Sloatsburg Mincha Area Opens Ahead of Summer Travel Surge

By Matis Glenn

Travelers headed to the Catskills can once again take advantage of the popular davening station at the Sloatsburg rest stop Thursday nights this summer, starting this week. The “Mincha Area,” as it’s known, is located on the northbound New York State Thruway, between exits 15a and 16, and is open from 5 p.m. till 11 p.m every Thursday for Minchah and Ma’ariv minyanim.

The stop, whose official name is the “Tefilas Mordeche Mincha Area,” is so named l’zecher nishmas Rabbi Mordeche Friedman, z”l, a longtime askan who started the project nearly 30 years ago. His sons Rabbi Abe and Rabbi Joel Friedman have overseen the station for the past 10 years.

After a meeting with community leaders, the Friedman brothers, askan Rabbi Bernard Frielich,  and representatives of New York State police and Thruway Authority, the following rules were decided.

Travelers are advised to:

Park only on the upper level of the parking lot, the most private part of the rest area which creates the least disturbance to other travelers, making it the ideal location for minyanim.

Refrain from selling any food or merchandise or conducting any tzedakah solicitations at the Mincha 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.

Obey all speed limits and drive with extreme caution when approaching the upper parking lot.

Yield to all pedestrians when driving or parking.

“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,” said Rabbi Abe Friedman.  “With everyone’s continued cooperation, we hope to be able to provide this vital service for many years to come.”

Vending machines on the upper level parking lot will be stocked with kosher food.

Rabbi Mordeche Friedman, z”l.
Rabbi Abe Friedman and Rabbi Bernard Freilich

Ma’ariv Wednesday night.

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