OSRUI is the year-round home of Reform Jewish music.
Generations of songleaders, clergy, educators, and lovers of music have gathered in Oconomowoc to learn, sing, and be together.
While OSRUI has a deep history of music in our summer camp program, our year-round music programs started in 1992 with the creation of Hava Nashira by Debbie Friedman (z”l), Cantor Jeff Klepper and Jerry Kaye, among others. Hava Nashira consistently fills to capacity and has led to two additional music programs: Shabbat Shira and Machon Shira, offering different experiences for a range of attendees.
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Hava Nashira is the premier Jewish worship and music conference of the Reform Movement, serving diverse populations from a variety of movements, communities, and congregations. Hava Nashira focuses 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. Hava Nashira brings the best in professional songleaders and worship teachers to hundreds of participants every year in late spring.
Shabbat Shira is a Jewish music retreat which brings together those who love to teach and lead music, and those who love to sing, for 3 days of community, learning, and Jewish music. This program provides an opportunity to refresh and rejuvenate through relationship building and joyful singing and takes place in late autumn each year.
Machon Shira provides training similar to that of our flagship music program Hava Nashira, but with more time dedicated to deeper learning and focused attention, specifically targeted for camp, campus, and young adult songleaders. Participants will have more time to prepare for the summer, work on their technique, truly learn the songs they are to teach, and plan with their senior leadership to clarify goals. Machon Shira is open to adults, 18 years and older. If you are a teen not old enough for Machon Shira and are interested in songleading training, check out NFTY’s Nashir: Teen Songleading Institute.