Regional Teen Songleading Fellowships
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.
Inspired by a diverse cohort of leaders in Cleveland who approached us about creating a local program to support teens from within their geographic area, we launched these pilot programs.
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.
Regional Cohorts for 2023-2024
In partnership with The Jewish Education Center of Cleveland (JECC), this year-long cohort begins with a day of learning with Cantor Rosalie Will on October 26th. Contact Jill Cahn for more information about how to apply. We are grateful to Arnie and Ellen Hoffman for a gift to help underwrite this program.
A year of learning including local mentorships, punctuated by a weekend retreat in White Plains at Woodlands Community Temple February 2-4th, 2024. Head to the NY Cohort page for more information.
Gulf Region and New Orleans
Conversations are underway with the local communities, and URJ Jacobs Camp. Email Rosalie for more information.
Liz Leadership Teen Initiative of the South East
A weekend intensive for teens connected to URJ Camp Coleman or NFTY, with follow up engagement between teens and local communities to continue to enhance skill building and song leadership.
If you live in one of these regions, this could be a great opportunity to connect with teens and communities locally who can help you grow as a leader, and you can provide meaningful singing content for communities where you live.
If you are interested in learning with teens from all over North America, and can come to Atlanta for our North American retreat, you are welcome to apply for the North American Fellowship instead!
Each regional cohort is designed differently, with intentional focus on the unique needs, structures, and demographics of each community. If you think there is a need and interest for more targeted regional songleading support in your community, reach out to Rosalie to talk more about what's possible.
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 Fellowships are generously underwritten by the Suzanne D. and Stanley A. Racoosin Fund for Jewish Music.