• 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!
  • Pancake Breakfast

    Pancake Breakfast

    Join us again this year for our Pancake Fundraiser on SUNDAY, JANUARY 26. Come anytime from 8:30 -11:30 for pancakes, fruit, juice, coffee and tea. Please RSVP by January 21 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Family Board Game Day

    Family Board Game Day

    Join Men's Club after the Pancake Breakfast on January 26th for an afternoon of Game Board fun. Play begins at 1:00 pm.
  • A Bowl before

    A Bowl before "The Bowl"

    Enjoy some delicious soups on SATURDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 1, FOLLOWING SHABBAT SERVICES, for a variety of options created by our own ENJC volunteer chefs
  • Don your Tefillin

    Don your Tefillin

    On Super Bowl Sunday, the mitzvah of wrapping tefillin is shared, encouraged and taught. Please join us for this annual progarm.
  • Help Those in Need

    Help Those in Need

    Contribute, prepare and/or serve food, or make a donation-- Wednesday, February 5th, from 4:45-8:15 pm at Temple Beth El, Park Avenue, Huntington. Please contact the synagogue office at 631-36-6474 to participate.
  • The New Year of Trees

    The New Year of Trees

    Our Tu B'Shvat seder involves enjoying the fruit of the tree and it's a great way to appreciate the bounty that we so often take for granted, allowing us to develop a good and generous eye for the world around us. Join us for our fun, delicious and interactive seder following services on Friday evening, February 7.
  • Don't Know How to Play Mah Jongg?

    Don't Know How to Play Mah Jongg?

    Now is your opportunity to learn! The ENJC Engage Program is offering Mah Jongg classes on Sundays, February 9, 16, 23, March 1 and March 8 at 1:oo pm. Please contact the synagogue office so that we have the right number of supplies, at 631-368-6474 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. It's FREE!
  • The Epic Tale of Operation Entebbe

    The Epic Tale of Operation Entebbe

    Learn about this daring mission from our own ENJC Congregant, Yossie Mermelstein, followed by the original movie, "Raid on Entebbe." Sunday, February 23 at 3:00 pm. Israeli snacks served.
  • Shabbat Across America

    Shabbat Across America

    Synagogues across North America will come together for this Friday night celebration. Join us for an evening of ruach and ice cream, on Friday night, February 28.
  • Register for Sisterhood's Mah Jongg Tournament

    Register for Sisterhood's Mah Jongg Tournament

    Join us March 15th for a day of Mah Jongg tournament play, including a bagel breakfast, lunch and snacks, and great prizes for the winners. Bring your friends! Price is $45 to reserve your space. Deadline to register is March 9. 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

I'm not sure where the phrase began there is a reference in a 9th century Kabbalistic work that asserts, "There are seventy faces of Torah and there are seventy faces of God." I have always been driven by the diversity and multiple understandings of the Torah text in Talmudic discussion. The real truth is usually mined from this multiplicity of meanings and understandings. Often the rabbis state a majority opinion but leave in the minority position. Sometimes there is a "tie" called a Tekoo, which means "unresolved," much like a stalemate in a gaem of chess). Tekoo, according to our sages, is an abbreviation for the phrase, "Tisbi yetaretz kushiot oovaayot," which means "Elijah will come to solve problems and enigmas." There are some issues which are multifaceted and defy easy answers. It must be left for the Messianic time to really know the correct answer. In the meantime, in these messy times in which we live, it's important for that we give space to others and not demand black and white positions. We are a people of nuance, whose byword has always been "ele ve ele," "these and those" are words of the living God. We must  remember that we cannot have a monopoly on the truth in any particular issue, any particular policy or any particular party. Rav Avraham Isaac Kook reminded his ultra orthodox community that if we only label others as wrong and wicked, we stop looking for what is wrong and wicked in ourselves, and that is dangerous. Remembering complexity and nuance is a requirement of being a Jew.  If you make resolutions for this coming secular year, may this be one of them. The following is a beautiful article from Aish.com by Rabbi Efrem Goldberg on this topic:

Don't Put Me in a Box: The Death of Nuance

On the one hand, he sent his children to chareidi schools. On the other, he has proudly taught in progressive women’s institutions. He was educated in the right-wing world, but he profoundly values the miracle of the modern state of Israel. When asked what world he belongs in, how does he see himself, one of my rabbis in Israel answered, “You can put me in a box when I am dead; until then don’t try to make me fit neatly into one of your labels.”

More and more, we are forcing people into boxes, even as they are alive. Everything from politics to religion is portrayed as simplified and binary. Whether gun control, healthcare, the economy, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or women’s role in Judaism, the extremists have lined up and they want us to believe that we must view these issues and almost any other, as this or that; you are either with me or against me, you either “totally get it” or you are “totally insane.” The camps have been set up and the default in our world is that you must fit neatly into one of them. But what about the camp of those who don’t fit neatly or conform nicely to the binary options? What about those who see merit in conflicting views, who live with the tension that creates, who approach complicated issues with nuance and who acknowledge complexity? Is there room for us, do we get a voice, is our approach legitimate too?

I want to share one example, not to comment on politics, but simply as an illustration of this dangerous phenomenon:

For some people, if you acknowledge that President Trump has done very positive things for Israel you are immediately labeled yourself as a racist, a misogynist, a supporter and purveyor of hate. For others, if you raise issues with the president’s character, his way of speech and tactics, you are an ungrateful Jew and “how dare you say that about the best president in history for Israel”. In our polarized world, you are either with him or against him. Either he can do no wrong, or he can do no right. You must love and adore him, or reject and hate him. But what about those who feel both extremely grateful for the good he has done and simultaneously concerned and disturbed by his rhetoric and pomposity that are negative and dangerous? Can we not maintain a more nuanced view, neither support nor reject him wholesale but have different feelings towards various policies of his and even parts of his personality?

While the rest of the world may be dividing up into teams, Republicans vs Democrats, conservatives vs liberals, traditionalist vs progressives, forced to toe the party line, pressured to hold predictable views based on their membership, the Jewish people have a tradition of nuance and diversity. The Talmud quotes Rav Chisda who teaches: ״One who learns how to think from only one Rebbe, one teacher, doesn’t ever see blessing״ (Avoda Zara 19a). Just as with material investments we get a better return when we diversify, so too our spiritual investments; learning and exposure should be diversified with openness and access to the seventy faces of authentic Torah. The Midrash tells us:
Moses wrote 13 Torahs, one corresponding with each of the 12 tribes, and the 13th was to be put into the Aron (Ark) so that if someone wants to distort any of the 12 Torahs, it would be checked against the 13th for authenticity. (Devarim Rabba 9:9) The Holy Temple had 13 gates, one corresponding with each tribe and the 13th for those who didn’t know what tribe they descended from. Once there was a 13th gate and a 13th Torah, why the need for the original 12? Perhaps the message is that each tribe, each camp, each point of view deserves to exist and be heard in isolation. But the diverse points of view also have to recognize and allow for the 13th gate, for those can’t easily fit into one of the existing tribes, who aren’t natural descendants of a particular point of view but who choose to walk through the entrance that allows for nuance, a multiplicity of views and a complex approach.

People are entitled to not fit into a box, to not line up neatly or conform to the preconceived paradigms of others. But more than that, one needs to be careful not to overly certain of their point of view. When asked what he would eliminate in the world if he had a magic wand, Nobel prize winner Dr. Daniel Kahneman answered with one word: overconfidence.

There is a difference between having convictions, advocating for a particular point of view or towards specific policies, and being overly confident that they are the only way of seeing or doing things. Be strong in what you believe in, pursue it, represent it, be persuasive in your arguments for it, and in the end, let others see it differently, nonetheless. If we want to see blessing in our thinking, in our judgment, in our relationships and in our lives, we need to have more than one teacher. We need to be exposed to more than one perspective.

The community of those who walk through the 13th gate need to speak up and speak out. We need to not be dragged to overconfident, superficial and binary positions and conclusions just because it makes it more comfortable or convenient for others to have us there with them. Those who maintain a steadfast commitment to nuance and complexity, who can still see the merit in conflicting views, must not be silenced by those screaming over them, both online and offline. One day we will all be placed in a box; let’s enrich our lives by not putting ourselves or others in one until then.


  • 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

There are four Rosh Hashanahs, four New Years’, in the Jewish Calendar. The first of Nisan is the Rosh Hashanah for Kings and holidays. The first of Elul is the Rosh Hashanah for tithing animals, ‘though Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon said, “the first of Tishrai is the Rosh Hashanah for tithing animals. The first of Tishrai as we know it is the Rosh Hashanah for years, commemorated by the blowing of the shofar. Shemita, Yovel, for planting and for vegetables. But the Rosh Hashanah we now call attention to is, according to Beit Shammai, the first of Shvat, the Rosh Hashanah for trees.

Much is written about trees in our literature. The Torah starts with a story of two trees, one of knowledge and one of life. Once the tree of knowledge was tasted, humankind forfeited eternity. One could exist as the image of God in one of two ways, and we chose knowledge and free will over God's immortal aspect. The Torah itself, however, has become the vehicle through which we grasp an eternalness, as we call it an “etz hayim; a tree of life for those who cling to it,” and that God “implanted this eternalness” into us by us allowing our souls to imbibe Torah insight, values and law. And like a tree, our Torah knowledge builds rings with study each Shabbat year, layering our understanding and insight with greater maturity and familiarity.

The mystics tell us that the essential being or nature of God, with all of its sfirot (emanations, in Kabbalah) resembles an upside-down tree, with the roots in heaven and the branches moving through God’s seven heavenly attributes, and continuing to branch widely across the mundane plane, touching all humankind.

Jewish thought also considers that we are like a tree. Our tradition turns a question in the Torah, “HaAdam Etz Hasadeh hu” (is a tree like a man?) into a positive statement “A man is indeed like a tree.” How? A man or woman must be grounded, rooted in a faith and tradition so as not to be easily toppled. A man or woman must aspire upward toward the light. A man or woman must branch out in life and acquire both depth and breadth. A person should bear fruit both in their productivity and hopefully by “building a house in Israel.” A person's goods deeds are like foliage and their Torah study like the fragrance of flowers. A person must grow not only in strength and bulk but must also find the resilience of a tree, which bends in the storm.

The celebration of Tu B’shvat has gone beyond trees to a concern for Israel, as well as the ecology of our planet. I warmly invite all congregants, young and old, to partake of the seven species of fruit from Israel and enjoy some pita with our four seder cups. Come celebrate trees, the land of Israel, and learn of our traditional mandate to take responsibility for our planet's health. Our Tu B’shvat Seder this year will take place on Friday night, following our 7:30 pm service February 7. Until then, I leave you with a lovely poem by Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser–

The Tree Knows
Naked and lonely
Bereaved of her children,
The brood of green foliage,
The tree stands in the winter cold
Shaking in the wind.

She bears witness to her faith
That the world will green again.
The storm bends her,
But she remains rooted
In the spot
Where God or man
Stationed her.

She knows through the wisdom
imbibed in her flesh
That storms recede,
That spring returns,
That her hard limbs
Will grow soft again,
At the touch of the warmer sun,
And the crown of new foliage
Will mark the renewal
Of her life. 

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“The almond tree is blooming and the golden sun is shining,
Birds atop each roof announcing the arrival of the festival.
Tu bishvat has arrived (it's) the festival of trees.”
                                                   — HaShkadiyah Poraḥat
Hard to be thinking about springtime and blooming trees with snow on the ground, but that’s what the Jewish calendar does: promising us the return of warmth just as we face the doldrums of winter.  It may still be gray outside, but Friday February 7th right after Shabbat services (starting at 7:30 PM) we will be having a Tu Bishevat Seder. Come try delicious sweet fruits from Israel as we explore some of the mystic connections of this holiday. Also find out how the song Atzei Zeitim Omdim, ‘Olive Trees are Standing,’ was originally Atzei Shittim Omdim, ‘Acacia Trees are Standing,’ and why this was changed. I’ll give you a hint, your parents were just as immature as you were when they were Religious School-Aged...
I am also pleased to announce that the ENJC Klezmer Band has continued to show promise and will be performing a short selection of songs over Purim, both at the Megillah Reading, Monday March 9th (starting at 7:30 PM) as well as at the Purim Feast on Tuesday March 10th (starting at 5:30 PM). 
My family and I look forward to celebrating the upcoming holidays with our entire ENJC community, and I will continue to encourage you to find ways to make the East Northport Jewish Center a home away from home. Our doors are always open to you, and we are offering new and exciting opportunities to connect with your fellow congregants here. Don’t see something that entices you on the calendar? Please contact Mary in the synagogue office, 631-368-6474, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to tell us what kinds of events and activities WOULD bring you into the building.
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Happy New Year!

Wow, I can't believe that 2019 is over. Time flies when you are busy. I feel like it was last night that I sat down to work on my Yom Kippur appeal to welcome in the Jewish New Year. Now I am discussing the past and future at calendar year end.

It has been a very interesting year at ENJC. 2019 began the Hazzan Walvick era at ENJC. Hazzan has brought with him tremendous energy, both in the sanctuary and in the building. It is a great feeling when you see that Hazzan and his family care about making ENJC better than the rest.

Please come down and join us for Shabbat services and/or games. Shabbat games have become a popular activity for our membership and we will feature them often. Don't forget we have Souper Shabbat coming on February 1. It would be nice to have good turnout. Who can say no to hot soup on a cold February day?

This past fall we rolled out our ENGAGE programming, led by Sue Kazzaz. The activities have been numerous and diversified, i.e. book clubs, canasta, Mah Jongg, movie night, baking, genealogy or socializing. Some have been well attended, but we are always looking for more to participate.

My New Year's wish would be to have more congregants attend and support our daily minyan. In 2019 our turnout for events was wonderful and I would like to see it grow more in 2020.

Amanda, Danny, Meryl and I wish all a Happy and Healthy New Year, from our family to yours!

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  • This Week
  • Weekly


Week of Monday, January 27

Monday-Thursday, 1/27-2/2
Weekly minyan service – 8:15 pm

Friday, January 24
Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm

Saturday, January 25
Shabbat Service – 9:15 am
Family Services – 10:15 am

Sunday, January 26
Morning Minyan– 9:00 am
Evening Minyan – 8:15 pm






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Weekday Minyan: 8:15 pm

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At ENJC: Chanukah, Bubbe's Kitchen

  • 8th Chanukah Night at ENJC

  • Bubbe Carolyn Gilbert

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  • Sous Chef Meredith Gilbert

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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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