• 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

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.

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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