ABOUT JEWISH STAR

Jewish Star identifies, educates, and elevates talented teens and young adults (ages 14-27) with a passion for Jewish music and leadership, providing them with training, mentorship, and networking opportunities with some of the top artists and educators in the field of Jewish music, as well as a supportive community of like-minded peers.

Interested teens and young adults create a video submission and fill out a short form, and upon entering automatically become Jewish Stars, gaining access to a wealth of resources and learning opportunities. Additionally,  participants are matched to one or more Jewish Star programs and opportunities  that are designed to support their growth and help them identify and meet their goals of impacting their communities and the Jewish world. Mentorship and skills-training opportunities are led by the likes of Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, Jacob Spike Kraus, Eliana Light, Rick Recht, Chava Mirel, Naomi Less, Cantor Abbie Strauss, Eric Hunker, Charlie Kramer, and Joe Buchanan!

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.

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

Interested teens and young adults (ages 14-27) submit a performance video and fill out a short entry form, either individually or as a group; participants are then matched to the Jewish Star programs and opportunities that will best help grow their skills and leadership that year. 

Once you join Jewish Star, you are in for life! Every year, you can enter again to apply for new/additional program opportunities until you are over the age of 27.

In order to be eligible to enter Jewish Star, you must meet the following criteria:

-You must be Jewish
-You must be between the ages of 14 and 27 as of Oct. 1, 2024
-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

RECOMMEND SOMEONE FOR JEWISH STAR

Who to Recommend: Think about all the Jewish organizations you are connected to (e.g. synagogues, camps, youth groups, Jewish music groups) and generate a list of teens and young adults who are participants or alumni. Jewish Stars are typically singers and/or instrumentalists who are active in their synagogue, camp, youth group, school, and/or campus Jewish student organization. They can be current or aspiring songleaders or they might simply love music and are exploring many passions and interests, including Jewish leadership. 

Why Recommend a Jewish Star? Jewish Star is completely free — everyone who enters gets invited to exclusive leadership skills-training opportunities led by incredible mentors in the field of Jewish music and leadership, as well as an invitation to the Jewish Star Community of Practice WhatsApp group where hundreds of like-minded peers share ideas, music, questions, and more. No one gets turned away, and once you’re in — you’re in!

Jewish Star is an initiative of Judaism Alive.

The goal of each new season of Jewish Star is to give each person who enters access to programs, tools, and opportunities that will 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 best grow their skills and leadership. 

All Jewish Stars who enter will be considered for the following opportunities. All Jewish Star opportunities are completely optional, but highly encouraged!

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 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 added 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.

JEWISH STAR + 92ND STREET Y

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 STAR: SEASON TIMELINE

The SLBC National Conference is where Jewish Stars connect, network, and find inspiration, motivation, and — most importantly — community.

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
*All dates subject to change


CELEBRITY MENTORS

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

MEET OUR SEASON 6 ALL-STARS!

Welcome and Mazel Tov to the most Jewish Stars EVER! You are rays of light in these difficult times.

18 & UNDER ALL-STARS

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

OVER 18 ALL-STARS

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)

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

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 submission to be accepted, and one group member is required to submit the video on behalf of the group.

You have 2 options for your video submission to enter Jewish Star:

1) Create a basic video on your phone of you performing/leading a song
2) Submit a recent pre-existing video of you performing/leading a song

ALL videos must meet the following criteria:

 

    • The song you perform should be a cover or original song appropriate for a Jewish setting. This includes secular or Jewish music. The written form has space for you to explain why you chose your song and how it connects to Judaism.
    • Your performance can be accompanied by instruments or a cappella. An instrument can be played by you or an accompanist, or a backing track may be used.
    • If you are primarily an instrumentalist, you may perform a piece of instrumental music that does not require singing.
    • Your video may include other vocalists or instrumentalists so long as your talent is prominently featured and very easy to distinguish from the other performers. Otherwise, you may wish to submit your entry as a group, provided the other performers also meet the Jewish Star eligibility 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 programs opportunities. If you are unsure whether your video will meet these requirements, contact steven@jewishrockradio.com .

    • Video Length - Your video should not exceed 4 minutes
    • Raw Audio - Your video must be recorded live with raw, unedited audio (i.e. no lip-syncing, audio editing, or auto-tune)
    • Video Editing - Video submissions must be recorded with a single camera; do not submit a highly produced video. Synagogue livestream multi-camera recordings are acceptable.
    • Group Submissions - Groups may create videos asynchronously, meaning individual group members can record parts separately and combine them through video software before submitting the final video — reminder that no additional video or audio editing is permitted

Jewish Star strongly recommends adhering to the following steps when creating a video submission. The goal of these instructions is to make sure we see you, hear you, and get to know you, AND to make entering Jewish Star as simple and easy as possible for you.

    • Choose a quiet, well-lit location to record
    • Position your device to record your video horizontally/in landscape mode.
    • Say your name and the song you’ll be performing. No other introduction is necessary!
    • Do a quick test of your performance to check the audio and video quality and make sure we can see and hear you/all performers clearly. If you are playing an instrument, check that it does not overpower your voice
    • Resist the urge for perfection! That's not what Jewish Star is about. Limit your number of takes and keep it simple and stress-free
    • You are unique! Show us your personality and energy — and have fun!

Participants will be matched to Jewish Star programs and 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)

NOTEParticipants do not need to be strong in all of these areas — most Jewish Stars are not — and therefore no one should be discouraged from entering based on their ability to meet all evaluation criteria. Participants are NOT judged during this process; they are 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:

ENTER JEWISH STAR NOW!

Submissions for Season 7 coming soon!

FAQ

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. Jewish Star's mission is to help teens and young adults recognize and grow their talent and leadership abilities and see the profound ways they can impact their Jewish community and Jewish communities across North America. Jewish Star is an initiative of Judaism Alive, 501(c)3

 

Jewish teens and young adults ages 14-27 living in North America.

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 form 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 and free SLBC registration, are completely optional, albeit VERY exciting opportunities for all Jewish Star participants.

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 that are not covered by scholarship, including travel and lodging. Most times, synagogues, camps, and Federations are able to provide additional funds to support young Jewish leaders to attend SLBC.

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 release form will be emailed directly to your parent or guardian for their consent.

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 receive a package of opportunities that includes:

    • Widespread recognition on Jewish Rock Radio including social media, press, and website
    • Scholarship to attend 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

Use this form to share their name with the Jewish Star team and we will be happy to follow up directly!

If you meet all the other eligibility requirements, then yes! Jewish Star programs and opportunities are designed to support you as your skills and leadership evolve. Jewish Star is fiercely committed to providing year-over-year support to participants who want to grow as Jewish leaders.

Yes! There is no one way to be a Jewish music leader. Jewish Star is for anyone with musical talent with a passion for Jewish leadership. On your submission form, when talking about your goals, you are encouraged to share how you currently and plan to use your instrumental performance to lead in Jewish spaces/communities.

Yes! Jewish Star programs such as webinars, the Mentoring Program, and the SLBC National Conference 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.

Nope! 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 Submission Instructions above to make sure you choose a song that is appropriate for Jewish Star.

Yes! Group submissions are welcome and encouraged. On the submission form, you will be asked about your group's history of or intention to lead/perform together. This is an important factor when Jewish Star is matching you to the best opportunities for your group. You can also record a video asynchronously, meaning that you can make and edit a video together with someone if you're unable to be in the same physical location. When you are ready to enter, be sure that each member of your group submits a form; only one of you is required to provide the video submission.

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.

THE IMPACT OF JEWISH STAR

Hear what Jewish Star Mentors have to say about their experience and why mentorship is so important:

JEWISH STAR SUPPORTERS

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 season Jewish Star. 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.

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