• 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!
  • The Festival of the Trees

    The Festival of the Trees

    Celebrate the fruits of Israel with us in a Zoom seder, immediately following minyan on THURSDAY EVENING, JANUARY 28. Services begin a 8:15 pm. Be prepared with your own walnuts, almonds, oranges, or pomegranate; dates, plums, avocado or apple; figs, grapes, raisins or craisins.
  • Visit ENJC Fun-raising on Facebook

    Visit ENJC Fun-raising on Facebook

    Visit our new Facebook group site, ENJC Fun-raising and take a chance at winning fantastic items such as gift cards, housewares, electronics and more, for a fraction of their selling price. Procedure and rules can be found on the ENJC Fun-raising site.
  • Enjoy your favorite deli meals and raise funds for the ENJC!

    Enjoy your favorite deli meals and raise funds for the ENJC!

    Order Pastrami N Friends gift certificates from the ENJC Fundraising Committee to purchase yummy pastrami, corned beef, roasted chicken and turkey sandwiches, potato pancakes, kasha.... and Pastrami N Friends will give the ENJC a donation. Everyone wins!! Contact the synagogue office to find out how to order your gift certificates, 631-368-6474
  • Help ENJC by Recycling Your Printer Cartridges

    Help ENJC by Recycling Your Printer Cartridges

    Recycle your old printer cartridges by either dropping them off at the ENJC or mailing them to Planet Green with a prepaid shipping label. Plus, you can purchase remanufactured ink cartridges at substantial savings and the ENJC earns money as well! Please contact the synagogue office to find out how YOU can become an ENJC EnviroFriend.
  • 2020-2021 Adult Education

    2020-2021 Adult Education

    Join in lively and stimulating discussion on topics relevant to Judaism and our lives in the time of COVID-19. There will be 13 sessions offered on Thursday evenings throughout the year. To learn about them, click 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

We are all fallible. That seems to be the theme of the last sections of Deuteronomy as we approach our High Holidays. Great blessings and curses have been pronounced in Ki Tavo, which we just studied a few Shabbats back. Moses is about to die and because he sinned, he will not be entering the land. But he has high hopes at this moment, standing in the hills of Moab overlooking the land. The tribes of Reuven, Gad and Menashe have all inherited the lands to the east of the Jordan after the Israelites, with God's help, defeated the kingdoms of Bashan and Emor. Joshua gets an added letter “Heh” in his name from God, and Moses places his hands upon him and confers his prophetic spirit upon him. The people stand rooted with a new covenant of loyalty to God, and God to them.

Imagine his disappointment when God informs Moses that he is to teach them a special song of Haazinu, which they almost surely will need when they sin and go astray toward other gods and foreign practices that they encounter in the lands that they conquer! God tells Moses there is an antidote; a song in our Torah that they must be schooled in, so that when they end up in exile and among other peoples, they will have a modality with which to articulate their repentance, their remorse, and most of all, their rekindled hope and faith. And Moses dutifully does teach this song, which brings witness of Heaven and Earth- of God's loyalty and love to the Hebrews. He deposits it on the side of the Holy Ark to be carried into the land of Israel, which God will give them, and shortly thereafter climbs up Mt Nebo to die.

 Moses dies, al Pi HaShem, "according to God's mouth," which Midrash tells us means that he died with a Divine Kiss painlessly. Yet missing is the notion that he died, Zaken ve Saveah be Yamim, "very old and contented of days," which is the description of how the Patriarchs die. And that could be due to his disappointment in his life's project–Not just that he doesn't merit the chance to enter the land where he had been leading the Israelites too, from the time of the exodus from slavery for forty years, but because his life's work during that wandering was devoted to imparting to them a Torah; a regimen for living and belief, that would ensure they would remain ensconced forever in the land of Israel. And Moses' life's work at the end may have seemed so fragile to him, in that God was certain that they would not necessarily adhere to it. Moses dies with this uncertainty weighing upon him which may explain the lack of full contentment.

The Torah message here is not to despair. It's to understand that all of us are fallible. Moses is fallible, which is why he didn't enter the Promised Land in the first place. The new generation, though equipped with grit confidence and new covenant, is fallible, which is why they will, in due time, need a song to sing in exile. And we too are fallible and have much work to do always in the domain of Torah, Jewish practice, and faith.

But help is always on the way! The core value in our religion is that we can interconnect with each other's strong points by being involved and intertwined with one another, and be inspired by one another– the core value in our religion is never to separate oneself from your community; the core value in our religion that prayer and study of Torah draws down the Divine presence, prayer in a minyan and study even with a partner (one sage says if you bat different opinions back and forth that also qualifies); and finally, the core value in our religion that our song is Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur– that season of Selichot and Repentance that sweeps in every autumn. These ten days of repentance ushered in by the trembling thunder of shofar is our moment of "on your mark, get set, go"– reach for something more spiritually, morally, ritually. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur teach our core value that you will never be perfect, so what will you do to refine yourself more this year, to enhance what it is you already have expressed in your Jewish commitments? Surely you can take on more learning! Surely you can commit yourself to more community involvement with your precious synagogue. Surely you can help with our minyan a few times a week from home by jumping on Zoom to make prayer more of constant in your life. Surely you can resolve to support your synagogue and help ensure it's future when so much of Jewish institutional life struggles through the uncertainty of COVID-19.

This pandemic has added a barrier to our spiritual journey– to build ourselves into more of who we maximally are as Jews each year. It's such a challenge when we can’t do things by physically coming together at present. We need not be so frustrated by this that we withdraw and retreat. We should all be thankful for the resourcefulness of our tech team Allan Berman (and his family) and Rick Kessler, and for the generosity of those who have made live streaming a reality for the duration of this pandemic. Get on Zoom with me Thursday nights this year, as we embark on a 13 unit study of "What our sources teach us in the shadow of a Pandemic." I guarantee it will deepen your appreciation in the richness of Jewish wisdom.

Thanks are in order. Thank you to Hazzan Walvick, whose tech creativity has been inspirational and a guide to me over these months, and who, under such tough time restrictions, continues to enhance our prayer. I thank Robin Kain and Ed Isaac and those who have assisted them, for all their excellent work in bringing us Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as best we can do as a physical community this year. I thank Mary in the office for all of her skills in keeping us linked together, and Sue Kazzaz for her work on the website and e-weekly, and for helping to screen share for Adult Education Zooms. Live stream is an excellent option for those who choose to stay home this year, which is, for many, the right choice. Zoom or live stream into our weekday and Shabbat services (we have easy directions available to make it "Shabbat friendly"). Take part in activities we endeavor to do together outdoors. Consider coming to our Shabbat morning service in the shul, in which we are scrupulously adhering to medical protocol. Make your way toward the intimate circle of relationship envisioned by the Torah between God and the Jewish people. Yes, we are all fallible, and yes, we all surely sin and fall short since we are human. Even Moses did, and even the blessed generation that entered Canaan did. But never let that stop you from singing the “song of Torah” and taking the steps that bring you closer to what you might maximally become in your Jewish life, and to this let us say, AMEN

From Beth and I, Marc and Alan, May we all be written and sealed, and help write ourselves into the Book of Life, Health, Joy and Contentment this coming year 5781.

Leadership

  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi
  • Steven Walvick, Hazzan
  • Rick Kessler, 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

A beautiful essay by columnist Jeff Jacoby, extolling what aspects of 2020 were blessings even in a disastrous year. Jacobi expresses my thoughts even better than I could. May we never lose sight of these blessings!

What was great about 2020
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
December 30, 2020

One year ago, in a column headlined “What was so great about the 2010s,” I remarked that the first decade of the 21st century, “for all its sorrows, has been the best time to be alive.” Despite the media’s relentless focus on bad news, I argued, humankind was living in the most fortunate era our species had ever known.Then came 2020.

The past 12 months have brought misery, turmoil, and distress on a scale that most Americans couldn’t have imagined last New Year’s Eve: the emergence of the coronavirus, a torrent of sickness and death, economic and social lockdowns, a tidal wave of racial protests, frightening riots, a poisonous election campaign, catastrophic wildfires, a nationwide shutdown of sports, concerts, and theaters, millions of lost jobs. If it hasn’t literally been “the worst year ever,” as Time magazine labeled it, it has certainly been the worst that millions of people have known in this lifetime. But it has been a year of good news and glad tidings, too. While 2020 was overloaded with stress and sadness, it also supplied reasons to be grateful and milestones to celebrate. Here are a few.

▪ There was news the world yearned for all year: Two COVID-19 vaccines were developed and brought to market. Before 2020, it took an average of 10 years to create a new vaccine, test it for safety and efficacy, and manufacture it for public use. But this year, due in part to the technology of messenger RNA, or mRNA, it was accomplished in a matter of months — an achievement that marked the start of what is already being called “a golden age of vaccinology.”

▪ Africa was declared free of wild polio, a disease that until recently still infected thousands of young children each year, paralyzing for life those it didn’t kill. In August, the World Health Organization proclaimed a “public health triumph,” announcing that the final remaining strain of wild polio virus had been eradicated in Nigeria, the last country on earth to have reported a case of the disease.

▪ One response to all the lockdowns and restrictions on socializing was a turbocharged rise in rescues and adoptions of animals. “Shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders, pet stores — all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and puppies to fill it,” reported The Washington Post. That was happy news not just for the animals, but for their new humans: Research shows that caring for pets tends to lower blood pressure, increase cardiovascular health, and reduce anxiety.

▪ In the space of a few months, four Muslim countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco — all agreed to normalize relations with Israel. After decades in which the Arab-Israeli standoff had seemed frozen in old hostilities, the sudden surge of peacemaking generated a level of hopeful excitement and joy that no one had been expecting in the Middle East a year earlier.

▪ The politics of 2020 were atrocious, and the US election campaign was as polarizing and toxic as any in living memory. Yet when all was said and done, Americans demonstrated that their commitment to democratic self-government was as unwavering as ever: When the election finally arrived, 21 million more Americans cast ballots than had done so in 2016. In the past four years, America’s population grew by 7.5 million.The increase in voter turnout was triple that.

▪ In July, NASA launched a rocket carrying the nuclear-powered Perseverance, the most advanced Mars rover ever built. Perseverance is designed to search for signs of ancient life on the red planet and to extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. Even more ambitious, it will fly a helicopter! In another milestone, 2020 was the year that NASA successfully landed a spacecraft on an asteroid. Equally impressive were the accomplishments of a private American company: Elon Musk’s SpaceX twice flew astronauts to the International Space Station — marking the dawn of commercial human spaceflight.

▪ Charitable giving soared in 2020. America has always been a remarkably philanthropic society, but in this terrible year donors gave even more generously than usual. In the first six months of the pandemic, gifts to charity increased by nearly 7.5 percent over the same period a year earlier. As lockdowns deprived millions of Americans of their regular income, millions of others stepped forward to help — supplying money, food, services, and support of all kinds to people in need.

One other blessing of 2020: a heightened awareness of, and appreciation for, countless workers whom it had been so easy to overlook before — the delivery drivers and supermarket employees, postal clerks and transit operators, sanitation workers and hospital orderlies who kept doing their jobs even as the world went into meltdown. We finally learned to think of them as “essential workers,” and to applaud and give thanks for what they do every day.

The glass wasn’t half-full in 2020, but it certainly wasn’t empty. May we hear more glad tidings in 2021.

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Last night I sat with my seven year old, consoling her and wiping away her tears. Not an uncommon sight for a child who has a lot of “feelings.” And believe me, 2020 has given us all plenty of opportunity for tears. Between a global pandemic and its related economic downturn, it’s been a tough year. With continued racial injustice exploding into our consciousness again and refusing to be dimmed into the background noise of the chaos of life, we must confront pain. And pain again, as our political system was rocked by an impeachment and a fractious election that still echoes in the minds of many who refuse to accept its results. We have become socially distanced to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but as our alternate realities and facts show, we have become separated from each other by much more than six feet… There were the inevitable celebrity deaths, as well as those closer to our community, whether by the pandemic, or some other cruel twist.  There was isolation, depression, and for weeks our synagogue building was completely closed. Yes, 2020 was not the best year—and that’s not even counting the Murder Hornets.
 
And yet…that’s not why my child was crying. As I rubbed her back, she explained: “But I LOVED 2020!”  I almost paused my soothing efforts, so gobsmacked was I. How in the world could one possibly love what was so obviously a dumpster-fire of a year!? Had I sheltered her too much from the reality of what was going on–the pain and sorrow? Was she simply incapable of recognizing the magnitude of suffering which was 2020? Well, sure. That’s partially true. But underneath it, was a great truth, and that is, even within the curses of 2020, even within the depths of darkness, there exists some light. Now this is, in no way an attempt to minimize the pain many of us experienced last year and continue to experience. There is no simple comfort to ameliorate all the hurt.  But we do ourselves a disservice to ignore the good that came into our lives in 2020. Homeschooling an energetic first and second grader was by no means a simple task. Often it was (and still is) a very frustrating endeavor, as I try to understand why every generation of teaching philosophers seem to think it’s good idea to teach math differently again. And beyond the number-bonds and units and tens, the diminishment of contemporary social interactions has obviously taken its toll on my little girl. But, she bounces on through it. She has accepted this new reality, and she has thrived. I am blessed. We have daily FaceTime and Zoom interactions with our far-flung family, and one of the benefits of being home together is many more hugs. This pandemic has given me a chance to interact with our congregation differently, and though I’ve seen very few of you in person, I’ve still gotten to connect to many of you in small 3”-by-5” rectangles on my screens, and have remained in touch with many of our non-local congregants, who in a normal year, I might not see until they return from Florida, like so many migratory birds.  
 
But my blessings may not be your blessings, and your pain is definitely different than my pain. I can’t presume to tell you what will happen in 2021, but I can urge you to identify what WERE the blessings of 2020; and where can you find the blessings in 2021. I urge you to reach out to us here at East Northport Jewish Center. Outside of services, both live and virtual, or classes offered in both formats, we are here to help be the center of your Jewish community. Let us know what we can do to help you in these trying times. Find your Jewish family here, live or live-streamed.  We are here for you, and may 2021 bring more blessing into your lives.
 
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RickKessler

As we prepare to enter the Hanukkah season and reflect upon the miracle of the oil lamp that burned for eight days, I try to continuously focus on all of the positive things that have happened during this calendar year for our congregation. 

First and foremost, I am thankful that since we re-opened our sanctuary for services in June, we have had a physical Minyan every Saturday except one! Nothing makes me happier than being able to have our congregants hear the laining of the Torah and Haftarah, in-person, and celebrate Shabbat together!

Also during this period, Rabbi Silverman and Hazzan Walvick have conducted five wonderful B’nai Mitzvah. The families and friends of each of these five wonderful boys, as well as the Board of Directors of the East Northport Jewish Center, could not have been more proud of each of them, on celebrating this most important simcha! They all worked so diligently in preparation by having Bar Mitzvah lessons with Hazzan and Bar Mitzvah project meeting’s with Rabbi over Zoom. When it came to their big days, each of them performed magnificently. Yasher Koach!

Although our communities’ participation during the High Holiday celebrations was extremely limited due to COVID-19, we were still able to offer seats to all of those congregants who wished to attend in-person. Rabbi and Hazzan successfully shortened the length of the services, while successfully maintaining the fervor and emotion which they represent. And for all of those congregants who weren’t comfortable attending in person, we were able to live-stream our services too, for all of those who wished to take part from their own homes. For the two weeks following Yom Kippur, I held my breath… but it turned out that all of our precautions and planning, as well as a bit of luck paid-off, because there were no reported cases of COVID-19 among any of the members of the congregation who attended…Baruch HaShem! 

I am now looking forward to attending our annual Menorah lighting celebration on December 15th. This year, instead of being down at Northport Harbor, it will take place on the ENJC property using the large menorah that we set-up every year next to Elwood Road. I hope it is not too chilly that night, and I hope my wife Anna’s latkes are as delicious as always!

Finally, I am extremely optimistic because it seems the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine is finally becoming a reality in record time! The unexpectedly high percentage of effectiveness for multiple vaccines is a tribute to the worldwide scientific community. My fervent hope is that by May or June, the majority of American’s will have received their vaccines, and are protected. As we traditionally say during Pesach, ‘Next year in Jerusalem’, I say, ‘next year, High Holiday services, in-person, for the whole congregation, in our own sanctuary!’.

Being able to maintain our faith, to adapt and to remain positive in the face of tremendous challenges, has been the hallmark of the Jewish people for millennia. We must continue this tradition by remaining optimistic and seeing the positive things in our lives and our community, every single day.

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Services

  • This Week

 

Week of Monday, January 18

Monday-Thursday, 1/18-21 
8:15 pm – Minyan (Zoom Service)

Friday, January 22
7:30 pm – Erev Shabbat
(Zoom service)

Saturday, January 23
9:30 am – Shabbat Service
Zoom service)

Sunday, January 24
9:00 am – Morning Minyan-
(Zoom service)
8:15 pm – Evening Minyan (Zoom Service)

 

 

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 2021

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ENJC Community Candle Lighting- 6th Night of Chanukah

  • The ENJC Chanukiah

  • Rabbi, Hazzan and Libby

  • Steve, Nina, Jack and Lori

  • Libby sings the dreidel song

  • The Tyll Family

  • Rick and David

  • Rhonda and Rich

  • Emily, Brian and Robin

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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