Orange County rabbi turns to technology for the first time amid pandemic

An Orange County rabbi is opening up about using technology for the first time to reach members in the wake of the pandemic. 

With energetic song, you are welcomed into the home of Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of Orange County. 

Rabbi Rachlis has been posting Shabbat services on YouTube as his wife, Cantor Ruti Braier, plays guitar. 

Like so many other houses of worship, the University Synagogue is now meeting with its members through Zoom and posting weekly on Youtube.

However, Rabbi Rachlis admits it's a first for him, and you might say he has taken to technology.


Gov. Newsom releases new guidelines for places of worship to reopen

• Some churches will reopen, they say with or without Gov. Newsom’s permission

• US says California's reopening plan discriminates against churches

He says he's surprised by the interest as he's been able to reach so many more people. Now, he has new followers from across the country with some asking to become members of the Irvine synagogue. 

With the coronavirus still present, if you're looking to connect with one of Orange County's largest synagogues anytime soon, you'll have to do it online.

Houses of worship have been given approval from the state to reopen with modifications.  However, University Synagogue says they'll wait to reopen its doors until late December. Rabbi Rachlis fears the temptation to connect and sit together will make social distancing almost impossible. He doesn't want to risk the health or lives of any of his members.

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.