• 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!
  • Passover Service Schedule

    Passover Service Schedule

    Join us for Passover services. Read more to link to the schedule of services. Read More
  • Let the Games Begin...

    Let the Games Begin...

    Bring yourselves, the kids, and your friends and enjoy some favorite board games and even some new ones. Feel free to bing your own family favorites! There'll be pizza and lots of laughs! Brought to you by the ENJC Men's Club. SUNDAY, APRIL 28, beginning at 4:00 pm. Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 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.
  • YomHaShoah Observance at the ENJC

    YomHaShoah Observance at the ENJC

    Join us for a play compiled and edited by Rabbi Ian and Lisa Green, "If Shoah Scrolls Could Talk," the saga of two rescued Holocaust scrolls from Kolin and a neighboring Czech town, and the escape from the maelstrom of the Shoah as recalled by a Kolin survivor. WEDNESDAY, MAY 1 at 7:00 pm.
  • Shabbat for Our Youngest Congregants

    Shabbat for Our Youngest Congregants

    Bring your kids/grandkids for an informal and fun Shabbat experience, filled with stories, singing, dancing and praying. Meet new families! Our last Tot Shabbat of the year–
  • Fun Day at the ENJC

    Fun Day at the ENJC

    The East Northport Jewish Center is hosting an exciting, lively day, with activities, food and FUN! All are welcome to attend- Bring your friends! Meet fellow congregants and prospective members, learn about Crestwood Camp and enjoy the day!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi
  • Frank Brecher, ENJC President
  • A Minyan Plea from Rabbi Silverman
  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi

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

A colleague of mine, Rabbi Mark Greenspan, shares with us one of the great Pesach stories. This one is about Chaim, a Jewish man from long ago, who was good friends with the monarch of a small kingdom. The king loved Chaim, and Chaim loved the king. More importantly, the king trusted Chaim and knew he was a talented and capable banker, so he decided to make Chaim the royal treasurer. Unfortunately, the other advisors resented having a Jew placed in a position of such high authority, so they went to the king with an ultimatum: either Chaim had to convert or they would resign.

Reluctantly, the king told Chaim his dilemma. Being a good friend and realizing how fortunate he was to be the royal treasurer, Chaim told his family that they had to convert if he was to hold on to his position.

Weeks turned into months after the conversion, and Chaim’s conscience weighed on him. How could he have deserted his ancestral faith so easily? Finally, one day, Chaim burst into the royal throne room and told his friend, “My king, you know how I feel about you and how much I love serving you. But I cannot live with myself if I cannot be a Jew. I cannot be treasurer if I must remain Christian!”

Upon hearing this, the king said to Chaim, “My dear friend, why didn’t you tell me how strongly you felt about this. If Judaism is so important to you, I will allow you and your family to return to your ancient faith.” Chaim immediately rushed home to tell his wife the good news. He said, “Shprinze, I have wonderful news. The king said we can return to Judaism immediately.” To which Shprinze responded, “You idiot - couldn’t you wait until after Pesach to ask?” “Oy,” says Chaim, “
goyeshe kopf!”

Now it's pretty clear that this is the immediate thought of many who take Pesach seriously. We clean and we scrub and roll up rugs and wash down counters and vacuum in every nook and cranny. We kasher and clean and spend big money (sometimes twice that!) to make a seder and to have the special exorbitant pesachdik food. Wives and their husbands cook and clean and wash baseboards and cupboards and juggle for a week between chametz and Pesach cooking. We throw away our chametz food or squirrel it away and sell it through the rabbi. It is sometimes overwhelming when you, in addition, throw in the research and brainstorming about an interesting angle or activities for the seders. And then of course there is shul. Purim is intense, building a sukkah isn’t easy, and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are at times challenging, but when you compare those holidays to the time-intensive frantic march from Purim to being ready for Pesach, they are walks in the park. So really, who needs Pesach? Wouldn’t life be a peach and just fine without it?

Well a lot of people needed it and continue to need it. Revolutionary Americans saw themselves as the Egyptian Hebrews in slavery as they readied their muskets against the British. One of the first seals of the nation was a picture of Moses leading the Hebrews out of slavery. The African slaves of the South and discriminated masses in the civil rights era needed Pesach, for the negro spiritual, “Go Down Moses,” never left their lips, giving them resolve and inspiration. The men, women and children of Chad, of Nigeria, and of Darfur need it, remembering that God, too, may be readying to rescue them from their enslavements of rape and pillage. The Syrian opposition of Bashar al Assad surely identify themselves enslaved by a dictator, as do the masses of Venezuela. And surely the young women who are trafficked in Thailand, in Russia and elsewhere–the new manifestation of slavery that is a blight and stain to any nation that tolerates it–certainly need the hope that they can some day be released, someday benefit from saviors who will free them. And surely those one-in-six in America and one-in-five in the State of Israel, enslaved by hunger–they too can gain inspiration and hope through it.

Well we need it too. We need the reminder each year that Pesach did not merely release the Hebrews to radical freedom; it rescued them to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation; to be both a Peoplehood bound by rituals and belief as well as a People tied to an ancestral homeland. It released them so that God could make them His people, who bring the message of a caring, loving, universal God, and a message of empathy to all those that are oppressed and suffering.

Sometimes it seems that preparing for Pesach is enslaving. When you feel that, don't despair. Take a rest but also take heart! Consider that its effect is to heighten the moment when Pesach comes, a time in which we, as a free and released people, have made our way from radical liberation to the attachment of ourselves to God's mitzvoth, as we count the omer to Shavuoth and to Torah. Consider how Passover has given hope and faith to so many groups oppressed around the world. Consider the empathy it gives us for others who are mired in far worse enslavement and back-breaking circumstance.

In every generation, each of us must consider ourselves as having come out of Egypt for so many reasons. Maybe there is a method to this madness after all. May we keep that in mind and in heart as we prepare our homes and our tables this year.

A Chag Kasher ve Sameah – A sisen and meaningful Pesach!

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It has been “March Madness” at the ENJC this past month, with nonstop activities for members of all ages. The madness started with the ice cream feast on March 1st, celebrating Shabbat Across America. The next morning we celebrated Matthew Greenbaum’s Bar Mitzvah. Matthew did an outstanding job. The youth of our synagogue, too, have been busy with Kadima, Chaverim and USY, meeting twice this past month, and we’ve also held our monthly Tot Shabbat. These were fun activities enjoyed by all.

On behalf of our congregation, I want to extend a special Yasher Koach to Lori Maldavir and her wonderful team of volunteers that participated in the HIHI (Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative) Program. They fed the homeless four times over the course of this cold winter. Thank you to the numerous families that participated and a big Thank You to Adam Bolander of Kosher Thyme Marketplace in Plainview. Adam donated chicken for all four HIHIs. Please support the vendors that support us.

The ENJC was honored to host a baby naming for a founding family, the Rothmans, on March 9th. What a special day, with all the Rothman generations represented. The following week, women of our Sisterhood, and some of their daughters, learned the Story of Challah and the art of making it with Chaya Teldon.

From Thursday, March 14th through Sunday, March 17th we hosted Cantor David Sislen, of Florida, for his cantoral audition. The weekend began with a Meet and Greet on Thursday night, with Cantor Sislen playing the guitar and singing Jewish songs from around the world. Friday night services and Saturday morning services were led by Cantor Sislen, in tandem with Rabbi Silverman. Cantor Sislen concluded the weekend by leading the Sunday morning minyan. In excess of 175 people attended the four Cantor Sislen events. Since October, we have had four potential cantors on our bima for auditions. We started with Cantor Eric Wasser for 3 Shabbat weekends. Cantor Ken Cohen has been with us for numerous Shabbats, including the memorial for the Tree of Life massacre and most recently Purim. Super Bowl weekend was Cantor Steven Walvick’s audition. And Cantor David Sislen was our latest candidate. We thank everyone for their support of the many hosted cantoral events. The Cantor Search Committee values the input and opinions that have been shared with them. I would love to be able to report that we have a signed contract with our new cantor for my May article.                                                    

Purim was celebrated on March 20th with a wonderful Purim Spiel performance by our Daled and Hay students a la Star Wars. The Megillah reading followed, as well as a short performance by our Purim Players singing Supercalafragilisticexpialadocious. The following morning was another full reading of the Megillah. On March 27th the Men’s Club will be socializing at Millers Ale House in Commack. It will be nice to see the companionship of the guys at an occasion that isn’t a meeting or an event at which they have to work. The month will close with Noah Kurtz’s Bar Mitzvah on the 30th and the Senior Program on the 31st.

April – we have Passover to look forward to!

My congregational message this month is to ask that everyone get the most value from your membership –attend services, enjoy a program or event for you or with your family, or just give back and help others. ENJC, the place with something for everyone!

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A Plea to the Congregation from Rabbi: Support Our Minyan and Worship With Us On ShabbatWe Need Everyone To Pitch In

There is an old joke about a young man who walks into the High Holiday Service and is greeted by the usher. The usher asks if he has paid his dues. He replies, “I’m not a member. I’m just here to give my grandfather a message.” After a short reflection, the usher tells him, “Okay but don’t let me catch you praying.”

This is about hoping that we will catch you praying. We want you to pray in our lovely Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services, our brief evening weekday and our Sunday morning services. To not pray, you see, is no laughing matter, for you miss something significant by not making prayer a part of your life. You miss helping our synagogue fulfill its basic function to comfort our mourners, and you miss in our communal effort to celebrate the world at large, the Torah and God, each Shabbat.

Rabbi Hana tells us that in the Talmud, the prophet Bilaam, seeing Israel’s true power and majesty, blesses not only the tents and dwellings, but the streams and rivers. Why are streams and rivers part of the description of Israel? To stress that just as streams and rivers purify, so too does Torah study and prayer purify us. But I would add a second element: Just as streams and rivers are the circulatory system of a geographic region, so too is prayer the circulatory system of the Jewish people. Prayer nourishes us and uplifts the spirit. It allows us to move from station to station as the days fly by, and it allows us to mark our journey through the calendar year, from Rosh Hashana to Shavuot and back again. Our minyanim are the pulse of our institution. Prayer is heart work and each of us must keep our communal heart pumping.

Our liturgy offers multiple reasons for prayer: to express gratitude to God, to praise God, to petition Him– Prayer seeks to establish a connection, a dialogue, with the transcendent force we call God. Prayer affords us different things at different times. It can foster a sense of reflection and perspective. It roots us to our ancestors. At other times it offers us a sense of renewal, recommitment and re-involvement. But most of all, we pray for two reasons: 1) To provide the pulse of our Kehilla Kedosha, our Holy Community. In so doing, we take care of the needs of those who are grieving, provide a format to hear a little Torah and to celebrate our children and fellow congregants; and 2) We provide proof to God that our hearts are still open. A midrash tells us that each of our souls is a God’s candle. When we bob up and down while praying, we are mimicking the flickering flame. Show God you are still flickering, in spite of disappointments and failures, in spite of efforts of enemies to crush us, in spite of old habits, in spite of all our heart’s wrestling. God hears the prayers of a broken heart, but also the happy heart. Keep all lines open and relish the heavenly connection, ushering God’s presence as a part of our minyan.

We are in urgent need. We need more effort from every single member. Many of us resolve, each new year, to exercise on a regular basis. In this new year of 2019, exercise your soul muscle on a regular basis too! Let us catch you praying! This year make it your resolution to attend once or more a week, so that our minyanim will be transformed from challenged to a vibrant pulse.

Minyan takes place each weekday at 8:15 pm, at 7:30 pm the first Friday of each month and 8:00 pm on other Friday evenings, at 9:15 am Shabbat morning, and 9:00am on Sundays

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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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Services

  • This Week
  • Weekly

Week of Monday, April 22

Mon-Weds, 4/22 - 4/24
Chol Hamoed Passover – 8:15 pm

Thursday, April 25
Yom Tov-Maariv Services – 8:15 pm

Friday, April 26
Yom Tov, Erev Shabbat Services – 8:15 pm

Saturday, April 27
Yom Tov, Shabbat Services – 9:15 am
Yizkor ~ 10:30 am

Sunday, April 28
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

Celebrate Purim!

 

 

World Wide Wrap

  • February 3, 2019

  • February 3, 2019

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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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