New York Jewish community members prepare for Passover online
With coronavirus restrictions in place, many faith communities are moving their services online.
Mark Gerson started his weekly Torah portion group meetings five years ago at his Manhattan home. Amid coronavirus restrictions, Gerson moved the sessions online where like before, he welcomes people of all faith and anyone interested in discussing lessons from the Torah. As Passover approaches, members of the Jewish community are seeking alternatives to the family filled ritual feast, which they are hoping to replicate through video chat.
Many traditions like Shabbat candles and Friday night prayer have moved online, and weekly Torah lessons are just one example of how the community is adapting to social distancing. Gerson says that while the in-person contact is lacking, the virtual medium has allowed for many more participants to join in as there are no restrictions of space.
Since there is no end in sight to social distancing, online rituals are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a much-needed sense of community that has been lacking in the physical form.