About Tifereth Israel Greenport

Congregation Tifereth Israel is a Historic Synagogue on the North Fork in Greenport. It is an egalitarian, inclusive, Conservative synagogue committed to strengthening Jewish values, learning and spiritual well-being as well as building a close, warm and supportive community for all who wish to join.

Shul Plans Two Passover Seders

Shul members, their families and guests, and visitors to the North Fork are invited to participate in two Passover Seders, to be held on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20. Rabbi Gadi will lead the Seder service on both nights, in the community room, beginning at 6 p.m. This is the second consecutive year that the first Seder falls on the Christian holiday of Good Friday, observed as the day Jesus was crucified [...]

Shul Plans Two Passover Seders2019-04-25T13:44:42-04:00

Sunday School Hebrew Class

As the terror of my Sunday School Hebrew Class, I pinched Albert Pizitz and yanked my younger sister out of her chair so we could run wild through the hallway. Was it a mark of poor Rabbi Fischel’s incompetence as a teacher that he tolerated such blatant disregard for the holy commandment to learn Torah? The answer shaped my understanding of Judaism. I was opposed to Sunday School from the outset. Nonetheless, one fine [...]

Sunday School Hebrew Class2019-04-15T15:57:40-04:00


The mask covers what we can’t simply show in our ordinary lives, something that comes from a world beyond ourselves. Our public persona is taking its Sabbath break, playing hide-and-go-seek with our parent God, who can find us under any disguise.  The first “mask” was made by Adam and Eve, right after they sinned. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves [...]


Lessons from French Class

Years ago and far away, my French teacher asked me the meaning of a line in some ancient, obscure poem. The question caught me in flagrant daydreaming mode. But this was French class, right?  So the answer had to be love. At my response, Monsieur looked down upon me from the great height of his French superiority,  and speaking loudly and clearly to make sure everyone knew what he thought of American teenagers, he announced, [...]

Lessons from French Class2019-03-18T13:13:37-04:00

“Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem”

It was a beautiful winter day today in Jerusalem. We had just celebrated Eliza Garmise’s bat mitzvah at the family section of the Western Wall. Eliza stood to read the Torah right at the heart of the Jewish story. She was surrounded by her proud parents, Jason and Jessica, and her grandparents — our shul members Alan and Rochelle Garmise. Three years ago, they all stood witness to Eliza’s sister Hannah’s bat mitzvah, observed with grandma Rochelle [...]

“Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem”2019-02-24T19:57:19-05:00

“The Wisdom of the Siddur”

Moving from confusion to order is a sign of maturity and responsibility. It is also the price of freedom. We give up our random, spontaneous, aimlessness existence for a purposeful and well-organized life. The Siddur is the Jewish organizer. It accompanies us closely from the minute we awake to the minute we fall asleep, throughout all the seasons of our lives.  The siddur offers us the wisdom to cope with any situation, simple or overwhelming. The first secret to [...]

“The Wisdom of the Siddur”2019-01-25T19:21:56-05:00

Putting Daylight Between Ourselves and the Rest of the World

In his 2000 publication, Bowling Alone, sociologist Robert Putnam argues that the social forums that once brought Americans together as Americans have collapsed, and as a society, we spend much of our time feeling disconnected from each other. Boy! You could’ve fooled me. Home, work, community, family, friends: it all snares a person in a net of daily responsibilities, obligations and commitments. Cut off from each other? Yes, please! It would be a treat [...]

Putting Daylight Between Ourselves and the Rest of the World2019-03-18T13:33:58-04:00

“Bingeing the Bible”

With the passing of President George H. W. Bush, another chapter in American history has been signed. He was my first American president. I had just graduated from high school in Israel and was waiting for my army service when Iraq invaded Kuwait and instigated the First Gulf War. Soon after, scud missiles were starting to land in the middle of Israel. It was a tough time — having to run for shelter in [...]

“Bingeing the Bible”2018-12-26T09:07:48-05:00