Hava Nashira Songleading Workshop

The annual songleading and music workshop of OSRUI & the URJ

Wed., May 31, 3:45 p.m. to
Sun., June 4, 2017, 11:15 a.m.

If you teach or lead music in camps, congregations, or community centers, Hava Nashira is for you. Created by Debbie Friedman z"l and Cantor Jeff Klepper among others, Hava Nashira provides you with the opportunity to improve your skills as you learn from the finest Jewish music innovators and composers. The 2017 faculty will include: Ellen Allard, Merri Lovinger Arian, Noah Aronson, Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Alan Goodis, Rabbi Noam Katz, Cantor Jeff Klepper, Shira Kline, Josh Nelson, Dan Nichols, and special guest faculty in 2017: Rabbi Esteban Gottfried. Read more about the 2017 faculty. 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.

Shavuot: Those who wish may arrive one day early, at no additional charge, to observe Shavuot at OSRUI. We are very pleased that Cantor Ellen Dreskin will coordinate the pre-Hava Nashira Shavuot study and observance along with Josh Warshawsky. Schedule: Tuesday -- Check-in starting at 3 p.m., Dinner 6:30 p.m., Ma'ariv 9:00 p.m., Shavuot opening ritual followed by late-night study options 10:00 p.m. Wednesday -- Shavuot morning service.

What's Hava Nashira like? Download the Hava Nashira 2016 schedule. You will receive the 2017 schedule upon arrival. This schedule should give you a good idea of how the program is structured.

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). Download the updated Faculty Course Descriptions and make your choices!

For more information or to be added to the Hava Nashira or Shabbat Shira mailing lists, please contact Barbara Gordon at 847-239-6984 or bgordon@urj.org. 

Important Information for Registered Participants


Recording, photography and videotaping: You are permitted to audio record sessions for your personal reference. Please no active photography or videography during worship. You MAY NOT distribute or post any recordings from Hava Nashira in any way unless expressed otherwise by each faculty member or session leader – this includes sharing via the internet. Please no live broadcasting – including snapchat.

OSRUI provides linens, a blanket, pillow and towels. If you are staying in dormitory cabins, please note that the dorms are NOT heated. We encourage you to bring a sleeping bag or an extra blanket for warmth if you are concerned that one blanket won’t be enough. You should bring your own toiletries, a flashlight,  guitar (optional), warm clothes for the evenings, raincoat and boots, and your own reusable water bottle. Dress at camp is casual.

Telephone numbers: Please call the OSRUI business office at 847-239-6984 and leave a message which will be forwarded to us at camp. In case of emergency only, the phone number at camp is 262-567-6277. Please do not call this number at night as we do not have a night desk – you will wake up our staff!

Weather -- for those who are interested in the weather, the zip code of the camp is 53066. You can check weather forecasts online.

Sales on Saturday night -- CDs from the faculty will be available for purchase as well as some items from the OSRUI canteen. Any participants who wish to sell their own wares can do so also at this time.

Arrival Information


Those coming for the URJ and Ramah camp songleaders track and arriving early in observance of Shavuot, check in is on Tuesday, May 30, beginning at 3 p.m.

The URJ and Ramah songleader program starts at 3:30 p.m., dinner is at 6:30, and Ma'ariv at 9:00 p.m. The Shavuot opening ritual followed by late-night study options are at 10:00 p.m. There will be a Shavuot morning service on Wednesday.

Check in for the regular Hava Nashira program is on Wednesday, May 31, beginning at 12:00 p.m. in the Lodge. There will be an opening reception at 3:45 p.m., followed by a welcome program at 4:30 p.m. Hava Nashira will conclude on Sunday morning, June 4, at 11:15 a.m.

Priority Early Registration for Newcomers
The Hava Nashira faculty and OSRUI staff are committed to providing the opportunity to attend Hava Nashira and improve songleading and music skills to as many songleaders, music teachers, rabbis, cantors, students and others as possible. Therefore, we offer priority early registration: to those who have never attended Hava Nashira or who have attended only once before. Newcomer registration opened on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at 4 pm Eastern / 3 pm Central / 2 pm Mountain / 1 pm Pacific time, for a limited number of spaces in the program, and closed as soon as those spaces were filled. The registration links below will activate at that time. Newcomers who were not able to sign up at that time are encouraged to sign up during regular Hava Nashira registration. These newcomer spots are reserved for those who teach or lead music in camps, congregations, or community centers.

Regular registration will open on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at 4 pm Eastern / 3 pm Central / 2 pm Mountain / 1 pm Pacific time. The registration links below will activate at that time. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is filled. The program fills quickly. Note we return to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday morning, March 12.

After you register online, please finalize your registration by taking care of payment.

Credit card processing! We accept Visa and MasterCard. The registration form will ask whether you want to mail a check or charge your tuition to a credit card. After you click “submit,” a form where you can fill out credit card information will appear, EVEN IF YOU ARE PAYING BY CHECK. If you are mailing a check, just close this form/window. Your registration will be processed when you first click “submit,” so adding credit card info will NOT add time to filling out your registration form. Note that credit card processing can only be used for the full amount of tuition. If you are going to submit checks for partial tuition or scholarship, the balance must be paid via check as well.

If you are going to pay by check, please make your check payable to OSRUI and mail to: OSRUI/Hava Nashira, 1121 Lake Cook Road, Suite D, Deerfield IL 60015, within 10 days.

If you are going to be a songleader at a URJ or Ramah camp, fill out the separate URJ / Ramah songleaders' track registration form. URJ and Ramah songleaders staying in dormitory housing may register at any time. Note that the Ramah program officially ends at noon Friday due to the customs of the Ramah community as Shabbat will not be traditionally observed. Ramah participants are welcome to stay through Shabbat if they would like to as an individual, not as a Ramah staff person.

Two-part registration: first you will complete a form that asks for your name, address, email address, phone #s, name of roommate if you want to specify one, number of times you have attended Hava Nashira and your age. After you submit that form, you will have until April 1 (or 7 days after you register) to fill out the second part of your registration, indicating your intensive and elective choices, diet issues and other information. We hope this will give participants the time to make deliberate choices.

When you are preparing to register, please have the following information ready: name, email address, day and alternate phone numbers, name of preferred roommate (optional), and the name of the synagogue, camp or organization you work for. You will also be asked to describe your primary music role (songleader, teacher, cantor etc.), and your age category.

MakeItaBridgeFund4Make It a Bridge Fund Scholarship funds for Hava Nashira are available thanks to the generosity of Philip and Barbara Meltzer and the Make It a Bridge Fund, founded in memory of their son Steve Meltzer. Steve was a lifelong URJ camper, staff member, youth advisor, teacher, songleader, songwriter, and performer who attended Hava Nashira for many years. Steve died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 45. The Make It a Bridge Fund, named after one of Steve’s original compositions, was set up to provide scholarship assistance to those attending Hava Nashira, an event that Steve loved so much.SteveMeltzerSM

Steve Meltzer Scholarships are based on financial need, and with limited exceptions are available only for first-time attendees and only to those registering for dormitory housing. First, ask for assistance from your congregation, camp, employer or Hillel. We assume that they are the primary source of funding for assistance for this program. As we have limited resources, most of the grants given out have been $100 per person. To apply, please fill out this form.

There will be no increase in tuition for Bayit/Lodge/Soref semi-private housing for Hava Nashira 2017. Fees for 2017 will be $810 for semi-private housing in the Bayit, Lodge, and Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center; $690 in the Nerenberg Family Center; and $565 for dormitory housing or for those staying off-site. No private rooms are available.

After you register online, please finalize your registration by taking care of payment.
Credit card processing! The registration form will ask whether you want to mail a check or charge your tuition to a credit card. After you click “submit,” a form where you can fill out credit card information will appear, EVEN IF YOU ARE PAYING BY CHECK. If you are mailing a check, just close this form/window. Your registration will be processed when you first click “submit,” so adding credit card info will NOT add time to filling out your registration form. Note that credit card processing can only be used for the full amount of tuition. If you are going to submit checks for partial tuition or scholarship, the balance must be paid via check as well.
If you are going to pay by check, please make your check payable to OSRUI and mail to: OSRUI/Hava Nashira, 1121 Lake Cook Road, Suite D, Deerfield IL 60015, within 10 days.

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 -- Two buses will be picking up URJ and Ramah songleaders at the Milwaukee airport. The first bus will depart at 1:00 p.m. and the second bus will depart at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. 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 and Ramah songleaders are responsible for making their own reservations for van transit back to MKE. 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 arriving later Tuesday or Wednesday:

For those arriving for Shavuot -- we have limited space for participants to join the 2:30 URJ/Ramah bus. Email Barbara at bgordon@urj.org if you are interested. Although we considered offering buses later in the afternoon for participants, regretfully there was not enough interest to run them. Please make your own arrangements using GO Riteway van service.

Van transportation from the Milwaukee Airport to OSRUI and back -- all 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 quickly 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
A number of participants have mentioned they are flying into Chicago O’Hare Airport. 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, Illinois to the Milwaukee Airport. We encourage those who are looking to offer or share rides to OSRUI to indicate their interest on a google sheet that has been posted to 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 2018 is scheduled for May 30 - June 3, 2018.
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.