A Cable Television First!
August 24, 2010 (Fort Lee, NJ) -- For the first time on national cable television, Jewish High Holiday services will be carried across the country on Shalom TV, the free Video on Demand Jewish cable network available in more than 38 million homes. Designed for those unable to attend a synagogue service, the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur congregational programs begin airing on Shalom TV the week of September 5. The High Holiday services will be available online as well at ShalomTv.org
"Each year, we receive requests from our viewers asking if Shalom TV would provide services for the High Holidays and we've always wanted to do something for them," explains Rabbi Mark S. Golub, the president of Shalom TV. "Since Orthodox and Conservative synagogues do not permit the taping of Shabbat and holiday services, we decided to invite them to the services I lead in my home community in Connecticut."
Because Shalom TV benefits by being Video On Demand, different parts of the services are being presented as individual programs and the viewer can choose to watch whichever portions of the service are of interest (liturgy, Torah readings, Shofar Service on Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, Yizkor Memorial Service, N'iloh and Martyrology on Yom Kippur, as well as any of Rabbi Golub's own sermons).
"Of course, no television service can ever replace an actual service," stresses Golub. "Wherever possible, one should share the New Year in song, prayer, meditation and commitment with a living and breathing community. But if one is unable to attend an actual service, we hope our programming will be of some comfort and enable a viewer to feel a bond with the rest of the Jewish people."
There is also a feature of the programs that especially pleases Golub. "Whenever there is congregational participation, the Hebrew will be on the screen for our viewers to read, along with transliteration and the English translation. I want people to feel they can actually participate in our services, not simply watch them on TV," Golub explains.
"I also know that many of our non-Jewish viewers will enjoy having the opportunity to experience a Jewish High Holiday service," Golub adds.
In addition to his work with Shalom TV, Rabbi Golub leads two chavurot he helped to found in the early 1970's, Chavurat Aytz Chayim and Chavurat Deevray Torah. Each year, his congregation invites anyone who needs a place to celebrate the holidays to join them without charge, and some 800 people from as far as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire come together to usher in the New Year.
"My own services are certainly alternative and eclectic," Golub explains. "They do not fit any stereotypical service one would find in a mainstream synagogue and appeal both to those who rarely attend a synagogue as well as to those who are traditional in their approach and appreciate that the key elements of the High Holiday service are included while the emphasis is on Jewish learning."
There is no cantor or choir and most of the liturgy is sung by the entire congregation, including the Kol Nidre prayer on Yom Kippur Eve. Golub even plays the accordion as a prelude to the start of the Rosh Hashanah service.
One lovely highlight is that young people who have become bar/bat-mitzvah with Golub chant the Torah and Haftorah on both holidays.
Click here to see a video introduction to Shalom TV's High Holiday presentations.
For interviews with Rabbi Mark S. Golub, contact Alan Oirich at 201-242-9460.
Shalom TV can be seen on Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision, Verizon FiOS, Cox, RCN, Bright House, Armstrong, Service Electric Cablevision, Buckeye CableSystem, MetroCast, Blue Ridge Communications, Frontier, and Rogers Cable (Canada). For channel positions in your community, click here.
Click here to download the press release.