Songleader Boot Camp set for Feb. 15-17; will feature speaker series

One of the top Jewish leadership conferences in North America will convene at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Drive, Feb. 15 to 17.  

In its sixth year, the 2015 Songleader Boot Camp (SLBC) National Conference will feature nationally renowned keynote faculty; new partnerships with major national Jewish organizations; new courses, and a more than 20 percent increase in enrollment, including approximately 50 participants from St. Louis.  

SLBC teaches rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, veteran and new songleaders, Jewish camping staff, teen leaders and family engagement specialists about the many vehicles they have to create powerful, interactive connections, expand leadership abilities and learn specific skills and techniques to inspire change in their communities.

Keynote faculty for the 2015 SLBC National Conference will include more than 18 top Jewish leaders, educators and musical specialists from across the United States.  New keynote faculty this year include Rabbi Brad Artson, a prominent leader of Conservative Judaism (see related news brief on Artson serving as scholar-in-residence Feb. 13-15 at Kol Rinah); Ellen Allard, multiple award-winning recording artist; Rabbi Susan Talve, spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation; as well as several PJ Library programming experts. Returning facultyinclude Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel in Memphis, Rick Recht, Shira Kline, Billy Jonas, Sheldon Low, Cantor Joanna Dulkin, Mikey Pauker and others.  

In addition to attending the full, three-day conference, the St. Louis community is invited to the free SLBC Premier Speaker Series, which will take place concurrently.  The speaker series will be held at the JCC Arts & Education Building, 2 Millstone Campus Drive.  Space is limited, so participants are asked to RSVP to Rabbi Brad Horwitz at [email protected]. The speakers series events include: 

• Sunday, Feb. 15: At 7 p.m., Artson, Greenstein and Talve will discuss “Exploring the Three Directions of Powerful Jewish Leadership – Out There, In Here, and Up There!” Who is our Jewish audience in 2015?  Has our calling changed as Jewish professionals, educators and lay leaders?  There are three directions every Jewish professional must reach:  “out there,” “in here,” and “up there!”   

• Monday, Feb. 16: At  7:30 p.m. Artson presents “Humbition: Integrating Ego, Humility, and Courage.” What is the balance between Ego and humility?  What does it mean to leave your Ego at the door in order to be your best teacher, your best leader?   How can you bring your Ego with you in a constructive way? What is the art of surrender and its pitfalls?  Ego can be the elephant in the room when it comes to achieving your greatest potential as an effective leader.  When you’re an educator and you’re one page ahead of the students and the students ask a question and you’re stuck — how do you react?  

 The Jewish Federation of St. Louis, Gladys K. Crown Foundation and local private donors have united to maximize local impact of this year’s conference.  More than 40 local Jewish educators and leaders representing nearly every Jewish synagogue and organization in St. Louis will attend SLBC through scholarships provided by Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

“The future of our Jewish community is dependent on well-trained and highly effective Jewish professional and lay leaders.  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,” says Horwitz, JCC Director, Jewish Engagement and Adult Programs and SLBC co-founder. 

Registration for the SLBC National Conference 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. 

For more information about Songleader Boot Camp, visit