Registration

Who should attend?


Biennial has something for everyone! While much of our workshop programming focuses on leadership development, plenary sessions energize and inspire all attendees to repair our world, contribute to the continuing evolution of our Movement, and define 21st century Jewish thought. Participants will learn from the highest caliber speakers, including eminent scholars, HUC-JIR faculty, and elected officials. Additionally, Shabbat is an experience unlike any other, as we come together to create the largest synagogue in the world.




What registration packages are available?


Registration packages are available for the duration of Biennial (Wednesday-Sunday), Wednesday-Friday, and Friday-Sunday. Pricing for each option is available on the Biennial Pricing page.




Do I need to be a member of a Reform congregation to attend?


While the Biennial is designed for Reform congregations and leaders, many people who are unaffiliated with Reform Congregations find value in our programming. Please note there is a $200 surcharge for attendees who are not members of URJ-affiliated congregations.




Can I register my spouse/partner/child?


All Biennial registrants are able to register guests for Shabbat dinner by following the prompts in registration.

All Biennial participants are requested to complete their own registration form. If you are unable, or if you would like assistance registering multiple people at once, please contact the Biennial registrar at (877) 435-9291 or by emailing urj@meetings-incentives.com.

There is no discount for registering a second person.




What is a Biennial Extension? Why do I need to register for it?


Extension programming happens immediately before and after the formal Biennial program. These programs run between 3 and 4 hours each and offer a deep dive into topics that couldn’t otherwise happen during the Biennial workshop process.

Registration is required for Extensions in order to assist with planning. In some cases, prerequisite reading or planning may be required. Any charges associated with Extension registration are in place to cover the cost of programming or catering.




How can I sign up for individual sessions?


Session signups will be available in Autumn 2019. More information will be emailed to Biennial registrants prior to the launch of this sign up period.




How can I change or cancel my registration?


You can change your registration details by following the instructions in your confirmation email. Cancellations can be processed by calling the Biennial registrar at (877) 435-9291 or by emailing urj@meetings-incentives.com.




Are scholarships available to offset the cost of registration?


Many congregations choose to subsidize the cost of registration for their members. Additionally, congregations under 250 families qualify for the URJ’s Small Congregations Grants. Members of small congregations can apply for these grants online.




What is the difference between the Wednesday-Friday and Friday-Sunday registration options?


The Biennial program is divided by Shabbat. Our Wednesday-Friday package provides access to the Convention Center through the end of workshop programming on Friday afternoon. Participants in Wednesday-Friday programming will experience world-class plenaries; networking receptions with URJ and partner organization leadership; late night entertainment from popular Jewish artists; and more than 100 workshops themed focused on leadership development, synagogue life, Jewish text, and more. This package does not include Shabbat dinner or seating in Kabbalat Shabbat. Wednesday through Friday registrants can add on a Shabbat dinner and services ticket for $90.

The Friday-Sunday package provides registrants access to the Convention Center beginning Friday morning. Registrants selecting this option will have access to the final two blocks of workshop programming; Shabbat dinner; Kabbalat Shabbat and morning worship; our Lunch and Learn series; cultural programming throughout Saturday afternoon; and our closing plenary, with Havdalah and an unforgettable song session.





When & Where

What is the URJ Biennial?


The URJ Biennial is the place for Jews from across North America and the world to learn, pray, share ideas, dance and sing while helping shape the future of the Reform Movement. Over the course of 5 days, more than 5,000 participants study ancient texts with leading Jewish minds; share ideas on strengthening congregational life; explore the social justice issues of our day; and dance, sing, and pray with diverse clergy and song leaders from around the world.




What are the dates of the URJ Biennial?


The Biennial program begins at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, December 11, and formal programming concludes at 12:00 PM on Sunday, December 15.

On Wednesday, December 11, prior to the start of the Biennial, there will be a series of offsite programs throughout the Chicago community. You can learn more about these trips, which are available for purchase in registration, on our offsite programming page.

Additionally, Biennial Extensions will be offered on Wednesday, and Post Biennial Extensions will be offered on Sunday. These programs require pre-registration.




Where will the URJ Biennial be held?


The 2019 URJ Biennial will be held at McCormick Place. Discounted sleeping rooms are available at three area hotels that all provide either indoor access or a complimentary shuttle to the Convention Center. More information on Biennial hotels is available in the Hotels section of this FAQ.





Hotels

Where do Biennial attendees stay?


There are three hotels available to Biennial registrants and discounted, guaranteed lowest rates: the Marriott Marquis (SOLD OUT) and Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place, and the Hilton Chicago, which is located downdown and offers 2 bedroom/2 bathroom rooms.

Both McCormick Place hotels provide access to the Convention Center via indoor walkway. A complimentary shuttle will operate between the Hilton Chicago and McCormick Place during Convention Hours.

Hotel rooms are not included in the cost of Biennial registration and the deadline to book a room is November 22.




How much are the hotel rooms?


Our hotel rates are as follows:

Marriott Marquis (McCormick): $179 + 17.4% tax (SOLD OUT)

Hyatt Regency (McCormick): $179 + 17.4% tax

Hilton Chicago: $119 + 17.4% tax




How can I reserve a hotel room?


Biennial registrants will receive hotel booking information in their registration confirmation email. The only way to receive our guaranteed lowest rates and registration discounts is to book through our group site.




How do I reserve an ADA-compliant hotel room?


Hotel reservations at the official Biennial hotels can only be made after you have completed Biennial registration. Your registration confirmation email will contain hotel booking instructions.

Each of our Biennial hotels has several ADA-compliant rooms available to attendees at our guaranteed lowest rate. Requests for ADA-compliant rooms should be made when booking your hotel room. These rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.




Can I reserve a suite?


A limited number of suites are available through the hotels and an upcharge. All suites reservations must be made directly with the hotel.




Can I access the hotel club/lounge?


The Marriott Marquis has a lounge that is accessible to certain elite members of the hotel and, in some cases, may be available for purchase directly from the hotel.




How long is the walk from my hotel to the Convention Center?


The walk time between the Marriott Marquis and Hyatt Regency hotels and Convention Center is 5-10 minutes, depending on pace. Most participants walk between 3 and 5 miles each day inside the Convention Center.




Do any of the hotels have food available for purchase?


Both the Marriott Marquis and the Hyatt Regency have food courts located on the lobby level. Additionally, the Convention Center has a cafeteria, Starbucks, and vending carts (serving both food and beverages) that will be open during Biennial hours.




Why is there an 'outside the block' fee?


In order to secure not only a location large enough to fit the Biennial but also a large block of quality hotel rooms at competitive prices in convenient locations, the URJ has to make major financial commitments to the convention hotels years in advance. In the absence of these guarantees, we would not only not be able to get meeting spaces together in one Center (like McCormick Place) but we would also be in competition with other conferences that book the same space, and therefore, nearby hotels, thus increasing prices for everyone.

Additionally, were we not to block rooms in the closest hotels, prices would be unstable and only those who book well in advance would be likely to get affordable rates at the most convenient hotels, while any number of factors could increase rates for the large majority of attendees.

In recent years, an increasing number of attendees have chosen to stay at non-Biennial hotels, which impacts agreements with contracted hotels and raises registration fees; therefore, the URJ has instituted a policy, like many major conferences, where attendees staying at the hotel save $200 over attendees staying elsewhere.

The deadline to book a hotel reservation is November 22, 2019. If attendees book housing in the official URJ Biennial housing block and later cancel their reservation, the additional $200 registration fee will be automatically charged. (For registrants attending only Wednesday-Friday or Friday-Sunday, the additional fee for not registering in the housing block will be $100.)





Transportation

What airport should I fly into?


Chicago’s O’Hare airport serves as a hub for United Airlines and American Airlines, as is served by most other major airlines. Travel between O’Hare and the Convention Center averages 50-60 minutes by taxi.

Chicago’s Midway Airport is primarily served by Southwest Airlines. Travel between Midway and the Convention Center averages between 30 and 40 minutes by taxi.




Are there any discounts available for flights to/from Biennial?


Discounted airfare is available through American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines using the following instructions while booking:

American Airlines:

Discounted flights may be purchased on American Airlines & American Eagle flights by visiting www.aa.com and entering 36D9AU as your Promotion Code.

Delta Air Lines:

Discounted flights may be purchased on Delta Air Lines by visiting www.delta.com and entering NY2RE as your Meeting Event Code.
You may also call Delta Meeting Network® at 800-328-1111 Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (CT) and refer to Meeting Event Code NY2RE.

United Airlines:

Discounted flights may be purchased on United Airlines by visiting www.united.com/meetingtravel and entering ZGTE844494 in the Offer Code box.
You may also call United Meeting Reservation Desk at 800-426-1122 Mon-Fri 8am – 10pm ET and Sat/Sun 8am – 6pm ET. Booking fees are waived for Meeting reservations.




Is there a shuttle between the airport and the Convention Center or hotels?


Discounted airport shuttles are available through Airport Express using our dedicated booking site.




Is onsite parking available?


Yes, please use Lot A at McCormick Center.





Program

Where can I view the full program?


The full program is available at URJBiennial.org/Schedule. The Biennial website is updated weekly as we confirm our program, and major programmatic news will first be shared in the Biennial 2019 group in The Tent, the URJ's online community portal for congregational leaders. Updates will also be announced via the URJ's social media presences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so be sure to follow these accounts.

Program registrants will receive periodic emails with schedule updates, confirmed speakers, and logistical information (sign up for Biennial reminders). Past Biennials have been honored to welcome President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. These speakers often confirm their participation 1-2 weeks prior to the program.




I’ve never attended a Biennial before. Are there any orientation sessions for first-timers?


Yes! We know that navigating the Biennial program can be overwhelming, even for veteran attendees. There will be a pre-Biennial first-timers orientation as well as onsite opportunities for new attendees, solo travelers, and affinity groups.




What offsites programs are being offered?


On Wednesday, December 11, prior to the start of the Biennial, there will be a series of offsite programs throughout the Chicago community. These trips, which are available for purchase in registration, will include tours of Jewish Chicago, visits to the Art Institute, Field Museum, and more. On Saturday afternoon, Biennial attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum and its interactive hologram exhibit. Visit the Offsites Experiences page for more information.




What are Biennial Extensions (half-day, immersive learning opportunities) that are taking place before and after the official Biennial program?


The 2019 Biennial will include three 'Biennial Extension' programs.

On Wednesday we will feature a symposium for lay and professional congregational education leaders in partnership with HUC-JIR, ARJE, and PEP-RJ.

On Sunday we will host two post-Biennial symposia. These will include:

  • The World Zionist Congress elections in partnership with ARZA and the IMPJ

  • The experience of women in the rabbinate in partnership with WRJ and WRN

Extension participants are required to pre-register and there is a fee associated to cover the costs of lunch. More information on the Extension page.




What worship services are available?


A selection of shacharit (morning) and maariv (evening) service options are available each weekday. Times and locations of all services will be published in the Biennial app and are available in the full schedule. The entire Biennial will gather for Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday evening and again for Saturday morning Shabbat services. For many attendees, the Shabbat worship experience is a highlight of the event.




Can I suggest a session for the program?


Biennial program development has been underway since early 2018. While we always appreciate programming and speaker suggestions from across our community, we’re unable to guarantee any person or program a space.

If you would like to suggest a session for the program, please email biennial@urj.org with a brief description of your suggestion. Should it be a fit, our staff will contact you directly about next steps.





Delegations

What is a Delegation?


Biennial Delegations are groups of participants who attend from a single congregation. By attending Biennial as a group, these congregational participants are able to realize the maximum benefit, attend dozens of sessions, and effect real congregational change when they return home.

The number of participants you must register is set according to your congregation’s size and can be found on our Delegations page. The cutoff for becoming a Delegation is October 16.




What benefits come with Delegation status?


Congregations that achieve Gold Delegation status will have all full-paying registrants, registered on or before October 16, receive a gift card rebate when they arrive at the Biennial registration desk. Unlocking Platinum Delegation status will earn you access to reserved seating in plenaries.

The amount of the rebate is based on each person’s registration option:
Wednesday-Sunday Registration: $60
Wednesday-Friday Registration: $35
Friday-Sunday Registration: $35

Discount registrations and any registration received after October 16 will not be eligible for rebates.




How can my congregation become a Delegation?


Your congregation will automatically become a delegation by meeting a registration goal on or before October 16. This table explains how many people you need to register, based on your congregation size.

As registration begins, the URJ will monitor your progress toward Delegation status and let you know once you’ve made it.

If you’d like to see how close you are, or to view who from your congregation is already registered, login to see your congregation's Biennial delegation (in the Congregational Portal you already use for RMAC).





Coaching

What are Biennial Coaches?


The Biennial program can be overwhelming to navigate, even for veteran attendees! Biennial Coaches are available to consult with your congregation in advance of the program and will help you identify the right programs to attend.




How can my congregation request a Coach?


All URJ congregations are eligible to receive Biennial Coaching at no charge. To request a Biennial Coach, your congregation’s rabbi, president, or Executive Director must complete the form in your congregation's portal (where you also calculate RMAC) no later than September 13. Questions about the congregational coaches should be emailed to delegations@urj.org.





General Assembly / Voting

What is the General Assembly?


The General Assembly is the legislative body of the URJ and is mandated by the URJ’s Constitution and Bylaws. The URJ Biennial serves as the General Assembly of the URJ.




What are Delegates? Alternates? Are they the same as Delegations?


Delegates are Biennial registrants who are assigned a vote in General Assembly. Alternates are assigned in case a delegate cannot attend Biennial. Both Delegates and Alternates play an essential role in debating and deciding the future of Reform Judaism by casting ballots on resolutions before the GA.

Delegates and Alternates should not be confused with Delegations.




Who chooses my congregation’s delegates?


The number of Delegates and Alternates assigned to each congregation is outlined in the URJ Bylaws. Congregational Presidents have sole authority for naming Delegates and Alternates.




I’m a congregational President. When will I be able to assign our Delegates?


Presidents will receive an email asking them to assign Delegates and Alternates from their list of confirmed Biennial registrants in Fall 2019.




Can we still cast votes if nobody from our congregation is attending Biennial?


All Delegates must be present at the Biennial and in the General Assembly to cast a vote on business matters.




What will we vote on at the Biennial?


Each Biennial, the General Assembly considers resolutions on political, social, economic, and/or humanitarian issues that outline policies and priorities of the URJ. All resolutions coming to the floor of the General Assembly will be emailed to congregations prior to Biennial in accordance with the URJ’s Bylaws.

Enacted resolutions from previous Biennials can be viewed online.




How can I learn more about resolutions brought before the General Assembly?


Information webinars are available prior to Biennial for Delegates and Alternates who wish to learn more about resolutions. At least one workshop is included at the start of the Biennial program for Delegates and Alternates who wish to learn more about the pending resolutions from the Resolutions Committee. Information about these learning opportunities will be shared with registrants prior to Biennial and in the Biennial app.




When will voting take place?


All voting occurs during plenary sessions at Biennial.




Can my congregation submit a resolution to the General Assembly?


Congregations are able to propose resolutions. These must be cleared by the Resolutions Committee before being voted on during General Assembly. For more information, email biennial@urj.org.





Meals

What meals will be provided with my registration?


Meal packages vary based on your registration option.

Wednesday-Friday registration includes coffee breaks throughout the program. Registrants also have the option of adding Shabbat dinner for a fee.

Friday-Sunday registration includes Shabbat dinner, Shabbat lunch, a light breakfast on Saturday, and a Sunday departure brunch.




Will the food provided be kosher?


No. Meals served at the URJ Biennial will be kosher-style, meaning that dairy and meat products will not be served at the same meal. No pork or shellfish will ever be served.

Kosher vending will be available inside the Convention Center through Friday afternoon catered by Bebe's Kosher Deli (Glatt).




Can you provide special meals to meet my dietary needs?


We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions in the Biennial menus. All participants will be asked to list their dietary restrictions and allergy information during registration. The kitchen and wait staff at Biennial meals will be informed of guest allergies and are able to answer any questions you might have.

Due to the size of the Biennial, we are unable to order individually customized meals for participants. If you have questions or concerns about Biennial meals, please contact biennial@urj.org.




Can I purchase food in the Convention Center?


Yes! The Convention Center has a cafeteria, Starbucks, and vending carts (serving both food and beverages) that will be open during Biennial hours. Additionally, both the Marriott Marquis and the Hyatt Regency have food courts located on the lobby level, and are accessible via indoor walkway.

For participants wishing to get outside, there are dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, and convenience stores within walking distance of the convention center.




Are there restaurants and/or bars in the vicinity of the McCormick Center ?


There are a number of restaurants within walking distance or a short car/taxi ride (South Loop & Chinatown) from the Convention Center. There are lists of establishments available from Eater Chicago and Choose Chicago. Additionally, there is a brewery tour recommended in the neighborhood.





Inclusion

Are there opportunities for children at the URJ Biennial?


Children under the age of 13 are welcome to join with registered family members or guardians Wednesday-Friday for no fee.

Children staying through Shabbat can be registered for one of two meal packages:

  • Full meal package, including Shabbat dinner, breakfast, lunch, and Sunday departure breakfast for $225.

  • Shabbat dinner only for $75.

For teens (grades 9-12), check out the Biennial high school experience.




Will the event be accessible to people with disabilities?


We strive to make the Biennial accessible to and inclusive of all attendees. The Biennial Inclusion Director is available at biennial@urj.org to address your inclusion and accessibility-related questions and needs.




How can I rent a scooter?


Discounted scooter rentals are available through Scootaround Mobility Solutions. Rentals are $50 per day or $225 per week. For more information, please contact Scootaround at 888-441-7575 or visit the Scootaround URJ Biennial website.




Will those of us in wheelchairs or scooters be able to sit with our family/friends and fellow congregants during workshops and plenary sessions?


Yes. Wheelchair and scooter seating will be available throughout all program spaces. Additionally, scooter and stroller parking will be available inside the entrances to the plenary hall.




How far is it between the hotels and the convention center?


Distances between the hotels and meeting space vary. Two hotels (Marriott Marquis and Hyatt Regency) are connected to the Convention Center by covered walkway and are approximately a 3/10 mile (6 minute) walk from the main floor of the convention center. The third hotel, the Chicago Hilton is located 1.6 miles from the convention center and will have a complimentary shuttle to and from the Convention Center.




How can I reserve an ADA-compliant hotel room?


Hotel reservations at the official Biennial hotels can only be made after you have completed Biennial registration. Your registration confirmation email will contain hotel booking instructions.

Each of our Biennial hotels has several ADA-compliant rooms available to attendees at our guaranteed lowest rate. Requests for ADA-compliant rooms should be made when booking your hotel room. These rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.




How much should I expect to walk inside the Convention Center?


Most participants walk between 3 and 5 miles each day inside the Convention Center.

While most of our workshop spaces are located on one floor of the Convention Center, approximately 10 meeting rooms (used for workshops, receptions, and Shabbat lunches) are located in a separate section. Transit between the two spaces, as well as between the plenary hall and workshop spaces, requires a change in floors (via elevator or escalator). Foot traffic in the Convention Center will be heavy at times, and lines do form for elevators, restrooms, and registrations.

URJ Staff, Biennial Ambassadors, and maps of the convention center and hotels will be available to help you navigate the Biennial spaces.




What assistance is there for Biennial attendees who have difficulty hearing?


In the plenary sessions we will be offering Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) and LOOP systems. In all other program spaces, all presenters will be required to use microphones.


Attendees who require ASL interpretation or who have questions about CART or LOOP technology should contact biennial@urj.org.




Will program materials, prayer books, and other resources be available in large print?


Presenters are asked not to distribute handouts in workshops. Instead, program files will be shared via The Tent prior to the start of Biennial.

Large print prayer books will be available for pick up immediately prior to all Shabbat worship services.




Are braille resources available?


Participants who require braille program materials or prayer books should contact biennial@urj.org.




Are all-gender restrooms available in the Convention Center?


Yes. All-gender/family-friendly bathrooms are located on all levels of the convention center.




Is there a nursing room?


Yes. A Mamava Lactation Suite is available on Level 1 near the main Information Desk. Those who need to nurse or express milk can unlock the suites by downloading the free Mamava Mobile App, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play App Store. The suites are available complimentary on a first-come, first served basis.

The Nursing Pod is located on Level 1 between Gate 40 information desk and Gate 43/44 transportation lobby; (to the north side of the escalator bank).




Is there a quiet space available for those of us who need some downtime?


Yes. A quiet space will be available in the Convention Center. The room’s location will be published in the Biennial App and the space will remain open during all program hours.




What if I have food allergies?


We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions in the Biennial menus. All participants will be asked to list their dietary restrictions and allergy information during registration. The kitchen and wait staff at Biennial meals will be informed of guest allergies and are able to answer any questions you might have.

Due to the size of the Biennial, we are unable to order individually customized meals for participants. If you have questions or concerns about Biennial meals, please contact biennial@urj.org.




Can I bring my Attendant/Assistant into the Convention Center?


Yes. Attendees who require an attendant or assistant to facilitate their participation in Biennial can register one attendant/assistant at no charge. For more information, or to register your attendant/assistant, please contact biennial@urj.org.




Can I bring my service animal to Biennial?


Trained service animals are welcome at McCormick Place and all Biennial hotels.




Do any support groups meet during the Biennial?


Friends of Bill W will meet daily in the late evening. The room’s location will be published in the Biennial app.




Where can I go to get on-site accessibility assistance?


URJ Staff will be available at the Welcome Center and Help Desk during all hours of the Biennial program. The Help Desk is located on the third floor of the Convention Center next to Biennial registration.





Meetings & Receptions

Where can I view a list of meetings and receptions that are open to the Biennial audience?


The Biennial website and app will include a full list of all meetings, receptions, and programs. These will be published on a rolling basis as they are confirmed and are available here.




Why am I being charged a fee for attending a reception?


Many of our receptions include professional catering. The host of each reception is ultimately responsible for the program and menu and sets the costs of the reception in conjunction with the Biennial leadership. We always strive to keep costs to a minimum while still providing a quality experience for all attendees.




How do I book meeting or event space during the program?


If you represent an organization that is interested in hosting a meeting or reception during Biennial, please email biennial@urj.org to request more details. Space is extremely limited for such gatherings.





Exhibit Hall

What is the Exhibit Hall?


The URJ Biennial Exhibit Hall is your one stop shop for Judaica, art, synagogue services, educational solutions, tour providers, and more!




Where can I find a list of vendors?


Exhibit Hall vendors are published on the Biennial website and in the app.




What are the hours of the Exhibit Hall?


The Exhibit Hall will be open according the following schedule. Please note the early closing on Friday. Exhibit hall will be closed during scheduled plenaries each day.

  • Wednesday, December 11 – 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM and and 8:30 PM – 9:45 PM
  • Thursday, December 12 – 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
  • Friday, December 13 – 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM




How can I purchase a booth for my business/organization in the Exhibit Hall?


Information, including pricing for Exhibit Hall booths, is available on the Exhibitor FAQ page. If you have questions about exhibiting or would like to purchase a booth, contact Nikki Kinkelaar at nkinkelaar@meeting-incentives.com.





Greening

Does the Biennial recycle?


Yes. Recycling bins are collocated with trash cans in all meeting rooms and throughout the Convention Center. Additionally, a recycling program is in effect in the “back of house” that collects reusable waste from caterers, delivery companies, and other Biennial vendors.




How is food waste handled onsite?


The Convention Center sorts food waste for recycling, composting, and landfill. While most of this happens behind the scenes, the Convention Center cafeteria (on Level 2) has a sorting station for public use.




Is there a donation program in place for unused catering?


Yes. The Convention Center donates excess food to social service agencies who feed the city’s homeless population.




Are disposable plastics being used?


All plastic cutlery and dishware used in the convention center is made from plant-based materials and are fully biodegradable and compostable.




Are foods locally sourced?


The Biennial caterer sources as much of its produce as possible from local farms (within a 100-mile radius of Chicago). Whenever possible, the caterer has agreed to share the source location of foods served during our event.





Additional Questions

What should I wear?


Any Biennial veteran will recommend a comfortable pair of shoes. Most attendees dress "business casual" except on Shabbat, when most dress in "Shabbat attire" (a jacket and tie or nice slacks/skirts/dresses are the norm). It is also a good idea to have a sweater or light jacket on hand.




Will there be a coat check available?


While there isn't a coat check available in the Convention Center, all hotels are accessible via indoor walkway.




Are there any security measures I should be aware of?


The safety of our participants is our foremost concern. All participants at the Biennial will be required to wear identification badges at all times. This policy is strictly enforced. Uniformed and plain-clothes security will be on duty 24 hours a day in all program space, including Biennial hotels. Attendees may be asked to submit to additional screening at any time, including bag searches and passing through metal detectors.

Additionally, the URJ works with local and federal law enforcement agencies and security contractors to ensure the safety of all our guests. While the requests of security personnel may, at times, be time consuming (e.g. bag checks, metal detectors, credential verification), we appreciate your cooperation.




How can I download the app?


Instructions for downloading the Biennial app will be emailed to all confirmed registrants. You can also follow the download directions here.




When will the app be available for download?


We anticipate having the Biennial 2019 app available for download in the weeks prior to the start of the program. Registered participants will receive an email notification when the app is available and will be asked to register for Shabbat afternoon programs once it is live.




How do I find out if others from my community are attending?


Congregation Rabbis, Presidents, and Executive Directors have access to a congregation portal where they can see which congregants have registered for Biennial. There is also an active discussion about Biennial 2019 in The Tent, the URJ's collaboration platform for congregational leaders. You can use this group to ask questions of others who are planning to attend.




What are the locations and dates of future URJ Biennials?


The 2021 URJ Biennial will take place outside Washington, D.C., December 8-12, 2021.

The 2023 URJ Biennial will take place in Orlando, FL, November 8-12, 2023.




Who can I reach out to with my other questions?


For additional questions about our program, email biennial@urj.org.

You can change your registration details by following the instructions in your confirmation email. Cancellations can be processed by calling the Biennial registrar at (877) 435-9291 or by emailing urj@meetings-incentives.com.





Choir

Who can participate in the Biennial Choir?


The Biennial Choir is open to the first 100 people who sign up for it at the time of registration.




Is there a fee to be in the Choir?


Yes, there is a $100 fee, payable at the time of registration, to cover our material and logistical expenses.




What is the Biennial Choir?


Join the 100 volunteer singers who will join our amazing clergy, big band led by Josh Nelson, and conducted by the remarkable Cantor Leigh Korn during both Friday evening and Saturday morning Shabbat worship to uplift our worship.




Do I need to arrive at Biennial early for mandatory rehearsals?


Participation in the choir requires that you arrive at Biennial a day early in order to prepare well for Shabbat with thousands in the room and many more on our livestream.

Mandatory rehearsals are:

Tuesday December 10th: 2 pm – 5 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm

Wednesday December 11th: 9 am – 12 pm

Thursday TBD




How can I prepare before the rehearsals begin?


You will receive the sheet music via mail and audio files to help in learning your voice part via dropbox links.




Who can I contact about the Choir?


Questions? Biennial Worship Director Cantor Rosalie Will at rboxt@urj.org.





Frequently Asked Questions

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