By Channa Schachet-Briskin, Participant in the Songleading Major
I’ve always wanted to be a NFTY Songleader. My dad is a cantor and at the temple he works at, I’ve been his junior apprentice. In the summer of 2012, he and my mother sent me to Kutz for an event called Nashir. There, Alan Goodis and Deb Winter taught aspiring Jewish guitar players like me how to effectively lead services, teach songs, and quickly pull songs out of our pockets. I was the youngest person there, so I knew I had to learn as much as possible to be as good as the older songleaders. So I went to the second Nashir in Seattle and was again the youngest and the only person from the East Coast.
Alan Goodis highly suggested furthering my leading opportunities and convinced my parents to send me to Kutz. The day before I left for camp, the lead songleader of my region called and asked if I would like to be on the Regional Songleading Chair.
I was shocked to see how many people signed up for Songleading Major. It was like half the camp! But now that we’re 3 weeks in, all forty-five of us have learned so much together and we really are like a family. Our major teachers, Spike and Deb, have taught us about Fenergy, half-capos, voice levels, human pianos, teaching in the right environment, and more. It’s really awesome to be a leader of leaders.
Coming to Kutz was one of the best decisions in my songleading career!