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Over the past few years we have spoken with Jewish community leaders from camps, congregations, and organizations who struggle to find songleaders for their specific programs or events. Even more concerning, we have learned that the wider local community in many parts of the North America are lacking a pipeline of songleaders for day camps, overnight camps, religious school music, early childhood programs and youth events. 


In collaboration with leaders from JECC in Cleveland, we are partnering with the local community to support and build a pipeline of young songleaders in Cleveland through a Sing Unto God Fellowship.


The Cleveland Cohort will include:

  • An afternoon of learning; October 29th from 12:00pm until 4:00pm at the Mandel JCC with visiting educator Cantor Rosalie Will, expert teacher of songleading. This will include some repertoire sharing, getting to know each other, techniques for standing in front of a group to lead a song, and basic tips for teaching groups to sing along.

  • With the support of local mentor Jeremy Sosin, teens will create opportunities to lead in communities around Cleveland - in partnership with clergy, educators, or camp directors. If natural opportunities to songlead can't be found readily, Jeremy will help connect teens with singing opportunities. Jeremy will then connect with the teens where they occasionally lead in order to observe and offer feedback in the areas of songleading, worship leading, religious school leading and community building.

  • We will also meet on October 29th with local clergy, educators, and stakeholders to help them understand ways they can support the teens growing in their songleading, and to connect the teems with opportunities in Cleveland during the year as well as toward summer opportunities.

  • We will ask the teens to try to find opportunities to songlead in community a few times throughout the school year. Each teen, depending on time as well as the needs within their communities, will have a different level of engagement. The more the teen leads, the more they learn - by doing, reflecting, and trying again. Jeremy's job will be to support the teen in planning, exectution, and reflection. 


General Information about the SUG Fellowships:

SUG Regional Teen Songleader cohorts are designed to provide on-site mentorship from a local songleading mentor who can visit each teen where they songlead, work with each teen to establish success metrics for the year, and, most importantly, connect their mentee with organizations, institutions, and communities within their region to support their professional development.


A key component of each regional fellowship is that each host community will use their cohort of teens to provide music in more communal gatherings. This has the dual benefit of giving teens more on the ground experience leading with people, and it increases the amount of singing that happens in Jewish communal spaces.


All of this means that teen songleaders, supported in growing skills to lead religious school music, will be better trained and better positioned to fill a need in a local JCC camp next summer, to lead musical experiences for the Federation's Israel program, give a more complete Taste of Camp, or deepen the meaning of a communal day of action.


The support for our staff, teachers, programming on the ground, outreach and mentorship is made possible from generous gifts from clergy who are passionate about pipelining and nurtuing young songleaders.


We thank: Rabbis Michael White, Rob Nosanchuk, Ken Chasen, Judith Siegal, Ben David, Micah Greenstein, Peter Berg and Dan Levin and Cantors Danielle Rodnizki, Brad Hyman, Irena Altshul, Jennifer Frost, Alexander Kurland, Tracey Scher, Lori Shapiro, Amanda Kleinman, Ross Wolman, Billy Tiep and Shanna  Zell.

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The Sing Unto God Fellowship gave me not only the opportunity to learn new repertoire with young songleaders from across the nation, but more importantly the skills to teach, play, and lead Jewish music in settings ranging from Shabbat services to a Kindergarten classroom.

- Ben, '22-'23 Participant

SUG Teen Songleader Fellowships give teens the training, experience, and confidence needed to:

  • Find their own voice as a Jewish leader

  • Develop comfort in front of a room

  • Teach both new and familiar songs

  • Sing with and lead diverse age groups

  • Partner with congregational professionals

  • Develop the requisite skills of analysis, process, feedback-gathering and self-reflection

SUG Regional Fellowships are generously underwritten by the cantors and rabbis who are passionate about supporting teens.

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