Small Congregations Worship Training

The Had'rachah Seminar for Lay Leadership in Ritual Life
The Had'rachah Seminar for Lay Leadership in Ritual Life

Upcoming Opportunities

The URJ Had'rachah Program is currently on hiatus. To receive updates about future opportunities, fill out our expression of interest form.

About the Seminar

The URJ Had’rachah Program is open only to lay leaders from small congregations (no more than 250 member units) that have no more than one full-time clergy member. The URJ Had’rachah Program teaches participants a variety of skills to help them lead communal worship, lifecycle events, and educational opportunities in support of or in place of clergy. Our faculty is composed of rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators. Participants will learn from them, from URJ staff, and from each other.

Financial assistance for attending the URJ Had'rachah Program is provided through URJ Small Congregations Grants, which assists members of congregations with 250 or fewer households who wish to attend URJ programs.

For more information, contact Rabbi David Fine at (212) 452-6724 or

What's New

What the Had'rachah Seminar Can Do for Your Small Congregation

April 18, 2016
I’m co-principal of the religious school at Congregation Beth Shalom in Bozeman, MT. Although I don’t have any formal training in religious education, in a small, remote congregation like ours, if you have enthusiasm for something and are willing to try, you find yourself doing all sorts of jobs. One of them led me to an announcement for the Had’rachah Seminar for Lay Leadership in Ritual Life and, giving in to a desire to expand my world, I signed up – even though religious education wasn’t officially part of the program.

Had’rachah: Inspiring Congregants to Lead

April 29, 2015
Last summer, I spent five days at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI), one of the URJ’s 15 summer camps across North America that runs programs for Jewish youth from elementary school through high school. But I’m not a camper, nor am I a camp parent – so why was I there? I joined 15 other people at camp for Had’rachah, a URJ-led seminar designed to teach lay leaders to conduct worship services and lifecycle events.