Travelers making their way up to the Catskills on Thursday nights will once again be able to stop for Minchah and Maariv minyanim at the Sloatsburg Rest Area, located on the northbound Thruway between exits 15A and 16, beginning Thursday, June 27. The Tefilos Mordche Mincha Area, named in memory of Rabbi Morton Friedman, who re-established the Mincha Area 12 years ago, will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. each Thursday night throughout the summer travel season.
Earlier last week, the New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Police met with Rabbi Abe Friedman, Rabbi Joel Friedman and Rabbi Bernard Freilich — who will continue to oversee the Mincha Area — to discuss important rules and regulations for the rest stop.
Travelers are advised to park only on the upper level of the parking lot, the most private part of the rest area that creates the least disturbance to other travelers, making it the ideal location for minyanim. Minyanim are to take place only in this designated Mincha Area and not in any other locations in the parking lot.
In addition, everyone is asked to refrain from parking in handicapped-restricted areas unless they have the proper permits.
Selling food, merchandise or conducting any tzedakah solicitations at the Mincha Area is not permitted, since the area is designated for davening only. Vending machines on the upper-level parking lot will be stocked with kosher food for the convenience of Orthodox Jewish travelers.
Children of all ages must be supervised at all times, and should never be left unattended in any vehicle, even for just a moment.
Extreme caution should be used when approaching the upper parking lot, and drivers should yield to all pedestrians when driving or parking.
A Thruway representative will be present at all times to enforce these rules. Organizers are urging 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 many travelers who will be heading to the country every Thursday night,” said Rabbi Abe Friedman. “We count on everyone for their continued cooperation, so that we can continue providing this vital service for many years to come.”