Shalom TV, for the first time, is presenting Jewish high holiday services.
Designed for those unable to attend a synagogue service, the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur congregational programs began airing on Shalom TV the week of Sept. 5.
The video-on-demand service has broken the services down into individual programs, affording viewers a chance to watch those that interest them: liturgy, Torah readings, Shofar Service on Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, Yizkor Memorial Service, N'iloh and Martyrology on Yom Kippur.
The presentations are enhanced by having Hebrew displayed on the screen for users to read along, accompanied by the transliteration and English-language translation.
"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," said Rabbi Mark Golub, the president of Shalom TV, in a statement. "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."
"Of course, no television service can ever replace an actual service," stressed 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."
Shalom TV can be seen in some 39 million VOD homes on systems owned by Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision, Verizon FiOS, Cox, RCN, Bright House, Armstrong, Service Electric Cablevision, Buckeye CableSystem, MetroCast, Blue Ridge Communications and Frontier, as well as Rogers Cable, that nation's largest MSO.
The services now can also be seen by subscribers to Wide Open West!, which recently launched Shalom TV under its "health & lifestyles" designation.
Shalom TV is also making the high holiday service programming available to Jewish serviceman and women throughout the world via www.ShalomTV.com under the "watch complete programs" button.
Golub explained that this VOD presentation may be particularly helpful to those serving in the military and can't make it to synagogue.
"This may especially apply to Jewish men and women in uniform, many of whom are serving our country overseas and will therefore be unable to see our services on cable television," said Golub. "We are delighted to be able to make them available free on line and we appreciate the Jewish Chaplains Council's spreading our invitation for them to join the eclectic services I lead in my home community in Connecticut."