Songleader Boot Camp returns for second Chicago regional conference

What are some of your favorite memories from Jewish summer camp? From religious school? Or havdalah services?  Chances are they include music and singing.

Music is a powerful vehicle to create meaningful, interactive connections between individuals.  The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago hopes to elevate musical leadership opportunities for the community by presenting the Chicago regional conference of Songleader Boot Camp (SLBC) for the second year.

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Rick Recht , Sheldon Low, participants of the 2013 inaugural Chicago regional conference, and Ta’am Yisrael eighth graders perform at the community concert hosted by Temple Beth-El  in January 2013. 

SLBC provides intensive leadership training programs for clergy, Jewish educators, veteran and new songleaders alike over a two-day period. The program will offer a profound exploration of the physiology, psychology, strategy, and execution behind explosive Jewish teaching and songleading led by world-renowned recording and performing artists Rick Recht and Sheldon Low. 

SLBC began in 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri and has grown in size in caliber with regional symposiums held through the US as well as a national conference. This year’s Chicago Regional Conference will be held at Temple Jeremiah (937 Happ Road, Northfield) from 12-8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan.19 and Monday, Jan. 20.

The boot camp will culminate in a community concert featuring Rick Recht, Sheldon Low and the stars of the SLBC on Monday, Jan. 20 at 6:30 pm at the host synagogue, Temple Jeremiah.  The concert will also serve as part of a community-wide send-off for the eighth grade Ta’am Yisrael trip to Israel that will be leaving on Feb. 3.  The concert is free of charge due to generous funding from the Lillian and Maurie Lipsey Endowment Fund for Jewish Community Enhancement.  Tickets are available at a first come, first serve basis.  Registration is available online at

 Chicago’s inaugural SLBC conference brought in over 40 participants representing all sects of Judaism, covering a 50-year age gap and a variety of musical experience and expertise.  

“The SLBC Chicago regional conference was a great experience.  I have gone on to apply the lessons learned and encourage others with a background or interest in music to apply and experience the boot camp,” said Matt Rissien, Director of Youth Activities at Congregation Beth Shalom, Northbrook.  “I think it’s awesome that JUF is helping SLBC return for a second conference; giving more people in the community an opportunity to develop their musical skills.”

The cost for participating in SLBC is $295; however the first 30 applicants accepted will receive a $95 subsidy thanks to a generous grant from the Lillian and Maurie Lipsey Endowment Fund for Jewish Community Enhancement. Applicants are encouraged to seek out sponsorship to help defray the cost of attending.  Conference fee includes kosher dinners both evenings.  Applications are first come, first served, and space is limited. For more information or to apply, visit www., email, or call (314) 991-0909. 

Amy Berger is the assistant director of Leadership Development & Community Outreach for the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Posted: 12/31/2013 10:42:13 AM
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