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Lincoln Center Synagogue to Offer Fashionistas Rosh Hashanah Services

By Leslie Albrecht | September 1, 2010 7:04am

By Leslie Albrecht

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — If Diane von Furstenberg's spring collection looks extra stunning on the runway at Fashion Week, it could be because of divine intervention.

A synagogue across from Lincoln Center — Fashion Week's new home — says it plans to hold Rosh Hashanah services aimed at fashionistas.

Rabbi Yehuda Lipskier of Chabad of the West 60s said the services will include prayers to wish success for Jewish fashion designers like Furstenberg, Zac Posen, and others.

The synagogue is making an effort to reach out to Jews who will be attending Fashion Week because the event overlaps this year with Rosh Hashanah, one of the most important Jewish holidays of the year.

Traditionally observant Jews spend the multi-day holiday praying, spending time with loved ones and reflecting on their lives.

But this year some Jews in the fashion industry are forced to choose between honoring the holiday and attending one of the most important events on the fashion calendar.

Lipskier says his services, which start at sundown on Sept. 8 and run through Sept. 10, could let Jews do both.

"If people are going to be at Fashion Week, they should also have a place to come and pray and experience who they are," Lipskier said.

"The most important thing is that every Jew has a place that they feel comfortable with to come celebrate and pray for a good new year."

The synagogue, at 37 West 65th Street, is a quick walk from Lincoln Center.

To sweeten the deal, the synagogue is dropping its usual $180 requested donation for Rosh Hashanah services and asking attendees instead to pump that money back into the local economy — after the high holidays are over, Lipskier said.

Lipskier said he was "a little bit shocked" that Fashion Week coincides with Rosh Hashanah this year. He recommended that Jewish fashion designers reschedule their shows out of deference to the holiday.

"We guarantee that God will repay them 10 times over," Lipskier said.

Lipskier admitted that he's not an expert when it comes to fashion. He said he's not familiar with Posen or Von Furstenberg, but his wife is.

"I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to the fashion world, but two things I do know, there's a lot of Jews involved in fashion, and it's an expression of your soul that can be used for good if it's done in the right way," Lipskier said.