At a time when some congregations schedule the Selichot service that ushers in the High Holy Days for just after the end of Shabbat or join with a neighboring congregation to increase attendance, The Hampton Synagogue on Long Island’s east end is attracting worshippers from as far away as Flatbush.
“People look forward to our Selichot service and we go the extra mile – no pun intended – by renting buses for those from Brooklyn, Queens and the Five Towns,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, the congregation’s spiritual leader.
He said complimentary buses carrying 120 people would be leaving at 9 p.m. Saturday from locations in each of those boroughs in order to attend the Westhampton Beach service, which begins at 10:30. Rabbi Schneier said that after he extends brief introductory remarks, the service would be conducted by the congregation’s cantor, Netanel Hershtik, along with The Hampton Synagogue choir, 10 professional Jewish male singers who travel to the Hamptons each weekend for services.
And this year for the first time, Rabbi Schneier said, Cantor Daniel Gildar will accompany them on the keyboard.
“People who are fans of traditional, classical cantorial music will hear the same service that was heard 50 years ago in Borough Park, except there will be a Hamptons flare to it,” he said. “We encourage people to make the Hamptons their first stop on their High Holy Days journey, and people come from all over. We’re expecting 1,000 people, and to accommodate them we transform our 350-seat sanctuary into an amphitheater.”