How do I get to Fire Island?


Ferry! Ferries depart from 99 Maple Ave, Bay Shore, NY. Ferries to Ocean Beach leave from one side of the street and to Seaview and Ocean Bay Park from the other side of the street, so watch out for the signs. Check the schedules on FireIslandFerries.com.

If you are not driving, you can take a van from Manhattan to the ferry, or you can take the Long Island Railroad to Bay Shore. Once you arrive in Bay Shore, there are vans that will drive you to the ferry. Otherwise it’s a 1 mile walk. Be sure to check LIRR’s package deals which include train, van, and ferry.

Where do I stay?


A few options for finding a place include:

What do I eat?


There are no kosher restaurants and limited kosher food is available for sale on Fire Island (no kosher meat and a limited amount of kosher cheese). Most other products including wine, grape juice, Shabbat candles, challah and other kosher food can be bought at the Seaview market. However, any items you purchase on Fire Island will be priced at the cost of their convenience (approximately 150% of Manhattan prices). There may however be a community kiddush on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Is there an Eruv?


What follows below is one man’s interpretation of various texts on the subject and is not intended to rule halachically or “pasken” on the matter. If you have further questions, please consult your local Rabbi.

Oceans & rivers (and bays, for that matter) are considered “walls” with respect to an “Eruv Chatzerot”. The Divrei Malkiel, Rabbi of Lomza, Poland, wrote in a letter to the rabbinate of Odessa, Russia in 1900 discussing their Eruv and supporting this view. It was common custom to rule the “ocean-as-a-wall” for many generations. His letter was published in Sefer Tikun Shabbos, and republished in his work, Divrei Malkiel. In 1907, Rabbi Yehoshua Siegel (a renowned posek who emigrated from Poland to the Lower East Side) published “Eruv V’Hotza’ah”, an analysis which also considered the water surrounding Manhattan to be more than sufficient as a border. Subsequent rabbanim found issues with the boundaries around Manhattan (evidently without addressing previous rulings from ~100 years before), and then created an explicit Eruv on part of the island.

How does this apply to us on Fire Island? Well, we obviously are completely surrounded by water (bridges aren’t an issue, as the water is still a boundary), so we fit the definition set by the sages so many years ago. On top of that, Fire island is (in its entirety) a “National Seashore”, and is essentially a National Park administered by the US Parks Service, making it (from the government’s standpoint) an overall “Reshut Ha’Yachid” (so carrying items on FI doesn’t include crossing a [macro] boundary, as one remains in the Park at all times). For the details on this, read here.

Also of note, Rabbi Samuel Teitelbaum zt”l, grandfather of Fire Island Minyan founder Yitz Pastreich, came to visit Fire Island. Upon examining the island he noted that a man-made Eruv was not necessary.

Fire Island Links