Welcome and Mazel Tov to the most Jewish Stars EVER! You are rays of light in these difficult times. We can’t wait to help the 160 Jewish Stars who entered Season 6 take their talent, passion, and leadership to the next level.


Anna Birman (New York, NY)
Rivi Jay (Cherry Hill, NJ)
Adrian Levine (New York, NY)
Max Pollak (Encinitas, CA)
Ella Rosenblatt (New York, NY)


Samuel Dantowitz (Cupertino, CA)
Paloma DeLisle (Vancouver, BC)
Jordan Lawrence (New Orleans, LA)
Bates O’Neal (Summerville, SC)
Yaira Spitzer-Tilchin (Tustin, CA)
Celia Tedde (New York, NY)
Morgan Zweibel (New York, NY)


Jewish Star identifies, educates, and elevates talented teens and young adults with a passion for Jewish music and leadership, providing them with training, mentorship, networking opportunities, and a supportive community of like-minded peers. Through a video submission and application process, participants are matched to one or more Jewish Star program opportunities — led by top artists and educators in the field of Jewish music — that are designed to support their growth and help them identify and meet their goals of impacting their communities and the Jewish world.

Jewish Star is an initiative of Judaism Alive, 501c3.

Jewish Star is for teens and young adults (ages 14-27) who want to grow as leaders within the Jewish community and beyond. Jewish Stars range widely in their level of music and leadership experience, as well as their personal and professional goals, but all share a passion for Jewish community and an interest in discovering how they might use their musical talent to impact the Jewish world.

Some examples of who is part of the Jewish Star Community:

  • Current and aspiring camp and synagogue songleaders
  • Jewish youth group leaders and Jewish student organization leaders
  • Current and aspiring artists writing/performing Jewish music and/or secular music
  • Teens and young adults who love music and are exploring many passions and interests, including Jewish leadership

Jewish Star meets young people wherever they are on their personal and/or professional journey and helps them determine and achieve their goals.

Interested teens and young adults submit a performance video and application individually or as a group; participants are then matched to the Jewish Star program opportunities that will help them identify and achieve their goals. Additionally, 10 Jewish Stars will be recognized as Jewish Star All-Stars and given widespread recognition and additional opportunities.


The goal of each new season of Jewish Star is to give each person who enters access to the programs, tools and opportunities that will best support their growth and development over the course of the school year.  Jewish Star reviews each performance video and application and matches participants to the program opportunities that will help them identify and meet their goals.

All Jewish Stars who enter will be considered for the following opportunities:

Jewish Star Live Webinars – Jewish Star hosts monthly webinars led by top Jewish artists, songleaders, and educators on a wide range of topics including public presentation skills, Jewish songwriting,  audio/video recordings, inclusion, and more. Everyone who enters Jewish Star receives lifetime invitations to webinars as well as access to recordings of every previous Jewish Star Webinar.

Scholarship toward the Songleader Boot Camp (SLBC) National Conference – The SLBC National Conference provides Jewish Stars with immersive leadership and performance skills-training, a tight-knit community of like-minded peers passionate about Jewish music and leadership, and networking with top Jewish artists. This year’s conference takes place February 16-18, 2025 in St. Louis, Missouri.   

Mentorship through JRR’s premier Jewish Star Mentoring Program – The Jewish Star Mentoring Program is the world’s only small-group formal mentoring program in the field of Jewish music and leadership. Participants meet once a month (January through May) over Zoom for 1 hour with a Jewish Star mentor and 3-5 peers with similar backgrounds to discuss several core topics that help them explore their goals as emerging Jewish leaders and artists. Jewish Stars may apply for and participate in the Mentoring Program year over year and will be paired with a new mentor and cohort each year.

New Audio/Visual Equipment – JRR purchases equipment such as new microphones, webcams, ring lights and green screens for select Jewish Stars to improve the quality of their creations, support their virtual leadership work, and amplify their talent to a wider audience.

Jewish Star Community of Practice – The Jewish Star Community of Practice WhatsApp group is a space for Jewish Stars to share, discuss, and crowdsource ideas, music, questions, opportunities, and more with each other in a supportive, growth-focused environment. Everyone who enters Jewish Star will be invited to the Community of Practice.


During the submission review process, 10 Jewish Stars will be named “Jewish Star All-Stars,” 5 each from both the Under 18 and 18 & Over age brackets.

Jewish Star All-Stars will receive:

  • Widespread recognition on Jewish Rock Radio including social media, press, and website
  • Scholarship toward and the opportunity to lead/perform at the SLBC National Conference (February 16-18, 2025 in St. Louis) including networking with the top Jewish educators and artists in North America
  • New audio/visual equipment to help amplify their talent and passion through high-quality videos as well as support their virtual leadership work
  • An invitation to the Jewish Star Mentoring Program to learn closely with a Jewish Star Mentor and 3-5 peers with similar backgrounds and interests.
  • *** Anyone who has previously been named an All-Star will be considered for each of the Jewish Star program opportunities, but is NOT eligible to be named a Jewish Star All-Star.


In 2023, Jewish Star launched a new regional collaboration with the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at the 92nd Street Y to offer special opportunities for Jewish Star participants who enter the current season of Jewish Star and live in the NYC area.

In addition to the nationally available Jewish Star program opportunities, NY-area Jewish Stars will be able to experience in-person mentoring at the 92NY and attend the New York SLBC Day of Leadership immersion program for FREE this coming spring. Participants will also be paired with opportunities to lead at 92NY as well as at NY-area synagogues and Jewish institutions, where they can put their talent and leadership skills into greater practice.


Jewish Rock Radio is VERY excited to have the following incredible Jewish artists and educators serving as mentors in this year’s Jewish Star Mentoring Program:

Rick Recht
Rick Recht
Eliana Light
Eliana Light
Chava Mirel
Chava Mirel
Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
Naomi Less
Naomi Less
Joe Buchanan
Joe Buchanan
Jacob Spike Kraus
Jacob Spike Kraus
Eric Hunker
Eric Hunker
Abbie Strauss
Abbie Strauss
Charlie Kramer
Charlie Kramer


  • You must be Jewish
  • You must be between the ages of 14 and 27 to enter
  • If you are under age 18, you must have parental permission
  • You must be a resident North American citizen (United States, Canada, or Mexico)
  • Two or more individuals who meet the above criteria may apply as a group
  • Only one video submission will be accepted per individual/group


Applicants must submit a performance video and fill out the Jewish Star Submission Form (below). You may save your progress on the submission form and submit your video at a later date prior to the submission deadline (October 1, 2024)

If you are applying as a duo/group, all group members must fill out the Submission Form for the application to be accepted, and one group member is required to submit the video on behalf of the group.

Video Submission

You may create a basic performance video for the purpose of entering Jewish Star – OR – submit a pre-existing video that meets the below criteria:

  • Your performance can be of any song appropriate for a Jewish setting, including covers or original songs. The submission form will give you the opportunity to explain why you chose your song and how it connects to Judaism.
  • Your performance can be accompanied by instruments or a cappella
  • If you are primarily an instrumentalist, you may perform a piece of instrumental music that does not require singing. On your written application, be sure to share about why you chose this piece in the Video Submission section, and also about your goals for leading Jewish communities through instrumental music in the Goals section
  • Accompaniment: You may have someone else accompany you for your performance (e.g. someone playing an instrument while you sing) so long as they are clearly assisting you with your talent, and not a featured performer. You may also use a pre-recorded backing track.

Important Video Requirements

Please read these video submission requirements CAREFULLY. Failure to adhere to one or more of these requirements will likely result in your submission being removed from consideration for most or all Jewish Star opportunities. If you are unsure whether your video will meet these requirements, contact .

  • Your video should not exceed 4 minutes
  • Your video must be recorded live with raw, unedited audio/video (i.e. no lipsyncing, audio editing or auto-tune apps such as Smule or StarMaker)
  • Individual video submissions must be recorded with a single camera. Do not submit a highly produced, multi-camera video
  • Group submissions may be created asynchronously, meaning individual group members can record parts separately and combine them through video software or an app such as “Acapella by Mixcord” before submitting the final video — reminder that no additional video or audio editing is permitted

Guidelines for Recording a Video

  • Choose a quiet, well-lit location to record
  • If you are creating a video, please position your phone, tablet or computer to record your video, horizontally/in landscape mode.
  • Say your name and the song you’ll be performing. No other introduction is necessary!
  • Check the audio and video quality to make sure we will be able to see and hear you/all performers clearly. If you are playing an instrument, check that it does not overpower your voice
  • You are unique! Show us your personality and energy — and have fun!

Evaluation Criteria

Participants will be matched to Jewish Star leadership-training opportunities based on their written responses and the skills and talents they share in their performance video. Performance evaluation criteria includes:

  • Energy and physical presentation
  • Ability to connect to an audience
  • Vocal performance
  • Instrumental performance/skills
  • Songwriting (if the song is original)

NOTE: Participants do not need to be strong in all of these areas — most are not — and therefore no one should be discouraged from entering based on their ability to meet all evaluation criteria. Participants are NOT being judged during this process; they are being matched with the most appropriate leadership-training opportunities for them.

*Video and sound quality are not taken into account in the evaluation process, but do review your video to be sure we can both see and hear you clearly.

Check out these video submissions from some past Jewish Star recipients:


*All dates subject to change

Aug 6, 2024Submission Window Opens
Sept 19, 2024Info Session and Q&A with Rick Recht (via Zoom)
Oct 1, 2024Submission Deadline
Oct 22, 2024All entrants receive program invites and opportunities
Jewish Star All-Stars announced via JRR social media
Jan-May 2025Jewish Star Mentoring Program Meetings
Feb 16-18, 20252025 SLBC National Conference in St. Louis


Q: What is Jewish Star?
A: Since 2018, the Jewish Star leadership initiative has been identifying emerging talent in the Jewish community with a passion and desire to impact the Jewish world, and providing these present and future leaders with mentorship, skills-training, and resources to determine and achieve their leadership goals. Check out the about section at the top of this page for more detail.

Q: Who can enter?
A: Jewish teens and young adults ages 14-27 living in North America.

Q: Is there a time commitment for Jewish Star programs?
A: There are no mandatory time commitments required of anyone who enters Jewish Star. All our programs follow a “get out what you put in” model. Those who enter and indicate on their application that they wish to be considered for the Jewish Star Mentoring Program, however, may receive an invitation to the Mentoring Program; to be part of this exclusive program, participants will be asked to commit to 5 individual 60-75 min Zoom mentoring sessions, one each month, from January through May, as well as 45-min orientation and closing programs. All other special opportunities provided to Jewish Stars, including webinars, personal consultations and free SLBC registration, are completely optional, albeit VERY exciting opportunities for all Jewish Star participants.

Q: Is there any cost/fee for entering Jewish Star or participating in Jewish Star programs?
A: No. Jewish Star and its programs are completely free of charge. Please keep in mind, however, that those selected to receive scholarship to the Songleader Boot Camp National Conference (SLBC) in St. Louis will have additional costs associated with attending the conference, including travel and lodging. Most times, synagogues, camps, and Federations are able to provide additional funds to support young Jewish leaders to attend SLBC.

Q: What are Jewish Star All-Stars? What do they receive?
A: While all entrants will be matched to incredible programs and growth opportunities, 10 Jewish Stars will be named “Jewish Star All-Stars,” 5 each from both the Under 18 and 18 & Over age brackets.

Jewish Star All-Stars will receive:

  • Widespread recognition on Jewish Rock Radio including social media, press, and website
  • Free registration and the opportunity to lead/perform at the SLBC National Conference (February 16-18, 2025 in St. Louis) including networking with the top Jewish educators and artists in North America
  • New audio/visual equipment to help amplify their talent and passion through high-quality videos as well as support their virtual leadership work

Participants who have been named and recognized as an All-Star in the past are not eligible to be named an “All-Star” this season but may apply for various Jewish Star program opportunities.

Q: I know the perfect person, how can I submit their name?
A: Use this form to share their name with us and we will be happy to follow up directly!

Q: I am proud to be Jewish, but I am currently focused on performing and creating secular music. Is Jewish Star for me?
A: Yes! Jewish Star programs such as webinars, the Mentoring Program, SLBC, and personal consultations all focus on building the core competencies of music leadership that are relevant in Jewish and secular music spaces, such as public presentation and leadership skills, marketing and self-promotion, creating video recordings to share on social media and more. Many of our Jewish Star mentors also have experience in the secular music industry.

Q: I entered Jewish Star in past seasons, can I submit again this season?
A: If you meet all the other eligibility requirements, then yes! Jewish Star programs and opportunities are designed to support you as your goals — and YOU — change and grow.

Q: I’m under 18. Do I need parental permission?
A: Yes. If you are under age 18, you will be required to include a parent or guardian’s email address when you fill out the entry form. A parental release will be emailed directly to your parent or guardian for their consent.

Q: If I’m applying as a group, do we have to be in the same physical location for our video or can we record our parts separately and edit them together into one video?
A: Groups may record parts separately and edit them together using video software, or record using an app such as Acapella by Mixcord. Please carefully review the submission rules and video guidelines to ensure your video fulfills all requirements.

Q: I’m primarily an instrumentalist and not a singer, is Jewish Star for me?
A: Yes! Jewish Star is for anyone with musical talent with a passion to be a Jewish leader. On your application, when talking about your goals, you are encouraged to share how you currently and plan to use instrumental performance to be a leader in Jewish spaces/communities.

Q: I don’t write my own songs. Am I still eligible?
A: Yes!!! Jewish Star is NOT a songwriting contest. Participants may perform any song appropriate for a Jewish setting for their video submission. Please carefully review the Video Submission Instructions above to make sure you choose a song that is appropriate for Jewish Star.

Q: If I’m applying as a group, how do we submit our video?
A: If you are applying as a group, all members must fill out the Submission Form for the application to be accepted, and one group member is required to submit the video on behalf of the group.

Q: Did you receive the video I submitted? When will I hear back?
A: If you reached the “Thank you for your submission” page of the Jewish Star Submission From — it was received! Every video received is reviewed. You will receive an email about the program opportunities you received on Oct. 22. We will announce the Jewish Star All-Stars on Jewish Rock Radio’s Facebook Page.


Submissions for Season 6 are closed. Season 7 is coming soon!


“If this program had been around when I was a teen, I would have found my path to this work much earlier. In a few years, all of these Jewish Stars will be ready to meet our challenges and needs in our Jewish community.”

-Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, Jewish Star Mentor

Hear what Jewish Stars have to say about their experience:

“The skills I have learned in Jewish Star have been invaluable and helped me realize my desire to attend rabbinical school.”

-Lisa Friedman, Jewish Star Participant

Hear what Jewish Star Mentors have to say about their experience:

“Not only does their joy for Jewish music shine through in their leadership, our Jewish Stars bring refined skill and poise to our bima.”

-Cantor Shanna Zell, Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA


We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Scott Harris — the visionary and lead organizer of the Jewish Star initiative. We would also like to recognize the following individuals who have generously contributed to support the launch and operations of the inaugural Jewish Star North American Talent Search. Finally, huge thanks to the Jewish Rock Radio Board of Directors for your commitment and dedication to strengthening Jewish identity and engagement for future generations.

Jewish Star Supporters

Ari Ackerman
Howard Altshul
Angie Atkins
The Bartos Family
Jarrod Beck
Alexander & Rebecca Berger
Stuart Birdt
Daniel Blaser
Kenneth Bloom
Jonathan Crystal
The Jonah Maccabee Foundation

Cindy Feinberg
Tony Felzen
Noah Flom
Alan Franco
Michael Friedland
Navah & Robert Frost
Valerie Gerstein
Emily and Nathan Gindi
Leslie Gordon – The Meyerson Family Foundations
Randy Green
Scott Harris

Adam Hellegers
Andrew Klaber
Greg Litt
Shara Perlman
Linda & Mark Posner
Manuel Rajunov
Dan Senor
Michael Staenberg
Peter Stern
Marc Sternberg
Rada Sumareva
Elisha Wiesel
Jill and Josh Zucker

Listen to the Jewish Star Albums from Season 1 & 2