Skype

Kabbalat Shabbat in Camp Foster: The Challenges of a Marine Chaplain

08/09/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

I would imagine that rest and relaxation are the two most important criteria of a really good summer vacation, especially when one’s job is stressful.  But if it is also true that expanding one’s horizons and learning about parts of the world that were completely unfamiliar are also important components, then my wife and I are enjoying one of our most successful summer vacations ever, here in Okinawa, Japan, and soon in Kyoto and Tokyo.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

The iPad Wedding

I've written on this blog about Jewish weddings and other Jewish life cycle events that have welcomed Skype technology. The newest way to bring loved ones from far way into the simcha is through an iPad or other tablet device. 

Rabbi Rachel Kobrin watched the grandfather of the bride deliver a wedding speech via iPad

Long Distance Bar Mitzvah

Many Jewish day schools are taking good advantage of technology these days. I was very impressed when I heard about how one Jewish day school in Detroit -- Hillel Day School -- made it possible for a family to celebrate a bar mitzvah together even though one cousin was in Mongolia.

Bar Mitzvah in Detroit Reaches Mongolia

The Virtual Simcha

The first time I heard about a "virtual simcha" was in the late 1990s. Detroit was hit with a massive snowstorm and the 8-day old baby boy's aunt who was to play the role of rabbi was stuck at the airport in New York. The rabbi improvised and she officiated at her nephew's bris via speaker phone.

Of course, if this happened in 2010 and not in the late 1990s the bris would have been officiated by the rabbi through Skype, and she would have seen the simcha and been seen by the attendees.

Using technology to add people to a simcha is becoming more common. An increasing number of grandparents and great-grandparents are attending their grandchildren's wedding in the virtual world.

Just last month I officiated at a wedding that was being streamed live to Israel so that the bride's elderly grandparents could "be there." Through Ustream.tv, the grandparents felt like they were at the wedding even if it meant staying up late into the night in Israel.

 

Live Streaming Wedding Allows Relatives in Israel to "Attend"
Syndicate content