• Welcome to the ENJC

    Welcome to the ENJC

    The ENJC is a Conservative, egalitarian synagogue of approximately 300 families. We are truly multi-generational; our youngest members are infants, our oldest are in their nineties. On any Shabbat, you can find three generations of the same family in our pews. We offer something for everyone by meeting our members' needs for spiritual, cultural and social connection to the Jewish people. We are known as the “haimish shul,” so visit and spend a Friday evening or Shabbat morning with us and see for yourself!
  • Participate in our May Mah Jongg Tournament

    Participate in our May Mah Jongg Tournament

    Sisterhood is once again hosting this exciting tournament. Download the registration form and join us on May 19th for a fun day of tournament play and great food! Click on the READ MORE button to download a registration form. Read More
  • Rabbi Silverman's Adult Education Course

    Rabbi Silverman's Adult Education Course

    Derekh eretz is the code of behavior that binds us to each other as human beings and as Jews. It means acting decorously and with respect toward all. Students explore the development of morality as a key component to holiness and how it becomes a fundamental value in Judaism in the contexts of governing, wisdom, emotional balance, sexual and gender matters, public debate and more. Classes meet Thursday evenings, from 7:15 until minyan. Classes: 5/9, 5/23, 6/6, 6/20.
  • Congregation Meetings for the ENJC Board of Directors

    Congregation Meetings for the ENJC Board of Directors

    Have a say in the programmatic and spiritual direction of the ENJC. Attend these important opportunities to nominate and vote for Board members. Consider adding your name to the roster and bring a fresh perspective and your leadership talents to strengthen and enhance our congregation.
  • ENJC Israel Committee Summer Film Festival

    ENJC Israel Committee Summer Film Festival

    Explore the strength, courage and culture of the modern state of Israel with three acclaimed films. Bring your friends and family! All donations will be sent to the Kehillat Bomb Shelter Project in Ashkelon, Israel. For the schedule of summer film, click on the READ MORE button. Read More
  • Chai Dedication

    Chai Dedication

    Join us in honoring those ENJC members who have contributed to our congregation for 18 and 36 years!
  • The Feast of Weeks

    The Feast of Weeks

    Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people and the end of the counting of the Omer. It's associated with the grain harvest and it is customary to study Torah in the practice of Tikkun Leil Shavuot. Join us!
  • Torah Study with Rabbi Ian

    Torah Study with Rabbi Ian

    Join us after services on Saturday morning, as we discuss Parashat Kedoshim, in which we discuss laws given to Moses stressing honesty, fairness and helping people live lives of holiness.
  • Czech Torah Webpage Project

    Czech Torah Webpage Project

    As owners of a Czech Torah Scroll, the ENJC joins a community of over 1000 scroll-holders around the world. These scrolls miraculously survived the Shoah and were brought to London in 1964. Read of the history of the ENJC Czech scroll by clicking on the Read More button. Read More
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Deuteronomy begins with the statement, Hoyil Moshe Baer et Hatorah Hazeh, explaining that Moses explicated a Torah document in his last month of life, reviewing it and reflecting upon its meaning. Interestingly, the commentator Nachalat Tzi notes that the word "Baer" should really be the infinitive of "to explicate," leading to a rich additional meaning: that Moses himself had become a "be'er," a wellspring–a Maayan mitgaber, an everflowing fountain of understanding and insight into the profundity of Torah and a fountain to express it to the people.

Look at how far Moses had come, from a person who stuttered and felt he couldn't communicate! He actually exhibits that fear of public speaking. Being summoned by God himself at the burning bush, for most of us, would have been sufficient inspiration. But Moses argues with God, "God, please send someone else..." While here, in Deuteronomy, we see a Moses who is actually a co-author of the fifth book of the Torah, which is the written transcript of his explanatory comments before the people in his last month of life. It makes us ponder that sometimes it's very important to break through perceived limitations no matter how much we hold on to them.

We sometimes have no choice. There are things that make us uncomfortable and situations we avoid. We have notions of our own limitations and we proceed in life pretty much trying to avoid them. We cannot but take them into account. Yet that does not mean that we should be defined by them and ruled by them.

Actually we have words for this, which is a bit of psychobabble, but we call them our fears and our phobias and our "I'd rather nots." An internet site that Google brought me to tells of the six most common of phobias. I'll stop at six because on the seventh we rest! The first most common phobia is mysophobia, the fear of germs. People who succumb to it look like they have OCD, but actually they just have mysophobia. The second most common phobia is pteramahamophobia, or fear of flying. Most of these folks cannot be coaxed onto a plane for even the most important family reunions. Then there is the socialphobic, who has a fear of social gatherings and especially public speaking. Such folks are found inside their homes most of the time. There is the tryptanophobic, the one who fears doctors appointments and especially needles, and the astarophobic who fears thunderstorms. I had a dog like that once, which was so phobic that it ran under the bed, shaking, during thunderstorms. Finally, we end on the six most common of phobias–the cynophobic, who fears man's best friend, the family dog.

Often, people who have severe manifestations of these phobias are doomed to being limited by them, preferring not to confront them. But most of us are somewhere in the more midrange of the spectrum and need, bluntly, the "courage to confront them." Scientists have shown that many of these conditions can be cured by the method of successive approximation–the facing of lesser to eventually more intense examples of the phobia. For instance, with a fear of snakes, folks start with stuffed animal snakes, then eventually rubber ones, and then finally the courageous at heart are ready to encounter and hold a boa constrictor. A willing heart can hopefully one day master fear and reluctance.

Moses is a case in point. This was a guy who didn't like speaking in public. "God," he said numerous times, "I am slow of speech, I stutter, I am heavy of tongue." God's responds with, "Take Aaron with you and he will speak for you." Moses reluctantly agrees and then grows into the job. First he has Aaron as a spokesman, then he lets Aaron hold and use his rod while Moses himself speaks, then Moses has the rod and speaks without Aaron there, and then he speaks without the rod and commands respect. During the plague of locusts, he not only speaks, but by darkness his rod touches heaven. Moses becomes not only great in the eyes of the Hebrews, but he is eventually more greatly respected by the Egyptians than even their Pharaoh. By the time of the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses cannot help but wax eloquent. He's a cross between Shakespeare and Churchill. Two-thirds of the Book is Moses's compelling oratory. He cannot stop talking and motivating. 

Heres a poem I wrote, inspired by this evolution:

Moses at first was so reticent
he claimed that he couldn't speak.
He hemmed and he hawed, how could he present?
He had no charisma or cheek.

God said 'enough, Aaron's your mouthpiece.
I'll tell him just the right words to say.
Just take this miracle rod at least
when to Pharaoh the visit you pay.

Moses agrees but soon we shall see
that Aaron's the one with the rod.
Moses is talking quite capably
a switcheroo that is quite odd.

Soon Aaron is along for the ride;
the staff it's not mentioned at all.
And by the fifth plague Aaron's not by his side,
Moses as leader stands tall.

By locusts Moses is raising his staff,
by darkness his hand touches the sky.
At the start, sure he's nervous, his speech full of gaffes
and now get a load of this guy!

At first Moses stutters and mutters,
for talking he hasn't the bent.
But by the fifth book, he elegantly utters,
he's compelling and eloquent.

It gets us thinking, does it not bro,
that our potential we often abort,
when we limit ourselves by saying "no"
when at times we are selling ourselves short.

Learn from Moses that sometimes hard toil
is the way to excel and exceed.
Low expectations are so often our foil
they stop us in way's we'd succeed.

To be honest to ourselves is to admit that we can't do everything well. But our self-imposed limitations so often keep us from even trying. May all of us take stock of our assumed and ingrained limitations. Perhaps we will ask, "Is it really so," and then work on these phobias and limitations. May we, like Moses, blossom into something we never knew we could be, by trying and by working at our phobias, foibles and false assumptions, and let us say, Amen.

Leadership

  • Steven Walvick, Hazzan
  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi
  • Frank Brecher, ENJC President

The ENJC Welcomes a New Cantor!

The ENJC is extremely pleased to welcome Steven Walvick as our new cantor. Hazzan Walvick is a native of New Jersey and a graduate of the H.L. Miller School at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

His most recent position was as a full-time cantor with Congregation B'nai Israel in Toms River. He has also been a cantor with Temple Beth Am in Margate, Florida and a cantorial soloist with White Meadow Temple in White Meadow Lake, New Jersey. He originally worked in computer science and web development in the Boston area, after graduating from Yale University with a B.S. degree in Computer Science.

Members of the Cantor Search Committee and Rabbi Ian Silverman look on as ENJC President Frank Brecher and Hazzan Steven Walvick sign the contract to bring the Hazzan to the ENJC

 

Gifted with a hearty and resonant voice, Hazzan Walvick has performed with Yale's Whiffenpoofs and The Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir.

Hazzan Walvick was selected after an extensive search, standing out among the rest and "checking all of our boxes" for what we were looking for in a cantor. His warm interaction with congregants, strong singing voice, presence on the bima and electric reading of the Haftorah make him an ideal choice for the ENJC. We feel that he and Rabbi Silverman will be an excellent team.

Thanks go to Rick Kessler, Executive VP of the ENJC, who headed the Cantor Negotiating Committee, Arnie Carter, the Committee Chairman, and members Frank Brecher, Eric Loring, Ed Isaac, Robin Kain, Steven Krantz, Anita Slade and Rochelle Gull. Special thanks to Scott Feuer, Esq., who donated his legal services in the negotiation process.

We also welcome Hazzan Walvick's wife, Deborah, (who also happens to be a rabbi), and his energetic 5-year-old daughter, Elizabeth (Libby). Hazzan Walvick will begin his cantoral duties at the ENJC on July 1st.

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View current news articles, commentary, videos and more having an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See

Very soon after the Pesach holiday, we take up the Omer or the Sefira–those 49 days we count starting from the second Seder–as we make our way towards Shavuot. This year we won’t visit Shavuoth until early June (8th, 9th and 10th). While yontif  it is still a ways off, I am struck by the many festive and commemorative moments that dot the landscape of those 49 days. They are chock-full of opportunities to define oneself Jewishly and individually. For the introspective Kabbalistic type, each day represents the intersection of two Sefirot/emanations from the bottom portion of the Kabbalistic principals, (the Shehina and Tifferet for instance, on one particular day); attributes that we seek to combine in ourselves. For the pious, we remind ourselves that at the exodus from Egypt, we were mired in forty-nine gates of impurity, and each day is an opportunity to perform acts of Jewish affiliation and acts of kindness. For Torah students, the first 33 days are observed with somber seriousness because of the jealousies and lack of respect among students, which led to a terrible plague.  For fire enthusiasts and outdoor types, there is Lag Ba’omer and bon fires, which celebrate the end of the sad days, and the celebrative yahrzeit of Rabbi Simeon Bar Yohai, a mystic Rabbinic sage in Roman times. Finally, for historically conscious Jews who look to historic moments in shaping Jewish identity, we have Yom HaShoah, Yom Hazikaron, Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim, all along the 49 day journey. These days mark the milestones of modern Jewish history in the 20th century of the Holocaust and rebirth.

Many Jews may not be aware of this journey, thinking only of the next big day, Yom Kippur, that beckons to them. Yet these days are so very crucial. I once wrote about the sad loss and high profile of Route 66. This highway had everything—glamor, eating joints, hotels and entertainment. But it dried up when the interstate road system was established by Eisenhower. All of that quintessential Americana went the way of the dodo as soon as a nonstop road circumvented Highway 66.

In a sense, that is what the Omer, the counting of days and their observance, means for us Jews. They help define us more deeply each year, historically, philosophically, spiritually, existentially, and we bypass them at our peril. Please avail yourself of the journey of the Omer. It is a rich contribution to your Jewish identity and Jewish experience. Please come to our Yom Hashoah event Wednesday evening, May 1 at 7:00 pm. We have a special cast of actors performing If Shoa Scrolls could Talk. We also begin our special Israel-fest Summer film and falafel nights, beginning onYom Haazmaut at 6:30 pm, which will celebrate the resilient spirit of Israelis in the movie, Rock in the Red Zone. We will have another two films in the course of this time on the way to Yom Yerushalayim, The Cakemaker and Hava Nagilah: The Movie. Keep your eyes on the calendar for those dates and call to RSVP.

Come celebrate these special milestones with your ENJC Community, as we make our way through another eventful annual journey to Shavuoth. You’ll be enriched by it–I guarantee it.

B'shalom Rav

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Every time I write my monthly article, it is either before or after a holiday. I hope everyone had a wonderful Pesach. Passover has always been my favorite holiday. As a child, I loved getting together with the Brecher family (a gathering of at least twenty-five). Dad was one of four siblings. I was the baby of the eight cousins, eight years younger than the rest. I asked the four questions for more years than it took to get out of the desert! I fast forward through the childhood years of Danny and Amanda and on to the present day. For our first seder there was a small group of eleven–basically my family (now five, including Danny's girfriend, Alex) at my brother's house. Amanda was the youngest. The following night we had seventeen hungry family members, which included my great nieces, Hillary, age five, and Ella, age seven.

Having children at a seder makes all the difference in the world. We had plague finger puppets, jumping frogs and songs both new and old. It was cute seeing Hillary singing the frog song that her dad, Scotty, sang a short thirty-four years ago, "Frogs here, frogs there, frogs are jumping everywhere!" Of course I made my nephew jump around and sing also. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND renting two young children for the seders!

Please join us on May 5th for a fun-filled Open House/Fun Day at the shul, co-sponsored by Crestwood Day Camp. There will be lots of fun and games for the children. Tell a friend, bring a neighbor and let them see what the ENJC is all about!

May everyone enjoy the nice Spring weather!

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Services

  • This Week
  • Weekly

Week of Monday, April 29

Mon-Thurs, 5/6 - 5/9
Weekly minyan – 8:15 pm

Friday,  May 10
Erev Shabbat Services – 8:00 pm

Saturday, May 11
Shabbat Services – 9:15 am
Bar Mitzvah of Ethan Winter

Sunday, May 12
Morning Minyan – 9:00 am
Evening Minyan – 8:15 pm

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday-Thursday
Weekday Minyan: 8:15 pm

Friday Shabbat Services
8:00 pm (7:30 First Friday of the month)

Saturday Shabbat Services
9:15 am

Sunday Morning Minyan
9:00 am

Sunday Evening Minyan
8:15 pm

Yom Yerushalayim

 

 

World Wide Wrap

  • February 3, 2019

  • February 3, 2019

  • February 3, 2019

  • February 3, 2019

  • February 3, 2019

  • February 3, 2019

Candlelighting

Contact Us

The East Northport Jewish Center
328 Elwood Road
East Northport, NY, 11731  

Phone: 631-368-6474
Fax: 631-266-2910
Religious School Office: 631-368-0875

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