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Battery Park Synagogue Welcomes You
Dear Members and Friends,
I hope you and yours remain healthy and secure during these still challenging times.
I wanted to update you on our plans for the upcoming High Holidays, which begin on Monday evening, September 6, Erev Rosh Hashanah, with candle lighting at 7 pm.
As you know, all synagogues have had to change and adapt to meet the public health concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and Battery Park Synagogue is no different. Some synagogues in the suburbs with available outdoor space have erected tents and are holding services with limited numbers of people permitted to attend. Others, in light of the Delta variant, have made the difficult decision to cancel High Holiday services in person….again. Some of our neighboring congregations in New York City are adapting some sort of hybrid service with a combination of limited in-person seating and virtual religious services via Zoom links.
After long discussions this summer and, intensified over the past two weeks, with outreach to a large number of our congregants, multiple conversations with Rabbi Bender, and continued concern for the safety of our membership, Battery Park Synagogue will adopt a hybrid model again this year. For his and our safety, Arnie will not hold indoor services but will lead Zoom services on both Tuesday and Wednesday morning and will host outdoor Taschlich AND shofar blowing on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon at our usual location next to the North Cove marina. It goes without saying that long-time member, trumpeter and shofar blower extraordinaire Alan Sturm will blow shofar at the North Cove and that his lovely wife Audrey Comisky will, once again, have flowers to distribute for Tashlich.
Rabbi Bender will also pre-record a shortened version of the evening and morning Rosh Hashanah services, and the Torah services, that members may listen and participate to at their convenience. A link will be provided in a subsequent email to the membership. Be sure to check out our new and much expanded BPS website, bpsynagogue.com, unveiling later this week for more information about the High Holidays and spirituality.
The following week, Yom Kippur begins with Kol Nidre on the evening of Wednesday, September 15 and continues with Yom Kippur services on Thursday, September 16. As we did for Rosh Hashanah on Sunday, we will host a live short Zoom service for both. Thursday morning will also include the traditional Yizkor service with timing, links and details to follow.
We all hope and pray that this pandemic will subside in the near future, that your loved ones are safe and secure, and that we can resume some semblance of normalcy in our daily and religious lives as soon as possible, Gd willing. I thank all of you that have participated in our monthly Friday night Shabbat services we’ve been hosting on Zoom, and hope to see you at future Friday night Shabbats in person in the not to distant future.
Note, both the weekly Sim Shalom Shabbat and special High Holiday prayerbooks are linked on-line and I encourage you, even if you don’t join us virtually, “in person” to utilize them for your private prayers and meditations. Our traditional personalized Yizkor book will also be available on-line in time for Yom Kippur and I encourage you to let us know if you want to add or modify any of your heartfelt Yizkor messages from years’ past.
Lastly, I’d like to give a hearty Yasher Koach to Rabbi Bender and to Lisa Vita, who have worked hard to make our High Holiday services this year as best as can be, considering the circumstances.
Please reach out with any questions, comments or concerns and, in advance, I
wish you all a sweet, healthy, safe, and hopefully brighter, New Year!