Shabbat Shira 2020

Unfortunately, we are writing today to let you know that we have decided to cancel Shabbat Shira 2020.
At OSRUI and the URJ, our chief concern is for the safety, health, and well-being of the participants and staff of our programs. As such, as part of our normal due diligence, we continue to closely monitor the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and our leaders are in close communication with leading public health officials and medical authorities, both locally and globally. Given the situation in the United States it is clear that we won’t be able to gather in person in October this year.

Shabbat Shira

Our music programs are the premier Jewish worship and music conferences of the Reform Movement, serving diverse populations from a variety of movements, communities, and congregations. They focus on teaching songleading for religious school as well as leading and crafting meaningful worship, thinking about engagement, music to build community, and broadening our reach using music and prayer as our focus.  This year’s program will bring the best in professional songleaders and worship teachers to hundreds of participants.

Created by Debbie Friedman (z"l), Cantor Jeff Klepper and Jerry Kaye, among others, OSRUI’s music programs provide you with the opportunity to improve your skills as you learn from the finest Jewish music innovators and composers, as well as meaningful sharing of repertoire, best principles and practices from among the participants.

Cantor Rosalie Will, Program Director
Faculty to be announced in May 2020.

For more information or to be added to the Hava Nashira or Shabbat Shira mailing lists
please email

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

Tuition and Fees for 2020: Tuition includes meals from Wednesday dinner through Sunday breakfast, lodging for four nights, and all in-camp programming. Please note that there are no private rooms are available on camp for this event.  If you prefer a single room, please choose offsite housing; see below for information).

  • $885 for semi-private housing in the Bayit, Lodge, and Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center (with 2 twin beds and private or shared bath)
  • $750 for semi-private housing in the Nerenberg Family Center (2 twin beds with common washrooms down the hall, separate for men and women)
  • $595 for dormitory housing (separate for men and women, featuring bunk beds for 20 participants in each cabin, with adjacent washrooms and showers)
  • $495 for offsite housing 

New This Year!  Offsite Housing.  You are welcome to stay offsite and attend Shabbat Shira.  You will need to make your own offsite reservations; you may stay anywhere but we have reserved a room block at the Staybridge Suites in Oconomowoc; we will provide shuttle service to and from the hotel periodically throughout each day of the program.  If you stay elsewhere, you will be responsible for getting yourself to and from camp.  Single rooms at the Staybridge Suites are $119 and double rooms are $129 per night.  Rooms are available October 28 - November 1.  You can reserve your room using this link - Staybridge Suites URJ Block - or by calling 262-200-2900 and using the group code: URJ.  Please book your room early to secure the discounted room rates.

How to Register
Online registration opens in Spring 2020.  You'll be able to click on the registration link above.  Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is filled.  The registration form will give you the option of paying via credit card with Visa, MasterCard or Amex, or finalizing your registration by mailing a check made payable to Union for Reform Judaism. Please mail your check to our business office:

OSRUI Shabbat Shira
1121 Lake Cook Road, Suite D
Deerfield, IL  60015

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation message via email. Check your junk or spam folder if you do not get a confirmation email promptly.

Accommodations are provided in the Schaalman Lodge, the Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center and the Bayit. All three buildings feature rooms with two twin beds and private baths -- a few Bayit rooms share baths with an adjoining room. The fee includes housing, meals, and all programming. Housing is also available in the Nerenberg Family Center at a slightly lower price -- the Nerenberg rooms have 2 or 3 twin beds.  They do not have private baths -- walk down the hall to the centrally located common washrooms, separate for males and females.
This event takes place at URJ 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.

Van transportation from the Milwaukee Airport to OSRUI and back -- participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Milwaukee Airport (MKE) and OSRUI.  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. 

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 (a Chicago suburb) to the Milwaukee Airport, where you can then book a ride on a van to OSRUI.

Please understand that OSRUI is unable to coordinate rides for participants.  We encourage those who are looking to offer or share rides to OSRUI to indicate their interest by posting in the Hava Nashira or Shabbat Shira Facebook groups.

If for any reason you need to cancel your registration, please do so by emailing the OSRUI Program Team at The refund policy is as follows:

  • Cancel by September 1st:  Your registration fee will be refunded, less a $125 cancellation fee.
  • Cancel September 2nd - October 1st:  50% of your registration fee will be refunded.
  • Cancel after October 1st:  We are unable to issue refunds except in exceptional circumstances.

 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

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