Avodah Weekend for Alumni and Friends 2020 – CANCELLED

At the URJ, our chief concern is for the safety, health, and well-being of the participants and staff of our programs. 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.  Based on their recommendations, and in keeping with decisions made by organizations similar to ours, we have decided to cancel the Avodah Weekend for Alumni and Friends, May 15-17 at OSRUI.

Avodah Weekend for Alumni and Friends
May 14/15  --  May 17

Grab your camp friends, roll up your sleeves and join us as we prepare for OSRUI 2020!

This weekend will allow our year-round facilities team to get more done before camp opens and help get OSRUI's summer off to an even better start.

Work Schedule:  We’ll be working all day Friday, part of Saturday, and Sunday til 1 p.m.

Arrive Thursday or Friday:
Option 1: Arrive Thursday evening – check-in 7-10 p.m.
Option 2: Arrive Friday morning – check-in 9-10 a.m.
Option 3: Arrive Friday in time for Shabbat – check-in starts at 4 p.m.

Departure:  The program ends Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Choose from a variety of projects, which may include:

  • Painting
  • Facilities Maintenance
  • Light handiwork and assembly of small projects
  • Grounds and Gardening, and
  • Preparing our B’tai T’filah (outdoor chapels) for the summer

In addition to working, we will celebrate Shabbat at camp, including Kabbalat Shabbat services, a delicious dinner (remember Shabbat chicken and potatoes?) and Shabbat Shira. Saturday night will include Havdalah, folk night, and a fun evening program!

The Avodah Weekend is open to all adults, 21 and over (whether or not you were an Avodahnik) and the program will happen rain or shine. Whatever your abilities and interests, we have a place for you. You’ll be able to tell us about your skills and preferences when you register.

Thanks in advance for your hard work; we can't wait to have a fun weekend at camp together!

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

Registration and Housing

Registration includes lodging for two or three nights, all meals (Friday morning breakfast through Sunday morning brunch), supplies and social programming.  This program does not have a set fee to attend.  Instead, we are asking that all registrants consider a meaningful donation to OSRUI, with a suggested minimum of $180 per person or $72 for recent alumni.
Accommodations are provided in the Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center, the Schaalman Lodge, and the Bayit. To accommodate as many alumni and friends as possible, we encourage participants to share a room.

How to Register
Register online by clicking the registration button above.  Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is filled.  Payment is via credit card only.

The fee for the Avodah Weekend for Alumni and Friends includes lodging, meals and all programming and materials. Semi-private housing is available in the Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center, the Schaalman Lodge, and the Bayit (all buildings feature double rooms with private baths; a few rooms in the Bayit share a bath).

The Avodah Weekend for Alumni and Friends 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. The nearest airport is Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE - Mitchell Field), a 50-minute drive from camp. The camp is also a 2-hour drive from O’Hare Airport in Chicago.


  • Option 1:  Arrive Thursday evening, May 16th – check-in will be 7:00-10:00 p.m.
  • Option 2:  Arrive Friday morning, May 17th – check-in will be 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • Option 3:  Arrive Friday, May 17th in time for Shabbat – check-in start at 4:00 p.m.  


Departure: The program ends on Sunday, May 17th at 1:00 pm.

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 arrange for van service to OSRUI.

If for any reason you need to cancel your registration, please do so by emailing the OSRUI Program Team at osruiprograms@urj.org.