Once again, travelers driving to the Catskills on Thursday nights will be able to stop for Minchah and Maariv minyanim at the Sloatsburg Rest Area, located on the northbound Thruway between exits 15A and 16. The Tefilos Mordche Mincha Area – named in memory of long time askan, Rabbi Mordche Friedman, z”l, who oversaw the Mincha Area for years – will be open from 5:00-11:00 p.m. every Thursday night during the summer season.
As in previous years, veteran askan Rabbi Abe Friedman his brother Joel Friedman, the sons of Reb Mordche, z”l, will continue to oversee the Mincha Area. Representatives of the New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Police met earlier this month with community leaders, askanim, Rabbi Bernard Freilich, Rabbis Abe and Joel Friedman to discuss rules and regulations for the area:
- Park only on the upper level of the parking lot, the most private part of the rest area. This causes the least disturbance to other travelers, making it the ideal location for minyanim.
- Do not sell any food or merchandise or conduct any tzedaka solicitations at the Minchah Area, which is designated for davening only. A Thruway representative will be present at all times to enforce this rule.
- Children of all ages must be supervised at all times and should never be left unattended in any vehicle, even for just a moment.
- Vending machines on the upper level parking lot will be stocked with kosher food.
- Obey all speed limits and drive with extreme caution when approaching the upper parking lot.
- Yield to all pedestrians when driving or parking.
Rabbi Friedman urges everyone utilizing the Mincha Area to follow the above rules in order to benefit all Catskills-bound travelers.
“We are extremely grateful to the Thruway personnel and the New York State Police for working with us to accommodate the needs of the thousands of summer travelers who will be heading for the country every Thursday night,” says Rabbi Friedman. “With everyone’s continued cooperation, we hope to be able to provide this vital service for many years to come.”