Hava Nashira 2019

The annual songleading and music workshop of OSRUI & the URJ

Wed., May 29 - Sun., June 2

If you teach or lead music in camps, congregations, or community centers, Hava Nashira is for you. Created by Debbie Friedman z"l, Cantor Jeff Klepper and Jerry Kaye, among others, Hava Nashira provides you with the opportunity to improve your skills as you learn from the finest Jewish music innovators and composers. Previous faculty has included: Ellen Allard, Merri Arian, Noah Aronson, Cantor Rosalie Boxt -- faculty coordinator, Rabbi Ken Chasen, Alan Goodis, Cantor Jeff Klepper, Shira Kline, Josh Nelson and Dan Nichols. Read about the 2018 faculty here. The program is open to adults, college age and older. If you are a teen not old enough for Hava Nashira and are interested in songleading training, check out NFTY's Nashir: Teen Songleading Institute.

What's Hava Nashira like? Download the 2018 Hava Nashira Schedule. This schedule should give you a good idea of how the program is structured. The 2019 Schedule will be given to participants upon arrival.  

Intensives and Electives. Participants have the choice of taking two intensives (2.25 hour in-depth learning sessions) and three electives (1-1.5 hour shorter learning sessions). Click below for descriptions from last year:
Intensive Descriptions 2018
Elective Descriptions 2018

For more information or to be added to the Hava Nashira or Shabbat Shira mailing lists, please contact Rachel Lyon at 847-239-6974 or osruiprograms@urj.org. 

Registration for Hava Nashira 2019 will open in March.  Additional details about tuition fees, registration dates, early registration for newcomers, scholarships, faculty etc. will be available early in January.


The fee for Hava Nashira includes lodging, meals and all programming and materials. Semi-private housing is available in the Bayit, Lodge and Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center (rooms with 2 twin beds and private or shared bath); and in the Nerenberg Family Center (rooms with 2 or 3 twin beds with common washrooms at the end of the hall, separate for men and women). Lodging is also available in dormitory cabins (separate for men and women), featuring bunk beds for 24 participants in each cabin, with adjacent washrooms and showers. Read more about the various categories of housing.

Hava Nashira takes place at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, the regional camp of the Union for Reform Judaism in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, located between Milwaukee and Madison. Attendees are responsible for their own transportation to camp. The nearest airport is Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE - Mitchell Field), a 50-minute drive from camp. The best time to arrive at the Milwaukee Airport for the regular program on Wednesday is between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The camp is also a 2-hour drive from O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

Buses to OSRUI for URJ and Ramah songleaders on Tuesday -- Bus transportation from the Milwaukee airport to OSRUI will be provided at specified times on Tuesday.  More details will be available in the Spring. This bus service is included in the URJ/Ramah tuition. If you are arriving at another time, you are responsible for your own transportation. See info about van transit below.

URJ and Ramah songleaders return to the airport -- URJ songleaders are responsible for their own transportation back to the Milwaukee airport on Sunday. The link to make a reservation is under Quick Links in the right-hand column. A reminder, you can save money by making a reservation for more than one person at a time if you are leaving with others.  

Transit for all other participants:

Van transportation from the Milwaukee Airport to OSRUI and back -- all other participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Milwaukee Airport (MKE) and OSRUI. We recommend using GO Riteway van service. If you are flying on the same flight as someone else, you may find it less expensive to call and make one reservation for both of you. We strongly discourage you from making a joint reservation for you and others landing in Milwaukee at similar times as any flight delays for one of you will delay the entire van reservation. The van service does an excellent job of grouping people together on vans and transporting them to camp. If you have trouble with the link, call the van service directly at 800-236-5450.

Driving directions -- You can find them in the right-hand column under Quick Links. Use the directions for Retreats and Special Programs.

Additional transit options
Some participants choose to fly into Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD). There are a few options to get to the Milwaukee Airport from there. There are hourly bus shuttles from O'Hare to the Milwaukee Airport, and there are also Amtrak trains that run from downtown Chicago and Glenview to the Milwaukee Airport, where you can then get a ride on van to OSRUI. We encourage those who are looking to offer or share rides to OSRUI to indicate their interest by posting in the Hava Nashira facebook group.

There is a $125 cancellation fee if you cancel on or before May 1st. Cancellations must be made in writing. There are no refunds for cancellations received after May 1st.

 If you are on facebook and would like to communicate with and share resources with other participants, go to:
Hava Nashira / Shabbat Shira facebook page
Hava Nashira facebook group

For those of you who come to Hava Nashira for the community, for the music, or for an inspirational weekend, more so than for song-leading and educational opportunities, you might want to consider our fall music program Shabbat Shira instead.

Hava Nashira usually starts the Wednesday after Memorial Day every year.

*Hava Nashira is a proprietary program name and may not be used for other programs or events without express written consent.

This program is underwritten in part through a generous grant from the Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust.