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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosh Hashana Hits Internet

NEW YORK -- For one 3-year-old, the Jewish New Year means learning ancient Hebrew rituals with a mouse -- in cyberspace.


God is just a click away for Congregation Emanu-El in Manhattan, one of the world's largest synagogues, which is broadcasting Rosh Hashana services on the Internet.


For Jews observing the year 5757 in dozens of countries, the soul-searching that marks the holiday means clicking to http://www.emanuelnyc.org


"C'mon, c'mon! Faster, faster!" urges Alexandra Newton, her tiny hand clutching the "mouse" as religious images pop up on the screen.


This is high-tech spirituality. Even the 20 office computers have been blessed by a rabbi.


For 18 hours starting at sundown in Israel -- or noon in New York -- Jews worldwide listened to the service, accompanied by on-screen images of Jewish religious objects and texts. One box is marked "A Virtual Tour of the Temple."


The new style of worship began last year, when Temple Emanu-El installed a communications tower.


In April, the first complete religious service hit cyberspace, with about 225,000 people from 33 countries going on-line for the Passover "Cyber Seder."





The on-line services are financed by donations from synagogue members, who have given more than $100,000 so far to the project dubbed "Endow Your Web Site."