Oneg Shabbat – Live-Streaming Every Friday

 


At LBHH, the physical distancing requirements during COVID-19 has limited our ability to gather and share experiences and events as we once did, with large group gatherings now replaced with smaller, more intimate groups and programs.

While this change has been effective to help reduce the spread of the virus, groups that traditionally flourished with a larger attendance and participation of residents, such as our weekly and very popular Oneg Shabbat program on Friday afternoons, was impacted by the smaller attendance as many residents were unable to attend due to room capacity constraints.

The Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew for “Joy of Sabbath”) program provides a format where residents can communally express the happiness inherent in the Sabbath holiday and includes a program of songs, traditional music, ritual, home-baked challah and candle lighting to welcome the Sabbath. The program is led by a community cantor and other guest leaders, families and community members have historically been welcomed to join in and regularly participate.

In early spring, as COVID-19 persisted and became a pandemic, we persevered in bringing Oneg Shabbat to the residents by utilizing our in-house team to lead the program, with all the required personal protective equipment (PPE) and room capacity requirements in place to ensure resident safety.

In the late spring we became more familiar with how to navigate our leisure programming through the pandemic with greater confidence, we pivoted and re-created some of our activities as well as inviting musicians to perform outside under a canopy while we live-streamed their concerts to residents. (Technology is a wonderful thing!) Residents were able to watch and listen to the performance ‘live’ outside through the large bank of opened windows, or watch the live-streamed performance on our massive TV screen in the Homeside Lounge. As fall arrived and the weather cooled and the rain arrived, musicians were understandably less-inclined to perform outside, and the windows were frequently closed to keep folks warm, reducing the sound quality of performances. We returned to our team-led Oneg Shabbat program.

Now, with winter approaching, we are pleased to announce a new service for residents! We will be live-streaming Cantor Steve Levin’s Oneg Shabbat program on large screens on both floors via FaceTime every Friday afternoon at 2:30 PM. Cantor Steve has been a long-time friend of the Louis Brier and his warm and welcoming music program filled with ritual and tradition is an essential part of our Friday programming. Steve’s relationship with the residents is also a big part of the success of this program, and through FaceTime he is able to interact and engage with a much larger group of residents and continue the important ritual and tradition of Oneg Shabbat.

 

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