Over the past 17 years, thousands of travelers have made use of the Tefilas Mordche Mincha Area on the New York State Thruway, stopping on their way upstate for evening prayer services. Named in memory of my esteemed father, Rabbi Mordechai Friedman, who dedicated his life to community service and to the Mincha Area in particular, the Sloatsburg rest stop has provided motorists with a safe location for prayer as they headed to the Catskills on Thursday nights.
Having worked closely with the New York State Thruway Authority, the New York State Police and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, we are once again able to open the Mincha Area at the rest stop’s upper deck on June 25th, albeit with certain pandemic-related restrictions in place. Social distancing will be strictly enforced, both for prayer and for any other conversations or interactions. Masks must be worn at all times and the parking deck will be subject to temporary closures in order to prevent crowding.
Please note that failure to comply with these rules will result in the Mincha Area’s closure.
As in the past, the following regulations will remain in effect at all times:
• In order to provide a minimum of disturbance to other travelers, Mincha Area parking is on the upper level only.
• Parking in handicapped and restricted areas without proper permits is forbidden.
• Prayer can take place only in the designated Mincha Area.
• No sales of any kind, including food, merchandise or tzedaka solicitations are allowed at the rest stop.
• Children of all ages must be supervised and should never be left unattended in any vehicle.
• Obey all speed limits and use extreme caution when approaching the upper deck.
• Yield to all pedestrians when driving or parking.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the New York State Thruway Authority, the New York State Police and Governor Cuomo’s office for appreciating the importance of the Mincha Area and look forward to a safe and healthy summer.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
Among the first signs of “normalcy” returning. Kol hakovod to the dedicated askanim who work every year with the NYS Thruway and State police to make this possible. Among the many small but significant acts of chesed for the tzibur that often goes unacknowledged.