him to the intense, primal energy of live music, as well as the strong community bonds that form in an authentic and close-knit scene. Inspired by teachers who blend yoga and mystical practices he went to study in Jerusalem, soaking up the hidden teachings of his ancestral lineage. These spiritual dimensions guided his artistic development as he explored ecstatic music festivals and mystical religious traditions. His music implores us all to look within, sit with our darkness, and transform it into light. Mikey’s sound blends elements of folk, reggae, and hip-hop, incorporating English and Hebrew roots into his devotional songwriting. Mikey’s music draws from influences such as early Bob Marley, Van Morrison, and The Police, and listeners will immediately identify his style to the likes of Michael Franti, Trevor Hall and artists such as Mike Love and Stick Figure.
This past year Mikey has supported Rebelution, Stephen Marley, Matisyahu, Dovavon Frankenreiter, The Polish Ambassador, Mike Love, and Stop Light Observations. Notable performance highlights include Reggae On The Rocks, Suwanne Hullaween, Electric Forest, Beloved, Bhakti Fest, Enchanted Forest, and Chant 4 Change on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Mikey has been featured in TIME magazine as one of the 10 Stars of The New Jewish Music. He is also the music director of the center of earth-based judaism: Wilderness Torah.
Stay connected at www.mikeypauker.com.
Touring Children’s Music Artist/Educator, San Diego, CA
Informal Education Expert, SLBC Program Director
Elisa Heiligman Recht is a Jewish community leader and educator with extensive experience in Jewish youth programming, camping, and teaching. Elisa regularly serves as a consultant for Jewish organizations throughout the US helping to develop powerful and effective strategies for creating exciting youth engagement experiences in Jewish settings. Elisa creates Jewish educational curricula and sprearheads the educational programming of the Songleader Boot Camp. Elisa holds undergraduate degrees in social work, Hebrew and Jewish studies, as well as a masters degree in social work from Washington University. Elisa is the founder of Soul Sparkler Jewelry and presents interactive, educational programs in Jewish communities throughout the US, inspiring audiences to achieve life balance through intention, gratitude, and wellness strategies.
Director of Jewish Engagement & Adult Programs at the Ruth & Harold Sher Center of Jewish Life
Rabbi Brad Horwitz began his current position at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center in 2005 where he directs the JCC Ruth & Harold Sher Center of Jewish Life and supervises all JCC Jewish adult, cultural, senior services, community and family education programming. He graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary (New York) in 2000 but is originally from Los Angeles, CA. In addition to his rabbinic ordination, he earned a Master’s in Jewish Education (MJE) and has leadership experience at many Jewish camps and day schools. As a graduate of the Day School Leadership Training Institute, Rabbi Brad is well versed in Jewish educational leadership both in formal and informal settings. He has particular expertise in prayer education and is the author of With All Your Heart: A Weekday Siddur that is currently in use at over fifty Jewish schools and religious institutions worldwide. Brad is a loving husband and proud father of three boys who has a penchant for cycling.
Congregation Shaare Emeth, St. Louis
Rabbi Andrea Goldstein has served Congregation Shaare Emeth, the largest Reform synagogue in St. Louis, for the past 20 years. For over 10 years she has been weaving mindfulness practices such as meditation, tikkun middot study and yoga into her personal and professional life. She is a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Rabbinic Leadership Program and the Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teachers’ Training Program. Rabbi Goldstein finds that these practices bring Judaism alive for her and her community in new and meaningful ways. She is proud to be the founder and director of the Jewish Mindfulness Center of St. Louis, which officially opened in the spring of 2018. The Center offers classes, workshops and holiday celebrations to all, and she is excited and honored to be bringing two workshops to SLBC this year. Rabbi Goldstein is married to Brett Goldstein and is the mother of Macey, Eli, and Lila.
Josh Goldberg is a touring artist, producer, and cantorial soloist in Los Angeles, California. Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Josh went on to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Popular Music at USC’s renowned Thornton School of Music. Josh released a self-titled EP in 2012, and followed up with a full-length album of Jewish music called ONE, which Cantor Richard Cohn described as “an expertly produced album filled with creativity and spirit.” He has performed with Grammy-Award winning musicians Macy Gray, Lamont Dozier, and Melissa Manchester, and toured internationally with renowned Jewish musicians Craig Taubman, Rick Recht, and Mikey Pauker, we well as with his own band. Josh has been a featured performer and presenter at URJ Biennial, Limmud UK (London), BBYO International Convention and more. Josh’s compositions and arrangements have been performed at the (Obama) White House, major concert halls including the Grammy Museum, the Troubadour, Meyerson Symphony Center, UCLA Schoenberg Hall, and Winspear Opera House, as well at synagogues, summer camps, and youth conventions across the United States. Josh’s music is regularly played on Jewish Rock Radio, has been published by Berman House Publications and Transcontinental Music Publications. He has been mentioned in the New York Times, and featured on NBC, in the Jewish Journal, ReformJudaism.org, the Texas Jewish Post, and OC Jewish Life. In 2017, Josh created his own record label and production company, Kosher Style Records, specializing in producing music for contemporary Jewish songwriters from around the country. In addition to touring and producing, Josh is studying to be a cantor at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Andrea, and their pets, Frankie and Jazz.
For more info visit: www.joshgoldbergmusic.com www.kosherstylerecords.com
Eliana Light is an award winning songwriter and educator who empowers people to make Judaism their own through song, experiential education, and prayer. She has put out two albums of original Jewish music, A New Light and Eliana Sings (About Jewish Things!), and travels the country providing artist-in-residence weekends, teaching at conferences, and consulting with synagogues to create intentional, meaningful prayer experiences for adults and children alike.
Eliana is the author of Hebrew in Harmony, a curriculum published by Behrman House that teaches prayer and Hebrew through music. She is also the founder of the G!D Project, an educational initiative focused on accessible, meaningful conversations about G!D and spirituality through ritual, text, and creativity. Eliana received her Masters in Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2016, and is based in New York City. www.elianalight.com
Charlie Kramer is song & spirit.
Legally blind and armed with an acoustic guitar, Charlie Kramer unites, magnetizes and elevates the communities around him. As a touring songleader, songwriter & spiritual leader. Charlie has sung with communities throughout North America, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.
Founder of the blindfolded singing and healing experience, Singing in the Dark, Charlie shares the story of his blindness across the world, helping others to face their challenges and uncover the many blessings within their lives.
Visit www.charliekramermusic.com to learn more about Charlie’s story, music and offerings.
A Texas native, Joe Buchanan makes Jewish Americana music. Grounded in the idea that there is always room at the table, Joe’s music highlights the values, Torah, and history of the Jewish people to deliver stories steeped in the struggle and triumph of the human spirit, all while praising Gd for the goodness in life. It’s music that you can crank up to 18.
Raised with one foot in Houston and one in the Texas Hill Country, Joe grew up swinging off ropes on the Frio River and spending time like any kid – trying to figure out what was what. The biggest question was about Gd and despite a deep belief in a creator, he couldn’t find much that he agreed with in what he was hearing. The struggle led to more struggles and he finally decided that he and Gd would sort it out later.
Then one day, about 13 years into his marriage, Joe found out that his wife was Jewish. Now, with the discovery of his wife’s heritage, their family started down a path that would change everything. From the first class and a million questions to the mikvah and beyond, Judaism answered every spiritual question and brought an incredible amount of healing. There is one Gd, we can see Gd in the world and in others, we are going to struggle – that’s ok, we are not damaged goods by any means, and this is the life that matters because this is the one we’ve been given. Amen.
In the five years since his conversion, this Americana artist from Houston, TX has truly found his voice in the history, Torah, and values of the Jewish people. He’s toured the United States, leading an original Shabbat service, playing concerts, and giving a workshop called “Choosing to be Chosen” which is all around his conversion to Judaism and the reasons why so many are coming home. Combining elements of country, roots-rock, and folk, Joe’s music reaches deep to tell personal stories of struggle and triumph. This is feel-good, toe-tapping, Americana with a Jewish Soul.
His debut album, Unbroken, is filled with music that speaks to the incredible beauty of finding a home after a lifetime of searching. Produced by The Pioneer of Jewish Blues, Saul Kaye (www.saulkaye.com), and recorded live off the floor at the world famous Fantasy Studios, Unbroken is 14 tracks of Original, Jewish Americana.
ELLEN ALLARD, an award-winning Performer, Music Educator, Composer, and Confidence Coach, is one of the most sought after musicians on today’s Jewish music scene. Committed to building community through music, Ellen has a unique, charming, and heartwarming way of engaging audiences in playful singing, whether performing a concert, presenting a workshop, conducting a choir, or leading Tot Shabbat, religious school Wow Worship, or adult worship. As a dedicated music educator, she believes that exemplary leadership holds the key to bringing about powerful change.
Ellen holds a BA in music from Boston University and a Master’s in education from Arcadia University. She is a certified holistic health coach, baby/toddler yoga teacher, Kidding Around Yoga/Yoga Yeladim teacher, and a certified Rhythm ‘n’ Ruach teacher.
Ellen has been performing and teaching music to young children, adults and families for over 40 years. Her repertoire of 300+ songs is featured across 14 recordings and 7 songbooks; her music has been published by singer-songwriters on 32 recordings and 11 books.
She lives in Boston, MA and has two daughters and sons-in-law who have blessed her with six grandchildren and two rather large dogs. If asked, she will extoll the virtues of eating dark chocolate daily.
Learn more about Ellen at www.ellenallard.com
A native of Los Angeles,California, Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Dubowe has served several synagogues including Thousand Oaks, CA, Hollywood, CA and New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Currently, she is the rabbi for Moses Montefiore Congregation in Bloomington, Illinois. Since Rabbi Dubowe’s arrival during the summer of 2015, she has played an active role as the spokesperson on behalf of the small but vibrant Jewish community in Bloomington.
Rabbi Dubowe serves as the co-chair of the Faith and Outreach committee associated with the Not In Our Town organization. Not In Our Town is a grassroots movement about stopping hate, addressing bullying, and building safe, inclusive communities for all. In addition, Rabbi Dubowe co-founded the McLean County Interfaith Alliance which promotes interfaith dialogue and fellowship within the greater Bloomington Normal faith communities.
In 2016, Rabbi Dubowe was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Delaware Valley University, PA and received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion in 2018.
Besides serving the rabbinate full-time, Rabbi Dubowe offers her time to the greater Jewish Deaf Community. This community has a special place in Rabbi Dubowe’s life as she is the first female deaf Rabbi ordained in the world. Rabbi Dubowe has spoken at numerous synagogues throughout the country, written various articles, and led webinars about the importance of inclusion within the Jewish community.
Sam Blustin is in his final year of rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. While at JTS, he created and facilitates Shomer Achi, a men’s group for rabbinical and cantorial students to explore and confront both the privileges and potential difficulties of being male identifying leaders of our communities, supporting and challenging each other to be more compassionate leaders and better allies for others in our communities. Sam is also a composer of singable liturgical melodies, and is currently writing a thesis on the art of building meaningful prayer communities.
At the SLBC National Conference, participants are encouraged to choose their own adventure by selecting courses in the Worship Leader, Jewish Educator, Early Childhood, Day School or Songleader Tracks. Participants are welcome to attend electives from any of the SLBC Tracks throughout the conference.
The SLBC Chavurot (Ramah Chavurah, Staenberg Camping Chavurah, Day School Chavurah, and Staenberg Teen Chavurah) are cohorts that have their own independent team programming during SLBC National Conference. Chavurot participants apply for these cohorts separately from SLBC general registration.
The Worship Leader Track, directed by Cantor Ellen Dreskin, was created to support the spiritual, educational, and professional goals of worship leaders including rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, teens, songleaders, and lay leaders. Topics for worship leader sessions include theology, prayer expansion and interpretation, diversity in text study, Shabbat repertoire, leadership in prayer, building a singing community and more.
All SLBC attendees are Jewish educators – some teach on the bima, at synagogue, in classrooms, at camp, in song, or other areas of Jewish life. SLBC Jewish Educator Track features courses that teach skills, cover topics, and explore strategies that touch on a broad range of Jewish settings.
Jewish songleaders are some of the most powerful educators and leaders in Jewish life. From its inception, SLBC National Conference has featured a diverse offering of courses for both new and veteran songleaders including general leadership, songleading skills, repertoire, the business of songleading, the equipment of songleading, songession planning, songleading resources, and personal care.
The SLBC Day School track shares a variety of courses for geared toward Jewish day school teachers including curricular planning, presentation skills, mindfulness, planning and leading engaging tefilot, utilization of music in the classroom, honoring students with special needs, and more.
The SLBC Family Engagement/ Early Childhood Track offers a variety of courses for individuals who work with young children and their families. Courses in the track focus on leadership skills, strategies, and resources that are particularly unique to this demographic. There are also courses in this track that focus on early childhood repertoire and the utilization of music for young children and their families.
With gracious support from the Staenberg Family Foundation, Songleader Boot Camp and the JCC Association are excited to offer Jewish over night and day camping a program to transform the musical cultures and leadership of Jewish camping.
For the last 6 years, Ramah constituents have gathered annually in the SLBC Ramah Chavurah for 3 days of immersive learning, t’fillah (prayer), strategic road-mapping, song leadership, and spiritual exploration at the SLBC National Conference.
With gracious support from the Staenberg Family Foundation, SLBC is excited to expand the Teen Chavurah at SLBC ‘19. Led by Naomi Less and Charlie Kramer, the goal of the Teen Chavurah program is to build strong, vibrant, future leaders of the Jewish world.
In 2018, SLBC launched the SLBC Day School Chavurah for day school students in grades six through eight. Classes from St. Louis and Greensboro joined together for this inaugural SLBC pilot program exploring roles and leadership skills necessary for students to effectively lead tefilah (prayer) and shira (song), as well as a variety of programs in a day school setting.
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