Friday, August 29, 2008

Is summer over? Thank all of YOU for a great one!


It's hard to believe that so much has happened this summer - and that I'm going to enter Elul soon - the Jewish month where reflection begins and taking stock of who you were this last year becomes front and center in our minds.

Summer can't end - can it? I don't want it to. I feel like it just started - it makes me wonder why I live in NYC - if I hate summer ending so much - but who can say goodbye to this crazy city with it's ups and downs? I would probably be pretty bored anywhere else!

So, let's do a little reflection of all of the people and places that I've visited this summer who've rocked my world. My way of showing appreciation Is by giving someone a ROCK ON!

Rock On to the AMAZING counselors and senior staff, directors and co-trainers at the five UJA Federation camps in NY - Poyntelle, Berkshire Hills Emanuel, Eddie Isaacs, Surprise Lake and Louemma! You all are amazing! Shout out to Shalom Orzach for his support in making sure that counselors are trained to be inclusive as possible in the bunk!

Rock On to the amazing trainees and Trainers that are part of the Keshet Training Program! Huge shout out to Jake Goodman, Shira Epstein (my co-trainers featured left) and Andrea Jacobs at Keshet!

Rock On to the awesome counselors at Camp Ramah in California! You all are incredible! Huge thanks to R. Dan Greyber and Zach Lasker - you two ROCK! Shout out to Eli!!

Rock On to the amazing team of professionals at U of Chicago and Northwestern University (go Cats) Hillel - and to the awesome people from the Hillel International Center in DC. Groundbreaking work in emerging adulthood - a privilege to present to you all! Shout out to Jane Shapiro, Dan Liebenson, Josh Feigelson and R. Scott Aaron! Can't wait to spend Yom Kippur with you all at University of Chicago! It's going to ROCK!

Rock On to the amazing educators and leaders who I trained at the Leadership Institute for Congregational Educators. And Rock On to Evie Rotstein who directs this program. Huge thank you to my partner in crime, Dr. Shira D. Epstein, for taking me on our project "Addressing Evaded Issues in Jewish Education!" (See, there's me training for this program!)

Rock On to the incredible leaders that I trained as a part of the Day School Leadership Training Institute. And Rock On to Fran Urman who leads that program. Again, huge thank you to my partner in good things, Shira Epstein!
(Featured, Matt Bellas)

Rock On
to the INCREDIBLE educators who participated in Storahtelling's StorahLab training program. And Rock On to the amazing new MAVENS who were trained as well! Shout out to all of my friends at Storahtelling - for all their amazing hard work to put that together.

Rock On to the incredible and talented participants and staff of Brandeis University's Genesis/BIMA programs - what a privilege to play, sing, train and celebrate Shabbat with you! Huge shout out to Bradley Solmsen, Rachel Happel, Dvora Goodman and Aliza Goodman!

Rock On
to my friend Josh Nelson - incredible musician, performer and educator, who shared his stage and let me open up for him at GENESIS/BIMA! (Josh and I FEATURED ON YOUR LEFT)

Rock On to the folks at Florence Melton Communiteen! High School program. What a thoughtful, intelligent, edgy, progressive, highly motivated national Jewish high school educational program! A privilege to work with geniuses like Evan Segal, Gordon Zacks, Jane Shapiro, Ilene Cohen and Shani Lasin!!! One of my FAVORITE consulting projects!

Rock On to the UJC Cabinet leaders - what an amazing time I had with you all performing at your annual Cabinet retreat in Scottsdale, AZ! Beautiful location, beautiful program, beautiful people doing amazing work! What an amazing time performing with Amichai Lau-Lavie, Brian Gelfand and Glenn Grossman for Storahtelling there!

Rock On to the CAJE Craziness! You amazing educators - you incredibly inspiring professionals. What a treat it was performing with Storahtelling at the opening, training folks in our methods and then ROCKING out at my launch of Jewish Chicks Rock. A HUGE thank you to Abbi and the team at the CAJE office. And a HUGE thank you to Mike Edelstein of MJ Productions. Major props to my musical friends who also performed there - Chana Rothman, fellow chick musician!, Josh Nelson and his amazing band, Craig Taubman, Joe Black and Sheldon Low. You all inspire me so much! Thank you so much to my street team at the conference, Hope Chernak, Roland Roth, Sandra Goldmeer, Mara Berde and Laura Hegfield - and our youngest Jewish Chick Rockers, Rosie (pictured) and Belin from New Hampshire!

Rock On - in the biggest way possible to my amazing teen vocalists who I worked with for a week at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest in Minneapolis. Thank you to Steve Barberio, Josh Nelson and Arlene Sorkin for inviting me in, Todd Herzog - fellow musician and friend - for taking me in, and the other amazing artists in residence that made this program so INCREDIBLE!!! I love you all!

And lastly, Rock On to the amazing facilitators who joined me as part of Lou Bergholz (CEO of Edgework Consulting)'s team of trainers who led MIT Sloan Business School's training days! What an amazing group of people, what an amazing program. I look forward to this gig every year! (well, for the last two years, at least! Hopefully more!) You all are incredible!

WHEW, is that enough for one summer? Can you get more inspired looking at the incredible work that's being done in this world?? I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with such great people!

Thank you all!

Now...onto the FALL!
Next Blog will be about what there is to LOOK FORWARD to!

Have a Great Great Great Labor Day!

Peace - Shabbat shalom!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Post ArtsFest - thinking about the fall

I had the privilege of being thoroughly inspired by 12 amazing teenage women at JCC Maccabi Artsfest this last week in Minneapolis - their depth, their passion and their beautiful songwriting abilities inspired me. I can't get one of the songs they wrote out of my head. They profoundly stated: "Strip away those layers, and take a look inside - in the eye of the beholder - is where true beauty lies." Can you imagine - young women so sure of this - that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and that if you really look at yourself and see yourself as beautiful, you're bound to see the world as beautiful, too. They give me great hope...
They rock.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Who will rock at CAJE?

I'm just so excited to be heading off to CAJE conference in about two days. The band is coming with me and will tear down the walls at the University of VT's Brennan's Cafe at 8:45pm on Monday the 11th of August.

The big question - will there be other Jewish chicks that rock there?

Send 'em my way!