Emerson’s Congregation B’nai Israel welcomed the new year with services livestreamed into the homes of nearly 200 member families. In this year of covid-19, synagogue leaders decided to forgo in-person prayer services in order to minimize the chances of any member contracting the disease in a sanctuary that typically would hold 600 worshipers over the high holidays.
Congregant Jeremy Shapiro, a digital content expert who recently rebuilt the synagogue website, led the move toward livetreaming. His team included Rabbi Debra Orenstein and her husband, Craig Weisz, an adjunct professor of film studies, and well as the shul’s Cantor Lenny Mandel, its ritual committee, and executive board members. Jeremy Shapiro helped monitor and orchestrate the entire production, and Mr. Weisz was in charge of the camera and lighting for all pre-recorded segments featuring synagogue members. The shul hired Dave Steck, the founder, executive producer, and creative director of Numeric Pictures.