• 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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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

  • 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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