For those who have questions about how we can do this, here is what the Conservative movement has stated:
In this crisis situation in an area in which civil and/or medical authorities decree that it is unsafe for people to gather in person and recommend or order the closure of houses of worship, it is permitted to constitute a minyan whose constitutive participants (ten adult Jewish) are not located in one physical place…. In an emergency situation such as the one we are now experiencing, people participating in a minyan that is only online may recite devarim shebikdushah, prayers that require a minyan, with their community. The participants counted for the minyan must be able to see and hear each other through virtual means and be able to respond “Amen” and other liturgical replies to the prayer leader.
Some also will have questions about streaming since we have never allowed video or photography on Shabbat. Again, we are basing what we are doing on the position of the Conservative movement. For Shabbat and Yom Tov, there are complicated issues with using video technology to participate in services.
The stream must not be activated by a Jewish person on Shabbat. The stream would have to be already activated at the synagogue before Shabbat.
These complicated issues are not being ignored. One is not supposed to record or make a permanent record in Shabbat. We are not recording. We are only offering a live-streaming option.
We would like to thank Jeff Krupel, Morrow Long, Rachel Scolnic, Lauren Piscitelle, Sharon Rosenblatt, Marni Smith Katz and Michelle Murphy for helping us to do this in a very narrow time frame.
Please be patient with this set-up. Hopefully, things will return to normal in the near future. We can’t control this crisis, but we can respond in meaningful and positive ways.
Please join Rabbi Scolnic for one or both of these services.
And please be well and safe.
Rabbi Scolnic and Josh Weissman