Ed Wittenberg

B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike has become the first Conservative synagogue in Greater Cleveland to do live streaming over the Internet of services and programs.

Since mid-February, B’nai Jeshurun has been streaming its Shabbat morning services from the David J. Moskowitz Sanctuary, said Jay Ross, the synagogue’s executive director. It also has streamed two Purim Megillah services, and it was scheduled to stream the lecture by Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary, on April 1.

Only events that take place in the sanctuary can be live streamed at this time, as that is where the video camera is located, Ross said.

“If people are sick, out of town or just unable to attend services, they can now watch our services live on our website, or at their convenience from our archives,” he said.

The streaming video portal can be accessed from the home page of the synagogue website: bnaijeshurun.org.

“In addition to Shabbat services, we will stream other services and events in the sanctuary as interest and funding permit,” Ross said.

Other synagogues that are doing live streaming include Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood and The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood and Cleveland, both Reform, and Kol HaLev, the Reconstructionist Jewish community in Pepper Pike.

B’nai Jeshurun is partnering with StreamSpot, a division of Cincinnati-based Maximum Media, which does live streaming for churches and synagogues. Fairmount Temple and The Temple-Tifereth Israel also do their streaming through Maximum Media.

“Wendy Helfand, (director of technology for) The Temple-Tifereth Israel, graciously assisted us in the start-up of our live streaming,” Ross said. “It was very nice synagogue-to-synagogue cooperation.”

An anonymous donor has provided funding to help support the project, Ross said.

“He said the donation and the streaming are in honor of our wonderful clergy: Rabbi Stephen Weiss, Rabbi Hal Rudin-Luria and Cantor Aaron Shifman,” he said.

Ross said the synagogue will charge a small fee for copies of DVDs from bar mitzvahs or other events that are recorded in the sanctuary.

“We hope that will generate some sales and that it will be a self-supporting operation, with revenue and-or donations,” he said.

Scholarship opportunities, such as sponsoring the streaming of a Shabbat service, are also available, Ross said.

Ross said there are no plans at this time for the synagogue to purchase another camera to do live streaming in any other rooms, although that may happen in the future.

Rabbi Stephen Weiss said all of the camera work is done remotely from Cincinnati, and the company that operates the camera is non-Jewish.

“Everything is done from Cincinnati,” he said. “There’s nothing here for us to touch. We have an ongoing contract with (StreamSpot), and it really is permissible for non-Jewish people to do work on Shabbat if you are able to benefit from the work.

“As for people using the stream, I have repeatedly told members of the congregation that if they are healthy and well, they should be coming to services. But for somebody who is infirm or ill or unable to travel, that is who the streaming is meant for. It’s better they should use the stream than to not be connected at all.”

Weiss added the streaming is also intended to be used as a permanent resource for anyone who wants to go back and watch a service or event via the archives on the website.

“We’re very excited about it,” he said. “It’s gotten tremendous response from people.”

Anyone interested in having an event streamed at the synagogue should contact Ross at 216-831-6555, ext. 107, or email jayross@bnaijeshurun.org.

MARCH OF THE LIVING: “L’dor V’dor – From Generation to Generation,” a March of the Living intergenerational program, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at Montefiore, 1 David N. Myers Parkway in Beachwood.

Edna Akrish, a Cleveland representative leading the Ohio delegation of the March of the Living trip, will present a program with Cleveland-area students attending this year’s march. The students will meet with Montefiore residents and local Holocaust survivors and then collect personalized notes from the survivors for future placement inside the Kotel during their trip to Israel.

The March of the Living is an annual educational program that brings students from all over the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to see the rebuilding of the Jewish nation. The march – a three-kilometer walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau – is a silent tribute to Holocaust victims and will take place Monday, April 28.

For more information, contact Akrish at 216-464-2006.

JFSA RECEIVES AWARD: Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland has earned first place for sustained programming in the Kovod Awards competition, the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies announced.

The Kovod Awards honor AJFCA member agencies for excellence in client services and programming. JFSA Cleveland, based in Beachwood, received its award for its Ascentia Residential programming and services.

Since 1978, JFSA Cleveland’s Ascentia Residential Services has been providing housing and supportive services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness. The program serves more than 160 people annually, with an operating budget of nearly $12 million.

The Kovod Award winners are determined by a panel of judges from the AJFCA and member agencies.

FORMER RABBI DIES: Rabbi Bernard Perelmuter, who served as rabbi for the Young People’s Congregation at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood in the 1950s, died March 15 in Newtown, Pa. He was 88.

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