Last year, as the High Holidays approached, a man who was very ill with cancer was unable to gather the strength to attend services at his Chester synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ). A good friend and fellow congregant mentioned to Cantor Belinda Brennan that there ought to be some way to meet the spiritual needs of the ill congregant, and others like him, at the holiest time of the year.
In the following months, the congregation’s Religious Affairs Committee came up with a solution, with the help of technology guru Lon Seidman: live streaming of services. An investment was made in the camera equipment necessary, and volunteers were recruited to produce the videos.
And so, this year, those unable to attend Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur services can still be “present” simply by calling up YouTube and typing in Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek. (Other services throughout the year, scheduled for Shabbat or other holidays, will also be available.)
“Live streaming can help those at home find inspiration and comfort, but it has also galvanized a new cohort of volunteers to pioneer ways to build community,” says Stephen Davis, CBSRZ president.
The schedule of CBSRZ YouTube services: Wednesday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. (Kol Nidre); Saturday, Oct. 4, 9:30 a.m.
For more information visit cbsrz.org or call (860) 526-8920.