Machon Shira – Cancelled

This Program Has Been Cancelled

At 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.  Based on their recommendations, and in keeping with decisions made by organizations similar to ours, we’re writing today with an important update amid this rapidly evolving situation.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to terminate plans to host Machon Shira, March 26-29 at OSRUI.

We are working on plans for how to offer the important training and preparation that Machon Shira would have included and we will be in touch with more details as we can.

The NEW Songleader Training Event for Camp and Campus Young Adult Songleaders

Thurs., March 26 - Sun., March 29

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.  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.  The program will be led by Cantor Rosalie Will, Dan Nichols and Alan Goodis,

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.

For more information or to be added to the Machon Shira mailing list, please contact Rachel Lyon at 847-239-6974 or

Registration Fee and Housing

Nerenberg Family Center - $525.  Double rooms with communal bathrooms (separate for men and women) down the hall.
Dormitory Housing - $400.  Winterized cabins with bunk beds, housing about 10 participants in each cabin, with communal bathrooms (separate for men and women) in the building.
Please note:  There is not a single room supplement option for this program.

The fee for Machon Shira includes lodging, meals and all programming and materials. Semi-private housing is available in the Nerenberg Family Center (rooms with 2 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 18 participants in each cabin, with adjacent washrooms and showers. Read more about the various categories of housing.

Machon Shira 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.

Bus transportation will be provided between OSRUI and MKE.

Arrival on Thursday, March 26th:  The program starts at 6:00 p.m.   Your flight should arrive no later than 4:30 p.m. if you are taking the bus from MKE to OSRUI.  If you are arriving after 4:30,  you are responsible for your own transportation. See info about van transit below.

Departure on Sunday, March 29th:   The bus will depart camp around 12:00 noon and arrive at MKE at 1:00 p.m.  If you need to be at MKE earlier, you are responsible for your own transportation.  See info about van transit below.

Van transportation from the Milwaukee Airport to OSRUI and back -- 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.  Make sure to mention that you are attending an event at OSRUI and they should apply a discount to your 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 to the Milwaukee Airport, where you can then get a ride on a van to OSRUI.

Please understand that OSRUI is unable to coordinate rides for participants who are unable to take the scheduled buses.

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 February 3:  Your registration fee will be refunded, less a $125 cancellation fee.
  • Cancel February 4 - March 1:  50% of your registration fee will be refunded.
  • Cancel after March 1:  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 participants of OSRUI music programs, 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.