• 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!
  • Installing our ENJC Boards

    Installing our ENJC Boards

    Join us for a musical evening, beginning with Joshua Warner's guitar accompaniment, the lighting of our Shabbat candles and Shabbat service, and the installation of our Congregation, Men's Club and Sisterhood Boards for the 2019-2020 year
  • Commemorating our Major Day of Mourning

    Commemorating our Major Day of Mourning

    Tisha B'Av marks the destruction of both the first and second temples in Jerusalem, and other calamitous events that have befallen the Jewish people
  • Men's Club Kickoff

    Men's Club Kickoff

    Start the 2019-2020 year with a delicious and fun BBQ tradition.
  • Selichot Prayers in Preparation for the High Holidays

    Selichot Prayers in Preparation for the High Holidays

    Rabbi Margie Cella will share her spiritual journey into Judaism on Saturday evening, September 21 at 8:45 pm, followed by coffee, tea and dessert at 10:00 pm and our Selichot service at 10:30 pm, led by Rabbi Silverman and Chazzan Walvick.
  • 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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View current news articles, commentary, videos and more having an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See

As we sit in our sukkoth, reminding us that we aspire for God to spread over us a Sukkah of Peace, we turn our thoughts and reflections to the State of Israel. I thought this sermon recently given would be food for thought.

The portion, Ki Tavo speaks of pillars to be plastered and carved when crossing the Jordan. We were told to make twelve pillars with the words of the Torah carved in Hebrew. Some understand that these are to be left, and a new set of stones carved on Mt. Grizim in Samaria. Others, that these same pillars be erected on Mt. Grizim, but plastered anew, and this time more clearly carved. About this our midrash says ketov al ha avanim baer Hetev. It means write it on the stones in seventy languages for all of the world to get the message of Torah.

One wonders why they needed to do the task twice. Why write it only in Hebrew the first time, and only after, in the land on the mountains in Samaria, should they then be written in seventy languages? Why not do the opposite? Let them see the Torah in languages they understand outside of Israel! Why do both at all? Our sages answer that Israel must first carve out its own distinct identity before it can give to the world. It would be nice to be “all one” as some Eastern religions strive to accomplish. But Judaism is not this way. Rabbi David Zemmel, in his book, The Soul is the Story, puts it this way: Humanity is the whole body. But the whole body cannot function with all the organs being "as one." A liver needs to be a liver and a spleen a spleen. Individuated, each organ contributes to the beautiful functioning of the whole. If every religious culture was a liver, humanity at large would be in big trouble. As Y.L. Peretz put it, in the time of the Messiah we will all bring our individual brand of wheat to the Universal Silo. Until that time, each people must cultivate their own brand. Diversity is the name of the game. Viva la difference is the order of the day.

So it was important that the entire Torah be written out first in Hebrew and absorbed as the inheritance of one people–the mission of one religious entity. Only then can that religious Peoplehood have the strength to convey it to world at large. As I read much of the criticism of the new Basic Law (Nation-State Law) which the Israeli Knesset approved last month, I get the idea that many would wish Israel to be for every culture and every language. I believe, however, that this is asking more of the State of Israel than is either possible or ideal. If Ruven Rivlin, the President of Israel, calls some of its language problematic for minorities in Israel–that some terminology may emotionally disenfranchise them–then clearly some changes are warranted. But not its basic premise. It bothers me that so many Jewish organizations have given this impression.

Its basic premise is that The State of Israel is the one and only Nation State of the Jewish People. It was declared so from the get-go, both by the Zionist Congress in 1897 who birthed Zionism and the British who bequeath a far larger territory in Lord Balfour’s time, 20 years later, as a place for a “Jewish Homeland.” As such, Israel and Jewish Israelis have a right to declare that it is a State, wherein self-determination is to be realized by the Jewish People. Israel and the Jewish Israelis therein have a right to declare Hebrew the national language and those of Jewish origin to have the right of return. That, after all, is the point of a Jewish State. Furthermore, this always implicit understanding about Israel’s raison d’etre was necessarily explicit by calls to make it a bi-national state and to dissolve the Jewish majority through Palestinian immigration. It is made necessary by those who claim Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel but rather, Palestinians are, Which is, historically, patently false. It was made necessary by BDS, designed to dismantle Israel as a Jewish State. And it is made necessary by the adamant refusal of Palestinian leadership to establish a state and coexist side-by-side with Israel.

Certainly all of Israel’s citizens–Jew, Arab or Druze–should have equal rights before the law. Certainly the state should provide security, employment and educational opportunities to its minorities, especially those that serve in the Israeli Army. But many democracies have a national religion–England, Belgium, Holland and France, for instance–and three of the four have one national language. And it is hypocritical for Arab nations to call such a basic law racist or supremacist. Every single Arab nation declares itself an Islamic State where Sharia law is part of its judicial fabric. Every single Arab Nation has Arabic prominently featured as its national language. And every single Arabic nation (numbering 24 of the 56 Muslim Nations) has either a small, persecuted Jewish community or none at all, having expelled them before or after the birth of the State of Israel, telling them to pack up and "go home."

Israel, ensconced in its Hebraic and Judaic character, however, is and will be, only the beginning. Israel wishes to send out an articulated expression of the Jewish State in seventy languages. Israel not only wants to send its Torah to the diaspora as a whole through Jewish education, but also to send its technology, its intelligence, its first response teams, its agronomic advancement, and water and solar strategies. Israel wishes to make its imprint in 70 languages. But only with its Hebraic and Judaic identity intact can it do so most effectively. So says our Torah today: first comes the Torah fully articulated as a Jewish reality, then comes its translation to the world.

May there come a time when Israel can share all to the world at large, even "former" enemies, and to that let us say Amen.

Leadership

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

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

The Significance of Tisha be Av Today (August 10-11, 2019) 

Tisha B'Av is observed this summer immediately following Shabbat on Saturday, August 10 and Sunday day, August 11. We will observe it with a full day fast, wearing canvas shoes, abstaining from bathing, no lotions, no marital relations, just as we do at Yom Kippur. This holy day carries with it a rich tradition of mourning the destruction of the Temple, yet we are ambivalent toward it, while at the same time, learning great lessons from this period.

We learn about the need to not descend into negativity: Our sages say that it was on this day that the spies brought back a pessimistic and negative report about conquering the land of Israel, resulting in the Israelites wandering the Sinai for thirty eight more years.

We learn about laxity in our relationship with God and Mitzvoth and the danger of losing the resolve of faith: The first Temple fell due to the descent into idol worship and the imitation of Canaanite practices.

We learn about the lethal nature of taking extremist positions: Apparently in the time of  the second Temple, the extremists insisted on attacking the Romans instead of negotiating with them.

We learn about the importance of having a “Plan B”: Had Johanan Ben Zakkai not snuck out to establish Yavneh in the ruins of Jerusalem, Judaism and the Jewish people may not have survived.

Yet on the other hand, we are ambivalent because Jerusalem, thank God, is not now in ruins. It is being rebuilt and expanded every day, in every conceivable way. The Jewish people have a sovereign state and a powerful military. Israel is a vibrant fountain of Jewish renewal and vitality.

So why must we don sackcloth and fast? In fact, one lenient tradition in the Masorti movement suggests "fast but half a day!" This compromise was based on the fact that campers and counselors at Camp Ramah in Jerusalem were having great difficulty with thirst and hunger and because, after all, we are no longer mourning the destruction of the Jewish nation. So which is it?

Rabbi David Golinkin, president of the Schechter Institute, points to a D’var Torah for Rosh Hashanah that discusses the four fasts, and in particular, the fast of the fourth (17 Tammuz) and the fifth month (Tisha B Av) The source quotes from the prophet Zachariah, who tells us that in a time of peace and tranquility these fast days shall become days of joy and gladness.

Rav Hanna bar Bizna said in the name of Rabbi Shimon Hasida: What is meant by the verse (Zekhariah 8:19): “Thus said the Lord of Hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth month, the fast of the seventh month, and the fast of the tenth month shall become occasions for joy and gladness for the House of Judah.” – It is called “fast” and it is called “joy and gladness” – when there is peace, they shall be days of “joy and gladness”… when there is no peace, they shall be a “fast”.

Said Rav Pappa: The verse is saying: When there is peace, “they shall become occasions for joy and gladness”. When there is persecution, “fast”. If there is neither persecution nor peace – if they wished, they fast; if they wished, they need not fast.”

Rabbi Golinkin names a number of reasons why the full fast should still be observed. One might think that now is a time when we could say it’s a mixed bag–that peace is at hand, and therefore, fasting should be optional. But is peace really at hand yet? Even in the second Temple period (when the new Temple actually was built!) Tisha be Av was not abolished. This is because the redemption of Jerusalem and the Jewish people is not complete. Sadly, there is still Sinat Hinam, a discrediting of one Jewish group over another and another over another. The General Assembly in the UN still condemns Israel, and anti-Israel and anti-Semitic regimes condemn the Jewish state while ignoring human rights violations in Sudan, Iran, Syria, Somalia, China, and North Korea. Anti-Israel sentiment and unfair positions regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict are articulated on almost every campus. Alarmingly, this educational sabotage is even being introduced in some public high school and middle school curricula around the U.S. Iran’s nuclear centrifuges are revving up once again. Unfortunately, therefore, fasting a full day is still advised!

May the day come in our revitalized homeland when there will be real peace. May the day come soon, when the Jewish people are not under assault, verbal and physical. Then sadness will turn to joy, mourning to song-- and let us say, Amen.

Please come to begin our Tisha B'Av service Saturday Night, August 10 at 8:45pm for the reading of Eicha, and on Sunday morning at 9am for our Shacharit Torah reading Haftarah and Kinot.

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My wife, Rabbi Deborah Miller, and my daughter, Libby are so excited to be members of this warm and welcoming community. We have been eagerly anticipating this move for months, and now that it is finally a reality, it is somewhat overwhelming.  Our goal here is not for me to simply be your “Cantor” but to become a fully integrated part of the family, and towards that end, it is imperative that we get to know you, and you get to know us. It is not enough to simply meet the weekly and daily “shul goers” who come to minyan, but each and every member of this Synagogue is a vital component of the shul. Whether acting in the role of Doer, Donor, or Davener, we all hold the shul together. So if you’d like to get to know me, feel free to stop by the shul any day (except Wednesdays,) and if I happen to be busy or out, talk with Mary in the office to schedule some face-time. I’m also happy to meet off-campus, or to have you over to our house for a Shabbat meal if that works out better. Don’t feel embarrassed to invite us over regardless of the state of your kitchen, or your attendance at services. Remember, there are hundreds of you, and only one me, so at least in the beginning, I’ll need you all to reach out to me.  I, along with my family, look forward to meeting all of you soon!

Kol Tuv,
Hazzan Steven Walvick, Rabbi Deborah Miller & Libby

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It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Congregation Board of Directors has approved the hiring of Hazzan Steven Walvick as our new Cantor. Many of the congregation had the opportunity to meet Hazzan Walvick, his wife Deborah and their daughter, Libby, in February when they were here for a meet-and-greet, and the feedback was extremely positive. Hazzan Walvick comes to us from Toms River, New Jersey and will begin his cantorial duties at ENJC as of July 1st. I look forward to working with Hazzan Walvick to plan many wonderful activities and events for ENJC.

I know that each of you will give Hazzan Walvick and his family the warmest welcome in true ENJC fashion! 

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Cantor Search Committee, directed by Arnie Carter, for their hard work and dedication to finding us the “perfect fit”. 

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Services

  • This Week
  • Weekly

Week of Monday, July 22

Mon-Thurs, 7/22 - 7/25
Weekly minyan – 8:15 pm

Friday, July 26
Erev Shabbat Services – 7:00 pm
Musical Shabbat and Installation

Saturday, July 27
Shabbat Services – 9:15 am

Sunday, July 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

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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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