HIGH HOLIDAYS GO HIGH TECH

A question as the Jewish Holy Week continues:  How can the elderly and disabled in our area attend services if they are homebound?  The answer:  virtually!  We’ll show you what happens when the High Holidays go high tech!

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS.'

WHO IS BILL de BLASIO.

WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT HIM AND WHAT IS HIS REAL AGENDA.

A NEW YORK PROFESSOR WITH UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS TO THE CITY'S FIRST FAMILY ANSWERS THOSE VERY QUESTIONS WITH A NEW

> THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE JEWISH HIGH HOLY DAYS, A TIME OF YEAR WHEN MANY IN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY COME TOGETHER AT THEIR LOCAL SYNAGOGUE FOR PRAYER, SELF REFLECTION AND A GREATER SENSE.

FOR OTHERS THE ATTENDANCE MAY BE UNAFFORDABLE.

IN AN EFFORT TO REACH MORE OF THEIR COMMUNITY, ONE SYNAGOGUE ON LONG ISLAND HAS GONE HIGH-TECH.

WE'RE HERE AT THE COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE IN PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK.

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO MAY WANT TO BE PART OF THINGS BUT CAN'T.

THERE MAY BE PEOPLE WHO ARE ILL, PEOPLE WITH WHO ARE SHUT IN.

PEOPLE WHO ARE TRAVELING.

YOU HAVE TO MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE.

AND WE FELT THAT IT WAS, GIVEN THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE 2 IST CENTURY, POSSIBLE TO BRING THE SERVICES TO PEOPLE IF PEOPLE THEMSELVES COULDN'T COME INTO THE SERVICES.

I AM REACHED THE WONDERFUL AGE OF 89 1/2, YAY, I MADE IT.

I WOULD GO TO SERVICES EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT, EVERY SATURDAY MORNING.

GRADUALLY I HAD TO GIVE IT UP BECAUSE I'M NOT ABLE TO DO IT.

LUCKILY OUR SYNAGOGUE INSTALLED A CAMERA FOR STREAMING AND SO THEY ALWAYS STREAM THE FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICES AND ALSO THE HOLIDAY SERVICES.

OUR CONGREGATION, UP UNTIL THIS YEAR, NEVER DID.

AND I KNOW MANY SYNAGOGUES THERE.

THERE ARE A LOT OF EXPENSES RELATED.

THESE PARTICULAR SERVICES THAT ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE REST.

EXTRA SECURITY UNFORTUNATELY GIVEN THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE.

MANY PEOPLE FEEL THAT WITH THAT MANY JEWS IN PLACE AT ONE TIME YOU HAVE TO HAVE ADDITIONAL SECURITY.

WE HAVE TO PUT UP A TENT AND RENT CHAIRS.

WE HAVE EXTRA PEOPLE ON HAND SO THAT WE CAN AFFORD TO HAVE A SERVICE THAT IS MEANINGFUL AND SAFE FOR EVERYBODY.

WE OFTEN SAY TO PEOPLE, WHILE THERE MAY BE A CHARGE FOR THIS, THERE'S CERTAINLY NO CHARGE FOR LIVE STREAMING.

I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO DO THE COMPUTER.

I'M NOT TECH SAVVY.

MY KIDS HAVE TO TELL ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND I HAVE TO WRITE IT DOWN BUT KI DO IT.

CAN LEARN AND DO IT.

THE ESSENCE OF WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL AS IF THEY'RE THERE.

WE FELT AS A CONGREGATION THAT THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS MEETING THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE AND THAT WAS CREATING A BETTER SENSE OF SACRED COMMUNITY.

IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE I'M PART OF THE CONGREGATION, I'M PRAYING WITH THEM, I'M SINGING WITH THEM, I'M LISTENING TO THE SERMON WITH THEM, I'M HAVING MY OWN OPINIONS ABOUT THE SERMON OF WHAT I LIKED, WHAT I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT.

IT'S A NEED THAT I HAVE.

IT'S CALLED A SPIRITUAL LEAD BUT IT'S FOR MY WELL-BEING, MY SANITY AND MY FEELING OF WHOLENESS AND MY FEELING THAT GOD IS TAKING CARE OF ME.

I GET THAT THROUGH THE SERVICE WHICH I CAN NOW SEE.

WE'RE LIVING IN AN AGE OF ONGOING CONNECTIVITY.

AND SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I GUESS I WANTED PEOPLE TO DO IS NOT JUST CONNECT WITH ONE ANOTHER BUT CONNECT WITH SOMETHING DEEPER.

CONNECT WITH GOD.

CONNECT WITH THE PAST.

CONNECT WITH THE WORLD NOT AS IT IS OR THE POSSIBILITY OR THE HOPE WITHIN OF A WORLD IT CAN BE.

WE USE THE TORAH, AN ANCIENT SCROLL THAT TECHNOLOGY, IT'S 3,000 YEARS AGO.

WE USE BOOKS WHICH IS A TECHNOLOGY THAT WAS DEVELOPED IN THE ROMAN PERIOD.

WE USE THAT TECHNOLOGY.

WE USE THE PRINTING PRESS AND THE TECHNOLOGY OF WHAT THE PRINTING PRESS HAS TO OFFER.

WHY SHOULDN'T WE USE THE TECHNOLOGY OF OUR TIME, EITHER AN iPAD OR PHONE OR STREAMING, TO BE ABLE TO CONVEY A CERTAIN TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE BELIEVE.

AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ONLINE SERVICES, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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