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Shuls begin to charge for legroom and desirable seats

Taking after the airlines, synagogues in the New York metropolitan area are going to be charging premium prices for premium seats, like those with more legroom. Many synagogues are lacking the funds to properly maintain their sanctuaries have hot kiddushim and have scholars in residence, but they think charging more for certain seats may help them raise necessary funds.

So which seat prices are being raised?

Many synagogues have already raised the prices on exit row seats, those seats closest to an exit are highly sought after for long high holiday and Sabbath services. If someone wants to leave during Yom Kippur they can just do so, without disturbing a whole row of people and they can come late to shul without anyone knowing. Aisle seat prices are going up, especially in synagogues like New York Citys Jewish Center, which is notorious for its long and crowded rows, where its nearly impossible to leave without causing a ruckus and the aisle seats fill up quickly, because they are good for looking at the goods on the other side of the rather low mechitzah.

Synagogues with bimah real estate will also be offering spots for the folks who enjoy slumping over the bimah, and the general open space around the bimah will be up for sale. Many sanctuaries are built with little room to walk, besides for around the bimah, many older folks are willing to fork over a bit more for the ability to stretch their bones in shul without exiting the main sanctuary.

In some synagogues, the seats within view of the rabbu are sought after, many synagogues were built with the microphone in mind and those that dont use them make it hard to hear the rabbi speak. Some folks actually want to hear the rabbi speak and these seats may command a premium.

We are waiting for more on this developing story and will bring that to you when it develops. In other news, synagogues mull over renting space to Kiddush clubs.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Mahla June 13, 2010, 1:37 PM

    The shuls should get the sexiest single girls and Hot Chanies all to sit together in one place and then charge mega-bucks for young men to sit next to them. With a really, really short mechitza for propriety’s sake, of course.

  • ShidduchMaven June 13, 2010, 1:46 PM

    I’m not worried my company is sure to purchase some box seats for their employees.

    Corporate seating at synagogues, now that’s a great way to raise money!

  • rabbi jason June 13, 2010, 3:05 PM

    I knew this was going to happen. Charging for legroom. Next shuls will charge me for oversized tallis.

  • Eye Kan Spel June 13, 2010, 3:58 PM

    I was charged a fee for sleeping during davening on Rosh Hashanah. I was just sleeping quietly, minding my own business, when someone (presumably the shul shluf police) tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a card with numbers on it, telling me to choose one. At least he was nice enough to let me choose the fee amount!

  • WACKY MAC & CHOCOLATE PIZZA June 13, 2010, 5:40 PM

    In my synogogue, there is always a heated argument in the weeks prior as I try to buy a seat near the entrance – as I am ADHD – to slip in at out unnoticed.

  • WACKY MAC & CHOCOLATE PIZZA June 13, 2010, 5:41 PM

    I always try to get a seat near entrance so I can escape at will unnoticed.

  • WACKY MAC June 13, 2010, 5:42 PM

    I prefer the seat closest to the door so I can escape without being seen.

  • Les June 13, 2010, 10:30 PM

    This picture is of a shul in my neighborhood and they don’t have this rule so don’t make ppl think this shul has problems

  • Rabbi Jason Miller June 14, 2010, 11:53 PM

    I found some other ways that shuls are like the airlines, besides for charging for more leg room.


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