Achieving “Star State,” or super-charging one’s self to make a quick and radical change in one’s physical and psychological state in order to deliver at peak levels, was the theme of the recent regional Song Leader Boot Camp (SLBC) led by well-known Jewish singer and song writer Rick Recht. Twelve Jewish educators from the North Shore who teach students of all ages (toddlers to adults) at 12 Jewish schools and JCCs attended the two-day intensive seminar. Their participation was funded by the Lappin Foundation, as part of the Foundation’s Inspirational Jewish Teaching course for teachers, and was supported by CJP.
SLBC provides powerful Jewish leadership training for clergy, Jewish educators, family engagement specialists, veteran and new song leaders, teen leaders and Jewish camping staff. Led by nationally renowned Jewish leaders, educators and music artists, SLBC teaches participants specific skills and strategies, infused with Jewish values, to inspire transformative change in their Jewish communities. At SLBC, education and inspiration are grounded in strategic planning.
Rick Recht kicked off SLBC with uplifting and soul-stirring Hebrew songs and music, followed by thought-provoking trigger questions that inspired participants to think about their mission as Jewish educators. Recht encouraged them to actualize ways to bring the best of themselves to their teaching, using creative meditation and guided imagery, such as standing at the threshold of workplaces and imagining the impact teachers have when they believe they can positively impact their students. Fueled by esteem-building mantras that help to focus, inspire, and support, such as “I am blessed to have this opportunity,” and “I am the leader,” teachers were given the space and time to reflect on their important role as Jewish educators.
SLBC provided teachers time to bond as a community, meet other educators in the region, and celebrate with song. “Teachers who attended the two-day, 14-hour seminar, many of whom taught several hours at their schools in the morning preceding SLBC, are to be commended for their commitment to learning,” said Robert I. Lappin, President of Lappin Foundation.
Unanimous consensus amongst teachers was that SLBC was an experience well worth the investment of time and energy. Daphna Shemesh of Danvers, who teaches at Chabad Alef Academy, Temple Emanu-El and Congregation Shirat Hayam, successfully used some new techniques right away in her classes that she learned at SLBC. “Sitting in a circle, walking around the circle, using our arms and facial expressions, and emphasizing words of encouragement made a big difference,” she commented. All of the teachers who took part said they are excited to try new ideas in their classes and integrate new techniques into their teaching that will inspire their children to want to learn.