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BAR/BAT MITZVAH Managing your mitzvah and more

THE POWER OF WOMEN Remarkable women in our community

Director, producer



(Steven’s little sister) Speaks at Women’s Philanthropy event

Seeking triumph from tragedy

“ The women in my family served as strong role models.”



His Story Is Our Story Ensure that your legacy and values are passed to the next generation. OJCF is securing a strong future for Jewish life in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Oregon Jewish Community Foundation 503.248.9328 l

LOCAL EXPERTS, GLOBAL REACH Bonhams specialists will be visiting Portland soon to provide free and confidential appraisals with a view to selling at auction.

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY +1 (503) 312 6023 AN IMPORTANT DIAMOND SOLITAIRE RING Sold for $1,447,500 Found in Portland, sold in New York Prices shown include buyer’s premium. Details can be found at


You Did It!

Cedar Sinai Park is humbled by the profound generosity of our community, which together raised over $20 million for our Capital Campaign. Thanks to you, The Harold Schnitzer Center for Living and the New Robison Jewish Health Center will care for our elders and help fulfill the commandment to Honor thy Mother and Father, for this generation and many to come.



Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation / Arlene Schnitzer & Jordan Schnitzer

Milt Carl*, Stan & Pam Rotenberg, Mike & Barbara Enkelis Nathan Cogan Family Fund of the OJCF The Collins Foundation The Danish Family Trust Morris Galen and William Galen The Harold & Lorraine W. Kropitzer* Revocable Living Trust David J. Lipman* Barry & Susan Menashe Ruben J. & Elizabeth Menashe Ruth Menashe Newmark Family Fund of the OJCF Richard & Jill Edelson, Paul & Gayle Romain, Sandra Schnitzer, Dina Schnitzer, Tom & Mardi Spitzer Rosemarie Rosenfeld Mildred & Morris Schnitzer* Charitable Fund of the OCF T. Robert & Mitzi* Tobias Robert & Marla Weiner

$1 MILLION-$4,999,999 Irwin & Renée Holzman Ralph & Sandi Miller The Ron B. Tonkin Family

$500,000-$999,999 Reneé Bloch* Bequest The Goodman Family – Doug & Lila Goodman, Mark & Christi Goodman, Greg Goodman & Susan Schnitzer Metro Metals Northwest, Inc. – Victor Winkler & Steve Zusman The Jerry Stern* Family The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation James & Susan Winkler Jay & Diane Zidell Charitable Foundation

$250,000-$499,999 Marilyn Easly Michael & Chris Feves Meyer Memorial Trust Lois T. Schnitzer The Shleifer Family 4 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

$50,000-$99,999 Molly Bodner Fund of the OJCF Friends of Robison Al & Rosalie Gilbert Family Fund Rosalie Goodman

Dr. Tom & Alix Goodman Paul Labby & Lore Labby Irving Levin & Stephanie Fowler The Lewis Family - Carol Lewis, Kathleen Lewis, Larry Lewis & Scott Lewis Bud & Robin Marcus Solomon & Rosalyn Menashe Sally Mink* & Debbie Mink Oregon Community Foundation Henry & Nancy Oseran Pacific Continental Bank Robert & Ann Sacks Robert & Wendy Steinberg Larry & Linda Veltman Sharon Weil, Marlene & Lou Weil-Perez, Dana, Bill, Alicia & Bryan Hunt David P. Weiner & Bonnie H. Weiner Eldon & Carolyn Wexler

$25,000-$49,999 Manny and Karen Berman Lawrence Black Family The Blank Family Henry* & Gerel Blauer Stanley & Judith Blauer George & Harriet* Bodner Howard & Linda Davis Stan & Bev Eastern, Steve & Michelle Gradow, Howard & Leslie Taub and Susan Eastern

The Flowerree Foundation Dr. Florence Wolfson Glick* Gersham & Pauline Goldstein Fred & Sara-Linn Harwin Stan & Shirley Hodes Eugene Janssen & Marta Furman Garry & Judith Kahn The Kantor Family Fund of the OJCF – Steve, Elaine, Ali, Lindsay, Ian & Joel Irving & Rhoda Leopold Lewin Family Fund of the OJCF Richard & Judith Matza Mr. & Mrs. Albert A. Menashe Victor & Toinette Menashe Conrad & Abby Myers Marvin* & Leah Nepom Avrel Nudelman Raymond & Dorothy Packouz Harold & Jane Pollin Jeff & Francine* Reingold James Rosenbaum & Sandra Lewis Alan & Eve Rosenfeld Dr. David Seres & Kesiah Scully Richard B. Solomon & Alyce Flitcraft Marjorie P. Spector*, Lee & Leslie Spector, Mitch & Sharon Mulenof, Marshal Spector & Shari Levinson Lance & Mary Steinberg Gary & Carolyn Weinstein Charlene Zidell Min Zidell Paul & Sandra Zimmerman

$10,000 - $24,999 Richard & Dianne Arensberg John & Carol Arnsberg Wilma-Jane Mayer Balick & Sandra Kailes Biller Leonard & Betsy Bergstein Herb Black Doug & Amy Blauer Jeff & Felicia Blauer Eugene & Layton Borkan Frieda G. Cohen

Jim & Ilene Davidson Gary & Sandra Etlinger Fund of the OJCF Sherry & Paul Fishman Skip & Karen Freedman David Fuks & DeAnn Sullivan Linda & Tom* Georges III Bob & Lesley Glasgow William J. Glasgow Margaret Gotesman, Barry & Virginia Russell, Betsy Russell, Louis & Sandra Russell Holman’s Funeral Service Arnold & Ruth Hopfer* Jody Klevit Tony & Priscilla Kostiner Janine Kurnoff & Lee Lazarus Jeffrey Lang & Ramona Svengard Liebreich Family Harold & Jackie Lesch Gerald & Evelyn Leshgold Merritt Linn* & Susan Korey David & Liz Lippoff David & Alycia Lokting Stan & Joyce Loeb Richard & Harriet Maizels Malka Family Fund at OJCF Jim & Lora Meyer Susan Mosler Edward & Jill Neuwelt Jon & Naomi Newman Michael & Gloria Olds, Joshua & Melanie Olds, Benjamin Olds & Nadine Gartner Regina Philan* Trust Robin Pope Jacob & Betty Reiss Dr. Philip & Dorothy Reiter Mark Rosenbaum Steve Rosenberg & Ellen Lippman Sally Rosenfeld & Andrew Frank Stan & Madelle Rosenfeld Family Foundation Warren Rosenfeld & Sheryl Langerman Rose Rotenberg* Family Trust – Kyle Rotenberg, Keri Nicolaisen & Kathy Sheinin Betsy Russell Jerry & Bunny Sadis

Marjorie & Jack Saltzman Family Fund of the OJCF Elaine J. Savinar Sam* & Beulah Schauffer Jack & Barbara Schwartz Ralph Shaw Robert & Mara Shlachter Sandra Simon & Amy Page Les & Martha Soltesz Ida Toff* Trust Rena Tonkin & Cheryl Tonkin Norman & Suzan Wapnick David & Joan Weil Michael Weiner & Kathy Davis-Weiner Bruce Weinstein Bruce & Susan Winthrop Vicki (Israel) Zidell

With special thanks to Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer for their philanthropic leadership.

We are grateful for the many generous donors who made gifts at every level. Space limitations prevent us from recognizing gifts below $10,000 in print.

The donors above, and many others, have helped manifest our community’s vision for a new way to age.

We are grateful.

The above listing reflects donations to our Capital Campaign in the amount of $10,000 and greater. Every effort has been made to ensure that this list is accurate and complete. We apologize if your name has been omitted or improperly recorded. If so, please contact CSP at 971.717.7152 so we can correct our records. Life. Continues. Here.™ OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 5



October 2017 | Tishrei- Cheshvan 5778 | Volume 6/Issue 6



Gabby Giffords: Wresting triumph from tragedy




JEWS WITH ATTITUDE Stephanie finds her spin


BUSINESS Ins & Outs Yong Adults/New Staff

12 15

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Uniting people with music Play Explores Love and Loss Oregon Jewish Artists Catch this art exhibit/performance

36 39 41 42

FOOD NW Nosh: Italy inspires chef Chef’s Corner: Bat mitzvah cake


SENIORS Author explores post-war era Messinger of women’s power

30 52

43 44

The Power of Women Superhero tackles ovarian cancer Dating Commandments Author keeps loneliness at bay Chef inspired by Italy PTA’s Principal of the Year Strength-training burns fat Board of Rabbis chair pushes collaboration

Mitzvah time management Former foster child’s fitting mitzvah Pacific NW bar mitzvah vibe Bat mitzvah cake Uniting family at B’nai mitzvah Focus on relationship with Judaism Bar & Bat Mitzvah Directory Oregonians bring home Maccabiah gold JKids & Teens Calendar

46 48 50 52 54 55 56 57 59

JLIVING 60 61 62 63 64 66

COLUMNS NW Nosh by Kerry Politzer Chef’s Corner by Lisa Glickman Ask Helen




Nancy Speilberg’s Impact Leonard Cohen tribute concert Stampfer Award dinner & other previews Jewish Book Month FACES Calendar


21 22 26 28 30 32 33

COVER: Gabby Giffords. Photo courtesy of Americans for Responsible Solutions


30 52 55

Art by Oregon Jewish Artists

October 19 — February 4

Mark Rothko, Landscape (View of Portland), ca.1928, Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York

724 NW Davis St., Portland, OR 97209 | 503-226-3600 |

Melissa Bloom

Fundraiser and Event Planner

Success doesn’t just happen.

It’s planned for. Let’s #MakeItHappen together!

503.567.8306 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 7



Oregon Jewish Life • | Tishrei- Cheshvan 5778 | Volume 6/Issue 6



Cindy Saltzman



EDITORIAL: 503-892-7402

Cindy Saltzman

E D ITO R- I N - C H I E F Deborah Moon


S O C IAL M E D IA E D ITO R Mala Blomquist

WE B M ASTE R Karl Knelson

ART D I R EC TO R Philip Nerat

G R AP H I C D E S I G N E R Tamara Kopper

CO LU M N I STS Lisa Glickman Kerr y Politzer Debra Rich Gettleman Helen Rosenau

CO NTR I B UTI N G WR ITE R S Dr. Judith Davis Jenn Director Knudsen Rabbi Simcha and Chaya Feuerman Gloria Hammer Josh Kornblum Liz Rabiner Lippof f

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P U B L I C AT I O N A N D D E A D L I N E S Oregon Jewish Life magazine is distributed on the f irst of the month. Stor y ideas for features and special sec tions are due 45-60 days prior to publication. B IZ IN S & O UTS: Business news is due about 25 days before publication. FACES & PLACES: Photos from past events are due 20 days prior to publication. E VENTS: Information about upcoming event s is due about 20 days prior to publication. C ALEN DAR : Please post event s on our online calendar. Relevant event s that are posted by the 10th of the month before publication will be included in the magazine. To request f irst-time authorization to post event s online, go to and scroll down to the “calendar access request” link under “quick links” on the right . Af ter you submit the form, you’ll receive an email with instruc tions for posting future event s.

A Prince Hal Production ( TGMR18) 2017-2018 MediaPort LLC All rights reserved The content and opinions in Oregon Jewish Life do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers, staff or contractors. Articles and columns are for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, Oregon Jewish Life, and its agents, publishers, employees and contractors will not be held responsible for the misuse of any information contained herein. The publishers reserve the right to refuse any advertisement. Publication of advertisements does not constitute endorsement of products or services.




Women are strong. No question about it. They birth children, take care of loved ones, serve in the military, balance home and career – and so much more. The woman gracing our cover this month is the epitome of strength. We all know the story of the tragedy that occurred that January morning in Tucson. But the real story lies in Gabby Gifford’s recovery and the work that she is doing with her husband, Mark Kelly, keeping our communities safer through responsible gun control.

Cindy Saltzman

Gabby’s story is an extraordinary one. There are others that we have covered in these pages. Artists, businesswomen, educators, survivors. All remarkable women in our community, making a difference. And for those moms (and dads) out there planning their child’s big day, we have a special section on bar/bat mitzvahs – including a valuable timeline to help keep your schedule (and sanity) on track. We hope you find the resources and articles in this month’s issue both informative and inspirational and that your new year is off to a sweet start!

PLEASE HELP US HELP YOU CONNECT Subscriptions: magazine-subscription

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Stephanie finds her spin at Vortex Cycle Studio By Gloria Hammer

At 4 foot 11 inches tall, Stephanie Auerbach is solid muscle. She’s a Spinning Diva who loves her job. Stephanie and her family moved to Portland from Los Angeles more than seven years ago. First they were urbanites in the Pearl and then moved to Hillsdale. Stephanie admits to walking by the indoor cycling classes at a fitness center for months and telling herself she couldn’t do it. She was thinking those people are in really good shape and are all so fit. Then one day she just went in and did it. She was hooked immediately and became a certified instructor. Fast forward: Living in Hillsdale and finding the perfect space in Raleigh Hills, Stephanie opened the Vortex Cycle Studio. Vortex is a welcoming, unintimidating environment that provides fun-filled spin classes with great music and great instructors for all fitness levels. 10 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

The following interview with Stephanie has been edited for clarity and brevity. Where did you grow up? I grew up in San Francisco; after graduating from Chico State my sister convinced me that LA would be the place to find a Jewish husband. A year later, after moving, I did meet my future husband, Lee Auerbach, who was from New York. It’s the East Coast and West Coast Jews coming together. His family had never met anyone quite like me! Did Judaism play a part in your upbringing? My mom and dad are Jewish. My dad is from Bulgaria and my mom is from Canada. I take pride in being a first-generation American with Russian, German and Spanish roots. My folks were divorced, and I was a latchkey kid as my mom worked full time. When I spent time with my dad, I learned a lot about Jewish traditions from my grandmother, who was from the old county. I have always considered myself culturally Jewish. Does Judaism play a role in your life now? Judaism plays a much bigger part now as we are raising a son who attends Portland Jewish Academy. LA had a much larger Jewish population. When we were looking to purchase our home in Portland, the Southwest area around Hillsdale and Multnomah Village seemed the best fit. Seeing Hassidic Jews walking to services on Shabbat reminds me of living in LA. Finding PJA has been wonderful. We want our son to know what it means to be Jewish, and we feel like the school can provide studies that we can discuss as a family. It has been a great fit. What brought you to Portland? After 20 years in LA for Lee and a decade for me, we decided to start a new life and raise our son in Portland. We were in Portland less than a couple of months when word got out that Lee was available; he was destined to be back on the set as Rigging Best Boy on the successful seven-season run of “Grimm.” Hopefully another show will film here. Meanwhile, I am happily putting him to work at the studio. Lee loves working the desk. We both knew that LA was not going to be our forever home. Don’t get me wrong – I love my California roots, but we have found our forever home and Portland is the best place for family, kids, wine, coffee and books – a little bit of heaven. The only sad part is neither of us has family here, but we have found family with our Portland friends. How did spinning show up in your life? Portland is where I fell in love with indoor cycling. I joined a gym in the Pearl and had no idea taking spinning classes was going to shape my future. My body type has been curvy or voluptuous, as I like to put it. I used to walk by the spin room and think, “I wish I could do that!” I had told myself I was not in good enough shape. You know, all those unhealthy things we tell ourselves as to why we cannot do something. One day I just said, I could do this. After the first class I was hooked. I had found an awesome workout that was fun and challenging – it changed my life. When did you open your doors? We opened Vortex in June of 2016. My son and husband have been a great help. It takes a village. Even though we don’t have family here, our friends have been amazing through all this. From the beginning

of having the idea of opening the cycle studio, my husband has shared the workload. We share the daily work, whether it’s dinner, groceries or our son’s homework. And I am lucky that Lee enjoys being at the studio. What are some of the surprises of owning your own business? No surprises really. Just affirmations. Affirmations that I love meeting new people and sharing my love for indoor cycling. I get pleasure making people feel good about themselves. In my other life before Vortex, I spent my professional life working in higher education as a counselor for college students. This is different. Bottom line, I love helping people! Now I help people exercise. I get to make a difference in people’s lives every day and help them burn calories, get stronger and improve cardiovascular health. I might be taking them out of a bad day and make them laugh or even make them feel good about their bodies. I think I give them a sense of euphoria that hardcore exercise can do. How does music and pedaling work? I love music. I have a lot of fun making playlists for my classes. I like all types of genres. If the music has a good beat, I will use it. We pick moves that match the tempo of the music. This makes all the classes different and fun. I pride myself on having music that everyone enjoys – a combination of songs people know and some new ones, even some familiar songs with a twist. ••• Your first cycling class is free at Vortex. Ask Stephanie about senior discounts and teen programs. 503-297-3479 | |



Martin Baicker

Martin Baicker new CEO at CSP

Cedar Sinai Park has hired Martin W. Baicker, FACHE, as the new CEO of Cedar Sinai Park. Marty was president/CEO of JGS Lifecare (formerly Jewish Geriatric Services) in Longmeadow, MA. He began his new post Sept. 25. He and his family relocated from Massachusetts. “He has extensive experience in the care and services we provide at CSP and has a keen grasp of the strategic direction of our industry,” says CSP Board President Liz Lippoff. “In addition, Marty is uniquely qualified to help us develop our new post-acute care center in the remodeled Robison.” At JGS Lifecare, Marty has overseen a nursing home and adult care center, assisted living, subsidized housing, and home health and hospice care. Under his tenure, Lifecare developed a short-term rehabilitation facility built on the Small House model of care, which is similar to CSP’s four Green House homes completed earlier this year. The model, which uses smaller living units with people living in groups of 10 or 12, “throws the traditional nursing home model upside down,” said Marty in a 2014 interview on “Elder care is changing.” That experience and understanding is a good fit for CSP’s services and direction. “The Board and the Search Committee, as well as those on the staff at CSP and in the community who met with him, were also impressed with his warmth and sincerity,” says Liz. “He is a seasoned professional, a proven leader and a ‘people person.’ ” David Fuks, who stepped in on short notice to serve as interim CEO, will stay on to help as Marty comes on board and gets up to speed. “David is a true friend of Cedar Sinai Park, and we are immensely grateful for his role in this entire transition period,” says Liz. | 503-535-4300  Gail Mandel honored for leadership Gail Mandel has received the national Gail Littman Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in integrating legacy giving into the culture of the Oregon Jewish Community. The award was presented at the 2017 National Legacy Gathering in Springfield, MA, co-hosted by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Jewish Federations of North America. In recognition of the award, she received a beautiful piece of artwork commissioned for the honor.  “I’m so proud of Gail’s accomplishments and our achievements in far-flung Portland and Oregon as part of the national success story of Jewish Legacy Giving,” says OJCF Executive Director Julie Diamond. “Five years ago, this concept was a tactic in the foundation’s strategic 12 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

Gail Mandel, right

Eyal Bitton

Benjamin Barnett

plan. Today it is a reality! … This recognition is truly shared by all of us, and we can thank Gail for her leadership and passion in making it possible for us to work together, learn together and celebrate together through Life & Legacy.” Nationally, in less than five years, 14,230 Legacy Commitments have been secured, with an estimated value of $559.6 million in future gifts to the Jewish Community. Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s investment of $6.4 million has leveraged more than a half a billion dollars in future gifts to North American Jewish communities. Five Life & Legacy cohorts are now under way, with a total of 36 communities involved, plus 12 Hillels, other Areivim communities and small federated communities. 503-248-9238 |

Neveh Shalom hires Cantor Eyal Bitton

Cantor Eyal Bitton became the new cantor of Congregation Neveh Shalom Aug. 14. Cantor Bitton has served as cantor of Beth Jacob Synagogue in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, since 2009. A welcoming and egalitarian Conservative congregation, Neveh Shalom offers a dynamic array of religious services, Jewish education programs from preschool through adult, social justice, cultural and social activities, and much more. Cantor Bitton assumes normal cantorial duties, such as leading services, overseeing the b'nai mitzvah program and taking an active role in pastoral and life-cycle matters. In addition, he looks forward to developing a musical culture of depth and breadth that will benefit not only Neveh Shalom, but the larger Portland Jewish community as well. He has special expertise in developing youth and adult choirs and will bring his creativity to generate exciting new synagogue musical programs. Cantor Bitton is a composer, lyricist and playwright who has penned several musicals and oratorios, which have been produced in Canada, the United States, Kenya and China. He has also directed adult and children’s choirs in Montreal and Toronto and has been the musical director of Toronto’s Zimriyah, a Jewish children’s choral festival, since 2008. He's married to Michèle, a talented actress/singer. 503-246-8831, ext. 116 | |

Rabbi Barnett leads Havurah Shalom

On Aug. 1 Rabbi Benjamin Barnett became the new rabbi of Portland’s Havurah Shalom, replacing Rabbi Joey Wolf, who retired earlier this year after leading the Reconstructionist congregation for 30 years. Rabbi Barnett previously served as rabbi of Beit Am in Corvallis from August 2006 until July 2017. Beit Am supports religious, educational,

Jacob Caniparoli

cultural, social and charitable activities of the Jewish community in the mid-Willamette Valley. “I have been moved by the intentionality with which Havurah members engage with Jewish life and community,” says Rabbi Barnett of his new congregation. “And at the core of Havurah’s mission is clearly a dedication to creating a more just and compassionate world, which is something with which I deeply align. Throughout my meetings and conversations during the interview process, I felt the potential for meaningful leadership opportunities here, and that the community and I could grow and learn a lot together.” Originally from the Chicago area, Rabbi Barnett received his B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and his rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Prior to entering rabbinical school, he worked with mentally ill adults, led wilderness expeditions for teenagers, and lived, worked and studied in Israel. He is devoted to the spiritual life, in particular prayer, meditation and

Brad Stern

the cycle of Jewish time, as a means of inspiring and guiding loving, conscious action in the world. He and his wife, Rachel, moved to Portland with their three children, Lev, Arava and Judah. | 503-248-4662

New co-chairs for OJCF’s Giving Council

The Oregon Jewish Community Foundation’s Giving Council is pleased to announce its new co-chairs for the upcoming year: Jacob Caniparoli and Brad Stern. This will be Caniparoli’s third year participating in the collaborative giving program and Stern’s second. Caniparoli, a Portland native, is a portal/web systems developer at the University of Portland. Stern, also a native of Portland, is senior facility manager/leasing manager at Pacific NW Properties. They are taking the helm from outgoing inaugural co-chairs Sara Epstein and Andrew Rosengarten. “Sara and Andrew did a wonderful job leading the Giving Council in its first years,” says Julie Diamond, OJCF president

Did You Know? Federation provides interest-free loans of up to $4,000 to community members in need? A sudden need for a home repair? Help paying bills during a medical leave? Jewish Free Loan is one more way your Federation is here for you.


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9/14/17 10:39 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017PM 13


Edie Rogoway

and CEO. “It is exciting to see the transition in leadership, and we are looking forward to what lies ahead with Jacob and Brad co-chairing the program.” Young professionals interested in participating in the Giving Council should visit and contact Sonia Marie Leikam, OJCF’s Collaborative Giving Program coordinator, at soniamariel@ojcf. org. The first meeting of this year’s group will be held on Oct. 19, 2017.

Attorney Edie Rogoway wins OCDLA President’s Award for aiding Muslims

Attorney Edie Rogoway was named the recipient of the 2017 Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s President’s Award for her pro bono work organizing volunteer attorneys and interpreters to assist people affected by President Trump’s Muslim travel-ban executive order. The award acknowledged Ms. Rogoway for “… standing up for the defenseless and holding those in positions of power accountable for the harm they cause … for being a rock of strength and a beacon of hope for people subject to abuses of power.” Edie’s family belongs to Congregation Beth Israel. Edie has been a criminal defense attorney in Portland for 17 years. She is in private practice at Rogoway Law. 503-750-3480 | |

OJCF adds accountant Laurie Kays

OJCF is pleased to announce that Laurie Kays has joined the foundation’s professional team. Kays brings 10 years of accounting and financial management expertise to OJCF, where she reports to Director of Finance and Operations Chris Vitron. “The foundation is thrilled to have Laurie on the professional team,” says Julie Diamond, OJCF president and CEO. “We now have two individuals dedicated to overseeing the daily financial and investment activities of the foundation, which is fitting for an organization of our size and complexity.” Kays’ previous professional experience includes employment with Scenic Fruit Company, Liberty Tax Service and MultiServices, Inc., a commercial property management company.

CSP welcomes new Robison administrator

Cedar Sinai Park welcomes Mike Martynowicz to the role of administrator of the Robison Jewish Health Center and Harold Schnitzer Center for Living. A native of Bend, Mike has spent his entire career in the role of nursing home administrator – longer if you count his experience in his parents’ family-owned organization, where he’s been helping since age 8. Expediting the completion of the sub-acute rehabilitation wing of the RJHC is Mike’s top priority at CSP, where he will also focus on how best to combine institutional clinical systems with the residential 14 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

Laurie Kays

Mike Martynowicz

Ariel Salzman

Clyde Gregory

Green House model of care. An avid outdoorsman and graduate of the University of Portland, Mike says he is excited to be a part of an organization that is progressive and truly interested in quality care for residents. “Cedar Sinai Park reminds me of my family’s long-term care facility, as the focus is quality resident care above all else,” says Mike. “From that standpoint, and with the warm welcome of everyone I’ve met, I feel like I have come home.”

Physical therapy now available at MJCC

Physical therapy is now available at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. Move Strong Physical Therapy is now located within the MJCC. Ariel Salzman, DPT, OCS, CMPT, is the owner and the sole physical therapist of Move Strong and her office is near the fitness center, between the massage and Ignite rooms. Ariel was born in Humbolt County, CA, and raised in Athens, OH. She graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and a minor in biological sciences. She then attended Pacific University in Forest Grove where she received her doctorate of physical therapy in 2005. Ariel has focused on orthopedics in the Pacific Northwest, treating many runners and triathletes on both the amateur and professional level. In 2012, she earned her board certification in orthopedics and in 2016 she was awarded a manual therapy certificate from the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. Ariel is also certified in ASTYM soft tissue mobilization and orthotics casting. Ariel enjoys treating patients of all ages and activity levels, and takes special interest in the spine as well as treating the body as a whole to prevent re-injury. Ariel is an instructional assistant at Pacific University School of Physical Therapy. She is active in search and rescue, and is a certified K9 handler in a local volunteer group. Though Move Strong is housed at the MJCC, it operates as its own entity. 503-451-3750 | |

CSP names Clyde Gregory executive chef

Cedar Sinai Park has named Chef Clyde Gregory the executive chef for the senior living campus in Southwest Portland. Clyde has been a valued member of the Cedar Sinai Park culinary team since 2007 and was the recent recipient of CSP’s Employee of the Quarter Award. Clyde is a graduate of the Western Culinary Institute’s famed Le Cordon Bleu Program, where he graduated with perfect attendance and a 4.0 GPA. Clyde has gained valuable experience in noteworthy kitchens around the Northwest including Gary Danko of San Francisco, Cia Vito in Portland and Baywolf in Northern California.   Clyde’s extensive experience in Kosher-style, Glatt Kosher and nonKosher food preparation makes him a perfect fit as CSP Executive Chef.


Oregon Hillel welcomes Israel Engagement Fellow

New Staff By Josh Kornblum

Loren Murphy was born in a small town in Vermont, growing up in the community with a small Jewish populatin. After his family moved to Tempe, AZ, Loren attended Arizona State University and embraced Judaism more seriously than he had. Traveling to Israel on ASU Hillel’s Birthright trip enhanced that connection. This newfound passion steered Murphy to apply for and land the position of Israel Engagement Fellow at Oregon Hillel serving the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. Hillel’s Israel Engagement Fellow program was created through generous two-year commitments made by the Zidell Family Foundation and the Paul & Julie Candau Philanthropic Fund of The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay, who established matching gifts that tripled each new or increased gift made to Oregon Hillel during 2017 and 2018. “My job focuses on both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University campuses, and is to first and foremost be a resource and mentor for students,” says Loren. “I am the primary contact for all Israel-related topics ranging from student organizations, Israel education, supervising our Digital Ambassador program through a partnership with Israel 21c and the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, and new initiatives like bringing Artists for Israel to our campuses this year. I am also responsible to register students to Israel on Birthright, and more importantly to follow up with them upon their return to ensure they maintain a strong connection to Israel and Judaism in a personally meaningful way.” Hillel is a resource for students interested in engaging in Jewish culture of all types, and Loren’s passion for spreading interest in Israel and Judaism will strengthen those goals.  For more information about Hillel or our Israel programs, contact Loren Murphy

Josh Kornblum is senior from southern California at the University of Oregon and is Oregon Hillel’s student Journalism intern for the 2017/2018 academic year

Tivnu gets recognition and new resident advisor Tivnu: Building Justice, the first Jewish gap year program in the United States, has been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of the prestigious “Slingshot, A Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation.” Tivnu, which calls Portland home, may be the first in the city to receive this honor. "Slingshot" describes itself as “an annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative organizations, projects and programs in the North American Jewish community today.” The guide has been published since 2005 and highlights organizations that have “particular resonance among the next generation.” Evaluators assess applications through the criteria of innovation, impact, strong leadership in the field and organizational effectiveness. In other Tivnu news, Ellie Goldman has been selected as the new resident advisor for Tivnu. Gap year participants live together as they explore connections between Jewish life and social justice. Options include the building track or a direct service and advocacy track. A West Coast transplant, Ellie recently graduated from Kalamazoo College, where she studied in the Department of Religion. She has also spent time living in Tel Aviv, Israel and Dakar, Senegal. Ellie feels lucky to have been part of various Jewish communities that made her feel at home, inspired and called to action, including her hometown havurah, Temple Sholom of Cincinnati, the Nesiya Institute and her campus Hillel. She is excited to join Tivnu and help participants build community, explore Jewish life and expand their capacities to work for justice.

Ellie Goldman

Hillel adds two to team The Greater Portland Hillel has two new team members to expand Jewish experiences for students on campuses in the Portland metro area. Elyssa joined the PDX Hillel team on July 31, as the new Jewish Experience Engagement Associate and Ezra Fellow. She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University who built her own major in the College of Sciences, focusing on her passions: religion, anthropology, and people's health and well-being. Elyssa was very involved in Hillel as an undergraduate and is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her commitment in the Jewish community here in Portland. Elyssa's role involves engaging Jewish students on both Lewis & Clark and Portland State University campuses. As an Ezra Fellow, she has the chance to expand her knowledge of Jewish texts and practices. In addition to attending conferences throughout the year, Elyssa will also study with a chevruta study partner each week. As the Jewish Experience Engagement Fellow and Ezra Fellow, she will be well-suited to engage Jewish students on both campuses.  With both of these positions, she will be able to better engage Jewish students Elyssa Hurwitz on the two college campuses in discussions on any and all topics relating to Judaism. Hagit Ojalvo joined PDX Hillel on Aug. 2 as the Israel Fellow through the Jewish Agency for Israel. Hagit was born and raised in a small town near Haifa, and graduated in 2017 with her bachelor's degree in special education and hearing disabilities. Hagit decided to join this team not only for a new adventure, but also to build a bridge between the Portland Jewish student community and Israel. Greater Portland Hillel's mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. | | Hagit Ojalvo OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 15




People often reflect and remember where they were and what they were doing at a tragic

moment. I remember where I was on Jan. 8, 2011. It was early Saturday afternoon, and I was in the car between running errands

when my friend, Gina Nunez, called me and said, “Gabby Giffords has been shot!” Gina

GABBY GIFFORDS: Seeking triumph from tragedy

is a history teacher and follows local politics closely, so she was keeping a keen eye on Gabrielle “Gabby” Gifford’s career path,

from her beginnings in the Arizona House of Representative to her third term as the

congresswoman representing Arizona’s 8th

District in the U.S. House of Representatives. But Gabby would not get to complete that third term because a very deranged young

man had just shot her in the head at pointblank range.

What began as a positive event called

“Congress on Your Corner,” where Gabby

could meet and chat with her constituents,

changed the course of her life forever. That

tragic event also ended the lives of ChristinaTaylor Green, Dorothy “Dot” Morris, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwin Stoddard, Judge John

M. Roll and Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman. Twelve other victims were injured but survived.

In the subsequent six years, Gabby has

made incredible strides in her recovery.

Every time I see her speak publicly, I am

inspired and impressed by her courage, grace

By Mala Blomquist

and strength. While planning our October

women’s issue, I hoped Gabby would agree to be featured in our cover story. I can’t tell you

how excited I was when she agreed. We used the Q&A format because Gabby’s answers

reflect her personality and optimism as she

continues her recovery and the public fight to keep our communities safe.


GABBY GIFFORDS You grew up in Tucson. What are some of your favorite things about the city? The people! My family and my friends help keep me going every day. My friends in Tucson are constantly checking in and making me smile. I’m so fortunate to have such a wonderful support system in this town that pushes me to stay positive, challenge myself and get the most out of every moment. What jobs did you hold before being a congresswoman? Growing up, I didn’t have any big plans to run for public office. After college, I took a job in New York City working for PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 1996, I left that job to come home to Tucson and take over for my father as the president and CEO of El Campo Tire Warehouses. I wasn’t very excited about entering the tire business, but my dad needed help, and when your family needs you, you show up. I had almost no experience! I had to learn the tire business from the ground up. It was a busy first year, but I managed to increase annual sales and make up our past losses. Three years later, after careful consideration, including negotiations for all of our employees’ jobs, I sold the company. I then decided to pursue public service and ran for the Arizona House of Representatives. What do you miss most about no longer being a congresswoman? Being Southern Arizona’s voice in Congress was the greatest honor of my life. I miss the privilege of representing the people of our community – both people who voted for me and those who did not. But I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the past. Today, I’m focused on my recovery and am grateful to be able to serve my community and country in a different way. Would you consider seeking office again? I’ve learned to never say “never” to anything. But right now, 18 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

I’m solely focused on my recovery and using my second chance at service to help prevent other communities from experiencing the same pain from gun violence that our community has faced. What has been the most challenging part of your recovery? The pace. Speaking is still hard for me. My eyesight isn’t great, and despite hours and hours of physical therapy, my right arm and right leg remain mostly paralyzed. But instead of focusing on the things that I cannot do, I’ve tried to focus on the things that I can do and live without limits. I also have a mean left hook! What have you learned about yourself through the healing process? I’ve learned the importance of staying positive and focusing on the things that really matter: my family, my friends and making our country a better, safer place. In 2013, you began Americans for Responsible Solutions after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Was this something you and husband Mark (Kelly) had been discussing prior to that? While our plans were finalized in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, Mark and I had begun talking about getting involved months earlier. In July 2012, we flew to Europe for a two-week combined vacation and work trip. The day before we left, a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, CO, killing 12 and wounding 58 others. On the plane ride over, Mark and I discussed what we could do. We talked about putting out a statement, but we both agreed that wasn’t enough. More is needed to be done to bridge the divide between gun owners, like us, and the vast majority of Americans who also want to make our communities safer. After 20 first- and second-graders were murdered in their classrooms at Sandy Hook, we said “enough” and launched Americans for Responsible Solutions.

What do you wish you could have accomplished by now with ARS but have not? Gun violence is a complex problem, but we’ve managed to make a good deal of progress in a relatively short amount of time. Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, we’ve helped pass more than 200 responsible gun laws in over 45 states and the District of Columbia. However significant, it’s never enough. In 2015, more than 36,000 Americans died from gun violence. We know there are some common sense measures that Congress can pass right now to help make our communities safer and reduce the number of people who die from gun violence every year. Our leaders only need the courage to act. What is the primary goal you would like to achieve with ARS? There are many things that Congress and states across the country can do to make America safer. One policy that our organization is focused on is closing the gaping loopholes in our nation’s background check system that make it far too easy for dangerous people, including criminals, domestic abusers and even known and suspected terrorists, to get their hands on a gun without a background check. The overwhelming majority of Americans support closing this dangerous loophole. So far, 19 states and the District of Columbia have expanded background checks. But we still have a ways to go. Earlier this year you launched the Arizona Coalition for Common Sense. Tell me about that. Mark and I joined a broad cross section of Arizona leaders – including veterans, gun owners, law enforcement leaders, business owners and domestic violence prevention advocates – in launching the Arizona Coalition for Common Sense. Together, we are committed to urging our leaders to do more to address the state’s gun violence crisis, and help make Arizona families and communities safer. Our country and state are in the midst of a gun violence crisis, and we cannot

Photos, from left: Gabby holds the hand of husband and U.S. Navy Captain, Mark Kelly in Galveston, TX; Gabby with Mark outside of their home in Tucson, AZ; Gabby, with Mark, waves to the crowd gathered at the dock in Galveston, TX; Gabby in Galveston, TX, for the commissioning ceremony of the USS Gabrielle Giffords. PHOTOS COURTESY AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE SOLUTIONS

afford to wait any longer for our elected leaders to act. What should people do if they want to see different legislation on gun control? Get involved in your community. Learn about the issues. Talk to your friends and family. Attend town halls. Most importantly, go vote! Civic engagement is a hallmark of our democracy – it matters – and it makes a difference. How did you and Mark Kelly meet? I first met Mark on a trip to China in 2003 as part of a Young Leaders Forum that was sponsored by the National Committee on United States-China Relations. The first oneon-one time we spent together was actually by chance. The night before our flight left from Vancouver, I was told to meet up and have dinner with two other people on the trip. As luck would have it, one of those two missed his flight, which left just Mark and I. Our dinner was strictly professional, but the conversation was natural between us. I’m pretty sure I asked him a million questions about his job and space. We talked a little about my work in the Arizona State Legislature and my upbringing in Tucson, but the conversation remained surface level. After the trip to China, a year went by without any contact between us. It wasn’t until I hosted a gathering for all of the trip participants in Arizona that we spoke again and first discussed our personal lives. At the time, we were still OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 19

Gabby addressing the crowd at the commissioning ceremony of the USS Gabrielle Giffords in Galveston, TX, on June 10, 2017. PHOTO COURTESY AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE SOLUTIONS

GABBY GIFFORDS just friends, but we started talking more and more, and he soon became one of my best friends. It didn’t take long for me to learn that Mark was the smart, supportive and sincere man I had been searching for. I heard you had an interesting first date. Would you share what happened? At the time, Mark was training in Houston to pilot the space shuttle, and he was required to log flying hours in a supersonic jet – casual, right? He offered to fly to Tucson to come meet me. As a member of the Arizona State Legislature, I was working on a capital punishment bill and was scheduled to visit the Arizona State Prison system to talk to some folks about the issue. I invited Mark to tag along and give him a look at my life as a public servant. He insisted on sitting in the gas chamber… let’s just say our dates after this one were less gruesome, but always adventurous. Your 10th anniversary is coming up in November. Do you have anything special planned? I’ll choose my words carefully, so I don’t spoil any surprises for Mark! I think we are both just looking forward to spending some quality time together. What are some of the activities that you and Mark enjoy together? We are both very positive and genuinely enjoy spending time with one another – going out to eat, biking, exploring new places, watching our favorite television shows and traveling. We spend a lot of time on the road for Americans for Responsible Solutions, both together and apart. Sometimes our schedules force us to be apart for longer stretches than we would like. During those periods we talk on the phone and text throughout the day. No matter how busy we get, we always find time to connect. We look forward to the time we get to spend at home in Tucson. The Navy’s newest combat ship is named after you. What were your thoughts the first time you saw the ship with USS


Gabrielle Giffords on the side? My first reaction was “Whoa!” The fact that our Navy chose to give my name to this ship is an awesome, humbling honor – one I would never have imagined, one I will never forget and one for which I always remain grateful. It is difficult to describe the pride and honor that filled my heart when I received notice from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus that a ship would bear my name. This past June, I traveled to Galveston, TX, to commission the ship and spend some time with its amazing crew. Those sailors are awe inspiring. They represent the very best of our great country. Were you raised in a home that practiced Judaism? My grandfather, Akiba Hornstein, was the son of a Lithuanian rabbi. My grandfather changed his name to Giffords for reasons of anti-Semitism and moved to Southern Arizona from New York more than 50 years ago. Growing up, my family’s Jewish roots and traditions played an important role in shaping my values. The women in my family served as strong role models. I am a lifetime member of Hadassah, like my grandmother, and am now a member of Congregation Chaverim. What role has Judaism played in your recovery? Perseverance and resilience are such an important part of our heritage. It’s something that I draw strength from as I continue in my recovery each and every day. What are some of your Jewish traditions? I love to celebrate Hanukkah every year and light the menorah! I also observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Do you observe Shabbat? Jewish traditions and customs are very important to me. My work schedule keeps me pretty busy, sometimes more than I would like. But I always try to take some time on the Sabbath to pause for spiritual reflection. A strong family unit is an important part of Judaism, and I enjoy spending quality time with my family, especially my mother, whenever possible.

Anne Frank

Phyllis Lang

Bette Midler

Deanne Froehlich

Gal Gadot

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Wendy Wasserstein

Louise Nevelson

Golda Meir

Gabby Giffords

Annie Liebovitz

Bar Refaeli



Each October Oregon Jewish Life focuses on women.

This year our “All About Women” special section features profiles of remarkable women using their skills and passions to change their world. From Ovarian Cancer Superhero Phyllis Lang to Principal of the Year Deanne Froehlich, women are making a difference. This section also features useful information on cancer risks, how to help a sick friend, dating and exercise. This year our focus on women extends beyond our special section. Our cover story features former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who co-founded Americans for Responsible Solutions; she spoke with us about her efforts to curb gun violence. In January 2011, a gunman shot Giffords

22 HEALTH: Superhero 26 RELATIONSHIPS: Dating 28 AUTHOR: Stunning memoir 30 FOOD: Chef's inspiration 32 EDUCATION: Principal of the Year 33 EXERCISE: Burn the fat! 34 RELIGION: Board of Rabbis Chair

in the head, killed six of her constituents and wounded 12 others at an event in Tucson, AZ. Now she and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, are dedicated to promoting laws that support safe and responsible gun ownership. You can read about other women who have found their niche in the Business, Arts and Senior sections of this month’s Oregon Jewish Life. Together, the women profiled in this issue are building a better world.



hyllis Lang is a bona fide Superhero – complete with a caped alter ego, a transformative event that gave her superpowers and a mission to save lives. Phyllis is among one of six local Superheroes – Susan, Peg, Jasmin, Phyllis, Sherry and Mary – who are working to deliver a knockout punch to ovarian cancer. They are ensuring women know about the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington’s original “Trust Your Gut” ovarian cancer awareness campaign ( These ovarian cancer survivors/Superheroes are sharing the message: “Be Your Own Super Hero: Awareness and Knowledge – Your Secret Weapon.” For Ashkenazi Jewish women, the message is especially important. Phyllis, like 1 in 40 Ashkenazim, has a BRCA (BReast CAncer) genetic mutation (see box). The BRCA1/2 mutations are associated with breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancer. Women with a BRCA1 mutation have up to a 39% chance of developing ovarian cancer by age 70. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women and is the deadliest of all the gynecologic cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017 more than 22,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 14,000 will die from it.

NO SCREENING FOR OVARIAN CANCER There is no diagnostic or screening test to detect ovarian cancer. Knowing the symptoms is essential to ensuring an early diagnosis and achieving best-chance odds of survival. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include: • Bloating • Difficulty eating, feeling full quickly • Abdominal or pelvic pain • Frequent or urgent need to urinate. While the symptoms seem nebulous, when they don’t go away after two weeks, it’s time to rule out ovarian cancer. IT’S NOT JUST A SLOGAN Twenty years ago, Phyllis did just what she is now encouraging other women to do – she trusted her gut. In 1997 Phyllis and her husband, Bruce, decided to move from Florida to Oregon to raise their 3-year-old daughter, Mackenzie. They bought a business – Finer Lines, which represents gift card companies – and planned a December move to Beaverton. Phyllis had a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. Her grandmother had breast and ovarian cancer, dying when Phyllis’s

BRCA1/2 GENETIC RISKS FOR OVARIAN AND BREAST CANCER Ashkenazim have a one in 40 chance of having a harmful BRCA1/2 (BReast CAncer) genetic mutation. By comparison, between 1 in 400 and 1 in 800 people, respectively, in the U.S. general population have a BRCA1/2 mutation.

Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have a lifetime risk of 15 to 40% for developing ovarian cancer. By comparison, women who do not have a BRCA mutation have a 1.8% risk of developing ovarian cancer.


A mutation increases a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer from 12% (1 in 8) to nearly 80% (8 in 10); lifetime risk of ovarian cancer increases to between 16 and 60%, versus just under 2% for the general population.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network ( has guidelines with regard to breast exams, imaging (mammography and MRI), risk-reduction surgery (breasts and ovaries) and psychosocial needs.

Photo by Andy Batt OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 23

mom was 15. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33 and had two first cousins with breast cancer. “This was always on my radar,” says Phyllis. “I started having annual mammograms at age 21.” But ovarian cancer doesn’t have a screening test and, at that time, the symptoms were not recognized as such. “In September (1997), I started getting what are now called symptoms – bloating, tremendous gas and not feeling right,” says Phyllis. When her doctor did a transvaginal ultrasound and found what looked like a cyst on her left ovary, he told her, “Let’s wait.” “I had bells going off,” says Phyllis. “I asked him, ‘Have you looked at my family history?’ ” Two days later a different doctor did surgery and removed both ovaries. “I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer,” says Phyllis, who was then 45. “You want to be diagnosed at stage 1 or 2, but 85% of women with ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until stage 3 or 4.” Two weeks later she had her first dose of chemo – then she got on an airplane to move to Oregon. She had five more rounds of chemo. With the diagnosis and family history, Phyllis had a genetic test done. Initially the lab said they couldn’t find the results, then said they were negative. Seven years later, she once again had abdominal pain. Doctors couldn’t find a cause, so Phyllis requested a CAT scan. It revealed several tumors on her bowel, so she had surgery again and six more rounds of chemo. In 2007, three years later, her regular mammogram revealed a bump in her left axilla (armpit). Surgery removed the lump and 15 lymph nodes, seven of which tested positive for ovarian cancer. Four more rounds of chemo followed. Her 2011 mammogram revealed another lump. A needle biopsy revealed breast cancer. More chemo and then a double mastectomy. “When I was diagnosed with 24 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017


Dinner and Fundraising Auction 2017 WHAT: OVF is the signature event for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington. It includes a comedy act, dinner and silent auction. WHO: Featuring Comedian Betsy Kauffman WHEN: 6 pm, Oct. 12 WHERE: DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton, 1000 NE Multnomah St., Portland WHY: All proceeds raised at OVF17 support programming including the new Here4You financial assistance fund; the By Your Side chemo care kit program; and the Trust Your Gut Awareness Campaign, which was created with a bequest from the estate of Katherine Z. Luecker, who died of ovarian cancer at age 55. TICKETS: $75 per person available online at ocaosw.


Know the warning signs for ovarian cancer. 1 Bloating 2 Difficulty eating, feeling full quickly 3 Abdominal or pelvic pain 4 Frequent or urgent need to urinate

breast cancer, I decided it is time to do another genetic test,” says Phyllis. “I tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation.” Her daughter decided to be tested, too, as soon as she could. She is negative. All of Phyllis’s nieces are also negative. “Genetic testing is very emotional,” says Phyllis. “It depends on your mindset. Do you want to be proactive?” TRUST YOUR GUT SUPERHERO Now as an ovarian cancer Superhero, Phyllis is sharing her story with all who are willing to listen. She thinks the Superhero campaign is inspired. “Ovarian cancer is scary,” says Phyllis. “They wanted to do something not scary. The Trust Your Gut campaign hit the nail on the head.” “The most important thing women can take away is this: These are symptoms every woman has had. They are also symptoms most of the medical community thinks of as urinary or gastro-intestinal problems. But if the symptoms don’t go away in two weeks, this (ovarian cancer) is something you should rule out.” The campaign also ensures women know that ovarian cancer is not just for old women. Of the six Superheroes, all were diagnosed between the ages of 24 and 65. Even before becoming a Superhero, Phyllis was sharing her story. For the past nine years she has been part of a group of ovarian cancer survivors who speak to medical residents in their OBGyn rotation and to students in nursing, physician-assistant and pharmacology programs. “This program puts ovarian cancer on the radar of the first line of the medical community women are likely to see,” says Phyllis. “They remember three women telling them their personal story.” “That has been the most rewarding thing I’d ever done – until I became a Superhero,” she says with a smile.

You may not be a

SUPER HERO, but when you sign up for our NEW themed e-newsletters, you just might feel like one.


You can win some pretty great prizes FIRST PRIZE A spectacular Shopping Spree


A two-night stay for two at a luxury resort


$180 donation to a charity or scholarship of your choice Once you are signed up for an e-newsletter – it’s FREE, we promise! – you will automatically receive a digital copy of Oregon Jewish Life (a week before it hits the streets ) AND be entered into the contest.


1. Log on to: ORJEWISHLIFE.COM/NEWSLETTER-SIGN-ME-UP 2. Select one of the many themed weekly or bi-weekly e-newsletters 3. Watch your inbox for confirmation that you are entered into the contest, and that you are signed up for your FREE e-newsletter 4. Sit back and enjoy your new e-newsletter and your digital copy of Oregon Jewish Life while you wait for the contest results.





The Ten Commandments of Dating By Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, CSW and Chaya Feuerman, CSW Psychotherapists


any people have heard of and benefited from Rabbi Avigdor Miller’s “Ten Commandments of Marriage.” Rabbi Miller’s commandments focused on loyalty to one’s spouse and making every effort to avoid cycles of hurt and resentment. Dating, however is a different story. After all, why be loyal to someone who you may not marry? Isn’t it better to reject an unsuitable person before becoming married, than to learn to forgive and overlook flaws? The dilemma is how can you tell if you are being wise and prudent or picky and selfish? We therefore thought it might be helpful to suggest commandments for dating, and this is our attempt to distill some of the concepts we have developed about relationships into useful guidelines.


COMMANDMENT #1: STAY IN THE HERE AND NOW When dating it is very important to concentrate on the experience of being with the person. You should not let your mind wander into thinking about past relationships, or future possibilities. Just listen to your date, share your thoughts and enjoy the moment. After the date you can spend as much time analyzing it as you would like. COMMANDMENT #2: ASSESS YOUR ABILITY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS TOGETHER We believe this to be the single most important quality that a successful relationship must have. Even the best of marriages

and the most compatible people experience serious and difficult challenges over the years. Ask yourself, “Is this the person I want with me during the bad times as well as the good?” COMMANDMENT #3: DON’T GIVE UP No matter how long it takes for you to find your bashert, don’t become jaded or cynical. We know it’s easy to say and a lot harder to do, but it’s the plain and simple truth. There is absolutely nothing helpful or constructive about giving up. COMMANDMENT #4: LOOK FOR A POSITIVE FIT WITH FAMILY STYLES AND SIMILAR VALUES While one shouldn’t rule out any person simply on the basis of him or her having a different background, the chances for success are higher when there are basic similarities. When a shidduch is being suggested, of course you are trying to find out about the individual, but make sure to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of family I would be comfortable with? Are the brothers, sisters and parents the kind of people that will eventually feel to me like my own family?” COMMANDMENT #5: DON’T CONFUSE VALUES WITH RELIGIOUS CUSTOMS AND PRACTICE Although it may be ideal to have identical or similar religious practices as well as backgrounds, do not rule out someone who has different religious practices or customs. The main thing is not the practice, but if you share common values. For example, if one person is more yeshivish and the other more Torah Umaddah style, if both are serious about avodas Hashem, the details can be resolved. Of course, don’t wait until the kids are bar and bat mitzvah to work on it! Some matters of religious practice are nonnegotiable. It would be a good idea to find a rabbi whom you both respect and whose rulings you both can agree to accept. COMMANDMENT #6: HAVE A LOW TOLERANCE FOR ABUSE If your prospective mate broke a confidence, was deceitful in any

major way or was abusive, this is a bad sign that there will be future problems. To be sure, you should always give a person the benefit of the doubt and state what he or she did wrong, but if it is part of a recurring pattern, cut that fish loose before it’s too late! COMMANDMENT #7: ASK YOURSELF IF YOU CAN TRUST THIS PERSON Trust is a key ingredient in a relationship. If over time you are not getting the feeling that you trust this person, follow your instincts and leave while you can. COMMANDMENT #8: DON’T BE AFRAID TO SUCCEED Though it is difficult to admit, some people are afraid to succeed. Having a successful relationship may inadvertently hurt other family members. For example, a youngest or only child of a widowed parent might find it difficult to marry and abandon his parent. Or a younger sibling might feel bad about getting married before an older sibling. In the long run, if you let these fears run your life, no one will be happy. On the other hand, if you are unafraid to do what is healthy and appropriate for you, this may actually liberate others in your family to live their lives to the fullest. COMMANDMENT #9: TRUST YOUR FRIENDS Getting an objective opinion can be really crucial when you are making serious life decisions. Don’t be afraid to share your anxiety and ask for their thoughts. COMMANDMENT # 10: DON’T BE SWAYED BY ROMANCE AND PASSION Romance is a great thing if you have it, but it does not necessarily predict or assure success in a relationship. You can have strong feelings for someone who ultimately is not the best choice for a marriage partner. Some people are attracted to those who hurt them, and others start off relationships being attracted to the same qualities that they ultimately end up despising. Therefore, although it is important to feel attracted to your potential mate, and you certainly should not marry someone who you have no positive feelings for, what you should be looking for is shared values, mutual respect, and an ability to enjoy each other’s company. If you just have passion and romance without the above, when it wears off you are left with nothing. Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, CSW co-authors a weekly column in the Jewish Press on religion, relationships and parenting, along with his wife Chaya Feuerman, CSW. The Feuermans also have authored a book, titled How to Have Fun Without Getting into Trouble: Essays on Relationships, Parenting and the Self. In addition, Simcha serves as Director of Community Services at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Queens, New York, where he provides individual therapy, family therapy and couples counseling.


WHAT TO SAY TO A SICK FRIEND “I like it when people treat me normally,” says Teva Harrison, who has spent the last three years of her life coping with metastatic breast cancer. “But also if they offer to help – I’ve never needed so much help.”

Concrete offers of help and fellowship are best: • Can we go for a walk? • Can I help you in your garden? • I’m available Friday, do you need a ride? • One friend gave me credit for a house cleaner. • “So many people say give me a call; I’m not going to call; I’m embarrassed I can’t do things for myself.”

Teva Harrison and husband David

Author helps other women with cancer feel less alone By Deborah Moon



ife has thrown two major curveballs at Teva Harrison in her adult life. The first – being stranded in Canada on 9/11 – she slammed for a home run. With the second – metastatic breast cancer – she has hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field. In May Teva was in Portland for the book launch of In-Between Days, her stunning memoir on living with cancer. While she was in town, she met to discuss her journey and her book – a mix of the drawings she created to help herself move forward and the short essays written to help others do the same. The third of three daughters, Teva was born in rural Oregon on a small “hippie homestead.” When her father committed suicide two years later, her mom stayed on the farm near Williams, raising the three girls alone. Perhaps the strength she now relies on is something she learned from that early tragedy. She writes in her memoir, “We pushed forward into living. … Because tragedy is something we move through.” So Teva kept moving as 9/11 turned the world on its head. She was on the other side of the continent from her Oregon home at a film festival in Toronto. She was ready to fly to Manhattan for a meeting when the planes struck the Twin Towers. After a day of alternately walking and watching the news, she returned to her friend Scott’s home where she had been staying during the festival. He introduced her to David. David and Teva married in 2002 and began a happy life together in Canada. Teva found a job she loved – marketing director for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. She was 37 and training for her second half-marathon when she started feeling severe pain in her back and hips. In October she went to the emergency room and was sent home with pain pills. In December, she felt a lump in her breast. Ten days later she learned she had stage IV metastatic breast cancer. On New Year’s Eve, she started chemotherapy to try and control the

spread of her incurable cancer. “I was lost,” Teva explains. “I’d had a sense of who I was and my purpose, and it was all gone.” She began drawing her experiences, frustrations and feelings. “It pulled me from my depression.” When she showed her drawings to two friends in a breast cancer support group, they each told her “These can help people feel less alone.” Initially Teva wasn’t sure she wanted to go public with her disease. “But the idea it could be helpful made me get over my shyness,” she says. “I felt if it was helpful – maybe that is why I am here now.” So she created a website and posted her drawings along with comments. Within a month, Walrus magazine asked if they could host the drawings on their website. A month later House of Anansi Press told her she had the beginnings of a book. “The publisher let me tell my story my way … half comic, half essay,” says Teva. “It opened a lot of doors. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life, or how much was left. I wanted to do the most with it.” She has already received many letters from people who tell her they feel less alone looking at her drawings. “The purpose of why I made the book has happened. That feels like an enormous gift.” Though Teva has tested negative for the BRCA genetic mutations that commonly increase the cancer risk for Ashkenazi Jews, her doctors agree it is likely hereditary. Her great-grandfather died of cancer at age 43; her Aunt Janet died at 34 from breast cancer; and her Great Aunt Jean died of metastatic breast cancer. Her grandmother, Ruth Levin March, survived three battles with cancer before dying in her 60s. Teva has undergone extensive genetic screening because, she says, “I want to figure this out for my nieces and family.” Cancer is not the only thing Teva has inherited from her family, which she calls “extremely culturally Jewish. … They were eastern European socialists and communists. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for religiousness.” She says her mom “cherrypicked” what parts of Judaism she shared with Teva and her mother, Teri Harrison her daughters. “She enjoyed all the feasting. … I didn’t learn until later there is also fasting.” But among the things her mom did share were the importance of mitzvah, of being kind and questioning, which Teva considers “basic life lessons” that have helped her as she faces all the curves life has thrown her way.

Portland Monthly “Top Doctors” 2O16 Organic chemist before becoming a surgeon

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Nostrana chef finds inspiration in Italy By Kerry Politzer

Open since 2005, Nostrana is one of Portland’s most beloved Italian restaurants. On any given day, the large, airy dining room is packed to the gills; it’s impossible to get a same-day reservation. Young people flock to the late-night happy hour, large parties celebrate birthdays and couples share wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas. When asked why Nostrana has remained so popular throughout the years, chef/owner Cathy Whims responds, “Somehow, we have this sort of universal appeal to (both) people in Portland and out-of-towners. It’s not just a special-occasion dining experience, it can be an everyday ‘hey honey, let’s go run and get a pizza and take the kids.’ It can be a date night. It can be a special-occasion dining experience easily, too; I think that’s what makes it successful.” The chef and her staff are constantly traveling to Italy for new ideas. A trip to Rome was the inspiration behind Cathy’s wildly popular Gnocchi Thursdays. “The first time I ever went to Rome, I was in a restaurant on a Thursday, when it’s real traditional for the trattorias and osterias to serve potato gnocchi,” she says. Cathy furthered her appreciation of the small dumplings when she studied with legendary cookbook author and chef, Marcella Hazan. “I’d never had gnocchi that were so light 30 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

and airy, like little pillows. It was a revelation. And so, I was determined that we would have Gnocchi Thursdays.” Cathy honors Hazan by featuring the author’s famous pasta No. 3 on Nostrana’s menu (see recipe). “(It’s) in her first cookbook. Basically, you open a can of really good tomatoes, open a stick of butter, peel an onion and cut it in half. Put all of this in a pan together and cook it about 45 minutes. Eventually, the butter separates from the tomato, which lets you know that the emulsification has broken, that you concentrated the tomato sauce enough where it’s perfectly intense and delicious. It’s probably the best tomato sauce in the world; it’s not mine, but I love it!” Cathy also recommends her best-selling, wood-fired margherita pizza, a unique Caesar salad made with radicchio leaves instead of romaine and a delicious salsa-topped, woodfired trout that is always presented in a slightly different way. For dessert, there are housemade gelati and sorbetti, a warm seasonal fruit crisp and the creamy butterscotch pudding Cathy learned from California chef Nancy Silverton. Even the beverages at Nostrana are tempting. There’s a rotating housemade fruit soda as well as coffee from local roaster Andrea Spella, whom Cathy calls “the best roaster of espresso

in the country.” She explains, “He’s meticulous. He trains each and every one of our staff to make the coffee really taste like espresso at a great café in Italy.” Cathy is also excited about the recent hiring of an in-house sommelier. “We’ve created a great wine program (of ) mostly Italian wines, some of which are quite rare.” Soon, the chef plans to offer a menu of amare, or Italian bitter digestif liqueurs. She will feature these beverages after expanding Nostrana’s bar and adding two private dining rooms. Nostrana will celebrate its 12th anniversary on Oct. 14 with a dinner honoring the local farmers that provide the restaurant’s high-quality ingredients.

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Butter Sauce Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Serves 4-6 1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) 1 stick unsalted butter 1 medium onion, peeled and halved Pinch of sugar Salt Crush tomatoes with hands while adding to medium sauce pan, adding juice as well. Add butter, onion, salt and sugar. Cook at a slow but steady simmer, uncovered, until fat separates from tomatoes, about 45 minutes. Discard onion and correct taste for salt. Enough sauce for 1 pound of spaghetti or ¾ pound of fresh fettuccine. Summer variation: Instead of canned tomatoes, use 2 pounds fresh ripe plum tomatoes.


1401 SE Morrison St. 503-234-2427, OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 31

Deanne Froehlich is Principal of the Year


By Deborah Moon

self-described product moving forward for the new of Portland’s Jewish school year,” says Deanne. “It’s community and wonderful to be a principal in Portland Public Schools, Deanne this community.” Froehlich has been named the Deanne says her commitment 2017 Principal of the Year by the to education and community Portland Council PTA. building are based in her ~Deanne Froehlich Deanne was nominated by the Jewish values. She was raised at parents, community and students Congregation Neveh Shalom of Hayhurst Elementary and and spent summers at Camp Odyssey School in Southwest Solomon Schechter. Later she Portland. “One of the most became a camp counselor at the important parts of my job is summer camps at Mittleman to be connected to all three of Jewish Community Center. those components,” says Deanne. “My years as a camper and “It’s a tremendous honor that camp counselor supported my my community feels like this desire to be part of building is something they wanted to a community,” says Deanne. recognize me for.” “Building relationships and A PPS principal for 18 years, providing an educational Deanne has served as principal experience we can be proud of is of the two schools for eight years. part of my Jewish values.” Until last year, the two schools She says she gained an shared the Hayhurst campus, understanding of the importance but as more young families have of education as a member of the moved into the neighborhood, Jewish community and a student the elementary school needed of Portland Public Schools. all of its space, and the focus “I want to create a community school moved to the campus that with a love of learning where formerly housed East Sylvan everybody feels success,” she says. Middle School. Odyssey is one “Education is important. I want of Portland Public School’s Focus to make it a positive experience Option Programs. Open to all for everybody.” Principal of the Year Deanne Froehlich is surrounded by PPS students in kindergarten Deanne is also a former some of her students from Hayhurst Elementary. through eighth grade, the school board member and current PHOTO COURTESY OF DEANNE FROEHLICH focuses on Living History committee member of Cedar Education for Young Explorers. Sinai Park, where her father, “One of the biggest transitions Walter Froehlich, z”l, lived until has been (that) over the last year Odyssey moved to East Sylvan,” his death last fall. “His care was fabulous till the very end,” says says Deanne, who continues as principal of both schools now on Deanne of his years living at CSP’s Robison Jewish Health Center. separate campuses. “We were one big family. With all the work In addition to Neveh Shalom and CSP, Deanne says she also that went into the separation, it was a successful transition.” supports the work of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. In addition to establishing each school in its own building, the “I value the work federation does for our community and for the Odyssey campus had to be transitioned from a middle school into global world community.” a K-8 school. Students, parents and her community obviously recognize that “They are both great schools with generous parent participation Deanne is a special person who is helping make learning a positive and kids who come to school ready to learn; both are strong and force for the future. 32 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

“Education is important. I want to make it a positive experience for everybody.”

Burn baby burn – the fat! By Mala Blomquist


orget that “fat-burning” setting on the treadmill. According to a new study published in Obesity, strength training is better at helping people lose belly fat compared with cardio. While aerobic exercise burns both fat and muscle, weight lifting burns almost exclusively fat. And don’t worry about turning into a bulky, bodybuilding champion if you start weight lifting (unless that is your goal). There are many factors involved to develop a body like that, but you can develop an exercise plan that incorporates weight training without causing massive muscle growth. According to research from Harvard Medical School, a general 30-minute strength training session burns an average of 90 calories (180 calories per hour) for a 125-pound person, 112 calories (224 calories per hour) for a 155-pound person and 133 calories (266 calories per hour) for a 185-pound person. So, the heavier you are, the more calories you will burn during a weighttraining session. Muscle growth also equals a boost in metabolism. Lifting weights increases the number of calories you burn while you are

sitting on the couch or in your office chair. That’s because, after each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibers. In fact, researchers found that when people did a total-body workout with just three big-muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn’t lift. The weightlifting moves that use multiple muscles are the ones that build the most muscle. You can try these five moves with no added weight (using only body weight for resistance). Then start adding weights for a bigger gain: Squats Lunges Deadlifts Pull-ups Push-ups Pumping iron can also reduce your risk of heart disease and was approved as a healthy form of exercise for those at risk from the American Heart Association. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that those who lift weights are less likely have heart disease risk factors such as a large waist circumference, high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure and elevated glucose levels. Another study conducted by researchers in Brazil found that although the heart rate increased in patients during heavy bouts of training, their blood pressure and resting heart rate were significantly lower the following morning. As you age, you are also at risk of losing bone mass. This factor increases your chances of suffering bone fractures. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis. Women who had their blood tested after 16 weeks of resistance training showed increased levels of osteocalcin (a marker of bone growth) by 19%. Exercise, in general, is an excellent way to manage stress. You always feel better and sleep better those days that you exercise, right? Research has consistently shown that those who regularly strength train tend to manage stress better and experience fewer adverse reactions to stressful situations compared to those who do not exercise. An added bonus – weightlifting has also recently been discovered to improve memory and cognitive function in older adults. Another benefit of a good workout – better sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep. What’s more, those who exercise may reduce their risk for developing troublesome sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Between the ages of 30 and 50, women are likely to lose 10% of their body’s total muscle. Unfortunately, over time, this muscle is likely to be replaced by fat. And that increases your waist size because one pound of fat takes up 18% more space than one pound of muscle. So – get moving! It’s never too late to start an exercise program that can help combat the fat! By incorporating weight training, you will be helping your body – both inside and out! OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 33

On Mitzvah Day, Rabbi Rachel Joseph, center, joins Beth Israel Social Action Committee Co-Chairs Elizabeth Friedenwald and Rebecca Friedenwald-Fishman, right.

Community collaboration drives Oregon Board of Rabbis Chair Rachel Joseph By Liz Rabiner Lippoff


achel Joseph came on as assistant rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland right out of rabbinical school five years ago. But she already had a clear vision of who she was, what it means to be a rabbi and what kind of rabbi she wanted to be. She was 35 years old – she’d lived a little already. In her 20s, armed with a keen sense of social justice and an Ohio University degree in interpersonal communication, Rachel headed to Washington, D.C., to fight the good fight. She started with the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism and followed up with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. After eight years, she decided that, for her, meaningful work in social justice would need to go hand in hand with service to the Jewish community. She was ready to become a rabbi. She knew a little something about rabbis. Her father, Rabbi Samuel Joseph, is a professor at Hebrew Union College with a Ph.D. in education. He travels the world helping rabbis, boards and staff improve their leadership and teaching skills. Rachel and her mom and sister would sometimes go along, and she watched him in action. Rachel’s love of learning and her absolute dedication to family were solidified during that time. RABBINIC VISION Rachel had a clear view of what kind of rabbi she wanted to be. She wrote a vision statement during her fifth year at Hebrew Union College, and the themes that sang to her then still resonate now as she has risen from neophyte assistant rabbi to respected associate rabbi at the oldest congregation in Oregon. Those


themes are community, connection and social justice. From her grad school vision statement: “My vision is to build strong and vibrant Jewish communities ... through the development of ... deep, meaningful relationships (that create) deep communities of meaning.” “I will help (people) connect on a substantive level ... thus realizing they are not alone but in a community with other people.” “Community and social justice should be the core values of the synagogue, along with the pillars of prayer and study. I want to motivate my own congregants to engage in the work of repairing our broken world through ... partnerships with the greater community in which we live.” Today, the importance of community, connection and social justice are part of her answer to just about any question I asked her about her work. Why is Judaism important in these troubled times? “People (especially today) all feel some anxiety; we don’t know where to turn. We look for the center, that calm in the storm, and nobody should have to do that on their own. A house of worship is the last bastion of hope. People can come to us to find community and comfort, security and strength.” What do you say to young people who have drifted away from their Judaism? “I talk about community, something bigger than you or your family. The Jewish community is a place where you can go, engage in dialogue, find peace and direction, wholeness and purpose. Finding meaning is what people want.”

Much of your activity has been focused on social action. Why is that? “As a minority, as a Jewish lesbian, social justice is incredibly important to me. In our tradition, we are required to leave this world better than we found it. That’s what we’re here to do.” FITTING VISION INTO BETH ISRAEL CBI seems to be the right fit for someone with the three passions – community, connection and social justice – Rabbi Joseph espouses. “In a place like this, where you have people of all ages, all stages, we can have a dramatic impact on our community and on our world,” she says. “I believe that it starts where you are, but (within an inclusive, active community) it blossoms out in ways that we can’t comprehend.” Ilene Davidson chaired the Social Action Committee when Rabbi Joseph started at CBI and has worked with her all five years. “Rabbi Joseph was absolutely instrumental in creating a vibrant social action community, with new membership and meaningful outreach to the community. The focus went from distributing money to actually having people engaged.” Ilene credits Rabbi with the creation of the Hineinu two years ago, an ambitious program designed to do just what Rabbi always envisioned: turn a congregation into an engaged community. “Hineinu” means we are here in Hebrew. “We created affinity groups to target specific interests within our membership,” Ilene explains. “That is important because we didn’t have an organized method of engaging the various constituencies within the congregation. Today there are groups based on age, based on neighborhood, based on family structure.” It culminated this spring with a very successful CBI “Shares Shabbat” with over 300 members hosting or attending Shabbat dinner on a single night. One thriving and particularly satisfying project for Rabbi Joseph at CBI is the relationship they have forged with the residents of the 13-story Northwest Tower, Section 8 affordable housing that dominates the view outside her office window. Every day it reminds her that they are part of a neighborhood, part of a community. Congregants help with food and holiday celebrations but also with tutoring, advocacy, intervention and many other kinds of assistance that the residents might need as they struggle with a myriad of issues. “They are our neighbors,” Rabbi Joseph says. “There are lovely people there, and when horrible things happen – when people get displaced, a kid is about to drop out of school – we’ve built a partnership and a relationship. We can help.” It is clear that both communities – Northwest Tower and CBI – benefit from the Rabbi Sam Joseph holding Rachel as a baby on the bimah in Dayton, OH.

larger community they have created together. Rabbi Joseph also values connecting one on one. “When my husband, Tom (z’l), fell three years ago, she would visit him at home and at the rehab facility,” says Linda Georges. “She challenged his Judaism, his hobbies, his intellect. When he was dying, one of his last requests was to speak with her. She is so very compassionate, actually helping us fill out the forms to clarify his needs and wishes for his end of life ... and then helping me follow his wishes even when they were different from my own.” She is, Linda believes, “always giving to others before herself.” This focus on each individual extends to our youth, as well. Michelle Gradow tells of how wonderful Rabbi Joseph was when their daughter, Mallory, was preparing for her bat mitzvah. “She pushed her,” Michelle says, but in a way that worked. “The kids adore her. She is a wonderful role model for them.” Rabbi Joseph is good at this, CBI member Ilene Davidson believes, because “she has a tremendous sense of justice, of inclusion. And she is fabulous to work with. She’s respectful: you can have an open dialogue with her. She is willing to negotiate but is always true to her values.” BOARD OF RABBIS CHAIR: COLLABORATION These qualities may have contributed to Rabbi Joseph’s newest community assignment. On July 1, she became the chair of the Oregon Board of Rabbis, quite an honor for an associate rabbi. “Our board of rabbis is unique in that we have everybody sitting at the table together – Orthodox, Reconstructionist, everybody. It doesn’t happen in some communities, but here we are very collegial.” She plans to be, as she puts it, “a collaborative leader. I don’t intend to drive the agenda myself but rather work together on what we want to focus on.” Portland, she says, is an interesting place. We distinguish between people who have always lived here and those who have only been here 40 years or so, but Portland is “a menschy community. There is openness, patience and acceptance, and I appreciate that.” Ilene says that goes both ways. “Rabbi Joseph has been wonderful in terms of welcoming everybody into the congregation.” Diversity is a priority. “My philosophy is ‘Big Tent Judaism,’ ” says Rabbi Joseph. “You surround people with love, wrap your arms around all people at all times. It’s about love, kindness, acceptance. All are welcome.” As Rabbi Joseph knew, even in rabbinical school, “I want to foster relationships that lead to connections ... that lead to involvement and ultimately to sacred community where congregants feel comfortable lifting their voices in prayer, diving into exploration of our texts and joining together to pursue justice in our world.” Liz Rabiner Lippoff is a marketing consultant, freelance writer and community volunteer.



Michelle Alany: Bringing people together with music

By Deborah Moon

Classically trained violinist and vocalist Michelle Alany draws on an eclectic background to perform fiddle-driven Sephardic, klezmer, Balkan and Mediterranean soul music. “I consider songs a vehicle for culture and language,” says Michelle, now in her early 30s. She describes her musical focus as “celebrating differences and appreciating similarities. … Music can reach that space more than I ever could with words. If you can open hearts, then you can open minds.” She calls herself “an ambassador and educator of Sephardic, Eastern European and Mediterranean folk music.” When she was 2½, Michelle moved from Santa Cruz, CA, to Bozeman, MT, with her mother, Vivienne R. Rose, and older brothers, Avi and Benjamin. She grew up listening to her mother sing Hebrew, Hungarian and Gypsy folk songs – “She was an encyclopedia of folk songs,” says Michelle. When she was 10, Avi, eight years her senior, bought her klezmer albums, which he encouraged her to play along with on the pawnshop violin he gave her. She didn’t hear Sephardic music, which is now a primary focus of her repertoire, until later. She was largely home-schooled, but after moving to Portland at age 15, she attended Lincoln High School; concert rock violinist Aaron Meyer was an assistant in one of her classes, and she took some private violin lessons from him. She studied jazz and composition at Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz. She moved to Austin, TX, in 2009 to pursue music professionally. She says her father, Ray Alani, initially tried to dissuade her from a career in music but is now one of her biggest fans. Visiting Spain with Avi shortly before graduation, she first heard Sephardic music. Having studied Spanish in high school, 36 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

she found singing the Ladino lyrics “accessible.” Back home she played a tune she had heard while in Spain, and her mother taught her the Hebrew words to the melody. Her second CD features that song, “Los Biblicos.” “I’m being called on more and more to do Sephardic music,” says Michelle. She received a city arts grant to organize a music festival called Sephardic Crossroads in Austin, TX, in 2015 and 2016. The second year the festival was held at Congregation Agudus Achim; she had previously participated in a klezmer event organized by CAA Rabbi Neil Blumofe, who hosts a weekly jazz radio program. She hopes to recreate Sephardic Crossroads in Portland, having moved back in December 2016. While visiting during the High Holidays last fall, she went to services at P’nai Or and then played her violin at a holiday meal. “By the end of November, I had my first official gig in Portland,” she says. She moved to Portland that December to participate in Portland’s “thriving music scene” and to be near family. In Portland her mother recently wrote her first children’s book, The Wild Raccoon and the Cats of Doon, available on; brother Avi and his friend, Chris Ellis, collaborated on a comic book, Serge the Protector; and brother Benji is pursuing his acting career. Avi’s 2-year-old son starts Jewish preschool this fall. “I created a new band when I got to Portland,” says Michelle. “I build a band wherever I go. I do vocals and voice, and I do the arrangements. It’s all DIY.” In Portland that band features jazz, classical and folk musicians, all of whom also perform with other bands. Guitarist Joseph Appel introduced her to the Neveh Shalom community,

where Michelle Alany & The Mystics played for Purim. Michelle and Joseph were joined by Andrew Alikhanov, clarinet; Kathy Fors, accordion; Michael Beach, percussion; Tom “Euge” Goicoechea, drums; Albert McDonnell, upright bass; and Michael Shay, cello guest. This spring she taught songs and performed at the 2017 Festival Djudeo-Espanyol VII, an annual gathering organized by Casa Sefarad in Albuquerque, NM, that explores New Mexico’s Crypto-Jewish history, language and culture. The festival featured a large Return Ceremony to welcome Crypto-Jews back to the Jewish community from which their families were driven into hiding by the Inquisition. Michelle, and a band she built with performers from Santa Fe, sang Sephardic songs for breaks between intense lectures on healing from the Inquisition, Ladino history and culture, and sharing personal journeys. She says it was humbling to play “music in sacred spaces for people craving sounds to integrate their histories.” Michelle says her music has brought her closer to the Jewish community. “I’m drawn to Jewish music,” she says. “It comes from all over the world. Diverse elements come together to create harmony.” “Part of my mission is to bring this music to wider audiences that haven’t heard it,” she says. “But it is also a gift to share with people for whom it resonates … like at the Crypto conference – they had such a hunger for it.” She found her music also resonates in Spain. She built another band for a 2016 tour in Spain. That tour arose out of her friendship with guitarist Scott Stubbe, with whom she had explored klezmer. Scott had gone to Spain on a visit and stayed

two years. Scott’s friends found places for the band to stay and venues for them to play. Michelle and Scott were joined for the tour by Janie Cowan on bass and Shirley Johnson on accordion and vocals. They are all featured on her third CD, Michelle Alany & The Mystics: Down This Road. “We felt we had really found our audience … (our music) hit a deep chord of familiarity,” says Michelle. She returned for another month-long tour in summer 2017, with an additional week spent in Italy.

DISCOGRAPHY 2012 Michelle Alany & The Seasons of Joy “Nefesh” 2016 Michelle Alany y Nefesh Joy Kestra “Alma, Vida y Corazon” 2017 Michelle Alany & The Mystics “Down This Road



Photo by Gil Shani


NOV 16-18 THU-SAT | 8 PM

“Daring and surprising, sinewy and sinuous... thrilling” -London Grip (UK)

Lincoln Hall, PSU

TICKETS starting at $25: OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 37

“Danna Schaeffer's performance is extraordinary, at once tragic, smart, and just flat out entertaining." - Karen Karbo, author of The Stuff of Life



Photo: Owen Carey

October 5-15, 2017

Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm New Expressive Works 810 SE Belmont, Portland, OR 97214 Tickets: 38 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

Portland actress Rebecca Schaeffer’s blooming Hollywood career was cut tragically short by murder. YOU IN MIDAIR is her mother’s show -- intimate, harrowing, sometimes funny and ultimately joyful, it's a story of loss, memory, and hard-won wisdom. A hit at the Fertile Ground Festival, the performance returns for a limited two-week run. Don't miss it.

Mother’s play explores love, loss and carrying on By Cindy Saltzman TWENT Y-EIGHT YEARS AGO, I had a chance encounter with a talented and beautiful young actress, at an ATM in Los Angeles. Rebecca Schaeffer was just 21 years old, and had already starred in a successful sitcom with Pam Dawber, called “My Sister Sam.” I knew she was from Portland, and as we chatted, I told her that my brother had a huge crush on her. We both went through that mental dance of “Hmm, I wonder if she is Jewish” and during the 20-minute

conversation, it came out that we had gone to the same synagogue and Sunday school and knew several people in common. Although I felt that she wanted to continue the conversation, I didn’t want to take up any more of her time. As I walked away, she called out, “Hey, say hello to your brother for me.”  Not long after that chance encounter, Rebecca was murdered. I felt compelled to write a note to her parents, Benson

and Danna Schaeffer. Danna wrote a very heartfelt note in return. The poignancy of that conversation has stayed with me all of these decades later. Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Danna Schaeffer. After our conversation, I realized that the light that was Rebecca Schaeffer shined on everyone she met. And the love of her parents has helped to keep that light shining brightly.  

FAMILIES: Rebecca Schaeffer with her parents, above left, Benson and Danna Schaeffer and with her sitcom family, the cast of My Sister Sam, above right. “You in Midair” has received wonderful reviews. Why did you decide to write the play now? Right after Rebecca was killed, the anguish was so excruciating. You just can’t imagine that your life won’t be ruled by that forever. Now it has been 28 years and that initial anguish is softer, but there is also new pain – like (the idea of ) grandchildren. It is very interesting to miss people you have never known, but we do. There is also my own mortality. I wanted people to hear this story from my point of view.

When did you start working on the play? Two years ago I started writing a memoir about growing up in New York with my parents. At the end of the memoir, I had one “fast forward” chapter that included Rebecca’s story. The person leading the memoir class told me, “It’s the last chapter that is really interesting.” She said I should start over and focus on the last chapter. Later that same summer, I met Ann Randolph, a wonderful performance artist. One day she said, “You have a lot of voices in you that need to OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 39

come out.” She suggested I write a play and do a solo show. She made it seem doable. So from that idea, I began taking acting lessons too. You only began studying acting two years ago? (Laughing) Yes. I’m lucky I had some very good teachers, Michael Mendelson and Chris Harder. And I let it (the story) be very organic. I let come up what needed to come up about the experience of loving Rebecca, and losing Rebecca and then living beyond her. Then I shaped it. I joined PDX Playwrights, which presents staged readings at Portland’s annual Fertile Ground Festival. I also acquired a fabulous director, Julie Akers. I did two performances last January at the festival, and then I decided I needed a fuller production with lights, sound and a set.

are like a three-legged stool.” Benson and I had each other, and even in our worst moments, we would never break apart that threelegged entity. And we were very lucky to have family and friends. We were also lucky to have a fabulous prosecutor, Marcia Clark, and two very committed detectives. The murderer was brought to justice and that made it easier for us to go on.

You seem to look at the big picture of death and mourning and how others are affected. Rebecca looked at the big picture. When she was 4 or 5, REBECCA SCHAEFFER she and Benson were making cookies and they mixed all of the ingredients, and then when they were eating them, she asked, “Daddy, where were the cookies before we mixed the eggs, the flour and the butter and eggs?” She was such an existential person. Then going forward two decades, Did you always plan to act in the a neighbor of Rebecca’s told us that play? she ran outside when she heard the gun shot and heard Rebecca There was never a question of anyone else acting in it but me. say, “Why?” Not “Why me?” which would have been more selfcentered, but “Why?” – she was still seeking to understand the How did you come up with the title? bigger picture. Coming up with the title was agony. I wanted something from Shakespeare, but nothing felt right. The title is from a Stephen Do you feel a responsibility to carry on for Rebecca? Sondheim work. There is definitely an element of carrying on for her. Sometimes I’ve said that I am her ambassador. But it is a two-edged sword, as What do you hope people get out of it? she can’t have fun, so can I have fun on her behalf ? I didn’t intend it to be a teaching exercise. And I wasn’t doing it as a cathartic thing, but it has turned out to be 50% cathartic and When you perform the play, are you removed from it as an 50% re-traumatizing. But mainly I needed to create a piece of art actor, or do you have to prepare yourself emotionally just to get about Rebecca and living with losing her. through it? In the beginning, I remember asking the director, “Is this me up What or who got you through in the beginning and the later on stage or is this me recreating me?" When I am doing it, it can years? be enjoyable, but afterward I feel drained. It is also hard on the You put one foot in front of the other. I was not raised director. She feels terrible asking me to relive what happened each religiously, so I did not have a spiritual framework. time she asks me to approach a line differently. But Benson was a member of Neveh Shalom, and Rebecca had been the president of her youth group at Temple Beth Israel. So Has writing and acting in the play helped the healing process? at her funeral, both Rabbi Joshua Stampfer and Rabbi Emanuel I think having to put things into words in a way that people Rose spoke eloquently about Rebecca. It was held at the chapel at sitting in front of you will understand and feel has helped me with Neveh Shalom’s cemetery, so there was a spiritual framework. the experience of the loss. I also wanted to represent the continuity of family and history Where else did your find support? and the great wheel of suffering. So in the play, I talk about Benson and I having each other. Rebecca’s grandmother arriving in New York in 1924 at the age of The three of us (Rebecca, Benson and Danna) were such a tight 16 as an orphan. And 60 years later, Rebecca arrived in New York triangle. We had just talked to Rebecca the night before she was also at the age of 16 (to pursue a modeling career). killed and our last words to each other were, “I love you.” In the play her grandmother sings a Yiddish song to Rebecca Rebecca used to say, “No matter where we are in the world, we So I sing that and another one. My husband found the songs, and 40 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

coached me on my accent. Benson is very private and perhaps he felt exposed by the play at first. And then some months into it, he told me that he felt that I was doing it for him too. I was very happy about that.


After Rebecca was murdered, you became an activist for gun control. Are you still involved with gun legislation?

I worked so hard on the gun bills. I delivered three yes votes on the Brady Bill. I loved lobbying. I loved Salem and Washington, DC, and all of that. But today, it seems so fruitless. It really does. I read somewhere that Benson said, "Getting involved with the gun control issue helped us to focus our anger."

Benson had plenty of anger. It might have helped him with the anger, but I didn't have anger. From the beginning I decided that I wasn't going to give the murderer any extra energy, because I wanted to save all of my energy to think about Rebecca. And then you would somehow still been connected to him? Yes, it would have been a passionate bond that I didn’t want. What do you feel is Rebecca’s legacy? Some of the impetus for doing this play was to show Rebecca’s depth and caring. She was also ambitious and confident, but that wasn’t the whole person. The truth is, she was cut off too young to finish giving what she had to give. Is there a story about Rebecca that represents who she was at the core? When she was 3, I dropped a glass and crouched down to pick up the shards and cut myself. Rebecca came over to me and put her little arm around my shoulders and said, “Did you hurt yourself ?” with this enormous compassion. She came out that way and I really think that is who she was. What are your plans for the future? I just wrote a 10-minute play and submitted it to PDX Playwrights 10-minute play contest; it has been accepted for the 2018 Fertile Ground Festival. And I want to take this play to the Hollywood Fringe and to a theater in Berkeley. I really want to do a show about aging and its amusement. I may also turn, “You in Midair” into a book. And I do have a mystery that I want to write. I love mysteries.



Landscape (View of Portland, OR), c.1928, by Mark Rothko. Oil on canvas 26" x 22 1/4". Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY.

Jewish Museum goes local for second exhibit

Following its inaugural exhibit featuring an international artist, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education looks closer to home for the second exhibit in its new main exhibit hall. “I AM THIS: Art by Oregon Jewish Artists” presents the work of 13 Jewish artists who have roots in Oregon from Mark Rothko and Hilda Morris to a new generation of Oregon artists. The exhibit runs Oct. 19 through Feb. 4, 2018. Retired Portland Art Museum Curator Bruce Guenther is curating the inaugural year of three exhibits for the main gallery in OJMCHE’s new home at 724 NW Davis St., Portland. Artists featured in “I AM THIS” are: AMY BERNSTEIN (American, born 1980) PAUL GEORGES (American, 1923-2002) SHIRLEY (GEORGES) GITTELSOHN (American, 19252015) DEBORAH HORRELL (American, born 1953) MEL KATZ (American, born 1932) MICHAEL LAZARUS (American, born 1969) FREDERICK LITTMAN (American, born Hungary, 19071979)


DANA LYNN LOUIS (American, born 1963) DAVID CURT MORRIS (American, born 1945) HILDA MORRIS née Hilda Grossman Deutsch Morris (American, 1911-1991) MARK ROTHKO née Marcus Rothkowitz, (American, born Russia, 1903-1970) FLORENCE SALTZMAN (American, 1917-1972) WILDER SCHMALTZ (American, born 1979). A new exhibit in the smaller gallery is entitled “Munich to Portland: A painting saves a family.” A young woman left her apartment in Munich in November 1938. She carried a painting by the German artist Otto Stein and returned without the painting but with the visa that saved her family. OJMCHE presents the extraordinary story of how a team of German journalists launched an improbable search to find the missing artwork. Museum visitors can also tour the museum’s three core exhibits – “Discrimination and Resistance: An Oregon Primer,” “Oregon Jewish Stories” and “The Holocaust: An Oregon Perspective.” Museum hours are 11 am-5 pm, Tuesday-Friday, and noon-5 pm Saturday-Sunday. Admission is $8/adults; $5/students and seniors (62+); free/12 and under. Admission is free on each First Thursday of the month from 5 to 8 pm. For more information, call 503-226-3600 or visit the museum website at


“Caught” combines performance, visual art and news

Artists Repertory Theatre presents “Caught,” a show centered around Chinese dissident artist Lin Bo that combines visual art and live theatre installations. “Caught” is presented in partnership with The Chújú Gallery/SF and The Geezer Gallery, and features dozens of collaborators including playwright Christopher Chen. The production runs Oct. 1 through Oct. 29 on Artists Rep’s newly configured Morrison Stage. Ripped from today’s headlines and breaking the theatrical mold, artist Lin Bo’s work, Qín (Caught), presents a sly philosophical puzzle that investigates the murky intersections of fact and fiction in the crafting of art and news. The show features Lin, a dissident visual, performance and conceptual artist whose piece, Shìwēi (Rally) led to his arrest and two-year detention by the Chinese government in 2012. After his release, Lin moved to San Francisco and launched a traveling exhibition of his work to Vancouver, BC; Tacoma; Portland; Las Vegas; and Minneapolis. In each city, Lin is partnering with theater companies rather than traditional gallery spaces; in Portland, Artists Rep is hosting the exhibit. The Artists Rep exhibition includes his current work, as well as a new theatrical piece, “Qín” (“Caught”), a lively exploration of the American obsession with story and narrative as markers for authenticity. Lin will be introducing the work at each performance, and discussing his harrowing experiences in detention under the Chinese authorities. Recently profiled by The New Yorker Magazine, he is writing a book about his journey as a dissident artist in an authoritarian culture, which will be published following this tour. In Portland, Lin is collaborating with artists: playwright Christopher Chen, Dmae Roberts, Chris Harder, Sara Hennessy, Greg Watanabe, Horatio Law, Megan Wilkerson, Sarah Gahagan, Jennifer Lin, Rodolfo Ortega, Luan Schooler, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Samson Syharath and Shawn Lee to recreate this piece for Portland viewers. “ ‘Caught’ unfolds with a unique theatrical style like nothing I have ever seen,” said Shawn Lee, ‘Caught’ director at the play’s first rehearsal. “Our interactive rollercoaster of a production is part theater, part art installation, and is sure to keep audiences questioning everything they are seeing.  Whatever preconceived ideas we have about what theater is and should be, Christopher Chen’s piece is sure to shake them up. Prepare to be surprised.” The static elements of Lin Bo’s work may be viewed throughout October in the Morrison Lobby at Artists Rep, Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 pm. The visual art exhibit will open one hour prior to the show – early arrival is suggested. An audio tour of the exhibit, narrated by ART Resident Artist Susannah Mars, will be available for download.


OCT 1 - OCT 29


1515 SW Morrison St.


WHAT: “Caught,” by Christopher Chen; directed by Shawn Lee WHEN: Oct. 1-29 WHERE: Artists Repertory Theatre, Morrison Stage, 1515 SW Morrison St., Portland TICKETS: $50 regular price; $25 preview/student/ under 25; 503-241-1278 or EXHIBIT: Lobby installation open Tuesday-Sunday, noon-6 pm through Oct. 29.


Author to explore post-war Jewish America

Edward Hershey will speak about “Post-War Jewish-America: Hiding in Plain Sight” at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center Oct. 19. The 6 pm talk is based on his memoir, The Scorekeeper. He will reflect on the lofty aspiration and sobering reality of Jewish-American life in the 1950s and ’60s New York neighborhood. The program is designed to give context to a bygone era that shaped future generations. Edward will read passages and share recollections that range from humorous to sobering. One such passage notes: “The city may have been diverse as a whole, but it was less a melting pot than a collection of ethnic neighborhoods, and few were more homogenous than those housing the two million Jews who comprised a quarter of its populace in 1950 (before many started Edward Hershey migrating to Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey to form suburban Jewish enclaves). This Jewish-American circumspection about how – and where – to live reflected a perceived need to stick together for support and even protection.” He goes on to reflect on how anti-Semitism gave rise to community unity and the Jewish humor of the Borscht Belt: “Banding together was one way to counter – or at least circumvent – the limitations and indignities of bias in employment, housing, education and social access. ‘They would not let us in so we bought the place’ became a laugh line in the Catskill Mountains ‘Borscht Belt’ and on the Miami Beach ‘Gold Coast’ where Jewish resorts emerged in areas previously ‘restricted’ to gentiles.” Edward and his wife, Leah, now reside in the Mount Tabor section of Portland. A former sportswriter, reporter, elected official, university administrator, theater president and basketball announcer, Edward now operates the communications firm Edward Hershey & Associates. Leah is retired from Portland State University and has turned a prior vocation – weaving – into an avid avocation in her studio, Jersey Girl. “I have been heartened by the response to The Scorekeeper,

which is on sale here in Portland at Broadway Books and Annie Bloom’s Books,” says Edward. Responses include Author Gabrielle Glaser’s comment, “So maybe Edward Hershey couldn't hit a baseball, but The Scorekeeper is a home run from start to finish.” Author George Haber calls The Scorekeeper, “a fast-moving, colorful, well-written narrative that will resonate with sports fans, Brooklynites, anyone who's been to high school or college, and all those readers who enjoy a compelling story by an extraordinary storyteller.” The MJCC talk should inform some, evoke nostalgia in others and delight all who are proud of their Jewish-American heritage. Tickets are $5 at arts-culture/arts-culture-events/edward-hershey. The cost can be applied to the purchase of a book that evening.



Ruth Messinger visits Cambodia on a study tour.

Messinger recounts women’s power By Jenn Director Knudsen

A lifelong social-justice advocate and activist, Ruth Messinger 20 years ago rose above a defeat to effect great social change. Ever since, she’s helped women all over the globe do the same. Hoping to become the first female mayor of New York City, Messinger ran in 1997 for the post against Rudy Giuliani. She lost that bid. Just one year later, she became president of American Jewish World Service, a position she held until 2016. The nonprofit’s mission includes fulfilling Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice by helping to alleviate poverty and realize human rights in the developing world. Under her watch, AJWS helped grant nearly $270 million to support grassroots social change organizations, launched campaigns to end the Darfur genocide, fought the epidemics of violence against women and LGBTQ people, and much more. Messinger’s AJWS work has earned her numerous accolades, including being named one of the world’s 10 most inspiring women religious leaders, by The Huffington Post; appearing sixth on a list of most influential Jews in the world, by The Jerusalem Post; and remaining for nearly a decade on The Forward newspaper’s Forward 50 list. And last year, she became AJWS’ inaugural global ambassador. 44 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

In that role, Messinger, 76, engages rabbis and interfaith leaders worldwide to speak out and work for the oppressed and persecuted and promote human rights around the world, including here at home. In May, she came to Portland for a whirlwind 36 hours to speak at Portland State University and at Congregation Neveh Shalom. At the latter, the week before Mother’s Day, she discussed the foreword she wrote for the then-newly released book, Pirkei Imahot: The Wisdom of Mothers, The Voices of Women, and her work primarily with and for women on their journey to find their own voices. She sat for an interview in her hotel’s lobby between speaking engagements, responding to questions while occasionally interrupted by cell phone calls from family. She has three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Messinger wears gray curls reaching just beneath her chin, reading glasses when necessary, and, on that day in May, a silver hamza pendant and a rubber bracelet that implores, “Stop Genocide.” Women, Messinger says, consistently demonstrate they’re more inclusive, flexible and effective organizers for social change than men. She believes these characteristics are inherent to women and result from women’s overly long track record of being marginal-

Rabbi Joey Wolf, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Havurah Shalom, shares stories of family, travel and social-justice work with his old friend, Ruth Messinger, in her hotel lobby hours before her evening remarks at CNS.

ized and oppressed by men, victims of violence at men’s hands and even consistently paid less than men for equal work. “Why would I not say, ‘Let’s take a risk for change, to make our lives – everyone’s life – better?’ ” she asks rhetorically. Messinger tells the story of Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Having lived through her country’s back-to-back civil wars, Gbowee (pronounced BO-wee) helped put an end to the violence in 2003. As leader of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, she organized thousands of Muslim and Christian women to engage in sit-ins, peaceful protests and even a sex strike. It worked, Messinger says, eyebrows raised. Today, Gbowee is head of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, co-founder and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa, and founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa – which AJWS currently funds. “I see this all over,” Messinger says of women taking the lead and getting results, often against all odds. “Women often are victims of oppression, and they are gutsy as hell and feel they have nothing to lose.” She continues, “Women leaders are not as celebrated as they should be.” For example, she says, “school kids can name more male than female astronauts.” Messinger says just as women at the helm often go unknown, women in Jewish texts are equally anonymous. Take “Pirke Avot,” the 2nd century C.E. compilation of what Messinger calls “nuggets of Jewish wisdom.” She’s been a student of the work, often translated as Ethics of the Fathers, and a self-described “fan.” Yet, the text was written entirely by men. “Women had been shut out,” she says. So when co-author Lois Sussman Shenker approached Messinger to write the foreword to her and Rabbi Eve Posen’s then-forthcoming book, Messinger got on board. She contends Portlanders Shenker and Posen created an unusual work with universal appeal: “They invited women in,” she explains of the structure and content of Pirkei Imahot. “Your own (women’s) wisdom is at least as important as everything in ‘Pirke Avot.’ ” The evening of the book launch, Messinger spoke to a packed crowd at Neveh Shalom about her work at AJWS and why she agreed to write the book’s foreword. “Pirkei Imahot brought women’s teachings quite literally from the margins,” she said, calling the book “a true living text; it is its own Torah.”

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MANAGE THAT MITZVAH The key to any successful event is planning and organization and this is particularly the case for a bar/ bat mitzvah. Having a schedule to assist with this planning can help keep your simcha on time, within budget and avoid forgetting any important steps. Use the following timetable as a guide, adjusting and adding other items as you see necessary.

18 MONTHS – 2 YEARS BEFORE EVENT Secure the date with temple/synagogue Start thinking of the type of celebration you want to have Set a budget 12 - 18 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT Prepare a preliminary guest list Meet with a party planner  ook venue, caterer, DJ, photographer, videographer and any other B entertainment Choose theme and/or color scheme  iscuss with your child their mitzvah project and schedule time to D achieve their project goals



Send out save-the-date cards (if desired) Book hotel rooms for out-of-town guests Decide on centerpieces, balloon designs/prop designs 6 – 9 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT

 utoring begins for Torah portion; check with synagogue T on schedule and timeline for meetings with rabbi and cantor  reate guest lists for various weekend events C (if applicable) 6 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT

Order invitations and thank-you notes Finalize guest list Set up spreadsheet to track RSVP’s and gifts Order sign-in board


 reate welcome bags/baskets C for out-of-town guests; include schedule and directions Coordinate transportation for out-of-town guests Reconfirm all services (photographers, entertainers, etc.) Connect with DJ with music requests Develop a seating plan Schedule rehearsal time with the temple/synagogue Write toasts and speeches  ake sure all centerpieces, sign-in board, giveaways M and other decorations are ready Place announcement in synagogue bulletin 1 WEEK BEFORE EVENT

Confirm final guest count, set-up instructions and menu items with caterer Adjust seating plan

 tart working on décor (room layout, S centerpieces, lighting, etc.)

Drop-off/make arrangements for decorations to arrive at the venue


Finalize menu and decor

Take formal pictures

Start clothes shopping

Provide final payments or make arrangements with vendors

 rder kippot for religious O services  rder imprinted personalized O accessories and giveaways/party favors Mail out-of-town invitations 2 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT

Mail invitations  reate candle-lighting ceremony, C determine who to honor  oordinate the entertainers and C caterers, create a timeline for the day of the event


 ake sure you and your child have M a good breakfast  eave yourself plenty of time to get L ready  emember to bring kippot, tallit, aliyah list, Torah R study note, handouts, speeches, matches/lighter and any other personal items to the service Praise the bar/bat mitzvah throughout the day for their excellent job and incredible effort Relax and enjoy the day!!!




Former foster child’s mitzvah pays it forward By Deborah Moon


iaran lived with seven different families during her first six years of life. When she was in kindergarten, Valerie Tobin and Rodrigo Diaz became her foster parents and a year and a half later her adoptive parents. Now Kiaran Diaz-Tobin has dim memories of frequent moves and feeling adrift. So when she was considering a mitzvah project for her bat mitzvah at Congregation Shir Tikvah last October, the concept of second chances in her Torah portion resonated strongly. The parsha reflects on Moses asking God to forgive the Israelites for worshipping a golden calf and to give them a second chance. While Kiaran says foster kids don’t need forgiveness, they definitely need a second chance. For her mitzvah project, Kiaran wanted to support young children entering the foster care system for the first time. Sometimes children are picked up at school and spend hours in a


social worker’s office until a foster placement can be made. Kiaran knew a box of snacks, activities, comfort objects and positive messages would be a welcome gift. Her congregation agreed with her and backed her project with both financial and volunteer support. Students in Shir Tikvah’s Nashira Project (education program) bring tzedakah money to each class. Once a year the students vote on which one charity or project should receive the funds. Kiaran presented a grant proposal to her schoolmates, who voted to contribute last year’s tzedakah to create the welcome boxes for distribution through Embrace Oregon, a volunteer group that connects caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services. The funding was used to purchase items for 50 welcome boxes. Then Shir Tikvah members stepped forward en masse. Families gathered one afternoon and packed and decorated the 50 boxes.

Many also brought children’s books to add to the boxes. Young children created colorful drawings, and older members wrote supportive messages to the foster kids. In her D’var Torah, Kiaran described the project this way: “My mitzvah project was called Boxes of Love. I organized an event that was held here at Shir Tikvah. With the help of the community, we packed 50 boxes that contained coloring books, school supplies, flashlights, toys, snacks and books for children who were going into a foster for the first time. Inside each box people wrote encouraging messages such as “Stay strong!” and “ You are loved,” and we drew colorful pictures on the top of each box. The reason I chose this project is because I was a foster kid, so I know what it feels like to switch to different homes and different people. I thought it would be cool to give to someone who didn’t have a lot to begin with, and receiving a box would make that child happy, feel grateful and know that somebody cares about them. I feel like I got a second chance in life without doing anything wrong. By sending Boxes of Love to the kids, I hope that each one of them feels like they, too, can have a second chance.” “Kiaran’s mitzvah project inspired us all,” says Katie Schneider, Shir Tikvah’s education director. “It isn’t very often that a student has such a personal story to tell. Many of our congregants were so quick to offer what help they could.” Kiaran says, “I was amazed. It was a bigger turnout than I expected. It makes me feel happy.” Kiaran’s mom says she hopes more people in the Jewish community will reach out to help, foster or adopt children. “A lot of people involved in foster care are in the Christian community, so I thought it was very cool to have this Jewish involvement.” “Things are pretty chaotic in foster care,” says Valerie. “I hope this inspires other Oregonians to help children in foster care. An average of 7,600 kids were in foster care on a daily basis in 2016 in Oregon.” Valerie and Rodrigo went through Boys and Girls Aid, the oldest adoption agency in Oregon, to foster and then adopt Kiaran. After the adoption was finalized and Kiaran settled into the family, Valerie says they decided to commute from their east Portland home to Portland Jewish Academy for a year to give Kiaran a warm introduction to Judaism. Kiaran attended third grade at PJA, where she learned a lot of Hebrew and Jewish traditions, so she was ready to immerse herself in Shir Tikvah’s Nashira Program. She spends three weeks each summer at Camp Miriam, a Jewish resident camp in British Columbia. This fall the family moved to the Chicago area, where Valerie is enrolled in a Ph.D. program in nursing at Rush University. But Kiaran plans to return to the Pacific Northwest for camp every summer, and the family plans to stay in touch with their Shir Tikvah friends.


Support for foster children: Foster and adoptive services: Oregon’s Child Welfare Data for 2016: Documents/2016-cw-data-book.pdf OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 49



Pacific NW Bar Mitzvah Vibe By Debra Rich Gettleman


have to say, there are some cool things about living in Seattle. It doesn’t ever reach 120 degrees, the greenery is amazing and nobody cares what you wear, how fancy your car is or what label is on your newest handbag. That said, bar mitzvah planning is a totally different animal here. We’ve never been the “keep up with the Joneses” kind of folks. But I was raised on Chicago’s North Shore, and my ingrained vision of a bar mitzvah involves printed invites, professional photographs and a splashy sweets table complete with personalized candy bars and a Ghirardelli dark-chocolate fountain. We loved every aspect of our older son Levi’s bar mitzvah in Arizona. It was all about him: unique, creative, culinary. The meaning of the affair was deep and important. Our families were together – along with many of our nearest and dearest – and the service was led by rabbis we considered family and a cantor who had watched Levi grow up from two houses away. Being in a new place, not knowing anyone and being members of a synagogue where we don’t have the comfort of clergy connections developed over decades makes this a challenging time for us. However, I distinctly remember the advice I got from my dear friend, Rabbi Mari Chernow, the senior rabbi at Temple Chai in Phoenix, about four years ago when Levi was becoming a bar mitzvah. She encouraged me to make sure the bar mitzvah process and the event itself celebrated Levi. It isn’t about what parents want or the accoutrements. It’s about families appreciating the process of watching a son or daughter step into this new stage of maturity and adulthood. She said to include the child in the planning and to focus on the personal and relevant message in your child’s Torah portion. So with less than five months for planning, I reached out to our new temple with the absurd request for a spring date for my comic-book-obsessed son, Eli. Somehow, they arranged it. It


was on Purim, March 11. They assigned Eli’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, which involves a beautifully detailed description of the priestly garments, the colors of the Kohen Gadol’s efod (or apron) and the specific stones in the breastplates. Eli worked hard to understand his parsha and to master the skills necessary to fulfill this awesome mitzvah. I kept thinking about Rabbi Chernow’s advice to share a meaningful and relevant lesson with my son. I read about the intricate details of clergy garb countless times, but meaningful conclusions seemed elusive. Then, suddenly, it all made perfect sense to me, and I wrote the following, which I read on the bimah on March 11: Eli, your Torah portion is in part about costumes and how G-d sometimes gives specific directions to people about how to dress and how what they wear is an important component of spiritual, psychic and metaphysical power. G-d details every aspect of priestly garb, even mentioning the “urim and thummim” – the stones in the priests’ breastplates that gave them supernatural powers to make the right decisions and remain true to their spiritual mission. We are a family a little obsessed with costumes and special items that give powers. Our obsession is mostly due to your unwavering allegiance to your comic book heroes. Most people don’t know that we have actually seen every superhero movie, both Marvel and DC, and have watched every season of “The Flash,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Supergirl,” “The Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” But these stories about people who wear costumes and who are endowed with extraordinary powers to save the world give hope. Hope that heroes are still out there and that they might be living next door to us or even under our very own roof. But maybe we just can’t see them for all that they are. Eli, you are a superhero. And even though your costume of orange and black basketball shorts and a red and yellow Flash hoodie might seem odd or

ill-matched to us, you stand up for your own style. You always claim pride in your unique perspective and original take on the world. So Eli, today on your bar mitzvah, we wish for you: • Strength – To always know and trust who you are. • Knowledge – That you don’t need a cape or a hoodie to claim your amazing power and individuality. • Passion – To guide your heart through the winding and sometimes scary passages of life. • Trust – That we – your family, your friends and your Jewish community – are your Justice League and that we will always be there, always believe in you and always have your back. “With great power comes great responsibility,” says Spiderman’s Uncle Ben. Always own the power within. It was a simple, small celebration with only our families from Arizona, California, Chicago and Kansas City. Eli doesn’t like crowds anyway. He wanted an intimate event. We sponsored a community oneg at the temple after the service, and we all headed out to a microbrewery Saturday night to honor Eli and enjoy time together. Oh, and since it was Purim, Eli talked us into having a superhero Purim celebration at the brewery. Yes, we all went in costume. Levi created a twitter version of the megillah. We let Eli select our costumes. My husband, Eli’s father Mark, went as The Joker, and I was his beloved Harley Quinn. Oy, the things we do for our children!

DEBRA RICH GETTLEMAN Debra Rich Gettleman is a mother, blogger, actor and playwright who recently moved from Arizona to Washington state. For more of her work, visit

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BAT MITZVAH DESERVES SPECIAL CAKE Story and photos by Lisa Glickman

When I became engaged, I made the decision to convert to Judaism. I attended weekly meetings with our rabbi for several months, leading up to my conversion ceremony when I officially became a Jew. However, it wasn’t until a trip to Israel a year later that I made the decision to become a b’nai mitzvah. My father-in-law was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Israel during the summer of 1995. The whole family joined him to celebrate, and we spent several days in and around Jerusalem, exploring and learning about this amazing place. A friend from Portland asked us to look up her friend, who owned a gallery in the Old City. He was thrilled to meet us and insisted we join him on a short walk to share one of his favorite places – the rooftop of an old apartment building that directly overlooked the Western Wall. He told us of his life in Israel and how important it was to him to be Jewish. He told us how both of his children, a boy and a girl, had spent time in the military to defend their homeland, just as he had in his youth. My sister-in-law, Jennifer, and I were so moved that we both decided we would do more to embrace our Jewishness. We agreed that together we would become b’nai mitzvah (children of the commandments). We 52 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

participated in a b’nai mitzvah celebration with people of both genders (bar-son and bat-daughter of the commandments) called up for an aliyah. Jennifer and I were far past the age of 13, but we studied Torah weekly for months to prepare. We learned Hebrew letters one by one using flashcards and studying text to prepare for our turn on the bimah. As a group of about 15, we took turns reading from the Torah, our shaking hand carefully holding the yad with Cantor Judith Schiff and Rabbi Emanuel Rose standing close by in support. It was a special day for Jennifer and me, and we celebrated afterward with a family meal and a toast to the two of us for our hard work and study. It was an experience and an accomplishment that we both will never forget. The bat, bar or b’nai mitzvah is typically celebrated with a party where all of their favorite foods are served. This coconut cake would have to be one of my all-time favorite desserts! The buttermilk adds the perfect tangy flavor to the rich, sweet and chewy coconut. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature – it makes all the difference.


Nonstick vegetable oil spray 2 cups all purpose flour 1⅓ cups (loosely packed) sweetened flaked coconut 1 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 5 large egg yolks 4 large egg whites, room temperature ¼ teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

3⅓ cups powdered sugar 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup (about) sweetened flaked coconut 1 package white chocolate chips, melted for decoration Star of David chocolate mold (can be found at good cake decorating store)

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with nonstick spray and line bottom of pans with parchment paper rounds. Mix flour and coconut in a medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large

bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat to blend. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, beating just to blend after each addition. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and ¼ teaspoon salt in another large bowl until peaks form. Add a third of egg white mixture to batter; fold into batter just to blend. Fold in remaining egg white mixture in two additions. Divide batter between pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around sides of cake pans. Invert cakes onto racks. Carefully peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely. For the frosting: Use electric mixer to beat sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Place one cake layer, flat side up, on plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Place second layer, flat side down, atop frosting. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle some coconut over top of cake; pat more coconut on sides of cake. Decorate with white chocolate stars. (Can be made up to two days in advance; cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let cake come up to room temperature before serving.) Lisa Glickman is a private chef and teacher who lives in Portland. She has made TV appearances on COTV in Central Oregon and appeared on the Cooking Channel’s “The Perfect Three.” She can be reached at

M�el Tov!


4 0 9 S W 1 1 T H AV E P O R T L A N D | 5 0 3 . 2 2 4 . 3 2 9 3 | M A R K S P E N C E R . C O M OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 53



Bar mitzvahs as an opportunity for family healing By Dr. Judith Davis


ur child’s bar/bat mitzvah can work therapeutically in many different but complementary ways. Most basically, it works by providing us with a familiar format: a safe, protected structure for making and marking transitions. It makes our journeys public and positive. And it makes us cry. We cry with love and pride as our child soars, and we cry for all of the losses that come with that achievement. Our tears are as traditional as the Torah. And in that moment, surrounded by those who love

us, our tears are healing. Whether an ailing grandparent is there in a wheelchair or there only in our words and in our prayers, our sorrow will be understood and shared by all. The people we have brought together for the bar/bat mitzvah ritual become our community, amplifying our happiness and cushioning our grief. This is what communities have done throughout the ages. This is what communities – and rituals – are for. The bar/bat mitzvah ritual also has potential for healing in the way it works symbolically to mark boundaries and make connections. Yes, the bar/bat mitzvah is the child’s proclamation of growing maturity and eventual independence, but it is a proclamation being made in the embrace of the family and in the center of its tradition. It is a proclamation of increasing distance, yet paradoxically also one of connection and continuity. “Yes,” the child is saying, “I am growing up and away (and you can’t tell me what to do), but I will always be connected to my family, its culture and its tradition.” In this ceremonial performance, the ties between the generation that came before us and the one that follows us are strengthened. Through the bar/bat mitzvah, the child enters the pivotal teenage years not only with an act of accomplishment that


enhances his or her sense of pride and self-confidence, but with an expression of both separation and connection that is developmentally perfect. It is perfect because it represents exactly the shifting boundaries between closeness and distance that emerging adolescents need to be working on as they evolve their self-stories, their ideas about themselves as young people “getting ready” to become adults. And given that their stories and their parents’ stories are so interwoven, the bar/bat mitzvah’s capacity to help with these shifting stories is developmentally perfect for us too. Just as the experience helps our children develop confidence in themselves, it helps us have confidence in them – and in our own ability to know how much to hold on and how much to let go – not only as parents, but as partners and as children ourselves. In a highly charged and dramatic way, the bar/bat mitzvah is a kind of story – a story that the family enacts about the child’s growing up. It is in this enactment that the child – the central character – gets to portray his or her unique version of the evolution, and the parents and grandparents – the other members of the cast – get to enact their versions of support. The invited family and friends, who have gathered as audience, witness and celebrate the enacted changes. The bar/bat mitzvah works to promote growth and healing in yet another way as well. This “work” is much more prosaic, almost accidental, and generally unnoticed. It happens during the planning period, the months before the event when we are immersed in the nitty-gritty decisions about whom to invite, where to house them, what to feed them, where to seat them, what kind of party to have, what kind of music to play, etc. These pragmatic decisions are, of course, about managing the size, shape, and feel of the event, but they are also about much more than that. Whether we consciously notice their potential or not, these decisions and the manner in which we make them often turn out to be opportunities for evolving new ways of relating to each other – new ways that our new life stages demand. For instance, how we negotiate whose names will be on the invitation when there has been a remarriage can help estranged parents reach a new level of compromise and understanding. Such a shift could begin changing old patterns that have kept our child painfully choosing between us for years. Allowing the bat mitzvah girl to wear the party dress we’d thought too grown-up could be an important message acknowledging her increasing maturity and our acceptance of it. Our choice to house both sides of the family in the same hotel, despite the still painful misunderstanding at the last family gathering, becomes an opportunity for reconciliation that would have been impossible with continued distance. At the very least, it is a message about our expectations that such movement is possible. Our decision to invite Aunt Rosie, who’s been cut off from the family since Uncle Ben died, could begin healing wounds throughout that generation, many of which we aren’t even aware of. Our decisions about everything, from prayers to parties, guest lists to thank-you notes, are really decisions about relationships. They are the therapeutic opportunities hidden in the ritual’s details, the “work” that occurs as we outgrow old roles and take on new ones. The above article was excerpted from Whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This, Anyway? A Guide for Parents Through A Family Rite of Passage, by Judith Davis, Ed.D.

ask helen Focus bar/bat mitzvah on relationship with Judaism, not party Dear Helen: Our daughter, raised in a non-religious home, married a great guy who is a holiday-only-observant Jew. Our daughter wants her two daughters raised in a Jewish tradition. They are going through a difficult financial patch at the moment, but my daughter is determined to give her daughters a grand bat mitzvah celebration, even if it means going further into debt and (this part is all my fears) jeopardizing their ability to go to college. This strikes me as misplaced enthusiasm, and I told her so. She claims that a big bat mitzvah is more important than a college education. I believe a good education is most important and that long after the bat mitzvahs have been forgotten their education will stand them in good stead. Am I wrong? Appalled Dear Appalled: You’re not only not wrong, you’re right in a big way. Appreciate that I am the child of immigrants and grew up on the mantra of “Get a good education so you’ll always have a good job.” While people love parties, and many people use bar/bat mitzvahs as social payback or demonstrations of public standing (real or aspired to), that’s not what it’s all about. Becoming a bar/ bat mitzvah is supposed to be the entry into adulthood, albeit early, within the Jewish community. The emphasis should be on recalibrating one’s relationship with the Judaism and defining, claiming and understanding the role of Judaism in one’s life. Although you may wish to control your daughter, you can’t – a horrible lesson of adulthood. But you can decide what you will and will not do based on your values, and you can refuse to be bullied into subsidizing what you do not agree with. Tell your daughter and granddaughters that your visible bat mitzvah gift will be small, but that you’ve also started a college fund, available later and only for that purpose, to which you’ll add on at this and successive major occasions. Your foresight may not be appreciated, but it’s the right thing to do.


A resident of Eugene since 1981, Helen is a member of Temple Beth Israel, where she studies and speaks on Torah. She claims to have black belts in schmoozing, problem-solving and chutzpah. She’s a writer and an artist ( Please email your questions to and subscribe to the blog at

A Nosh of Jewish Wisdom: Perform good deeds. You will not regret them. - Moroccan Jewish saying


Taleism • Yarmulkas/Kippahs Candlesticks • Tefillin Kiddush Cups • Cards & Gifts 6684 SW CAPITOL HWY PORTLAND 503.246.5437 INFO@EVERYTHINGJEWISH.BIZ

SUN 11-3 MON-THURS 10-6 FRI 10-1

Portland Bar/Bat Mitzvah Headquarters! OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 55


Store and Information Center. Not just a retail store, Everything Jewish is Portland’s Jewish resource and welcome center. With an onsite rabbi available to answer questions and discuss Jewish perspectives, people are welcome to come and browse as an opportunity to learn more about Judaism and Judaic items.

KORNBLATT’S NEW YORK STYLE DELICATESSEN 628 NW 23rd Ave. Portland, OR 503-242-0055

Kornblatt’s has fresh deli meats and fish flown in from the east coast every week. We offer catering with a variety of platters such as the NY Experience sandwich platter and the Long Island Sound platter with a selection of smoked fish on greens with red onions, tomatoes and capers.

MARK SPENCER HOTEL 409 SW 11th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 503-224-3293

The Mark Spencer’s desirable downtown location on the streetcar line can accommodate up to 200 guests in the new Nortonia Ballroom. Catering is provided by the hotel’s preferred caterer, though offsite catering is permitted for a fee. You also can arrange a block of guest rooms for out-of-town guests.

MITTLEMAN JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER 6651 SW Capitol Hwy. Portland, OR 97219 503-244-0111

“The living room of the Jewish community” is a popular venue for bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. From services to pool parties and dance parties, the MJCC provides a versatile space, catering and access to everything necessary to create an amazingly memorable experience for your bar/bat mitzvah. 56 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

OPAL 28 510 NE 28th Ave. Portland, OR 97232 971-544-7324

Opal 28 is an intimate space, an extension of your living room with an elegant, vintage ambiance. The 2,600-square-foot space includes two great rooms, a built-in bar and private patio. Flexible in-house catering, vacation rentals, decor and full bar available for your next big event!


Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education offers a special setting for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs with rental of OJMCHE’s auditorium or rental of the entire museum. Rentals include use of the catering kitchen, audio visual equipment, as well as tables and chairs. Rental information is available at

PORTLAND SPIRIT CRUISES AND EVENTS 110 SE Caruthers Portland, OR 97214 503-224-3900 800-224-3901

Portland Spirit vessels are a uniquely impressive venue to celebrate a bar/bat mitzvah. We can host from 1 to 400 guests. All our vessels have an onboard galley with an executive chef who sources local NW cuisine. We have a variety of menu options to choose from.

Oregonians bring home gold from Maccabiah Games By Deborah Moon


t least four Oregon teens picked up gold medals at the 20th Maccabiah Games held in Israel this July. Portland teen Maya Rayle won a gold medal and two silver medals as a member of the U.S. Junior Track Team. Portlanders Claire Rosenfeld and Kaisa Autumn competed as members of the U.S. Junior Lacrosse Team that won gold. Beaverton High School player Isaac Rosenthal was on the goldmedal-winning U.S. Boys Basketball Team. Billed as the third largest sporting event in the world, the Maccabiah Games take place in Israel every four years. The United States took more than 1,100 athletes to Israel to be part of an event in which 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries participate in 43 different sports. Within the Maccabiah Games, there are four separate competitions: Open, Juniors, Masters and Paralympics. Juniors games are open to qualifying athletes ages 15-18. Maya, a 17-year-old senior at Catlin Gabel, is the daughter of Ruth Berkowitz and Tim Rayle. Maya’s uncles, Ethan and

Portlander Maya Rayle shows off her gold medal won in the 800-meter race at the 20th Maccabiah in Israel this summer. On her left is Noa Yaish from Israel with the silver medal; on her right is American teammate, Rylee Pustilnik, with the bronze.

Zach Berkowitz, won a bronze medal in sailing at the 1981 Maccabiah Games. “They made good contacts and encouraged me to go,” says Maya. “It was cool to meet people from 80 countries. It blew my mind – so many Jewish people from nearly every country.” Maya has competed in track and cross country in high school. Last year, she won 3A state titles in 800 meters and 3 kilometers, “but I’ve never been in a meet like this before,” she says. Claire is the daughter of Eric and Tiffany Rosenfeld, both native Portlanders who grew up attending Congregation Beth Israel, where Claire recently completed 16 years of Jewish education. During all four years of high school, she was a OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 57

The Maccabiah Gold Medal Junior Lacrosse Team includes Oregonians Claire Rosenfeld (front row second from left, #10) and Kaisa Autumn (front row, far right, pink headband).

member of the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation, and she played lacrosse for Lincoln High School. “With just graduating high school, playing in the Maccabiah Games seemed like a unique way to travel to Israel and spend my last summer before college doing something meaningful and exciting,” says Claire, a Portland native who graduated from Catlin Gabel. “I had never seen so many Jewish people in one place! The way the games were organized and structured was flawless, and I commend Maccabi USA and the larger Maccabiah organization for doing such a seamless job of planning the athlete experience.” Kaisa will be a senior at Wilson High School this fall. The U.S. Junior Lacrosse Team won going away, beating Great Britain 19 to 2. Both U.S. boys basketball teams won


gold. The team in the 15-16 age group beat Argentina 53 to 33. The 17-18 team beat Israel 92 to 80. The track competition took place in the early evening to avoid the desert heat. On July 13, on the third day of racing, Maya dominated the 800-meter race, winning a gold medal with a time of 2.19.28 (2 minutes and 19.28 seconds). The previous evening Maya snagged a silver medal, running her personal best in the 1500-meter race, clocking in at 4.39.04, finishing second to another American, Abigail Goldstein from Pennsylvania (4.34.88). The American junior team swept the podium in the 3000-meter race. Abigail won the gold in 10.09.26, Maya the silver and Rylee Pustilnik from Florida the bronze. The July 6 Opening Ceremonies celebrated with a parade of nations similar to the Olympics. It featured athletes from 80 countries, including Macedonia, Kazakhstan and Gibraltar, entering Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium. Open to Jewish athletes from around the world, the Maccabiah Games also allow all Israeli athletes, including Arab-Israelis, to compete. The games began in 1932, when many Jewish athletes were prohibited from competing in international sporting events. The Maccabiah Games are intended not only to encourage athletic excellence, but also to foster a sense of Jewish belonging and pride among the participants. Ruth says the games enhanced her daughter’s sense of connection to Judaism. “Maya has had limited Jewish experience. But she felt incredibly moved and connected when her grandmother took her on a tour of Belgium, including a small synagogue near Breda where my great-grandfather was a rabbi and refused to leave his congregation. Tragically, the Nazis got him and many other relatives.” Maya agrees being in Israel for three weeks with her parents and participating in the games has made her feel more connected. She says she was surprised that so much of the country shuts down on Saturdays for Shabbat. She was also surprised by the status of women in Israel: “Being at the Western Wall and seeing so clearly the divide within the Jewish community. … I talked to a woman there who said things are so equal in the Israeli Army, but in so many other parts of society, women can’t do as much.” Claire says the highlight of the experience for her was the training camp. “For the first week of our Maccabiah trip, we stayed in Ramat Gan, training in the mornings and touring in the afternoons,” she says. “The days were long – we’d wake up at 6 am and get back from touring after 10 pm – but exciting. I loved the lifestyle of waking up with the team early to train, then quickly changing gears, hopping on a tour bus, and visiting a local historic site or landmark. “Traveling to Israel with the Maccabiah games was the first time I had ever been to Israel. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience.”


RECURRING: NORTHEAST STORY HOUR WITH PJ LIBRARY: 9:30-10:15 am, Sundays at New Seasons, 3445 N Williams Ave., Portland. Share in a weekly story hour for families with music and PJ Library Books. or 503-892-7415 STORY TIME IN ANNE AND GOLDIE’S CHILDREN’S CORNER. 11 am, Tuesdays, second floor of the OJMCHE, 724 NW Davis St, Portland. Story and playtime in the Neighborhood House themed corner. Co-sponsored by PJ Library. Caregivers with children are free. CHAI BABY + PJ LIBRARY INDOOR PLAYGROUND: 10 am-noon, every second Wednesday (Sept-June) at the MJCC, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy. For parents and their children up to 5 years old. Free. 503-244-0111 PJ STORY HOUR YAD B'YAD: 9:30-10:15 am, Thursdays at Rose Schnitzer Manor, 6140 SW Boundary St., Portland. Weekly story hour for young families with music and PJ Library books with residents of Cedar Sinai Park. or 503-892-7415 A LITTLE SHABBAT: 5-6:30 pm every third Friday at Congregation Shaarie Torah, 920 NW 25th Ave., Portland. 503-226-6131 FOURTH FRIDAYS WITH RABBI EVE POSEN: 5:15-7 pm, fourth Fridays. Fun Shabbat for young families! Potluck dinner. Co-sponsored by PJ Library. RSVP for more info and location: 503-246-8831 or eposen@ TOT SHABBAT: 9-10:30 am, first Saturdays at Congregation Beth Israel, 1972 NW Flanders, Portland. Join us for our special Saturday service for our littlest congregants and the grown-ups who love them. 503-222-1069 TOT SHABBAT: 10:30 am, first Saturdays, at Congregation Ahavath Achim’s Hillsdale location: 6686 SW Capitol Hwy. Eve Levy will lead tots and their parents in singing, dancing, stories and plenty of time for the children (and parents) to have fun. Up to age 5 and older siblings. 503227-0010 YOUNG FAMILY TOT SHABBAT: 10:15-11:15 am, first and third Saturdays at Congregation Neveh Shalom, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland. Tot Shabbat with singing, dancing, stories, indoor picnic-style lunch and Shabbat fun. Free. Rabbi Eve Posen 503-246-8831

Inspiring passionate learners PreK-12 Join us to learn more about our schools:


TORAH TROOP FOR 3RD-5TH GRADERS: 10:15-11:30 am, first and third Saturdays, Congregation Neveh Shalom. Meet in the main service and then join friends for a fun and active lesson on the Torah portion (parsha). Return to the service to help lead Adon Olam; lunch! Free. 503-246-8831 KIDDUSH CLUB FOR K-2ND GRADE: 10:15-11:30 am, first and third Saturdays at Congregation Neveh Shalom, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland. Join other families for prayer, singing, conversation and fun, followed by lunch. 503-246-8831 SHABBAT STORYTIME: 9:45-10:15 am, second Saturdays, at Congregation Shir Tikvah, 7550 NE Irving St., Portland. Free. Shabbat gathering of toddlers and their caregivers. Afterward for bagels and coffee with Rabbi Ariel Stone. 503-473-8227 TORAH YOGA: 10:30 am-noon every second Saturday at Congregation Shaarie Torah, 920 NW 25th Ave., Portland. 503-226-6131 KESSER KIDS' TIME: 10:45-11:45 am every second and fourth Saturday at Congregation Kesser Israel, 6698 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland. The program is geared for children ages 2-11. 503-222-1239



Nancy Spielberg shows stories Impact lives

g n i v i L

By Deborah Moon

Award-winning film producer and philanthropist Nancy Spielberg will share her belief in the power of women when she visits Portland this month. Spielberg is the guest speaker at this year’s Women’s Philanthropy event Impact (see box). She will speak about her passion for community, Israel and women’s ability to impact the world. As the sister of Steven Spielberg, Nancy says she hesitated to begin her own film career. Now 61 years old, she produced her first documentary “Above and Beyond” seven years ago. In anticipation of Spielberg’s talk, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland held two events in September to show that film, which is about American pilots who helped Israel create its air force in 1948. In a wide-ranging phone interview, Nancy chats warmly about family, films, tzedakah, Israel and her first visit to Portland in 1978. During that visit, she couldn’t find kosher food, so she brought a salami and kept it in a sink full of ice in her hotel room. Raised in 1960s Arizona when the Jewish community was small, her Jewish involvement was limited. But when her stepfather helped start Phoenix Hebrew Academy in an old house, she and her sister, Sue, attended fifth and sixth grade there. That early exposure inspired them to seek out the Jewish community when they headed to college in California. After an inspirational Yom Ha’atzmaut outdoor BBQ, Nancy and Sue decided to skip a year of college and go to Israel. In 1973, the summer Steven’s film “Jaws” made Spielberg a household name, the two sisters went to work on a kibbutz, becoming fluent in Hebrew. Nancy, her husband, Shimon Katz, and daughters, Jessica and Melissa Katz, have spent a lot of time in the Jewish homeland. For the past five years, Jessica has lived in Tel Aviv, where she sings, performs and does voice-overs. “It’s amazing what a little Jewish education can do,” says Nancy of her two years at Jewish day school. “It can change your life.” Nancy “blames” Steven for introducing Melissa to her equestrian addiction by putting her on one of his horses when she was 3 or 4.


Now living in LA, Melissa juggles studying graphic design, working in her mom’s production company and bartending – along with her early morning trips to the stable to ride. “It is her ‘drug.’ The horse is a stabilizing thing,” says Nancy, pun intended. During the interview, Nancy was in LA to ensure her late mother’s kosher restaurant, the Milky Way, stays open. Her mom, Leah Adler, passed away early this year, but the year

Nancy Spielberg

before Nancy accepted her Lion of Judah pin in honor of her mother. “She was not your typical Jewish mom,” says Nancy. “She was a pioneer. Mom loved camping and fly-fishing. She was different and we were brought up to celebrate our differences.” Now a noted filmmaker in her own right, Nancy tours the country sharing her films and their inspirational stories. She especially likes stories that bring Israelis and Americans closer. “Above and Beyond” features American World War II pilots who went to Israel to help the nascent nation create an air force.

“It made a huge impression for a little film,” says Nancy. “It has a message for hope and is very inspiring, and it has heart and a bit of comedy … (and) so many messages about being a Yankee and a Jew and being proud of both and being good at both.” Her film “On the Map,” now at film festivals, shares similar themes. “A group of American basketball players went to Israel and helped Israel to become champions and defeat Russia, which refused to recognize Israel in 1977 (when the film is set).” While pilots and basketball sound more like “boys’ topics,” Nancy says “the stories are so compelling that they became my obsession.” That obsession with meaningful stories is exactly why federation invited Nancy to speak at Impact. Impact organizers are focused on creating an inclusive and welcoming event – one that will reach beyond that night and form an integrated part of the relaunch and vision that is forming as the ‘new’ vision for women’s philanthropy, according to JFGP Women’s Philanthropy Director Wendy Kahn. “Nancy has proven that well-told stories can help us to learn about other people's life experiences, ideas and ways of thinking,” says Kim Rosenberg, who is co-chairing Impact with Rochelle Schwartz. “Her acclaimed documentary, ‘Above and Beyond’ provides a glimpse on how past generations responded to insurmountable challenges. Through this story and Nancy's words, we might have the priceless opportunity to collaborate together to find impact and meaning to seize the brand new challenges we face today.” Her co-chair hopes to attract the younger generation to hear those stories, too. Before moving in April, Rochelle spent three years as a resident of Portland’s Moishe House, hosting events and building community for other young adults. “My hope is to bring the women-identified of Portland together for an evening of connection, enjoyment and learning – about themselves, each other and Nancy,” says Rochelle. “I'm hopeful that it will be a ‘friend-raiser,’ and that I personally will get to connect with women of all generations.” For her part, Nancy says she enjoys connecting with Jewish communities around the country. “It makes me feel safer, like we are all taking care of each other. I like to know we can thrive in all kinds of places.” “I’m glad I’m coming back to Portland and not bringing salami,” she quips.


FEATURING: Nancy Spielberg, producer of “Above and Beyond” CHAIRS: Kim Rosenberg and Rochelle Schwartz WHEN: 7 pm, Oct. 26 WHERE: Mittleman Jewish Community Center WHY: Kicks off the relaunch of the Women’s Philanthropy division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. Impact was last held in 2014. TICKETS: $36 before Oct. 2/$45 after; $25 to first 30 young women to register RSVP: by Oct. 9 INFO: Wendy Kahn, 503-892-3015 or

A Broken Hallelujah: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen

A Tribute to Leonard Cohen held on the night of broken glass (Kristallnacht) will be presented at 7 pm, Nov. 9, at Congregation Beth Israel, 1972 NW Flanders St. The concert is cosponsored by the Institute for Judaic Studies, Havurah Shalom, and Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. This concert exploring Cohen's poetry and music will also, appropriately, mark not only his yahrzeit, but also the commemoration of Kristallnacht, the night of shattered glass and shattered Jewish lives. Poet and songwriter, mystic and philosopher, philanderer and fervent Jew, Leonard Cohen remains an enigma one year after his death and so many years after his musings and music shaped the world of folk and rock music. Leonard inspired Judy Collins, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan among many other musical and literary luminaries. His compositions, especially "Hallelujah," have become ubiquitous in our culture. Synagogues throughout North America have adapted this song and overlain Hebrew Leonard Cohen liturgy to the plaintive melody, which had a new life as the theme song for the movie "Shrek." Leonard Cohen's last album deeply explored some of the Jewish themes he had embraced and rejected throughout his life, culminating in the refrain, "Hineini! – Here I am, Lord!" Join Ilene Safyan, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana and special guests Sacha Reich, Michele Mariana, Courtney Von Drehle, Ralph Huntley, Andrew Ehrlich and Ben Sandler for a community gathering of music, poetry and reflection. The concert and light reception is open to the public; suggested donation is $10. As in introduction to the concert, Alicia Jo Rabins will present a three-part class, The Torah of Leonard Cohen. Did you know Leonard Cohen was the grandson of two of Canada's most prominent rabbis? Join Alicia – musician, poet, Torah scholar and Leonard Cohen devotee – on a deep, joyfully thought-provoking Jewish journey through Cohen's songs and poems. We will explore mystical themes of love, ecstatic worship and ritual in Cohen's work, as well as the interplay of Jewish and Buddhist themes. Offered through the Institute for Jewish Studies and in cooperation with Congregation Beth Israel, the class will be held on Oct. 3, 17 and 31 from 11-12:30 at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. Cost is $15 per class or $40 for all three classes. For more information on the concert and the class, contact IJS President Sylvia Frankel at OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 61

Stampfer dinner to honor three women who created agencies to aid needy The 2017 Joshua Stampfer Community Enrichment Award will honor three women who have made outstanding contributions to the Jewish community and the Portland community at large. Those women are Dr. Jill Ginsberg, Tracy Oseran and Sharon Strauss, each of whom represents social justice at its finest. The Stampfer Community Enrichment Award was created in 1990 to honor Rabbi Joshua Stampfer on the 50th anniversary of his ordination. The purpose of the award is to honor individuals or organizations that have enriched Jewish culture, education and community with the dedication exemplified by Rabbi Stampfer. This year’s honorees are well known in Portland for their vigorous work in the field of tikkun olam (social justice). They feed the hungry, care for the needy and take care of the homeless. Each, in her own way, has created an agency to meet the many needs of the less fortunate in our community. Dr. Jill Ginsberg is the medical director and founding physician partner of the North by Northeast Community Health Center, which opened in 2006. The center is a free and low-cost clinic serving the under-respected and underserved. Dr. Dr. Jill Ginsberg Ginsberg has been active in the pursuit of social justice for many years, including serving as Social Action chair at Congregation Beth Israel. From 2001-2007, she served on the Commission of Social Action of Reform Judaism, which helps set public policy for the Reform movement’s 900 congregations. She was a family physician with Northwest Permanente from 1994-2012. Jill has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2011 Oregon Women of Achievement Award and the 2008 Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Local Hero Award. Tracy Oseran is the founder and executive director of Urban Gleaners. Founded in 2006, Urban Gleaners’ mission is to help alleviate Tracy Oseran hunger by rescuing edible surplus food that would otherwise be thrown away and delivering it to agencies that feed the hungry. The concept of picking up and redistributing food is a simple weapon in the fight against hunger. Urban Gleaners distributes food from more than 40 sites in Portland, including school-based pantries through the Food to Schools program, and Mobile Markets, which are open to anyone who needs food. They also deliver food to other hunger relief organizations. Urban Gleaners relies on the services of more than 65 volunteers to help Sharon Straus deliver the goods. Sharon Straus is the founder and director of the Sunshine Pantry, a family-run food bank located in Beaverton. What started as a Cub Scout canned food drive project for her oldest son more than 25 years ago rapidly developed into an agency that is committed to providing essential nutrition and amenities to 62 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

those in need. Striving to restore dignity and instill hope, the pantry’s main focus is the family. As Sharon has stated, “In the hours of crisis, we believe no child should go to bed hungry.” Sunshine Pantry currently supplies food, toiletries and clothing to more than 500 families a month. Among her honors and awards, Sharon has received the Governor’s Volunteer Award for Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Achievement, and the KATU Hero Award, both in 2009.

STAMPFER AWARD DINNER WHO: Honoring Dr. Jill Ginsberg, Tracy Oseran and Sharon Straus WHEN: 6 pm, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 WHERE: Congregation Neveh Shalom, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland COST: $60 per person RSVP by Oct. 23 to Marg Everett at 503-293-7318 or meverett@

ORA shines light on art for 11th year

Art will tickle all your senses at the 11th annual Celebration of Art at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center the last weekend in October. Admission s free to both events. ORA Northwest Jewish Artists returns to the MJCC for their 11th annual art sale. The art extravaganza kicks off Saturday evening, Oct. 28, with the Taste of Art preview party and sale from 7 to 9:30 pm. The fun continues all day Sunday (10:30 am-4:30 pm) with the Celebration of Art sale. Affordable, original, high-quality fine art created by local Jewish artists will be available. Live music and tastings from local food and drink vendors will round out both events. Glass, ceramics, fabric, beads, stone, paint, metals and photography from local artists will spark your senses with a selection of beautiful Judaica and a variety of secular art. Most participating artists will happily discuss commission ideas. The preview evening also showcases some phenomenal local “food artists” who will be handing out samples: Sake’One, Stone Barn Brandyworks and Love Bites from Carne Wilson and Tiffany Miller. Guests will be treated to the sounds of a local three-piece jazz trio: Andres Moreno on drums, Jon Lakey on bass and Wyck Malloy on tenor saxophone. At the Sunday celebration, music and food again accompany the art experience. Music by Rich Garber, George Fendel and Tom Roth will be heard throughout the day. Food artists will again offer tastings: The Portland Bloody Mary Mix, Portland Juice Company, Stellar Pops and Love Bites. Cafe at the J will offer a special meal; all art purchasers will receive a coupon for a discount at the cafe. All art purchases also include raffle tickets toward a seven-day getaway.

Hadassah presents Our Heritage and Our Health Portland Hadassah presents Our Heritage and Our Health, 12:302:30 pm, Oct. 15 at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. Learning about your heritage is a beginning. All around the world distinct ethnic groups have been identified as having increased risks for particular genetic diseases. In the Ashkenazi Jewish population, several such inherited diseases are known. These include Gaucher disease, cystic fibrosis, Canavan disease, Bloom syndrome and others. Gaucher disease is the most common Jewish genetic disorder. Among Ashkenazi Jews, 1 person in 15 is a carrier for this disease and 1 in 850 have Gaucher disease. Learn more at this complimentary presentation by Gary S. Frohlich, MS, CGC senior patient education liaison. The event is free, but RSVP is mandatory for the lunch catered by Century Catering. RSVP to


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Portland explores stories of The Best Place on Earth for book month

Jewish Book Month gets off to an early start in Portland this year. The seventh annual Many Stories, One Community: Portland Jewish Book Celebration will focus on one book in October/November, The Best Place on Earth, which was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Written by Ayelet Tsabari, the book won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. The Best Place on Earth’s short stories are peopled with characters at the crossroads of nationalities, religions and communities: expatriates, travelers, immigrants and locals. Poets, soldiers, siblings and dissenters, the protagonists are mostly Israelis of Mizrahi background ( Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent), whose stories have rarely been told in literature. The Best Place on Earth explores Israeli history as it illuminates the tenuous connections – forged, frayed and occasionally destroyed – between cultures, between generations, and across the gulf of transformation and loss. The community is invited to join the following creative and thought-provoking events to explore the ideas, themes and information in The Best Place on Earth: Tuesday, Oct. 17, 6:30-8 pm, Ahava Reads at Sip d’Vine, 7829 SW Capital Hwy., Portland. Discuss The Best Place on Earth at this event, sponsored by Shaarie Torah. Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7-8:30 p.m., Book Discussion, Havurah Shalom, 825 NW 18th Ave. Portland. Join in a lively discussion on immigration, the “other” and several engaging topics, with refreshments included. RSVP to Havurah (503-248-4662) or contact Ruth Feldman ( Sponsored by Havurah Shalom. Sunday, Nov. 5, 4 pm, Pages and Pixels – Book and Film Discussion, Neveh Shalom, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane. Love to read, watch films and make new friends? This month we are reading The Best Place on Earth by Ayelet Tsabari and viewing a film with a complementary theme. For more information, email Co-sponsored by Neveh Shalom and Israel360. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 pm, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, 724 NW Davis St., Portland. A film pertaining to the themes of The Best Place on Earth will be shown. More detailed information will be available soon. This event is sponsored by the Institute for Judaic Studies and

OJMCHE. General public $8, OJMCHE members $5, students $5 and free to all youth groups. Sunday, Nov. 19, 10 am at Cedar Sinai Park’s Zidell Hall in the Rose Schnitzer Manor, 6140 SW Boundary St., Portland. Ayelet Tsabari, winner of the 2015 Rohr Prize for Jewish Lit erature, will speak via Skype. Panelists will discuss several of the stories included in The Best Place on Earth and their impact on the reader. Following that, the author will explain the reason she felt she needed to write these accounts and her method of putting words to paper. This event is sponsored by Congregation Beth Israel, Mittleman Jewish Community Center and Cedar Sinai Park. The series will continue next March with the MJCC’s Authors Series, when three authors will speak about their latest books. For more information on book month and Authors Series events, visit


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FACES & PLACES ALBERTA SHUL – An Aug. 31 open house drew a crowd to explore Alberta Shul, which a group of younger Jewish community leaders named the Alberta Shul Coalition, are raising funds to save and renovate this historic property. From left are (front row) Annie Rose Shapero, Joanie Sheib, Susan Turner and Gloria Hammer, and back row Moses (no last name), Eleyna Fugman and Nathaniel Holder. Tifereth Israel, an Orthodox Jewish congregation, bought the building in 1914, selling it to a Christian group in 1952. Once renovated, the Alberta Shul will provide a communitydriven gathering space for active Jewish learning, art, prayer and social justice organizing on Portland’s east side. 503-453-6447 |

TEAM OREGON – Left, the Mittleman Jewish Community Center took 17 teens to the 35th annual JCC Maccabi Games, a weeklong Olympic-style sports competition that gave nearly 3,000 teens the chance to gather with fellow Jewish youth this summer. The Team Oregon delegation traveled to Miami for the Aug. 6-11 competition hosted by the Alper JCC. Oregon athletes participated in basketball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse. The Portland boys 16 and under basketball team, bottom left, won the gold medal and the Portland lacrosse participants won a silver medal. The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland helped subsidize the costs for the athletes. Next summer’s JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest will be held Aug. 5-10, 2018, in Orange County and Long Beach, CA; interested athletes and artists should contact Len Steinberg at lsteinberg@ or 503-535-3555.

DC INTERNSHIP – Sen. Kamala D. Harris (DCA), second from left, poses with three Planned Parenthood summer interns in Washington, D.C., including Melissa Diamond of Portland (second from right). She worked at Planned Parenthood Federation of America as a data management intern. Melissa, the daughter of Tom and Julie Diamond, was a summer intern in Washington, D.C. Julie is the executive director of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation.

OJCF ANNUAL MEETING – People who signed the OJCF Endowment Book of Life stand in front of the installation at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center at the annual meeting of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation. The June reception also honored 2017 Legacy Society honoree Harold Pollin, second from right. The Book of Life enables legacy donors to share their histories, values, visions and hopes for the Jewish community with their families, friends and future generations. Oregon’s Endowment Book of Life, located in the MJCC lobby, is also available on OJCF’s website and


FACES & PLACES PORTLANDIA AT OPAL 28 – “Portlandia” co-creator and co-star Carrie Brownstein visits with Opal 28 owner Margot Feves, when the cast and crew of IFC hit show “Portlandia” stopped by to film an episode. “Portlandia,” a sketch-comedy series that parodies life in Portland was created by Carrie and costars Fred Armisen; they have announced its eighth season in 2018 will be its last. Opal 28 is intimate event venue is located on Northeast 28th Avenue and Glisan. Opal 28,, 971-544-7324, 510 NE 28th Ave., Portland, OR 97232

REUNION – Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, reunited with Rabbi Joshua Stampfer during a summer visit to Oregon. In December 1973, Jeremy celebrated his bar mitzvah in Israel, where Rabbi Joshua Stampfer, there on sabbatical, officiated. The reunion was “very special indeed,” said Jeremy. “I brought with me the Tanakh which Rabbi Stampfer inscribed to me as follows many years ago: Presented to Jeremy Fingerman in the Eternal City, Jerusalem, on Shabbat Vayigash, December 29, 1973 in celebration of his Bar Mitzvah at the World Council  of United Synagogue Center.” In Oregon Jeremy also toured the MJCC Day Camp, met with Camp Solomon Schechter leadership, spoke at an intimate community reception and visited B’nai B’rith Camp.

MARCY'S BAR – (From left) Cedar Sinai Park Board President Liz Rabiner Lippoff, Bob Tobias, Marcy Tonkin, Gary Pearlman, and incoming CSP CEO Martin Baicker wwere among the residents, donors and community members who gathered Sept. 11 for a happy hour to celebrate the opening of Marcy’s Bar in the Goodman Lounge at Rose Schnitzer Manor. The bar is one of several spaces in RSM that have benefited from a recent transformation, with thanks to the generosity of Marcy Tonkin, Bob Tobias, Ralph and Sandi Miller, and many other donors. Design of these elegant spaces, which have breathed new life into RSM, was donated by the talented Gary Pearlman.

SOCIAL JUSTICE INTERNSHIP – Sarit Cahana, daughter of Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana and Cantor Ida Rae Cahana of Portland’s Congregation Beth Israel, spent the summer in Washington, D.C., for the Machon Kaplan program at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Machon Kaplan is a summer study-internship program that engages students on critical social justice issues from both an academic and practical viewpoint. Sarit interned with the American Association of People with Disabilities, whose goal is to increase the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

ROGOWAY AWARD – Ben Winkleblack receives the third annual Laurie Rogoway Outstanding Jewish Professional award at the 97th annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. The award was presented by Kathy Davis-Weiner, right, with Laurie, left, offering congratulations. A native Oregonian, Ben has worked at Federation for 11 years, the last eight as director of finance. He chairs a national group of federation finance professionals, for whom he is coordinating a mission to Israel. Photo by One Click Studio OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017 65

Oct. 1-29


“Caught,” theatrical performance and art exhibit. See page 42 Oct. 1-31 Monthly Mitzvah Project: MJCC and PJA communities will be collecting Reading Glasses for Street Books. Items can be dropped off in the blue bin located in the MJCC lobby, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy. 503-535-3555 Kids Calendar. See page 59 Oct. 1 Sukkah Decorating Party and Waffle Bar. 10 am at Congregation Shaarie Torah for a fun morning of decorating the Sukkah and making your own waffles! Perfect for young families. Free. 503-226-6131 Community Sukkah building at 11 am at the MJCC. 503-535-3555 Oct. 2-Dec. 31 Fall Art Exhibit at MJCC: Jews of Africa – A Photographic Journey through Ancient and Awakening Communities. Jewish photographic documentarian Jono David showcases 59 images from his 4-year project documenting Jewish life, culture and history in 30 African countries and territories. 503-535-3555 Oct. 3 Israeli film series. 7 pm at MJCC in partnership with Institute for Judaic Studies. Films TBA ranging from drama to comedy to suspense. A discussion will follow each film. Per film: $8, $5/ members; series: $20, $12/member. oregonjcc. org/film Oct. 4

leading a sukkah sing-a-long. The Ma’asim Tovim Committee is encouraging donations to NECHAMA in support of their hurricane relief work. Free. 503-226-6131 Oct. 8

S’mores in the Sukkah. 4-6 pm at Congregation Shaarie Torah. For families and adults. Join us for soup, salad and s’mores in our sukkah. Free. 503-226-6131 Oct. 10

Taste of Art Preview Party and Sale. See page 62 Oct. 29 Celebration of Art Sale. See page 40

Oct. 30

Short film screening and music composition workshop with David Spear, 2017 Artist-inResidence for PSU’s Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies. 4:30-6 pm at 225 Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave., Portland. After two short silent films, Spear will demonstrate how to tell stories of war and peace or conduct a ballet of robots with music and sound. Free. RSVPs requested:

Oregon Jewish Voices. 7:30 pm at OJMCHE. This annual event features readings by prominent Oregon Jewish poets and writers. This year’s featured writers are Shaindel Beers, Tracy Manaster, Claudia F. Savage, Willa Schneberg, and Jamie Yourdon. Oregon Jewish Voices is organized by Willa Schneberg. $8/members, $10/ public.

Oct. 19

Stampfer Award Dinner. See page 62

Brown bag lunch with curated conversation. Noon at OJMCHE. OJMCHE Director Judy Margles leads a lunchtime conversation on a range of topics that grapple with some of the complex issues of our time. Bring lunch or purchase in Lefty’s Café. Free. 503-226-3600

Nov. 5

“I AM THIS: Art by Oregon Jewish Artists.” See page 41


Oct. 28

Oct. 18

Oct. 5-15

Rock The Sukkah Benefit Concert. 7 pm at Congregation Shaarie Torah. An incredible night under the stars with a full band of musicians

Women’s Philanthropy welcomes producer, Nancy Spielberg at IMPACT. See page 62

Jewish Book Month events at various locations. See page 63

Oct. 17-Nov. 19

Meditations of the Heart: Join Sarah Rohr from 7:30-8:30 at Neveh Shalom as she guides you through physical movements and practices to explore, compliment and exalt your heartfelt prayers. Repeats Thursdays. $10 sliding scale, a portion of the proceeds will benefit ALIYAH.

Oct. 7

Oct. 26

Film Series: The Many Funny Faces of the Jewish People. 2 pm at OJMCHE. At War with the Army (1950) starring Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. The Many Funny Faces of the Jewish People film series, curated by Ygal Kaufman, looks at the genre of Jewish comedy in film. Historical introduction by Ygal Kaufman. $6/members, $9/ general.

Pizza in the Sukkah. 5:30-7 at the MJCC. Join friends for an evening of great food, schmoozing, singing and storytelling. $15/family. Register by Oct. 4:

South Portland Walking Tour begins at 6 pm at the Neighborhood House, 3030 SW Second Ave. Tours focus on Jewish immigrant history as participants tour Old South Portland by walking through streets while hearing stories about the century old neighborhood. Free for members with RSVP, $5 general. You in Midair: A Mother's Show about the Ultimate Loss. See page 39

Eddy Shuldman. Bev Eastern, 503-244-7060

Oct. 19-Feb. 4

Edward Hershey will read from his new book The Scorekeeper. See page 43 Oct. 20 Year’s final North Coast Shabbat. 8 pm at the Bob Chisholm Center, 1225 Ave A, Seaside. Led by

Nov. 2

Super Sunday, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s Community Phone-a-thon. Calls for donations that will help change lives and strengthen our entire community at home, in Israel and wherever Jews are in need around the globe. Children’s activities will be available throughout the day! Two volunteer slots: 9 to 11 am and 11:30 to 1:30 pm at the MJCC. 503-2456219 Nov. 5, 12, 19 A three-part story workshop for Holocaust survivors, their descendants and friends is set for three Sunday afternoons in November. 1-4 pm, at TaborSpace, 5411 SE Belmont, Portland. Register: Info: Nov. 9 A Tribute to Leonard Cohen. See page 61 Calendar abbreviations: MJCC, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy. Portland OJMCHE, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, 724 NW Davis St, Portland



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Managing Director Private Wealth Advisor 522 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor New York, NY 10036 212-296-6704 Source: Barron’s “Top 100 Financial Advisors,” April 20, 2015. Barron’s “Top 100 Financial Advisors” bases its ratings on qualitative criteria: professionals with a minimum of seven years of financial services experience, acceptable compliance records, client retention reports, customer satisfaction, and more. Finwancial Advisors are quantitatively rated based on varying types of revenues and assets advised by the financial professional, with weightings associated for each. Because individual client portfolio performance varies and is typically unaudited, this rating focuses on customer satisfaction and quality of advice. The rating may not be representative of any one client’s experience because it reflects a sample of all of the experiences of the Financial Advisor’s clients. The rating is not indicative of the Financial Advisor’s future performance. Neither Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC nor its Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors pays a fee to Barron’s in exchange for the rating. Barron’s is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, L.P. All rights reserved. © 2015 Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, a division of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC. Member SIPC. CRC1179133 04/15 8225582 PWM001 04/15 68 OREGON JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2017

Oregon Jewish Life Oct 2017 Vol.6 / Issue 6  

Gabby Giffords: Wresting triumph from tragedy. Stephanie finds her spin. Uniting people with music. Play Explores Love and Loss and much mor...

Oregon Jewish Life Oct 2017 Vol.6 / Issue 6  

Gabby Giffords: Wresting triumph from tragedy. Stephanie finds her spin. Uniting people with music. Play Explores Love and Loss and much mor...