Union for Reform Judaism    

OSRUI's Newest Music Experience for Adults!
October 23-26, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 4:00 pm - Sunday, October 26, 2014, 11:00 am

A celebration of song and prayer featuring new music and old favorites
along with the joy of community.

Shabbat Shira 2013 Featured


Shira Kline, Julie Silver, Duvid Swirsky
& Craig Taubman

along with

Merri Arian

Merri Lovinger Arian, program coordinator

Scroll down to read about the 2013 faculty. 2014 faculty to be announced.

Learn new songs and enjoy old favorites.
The weekend will be filled with music, community, and prayer, along with time to share.
Come home energized and inspired, and with new repertoire!

Read what previous Shabbat Shira® participants said about the program:
"A great opportunity for spiritual renewal and making community through music."

"One of the highlights was to spend relaxed time with the faculty."
"We had an opportunity to get to know the faculty as human beings rather than performers."
"I was enormously impressed by the faculty's musical ability,
and willingness to share, both musically and personally."

"I had a wonderful, far more intimate experience than I was expecting ...if you're interested in a relaxing, low pressure, spiritual weekend, Shabbat Shira is the place for you."
" I am exhausted in the best way, filled with so much love, and eternally grateful for the experience I just had, the amazing friends I met, and the teachers that guided me on my way."

The fee for Shabbat Shira includes lodging, meals and all programming and materials. Semi-private housing is available in the Lodge and Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center (rooms with 2 twin beds and private bath); and in the Nerenberg Family Center (rooms with 2 twin beds with communal washrooms at the end of the hall). 2014 fees will be the same as in 2013: $475 for semi-private housing in the Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center or Lodge; and $400 in the Nerenberg Family Center. A limited number of private rooms are available for $100 additional.

How to Register
We estimate that online registration will open July of 2014. At that time, registration links will be active at the bottom of this page. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is filled. After you register online, finalize your registration by mailing your check made payable to OSRUI to: Shabbat Shira/OSRUI, 1121 Lake Cook Road, Suite D, Deerfield IL 60015.

We regret that we cannot accept payment by credit card as we are trying to keep the costs as reasonable as possible.

Shabbat Shira takes place at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, the camp and meeting center of the Reform movement 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). The best time to arrive at the Milwaukee Airport is between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. The camp is also a 2-hour drive from O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

Van Service to Camp
We recommend 
GO Riteway which offers van service to the camp at a discounted rate from the Milwaukee Airport (Mitchell Field).

Shabbat Shira® Cancellation Policy
There is a $75 cancellation fee. All cancellations must be made in writing. We regret we cannot give refunds for cancellations less than three days (72 hours) in advance of the program.

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 .

Hava Nashira 2014 is scheduled for May 28-June 1, 2014
Shabbat Shira 2015 is tentatively scheduled for October 22-25, 2015

Shabbat Shira Faculty bios

Merri ArianMerri Lovinger Arian serves on the faculty of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She teaches both cantorial and rabbinic students, offering courses in Music Education, Conducting, Congregational Singing, Worship, and Contemporary Congregational Repertoire. Merri previously served as Director of Music for Synagogue 2000 (S2K), a leading trans-denominational institute developing models for revitalizing synagogue life, and has more recently served as Synagogue 3000's consultant on liturgical arts at HUC-JIR in New York. In that role, Merri supervises rabbinic and cantorial students in creating worship collaboratively at the College-Institute. She holds an MA in Teaching, a BFA in Music Education, and a Certificate in Music Therapy. Merri edited R'fuah Sh'leimah : Songs of Healing. Her recordings include Nefesh : Songs for the Soul, a CD for S2K, and NFTY in Harmony, an album with an accompanying songbook of original choral arrangements. She has written on "Music, Prayer and Sacred Community," and on the educational value of youth choirs.

Shira KlineShira Kline, aka ShirLaLa, is an award-winning New York-based performer, music educator, and worship leader. She travels across the country and internationally delivering a dynamic, interactive program of joy and spirit, story and song. Raised in the world of music and the tradition of Torah, Shira has worked for over a decade with a diverse array of Jewish communities to enliven rituals, holiday celebrations, and love for Jewish life and prayer. Blending words, story and music she creates a rich experience for children and adults alike. Shira’s innovative approach was recognized by The Jewish Week in 2011 when they honored her as one of their “36 Under 36: The New Re-Engineers” of Jewish life. She has performed in hundreds of venues throughout the U.S. as well as stages in Canada, England, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. Her three Jewish "kiddie rock” albums are a favorite with the PJ Library and are played in homes, classrooms, community centers and cars throughout the world. She is a founding company member of Storahtelling's Lab/Shul, an everybody-friendly, artist-driven pop up for sacred Jewish gatherings.

Julie SilverJulie Silver is one of the most celebrated and beloved performers in the world of contemporary Jewish music today. She tours throughout the world, and has been engaging audiences with her lyrical guitar playing, her dynamic stage presence, and her megawatt smile for nearly twenty years.

By the time she was 18, she was leading raucous song sessions throughout the Reform Jewish movement and playing coffeehouses in and around Boston. Eventually, she would become one of the most sought-after song leaders in the country. Without backing from a major label, Julie has sold more than 80,000 copies of her CDs and has released some of the highest selling, successful albums of original Jewish music. Her songs have become so tightly woven into the fabric of American Judaism that they have become “standards” in worship, camp, and academic settings.

These days, Silver is focused on traveling the world, mentoring up-and-coming singer-songwriters, participating in Social Justice projects and making the Jewish experience more meaningful. “I try to enhance the way people experience Judaism by adding my own take on our sacred texts” Silver says. “Our tradition compels us to express ourselves…our joys, our hopes, our faith and our fears. As a songwriter, I just write and sing what I feel and hope it resonates with people.”

Duvid SwirskyIsraeli American, singer- songwriter Duvid Swirsky is a co-founder of the one of the most popular acts on the Jewish music scene: MOSHAV. With over 8 records and 100,000 CD sales, MOSHAV brings their fiery blend of traditional and original music to audiences across the world. Duvid grew up in a musical village in the hills between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, performing at an early age with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Duvid’s parents had come to Israel in the early 70’s. “When we were growing up”, explains Duvid, “the only electrical appliance in the house was a record player. So, while American kids might be growing up watching television and playing video games, we were listening to the records our parents brought with them -- Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Neil Young. In 1999, Duvid and his band moved to Los Angeles to sign a record deal with SONY JMG. There, Duvid leapt head first into the vibrant Los Angeles music scene. Duvid is currently producing two new records for MOSHAV and music for TV, film and a variety of artists.

Craig TaubmanCraig Taubman’s dynamic music and moving performance style have been an inspiration to the Jewish community for over 22 years. Craig’s magical and enchanting music brings to life the joy and spirit of the Jewish heritage, appealing to young and old alike and captivating audiences wherever he goes.

Craig first began performing at the age of 15 when he was encouraged by a counselor at Camp Ramah in Ojai, California to take hold of a guitar and lead services. Raised in Los Angeles in a Conservative Jewish family; his interest in music became interwoven with his passion for Jewish history and culture.

Craig’s songs bridge traditional Jewish themes and ancient teachings with passages and experiences of contemporary Jewish life. He speaks a language that is both comfortable and acceptable to children and adults. His Jewish recordings are an integral part of the community, weaving song and spirit into the fabric of Jewish life. Craig’s two most recent recordings Friday Night Live and One Shabbat Morning have helped to reinvigorate Shabbat services in Los Angeles and across the nation. Craig is also the producer of the popular Celebrate Series a compilation CD project which collects some of the best Jewish music available on special theme-oriented recordings.

Craig enjoys a successful career in television and film composing as well. Craig’s sell-out concerts draw thousands of fans at such respected venues as Ravinia in Chicago, Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, Westbury Music Fair in New York, the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and three special performances at the White House.

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


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