By MYRON LOVE The Shaarey Zedek congregation’s second annual Covid-necessitated virtual community Pesach seder on Sunday, March, 27th, has attracted nearly 1,000 viewers thus far – counting those who signed on in real time and those who watched later.
“Our numbers are well up from last year,” reports Rabbi Anibal Mass, who hosted the seder. “So far, we have had 631 views on Youtube and another 300 on Facebook.”
He adds that there were viewers from across Canada and even some in the United States.
Last year, because of the first Covid-inspired lockdown, Mass held the seder out of his own home. This year, he, his wife, Ashira, son, Ronen, and mother-in-law, Tzivie Meyers, repaired to the synagogue to have the seder.
“We had three cameras which I was controlling along with the audio and computer equipment,” Mass notes. “Ours was an interactive seder that allowed viewers to contact us with questions.”
The Mass family seder was composed of the traditional three parts with the cameras rolling for the first and third segments. While the family ate the seder meal, the cameras stayed focused on the Oren Kadish.
Mass points out that the Shaarey Zedek was well prepared for the Covid lockdowns in that the congregation had been livestreaming its services for a number of years already. That includes Bnai Mitzvot and Shabbat and daily services.
“We have 30 to 40 congregation members participating online for our daily services, an equal number taking part in our Torah study classes (which Mass leads on Thursdays at noon and his co-rabbi, Matthew Leibl, leads on Tuesdays at noon), and an average 130 with us online for Shabbat services,” he reports.
That number (for Shabbat) increases for Bnai Mitzvot, he adds. The congregation has resumed Bnai Mitzvot in person since the restrictions were loosened in February. The number of people allowed to attend Bnai Mitzvot in person currently is 45 – with others able to follow online.
He notes that one bar mitzvah was held on Shabbat Hagadol – the Shabbat before Pesach and a second on Rosh Chodesh Nisan and several more have been scheduled for the coming weeks.
Interested readers can follow Rabbi Mass on: