As U.S. Synagogues Start to Reopen, Zoom Becomes the Elephant in the Room

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BARRINGTON, Rhode Island – Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman stepped in front of his congregation at Temple Habonim Friday night, inviting the worshippers to “welcome Shabbat into our hearts and our spirit.”

As he began the service, he gazed into the camera in the middle of the sanctuary full of empty chairs, looking as it has for over a year since the coronavirus lockdown began. The service was then live-streamed on the synagogue’s YouTube channel.

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