Hava Nashira, the Union for Reform Judaism's annual songleading and music workshop, was held at the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, WI, from May 28 - June 1, 2014. The workshop was created by Debbie Friedman, z"l, and Cantor Jeff Klepper, DFSSM '80, as the Reform Movement's primary training ground for song leaders. This workshop is where those with song leading or teaching experience in camps, congregations, or community centers learn the latest repertoire, acquire innovative song-leading techniques from the finest song leaders, hone songwriting skills, and exchange materials with fellow musicians.
HUC-JIR students, faculty, and alumni participated in the annual workshop. Hava Nashira faculty included HUC-JIR faculty member Merri Arian, Faculty in Liturgical Arts, Music Education, and Conducting, and Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Coordinator of the Cantorial Certification Program. Also serving on the Hava Nashira Faculty were alumni Cantor Jeff Klepper, Cantor Rosalie Boxt, and Rabbi Ken Chasen.
Merri Arian stated, "Hava Nashira has always been an incredibly exciting and enriching program to be a part of. One of the more recent highlights for me, personally, is to see an increasing number of our cantorial and rabbinical students participating in the program, along with returning cantorial and rabbinical alumni. A joyful reunion to be sure!"
Cantor Dreskin explained, "In addition to teaching skills and repertoire, the heart of Hava Nashira is about the power of music to raise one's spirits, move communities to action, invigorate worship, and share Judaism in all its variety."