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Exclusive updates for our donors and supporters from your MJCC

Jewish Community Center

Fall 2018

at the Schnitzer Family Campus

6651 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97219 | 503.244.0111 |

Team Oregon has Successful Trip to JCC Maccabi Games® and ArtsFest®!

From August 5 - 10, 16 athletes and artists traveled to Southern California to participate in the 2018 JCC Maccabi Games® and ArtsFest® to represent Team Oregon. They joined 3,047 athletes, artists, coaches, and delegation heads as they marched into Santa Ana Stadium on Sunday, August 5 for Opening Ceremonies, more than at any other Opening Ceremonies in 36 years of JCC Maccabi Games®. Brimming with hopes and dreams of the competition and showcase to come, they marched in, delegation by delegation, from 69 JCCs across Canada and the United States, Panama, Israel, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. “During Opening Ceremonies, when I saw how many Jewish people came out to be a part of JCC Maccabi®, I felt extremely proud of my Jewish heritage.” - Evan Horwitz, 14u Boys Basketball

The competition was fierce but spirited. Chests swelled in the face of dazzling musical talent, poetry in motion through dance, and the creation of inspired works of art. JCC Cares, an opportunity for participants to enhance their experience by taking a few hours out of their daily schedule to partake in a community service project, found every artist and athlete working hand-in-hand with peers from local organizations. And all along the way, magical hang-time moments, each one strengthening the ties between North American Jewry and the state of Israel, were happening. Our teens came to compete, perform, and meet new Jewish friends, and most importantly, to have fun! We are so impressed with our delegation and all of their accomplishments during the week.

Here are some of the highlights: • Gold Medal - 16u Boys Baseball • 8 Gold Medals - 16u Boys Track and Field • Silver Medal - 16u Boys Lacrosse • Bronze Medal - 14u Boys Soccer • Bronze Medal - Table Tennis Singles • Bronze Medal - Table Tennis Doubles • Incredible performance at ArtsFest® in Rock Band “While I am extremely proud of what our delegation accomplished at the Games® and ArtsFest®, a moment that really sticks out to me is the first evening we were in Orange County. Our teens got together with the Alberta, Canada delegation for a dinner boat cruise. We closed the evening with a Havdalah ceremony, which just blew me away as these kids who did not really know each other, were standing arm in arm with one another creating this meaningful Jewish experience.” - Lenny Steinberg, Team Oregon Delegation Head

The MJCC is committed to ensuring that every teen interested in participating has that opportunity. The total cost of the trip was $1,600 per individual and through sponsorships and grants, we were able to subsidize the cost so that it was only $1,000 per individual, with additional financial aid available to those that are in need. We are the only JCC delegation that offers this kind of subsidy. Thank you to The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and all who support this program and help make the JCC Maccabi® experience a reality for our area youth. If you are interested in getting involved next summer for 2019 JCC Maccabi Games® and ArtsFest® as a sponsor or participant, please contact Lenny Steinberg at 503.535.3555 or

Welcome to the MJCC! Abe Argaw, Sports + Rec Lead Abe Argaw is our new Sports + Recreation Lead. Abe grew up in Beaverton after having moved here from Ethiopia at the age of 8, and he’s been in Oregon ever since. He started working at the MJCC last September helping out in the Sports + Rec department and filling in for special events like Bar Mitzvahs and Graduation parties. More recently, he has taken on the role of Sports + Rec Lead which has gotten him even more involved with soccer leagues and PJA afterschool programs. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, reading self-help books and spending weekends with his niece and nephew. Tell us about yourself and your new role at the MJCC. As Sports + Rec Lead, I manage all the adult and youth soccer leagues that take place at the J. My main duties include making schedules, entering game scores, taking payments, and answering emails (fun!). I also teach after school sports classes for the kids at PJA which is a blast! What is your favorite thing about working at the J? My favorite thing about working at the J is the people I interact with every day. From my awesome co-workers to all the kids I get to work with throughout the year, I love coming in and being able to recognize so many familiar faces. What is your favorite comfort food? Mac n’ Cheese, with a squirt of hot sauce and chocolate milk on the side. What is your favorite movie? My favorite movie is “Finding Nemo,” since it was the first movie I had ever seen in a theater. What would we find you doing on a Sunday afternoon? You will usually find me on the couch watching soccer alongside my dog, Ohana, and a six-pack of Tiki Punch! And maybe some leftover pizza too, haha.

Karen Sapoznikow, Development Department Administrative Assistant Tell us about yourself and your new role at the MJCC. I will be working closely with the donor database and ensuring that each gift is acknowledged and a thank you is sent in a timely fashion. I will help the development staff any way I can, including supporting them as we prepare for our two main fundraising events. I have ten years of nonprofit experience (both as a fundraiser and as a grantmaker) and detail orientation. I have been both a PJA parent and a MJCC member for seven years and am thrilled to be able to join the professional team! What is your favorite movie? Narrowing it to a single one is impossible! I love movies … from Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Alfred Hitchcock to Mel Brooks, Edgar Wright and Emma Watson. One of my favorite movies is also one of my favorite books, though—“The Princess Bride.” Both are brilliant! What is the one thing about yourself that you think your co-workers would be surprised to know? As an archaeology major, I spent a summer digging in Greece. I was permitted to tour not just inside the Parthenon (which is closed off to visitors), but I was also allowed to climb down below the structure to examine its ancient foundations. Unforgettable! Have you ever traveled abroad? What was your favorite country? I have traveled through Southeast Asia, Western Europe, Australia, and a little of Latin America. I have been to the UK, Ireland, France, Monaco, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Israel, Japan, China (Beijing, Hong Kong, Macao), Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Canada. I love learning about different cultures! If forced to pick a favorite, I would have to pick Japan, where I spent a summer as a student ambassador. What is your favorite thing about working at the J? The people! Everyone I have met has been so kind and so helpful. It makes coming to work a joy! What would we find you doing on a Sunday afternoon? You will find me hunkered down with a good book or out exploring Portland or a new restaurant with my family.


The MJCC - A Destination for Jewish Artists In May 2017, the MJCC lobby was converted into a space that also functions as an art gallery. Since then, we have hosted six gallery exhibits. During this past summer, the work of artist Boris Uan-Zo-Li was on display. Boris, a Russian born artist, immigrated to the U.S. in 2011 and currently resides in Oregon. Boris’ style of painting is highly original due Boris Uan-Zo-Li Exhibit to his unique use of colors and images, and he is often referred to as “the Jewish Picasso.” His paintings are now privately owned in Germany, Switzerland, France, and the United States. The next exhibit, entitled “Peace and Justice: Three Lettering Traditions” will start in mid-November and end in late January. The exhibit just finished its run at the Muslim Educational Trust (MET) and will now make its way to the MJCC as a collaborative effort between the J and MET to establish a closer partnership in the world of cultural arts. Artists Sara Harwin, Kanaan Kanaan, and Inga Dubay explore the tradition of sacred letters in Hebrew, Arabic, and English calligraphy in many forms of art expression. They each have a creative voice dedicated to peace and justice. We are excited to bring this wonderful interfaith artwork to our community.

2018 Outdoor Summer Concert Series The MJCC’s second summer concert series reflected diverse musical genres that were selected by a committee comprised of representatives from several area synagogues. Talent included bands like Lior BenHur & Sol Tevél, and Moshav. These bands incorporated Jewish music with reggae, rock, and Israeli folk, and had our audience dancing and grooving to the melodies. This year, we held a mini-festival to round out the series, closing the summer with a Local Musician’s Day which featured Eric Stern, Michelle Alany & the Mystics, and 3 Leg Torso. We received feedback that included “more please!,” “I really love what you do. Love this series,” and “Thanks for bringing Jewish music to PDX.” These comments show us the importance of bringing rich cultural programming to our community. The MJCC has become a destination for arts and culture, and we hope you will join us for future programs. We are currently seeking funding for 2019 so we can continue to provide high-quality musical events. If you are interested in sponsoring next summer’s program, please contact Lenny Steinberg at or 503.535.3555.

Upcoming Events Israel Film Series Tuesdays, October 16 and 30 at 7:00 pm

Amos Hoffman & Noam Lemish Quartet Wednesday, October 17 at 7:00 pm

Jewish PRIDE Greater PDX Happy Hour Thursday, October 18 at 6:30 pm Cerulean Wine - 1439 NW Marshall St.

The Great Big Challah Bake Wednesday, October 24 at 7:00 pm In partnership with Portland Kollel, Kesser Israel, and Congregation Ahavat Achim

Memoir Writing Workshop Thursdays, October 25 - November 15 at 11:00 am

The Rachel Calof Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains Sunday, November 4 at 3:00 pm Congregation Beth Israel - 1972 NW Flanders St. In partnership with CBI

Art & Spirit Workshop Sunday, November 11 at 2:00 pm

Art Gallery Exhibit: Peace and Justice Three Lettering Traditions On display mid-November to late January

Jewish Community Orchestra Sunday, November 18 at 3:00 pm

Young Adult Latke Ball Saturday, December 1 at 7:00 pm Location to be announced

Chanukah Donuts and Dancing Sunday, December 2 at 2:00 pm

New Year’s Eve at Noon Monday, December 31 at 11:00 am Please note: All events are at the MJCC unless otherwise noted.

For more information on Arts + Culture programs, please contact Lenny Steinberg at 503.535.3555 or or Abbie Barash at 971.803.7311 or


#PDXBIZLEADERS Breakfast Series Builds Community and Business for Portland The first year of the MJCC Business Breakfast Series was a great success. Eight sponsors made it possible to examine topics that are important and engaging to the Portland business community, including plans for the Portland South Waterfront, the Oregon Israel business relationship, and thoughts on investment trends by three venture capitalists. An average of 75 participants attended each breakfast. Here are a few comments from some of our attendees: “Attending the Business Breakfast Series has been refreshing, in that I am meeting people with similar interests, but in a newer networking setting for me; and educational, in that the topics and speakers are dynamic and relevant to the present and future.” - Erin Fish of Wanderwell “This series is an excellent forum for key issues in our business, and larger community – as well as a great way to network.” - Eric Flamm “I’ve found that the topics and speakers at the MJCC Business Breakfasts have offered interesting insights and perspective into issues and challenges facing Portland businesses and residents. I’m looking forward to season two.” - Torin Roher of Roher Strategic Communication “The PDX Business Breakfasts were both informative and inspiring. They left me with a better connection to my city, Jewish Community and the contributions of our community which make Portland such a great place to live.” - Jay Gilbert


Our next breakfast will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7:15 am on PSU’s Campus. The topic is, “Blockchain and Bitcoin: The Future?” The discussion will be moderated by Joey Fishman, and our panelists include Jeff Mazer, Rob La Forte, and Joseph Kiniry. For more information about sponsorship, tickets or programs, visit or contact Saul Korin, Development Manager, at 503.452.3427 or Mittleman Jewish Community Center Presents


Thursday, October 18 7:15 - 9:15 am

PSU - Native American Student & Community Center 710 SW Jackson Street FEATURING: Jeff Mazer of moovel North American, Rob La Forte of Columbia Fresh Transportation Services,

Dr. Joe Kiniry of Galois and Free & Fair, Joey Fishman of Ritholtz Wealth Managment, Moderator


Friends of the Center Brunch Save the Date: Sunday, March 3, 2019 Michael W. Twitty: Kosher Soul and The Cooking Gene


Join us for our 2019 Friends of the Center Brunch, the MJCC’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Come hear Michael W. Twitty, a James Beard Winning food writer, independent scholar, culinary historian, and historical interpreter personally charged with preparing, preserving, and promoting African American foodways and its parent traditions in Africa and her Diaspora and its legacy in the food culture of the American South. Michael is a Judaic studies teacher from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. The Cooking Gene is Michael’s personal mission to document the connection between food history and family history from Africa to America, from slavery to freedom. Initiated in 2011, the project successfully garnered funding and significant media attention in 2012 to initiate a journey known as The Southern Discomfort Tour. Follow him on twitter @koshersoul, and meet him at the MJCC on Sunday, March 3, 2019.

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities 2018 is the fifth annual Israel film series at the MJCC. These films examine immigration and absorption issues and how it affects new Israelis and Israelis abroad. Join us for these films or sponsor the series. For sponsorship information, contact Saul Korin, Development Manager at 503.452.3427 or Diplomat A luxurious hotel turned absorption center is a place where time has come to a standstill. For nearly 20 years, The Hotel Diplomat in Jerusalem, once a five-star hotel, has been home to 600 immigrants from the former Soviet Union. This documentary film has the feel of a surreal feature film about a world within a world and the people who live there. Documentary - 80 minutes Tuesday, October 16, 7:00 pm Cost: $8. Members Cost: $5.

Zrubavel The personal dramas of the immigrant Zrubavel family and the universal inter-generational cultural struggles that come with assimilation are depicted in this first feature film made by Ethiopian Israelis. This film explores generational tensions for new immigrants to obtain the education required to succeed in the modern society in which they live. Considered one of the best feature films from Israel in the past few years. Drama - 70 minutes Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 pm Cost: $8. Members Cost: $5.

MJCC Legacy Society The MJCC Legacy Society is a group of dedicated community members who have made the extraordinary commitment to remember the MJCC in their estate plans. We are deeply grateful for their ongoing support and their dedication to ensure the long-term sustainability of our Center. If you are interested in becoming a Legacy Society member, contact our Executive Director, Steve Albert, at or 503.535.3592. Anonymous Steve Albert and Janie Goldenberg Bruce Abrams John Arnsberg Stacy Barna Barry and Karla Benson Amy and Doug Blauer Gerel Blauer Stephen Butler Milton Carl z”l Edith Dorsen Becky and Greg Ewer Howard and Jen Feldman John and Beth Germain Robert E. and Lesley G. Glasgow Jonathan and Sarah Glass Bernard Goldhammer z”l Merrill and Perry Hendin Lisa Katon and Noah Kressel Eric and Anna Kodesch Eric and Robin Kornblit Tony and Priscilla Kostiner Jordana and Ryan Levenick Howard and Wendy Liebreich Gail Mandel and Steve Klein

Jeanne Newmark Jeff and Anne Nudelman Stacey L. and Marshal R. Oller Sue Perkel Robert and Rita Philip James E. Richman Bert and Laurie Rogoway Gayle and Paul Romain Steve Rosenberg and Ellen Lippman Stan and Madelle Rosenfeld Kyle and Rebecca Rotenberg Bunny and Jerry Sadis Stephen and Becki Saltzman Faye Gordon Samuels Andrea Sanchez and Benjamin Drucker Lois and Leonard z”l Schnitzer Sandra Schnitzer Gary and Linda Singer Les and Martha Soltesz Tom Stern Menachem M. Teiblum z”l Kenneth and Jennifer Zeidman Jason Zidell

GROUNDBREAKER - $500 • Company logo in all printed + digital promotional material • Verbal recognition at event • Quarter-page full color ad in the next MJCC Program Guide

Sponsorship Details for Israel Film Series VISIONARY - $2,500 • Company logo in all printed + digital promotional material • Opportunity to address the audience at all films • Verbal recognition at event • Full-page full color ad in the next MJCC Program Guide • Eight tickets to each film • Eight guest passes to the MJCC

• Four tickets to each film • Four guest passes to the MJCC

ADVOCATE - $250 • Company logo in all printed + digital promotional material • Verbal recognition at event • Eighth-page full color ad in the next MJCC Program Guide • Two tickets to each film • Two guest passes to the MJCC

INNOVATOR - $1,000 • Company logo in all printed + digital promotional material • Verbal recognition at event • Half-page full color ad in the next MJCC Program Guide • Six tickets to each film • Six guest passes to the MJCC


MJCC Department News Cultural Programming Young Family Events at the J Big Truck Day on Labor Day has now become an annual tradition for our community. Nearly 1,000 people joined us this year, our highest attendance yet! Children and their grown-ups had a blast as they sat on a Police ATV, honked the horns of classic cars from the mid-1900s, and took photos on some awesome motorcycles! As usual, the fire truck was a big hit. Local band, Diamond Trio, provided some great dancing tunes and kids of all ages had the chance to take truck-inspired crafts home with them that day. We met many new community members at our tent where everyone had an opportunity to spin the wheel and win some awesome MJCC swag! The fun doesn’t stop with Big Truck Day! Throughout the year, the J hosts a variety of annual young family programs such as: Chai Baby + PJ Library Indoor Playground - The second Wednesday of the month from 10:00 am -12:00 pm. Play in our climate-controlled Sportsplex from September to June! Toys and equipment available, including a trampoline and gymnastics equipment. Adult must remain in the Sportsplex. Kosher snacks, storytelling, friends, and fun! Free and open to the community. Chanukah Donuts and Dancing - Sunday, December 2 at 2:00 pm. This is a wonderful program to learn about the holiday while having loads of fun at our arts and crafts tables, learning kid-friendly dances, and of course, eating sufganiyot (donuts)! New Year’s Eve at Noon - Monday, December 31 at 11:00 am. Join us for our annual balloon drop at noon! There will be several activities including the bounce house, crafts, face painting, games, and more. After the balloon drop, head on down to the pool to jump on the float!

Aquatics Lifeguard Appreciation Weektics Assistant Aquatics Manager, Jennie Condon, facilitated our first “Lifeguard Appreciation Week” this summer. The MJCC lifeguards do so much for the Center. They are our first call when there is a medical emergency onsite, they keep a watchful eye on all of our swimmers, and they build community by connecting with members on a daily basis. Jennie wanted to be sure that we all had an opportunity to show them our appreciation for all they do. The Aquatics management team designated the week of August 5 - 11 as “Lifeguard Appreciation Week,” and they pulled out all the stops. Staff were entered into a weekly raffle drawing for fun prizes; two large poster-sized cards were placed in the MJCC lobby and the Warm Water Pool lobby for members and guests to leave messages of thanks; staff got daily “mystery prizes” after every shift they worked; each staff member received a handmade card with messages from co-workers; we provided a daily “treat” (fruit, doughnuts, Gatorade) for the week; and some staff were recognized for their work over the summer. Michael Nation worked the most hours, Kristen Gott taught the most swim lessons, and Holly Jones picked up the most sub shifts. The team wrapped up the week by taking the staff out for group bowling and a raffle for a big item - a “Beach Fun” kit with towels, beach bucket, and fun toy. Everyone had a blast and was very touched by the messages left by members and guests.

National Swimming Pool Foundation In Aquatics news, we are pleased to report that we have again received a grant of $500 from the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF). The grant is to be used to create a pool safety day geared towards youth residents of Stephens Creek Crossing and to provide them with discounted swimming lessons. The mission of the National Swimming Pool Foundation is “Encouraging happier and healthier living by increasing aquatic activity through education and research.” Due to our affiliation with the JCCA, we are eligible to apply for these grants, and we are deeply grateful to have the NSPF’s support for the second year in a row.

List of Contributors for this Newsletter Visit to view all of our upcoming Arts + Culture programs! 6

We are grateful to the following MJCC staff members who contributed to this newsletter: Steve Albert, Abe Argaw, Abbie Barash, Sandy Engel, Jennifer Harrington, Lisa Katon, Saul Korin, and Lenny Steinberg.

Summer Capital Projects Bubble and Bathrooms

Fitness What’s New in Fitness

This summer provided an opportunity for significant capital improvements around the campus. Most significantly, the MJCC replaced the Sportsplex. The original “bubble” was installed in 2003, and it was expected to last for 10 years but lasted for 15. The cost of the project was $175,000 and was paid for by funds from the Roots and Rafters campaign. (Roots and Rafters raised over $3.5 million for campus improvements and was completed in 2016.) Funds will need to be raised in the near future to replace the turf field inside the Sportsplex.

There are a lot of new offerings in our fitness program this fall. Our new “Wellness Umbrella” is a program that offers fitness, nutrition, coaching, massage, and stress reduction, and helps to foster overall well-being. With four different options to choose from, there is something to meet everyone’s needs.

The second major project was an expansion and renovation of one of the preschool bathrooms in Portland Jewish Academy (PJA). The preschool area is used by the MJCC Day Camp throughout the summer. When completed in October, this project will increase the number of preschool toilets from two to seven, providing appropriate facilities for the large number of children using this wing for camp and school. The project cost about $100,000. It was paid for with funds from the annual PJA Auction.

Hillary Conway, nutritionist, and Christine Gilmore, life coach, will be talking about a myriad of topics ranging from antiaging and raising healthy kids, to setting goals and intentions for Rosh Hashanah, and active listening. We are adding to our yoga program, offering a new family yoga class and a specialized yoga academy for those who want to deepen their practice. Information on all of these offerings and more can be found on pages 26 - 29 of our fall program guide. Also this fall, check out our new group exercise class offerings - kickboxing and cardio core. Both are sure to get your heart pumping!

Our final major project included the recarpeting of many areas that are shared by the PJA Day School and the MJCC Day Camp. The replacement of the carpet was a scheduled capital repair and an expense shared by PJA and the MJCC. The MJCC uses operations management software, Dude Solutions, for capital project forecasting and management.

Day Camp 460 Campers + New CIT Program Over 460 campers enjoyed MJCC Summer Day Camp this year on our campus. With fun themes like Top Snack Chef, Lil’ Scientists, Olympics, and Swim + Sport, campers spent their days being active, learning new skills, and making new friends. Our Friday Fun Days included Napoleon the Alpaca, Mr. Fantastic’s Magic Show, The Reptile Man, and our annual Dunk Tank, where campers enjoyed trying to dunk their favorite camp staff member. New camp offerings this year included our Counselor in Training (CIT) program, which offered real life experience for rising seventh to ninth graders. Scott Reese, Camp, Sport and Recreation Manager, developed the CIT program as a way to allow teens to work closely with trained and experienced staff in our fun, fast-paced camp setting. This leadership development program was designed to empower teens by offering new responsibilities, challenges, and adventures while encouraging them to get out of their comfort zone and try new things. We had nearly 30 CIT’s take part in this program, and we are excited to expand it in the years to come!

Here’s what one of our participants had to say about her experience: “I LOVED being a CIT and cannot wait for next year. Getting to know the campers and what they liked was really cool. For instance, I know some kids liked swimming and others liked to do crafts. I really liked learning how to be a camp counselor from current camp counselors and I can use this on my resume for when I try to get babysitting jobs this year. My hope is I get hired at the MJCC as a camp counselor in a few years!” - Ellerie H. (age 13)



Steven Albert, Executive Director 503.535.3592 |

MJCC Board of Directors

MJCC Staff is Here For You!

Beth Germain, Chief Financial Officer 503.535.3593 | Jennifer Harrington, Assistant Executive Director 503.535.3541 | Miriam Stroud, Human Resources Director 503.535.3632 | Becky Ewer, Marketing + Creative Director 503.535.3533 | Lenny Steinberg, Program Director 503.535.3555 | Saul Korin, Development Manager 503.452.3527 | Lisa Katon, Donor Relations + Grants Specialist 503.535.3532 | Linda Singer, Community Concierge 503.535.3539 |

Steven Klein Board Members Avi Ben-Zaken Barry Benson Amy Blauer Joyce Evans Jonathan Glass, Immediate Past Co-President Marni Glick, Treasurer Melissa Horwitz Gail Mandel Erik Richmond, VP for Strategy Danelle Romain Channah Rose, Secretary Steve Rosenberg Andrea Sanchez, Immediate Past Co-President Jonathan Singer Carrie Wynkoop Jason Zidell, VP for Facilities

We are grateful to the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and our community for their support of the MJCC.

Supported by

Schnitzer Family Campus 6651 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97219 503.244.0111 |

Jewish Community Center


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MJCC Donor Newsletter Fall 2018  

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