Rest Stop Offers Jewish Men Place to Pray

On Thursday nights during the summer, thousands of Orthodox Jewish men transform an ordinary rest stop into a sacred space.

The travelers, who hail from Brooklyn, Staten Island and northern New Jersey, look for a place to pray as they make their way upstate to meet their families.

For nearly two decades, the New York State Thruway Authority has provided a place for religious Jews — as well as those of other faiths — to worship at the Sloatsburg travel plaza along the northbound Thruway, past Exit 15A, due to public safety concerns.

The prayer zone is on the top level of the rest area’s two-story parking garage, far from the highway’s breakdown lanes where men once gathered.


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