International Songleader Boot Camp will take place at JCC in February

Todd Herzog and Rick Recht end the 2012  Songleader Boot Camp at the JCC. This year’s Songleader Boot Camp takes place Feb. 16-18. Jewish Light file photo: Yana Hotter 

The fifth annual Songleader Boot Camp (SLBC) national conference will take place in St. Louis on Feb. 16-18.

SLBC is an intensive three-day national leadership training program at the Jewish Community Center Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Drive, that attracts about 200 rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators and teachers, song leaders, lay leaders, teens and representatives from synagogues, camps, youth groups, colleges and other Jewish organizations across the United States and internationally.

Hosted by the JCC, more than 40 local Jewish educators and leaders will attend SLBC through scholarships provided by Jewish Federation of St. Louis. This year, the SLBC conference will also launch an SLBC Speaker Series providing opportunities for St. Louis Jewish community professional and lay leadership to collaborate with distinguished SLBC faculty. 

Scheduled to attend are Rabbi Sharon Brous, spiritual leader of IKAR in Los Angeles and the most influential rabbi in the nation according to Newsweek and the Daily Beast; Rabbi Micah Greenstein, spiritual leader of Temple Israel in Memphis; and Billy Jonas, a nationally touring music artist and educator.

“The future of our Jewish community is dependent on well-trained and highly effective Jewish professional and lay leaders,” says Rabbi Brad Horwitz, JCC director of Helene Mirowitz Center of Jewish Community Life and SLBC co-founder. “The SLBC national conference continues to make an incredible impact on the Jewish world in this area both nationally and now even more so in the St. Louis Jewish Community.” 

The SLBC Speaker Series is made possible by Jewish Federation of St. Louis and Gladys K. Crown Foundation. Additional SLBC Speaker Series details will be announced in the coming weeks.

“SLBC has a proven track record of being a dynamic, innovative and impactful program that inspires participants to lead, not merely with song but in all aspects of life,” said Andrew Rehfeld, president and CEO of Jewish Federation of St. Louis. “I say this not only as the head of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis that supports the program, nor as a song leader for the last 30 years. Most importantly, I say this as the father of a two-time graduate of the program. I have seen its impressive results first hand.” 

SLBC offers an exploration of the physiology, psychology, strategy and execution behind Jewish teaching and songleading. It focuses on methodologies used for educating, entertaining and inspiring Jewish communities in both formal and informal settings, crossing religious denominations from the classroom to camping to youth groups and beyond. 

In additon to performer Jonas and Rabbis Brous, Greenstein and Horwitz, SLBC 2014 faculty will include Jewish educators Alex Weinberg, Josh Warshawsky and Elisa Heiligman Recht, and Jewish music artist educators Sheldon Low, Shira Klein and Rick Recht, the artist in residence at United Hebrew Congregation. 

Registration is available online at The cost for the three days of programming, including materials and meals during conference hours, is $395. Scholarships and discounted group rates are available. Contact [email protected] for more details.