What will make this online Hava Nashira '21 special?


Hava Nashira provides networking, new repertoire, techniques for leading and teaching music, as well as visioning with partners who care about communal gathering in prayer and song.  Thinking about what opportunities prayer and song can provide our Jewish community as we continue to journey into an unknown future, collaborating, supporting and nurturing one another through a shared love of music and connection is the hallmark of Hava Nashira.  We are excited to provide that for the community.


This year we will welcome even more folks into this dynamic community who are looking for connection, learning, song, and prayer.  An online event removes travel barriers.  We have so many voices in Jewish music, and our virtual program can offer more teachers and more participants who have not yet brought their stories and experiences to the community.  Our commitment to seeing and hearing everyone equally will drive us to think about and share how music and prayer spaces can lift up and honor the wisdom and depth of our diverse Jewish community.


We promise that even though we may not hear all of our voices in 100-part harmony, we will make beautiful music together.  The days will be full of learning, singing, prayer and reflection, networking and skill building – parts of the beloved Hava Nashira experience, and new opportunities to connect and bring the love of singing together back home.

How much does Hava Nashira '21 cost?


The program registration fee is $200.  This covers program and production costs, teaching faculty and tech support. 


There is a fee to attend so we can provide the best virtual experience possible. The support for the online platforms, as well as supporting our faculty and artists who share their decades of expertise in the areas of spirituality, music, and education as their work is of utmost importance to our community as we elevate the support for Jewish music, worship and education in our community.


Hava Nashira '21 is carefully designed to be a comprehensive, interconnected experience. The fee is a single fee – regardless of how many sessions you are able to attend. The cost to produce the program does not change based on how many people sign up for which classes, so the fee is set per person.


Is there any scholarship available?

Make It a Bridge Fund Scholarship funds for Hava Nashira '21 are available thanks to the generosity of Philip and Barbara Meltzer and the Make It a Bridge Fund, founded in memory of their son Steve Meltzer. Steve was a lifelong URJ camper, staff member, youth advisor, teacher, songleader, songwriter, and performer who attended Hava Nashira for many years. Steve died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 45. The Make It a Bridge Fund, named after one of Steve’s original compositions, was set up to provide scholarship assistance to those attending Hava Nashira, an event that Steve loved so much.

Make it a Bridge Scholarships are based on financial need and are limited in number. To apply, please fill out this form.

Can teens attend?


We are able to accommodate teens 16 years and older at Hava Nashira 21.  Unlike the URJ Teen Songleading Fellowship, and our camp songleader training, Hava Nashira is not designed for youth specifically, though learning for religious school music, early childhood, and some worship leading principles could be helpful for a younger teen songleader. 


What are some highlights I can look forward to?

Lots of great learning!

  • Sessions for Religious school music teachers

  • Leading successful Early Childhood music experiences

  • Worship engagement – virtually and in person

  • Intensive tracks for teams on worship, school, and more

  • Voices of marginalized communities in our music and prayer

  • Technique for teaching and leading

  • Navigating a new area of music and learning in multiple venues 

Lots of repertoire!

  • Brand new melodies from familiar artists
  • New voices from new communities
  • Worship moments
  • Religious school and Early Childhood repertoire
  • Chant, meditation and more


Lots of connecting, meaning-making, and prayer!

  • Ritual to uplift and connect

  • Round-robin participant repertoire share

  • Reflecting in networked cohort groups

  • Networking, building relationships, creating space to reflect on spiritual and personal work as individuals and leaders

  • Opportunities to “sit on the grass and write a song” together … virtually!

Check out the course schedule here.

This looks like a lot - will there be breaks?


Like many conventions, we have a lot going on!  But also like most conventions, you get to choose where you want to be and when you attend.  There are breaks in the program (more than 15 minutes) for you to attend to your work, family, or self-care.  The sessions are spread out over the day, some very late at night to accommodate West Coast evenings, and over multiple days so that you can work around the other parts of your life and still connect meaningfully with participants and program content.

Will sessions be recorded?


Sessions will not be recorded. Because of the nature of the program content offered, we are unable to record sessions to make available after the program. We hope you can join us for as much as you are able, and will use Hava Nashira as a springboard for engaging with more Jewish music opportunities in the future.


When are the registration deadlines?

The final day to register  and select your courses is Tuesday, May 25th

What virtual platform are we using?

We will be primarily on Zoom, with a few experiences in Gatherly.  These platforms allows us to meet as a full group, while also allowing us to break up into smaller groups and make personal one-on-one connections.  In Gatherly we can have a “conference” feel, moving around hall ways, getting on “elevators," and finding small groups to connect with more naturally.

If you can, please have the most current/updated version of Zoom.  This will make choosing your own breakouts during classes easier and give you more flexibility.  If you do not have it, we will help you during the gathering. 


Are there any in-person gatherings I can look forward to?

We are hoping to gather in person for Shabbat Shira, a conference of music and gathering, at URJ's Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute outside Milwaukee, WI, in November.


Photo: Aydin Mayers