Who’s seat in Shul – seating gabbai

Home Forums Tefilla / Davening Who’s seat in Shul – seating gabbai

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
  • #1362372


    Someone travels frequently is often away for months at a time. another person has been davening in a certain seat in the shul. The gentleman returns and wants his seat back. Does the person who has been there for months need to leave the spot? They both want to buy the same spot for RH



    If the traveler bought it last year it is his to buy again.



    Unless notified otherwise, seats are normally bought for the entire year.



    First come first serve. Unless you have a name on your spot or.a shtender.



    jj2020: It depends on the shule. My shule’s seats are sold for the year and you have first rights to the same seat. The seating plan is posted in two places in the shule for the entire year.



    I would expect that the man who travels and returns (as a pattern) is entitled to his seat. The newcomer has been ‘squatting’ but has no permanent claim on the seat.m
    In my experience, most shuls that sell tickets offer seats first to the person who bought them the previous year.

    Our shul has brass nameplates on the seatbacks for those who have purchased permanent seats. We don’t sell tickets for the holidays, seats come with membership dues.



    I agree with JJ2020 “First come first serve. ” in other words the traveler who has a chazaka, he bought it first, he bought it previous years
    (the story is skimpy on details I assume this is the case)



    If the traveller paid for his seat, it is his. The second person can have a chazaka on it when the traveller is away, but not if the owner is there.
    If he didn’t pay for it, even if he he has a shtender there, or a siddur and chumash in the shelf under the table etc, it isn’t his if he’s been away.



    CTL: Our shul policy is one men’s seat with membership dues; extra seats for women/children are $75 each. In the Young Israel where I grew up, membership and seats for the Yomim Noraim were separate fees.

    ubi: I took “jj2020’s” response the opposite way. Whoever comes first this year gets it; it is not based on last year, JJ2020 please clarify.



    If a person is late to shul and someone took his (paid/kove’a makom) seat, he can’t make that person leave. If davening is underway and a guest needing a seat took an unoccupied seat, he isn’t responsible to know or have to move for a latecomer that normally sits there. Otherwise no guest could ever sit down without having to worry he’ll be kicked out of the seat (at which point there may be no more available seats.)



    I understood jj2020 as you did.
    I only agree with his premise ” First come first serve”
    Though it may have led him to the wrong conclusion

    agreed. though that isnt the topic
    (Though we can argue what is considered “late”)



    In our shul, gabbaim are appointed to welcome all guests, whenever they arrive to davening, and make sure they have a seat. If they move towards a specific seat that belongs to regular mispallel the gabbaim let them know the seat is used by a regular and offer them another, similar spot. After barchu, all seats are used to seat guests (with the exception of yamim narayim where seats are assigned and it is common that some people, and certainly many younger children, will come later). The gabbaim have contingency plans for these days.



    I started a new thread to discuss the issue Joseph brought up. Feel free to head over there




    OOT, shuls are dependent on dues to maintain the buildings and staff year round. Therefore they do not as a rule sell tickets to anyone who lives within 50 miles. You get enough seats for yourself, spouse and unmarried children.
    Visiting out of state relatives may receive tickets when they provide a letter fro their home shul that they are members in good standing with dues paid up to date. College students are welcomed at no charge, just asked to call in advance and be placed on the seating chart.



    Therefore they do not as a rule sell tickets to anyone who lives within 50 miles.

    Why 50 miles? If it is Orthodox, walking distance is much less than 50 miles. If someone lives 15 miles away and is coming to the shul, he surely is not walking in. If he is Orthodox, he must be a visitor.

    Visiting out of state relatives may receive tickets when they provide a letter fro their home shul that they are members in good standing with dues paid up to date.

    What does requiring such a letter accomplish?

    College students are welcomed at no charge, just asked to call in advance and be placed on the seating chart.

    What about Yeshiva students?

    P.S. These policies seem to be generated from a very MO shul.



    I remember these policies from when I was a child more than 55 years ago…………..
    There are many congregants who have relatives that come for yuntif. I did not state they are coming 45 miles on Yuntif, they may be at the parents for Yuntif. My eldest brother and SIL live 16 miles away and my Eldest sister and BIL live 30 miles away. They will be here for the Yomin Noraim. Our shul also sells associate memberships for those who belong to instate shuls but visit often. It is a nominal fee of $150 per family.

    In many OOT Orthodox there are 3rd and 4th generation members who are not frum and do drive the 40 miles from their homes on Yuntif. They wish to spend Yuntif in the shul where they grew up, where Bubbe and Zaidy’s names are lit up on the Yarhzeit Board for Yom Kippur. They keep paying dues because they want to be buried along with their ancestors in the synagogue’s cemetery and plots are free to members and not sold to non-members.

    Requiring the letter of good standing keeps Jews belonging to and supporting their local shul. This concept was taken in the 1960s from the Jewish Welfare Board which was the umbrella organization for JCCs in the USA. Your membership card from the New Haven JCC was honored at a JCC in Chicago, you were not subject to a guest fee to use the facilities.

    College Students….as I said I grew up in New Haven, Yale Students (all males in those days) were more than welcome. They were considered a good catch for the local girls. Our Shammos married his eldest daughter to one, who went on to serve a lengthy term on The Federal Reserve.

    As for Yeshiva Students…unmarried family members get tickets. I don’t live in an area where there are OOT Yeshiva Students who would be davening in a neighborhood shul and not at their Yeshiva.

    The shuls who generated these policies during the baby boom, predate the MO nomenclature.



    What I meant is that in general if you walk into shul and there is no indication that someone else “owns” that seat either bc there is a name there a shtender or something then it’s fair game to sit there.

    If the shul has some rules such as if you bought a seat last uesr you get first chance this year that’s one thing. But without any set rules you should be able to get what you want.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.