PHOTOS: The popular Mincha/Maariv area, utilized every Summer by tens of thousands of Orthodox men traveling to the Catskills, will be open for the Summer as of today June 28.
Located at the Sloatsburg rest area on the northbound side of the New York State Thruway, the area was designated as “prayer zone” after intense negotiations with community leaders to serve the many members of the Jewish community who travel frequently to the Catskills during the summer months.
Located midway between the city and the mountains, the Sloatsburg rest area has long been a landmark on the drive upstate and has traditionally been the designated Mincha/Maariv spot for the many men who travel upstate on Thursday nights in order to spend a long weekend with their families.
While the Thruway Authority has designated a spot at the Sloatsburg rest area for minyanim, it is important to remember that this area is to be used for prayer only. Peddling of any kind is forbidden at the area and disregarding this rule will create a massive chilul Hashem.
Special recognition should be given to Community Leaders Rabbi Edgar Gluck, who initiated the Mincha/Maariv area and to Rabbi Bernard Freilich, and Rabbi Abe Friedman for working with the New York State Thruway Authority and NYSP to ensure the success of the project.
The public should take note to below important rules regarding the Tfilos Mordche Mincha Area:
• All minyan participants must drive directly to the second floor. A tow truck stationed at the rest area has been instructed to tow any cars that are parked on any grassy area of the rest stop immediately.
• The second floor parking area is well suited to the needs of the heimishe oilam, with greater privacy and easier access to the restrooms.
• The New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Police will be enforcing a zero tolerance policy regarding the selling of any food and any kind of tzedaka collection.
• After much hard work, Kosher food products will be available at a vending machine located inside the building.
• The area is to be used exclusively for minyanim. No loitering or hanging out of any kind will be tolerated.
• Children should not be left unattended in cars. Parents who need to use the restroom must take their children with them.
Absolutely no parking, stopping on Thruway shoulders or ramp of rest area.
In conclusion, We urge all travelers who are using the Minche area Tfiles Mordche, Observe all special instructions that are given by the NYS State Thruway authority and the NYS state police, who will be on site each Thursday.
“We truly hope that the community will abbey by it and make certain that the summer vacation travelers have a pleasant experience at the at the Mincha area and will be using it for prayers proposes only, says Rabbi Abe Friedman, the son of the long time askan the late, Rav Mordche, Z’L.
Wishing you a wonderful and safe Summer season. TLS