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Teen Songleader Fellowship FAQs

Who should apply for these Fellowships?
The SUG North American Teen Songleader Fellowship or the New York Cohort Fellowship is for teens in 12th grade and below* who are ready to take their songleading to the next level. This is a year-long fellowship meant to delve deeper into the craft of songleading for a community. Teens who have some experience leading music – whether it is in their congregation, at school, at camp, in youth groups, or in other youth programs – are best suited for this Fellowship.

There are two ways to get started: any interested teen can
apply for the North American Cohort directly, apply for the New York Cohort directly, or a community or congregational professional can nominate a teen who they would like to sponsor.

*SUG will consider teen songleaders as young as 7th grade for this Fellowship. When applying, please bear in mind the demands of travel to the retreat and social dynamics of a group that will include high school seniors.

Do teens have to play guitar to be in this Fellowship?
The teens do not have to play guitar to be in the Fellowship.

How much time will it take to participate in this Fellowship?
Participants should plan on spending approximately 3-5 hours a month on this Fellowship, including:

  • One hour with the full cohort on a monthly video call (or gathering locally if in the NY Cohort)

  • One hour meeting per month with their local Staff Mentor

  • One to two hours preparing and doing songleading work in their local community

Though of course conflicts occasionally come up, we expect that Fellows will make every effort to be on each of our monthly Zoom sessions or gatherings.


Why should a congregation/camp/community support a teen songleader?
This Fellowship is designed to support your community's needs for creating meaningful group singing experiences, as much as it is to help the songleaders themselves enhance their skills. What sets us apart is that we work with each community to find ways to support their teen's successes, based on what they see as the need on the ground. We also will begin to help you think about what growing a pipeline for more leadership of group singing might look like.

How much does the Fellowship cost?
North American Fellowship: There is a $180 fee for the North American Fellowship for accepted songleaders, which includes full participation with room and board for the weekend retreat (home hospitality included) at The Temple in Atlanta.


New York Cohort: There is a $100 fee for the New York cohort for accepted songleaders, which includes full participation with room and board for the weekend retreat (home hospitality included) at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains.

Participants are responsible for the cost of travel to their retreat, or for working with their congregation or community to cover those expenses, or for reaching out for limited travel subsidies, available with SUG. We will share more information about retreat specifics once applicants are accepted into the program.

We are able to offer high quality learning and the retreat program and still keep costs low for the teen and their family or congregation thanks to a generous gift from the Suzanne D. and Stanley A. Racoosin Fund for Jewish Music as well as clergy around North America.

How will you decide which applicants are accepted?
While this Fellowship is a very exciting opportunity, we are unfortunately unable to accept all applicants. We look forward to creating a diverse cohort and will be considering:

  • Past general leadership experience

  • Past songleading experience

  • Passion for this Fellowship and opportunity to deepen songleading skills

  • Time and opportunity to complete meaningful songleading work

  • Recommendation from Staff Mentor

What happens after the Fellowship?
Participants will receive a certificate of completion after the Fellowship, as well as language that can be used on job applications and resumes.

In addition, Fellows will have the opportunity to connect to other songleader gatherings, be connected with a wider community of leaders, and be supported through further stages of music and songleading.

This sounds amazing! How can I move forward?
If you are a teen, click here to apply for the North American Fellowship, or click here to apply for the New York Fellowship Cohort now!

If you know a teen who could be a good fit for our program, click here to nominate them.

For all other inquiries,
click here to contact us.

The 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

This Fellowship is generously underwritten by the Suzanne D. and Stanley A. Racoosin Fund for Jewish Music.

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