(VIDEOS & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
100 years ago, amongst the stifling tenements on the Lower East Side lived a Jew by the name of Max Grablowski. Along with his friend Irving Bunim and others, they looked on in horror as the long hot humid Friday nights were filled with the entertainment of marxist-leninist and every type of evil being spouted from the soap boxes on the street corners.
Along with a few friends, he founded a group which would be known to this day as a movement, the Young Israel movement. Many European rabbis could not relate to the American Youth and did not appreciate their sincerity. They were therefore deprived of many of the common customary honors in the Shuls, such as being Chazan and receiving Aliyos.
What began with Friday night lectures, morphed into a worldwide organization and movement which has preserved the Judaism of many many people for many many years.
Common conversation today was ‘where did you say Slichos’, and ‘where are you going to be saying Slichos’ was a common conversation this past Shabbos. A common answer was, at the Carlebach shul, by the cantorial concerts and by other such off the plantation venues not normally frequented by many of their attendees.
This phenomenon, which is quite widespread, lead me to the realization through conversations with friends that there is a tremendous population out there that is not being serviced by our traditional structure and it is time to create a such a structure because the proportion of people on The Fringe is not growing but the numbers are, as our population flourishes. All these people attending these out of the box Services on Motzei Shabbos are most likely attending or avoiding attending Shuls where they do not feel at home and part of the congregation, part of the service.
We cannot afford to disenfranchise so many of our beloved youth.
Who will stand up to fill the void?
Dan – NYC
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PHOTOS BY JDN:
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)