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Teen Songleader Fellowships

*If you live in Cleveland, OH; or New York,  head over to this page to see if our regional programs might be a good fit— or if you want to be part of building a new one!

Songleading, or the art of leading communal singing, is a valuable and highly sought-after skill in the Jewish community.


For the songleader themselves, this ability to bring people together and create meaningful moments can also be immensely fulfilling as these moments take shape. Choosing to invest in your songleading skills will help you grow in several areas, such as: thinking quickly on your feet, building confidence in front of a room, and reading the energy of a new group so that you might take them somewhere new.

The SUG North American Teen Songleader Fellowship provides an opportunity for you to learn and practice these skills in a safe space, with other teens across the country who share similar interests and a passion for music and Jewish community. The relationships you build through this Fellowship, both the in-person retreat and monthly Zoom gatherings, will have lifelong benefits both personally and professionally, should you choose to continue in Jewish communal work. 


In addition to these relationships, you will also be paired with an adult Staff Mentor someone already working in your home community who can support you in your learning and growth. You can choose your own mentor (we encourage it!), or else if you don’t have someone in mind SUG will do our best to pair you with someone great. 

Please note that all teen Fellows will need a Staff Mentor in order to participate in this program. Your Staff Mentor should be:

  • Local (living/working nearby)

  • Able to attend events you are already songleading for, or give you access to a new community (religious school, youth group, synagogue, etc.) for songleading work

  • Someone you would enjoy working with

A letter and materials will be sent to you after you apply to help you ask a local adult to fulfill this role for you and our team will support you if needed. By working with someone who can actually see you lead regularly and even help you find new work as a songleader, we hope to see your confidence shine and your growth skyrocket.

Your experience will be guided by Deb Winter, a skilled, engaging, compassionate and professional songleading mentor and teacher. She will coordinate and plan the retreat, work with each of you individually to reach your goals, and work with you and your Staff Mentor to support great music in your community.

Application for the year-long North American Fellowship is due October 12, 2023.* There is no cost to apply.


There is a $180 fee for accepted songleaders, which includes the retreat in Atlanta. More details are available on the FAQ page

*Late applications will be considered until December 1 for participation in virtual monthly sessions (not including the Atlanta retreat).


If you are interested in Cleveland, OH or New York Fellowships, head over to this page. 

My experience at the Songleading Fellowship retreat ended up being one of the best experiences of my life! It truly amazes me how Rosalie could just start singing, and the entire room of fellows would just join in to make this big, beautiful sound. It was SO AMAZING! The Fellowship was one of the best things I've ever done.

- Evyn, SUG teen Fellow ‘19-’20

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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