• Welcome to the ENJC

    Welcome to the ENJC

    The ENJC is a Conservative, egalitarian synagogue of approximately 150 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!
  • It's Time to Order Your Purim Gift Baskets–

    It's Time to Order Your Purim Gift Baskets–

    Spread goodwill toward family and friends by participating in our Mishloach Manot campaign. Baskets are $6 each with a 6-basket minimum. Log into your ShulCloud account and select your recipients before February 24th. See the Weekly Update for your ShulCloud link and detailed instructions.
  • It's Super Bowl Time!

    It's Super Bowl Time!

    Purchase boxes for the ENJC Superbowl pool at only $20 per box, with prizes awarded per quarter. See the Weekly Update to make your selections
  • ENJC Tu B'Shvat Seder

    ENJC Tu B'Shvat Seder

    Using a Hagaddah from Israel's Biblical Landscape Reserve, we will mark the "New Year for Trees" in song and reflection and by tasting the fruits of Israel's bounty. Join us for services FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd.
  • ENJC Bowling!

    ENJC Bowling!

    Strike it Big, with the ENJC! $18 includes shoe rental, 2 hours of bowlin and dinner. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Find details in the Weekly Update.
  • Our Annual

    Our Annual "Soup"-er Bowl Shabbat!

    Join us on Shabbat Saturday before the Super Bowl for a variety of delicious soups prepared by our own ENJC volunteer congregant chefs!
  • Join in the Joy of Tefillin

    Join in the Joy of Tefillin

    Participate in the World Wide Wrap. SuperBowl Sunday, FEBRUARY 12 at 9:00 am at the Melville Jewish Center. Learn how to lay your tefillin or help teach others. Activities include Sunday Morning Minyan, a bagel breakfast and Melville JC and ENJC clergy leading a learning session. Please RSVP to Rich Ostreich.
  • Announcing this year's Adult Education series

    Announcing this year's Adult Education series

    Expand your heart and your mind with 13 topics that you can study with Rabbi Ian and fellow congregants from the comfort of your own home. New students welcomed! Click the Read More button for more info. Read More
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Leadership

  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi_January 2023
  • Steven Walvick, Hazzan
  • Fighting Racism

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

There will be an intenstive effort this year by Abraham’s Table, our county’s interfaith group, to reinforce the idea of “Beloved Community,” as envisioned in the writing and thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. The weekend of January 13-16 will be devoted to this focus. Please be on the lookout for programming planned for this weekend.

I am honored to represent a Jewish voice among these scores of synagogues churches, mosques and organizations that are reaffirming our commitment, as racism and antisemitism are rising, to condemn it and to proclaim loudly that such notions must be vociferously countered.

      In our Torah portion read in synagogues this week, we read for the first time this year from the Book of Exodus. And we are introduced to Moses. But before he is born, the midwives, Shifra and Puah, are instructed by Pharaoh to kill the Hebrew baby boys on the birthing stone. They refuse to do so. In their refusal, they are rewarded by God, called God fearers( Yirei Elohim), given houses, and protected from harm. Nechama Leibowitz, a famous contemporary scholar of the Torah asks, what it is that makes them “God fearers?”  It is the quality of listening to and obeying God, the highest authority, in Whose image all of us are made, rather than listening to any human authority, no matter how powerful, to harm another.

       Because, you see, Fearers of God ascribe to the cardinal idea that He made us in His image. Here is what the Mishna, an early Legal code from about 2000 years ago, says: God is not like the average flesh and blood coin minter. When God makes us in His image, he uses the same mold, and yet each of us is unique… and, ala Rabbi Itz Greenberg, we are therefore entitled to the following value: Each of us like God has infinite worth. Each of us are, in God’s eyes, equal in that infinite worth. And each of us is unique. And just as that is so for individuals, so it is for our collectives, our motley rich array of groups, religions, ethnicities and races. Fearer of God holds this principle as foundational.

        And thus we see further in Leviticus, don’t put a stumbling block before the blind, fear God. Don’t curse the deaf, fear God. Stand up and honor the elder, fear God. All of these groups are disabled and vulnerable, and who would know if we exploit or abuse them? The blind won’t see who did it, the deaf won’t hear who said it, the elder is too weak to fight you if you knock her down and grab her purse. And the answer is “fear God.”  You may think no one notices and no one is holding you accountable–you’d be wrong–,I’m there. I, God am watching, and don’t mess with me.

           Rabbi Zalman Schachter, of blessed memory, once related a teaching. There are three Hebrew words that express the meaning of “fear.” The first, Pachad, is a sharp acute fear, like a knife which is ‘sharp here’– po chad. The second is Eima, which is a kind of undiffentiated anxiety–ei ma–where, what? The third is Yirah fear, but that word can also be Yireh–God will see, like the latin “spectus,” as in spectacles–fear in this sense is connected to the word “re-spect.” You might think that you can get away with treating vulnerable person as less than precious and that no one is watching, but think again. God is watching, is devastated by such a violation of human preciousness, and in this matter God holds all of us accountable.

           May we, like the midwives, have the chutzpah– the courage, to defy temporal authorities, demagogues, influencers, and corrupt social conventions that try to steer us into belittling other groups and other individuals who are different than we are and are the most vulnerable. May we remember the words of MLK Jr., our modern-day prophet, who told us otherwise:

The time is always right to do what is right.”

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." But like Congressman Lewis would remind us, only if we do the bending.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

This weekend as a “beloved community”, let’s get busy loving one another!


 It's your moment to step up

וַיְצַ֣ו מֹשֶׁ֗ה וַיַּעֲבִ֨ירוּ ק֥וֹל בַּֽמַּחֲנֶה֮ לֵאמֹר֒ אִ֣ישׁ וְאִשָּׁ֗ה אַל־יַעֲשׂוּ־ע֛וֹד מְלָאכָ֖ה לִתְרוּמַ֣ת הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ וַיִּכָּלֵ֥א הָעָ֖ם מֵהָבִֽיא
Moses thereupon had this proclamation made throughout the camp: “Let no man or woman make further effort toward gifts for the sanctuary!” So the people stopped bringing

At the end of the book of Exodus we encounter the one, and probably only time, where a Jewish leader had to ask the Jews to stop donating! Talk about your abundance mindset! Imagine having enough so much gold, and silver and animal skins that you had to start turning people away. I, for one, can tell you, that here at the East Northport Jewish Center, we are still accepting as many dolphin skins as you are willing to donate (and can procure without upsetting the people at PETA too much.) 

Oy! To live in such a time where everyone wanted to participate, and give, and the only real issues you had was in which tent you piled all the crimson thread, and in which tent you piled all the royal purple threads. Alas, we do face challenges, and it is easy to look back to this story from our past and be wistful. Heck, we don’t have to go back quite so far. We can look back to the boom in the founding and growing of synagogues post World War II, or even the huge numbers of involved congregants we, along with most other congregations had in the 1980’s and yearn for “The Good Old Days.” But, if you’re hoping I have the answer to bringing back the days of hundreds of congregants attending Shabbat services every Shabbat and jam packed tribute booklets for a “Man of the Year” dinner, alas, I don’t have those solutions. But maybe those aren’t necessarily the challenges we should be struggling to achieve. Similarly, I’m really not sure what we would do with even ONE dolphin skin, let alone hundreds. But what are the challenges we can and should address as we hopefully approach the light at the end of this pandemic? What are the main places we should focus our strength and energies? I’ll give you a hint. Let’s start with what we’re good at. When I was struck by an automobile on the way to shul, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and affection and support from our congregants—both those whom I have weekly or daily interactions with, as well as even those who some might consider “three times a year” Jews, yet nevertheless felt the very Jewish need to fulfill the obligation of Biqor Holim, via e-mails, phone calls, or the delivery of delicious delicacies hand-cooked, or provided by our community’s one and only Kosher eatery: Pastrami ‘N Friends. (Talk to our President Robin Kain if you want to purchase gift certificates!) When I was unable to lead services, the Rabbi was not left to fend for himself, but our congregants stepped up to help lead, either via our Zoom offered minyanim, or our in-person hybrid Shabbat services. We are a community of doers and givers. We are truly the heimish community, who might actually have needed a Moses to tell them when enough has been given. (I should add, that, our freezer is now full, and there’s only so much corned beef I can consume at one time, but thank you for the continual offers!) 

Sure, if you read the Pew report, it sure seems like doom and gloom, and I’m not going to bother to repeat the statistics that portray a very real and very scary outlook for our future, not only at ENJC, but as Jews, nay as ANY organized religion faces in the years to come. But instead of focusing on the negatives, let us double-down on our positives. What gifts can YOU bring to the East Northport Jewish Center? What skills do you possess that might be helpful to our community? What hidden talents might brighten someone’s day? Do you know how to read Torah or Haftara? Can you deliver a sermon or D’var Torah? Can you lead any part of our services? Let’s take a step forward here. Are you willing/able to learn new skills to help our community? Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to make Gefilte Fish, and he can start a global empire under the Mrs. Adler’s label! If you can read Hebrew, I can teach you how to lead a prayer service. Whether the relatively short 15-minute evening minyan we host each weeknight, or either parts of the Friday and/or Saturday morning services. It’s never too late to learn how to chant from the Torah or Haftara. Not so skilled in Hebrew? Thanks to such resources as the website Sefaria, it is easier than ever to write a D’var Torah, and I would be happy to show you how to research a week’s Torah Portion and bring insights from your own life into a message to deliver to the congregation. 

As we hopefully have more and more in-person events back in our community, it’s time to think about other activities we can be doing at the ENJC. Before the pandemic, we had wonderful sessions on learning to play mah jjong led by our dearly departed congregant Jodi Saperstein, as well lessons in canasta. I hope to be teaching a group on how to play bridge, with the help of Renee Rubin soon. Howie Lewin gave a great talk on researching family lineages, that contained only a merciful few of his terrible puns. We had a growing pickleball contingent coming on Sunday afternoons before we had to close down for insurance reasons. What other skills or knowledges can you teach or offer to our ENJC family?  Of course, we can’t always expect that we’ll be able to implement every idea, and just because you are an expert at swallowing knitting needles, doesn’t mean that Sue Kazazz will necessarily be able to fit into our schedule, but it never hurts to let us know. What we do here at ENJC is give back, and help each other, so let us focus our gifts to improve the lives of our members. 

וְעָשָׂה֩ בְצַלְאֵ֨ל וְאׇהֳלִיאָ֜ב וְכֹ֣ל אִ֣ישׁ חֲכַם־לֵ֗ב אֲשֶׁר֩ נָתַ֨ן ה׳    
חׇכְמָ֤ה וּתְבוּנָה֙ בָּהֵ֔מָּה לָדַ֣עַת לַעֲשֹׂ֔ת אֶֽת־כׇּל־מְלֶ֖אכֶת עֲבֹדַ֣ת הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ לְכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֖ה הֹ׃
Let, then, Bezalel and Oholiab and all the skilled persons whom God has endowed with skill and ability to perform expertly all the tasks connected with the service of the sanctuary carry out all that God has commanded.

Neither Bezalel, nor Oholiab were known to be especially pious Jews. They weren’t priests. They weren’t Rabbis, or especially learned in Jewish rituals. It’s doubtful they could have sung even Adon Olam in a tuneful way (possibly because it would be thousands of years before Adon Olam would be written). But they were skillful. Bezalel is noted as being highly artistic and skilled. But even that isn’t a barrier to participation. Bezalel’s assistant, Oholiab, is not mentioned as having any particularly extraordinary skills at all. He was a doer more than a leader, he knew when and where his help was needed and he volunteered. Now is the time for all of us to volunteer to bring ENJC out of this pandemic and into the future. The Rabbi and I don’t need you to be Moses or Aaron. If you’re a Bezalel, and bring special skills, great. But even if all you have is a willing and giving heart and want to help, or even just become more involved as a participant at ENJC, now is your moment. 

Read More

Fighting Racism 
There are no words that convey our outrage, grief and our exasperation at the loss of 21 in Uvalde,TX, 19 of which were children 10 yrs old and less, with their lives, dreams, plans, joy and comfort robbed from them and their families forever. My prayer is that every resource goes to these bereft sons and daughters, parents, siblings grandparents and loved ones, so as to help them emerge from this tragedy and somehow honor and memorialize their children by moving forward and continuing in spite of unbearable grief. God, our precious parent, give the surviving families the gift of resilience. 

But our prayers and petitions must also be  for our politicians, local, state and federal, our courts and our law enforcement agencies, to find the courage and maturity to formulate sensible gun laws such as universal background checks, waiting periods, red flag legislation, and laws that put stricter age limits on the purchase and use of semi automatic weaponry. Our country is the only country in the world with this problem. We are not any more or less mentally ill than other countries. We are here because of the lax regulation and access to these weapons. In my opinion this too should be the prayers we offer as well: prayers for the resolve to legislate laws to protect our treasured children. Below find the statement of the Rabbinical Assembly. 
         –Rabbi Ian Silverman 
 
Rabbinical Assembly Heartbroken by Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

Following the killing of 19 schoolchildren and two adults in Uvalde, TX, and the wounding of others, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), the international association for Conservative/Masorti rabbis, issued the following statement:

This event is simply heart-breaking. Children must be more precious to America than its guns.

While our hearts and sincere prayers go out to the people of Uvalde, especially the families of the victims, thoughts and prayers have never been enough; it is past time for action. It is the lack of action that has brought us Sandy Hook and Parkland and too many other mass shootings to list. And now Uvalde.

It is high time that United States politicians, currently obsessed with reelection campaigns, put aside partisanship in order literally to save lives. They must firmly and immediately enact meaningful gun reform legislation. The same with mental health reform.

As we have said all too often – and too recently – we offer our deepest condolences and support to all those impacted by this despicable attack and reiterate our vehement condemnation of gun violence.

The Rabbinical Assembly has spoken out many times against gun violence in the United States. We unequivocally call upon lawmakers to immediately take all available measures to ensure the safety of the public and to limit the availability of guns. As our tradition reminds us, 'Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor' (Leviticus 19:16).

 

Services

  • This Week

Monday-Thursday, January 30 - February 2
8:15 pm – Weekly Minyan (Zoom)

Friday, February 3
7:30 pm – Erev Shabbat (In-person & Zoom)

Saturday, Februaru 4
9:30 am – Shabbat Service (In-person & Zoom)

Sunday, Februaruy 5
9:00 am – Morning Minyan

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Happy Tu B'Shvat! Join our seder Friday, February 3

TuBShvat

Sacred Book Burial, November 6, 2022

Candlelighting

Contact Us

The East Northport Jewish Center
328 Elwood Road
East Northport, NY, 11731 

Phone: 631-368-6474
Fax: 631-266-2910
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Office hours: Mon, Weds, Fri - 9:00 am-4:00 pm

Religious School Office: 631-368-0875
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