‘You’ve Got Sermons’


With tens of millions of people watching YouTube daily, a Long Beach, L.I., rabbi has decided to use it to post mini-sermons to his congregants and others.

“People are sick and tired of reading rabbis’ articles,” said Rabbi Eli Goodman, spiritual leader of the Bachurei Chemed Congregation, an Orthodox synagogue also known as the Bach Jewish Center. “Snail mail is outdated; we’re trying to focus on e-mails. And we have a Web site, bachyouth.com.

”So about a month ago Rabbi Goodman started e-mailing 60-second video messages to his 400 to 500 families using YouTube. Some of the messages were serious; some were funny. For instance, in the one he made for Purim he dressed up in Chinese attire to go along with the theme of Purim in Peking.

And this week during Passover, he said he is planning to sing an original song.

The rabbi, 29, said he borrowed the YouTube idea from a rabbi in Colorado. “I thought this was a good idea and that if it could work there, why not here,” Rabbi Goodman observed.

“We have about 1,000 people on our e-mail list,” he said. “People enjoy the videos and send them to their friends. … I have a digital camera and I record it in my office or outside.”

Because his 60-year-old synagogue building is two blocks from the beach, Rabbi Goodman said he plans to record some messages while on the sand.