Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night! I have heard that opening line so many times. I can remember marveling at the comedic genius of the original “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.” They were giants in their day – Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi (z”l*), Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, and of course Gilda Radner (z”l*). Such remarkable talent!
Each week, along with millions of others around the world, I watched their live telecast. Though I admired them, with all my high school theater productions, I never thought my talents would lead to live performances like Saturday Night Live. As they say, “Never say never!” Though a far cry from the NBC standard, Cantor Alison and I will have the chance to appear in your home, or on your phone or computer screen. Through the wonders of modern technology, we are launching our own Friday night live. Beginning March 1st, you can catch our Friday evening services live-streamed. For the first three Fridays of the month – the first Friday family-friendly service (March 1st) at 7:00 p.m., the second Friday regular Shabbat service (March 8th) at 8:00 p.m., and the third Friday Torah Shabbat service (March 15th) also at 8:00 p.m. – you can be a part of services, even if you are not able to be in the building. No matter where you are, you can welcome Shabbat with your clergy and your temple family. We’ll send out a link and all you have to do is just click it.
Many have asked if I am concerned that this might affect our attendance. If you can be a part of services but do it from your own couch in pajamas, will that keep people from coming out? Perhaps, although I like to think if we inspire people to welcome Shabbat, that’s a good thing!
I do believe you cannot replace the feeling of being there in person. However, for those living in Florida year-round or in winter months, anyone on vacation, the many recuperating in hospitals or at home from illness or surgery, or for whatever reason, all of them can be “with us” and that is wonderful!
My thanks to the many people who are making this possible. There were very generous donations from Robin Grass and Una Warde, and Cheryl and Ira Richman. Additionally, there were MANY hours put in by Jason Gillet, Jacob Gillet, Daniel Eig, Jonathan Mont, and Howard Schneider. I am so grateful to all of you for giving this community a way to stay connected.
I know our Friday nights together might not be on comedy par with the greats mentioned above. However, Cantor and I will do our best to make it meaningful, uplifting and a spirit-filled way to welcome Shabbat. Live…from Beth El…it’s Friday night!
(* z”l stands for Zichrono Livracha = May Their Memory Be a Blessing)