For many Jewish New Yorkers, observing the High Holy Days can feel like attending a sold-out concert or sporting event. The limited seating, advanced ticketing required, and harried security procedures are balanced by the joy of seeing friends and the power of observing these solemn days of prayer in community. B’nai Jeshurun, an egalitarian, post-denominational synagogue on the Upper West Side, annually hosts 1,800 member families and their guests, more than 4,000 people overall, for the seven services observed for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In all, the community typically gathers in 10 different spaces within four separate venues for more than 35 distinct prayer services over the 5 days. As the logistics and security needs expanded a few years ago, B’nai Jeshurun called on All Aces to bolster its front-of-house operations, providing staff to scan tickets and help usher guests to their service spaces and seats.
This summer, as the Covid pandemic’s trajectory made clear the need for B’nai Jeshurun to offer all of its prayer service virtually, the Rabbis and staff developed a robust offering which combined multi-platform streaming along with virtual social gatherings, and at-home materials which together, they hoped, would bridge the necessary physical distance with strong spiritual and social connections. As their plans evolved, they realized the need for additional resources, and once again called upon All Aces, this time to expand their virtual front-of-house operations. All Aces professional provided the following services:
- Prior to Rosh Hashana, All Aces helped the member engagement operation, including the local delivery of member care packages to help people observe the high holy days at home.
- The prayer services for adults and families were broadcast over livestream, YouTube, and Facebook to more than 20,000 unique viewers from around the world. All Aces staff provided real-time phone and email customer support, ensuring people found the right services and other online resources they needed, such as digital prayer books.
- Additionally, All Aces staff monitored the live chat streams on Facebook and YouTube to ensure content was appropriate and to address any unwanted comments or interaction
- B’nai Jeshurun also created interactive Zoom and Sidebar sessions for members to gather socially. All Aces provided room hosting for some of these sessions.
The B’nai Jeshurun community went into the High Holy Days season with great trepidation: how could virtual prayer from home replace the power of praying together in person? Thankfully, the B’nai Jeshurun community felt extremely connected throughout the season thanks to the efforts described above, and All Aces is proud to have played a role in that success.