The Sloatsburg Rest Area will be designated this summer as a Minchah/Maariv location on Thursday evenings for those traveling upstate, Rabbi Abe Friedman, a police chaplain, said.
The area, located on the Northbound side of the New York State Thruway, between exits 15A and 16, has served in past years as a rest stop as well. Askanim have met with Captains of the State Police and the Thruway Authority to establish the ground rules and prepare the area.
Minyanim for Minchah and Maariv will begin at 5:00 and go on until 10:30 on Thursdays. Rabbi Friedman, whose father, Rabbi Mordechai Friedman, z”l, founded the tradition many years ago, will personally supervise the area during those times. The designated area is named “Tefillas Mordechai” in his father’s memory.
The public is asked to obey the following rules:
1. All vehicles should be parked on the upper level of the lot only. The upper level has been designated as the minyan area, as it is more private and will not disturb other travelers. Please note that any vehicles parked on the grass or illegally will be promptly towed away.
2. The Sloatsburg area is to be used for prayer only. The selling of food or merchandise, or solicitations of tzedakah, will not be tolerated. A Thruway inspector will be present at all times.
3. Never leave young children unattended in a vehicle, even just for a moment. They should be supervised at all times.
4. Restrooms and vending machines filled with kosher food will be available on the upper level of the building.