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 17: 2pm to 10:30pm
Monday, February 18: 8:45am to 10:30pm
Tuesday, February 19: 8:45am to 3:30pm
August 27 – October 5: Early Bird Rate*: $345
October 6 – January 19: 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): $135
• Private Hotel Room (Sun & Mon): $270
• Additional Night Shared Hotel Room (Sat): $67
• Additional Night Private Hotel Room (Sat or Tues): $135
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 registration on or before January 1, 2019 there is a $150 cancellation fee. No fees refunded after January 1, 2019.
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 15-17) that leads into the SLBC National Conference (Feb 17-19). 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 15: 4:30pm
Sunday, February 17: 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 registration on or before January 1, 2019 there is a $150 cancellation fee. No fees refunded after January 1, 2019.
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 Artist/Worship Music Leader/Educator, Brooklyn, NY
Naomi Less (Lab/Shul Founding Worship Leader and Associate Director) is an internationally celebrated singer/musician, composer, ritualist, activist/educator and radio host (Jewish Rock Radio’s “Jewish Women Rock Show”). Musical, educational and spiritual training from JTS Davidson School, Institute for Jewish Spirituality, ChangeCraft (formerly Center for Leadership Initiatives) and Northwestern University.
Currently, Naomi is co-creating a multidisciplinary traveling performance piece based on narratives of fertility journeys and challenges (Uprooted: a Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys and the In(HEIR)itance Project). The show will premier in NYC in March, 2018 in NYC. (Funded by the UJA Federation of New York). She is psyched to direct the SLBC Teen Track!
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.
Coordinator of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Cantorial Certification Program
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.
Fingerhut Professor of Education, Graduate Center for Education at AJU
Ron Wolfson, Ph.D. is the Fingerhut Professor of Education in the Graduate Center for Education. He joined the AJU faculty in 1975 as an Acting Professor.During his 40-plus year career at AJU, he has served as Director of the Education Department, founding Director of the Whizin Center for the Jewish Future, Director of the Ramah Academy, Dean of the Fingerhut School of Education, Special Assistant to the President, and Vice President of the University. He is the author of Relational Judaism and the co-author with Rabbi Nicole Auerbach and Rabbi Lydia Medwin of The Relational Judaism Handbook: How to Create a Relational Engagement Campaign to Build and Deepen Relationships in Your Community.
Dr. Wolfson is a frequent scholar-in-residence for synagogues and communities, speaking on a wide range of topics in Jewish life, a co-founder of Synagogue 3000, an institute whose mission is to catalyze excellence in synagogue life, and a pioneer in the field of Jewish family education.
Touring Artist/Educator, Asheville, NC
Billy Jonas is a songsmith, multi-instrumentalist, Jewish educator, and multi-faith advocate. Since 1987 he has captivated audiences worldwide, using voice, guitar and “industrial re-percussion” (instruments made from found objects). He currently tours with his voice and percussion quartet, “The Billy Jonas Band,” and additionally with a Muslim/Christian/Jewish songwriter trio, “Abraham Jam”. Billy’s work at Temple Beth HaTephila in Asheville, NC inspired his first Jewish-focused CD “habayta (homeward)” (2015). His second Jewish-themed release, “Toot the Horn!”, was released by the PJ Library (2017). Jonas has also created “general audience” and “family” oriented CDs/DVD’S, which have received multiple awards, including a First Place/Gold from American Federation of Independent Musicians, and multiple Parents’ Choice Gold awards. He lives in Asheville, NC with his wife Adrian, daughter Laila, and a great big garden.
Touring Children’s Music Artist/Educator, San Diego, CA
In addition to his work with teens, Craig also leads monthly Pajama Shabbat services for young families as well as a weekly crazy Monday morning preschool sing-along followed by Havdallah. Craig has released three CDs with Kavannah as well as his own CD of Jewish kids music called “Kol Kef – All Fun!” His next recording for parents to sing with their very young children will be released later this year. He is honored to be entering his 7th year as a part of the SLBC faculty and community! Craig also gets the pleasure to be the husband of Rachel and dad to Jonah and Neshama!
Ellen is a multi-award winning Recording Artist, Composer, Performer, and Educator, is one of the most popular and influential children’s musicians and educators on today’s vibrant Jewish Early Childhood music scene. With over 30 years experience performing and teaching for young children and their grownups in both the world of secular and Jewish music, Ellen’s catalog includes 14 recordings and 7 songbooks, a growing library of over 250 songs that she has composed, and 28 recordings and 10 books by other publishers that include her music. Ellen charms audiences with her interactive, infectious, and entertaining music.
Ellen draws on a rich tradition of musical experiences in presenting her lively and captivating performances, keynotes and workshops for family audiences and educational conferences across the United States, Canada and abroad. A former Elementary School Vocal Music teacher and Early Childhood classroom and music teacher, she is a classically trained pianist, having begun her formal piano studies at the age of five. She studied flute and piccolo through elementary and high school, and taught herself to play acoustic guitar while a student in college. She also dabbles with djembe, banjo, ukulele, autoharp, recorder, and spoons!
Ellen is a graduate of Boston University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Music. She earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Arcadia University and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. Ellen is certified to teach Baby/Toddler Yoga for babies through 2 year olds, and Kidding Around Yoga and Yoga Yeladim for 3 – 12 year olds. Blessed with 2 beautiful adult daughters, 2 sweet sons-in-law, and 3 delicious grandsons, Ellen makes her home in Worcester, MA. Learn more about Ellen at www.ellenallard.com
Artist-in-Residence/Music Educator/Rabbinical Student, Temple Beth Am: Los Angeles, CA
Josh Warshawsky inspires and engages Jews across generations through music and Tefillah. Warshawsky has shared his original melodies with Jewish communities throughout the US and Canada. In 2013 he completed his 5-song EP of original Jewish melodies. This was followed in November, 2015 by his first full-length album, “Mah Rabu”, both of which can be found on iTunes. “Mah Rabu”, features such hits as “Mah Rabu”, “Kol B’Ramah”, and “V’ahavta”, which can be heard at Ramah and URJ summer camps as well as at NFTY and USY conventions across the country.
Josh is currently studying in Jerusalem as part of his second year of Rabbinical school at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. He has spent the last three years as the artist-in-residence and music specialist at Temple Beth Am and The Pressman Academy in Los Angeles, CA, where he brought new musical energy to children and adults of all ages. He has transformed his home into a much-needed space in the LA area for Jews in their 20s and 30s of all denominations to celebrate Shabbat and holidays together. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary with BAs in Religion, Talmud and Rabbinics.
This past summer, he embarked on his second Jewish Summer Camp Tour, spending a week to a month in residency teaching and sharing music and Tefillah at Ramah Ojai, Ramah Wisconsin, Ramah Nyack, Ramah in Northern California, and Ramah in the Berkshires.
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.
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.
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. Inspired by the recent California wildfires and hurricanes that have swept Texas and Florida this past season, “Believe” reminds us that these tragedies are opportunities to rebalance our relationship with our planet and the communities we surround ourselves with.
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.
Mikey has shared the stage with Matisyahu, Donavon Frankenreiter, Trevor Hall, Local Natives, MOONZz, The Polish Ambassador, Ayla Nereo, Mike Love, MC Yogi, Kosha Dillz, Tubby Love, and many more. Notable performance highlights include SXSW, Lucidity, Beloved, Bhakti Fest, Mystic Rising, SoulPlay, and Chant 4 Change on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Mikey’s new album ASCENSION was released on January 26th, 2018, and will be supported by extensive touring.
Senior Vice-President, Mandel Center for Jewish Education
Dr. David Ackerman, director of the Mandel Center for Jewish Education, has over 25 years experience in Jewish camping. He received his Ph.D. in Special Education at UCLA and was instrumental in establishing numerous programs for Jewish children with disabilities. He has worked in all levels of formal and informal Jewish education from early childhood through graduate teacher training. He lectures widely on Israel, prayer and spirituality, children with special needs, and the arts in education. The Mandel Center for Jewish Education, funded by a generous grant from the Mandel Foundation, helps JCCs improve their ability to be excellent venues for Jewish living and learning. Its primary focus is the Jewish and educational training and development of senior personnel, along with elevating the Judaic nature of JCCs in all program areas. Prior to coming to the MCJE, Ackerman was the director of educational services at the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles.
Everything Eliana does stems from a deep passion for Jewish life and learning. Song-leading, song-writing, prayer leading, educating… It’s all directed from one heart and towards one goal:
To help individuals discover themselves within the depth and richness of Jewish life, and to take ownership of their Judaism.
Raised in Memphis, TN on soul music and synagogue life, Eliana’s spirit shines through in
She has put out two albums of original Jewish music, A New Light and Eliana Sings (About Jewish Things!), and her songs have been featured on PJ Library compilations and are used by educators, song-leaders, and clergy all over the country.
Eliana l has performed and taught at many conferences and learning communities, including the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial, the NewCAJE Jewish Education Conference, Limmud New York, Songleader Boot Camp, Hava Nashira, and the DeLeT Masters Program. She is the author of Hebrew in Harmony, a curriculum published by Behrman House that teaches prayer and Hebrew through music.
Eliana graduated the Jewish Theological Seminary with a Masters in Experiential Jewish Education in 2016 and has lived in New York City since. She’s gotten to work with amazing NYC organizations, including B’nai Jeshurun, Park Avenue Synagogue, the JCC of Manhattan and Harlem JCC, Romemu, The New Shul, and Lab/Shul. She is also the co-founder of Shira B’dira, a singing-focused traditional egalitarian prayer community.
When not in NYC, Eliana can be found traveling the country providing artist-in-residence weekends, teaching educators, and consulting with synagogues to create intentional, meaningful prayer experiences for adults and children alike.
Based in Los Angeles, musician and songleader Charlie Kramer weaves performances rooted in deep connection, expertly combining song and spirit for an unparalleled communal experience. Charlie’s music, indie folk-rock rooted in celebrating Jewish tradition, stems from a lifelong spiritual journey — one that he has made his mission to share with listeners through magnetic, intimate, soul-driven songleading.
Though Charlie always manages to create beauty on his own, he shines when collaborating with local singer-songwriters and utilizing community participation. By merging his skills in songleading and songwriting, Charlie’s music fosters a community that encourages vibrant, spiritual insights. Charlie’s impact as a musician goes far beyond simply putting out impressive folk-rock tracks — more accurately, he is in the business of making special moments and memories. Each song is fused with high energy and human spirit, serving as a direct link between Charlie and his listeners.
Director of PJ Goes to School, PJ Library
Lisa Litman is the Director of PJ Goes to School, PJ Library’s initiative to enhance the Jewish content of the early childhood classroom. Under Lisa’s directorship PJ Goes to school has more than doubled in size. She joined PJ Library after 10 years as co-creator and Director of An Ethical Start®, a values-based curriculum created for JCC Association. Before that Lisa was a Jewish super hero, Captain Tikkun – complete with suit and cape – teaching families about repairing the world. Lisa has skills ranging from curriculum writing and conference coordination to music composition and theatre directing. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Jewish Education from Gratz College.
Director of Congregational Engagement and Outreach, The Temple, Atlanta, GA
Rabbi Lydia Medwin is the Director of Congregational Engagement and Outreach at The Temple in Atlanta, GA. She was ordained on the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College in May of 2010. While there, she received a Masters of Hebrew Letters and a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Lydia attended the University of Texas in Austin (hook ’em) and Hebrew University for undergraduate studies, earning degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Honors Humanities. Between undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked as the education director for a synagogue in Jackson, Mississippi, and traveled to places as varied as South Africa, Peru, and Greece.
While in rabbinic school, Lydia met her husband, Dan Medwin, and they and their three children, Zimra, Gavi and Jasmine, are thrilled to be a part of The Temple community. Lydia is a co-Author with Dr. Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Nicole Auerbach on the forthcoming The Relational Judaism Handbook: How to Create a Relational Engagement Campaign to Build and Deepen Relationships in Your Community (Kripke Institute). Purpose and people are at the center of what Rabbi Medwin believes a synagogue community should be about – she’s excited to learn and create with you.
Director of Congregational Engagement, Central Synagogue, New York City
Rabbi Nicole Auerbach is the Director of Congregational Engagement at Central Synagogue in New York City. She joined Central in 2016 as the Reform Movement’s first-ever Rabbi for Small Groups, creating and supporting lay-led groups of congregants that come together on a regular basis to build relationships, explore shared passions, and connect with Jewish tradition. Ordained by HUC-JIR in New York, she is the author, with Dr. Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Lydia Medwin, of The Relational Judaism Handbook: How to Create a Relational Engagement Campaign to Build and Deepen Relationships in Your Community (Kripke Institute, 2018).
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, JCC Camping Chavurah, Day School Chavurah, Teen Chavurah, Relational Judaism 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 JCC Camps Rock, a program to transform the musical cultures of JCC day and overnight camps.
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.
“It’s all about relationships.” With this simple, but profound idea, noted educator and community revitalization pioneer Dr. Ron Wolfson presents practical strategies and case studies to transform the old model of Jewish institutions into relational communities.
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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