I remember my first CAJE Conference in 1999 in Columbus, OH. I had just started playing Jewish music and this was the very first Jewish conference I had ever attended. It was an overwhelmingly awesome experience being exposed to not only the greats in Jewish music, but a world of Jewish educators, all passionate about learning, growing, and networking with likeminded people. For the next several years, I attended CAJE in various locations around the country and, at each conference, experienced the present pulse of Jewish life as well as Jewish leaders envisioning the future. Then CAJE went on hiatus for a while and ultimately, NewCAJE was born!
I had heard wonderful feedback about NewCAJE and, this year, finally returned to NewCAJE to experience first-hand the excitement and joy everyone has been buzzing about.
As I traversed the North Central College campus in Naperville, IL, it was wonderful seeing so many old friends AND new faces scrambling to get to and from NewCAJE workshops. The sense of community was palpable with late night Jewish music jam sessions, lots of laughter and even more hugs. On Tuesday morning, I led my RTKS Jewish educator framework workshop from Songleader Boot Camp along with my Head-to-Toes Body Dynamics workshop also from Songleader Boot Camp. You can check out video clips from both of my NewCAJE workshops.
For me, one of the greatest highlights was spending time with some of my Jewish Rock Radio artist friends – Joe Buchanan, Jay Rapoport, Naomi Less, Abbie Strauss, Doni Zasloff, Eric Lindberg, Ellen Allard, and so many more. The Tuesday evening concert, produced by Jewish Rock Radio was a true celebration of Jewish educators, Jewish leadership, Jewish music, and the extraordinary NewCAJE ruach. I’m back out on the road, but still buzzing from my first NewCAJE experience. Here are some great NewCAJE Jewish music concert pics taken by our JRR media rockstar, Zach Dalin.
Huge thanks and a big ‘ole mazal tov to NewCAJE founder and president, Cherie Koller-Fox, for keeping NewCAJE alive and for making me feel so welcome and included in the NewCAJE family.