• 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!
  • 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, 6/13.
  • 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
  • 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

Tezaveh – The Scene is the Same
(Rabbi’s opinion, which may or may not reflect the management)

 One year since Parkland. The scene was the same… A young man who remained under the radar, in spite of momentary erratic messages on social media that should have raised suspicions, but didn’t. A young man who recently had a loss in his family. A young man who was a loner with no friends and who loved firearms. A societal system thin on background checks and fat on permissiveness, allowing one to buy any and all guns, even before he reached the age that a person can buy a six pack of beer. Finally a breaking point and a moment of opportunity that was well planned and executed. The result: 17 dead– two teachers and 15 students, and scores injured all within a time frame of 6 minutes.

Can it be different this time? Unlike the last time, few approached this tragedy with kid gloves off to first allow for grief and sympathy. This the time the parents were mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. And this the time the students were articulate, and eloquently accused Democrats and Republicans alike for cowardice in the face of lobbying to do the needed thing. Besides demanding more extensive and far-reaching background databases, they pointed to the need for limiting or banning the purchase of semi-automatic weapons–the killing machines which have no purpose except strafing the oncoming enemy on the battlefield. It is not a defensive weapon, it is an offensive one, and most police will tell you that it has no place on the family gun shelf. Where do our freedoms legitimately end? May I own an Army tank, or an F16 if I’m a billionaire?

Here’s what we can learn from the parashas of the mishkan in Exodus. No altar or holy temple is to be made through the use of iron tools. This is because iron is used for weapons. Even the stones of the Holy Temple were fashioned by a stone cutting creature, the shamir, but not by iron tools. Knives are removed from the table before birkat Hamazon because they can be fashioned as weapons. Only the Kohain’s garments could be made of wool and linen because he was a pursuer of peace. We cannot wear this mixed fabric because it reminds us of the first homicide, when Kain killed Abel. Kain was a flax farmer and Abel a shepherd. Because the two mingled and violence resulted, we don’t wear this mingled fabric of linen and wool.

In Jewish law it is legal to have a gun for protection. Certainly the Talmud teaches ba laharog otzcha ku ve ketal oto, if someone comes to kill, you certainly may kill him first. But it also teaches restraint. It is one thing if a thief comes into your house at night. In such a situation, you have the right to kill since he knows you’ll be home. If one kills a thief who breaks into your house in the daytime, however, when he thought you’d be out, you stand trial. In the long run, we cannot kill indiscriminately. This month, before Purim, we read the scripture that tells us to “kill all of Amalek.” But in the actual story of the Megillath Esther, there is no indiscriminate mayhem. Only those threatening the Jewish people are whom we single out to eliminate. All others must be left alone, for their lives are precious. Why was it that the Holy Temple could not be built by King David? Because he had too much blood on his hands.

Battle and violence are sometime necessary to ward off enemies. A case can be made for owning a firearm for protection. But automatic weapons are superfluous in a civil society. And in places which are supposed to be sanctuaries, schools and houses of worship, such violence is obscene. The reach of the carnage is no longer distant and second-hand. The daughter-in-law of my first cousin had her jaw shattered by the Las Vegas shooter. Long-time ENJC congregants of years past, the Guttenbergs, lost their precious grandchild at Parkland last year. A mentally unhinged man, armed (legally) to the teeth, took 11 lives in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Things are no longer just theoretical and constitutionally complex. Gunfire may soon be coming to a theater near us, and it will be the fault of those sworn to make our society safe if they do not do something to prevent tragedy.  

I am a believer in the Second Amendment and have enjoyed a shooting range from time to time. Someday, I may take the needed training to own a pistol. Personal safety is a right. But the Second Amendment mentions the need for firearms to be regulated. I am proud of the fact that safety laws of NY State are some of the most restrictive. I am in favor or extending the waiting period so that authorities can do a more thorough check of individuals, including their social media pages. It is important that background checks be required at gun shows. A national database of mentally unstable individuals is desperately needed. I am in favor of a “red flag bill” that gives a judge the authority to restrict gun ownership and require previously owned firearms to be surrendered, should a person show instability and aggression towards himself or towards others. It is high time we tighten our gun safety laws and do so regionally and nationally. A gun is more dangerous than a car. It should be more regulated, not less.

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.

Read More

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

We are taught some beautiful lessons on Shavuot, by Rav Levi Ischak of Berdichev, who lived at the beginning of the 19th century. "Why is it," he asks, "that we don’t say the Shehehiyanu when we begin the counting of the Omer? It is because the Omer is not an arrival. It is the beginning of the journey through forty-nine gates of purity, and we don’t arrive at our journey's end until we get to Shavuot, prepared and fully open to receiving our Torah." It is upon arrival that we say the Sheheyanu. "Why," our rabbis ask, "is Shavuot called 'Matan Torah' ?" Says Rav Levi Ischak, "That is easy. It is designated as the day on the calendar, in the book of Exodus Chapter 19, when the Israelites come and stand by the mountain and say 'we will do and hear.’" The Torah, however, never calls this day "Chag Matan Torah." Why? Because the Torah puts a premium on humility and doesn’t want to call attention to itself! Another possibility is because the Torah was always given; it is just that on that day it was finally received by a community of people. For some reason though, it was never named "Chag Kabbalat Torah." Levi Ischak doesn’t answer that one.

And why is it that Shavuot is called "Atzeret,"–boundary or stoppage? That is because it marks the end of the counting of the Omer. It is also the time at which the Israelites made a boundary beyond which they did not climb the mountain. They limited their ascent. In some sense, this seems like a loss, as a closer look at the text seems to say that when the shofar sounds louder and louder you can ascend. Still, it may also be a great gain. The Israelites showed a willingness to calibrate their freedoms. They established boundaries around their freedom by accepting mitzvoth, both positive and negative, which would further define them. Shavuot demands that we make certain boundaries, ritually and ethically, to be fully free and fully human.

“Freedom’s not another word for nothing left to lose,” crooned Janis Joplin. I agree, if what she was getting at was that radical freedom can destroy a person. Radical freedom leads first to anarchy and then to tyranny, according to Rabbi Jonathon Saks. Freedom doesn’t mean that anything goes. True freedom is freedom from the enslavement of the ego, wherein our wants, fantasies and cravings begin to control us. Pesach is a freedom from shackles and enslavements. It must, therefore, have its counterpart, Shavuot. May a freedom with boundaries allow our souls to take root and to, in time, sing and dance a Halleluya to a God. May Shavuoth Atzeret always remind us of this defining freedom, with limits and obligations. May it continue to shape us and prepare our Jewish souls in this annual journey through our pilgrimage festivals, and to that we say, Amen.

Read More

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”. 

Read More

Services

  • This Week
  • Weekly

Week of Monday, June 17

Mon-Thurs, 6/17 - 6/20
Weekly minyan – 8:15 pm

Friday, June 21
Erev Shabbat Services – 8:00 pm

Saturday, June 22
Shabbat Services – 9:15 am

Sunday, June 23
Morning Minyan – 9:00 am
Evening Minyan – 8:15 pm

 

Week of Monday, June 24

Mon-Thurs, 6/24 - 6/27
Weekly minyan – 8:15 pm

Friday, June 28
Erev Shabbat Services – 8:00 pm

Saturday, June 29
Shabbat Services – 9:15 am
Installation Shabbat

Sunday, June 16
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

Register for Encampment!

 

 

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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