• 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!
  • 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.
  • Join us for High Holiday Services

    Join us for High Holiday Services

    Come to the ENJC to experience the joy, solemnity, prayer and inspiration of the High Holidays. Click on the Read More button to see our schedule of High Holiday services. Read More
  • Bury Your Genizah

    Bury Your Genizah

    We thank our members for their generous donations but we can no longer accept donations of books. We WILL continue to accept: HEBREW language books and papers containing the the names of God (Siddurim, Machzorim, Tanakh, and Chumash); Tefillin (with the bag); Tallit (with the bag); and scrolls from mezuzahs (without the case). Please do not include books or papers on Jewish history or culture as they do NOT need to be buried, nor do books containing the names of God in English. A special thanks to Jack Maldavir who built a beautiful genizah as his Eagle Scout project for the ENJC.
  • 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

I was asked to participate in a Multi-Faith Peace Rally at the Community Growth Center in Setuaket ,NY, along with other faith leaders, that include Father Pizzareli, Kadam Holly McGregor and Mufti Farhan, among others. Our task was to pick a special prayer from our tradition and to explain why it is precious to each of us. This is what I chose to say for this MLK Day Peace Rally.

The Sabbath morning prayer, Yismach Moshe b’matnat helko, goes this way: Moses rejoiced in the gift of his portion. 
And what did you give him? 
A diadem of glory you placed upon his head. 

Moses​​ rejoiced in the gift of his portion. 
And what did you call him? 
You called him a faithful servant. 

Moses​​ rejoiced in the gift of his portion. 
And what did he carry in his hands? 
In his hands he brought down the two tables of stone.

Moses was so gladdened by a gift of portion because God called him an eved ne’eman, a faithful servant, and placed a crown on his head as he stood on Mt. Sinai. Written on the two tablets in his hands was the keeping of the Sabbath Day.

Why do I love this prayer? I love the fact that Moses is spoken of as God’s faithful servant. What was it that made him that faithful servant and what, as well, can we learn from Moses about being a faithful servant?

Our sages teach: Moses was a Noseh Be Ol, a person who had empathy; a person who bore the burden of others. When Moses became a young man, looked upon the Israelites and saw their torment. His reaction?  Midrash tells us that he put his shoulder to the wheel to lend a hand. When a slave was being beaten to within an inch of his life by a ruthless slave master, Moses looks to and fro, vayare ko v’b ko vayare kilo ish, right and left, to see if there were any men around. He looked not because he was afraid witnesses, but because it says elsewhere in the Torah “in a place where there are no men present, be a man.”Stand up for the true and the good! Moses, keenly aware of the burden placed on others, saved the slave from a brutal death.

Moses had a keen sense toward leveling the playing field. He knew it when he saw unfair advantage and he tried to rectify it. He saw the brutal inequality between slave and slave master and couldn’t bear it. He saw, a little later, the inequality between the Hebrew aggressor and the victimized Hebrew and he asked the aggressor, “lama takeh reacha, why are you using force on your neighbor?” Later on, in Midian, he saw the harassment of Jethro’s daughters by the Midianite shepherds and this too he couldn’t bear. Moses always lent his weight to those who were powerless before the powerful. He did so with Hebrews and non-Hebrews, between Hebrews, and between altogether non- Hebrews. Moses could not stand to see the abuse of power.  In this way, he mirrors God’s abhorrence of unfair advantage and of favored status. Earlier in the Bible, God looks at Leah and Rachel, and sees that Leah is less loved, so he makes her especially fertile. God too cannot stand inequality, He cannot help Himself from trying to narrow it; to lessen it. God, in the Psalms, says  “I will help those who fear me and to their supplication shall I listen.” But he saves his greatest attention for the stranger, the widow and the orphan. Whether they fear Him or not is not the point, it’s whether he sees suffering in their hearts. So passionately concerned is God for their welfare that if we ignore their needs and don’t make special efforts to alleviate the plight of the orphan, the widow and the stranger, well, He will make our families into orphans and widows. God is a zealot for the oppressed–and so must we be to be God’s faithful servant.

Therefore, Moses’ response, when Joshua points out that there were many prophesying and Joshua thought it would threaten Moses’ leadership, was to say “No, it should only be that all Israel prophesys, for they all have this great potential.” And therefore Moses’ explanation of why keep the Sabbath. We keep the Sabbath not, as in Exodus, because we want to imitate God and rest on the seventh day. Rather, like in Deuteronomy, we can imitate God’s capacity to rescue and redeem others. Keep the Sabbath, Moses tells us, for yourselves, your servants, your maidservants ,your sons and your daughters, the stranger. Even, keep the Sabbath to rest your ox and your donkey, because God released you from bondage in Egypt and so you must keep this day. What is implied is that you must keep the Sabbath so that you are able to release others and enact an imitation Deio,  a modeling of what God does by releasing, relieving, rescuing and enhancing the lives of others in your midst. This is what allows us to be God’s faithful servant. Just like Moses.

Moses, by the way was not perfect. He snapped from time to time. He felt the pressure and the onus of leading. At times he was harsh, impatient and his anger got the best of him. That is why, after all ,he doesn’t get to enter the Promised Land. But mostly, Moses got it right. So much so that sometimes even God learned from Moses’ patience, his love for his people, his understanding of their weakness, his hope and his trust for their improvement, and his rochmanus–his empathy for those who had gone astray.

I will leave it to you to apply this to our day. There are many in need today; many who are suffering in silence, the result of unfair advantage, of a playing field less than level. There are the crying needs of our poor, our oppressed, and for the widow, orphan and stranger among us. The issues before us are not simple, they are not black and white, and there is merit from various angles of every pressing moral issue before us. But we know from our heritage that we must be sensitized by the example set by the faithful servants among us–by the Moseses of the world, the prophets of the world–by the Martins of the world, by the Heschels of the world, by the Lincolns and the Robert Kennedys, who never lost hope that the arc of justice is ever steadily bending upward, who never stopped hearing the call of the oppressed, who never lost sight of the grimace of despair, who never tired of putting shoulder to the wheel and defending those who are at the mercy of the powerful. And in their wake May we continue to aspire to be faithful servants of God as well. And for all who agree 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 special foods of Rosh Hashanah

There are 10 special foods that we associate with Rosh Hashanah, and it is a customary to set them all out on the table for the holiday. We say a special prayer for each of them, using their Hebrew names as a kind of pun that ties into the themes of the holiday. Rabbi David Golinkin tells us that there is controversy as to whether they are simply looked at, held or eaten. This is because in the Aramaic language, the word for “hold” and “look at” are very close. I suppose that once they are held, many concluded that one does what one should do with food, which is to taste it.

Tangentially, this actually mirrors the debate in using the fringes at our recitation of the Shema. Some claim that we should merely look at them as we recite the third paragraph; some claim that we should be holding them as we look at them; and some claim that we should be kissing them as we mention the words “tsitsit” or fringes. But let’s get back to our main topic—the various Rosh Hashanah foods and what they symbolize.

There are actually 10 special foods, reminding us of the 10 days of repentance. The first two, and foremost, are the honey and apples. Honey reminds us that we hope for a sweeter year than we had the year before. Apples remind us, some say (since Rosh Hashanah is a reminder of the birth of the world in the very beginning of creation), of the very first fruit with which we sinned. Taking apples with honey in hand symbolizes making a claim to heaven that we will use God’s bounty only for mitzvah and not for transgression. Over these items we say, “May it be your will, our God, that we have a year that is sweet and good.”

The third food is typically a piece of gefilte fish, or, if you are really ambitious, the head of the fish. I remember, as a young rabbi, utilizing a fish head with little children at a Rosh Hashanah service in which we said blessings over these symbolic foods. That was a mistake! The children were frightened. Well, you learn from your mistakes. Therefore, a small piece of gefilte fish does the trick and we can intone, “May we be for a head and not a tail,” meaning, “May we be leaders who are in charge in the next year.” There is a custom to have yet another fish on the table with which we remember that God’s eye of providence is one that neither sleeps nor slumbers, and this is true of fish as well, which apparently never shut their eyes.

The fifth item on the platter should be leeks, which in Aramaic are called “kra.” The same word is used to form the word “karet.” Variations celebrate God, who is koreth Brith, symbolizing the making of a covenant with us or to hope that we should avoid being “cut off.”

The sixth item is dates. A date, in Hebrew, is the word “tamar.” With dates in hand we recite, “May it be your will, Lord God, that all our suffering be finished. (Itamu tzaareinu)

Black beans or “rubia” are held in hand and we say, “May we be as numerous as the stars of the sky”–yirbu zaareinu ke cochavei Elyon”.

A gourd, or “keri,” is another food held in hand as we say, “May Hashem hear our prayers when we cry out to him (beyom Koreinu).”

Pomengranates or “rimonim” also have a place at the table. We intone, “May our mitzvoth be as numerous as the rimon.” Not too long ago there was an article in the Jewish week of a woman who had made a practice of counting the seeds of many rimonim, and then averaging the number. Strikingly it was close to 600.

Last, but not least, we include the “selek” or beet. With the beet, we intone, ”Our God and God of our ancestors, make evil be banished from us” (sheyistalek meitanu Kol rah).

I encourage you all to include in your holiday shopping at least some of these items, perhaps not all of them. But if you can find them all why not!? You would be surprised how they help to set the tone for this important holiday of the new year!

May all of us have no suffering, may evil be banished from us, may your year be sweet and your mitzvahs many. May Beth and I take this moment to wish all of you a Shana Tova Oome Tooka, a sweet, joyful and healthy new year.

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Two Jews, three opinions 

Over the past few weeks, we ran an online survey to discover how we can best serve our community in terms of a Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat Service. The results, as probably could be expected, were mixed. We asked about starting services earlier or later, and people showed their preferences. Approximated 25% of you preferred an early service; another quarter would rather have the late service, and almost half wanted something in the middle.  As a compromise, we will start services on Friday nights at 7:30 PM, and we will be investigating the possibility of adding earlier family-friendly services periodically throughout the year. We hope this will allow our community to enjoy the ruach-filled, participatory Kabbalat Shabbat Service. But all this is theoretical without your active support and attendance, so let’s have everyone come and make this amazing!

In other news, I’ve sent out a musical survey in order to find out what talents you and your family members possess. If you somehow missed the e-mail, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an extra copy. Also, I’m very excited to pray with you this High Holiday season, and wanted to remind you that if there is a special melody you would like to hear on the holidays, please give me a call at the shul to schedule an appointment.  Finally, there are still a lot of you I’d like to meet, so please stop by the shul, call or send an e-mail!

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I am not sure what is hotter– the weather or my enthusiasm. It's been an awesome summer in shul. It's wonderful to have Shabbat services with Rabbi Silverman and Hazzan Walvick. The ruach in the synagogue over the last few weeks has been contagious. Please come down and join us. Our clergy have just started working together and it seems like they have been a duo for years. The High Holidays should be a great experience for all.

There are a few people that I would like to acknowledge for going above and beyond in the last fifteen months, and those who have contributed significantly in the last few years. Rabbi Silverman has been doing double duty during our Shabbat services. Eric Loring has been our member/cantor during most Shabbats– Musaf, Laining Torah, Haftorahs and everything else that you could think of. Yasher Koach to these two gentlemen for leading ENJC in our Shabbat services these past couple of years!

Under the guidance of our VP of Ritual, Ed Isaac, services have been seamless during Rabbi's vacations. Ed made sure that there was coverage for all parts of the Friday night and Saturday services, as well as Monday night minyanim. There have been many more congregants who have helped out in participating and leading our services. If I tried to name all of you I would surely forget some. Yasher Koach and Thank You!

There is also an excitement in the Religious School wing of our building. We are excited to welcome Ellen Marcus to the ENJC as our Principal of the Religious School. Ellen comes to ENJC with some terrific ideas and fun learning programs. Ellen is an experienced leader in learning on Long Island.

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Services

  • This Week
  • Weekly

Week of Monday, August 19

Mon-Thurs, 8/19 - 8/22
Weekly minyan – 8:15 pm

Friday, August 23
Erev Shabbat Services – 8:00 pm

Saturday, August 24
Shabbat Services – 9:15 am

Sunday, August 25
Morning Minyan – 9:00 am
Evening Minyan – 8:15 pm

 

High Holiday Services Schedule

 

Download your High Holiday Order Forms:
Bima Flowers
Honey Baskets
Lulav and Etrog
Memorial Book
Parking Raffle
Torah Fund
Ushering

 

 

 

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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

Register for Encampment!

 

 

Men's Club Kickoff BBQ

  • August 15, 2019

  • August 15, 2019

  • August 15, 2019

  • August 15, 2019

  • August 15, 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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