• About us

    About us

    Welcome to the East Northport Jewish Center. We are 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. Read More
  • Men's Club-Sisterhood Shabbat

    Men's Club-Sisterhood Shabbat

    Join us as members of ENJC's Men's Club and Sisterhood lead us in prayer. Read More
  • Ladies Bingo Night

    Ladies Bingo Night

    All ENJC women are invited to join Sisterhood for a fun night of Bingo, with great prizes, snacks and guaranteed fun for all! Read More
  • Yom Hashoah

    Yom Hashoah

    Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the six million Jewish people who died during the Holocaust. Join us for an inspiring film and candle lighting ceremony to follow. Read More
  • Adult Education, Spring 2018

    Adult Education, Spring 2018

    Join Rabbi Ian, following the Passover holiday, for a six-unit course examining Torah passages that just don't make sense, and their surprising answers. Read More
  • Israel Committee film ISRAEL INSIDE

    Israel Committee film ISRAEL INSIDE

    Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 22 for the film Israel Inside, examining the advancements in science, the environment, medicine and technology made by Israelis. Read More
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rabbi10View current news articles, commentary, videos and more that have an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See

Between Purim and Passover

Rabbi Jason Rubenstein makes an interesting observation that the very beginning of the Megillah presents an anti-Passover message of providence. It appears that Haman rolls the dice in his lottery for the destruction of the Jews on the 12th month, Adar, and the 13th day. But on what day was the fate sealed? –On none other than the day before Pesach, Adar 14, when the Jews, instead, prevailed. And what does Mordecai tell Esther? He tells her, “Help might come from another quarter, but if you don't do something, you and your father's house will be destroyed.” Notice that he doesn’t say God will help us; he says something shall come to the rescue eventually (yavo memakom acher), but we are left wondering what form that help will take. After all, God is not mentioned in the Book of Esther at all. And Esther insists that the Jews fast for three days, but this comes at the time of feasting at the Seders of Passover! Note how despairing they must have been at this moment when they should have been fulfilling the commandment of eating matzah to celebrate God's rescue of the Hebrew Slaves at the time of the Exodus! In the end, religious significance is attached to this miracle rescue of the Jews from Haman, and it is declared a holiday, but the rite of that holiday is reading about human beings risking their lives to turn the tide.

Pesach enters, however, through the back door, in our rabbinic tradition, when it comes to the events of the story of Esther. Do you remember that Achashverosh couldn't sleep and insisted in reading from his chronicles? That occurred too, our sages tell us, on the exact night marking the time of our release in Egypt! (cf. Haggadah: cf. vayehi be chazi Halaila) This teaches that while you might think that all happens is due to luck, happenstance and human endeavor, we realize that Providence is behind this concatenation of events–ultimately God is working behind the scenes.

Passover presents a different theological view. God is a maker of miracles and will impose His will on human history if the experience of his people is dire and if their prayers and tears crack heaven. The explanation of our rescue and release comes from God and no other–a Divine rescue.

And yet, Passover depends, too, on the actions of people. It depends on a leader who evolves from a self doubting 'send someone else' sort, to a leader who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. It depends on a people who evolve from insular, to advocates, to a people who begin to believe and inspire Moses. And it depends ultimately on their faith to follow God's directive to slaughter a ram at a time of Egyptian Ram worship, when Aries, the Ram, is considered sacred.


In a beautiful passage, God instructs Moses to put blood on the doorpost and the crossbeams of doors on the night of the last lethal first-born plague. But when Moses repeats this directive to the Israelites, he says the opposite, telling them to place the blood on the lintel and then the doorposts. Why the difference, asks the Nachalat Zvi commentary. The first passage shows God's perspective. From His perspective, His miracles are dependent on human actions below the heavens, which are stirred by what we do down here below. From Moses' perspective, miracles come from above, and from how much we turn our hearts and our prayers heavenward.

Naturally this Pesach-Purim divide is a much broader discussion and we see its tension in opinions this very day. There are many who feel that God is the one who makes or breaks circumstances; there is no coincidence and God has everything, always, under control–even if we don’t see it. There are others who say, "heaven helps only those who help themselves," and only pious fools place themselves in harm’s way by saying "God shall provide."

I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. Certainly, a little help from heaven is always a good thing, and sincere prayer is, therefore, called for and important. On the other hand, even God kept us out of the way of the Philistines until we were ready, as a people, to wage war, providing forty years for training before we were ready to conquer our land. In making peace, prayer alone is insufficient. Human might and resourcefulness is imperative, as is bravery and risk taking, in the road to redemption. In creating a strong and productive society, prayer is helpful but insufficient. We must fight for justice, we must risk for kindness, we must trust, to the extent that we can, in our neighbors, and extend our hands to them–only then can heavenly rewards rain down upon us.

Beth and I wish you and yours a sweet and joyful Pesach.

–Rabbi Ian 


  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi
  • Eric Loring, ENJC President
  • A Piece on Passover


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

It is hard to believe, but Pesach will be upon us soon, with Yom HaShoah and Israel Independence Day soon to follow. We make our way on our calendar, from these holidays, through the counting period to Shavuoth. Their rapid fire succession has sparked these thoughts–

There is a wonderful hymn that we sing at the end of the Passover Seder, in the English, “Who knows One.” It teaches us of two and three and four, etc, just like the succession of holy times in our Jewish calendar. Let me explain. An insightful sage asks the question, "Why is it that the second verse and the tenth verse are so similar? After all, the refain for two tells us it's the two tablets of law, and the tenth verse, asking "who knows ten?" answers it's the Ten Commandments. Aren't they really the same thing? The tablets are the Ten Commandments! How is it that the author of the hymn could have been so repetitive?

The sage answers his question by saying that they are not the same. The two tablets of law refer not to the two tablets of one set, the Ten Commandments, but the two sets of tablets of law. The first tablets were smashed when Moses saw the golden calf. He went up again to get a second set! The second verse celebrates the phenomenon of second chances in Judaism–the ability of a people to recognize its mistakes and to get a second break from the God of Israel. God is always willing to give us a second chance.

Thinking more deeply about this, however, the coming of the Israelites into the land from Egypt was actually a second chance as well, for Abraham had dwelled there, but the people needed to pass through the “furnace of fire” to become a people of character and unity. Jacob went down to Egypt, a second return. But wait a minute, that too was followed by a blown chance. The first generation muffed it when they heeded the pessimism of the spies and were condemned to die in the desert. One could say that the second generation of freed Hebrews getting in was the third chance that God bestowed on them. Unfortunately, that effort, too, was lost when the Babylonians destroyed the first Temple. We were granted yet a fourth opportunity when Cyrus and Darius got us back to the Holy Land and we built yet a second national home. Alas, the Romans exiled the Judaen State in 70Ce and quashed its rebirth in 135 Ce, during the era of Bar Kochba.

Now along came a fifth chance, granted by Heaven. It started with a dream, in the book The Alte Neue Land, written by Theodore Herzl, more than a century ago. Many make the point that this effort was driven not by heaven above, but by people from below. The Zionist Movement organized, and a society in the making emerged by the hard work of statesmen, philanthropists, industrialists, scientists, dreamers and followers that made facts on the ground. Herzl said “if one wills it, it is not a dream.”

Now we stand 70 years in the aftermath of that fifth opportunity, granted to us by the dedicated, brazen and innovative Israeli population. Beset by adversity, Israel has become a military power and entrepreneurial, technological society. She has emerged as a world leader in medical, botanical, technological and scientific achievement. She stands poised to share her know-how with the world around her, and I believe is diplomatically prepared for compromise with a Palestinian leadership that will give up its dream of dismantling the Jewish State. This fifth opportunity is one that all of us should share by visiting Israel and supporting her. Israel has made mistakes, as has all nations. The rebirth of a national existence has its share of complicating elements and moral challenges. But we should be unbelievably proud of the State of Israel as she stands on the precipice of 70 years. May the Zionist State go from attainment to attainment, aided by the support of nations of good will. She has only just begun to share of her bounty and be the light unto nations that is her mission. (Stay tuned for more on the celebration of the 70th anniversary in the coming month).

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EricLoringIt is a new year, a time of new beginnings! I hope that everyone had a lovely Chanukkah. As everyone knows, Cantor Nussbaum is now retired. He and Avrille are making arrangements to move closer to their family in New Jersey. He is extremely appreciative of the love and support he has received.

A lot has been happening over the last couple of months, so I would like to give an update of where we stand. We have hired Eliza Zipper as Religious School principal. She is a graduate of the Davidson School at Jewish Theological Seminary and has many years of experience as a Jewish educator and youth leader. She brings a great deal of energy and excitement about Jewish education. We look forward to working with her.

Also in the Religious School, we have hired Rabbi David Shain as the Hay Prayer and Hebrew Skills teacher. Those of you who have spent time at Gurwin may be familiar with Rabbi Shain, who has served there as a mashgiach (kashrut supervisor) and their Shabbat Rabbi. Rabbi Shain is very personable and knowledgeable. I am confident that our Hay students are in good hands.

Turning our attention to B’nai Mitzvah preparation, we have hired Dr. Paul Kaplan, a former long-term congregant, to tutor our B’nai Mitzvah students. Dr. Kaplan is a retired college professor with decades of teaching experience. In addition, in his own words, he has prepared “a thousand students” for their Bar and Bat mitzvah including at least one member of our Board of Directors. We are lucky to have him on board.

Finally, the Cantor Search committee has been meeting regularly since mid-November. With input from the Board and committees, a job description for our Cantor position has been developed. We have submitted our job posting to the Cantor Assembly Placement Office and we have begun to receive applications. It is still very early in the process, but we are on course and schedule. Look for future updates as things develop.

Shalom, chaverim! See you in shul!

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About Yizkor- Last day of Pesach on Shabbat morning April 7,2018

  by Alan Lucas

Excerpted from The Observant Life

The Memorial Service called Yizkor is recited four times during the course of the year: on Yom Kippur and, in diaspora communities, on Sh'mini Atzeret, on the eighth day of Passover, and on the second day of Shavuot. For such a well-known service, however, Yizkor is a relatively late liturgical development, and was possibly composed in reaction to the Crusades and the terrible loss of Jewish life in that dark chapter of history. But whatever its origins, Yizkor is certainly in keeping with the serious mood of Yom Kippur and it is wholly appropriate to remember those departed individuals who shaped and influenced our lives for good on the very day we seek to reconnect with our truest selves.

The Yizkor service itself is a bit fluid, but generally consists of a collection of readings and recitations revolving around two central prayers: the individual Yizkor prayers, in which worshipers invoke God’s continued protection of the souls of loved ones who have passed on, and the El Malei Rachamim, the traditional memorial prayer that poetically expresses the hope that the dead rest in peace under God’s divine protection.

It is customary in many communities for individuals whose parents are still living to leave the sanctuary during Yizkor. Partially the result of a superstitious fear that remaining in the sanctuary would be to tempt fate and partially rooted in the feeling that those who have suffered terrible loss in their lives deserve some privacy in which to mourn publicly for their lost parents, spouses, siblings, or children, the unfortunate outcome in many congregations is a kind of mass exodus from the sanctuary right before Yizkor. In the end, there is no halakhic or rational reason not to remain in the sanctuary during Yizkor. Even those whose parents are still alive will surely have lost friends or other relatives who are deserving of being remembered at this time. And it is fully appropriate that every member of every Jewish community pause to remember those who perished in the Shoah, as well as Jewish martyrs of every age, during the Yizkor service.

It is customary to give gifts of charity in memory of those remembered during Yizkor. Individuals who recite versions of the Yizkor service in which they formally pledge to give charity in memory of the specific people they are remembering should consider such gifts requisite.

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  • This Week

Week of Monday, March 19

Mon–Thurs, March 19-22
Weekday minyan – 8:15 pm

Friday, March 23
Evening Shabbat Service – 7:30 pm
Men's Club | Sisterhood Shabbat
Tot Shabbat @ 6:30 pm

Saturday, March 24
Morning Shabbat Service – 8:45 am

Sunday, March 25
Morning minyan – 9:00 am
Evening minyan – 8:15 pm


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Final HiHi of the season-Wednesday, March 14


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: 631-368-6474

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