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MAY/JUNE 2020

The Mystery of the Libe Shteyn

Summertime Sippers Don Horn’s tribute to Darcelle XV

ACTIVELY SENIOR

COVID-19 concerns, caregiving and community

LISA SCHNEIDERMAN Publicist and Sew to Save founder

making things happen


CON T E N T S Oregon Jewish Life May/June 2020 Iyyar-Sivan-Tammuz 5780 Volume 9/Issue 3

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FEATURES

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COVER STORY From Hollywood back to Portland, publicist and Sew to Save founder Lisa Schneiderman making things happen

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BUSINESS Join the Tribe of the Curious with Becki Saltzman Biz Ins & Outs

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FRONT & CENTER A Jewish guide to streaming Don Horn’s tribute to his friend Walter Cole

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FASHION Seating Arrangements

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FOOD Summertime Sippers

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FATHER’S DAY For Dad – gift guide

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ISRAEL Boaz Meir: Bringing JNF to the Pacific Northwest

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AC TIVELY SENIOR New sleep method strengthens brain’s ability to retain memories Cedar Sinai Park receives an outpouring of community love and support The Ten Commandments of caregiving Older individuals and COVID-1920 Why it’s helpful to have a Medicare insurance agent The mystery of the Libe Shteyn Oldster Options

14 16 18 24 26 28

KIDS & TEENS B’nai B’rith Camp to receive funds from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Eden Village West: A farm-to-table overnight experience OJMCHE presents annual art & writing competition An unexpected gap year adventure

COVER: 50 52 54 56

Lisa Schneiderman PHOTO COURTESY SCHNEIDERMAN PRODUCTIONS, INC. MAY/JUNE 2020

The Mystery of the Libe Shteyn

Summertime Sippers

JLIVING Faces & Places Previews

Don Horn’s tribute to Darcelle XV

ACTIVELY SENIOR

COVID-19 concerns, caregiving and community

60 62

LISA SCHNEIDERMAN Publicist and Sew to Save founder

making things happen


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MAY/JUNE 2020 Oregon Jewish Life | Iyyar-Sivan-Tammuz 5780 • Volume 9/Issue 3

PU B LI S H E R

H OW T O R E AC H U S

Cindy Salt zman

602-538 -2955

A DV E R TI S I N G A N D E D ITO R I A L D I R EC TO R Cindy Salt zman

EDITORIAL: editor @ojlife.com ADVERTISING SALES: 602-538-2955 or adver tise@ojlife.com E VENTS: editor @ojlife.com BUSINESS: publisher @ojlife.com

E D ITO R- I N - C H I E F Mala Blomquis t

CO NTR I BU TI N G E D ITO R Leni Reiss

ART DIREC TOR

Oregon Jewish Life magazine in available online at orjewishlife.com. Send business information or event photographs to editor@ojlife.com.

Tamara Kopper

CALENDAR: Please post events on our online calendar.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

orjewishlife.com and scroll down to the “calendar access request”

Michael Fox Amy Hirshberg Lederman

To request first-time authorization to post events online, go to link under “Quick Links” on the right. After you submit the form, you’ll receive an email with instructions for posting future event.

Ben Wahba

A Prince Hal Produc t ion ( TGMR18) 2020-2021 MediaPort LLC All rights reserved The content and opinions in Oregon Jewish Life do not necessarily reflec t those of the publishers, staf f or contrac tors. Ar ticles and columns are for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Although ever y ef for t is made to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, Oregon Jewish Life, and its agents, publishers, employees and contrac tors will not be held responsible for the misuse of any information contained herein. The publishers reser ve the right to refuse any adver tisement. Publication of adver tisements does not constitute endorsement of produc ts or services. 6

MAY/JUNE 2020 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE


PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE 8

CINDY SALTZMAN Publisher

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

These are challenging times for sure. And like

escape this change. But as the world seems

everyone, I am so ready for this COVID-19 tragedy

to be slowing down to fight this, there are

to be over. Although we don’t have control over

opportunities for innovation, education and

this virus, or what the 330,000,000 people in the

self-growth. No one would want the horrible

U.S. do to help mitigate it, let alone the 7.8 billion

death toll, sickness and financial hardships to

people in the world; we have learned a hard

ever happen. Still, the one light that has shone

lesson, we are all much more interdependent

on humankind during this time is the incredible

than many of us were aware of or willing to

generosity and love people have for one another.

accept.

There are heroes in our midst every day; the health workers, first responders, essential workers,

Most people have always known that we are

but also your neighbor, friends and family, and in

affected by our global economy and global

so many instances strangers who have come to

climate change, but understanding that we are

the aid of their fellow man or woman.

also profoundly affected by global health, or lack of, seems to be news to all of us. No longer.  

I hope when this COVID-19 nightmare is over, or at least managed, that we will not forget the

So while we are all consumed with flattening

lessons learned. Better yet, as we

the COVID-19 curve, we also need to make sure

begin to rebuild, I hope these lessons

we are flattening our chronic health and mental

will help us build not the same world, but a much

health curves. As of this writing, close to 94%

better, kinder and equitable one.  

of coronavirus patients have some underlying chronic health issues. And it has been reported

Please stay safe and healthy.

that at least two-thirds of our population is experiencing high levels of anxiety, depression

With virtual hugs to all of you,

and hopelessness brought on by the pandemic. It sometimes feels like we don’t have definitive answers for anything. And that uncertainty, on such a global level, can be debilitating for some. Our world is changing, and there is no way to

Newslet ter: orjewishlife.com, click on “Subscribe Now!” Facebook: @ojlife Twit ter: @JewishLifeNow Instagram: @JEWISHLIFENOW Call: 602-538-A Z JL (2955)

MAY/JUNE 2020 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

Email us: publisher@ojlife.com advertise@ojlife.com calendar@azjewishlife.com editor@ojlife.com


YOU’RE INVITED! JFCS’s 1st EVER

Caring Community UN-Luncheon JOIN US

June 28th at 6:pm at www.jfcs-portland.org For an

ONLINE VIRTUAL CELEBRATION for JFCS and our Community! Hosted by Board President, Larry Holzman

We thank our sponsors who created the fund honoring Eve and Alan Rosenfeld

PRESENTING SPONSORS

Larry Holzman T HE H OLZMAN F OUNDAT ION, INC. LEAD SPONSORS

Howard & Wendy Liebreich Family fund of OJCF Martha Soltesz

OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 9


BUSINESS Join the Tribe of the Curious with

Becki Saltzman

D

o you want to live a more fulfilling and adventurous life? Then continue reading the following interview with Becki Saltzman and find out how you can join the Tribe of the Curious. ORJL: Let’s start with your unusual title. OK, founder is obvious, but what does it mean that you’re Chief Curiosity Seeker at Applied Curiosity Lab? Becki: It’s a fun and accurate way of describing that with all I do, in-person workshops, speaking, executive coaching, and online courses and programs, the lens is always curiosity. ORJL: Tell me more about the online courses you offer. Becki: I’m an author and content creator for LinkedIn Learning. I have courses on Applied Curiosity, Ideation, Critical Thinking, Judgment, Recognizing & Rewarding, Judgment, and Decision Making...with more on the way. In the past, I’ve always traveled to the LinkedIn Learning studios in Carpinteria, CA to film my courses. Right now, I’m working with the team to make cool courses from my home office/studio. Decision-Making Under High-Stress Situations, is coming out this month. I’m also very excited about an online training & coaching program I’m creating called High Stakes Decision Making (HSDM). ORJL: How is your own program different from your courses on LinkedIn? Becki: The HSDM program will be geared toward middle to senior executives in mid- and large-sized companies and organizations. It’s training that will 10

MAY/JUNE 2020 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

BECKI SALTZMAN prepare executives for making the most out of decision models and machine learning algorithms that will soon be “hired” to make decisions for us. We’ve all got to prepare for how we’ll stay relevant...as humans. HSDM is preparation. ORJL: How will people access the program? Becki: HSDM is a membership-based training and coaching program that will be accessed through my website, Applied Curiosity Lab. It’ll consist of training videos, worksheets/workbooks to personalize decisions, and virtual executive coaching for up to 10 cohorts at a


time. In addition to the core HSDM program, experts will provide bonus content for all members on things like high-stakes investment decisions, the role of mental illness in high-stakes decisions, creativity and high- stakes decisions, international first responder decision-making, decision mapping, etc. If you’re curious whether you’re high-stakes decision-making ready, we’ll have the HSDM-Readiness Survey available soon. We’re taking applications now for beta testers for this fall, and we’re taking reservations for 2021. Early feedback has been fantastic. I haven’t seen anything like it. ORJL: Is all your training virtual? Becki: We love conducting in-person Applied Curiosity training, but there’s no denying that we have to consider distributed workforces as a major part of all of our futures. I love training people from around the world, and I’m not going to let travel impediments get in the way. It’s more cost-effective to have executives from around the world log into a program with a group of cohorts, than to have them all take time off to fly across the world for training. That said, we’re excited to re-introduce our Curiosity Quests (training travel adventures) and in-person workshops when the time is right. Here’s a plug for giving our precious brains some time and attention while many of us are isolated and swimming in a sea of uncertainty. If you’ve ever thought, “If only I had more time,” what did you think you’d do? Do that now. I’m here to advocate on behalf of our brains. We spend the vast majority of our lives learning what to think. Memorize this. Do. It. Like. This. My goal is to help people improve how to think. Just to steal a little bit of time and effort away from focusing on what to think, to devote a wee bit more time to improving how to think. We know we should exercise and fuel our bodies. Shouldn’t we give our brains some attention, too? ORJL: I love that! What’s the best way to do this? Becki: Drink more water. Wake up in the morning and drink 38 ounces of room temperature water before your coffee. Before your breakfast. Your brain (and skin) will thank you. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. The science is clear on these things. Read the book, Why We Sleep. It’ll change your life. Also, since we’re all still probably sipping on Quarantinis, an easy way to fuel your brain is to access LinkedIn Learning courses. I like my courses, but there are lots of excellent instructors on the platform. If you don’t have a membership, it’s easy to get one. I think they’re offering a free 30-day trial right now. Here’s one of my favorite pro-tips: follow your curiosity and join your local library. There are so many free perks...often including free memberships to Lynda. com/LinkedIn Learning and free audiobooks. Use this time to give your brain a bit of a workout! This spring, I’m launching a LinkedIn Live show called, Good Thinking. There will be plenty of brain fuel on the show...and plenty of me looking like a fool, I’m sure. ORJL: How can people get ahold of you? Becki: Anyone should feel free to contact me through LinkedIn or through my website at AppliedCuriosityLab.com. You can also Google Tribe of the Curious and join. Bring more MOTs to the Tribe of the Curious! OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 11


BIZ

INS & OUTS

Gevurtz menashe

Andrew Goodman

Gevurtz Menashe honors frontline first responders during Coronavirus outbreak For nearly 40 years, Gevurtz Menashe family law and estate planning has supported families through their toughest times. As the world continues to cope with the impact of COVID-19, the firm is providing community support through its ‘Wills for Frontline First Responders’ program, offering complimentary basic estate planning protections to frontline first responders. As part of this program—and gratitude for the heroes who are sacrificing their health and well-being to ensure our community remains safe—the firm is providing basic estate planning documents including wills, powers of attorney and advance directives to active frontline first responders, in the Portland Metro and SW Washington community. Gevurtz Menashe aims to provide peace of mind for active first responders within the greater Portland and Vancouver area, as they continue to protect their families, and the community at large. The Firm hopes that their ‘Wills For Frontline First Responders’ program will alleviate some of the fear and anxiety among teams of local first responders, by providing them with resources and basic estate planning protections. gevurtzmenashe.com

Harsch Investment Properties promotes Matza and Goodman among others Portland-based Harsch Investment Properties plans new leadership assignments for several key team members. The changes involve a total of seven emplyees in both its Seattle and Portland operations. Harsch promoted Andrew Goodman to assistant vice president of development. Andrew joined Harsch in 2014 in the manager-in-training program and is now responsible for industrial and office development projects throughout the portfolio. Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts in Government 12

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Emily Matza

Sheina and Rabbi Meir Posner

from Claremont McKenna College and is currently pursuing his Master of Real Estate Development at Portland State University. Harsch also recently promoted Emily Matza to assistant vice president of Westside Leasing. Emily will oversee the leasing efforts for the company’s industrial and office properties in Beaverton and West Portland. Emily has worked as a broker in the commercial real estate industry for 14 years, with three years spent at Harsch. She received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Portland State University. harsch.com

Chabad of Oregon starts Young Professionals Chapter Chabad of Oregon announces the opening of a full-time Chabad Young Professionals Chapter located in Portland’s Northwest District under the leadership of Rabbi Meir and Sheina Posner. The Posners along with their two children will be serving the local area Jewish community as well. Rabbi Meir and Sheina Posner come with an impressive resume. Rabbi Posner spent many years on the famed Chabad of Boston University and Sheina worked at the New York headquarters of Chabad Young Professionals international. They plan to spend their first few months getting to know the young Jewish professionals of Portland and how they can best serve them. “I think the Posner family will be a great fit for Portland and will bring great initiatives to our community,” says Jodi Berris, who is well known for her work in developing Portland’s young Jewish adult scene. chabadorgon.com

Announcing the Ta’amod Call Line Ta’amod: Stand Up! is here for the community during this time with a new resource: a free, anonymous, and confidential


Ta'amod: Stand Up!

call line, powered by JCADA. This is the first-ever call line supporting individuals who may be currently experiencing harassment or abuse in their Jewish workplace or communal space, or have experienced or witnessed an issue prior to the pandemic. Ta’amod is the national go-to address where Jewish organizations and institutions can access resources related to safe, respectful and equitable workplaces. The call line will provide phone-based support, legal information, advocacy, counseling, and referrals to vetted local and national experts. JCADA has an exceptional track record serving the community around power-based violence, with proven impact for individuals who have experienced discrimination, harassment, or abuse within and beyond a Jewish communal context. taamod.org

Andrew Hurwitz

Mark Barzda

practitioner in Collaborative Law, a discipline that focuses on alternatives to litigated family law matters. He is a team player and strong believer in the success of negotiating family law issues between the parties in an honorable and cost-effective matter. Mark enjoys interacting with his clients to help them emerge from a time in their life that can be quite traumatic. His goal is to always help them not only traverse their legal issue, but to also transition successfully into post married life. He will continue handling divorce, custody/parenting time, child support, and modifications in Oregon. gevurtzmenashe.com

Andrew Hurwitz promoted at Bridge Development Bridge Development Partners has promoted Andrew Hurwitz from associate to senior director. In his new role, Hurwitz will be leading all leasing efforts for the Seattle region as well as overseeing the financial aspects of all projects. On top of leading regional leasing activity, Hurwitz will also have increased involvement in overseeing all acquisitions and developments. Previously, Andrew was responsible for the financial underwriting of industrial development across multiple markets. bridgedev.com

Mark Barzda named shareholder of Gevurtz Menashe Mark Barzda has been named a shareholder of Gevurtz Menashe. He received his JD from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Law in Environmental Law and Natural Resources from Lewis & Clark Law School. Mark is certified as a OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 13


SPECIAL FOCUS:

ACTIVELY SENIOR “Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough.” That quote by Groucho Marx, although meant as a joke, may have more than a little truth to it. The current life expectancy for a person in the United States in 2020 is 78.93 years. That’s a steady increase from the expectancy of 68.14 in 1950. And as people are living longer, they are also living lives that are richer and fuller than in the past. There is an abundance of enrichment activities, whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual for older, active adults. Although we are in challenging times right now, we will come through this, hopefully with new knowledge and a greater appreciation for life and what the future holds.

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New Sleep Method Strengthens Brain’s Ability to Retain Memories

A

new joint study by Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Weizmann Institute of Science researchers has yielded an innovative method for bolstering memory processes in the brain during sleep. The method relies on a memory-evoking scent administered to one nostril. It helps researchers understand how sleep aids memory, and in the future could possibly help to restore memory capabilities following brain injuries, or help treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for whom memory often serves as a trigger. The new study was led by Ella Bar, a PhD student at TAU and the Weizmann Institute of Science. Other principal investigators include Prof. Yuval Nir of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience, as well as Profs. Yadin Dudai, Noam Sobel and Rony Paz, all of Weizmann’s Department of Neurobiology. It was published in Current Biology on March 5. “We know that a memory consolidation process takes place in the brain during sleep,” Bar explains. “For long-term memory storage, information gradually transitions from the hippocampus – a brain region that serves as a temporary buffer for new memories – to the neocortex. But how this transition happens remains an unsolved mystery.” “By triggering consolidation processes in only one side of the brain during sleep, we were able to compare the activity between the hemispheres and isolate the specific activity that corresponds to memory reactivation,” Prof. Nir adds. Bar says, “Beyond promoting basic scientific understanding, we hope that in the future this method may also have clinical applications. For instance, post-traumatic patients show higher activity in the right hemisphere when recalling a trauma, possibly related to its emotional content. “The technique we developed could potentially influence this aspect of the memory during sleep and decrease the emotional stress that accompanies recall of the traumatic memory. Additionally, this method could be further developed to assist in rehabilitation therapy after one-sided brain damage due to stroke.” The researchers began from the knowledge that memories associated


with locations on the left side of a person are mostly stored in the right brain hemisphere and vice versa. While exposed to the scent of a rose, research participants were asked to remember the location of words presented on either the left or right side of a computer screen. Participants were then tested on their memory of the word locations, then proceeded to nap at the lab. As the participants were napping, the scent of roses was administered again, but this time to only one nostril. With this “one-sided” odor delivery, the researchers were able to reactivate and boost specific memories that were stored in a specific brain hemisphere. The team also recorded electrical brain activity during sleep with EEG. The results showed that the “one-sided” rose scent delivery led to different sleep waves in the two hemispheres. The hemisphere that received the scent revealed better electrical signatures of memory consolidation during sleep. Finally, in the most crucial test of all, subjects were asked after waking up to undergo a second memory test about the words they had been exposed to before falling asleep. “The memory of the subjects was significantly better for words presented on the side affected by smell than the memory for words presented on the other side,” Bar says. “Our findings emphasize that the memory consolidation process can be amplified by external cues such as scents,” she concludes. “By using the special organization of the olfactory pathways, memories can be manipulated in a local manner on one side of the brain. Our finding demonstrates that memory consolidation likely involves a nocturnal ‘dialogue’ between the hippocampus and specific regions in the cerebral cortex.”

Researchers at TAU are discovering that the scent of roses introduced while sleeping may improve memory function.


ACTIVELY SENIOR

Cedar Sinai Park receives an outpouring of community love and support By Mala Blomquist

W

ith the toll that the coronavirus has had on senior living facilities across the country, Cedar Sinai Park has been extremely fortunate not to have the virus impact its residents. They have had two COVID-19 positive staff members on campus. One staff member early in the month of March and one staff member that tested positive in the beginning of May. “We’ve tested folks, both in assisted living and in skilled nursing, and the staff and residents and everybody, God bless, have come back negative, ” says Kimberly Fuson. She became the permanent CEO of Cedar Sinai Park on March 1. It’s also a challenging time when so many people are

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living in the same environment and can’t go anywhere or have visitors. Still, the residents of Rose Schnitzer Manor, the assisted living residences at CSP, are coming up with some creative ways to entertain themselves. “They’re doing hall parties where everybody is staying in their doorways, and they’ve done some sing-alongs on their own, and they’re inventing new and fun ways to hang out – from a 6-foot distance,” says Kim. “It’s fun to see.” Kim says that they are also doing word games, puzzles, art projects, broadcasting special programming on their inhouse channel, and staff is having one-on-one time and also helping them connect with their families via FaceTime and What’s App. On April 26, CSP held a Joy Ride where community


members, first responders and family members of residents did a drive-by parade as residents stood outside and waved. “I tell you it was a hoot, and I think everybody needed it,” says Kim. “Our residents needed it, our staff needed it. I think the community definitely needed something to come out for.” Kim jokes that the next time they do a parade, she is going to blast Israeli dance music from some outdoor speakers. She was glad that the weather was beautiful and everybody had the chance to go outside for a change. And that everyone wore their masks and kept their distance from one another. They’ve had such generous donations of cloth masks that they can supply masks to the 250 residents at the CSP campus along with the 500 residents of their affordable housing units in downtown Portland. “That means that every single one of my residents will get at least two cloth masks, one to wash and one to wear,” says Kim. She describes the masks as “works of art,” and enjoys the many different fabrics the sewers have used when creating them. “I have a mahjong mask, its a mahjong print and its absolutely darling,” Kim jokes. “I have another one that’s got Hershey’s kisses, Hershey’s minis and Reese’s peanut butter cups on it.” Kim was also able to procure KN95 masks with the help of the Association of Jewish Aging Services and Jewish

Federations of North America for all of her staff to wear. They were more cost effective than the paper masks in the long run and are more durable. Kim is so grateful for the support of her staff at this difficult time. “We have to put our shoulders together and stay positive and keep building each other up,” she says. That’s the silver lining in all of this – learning how to be a team very quickly.” We’re also very fortunate to have some good clinical people on our side to help us maintain that high level of clinical care and a great medical director as well.” She is also thankful to the community for its outpouring of support and donations. CSP applied for and received, a grant for $100,00 from the Federation partners, to offset COVID costs. And since it’s CSP’s 100th anniversary on May 15 (the party will have to wait), they received a lead gift of $100,000 from Marcy Tonkin to help through this time also. “I’m so humbled by the love,” says Kim. Kim says there are a couple of takeaways from the current situation. “I think technology is really important and investing in that technology, both for Telehealth as well as life enrichment, is important,” she says. “The other takeaways are the resilience of the human spirit and the ability to find love and joy and figure out ways to be together from a distance – love is the answer. Love and compassion.”

Cedar Sinai Park held a Joy Ride parade where all had a grand time. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHERINE KIMBALL PHOTOGRAPHY (3,4 & 5)

OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 17


ACTIVELY SENIOR

The Ten Commandments of

Caregiving By Amy Hirshberg Lederman

T

he job description might read something like this: “Looking for someone 24/7 with the patience of a saint, the wisdom of the Dali Lama, the goodness of Mother Teresa, and the ability to find the humor in the most difficult of situations. Must be fluent in the language of love.” How many of us will find ourselves taking on the arduous role of caretaker for a loved one, family member or friend in our lifetimes? How many of us can lay claim to even a few of the qualifications that are necessary to do so? My own experience involved caring for my husband, who, at the age of 61, was diagnosed with cancer. I never really thought of myself as a caregiver during the 3 years, 7 months and 11 days of his illness. I saw myself as his wife; devoted to caring for him as part of a loving marriage and lifetime commitment. But statistically, I fell into the category of the more than 60 million unpaid caregivers who, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, are actively engaged in caring for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend, often without training or support. Caregivers typically help with activities of daily living such 18

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as bathing, dressing, meal preparations, household tasks and managing finances, but the real work comes in what can’t be measured by cooked meals or loads of wash. Because at the heart and soul of caregiving is the deeply human undertaking of understanding, honoring and dignifying another person at what is often their most vulnerable time of life. Caregiving is as unique as the individual for whom one is caring. In the simplest of terms, this means that one size fits…one. A caregiver may often need to be a fierce advocate, a diligent gatekeeper, the one who has to initiate the most difficult conversations about things never discussed before in a family. Caregiving challenges us to learn about medications, wheelchairs, medical tests and scans, bodily functions and often, the details of death and dying. In short, it’s a crash course in life, love, and often, a loss for which most of us are never prepared. But caregiving can be a deeply rewarding experience because it requires us to draw upon our deepest, most compassionate and often most loving selves. Regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, taking care of another person who has lost the capacity to care for themselves has


the potential to be a truly holy, spiritual experience. I am not an expert in the field, nor do I pretend to be. But during the years I cared for my husband, I found that these strategies kept both of us going strong. A POSITIVE ATTITUDE is often the most important ingredient in the recipe of caregiving. COMMUNICATION IS KEY: For both the caregiver and the patient, it is essential to cultivate respectful ways of communicating needs, feelings, concerns and frustrations. USE AVAILABLE TOOLS AND RESOURCES. Online help, family, friends and neighbors, list serves to share information like Caring Bridge and support groups can help reduce the daily demands. BE OPEN TO CHANGE AND LET GO OF THE OUTCOME. A caregiver who is able to be flexible and adaptive will often reduce the stress of the situation. DON’T SPEND UNNECESSARY TIME or waste hours going down the internet “rabbit hole” looking for answers. Ask experts, doctors and medical staff for guidance. BE OPEN TO HEALTH CARE ALTERNATIVES such as acupuncture, massage, hypnosis, CBD and other holistic remedies.

PLAN SOMETHING SIMPLE to look forward to every day. A new recipe, a television show, or a walk around the park can bring joy to a day. TAKE CARE OF THE CAREGIVER. Make time to engage in self-care every week. Ask a friend to cover while you take a walk, go to a movie, or do something that feels like it’s “just for you!” FOCUS ON THE GOOD THINGS, no matter how small. Express gratitude whenever possible. REMEMBER THIS BEAUTIFUL QUOTE by Vivian Greene: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Caregiving is so much more than managing daily activities, household tasks and health care. It is a chance to deeply appreciate and value life while offering dignity, love and acceptance to another human being.

AMY HIRSHBERG LEDERMAN

Amy Hirshberg Lederman has written more than 300 columns and essays that have been published nationwide, amyhirshberglederman.com

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ACTIVELY SENIOR

Older individuals and COVID-19

C

oronaviruses, named for its Dr. Rosen: Yes, because people crownlike shape, are a large over 65 have fewer immune cells, family of viruses that are which means it takes longer to react common in many species of animals. to harmful germs, and healing can be Several coronaviruses can infect slowed. people, according to the Center for   Disease Control and Prevention. ORJL: What are some medical These strains mostly cause cold-like conditions that make contracting the symptoms but can sometimes progress virus more difficult to recover from? to more complicated lower respiratory Dr. Rosen: The most significant tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or diseases are underlying lung diseases, bronchitis. disease that compromise the On rare occasions, animal immune system (like lymphoma or coronaviruses can evolve and spread leukemia), undergoing treatment that Dr. Sonja Rosen among humans, as seen with MERS compromises the immune system (like and SARS. The virus at the center of chemotherapy), severe heart disease, the latest outbreak is being referred to dialysis patients and people with as a novel (new) coronavirus, since it’s something that diabetes. health officials have not seen before.   Older adults and people who have severe underlying ORJL: What are the best precautions seniors can take medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes to avoid getting COVID-19? seem to be at higher risk for developing more severe Dr. Rosen: The best way to prevent illness is to complications from COVID-19 illness. avoid being exposed to this virus by sheltering in place Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild at home. Remember that some people without symptoms symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms may may be able to spread the virus.  Wash your hands often. appear 2-14 days after exposure. Watch for fever, cough, If you absolutely have to go out for essential things and shortness of breath. like groceries or for medications from the pharmacy, Dr. Sonja Rosen, MD, is chief of geriatric medicine make sure to wear a mask and again, wash your hands at Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills, CA, and has been frequently. If available, wear disposable gloves. practicing for 19 years. ORJL reached out to Dr. Rosen If possible, try to have food and medications delivered and asked her questions specifically related to older instead of going out, and ask the delivery person to leave individuals and COVID-19. Here are the questions and it outside your door so you can avoid face-to-face, inher responses: person contact. ORJL: What should they do if a household member ORJL: Other than underlying health conditions, what or caretaker gets COVID-19? makes seniors so vulnerable to COVID-19? Dr. Rosen: It is important to isolate from that Dr. Rosen: With aging, the body produces fewer caretaker or household member, paying special attention immune cells, including white blood cells. Older people to not use the same bathroom or food products. are essentially somewhat immunocompromised, as the   fewer immune cells also don’t communicate as well with ORJL: Any other advice for seniors during this time? each other.  Dr. Rosen: Try to stay physically active at   home. There are a lot of video and online activities, ORJL: If a person is healthy, but over 65, are they still including exercise classes. Try also to stay socially at a higher risk of complications? Continued on next page 20

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ACTIVELY SENIOR

connected from home, calling your friends and family and using a video chat or FaceTime if you can. There are several online programs that combine exercise and socializing - check with your local department of aging to find out more. Reach out to your city or county if you are food or other supply insecure – there are multiple efforts to feed and help supply older residents with essentials – reach out for help. The CDC also recommends that seniors develop a care

plan. During the COVID-19 pandemic, having a care plan is an essential part of emergency preparedness. A care plan summarizes your health conditions, medications, healthcare providers, emergency contacts, and end-of-life care options (for example, advance directives). Complete your care plan in consultation with your doctor, and if needed, with help from a family member or home nurse aide. Care plans can help reduce emergency room visits

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

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Resources for health, finances, retirement, love and entertainment. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS WITH THE LINK: orjewishlife.com/newsletter-sign-me-up/

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MAY/JUNE 2020 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE


and hospitalizations, and improve overall medical management for people with a chronic health condition, resulting in a better quality of life. It’s also important to stock up on over-the-counter medications to treat fever, cough and other symptoms, as well as tissues and standard medical supplies. Major health insurers have pledged to relax prescription refill limits on “maintenance medications” in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Prescription

refill limits are also being waived for many Medicare Advantage and Part D beneficiaries. If you run into difficulty stocking up on your prescriptions at the pharmacy, consider refilling your medications with a mail-order service, the CDC says. You can also ask your physician to switch your prescription from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply to make sure you have enough medication to get through a potential COVID-19 outbreak in your community. 

Local help with your Medicare questions. Take advantage of it. Give me a call and I can help answer your Medicare questions so you can find the UnitedHealthcare® medicare Advantage plan that fits your needs. Take the confusion out of Medicare Get help comparing plans Receive one-on-one service

Make switching plans easier

I’m Jess Matza, a licensed sale representative in the Portland Metro area. When it comes to Medicare, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. What works well for your neighbor may not be the best fit for you. And what met your needs last year might not be the best fit this year. Take advantage of this time to explore your Medicare choices so you can enroll in a plan with confidence. I’m here to help. I know the ins and outs of Medicare, and I can help make it easier for you to understand too.

Go ahead, take advantage Call me today to learn more.

Jess Matza

Licensed Sales Representative

(503) 705-3637, TTY 711 jjmpdx@outlook.com

Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. SPRJ54747_C

SPRJ5447

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ACTIVELY SENIOR

Why it’s helpful to have a Medicare insurance agent

J

ess Matza knows how overwhelming it can be when you are shopping for Medicare. He discovered this first hand when he was shopping for his own plan. There are so many different plans, not including the supplemental ones; the process can be daunting. Then there’s the terminology: copays, deductibles, coinsurance, different premiums, it’s hard to comprehend what you are reading, let alone understand it. JESS MATZA The fact is, Jess learned so much during his research process that he became a licensed independent career agent for UnitedHealthcare in Portland. “I help people sort out the information,” says Jess. “I try to educate them and I always ask them, ‘What’s your goal? What would you like to see with your coverage?’ and then I point them in the right direction.” Jess explains why he went with UnitedHealthcare, not just for his personal plan, but for his professional position. “I found that UnitedHealthcare was offering some distinct advantages with their AARP relationship that made me feel they really cared about their clients.” UnitedHealthcare serves one in five Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. “There was no cost for the agent and therefore local support, someone that could review plans with me every year if I want,” says Jess. “There is a personal log into my records that shows my coverage; I can view my claims for services, links to the nurse line 24/7, find my drugs and estimated costs that are in my network to name a few features.” He enjoys his new position because he finds it challenging and he is constantly learning. Jess had to be licensed through the state of Oregon and certified annually at UnitiedHealthcare. He also has to participate in continuing education through the state of Oregon. With approximately 2,200 people turning 65 in Portland each month, Jess has his work cut out for him along with other agents for UnitedHealthcare. Jess recommends anyone turning 65 to seek the help of a professional agent, to make the process easier. He also answered a few specific questions for us in addition to providing additional resources to utilize when you begin the search for a Medicare plan. 24

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Q. How did you do your research for a good plan that would fit your needs? A. I started asking my friends, and family members. I heard about different plans, and companies that offered all the different plans Part A, B, C, D, and Medicare Supplement plans that have all their own letters N, C, F, G just to name a few, and I just had trouble making sense of it all. Q. How did you end up with UnitedHealth Care as a provider for your Medicare insurance? A. After doing my own research, and getting various opinions, I went to the following websites that detailed some great information: www.medicaremadeclear.com www.medicare.gov, and www.myaarpmedicare.com Q. Once you learned the jargon, and what Part A, B, C, and D meant, what did you do next? A. I learned that I could electronically compare the plans on-line, learn about the differences between Prescription Drug Coverage plans, Medicare Advantage plans and Supplemental plans. I then looked at the benefits and features, and estimated costs of each. There is more information at www.aarpmedicareplans.com Q. What is the most exciting part of your job selling UnitedHealthcare Medicare insurance? A. Meeting great people and educating them about Medicare and how it works. There are different options to pick from that include Medicare Advantage Plans, Supplemental Plans, and Prescription Drug Plans. It is a very rewarding career to be assisting people to make good choices for their insurance needs so they can stay healthy and live a good life. For more information, contact Jess at 503-705-3637.


The mystery of the Libe Shteyn By Mala Blomquist 26

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ACTIVELY SENIOR

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lacing a stone on a grave is a Jewish custom that dates back to at least medieval times. There are a variety of explanations as to why this tradition began. Some say that it shows to others that someone has visited the grave, others say it allows visitors to take part in the mitzvah of commemorating the burial and the deceased. Another more mystical approach suggests that the stones keep the soul down. There is a belief, with roots in the Talmud, that souls continue to dwell for a while in the graves in which they are placed. By placing stones on the grave, you ensure that the soul remains where they belong. But there is a bigger mystery at hand regarding these stones than their origin. In Jewish cemeteries surrounding Portland and Vancouver, little baskets of hand-painted rocks started appearing around the end of February. These baskets of Libe Shteyn or “Love Stones” in Yiddish have a simple note to “help yourself ” to a stone for your loved one. All they ask in return is if the supplies are running low to drop them a line at libeshteyn@gmail.com, and they will paint more. Who is behind the Libe Shteyn? While we did not get an answer to that question, we did get some of the other questions answered that we sent to the Libe Shteyn email. We were told the idea for Love Stones originated from the story a friend told the founder. This friend was going to meet their family for the unveiling of her father’s headstone. They had heard a story recently

about someone who went to a funeral where painted rocks were presented at the service. She decided to do that for her family so that when they all met, each person would have a hand-painted stone to place on the headstone during the unveiling. This story resonated with the founder of Love Stones because they always associated going to a cemetery with sad and awful experiences. “I don’t like going to the cemetery. It was a taboo thing in my family,” they shared. “I thought, ‘This is so pretty, I’m going to ask a few friends if they’d be interested in doing it.’ The response was great.” The stones are all hand-painted with unique designs created by the individual artist. There are hamsas, mandalas, whimsical and natural designs; some contain words in English or Hebrew. “When you have them all together, you sit there and you can’t help but stare at them like you are in a museum. You can’t stop,” says the founder. The group of painters came up with the name Libe Shteyn themselves and set up the email so that people could contact them when the baskets were running low. They have also been receiving the “most beautiful messages of thanks” via the email. Some people have sent in suggestions of Hebrew words to paint. Others share photos of the rocks placed lovingly on a headstone. The concept has been so well received. “We feel so good about doing this,” adds the founder. They insist that they all want to remain anonymous for as long as they can. The mystery surrounding it makes one painter feel a little like the chevra kadisha, the sacred burial society. This group of people cares for the body after death – washing it, dressing it in shrouds and placing it in the coffin – preparing the deceased for burial, purely out of love and respect, with no motive of expecting reward or compensation. They paint the stones with similar intentions and love so that each one becomes a fitting symbol of the lasting presence of the deceased’s life and memory. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 27


ACTIVELY SENIOR

WHISKERS AWAY Have skin as smooth as a baby's tush. Philips Norelco shaver 4500. use.philips.com

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? Scare the dirt and make life easier with these fingertip claw gardening gloves. What will they think of next. odditymail.com

OLDSTER OPTIONS Being and oldster, doesn't mean your old. Everyone loves to receive a gift from the heart. Here are some suggestions on things you didn't even know you needed.

COLORING BOOKS FOR ADULTS Get on your markers set, go! target.com

TOOTSIE WARMER As warm as your favorite sweater. Machine washable rockdovefootwear.com

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STRUT YOUR STUFF Put the glamour back in necessity. Ivory walking cane with wood shaft and brass collor fashionablecanes.com.


BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB For the voracious reader who can't get enogh to read. There are plans available in 3, 6 and 12 months. bookofthemonth.com

CUP OF JOE Start the day off right with a selection chosen from you coffee club subscription. drinktrade.com CLACKING OF THE TILES Whether you are breaking the wall or getting a dragon tile, this game brings out the strategist in everyone. horchow.com

GRANDPAD It's the smartest, simplest, and safest way to connect you with your loved ones. grandpad.net CHOW DOWN With 365 recipes to choose from, eating becomes an adventure in food. williams.sonoma.com JEWELED DYNASTY Generations are represented on this birthstone necklace. Largest stone represent Grandma, next size, her children and the smallest stones her grandchildren. daniquejewelry.com REST AWHILE Peeramid Bookrest. This uniquely shaped pillow props a book, Kindle or iPad at the perfect angle for reading. tvtimedirect.com

PIECE-BY-PIECE Hours of fun for puzzle and Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiests. galison.com


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COVER STORY

From Hollywood back to Portland, publicist and Sew to Save founder

LISA SCHNEIDERMAN making things happen

By Mala Blomquist

L

isa Schneiderman’s 20 years as a publicist have brought her the extraordinary experiences of living in Hollywood, red carpet events, and meeting with her celebrity clientele. But the one constant for her amid the glitz and glamour of her profession has always been her passion for seeking and sharing the positive, especially bringing attention to those making a difference. With the onset of the pandemic, Lisa had no way to predict that she would be thrust into a whole different enterprise. But being the public relations professional she is, and her strong desire for tikkun olam, she couldn’t just sit by when there was such a need.

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LISA SCHNIDERMAN

SEW TO SAVE “I was hoping to create some positive social impact, it’s one of those things where you have an idea, and you think, ‘OK I’m just going to throw this up against the wall and see if it’s going to stick,’ and this one definitely did!” jokes Lisa. It all started with a phone call to a friend who has been a labor and delivery nurse in Portland for more than 30 years. “Lisa, we are delivering babies without masks,” she said. Lisa couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She asked her what she needed, and the nurse responded that she needed 1,000 masks for the labor and delivery department and 200 masks for their clinic. “I told her, ‘I’m going to get you your masks,’ and we said a prayer, and she went off to deliver more babies, and I started calling everyone I knew, seeing who could help,” says Lisa. Lisa started doing research, and she found plenty of Facebook groups popping up with people making masks, but she thought, “We have to have this all organized – the only way I can do this is if it’s automated.” She also reached out to hospitals firsthand, thinking that they would be the best place to start to gauge interest and get a feel for the need. But the hospitals all said, “No, thank you.” They explained that they weren’t taking homemade masks or they had their own supply chain. But the contradiction was that Lisa’s friends, who are doctors and nurses, were all working for these big establishments, and they didn’t have any of the masks that they desperately needed. So, Lisa decided, “Our little volunteer effort here in Portland, OR, is going to go doctor to doctor, nurse to nurse, and that’s how we’re going to do it.” One of the doctors she reached out to told her that standard protocol was to use one mask per patient, but lately, in the ER, they were only given one mask per day. He told her that in order to clean the masks, they were going to the liquor store and buying Everclear grain alcohol, putting it in a spray bottle, spraying the masks, and letting them sit for 10 minutes to dry. The team carried out this process between each patient. Lisa called ShiloRune, a creative tech company, and they spent all day on a Saturday working out the kinks on a website (sewtosave.org). They created three tabs and a simple form to fill out: are you a sewer, a delivery driver, or do you need a mask? With a website, now Lisa had to think of a way to get the word out, but she feared that she would get too many requests in and not be able to fill the orders. First, she put up a Sew to Save Facebook page and immediately received a response from 25 people who would like to sew. She received responses from more volunteers when she posted Sew to Save on her personal Facebook page. Lisa then called KGW, the NBC affiliate television station in Portland, and told them the story and that they had 25 sewers, but needed more because they had already received 32

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orders for 1,500 masks. The piece initially aired on a Sunday night. They repeated it during the newscast at 5 and 6 am Monday morning. “By 6:30 am, I was getting notifications every 20 minutes to my inbox – every time someone fills out a form,” says Lisa. Sew to Save went from 25 sewers to 354 in 12 hours. They also went from 1,500 masks being requested to 5,000. The KGW piece attracted doctors, health care workers and first responders from all over the city. She also received an unexpected request from Jewish Family & Child Service. “They needed masks because they have more than 100 Holocaust survivors and they don’t have anybody to do their grocery shopping, so they need masks to go grocery shopping,” says Lisa. “They’re also considered first responders, so I couldn’t say no.” Sew to Save had its first delivery on April 9. They delivered 200 masks to 17 physicians and nurses. “I was coordinating the 18 people that it took just to deliver those 200 masks,” says Lisa. I had nine mask makers fill out the form who had 25 or more finished masks to pick up, and then I had to coordinate those nine people from all over the city with nine delivery drivers.” The timeline from when Lisa had her initial conversation with her nurse friend from labor and delivery to when the site was up and taking orders was just a week and a half. “That was a huge feat in and of itself because I’ve never done that before,” says Lisa. “It’s in my blood, but at the same time organizing it and figuring it out – I need to get some interns to help because it’s a lot to coordinate,” admits Lisa She plans on keeping Sew to Save up and running as long they have sewers showing up and making masks as long as they have drivers to deliver them. “As long as we have requests coming in, we’re going to keep this puppy going,” she says. This is all in addition to her full-time job running Schneiderman Productions, Inc. (schneidermanproductionsinc.com). As of April 17, Sew to Save had more than 600 volunteers sewing masks. DISCOVERING HER KNACK Growing up in Portland, Lisa attended Raleigh Hills Elementary School and Beaverton High School and her family were members of Tifereth Israel, which her greatgrandparents helped found. The Schneiderman home was always filled with music, and Lisa and her sisters, Kim Schneiderman (a musician and music specialist at Portland Jewish Academy) and Stephanie Schneiderman (a musician, songwriter and recording artist) recorded the popular Oy Baby! and That Baby! CD series. “We spent a lot of time with our grandparents on both sides and I feel grateful we grew up with them,” remembers Lisa. “It was nice to grow up in a big family and pass down


Clockwise: Lisa making a delivery of masks; volunteer sewer Klare Aziz; the finished product.

“Lisa, we are delivering babies without masks,” she said. “I told her, ‘I’m going to get you your masks,’ and she went off to deliver more babies, and I started calling everyone I knew.” – Lisa Schneiderman OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 33


Delivering 900 masks to Cedar Sinai Park. From left, Lisa, her niece Sophia Palumbis and Kim Fuson, CEO of Cedar Sinai Park. the traditions that were passed down to our parents, like Shabbat dinners and lighting the candles, the importance of community.” Lisa attended the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, CA, and graduated with a communication degree with a specialty in film and video production. “I always knew I wanted to do something in communication,” she says. “We had a family friend who said, ‘You know what? You’d be great at public relations. I know a position open in Oregon.’ I was still living in San Diego but thinking about moving back home. I interviewed, and I got it.” Lisa’s first job out of college was as public relations director at the publishing house Beyond Words. It was there that she realized she had a knack for public relations. She worked at Beyond Words from 1994 to 1998. Every season the company published between 12 to 15 new titles. Lisa’s responsibility was to get these authors into the public eye. “Our authors were all over the country,” says Lisa. “We 34

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would send our authors on tour and I would pitch local press in different cities for them, wherever they lived, and I would also pitch nationally.” Beyond Words also printed coffee table books, and through this, celebrity photographer, Veronique Vial, became one of Lisa’s clients. Veronique created Men Before 10 AM. The book revealed a secret peek into the lives of celebrities such as Keanu Reeves, Jack Nicholson, John Singleton, Arthur Miller and others first thing in the morning. Lisa got Veronique onto “Entertainment Tonight,” and being pleased with her representation, she asked Lisa in her thick French accent if she wanted to leave Beyond Words and have Veronique as her first independent PR client? “It was a great experience, and I was ready to get on my own,” says Lisa. “The premise of that publishing house was really about good messages. So I was interested in putting out good work and positive messages in the world. That became my motto when I first started my business.” In 1998, Lisa started her own business with Veronique as


LISA SCHNIDERMAN

Sew to Save’s mobile office One of the first deliveries of masks went to 17 physicians at Southwest Family Physicians.

OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 35


LISA SCHNIDERMAN

her first client with her new book, Women Before 10 AM. This time 100 female celebrities were in the spotlight first thing in the morning. Lisa ended up booking Veronique on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” so she flew to Venice Beach for the shoot, which was scheduled to happen at Veronique’s home. Veronique was to reenact one of her “surprise” morning photoshoots with a celebrity. Only the celebrity, Jennifer Beals, was a no show. Being the dedicated professional she was, Lisa stepped in. “The whole thing was hilarious,” says Lisa. “I had to lay on the bed and pretend to be asleep while Veronique says, ‘good morning!’ There were three cameramen over the bed with two cameras in my face and I was being directed by the producers – but I was on Oprah.” Veronique was very instrumental in the growth of Lisa’s business. She told Lisa if she moved to California, she would set her up to do red carpet events with nonprofit organizations and connect her to celebrities.

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She moved in 2000. “I pulled together a little boutique agency out of my place in Santa Monica,” says Lisa. “I had two full-time assistants and interns – we were really busy.” For five years, she organized red carpet events in which a nonprofit would reach out to her and she would coordinate all aspects of the event from booking the venue to finding items for a silent auction to locating celebrities whose views aligned with the nonprofit’s cause. It was during this time, that Lisa had three separate people on three different occasions tell her that she needed to meet Lee Solters. “You know how sometimes things come in threes?” says Lisa. “Well, after the third time, I thought, ‘I should find out who this man is.’ ” THURSDAYS WITH LEE Lisa soon found out that Lee Solters was a legendary Hollywood publicist who represented Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Susan Sarandon, and David Geffen among others.


She reached out and Lee agreed to give her 20 minutes. Their first meeting lasted for three hours. At the end of the meeting, Lee asked Lisa, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and she replied, “Sitting in your chair.” She honestly didn’t know why that came out of her mouth, but from that point on, the octogenarian took her under his wing and treated her as if she were family. For the next six months, he became her mentor, and they would have dinner every Thursday night. “He would tell me all these stories about traveling with the Rat Pack and Barbra Streisand,” remembers Lisa. “I did not take those moments with him for granted for one second. It was unbelievable.” One of her favorite stories was when Lee arranged publicity for the grand opening of the iconic Nate ‘n Al’s deli in Beverly Hills. He threw the soiree at a hotel with an Olympic-size swimming pool. Lee invited celebrities and press, and he

turned the pool into a giant bowl of matzo ball soup. “I don’t know how he did it, he must have gotten people from Disney, or somebody, to make the noodles and these huge balls that looked like matzo balls,” says Lisa. “They even turned the water the color of the broth.” The press went wild when Lee fell into the pool on “accident.” Lisa jokes that it would have gone viral if they had the internet then. One day, Lee offered Lisa the position of executive vice president at his firm, Solters & Digney. “I was very honored that he asked me to do that,” says Lisa. “I was there for two years.” While she worked at Solters & Digney, she had the chance to revisit one of her passions from college – film. “They asked me if I wanted to head up film acquisitions, and I said absolutely,” says Lisa. As they attracted more independent film clients, Lisa began developing relationships with Warner Brothers and producing screening events.

Being in PR has it's benefits. Lisa rubs shoulders with: Ed Asner, Gloria Allred, Hal Linden, Celine Dion, Richard Dreyfuss and soap opera queen, Susan Lucci. Opposite page: Lisa on the red carpet for the Oscar pre-party event, The Night of 100 Stars. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 37


LISA SCHNIDERMAN

I was like Lee’s sidekick for all of those big events,” remembers Lisa. “He took me to all those events, and I just met everybody in Hollywood because of Lee.”

Lisa's mentor and guiding light Lee Solters.

Lisa with Diana Ross and Lee Solters.

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LASTING LEGACIES Lisa left Hollywood in 2005. “I was inspired by that experience, and I was also burned out,” says Lisa. “So I decided to take a six-month hiatus and do some soul searching and get clear on what I wanted to. What was really my passion?” During this time, what kept coming to Lisa was that she had been a children’s advocate her whole life. She started babysitting at a young age, was very active in BBYO and was a camp counselor. In 2006, Lisa decided to create an organization called Revolution Y.E.S. (Youth Engaged in Service), inspired by the lengthy Thursday dinner conversation with Lee that veered to the topic of leaving a legacy and the work she did in her early 20s with at-risk youth. When she first started at Beyond Words, Lisa got involved with an organization called Committed Partners for Youth. This volunteer-based program would provide middle school children who were deemed “at-risk,” either because of their grades or home life, and give them the chance to change their lives for the better through a year-long program. Lisa worked with that organization for 10 years and heard devastating stories of abuse from these kids. She started to reflect on her conversations with Lee about celebrities and pop culture and how a lot of the celebrities that kids idolized were not very good role models. She started thinking about how hard it is for kids who are working on themselves to change their life for the better, to see celebrities behaving badly and still gaining popularity. “I was tracking celebrities and starting to make a list of ones that we’re attaching themselves to help elevate causes versus celebrities that were doing it promote their own name,” says Lisa. “I needed to start a revolution – the good kind of revolution,” she says. So she returned to the red carpet, but instead of being a publicist, she became a journalist. “I interviewed more than 400 celebrities about, ‘What are they doing to make a difference in the world with their favorite cause?’ and ‘How do they think Hollywood is influencing society, especially our young people?’ ” She would also ask them what kind of legacy they would like to leave behind. Lisa often reflects on that question herself. She believes growing up Jewish, “I was more driven with being involved in causes than anything else. The experience that I had in the B’nai B’rith organization impacted me with tikkun olam for sure.” I think the more we can inspire our kids to be of service in the world, to help others, you just have a better society.”


“The experience that I had in the B’nai B’rith organization impacted me with tikkun olam for sure.” – Lisa Schneiderman

Lisa enjoyes her work as a children’s advocate.

OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 39


FRONT & CENTER

A Jewish guide to streaming by Michael Fox

In the streaming universe, as with all entertainment, there’s the stuff that everyone watches and talks about. But that’s

just the tip of a vast catalog, a lot of it quite good, that doesn’t get the hype and the buzz. Here’s an eclectic list of accessible Jewish-themed movies that received some hosannas on their initial release. The more obscure (and great) Jewish films of recent years will be on a future list which, alas, we’ll have ample time to watch after catching up with these.

THE WOMEN’S BALCONY (Chai Flicks) Menemsha Films, the savvy U.S. distributor of Jewish-themed films from around the world, offers a free 30-day trial of their streaming platform. (A subscription will then run you $5.99 a month.) There’s enough first-rate stuff to carry you to Shavuot and beyond, and I suggest you begin with Israeli director Emil Ben-Shimon and screenwriter Shlomit Nehama’s warm and wonderful romp set among a small Orthodox congregation dislocated by structural damage to its Jerusalem shul. THE LAST LAUGH (PBS’ Independent Lens) It’s one thing, a daring thing, to explore the most taboo subject in comedy – the Holocaust – though the considered insights of Jewish 40

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comedians from Mel Brooks (“The Producers”) to Sarah Silverman. It’s another to integrate that seriously irreverent investigation with Renee Firestone’s real, scarring Holocaust experience in a way that respects and amplifies the suffering of millions. Ferne Pearlstein’s 2016 documentary is both an entertaining and deep work. TEL AVIV ON FIRE (Amazon Prime) Sameh Zoabi’s clever comedy about a Palestinian soap-opera writer trying to navigate the demands of both his bosses and an Israeli checkpoint commander will lift your spirits without insulting your IQ. Make a batch of hummus first.


1945 (Amazon Prime) This extraordinary black-and-white Hungarian film parlays the postwar arrival of two exhausted Jews at a small village into an exposé of guilt, betrayal, corruption and murder. One of the most acclaimed European films of 2017, “1945” is a gripping and haunting reckoning with dark history. MIKE WALLACE IS HERE (Hulu) One of the smartest and best documentaries of 2019 examines, entirely through archival television footage, the ambitious journalist who made “60 Minutes” essential viewing. Not a Jewish film, oddly enough, but a riveting one. DISOBEDIENCE (Amazon Prime) Sebastian Lelio’s taut, understated 2017 drama, adapted from Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s novel, is a remarkably nonjudgmental story that follows a volatile, adrift woman’s (Rachel Weisz) return to London after the death of her estranged father, an Orthodox rabbi. Community, identity, responsibility, sexuality – everything is on the table. PROSECUTING EVIL: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF BEN FERENCZ (Netflix) The last surviving U.S. attorney from the Nuremberg trials has an impeccable memory, a spotless moral compass and enormous gravitas. If your fortitude is at a low ebb, Ben Ferencz will give you the strength to persevere. A SERIOUS MAN (Netflix) The Coen Brothers’ most personal and most Jewish film, filmed in and around their childhood stomping grounds of Minneapolis–St. Paul, is a painfully hilarious moral fable guaranteed to provoke a cross-generational dinner table conversation. One politically incorrect question that this devious 2009 movie poses: Are Jews our own worst enemies?

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FRONT & CENTER

Don Horn’s tribute to his friend Walter Cole By Mala Blomquist

Walter Cole (also known as Darcelle XV), left, with Don Horn. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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ast year launched triangle productions 30th season with Don Horn (also known as Donnie) at the helm like he has been for the previous 29 years. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, the theater went dark before they could finish season 30, but they look forward to resuming operations in September to kick off season 31. When triangle opened, there were eight theaters in Portland, and four of them were in the midst of closing. Now there are 140 theaters in the city. Triangle opened with a play Don wrote called “After the Rain,” based on situations that happened to multiple people during the AIDS epidemic. The play was about a man whose partner died of a mysterious illness and his family came, loaded all his possessions in a truck, drove away, and the partner was left with nothing. “He had no rights, and I thought, ‘We have to talk about this,’ ” remembers Don. The play sold out on opening night, but Don had an odd interaction with an audience member, “A lady came up to me and hit me in the stomach, she was so mad at me, and she said, ‘I want you to know that I’m pregnant, and I’m HIV positive,’ ” says Don. The year was 1990, and Don didn’t know any women who were HIV positive, so that was the storyline of his second play, “Tell Mama Goodbye.” That was the beginning of triangle productions! and the beginning of Don bringing delicate and challenging subject matter to the stage. “I love writing plays,” shares Don. “I love hearing the audience – no matter if it’s my play or not – whether it’s a sniffle or a clap. That is the reward because then you know you’ve done your job.” Don is not just a gifted playwright, but an author with 16 titles under his belt. His latest, Darcelle: Looking from my mirror, tells the story of Walter Cole, known professionally as Darcelle XV, who holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest drag queen performer. “Writing the book about Walter/Darcelle was hard,” says Don. “He sits right across when you ask questions, and sometimes it’s uncomfortable asking questions – there are certain things that you know are off-limits.” He remembers the time Walter/Darcelle said, “My dad abused me,” and left it at that. Then one day, they were talking, and it spurred something


else, and by the end of the conversation, Don had an hour’s worth of interview on what his father did. “I won’t share it with anybody,” says Don. “But I think it helped him to talk about it.” Don explains that it took about two and a half years to write the book. He would edit it and re-edit it as new things happened. He also would discover a newspaper article and want to talk to the reporter, or go back to Walter/Darcelle and compare the information. “Especially since Darcelle is a living person, I didn’t want people reading this and say, ‘That’s not true.’ “ Aside from the content, this book is also unusual in the fact that it has no chapters. You pick up the book, and it starts with Walter’s birth, and 650 pages later, you’ve meandered through his life. “That’s the way he talks, and I thought I need to say that in his way of saying it, instead of doing chapters,” says Don. “He does not think in chapters; our lives aren’t in chapters.” Walter/Darcelle is an icon in Portland and has been performing for more than 50 years. “Most cities don’t have that ‘number one,’ and then you get a drag queen as the ‘number one.’ “ jokes Don. “But he’s also been a friend for 30 years; he’s royalty to a lot of us.” Don’s tribute to Walter/Darcelle also included a play called, “Darcelle: That’s No Lady,” that premiered to rave reviews and an exhibit, “WThe Many Shades of Being Darcelle: 52 Years of Fashion,” 1967–2019,” at Oregon Historical Society that featured eight costumes, a jean jacket and jewelry from Walter/Darcelle’s collection. Don was also instrumental in filing the necessary paperwork to have Walter/Darcelle’s longtime home recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. The listing became official at the end of February. The house was built in 1896 and is regarded as one of the best examples of the Queen Anne style in the Elliot Neighborhood, where it is located. An upcoming exhibit, “Darcelle XV at Home,” at the Architectural Heritage Center, will spotlight Portland photographer Tom Cook’s images of Walter, dressed as Darcelle, inside the Victorian house. And when people ask why he’s done all of this, his reply is from the heart. “He deserves this for who he is and what he’s done for this city and how much money he’s raised for charity. But also if you give him the history now, when he is alive, we won’t be talking about, ‘What we should have done’ later.” Darcelle: Looking from my mirror can be found on Amazon.

Darcelle XV

For more information on triangle productions! and Don’s other works, visit trianglepro.org. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 43


FAS H I O N

SEATING ARRANGEMENTS Whether it's brunch, lunch, cocktails, dinner or just a relaxing BBQ, the right LOOK fits the occasion.

H&M Circle-skirt dress $69.99 www2.hm.com

BRUNCH COCKTAILS

LUNCH

L'Agence Spring 2020 lagence.com Marchesa 2-piece embroidered organza top and skirt $3490 district5boutique.com

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AFTERNOON CANASTA BCBGMAXAZRIA Crepe Palazzo pant $248.00 bcbg.com

BBQ

POOLSIDE GATHERING Kaftan Limited edition noray-ayron.com River Shorts $79.00 topodesigns.com OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 45


FOOD

S U M M E RT I M E SIPPERS Our backyards beckon. As summer is all but here, time to get outside. Whether you're surrounded by friends and family or just being supine, nothing refreshes like a summertime libation.

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SUMMER SANGRIA INGREDIENTS 4 Oranges, 2 juiced, 2 halved lenghtwise and thinly sliced crosswise 1/ 3 to 1/2 cup of sugar 1/4 cup brandy 1 bottle dry red wine, chilled 2 lemons, thinly sliced 2 cups seltzer or club soda Ice cubes for serving

DIRECTIONS In a large pitcher, combine orange juice, sugar, and brandy; stir until sugar has dissolved. Add chilled wine, orance slices, lemon slices and seltzer; sitr to combine. Fill glasses with ice befor serving and garnish with orange or lemon fruit slices.

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SUMMERTIME SIPPERS

PEAR MOJITO INGREDIENTS 1.5 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel rum .75 oz. lime juice .75 simple syrup 1 oz. Ambient pear juice Fresh mint leaves Club soda

DIRECTIONS In a highball glass, lightly press on mint leaves with muddler. Add rest of the ingredients except club soda. All ice and transfer into a shaker and shake. Add club soda and pour back in highball glass. Garnish with mint leaves.

THE SICILIAN FIRING SQUAD INGREDIENTS 1 oz. Montelobos mezcal 1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange liqueur .5 oz. grenadine 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice 2 dash Angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over fresh ice in rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and a Luxardo maraschino cherry

TIFFANY BLUE COSMOPOLITAN for 2

INGREDIENTS 3 oz. vodka 1 oz. blue curacao 5 oz white cranberry juice Squeeze of fresh lemon DIRECTIONS Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into martini glasses and serve. 48

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FOR

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DAD

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A few suggestions to make dad feel extra special on June 21st. Or any day that says you love him. e PUT A CORK IN IT Lovingly cast from zinc and finished with a charming antique brass plate, these animal-shaped bottle corks offer the perfect way to preserve that last glass of rosé. Every purchase empowers artisans from Roots of Creation in South Africa. $12.00ea • the littlemarket.com

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r DRONE ON DroneX Pro is a precision engineered drone which is specifically designed for easy flying, making it perfect to fly inside or to record action shots whilst on the move. Its foldable structure and lightweight design makes it an essential item for any moments! Look out! $99.00 • buydronexpro.net t KISS THE COOK This 100% Cotton bib apron will make dad feel like the real deal. It boasts tie closures, it's machine washable and comes with a right chest pockets and 2 hip pockets. Additional suspenders sold separately. Color: Desert sand suspender set included Size: 34 L x 30 w $42.99 • chefworks.com

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u STEAK-PALOOZA No matter which way you cut it, steak is the game. For a variety of steaks or steak combos, check out Omaha Steaks website. I'll have mine rare please! Begining at $24.99 omahasteaks.com

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i SEEING IS BELIEVING Nikon's 10x42 Aculon A211 Binocular is an ideal device for hunters, birders, and outdoor enthusiasts who require an optic that delivers high magnification for detailed observations of distant subjects while retaining the ability to observe quickly on the go, without the bulk and weight of larger models. Color: black. $89.00 • bhphotovideo.com

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i DROP A DIME Go back and find the past in this 1950s payphone from Crosley, reproduced down to the rotary-style push buttons. Even better, this vintage-inspired payphone doesn't take money, it saves it in a coin bank! Color: red, black, and aqua blue. $89.95 • crosleyradio.com OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 49


S U M M E R

F U N

B’nai B’rith Camp

to receive emergency matching grant funds from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation

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ummer camp, like many institutions, is in jeopardy this summer. Camp directors and their boards are busily working to develop contingency plans to reopen in accordance with national and state health guidelines. To assist camps during this unprecedented time, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation has created the All Together Now matching grant to offer access to a $10 million emergency fund through its JCamp 180 program. B’nai B’rith Camp will be one of approximately 100 nonprofit Jewish summer camps across North America that will be eligible to receive $1 from the HGF for every $2 raised from other donors through the end of 2020. B’nai B’rith Camp has never been more important in serving the needs of Jewish campers and its families. Since 1921, BB Camp has built a strong, immersive community based on shared ideals, serving over 1200 overnight

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and day campers each summer. Plans are currently in place to make certain that BB Camp will welcome its first campers for beginning June 29. “When under stress, Jewish life, faith, and traditions are a source of strength for kids and adults alike,” says BB Camp Executive Director, Michelle Koplan, “Whether they come out of quarantine or struggle with anxiety and depression as a result of these unprecedented times, we recognize the vital role we play in the lives of our campers and their families. Kids need connection with others, outdoor play, and to feel more free, and we provide both that and an opportunity to cope, heal, build friendships for life, and find deeper meaning and purpose through Judaism.” “The timing of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting camps especially hard. We don’t yet know the full extent of the resources that camps will need to weather this storm, but we know they need extra cash flow now, and their needs will be significant if camps can’t open this summer,” said founder Harold Grinspoon. “Jewish summer camp is a transformative experience for more than 90,000 children and young adult counselors each summer and is vital to our Jewish community. We hope that this new $10 million commitment will inspire others to help with needed funds

to protect and sustain Jewish camp at this critical moment.” Since launching JCamp 180 15 years ago, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation has invested $35 million in Jewish overnight and day camps throughout North America as well as provided training and support to boards of directors and professional leadership. In addition to the All Together Now matching grant, JCamp 180 mentors will continue to assist camp leadership with contingency planning, strategic communications, and navigation of financial resource opportunities as they become available. “Whether we have a full camp season this summer or fewer sessions at lower capacity, we’re doing everything we can to ensure that we’ll be able to continue to provide meaningful, magical experiences for Jewish children in future summers,” says Michelle Koplan. “But we need the help of the entire community to work toward that goal, and we’re hopeful that the matching component of the All Together Now grant will bring us the necessary funding to achieve our goals.” For more information on B’nai B’rith Camp, visit bbcamp.org. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 51


S U M M E R

F U N

Eden Village West:

A farm-to-table overnight camp experience By Mala Blomquist

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n 2010, Vivian and Yoni Stadlin received the funding to make their dream – a Jewish sleepaway camp focused on environmental sustainability – a reality. That year, Eden Village Camp was one of five new camps established through the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Specialty Camp Incubator Project. The camp, located 52 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MAY/JUNE 2020 | OREGON 2019JEWISH | ARIZONA LIFEJEWISH LIFE

in Putnam Valley, NY, about an hour’s drive north of Manhattan, also received financial support from UJAFederation of New York. After many years of running a successful camp in New York, the Stadlin’s were once again the recipients of the incubator’s funding, and in 2018, they opened Eden


Village West in Northern California. Eden Village West is located on the campus of Rio Lindo Academy, a boarding school outside of Healdsburg, CA, about 70 miles north of San Francisco. The 350-acre campus sits along the Russian River and is the perfect setting for this farm-to-table co-ed overnight camp for ages 8 to 16. Many camps offer outdoor activities or have farming and animals as part of their recreational opportunities, but EVW’s primary mission is to connect kids to the natural world. “For kids to have a connection, an appreciation for nature and the natural world and the food that they eat – and also we want those activities to facilitate a connection with Judaism,” says Zach Friedman, EVW’s assistant camp director. “And, in turn, we want Judaism to facilitate a connection, an appreciation and care for the natural world. That’s what our program is built upon.” On the 1-acre farm, they grow vegetables, herbs and flowers. “We get to decorate lots of spaces with the flowers that we grow,” says Zach. The children run the farm in the summer and do everything from planting to harvesting and setting up drip irrigation. The children also tend to the animals, which include collecting eggs from the chickens and bringing the goats to pasture. A typical day at camp starts with the kids having morning gratitude time and saying Modeh Ani, a traditional morning prayer. Then the kids can pick from several options from singing, dream sharing, waking up the animals, or mikvah in the Russian River. After breakfast are more activities centered around “village life.” In the afternoon is “schmooze” time where kids can choose from swimming, boating, music, circus arts, soccer, Frisbee, making tea in the apothecary, relaxing in the art room or visiting with friends. It’s their time to structure. Dinner time is special as it features food that the children harvested along with treats the campers made in culinary arts. “There’s a deeper appreciation for where their food comes from, a greater understanding and real ownership over the food that they eat but also a greater comfort level with eating different types of food,” says Zach. “It’s been widely studied that when kids are involved in growing and cooking their food, they’re going to eat more things, and they’re going to eat healthier.” After dinner, evening activities vary from smallgroup campfires to all-camp games. Then the counselors facilitate a bedtime ritual with each bunk. “We end every day with the campers running reflection,” says Zach. “Sharing their highs and lows from the day what they’re looking forward to the next day.” Although no one can see ahead to what the summer will bring with the COVID-19 virus, Zach says that they

are optimistic about being able to hold camp and have already had many families sign up. Camp enrollment increased from 87 campers their first year to 182 in 2019, so campers are excited to return. “I think most kids are happy to be on the farm and are happy to get dirty,” says Zach. “There’s an array of activities they have to choose from; they don’t do anything that they don’t want to – which is nice.” Based on the options available at Eden Village West, one would imagine there isn’t anything a kid wouldn’t want to do! For more information, contact 510-560-5610 or visit edenvillagewest.org. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 53


SUMMER FUN

OJMCHE presents annual art & writing competition

T Sala & Jakob Kryszek 54

he Sala Kryszek Art & Writing Competition for middle and high school students encourages youth to evaluate history, foster an awareness of the Holocaust, and broaden their minds in the areas of art, history, civics, sociology and literature.

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Each year the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education sponsors the art and writing contest named in honor of Sala Kryszek, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Portland, where she lived until her death in 1986. Her husband, Jakob, began

the contest to honor her memory and to promote Holocaust education and remembrance. Jakob was actively involved with the art and writing contest until his death in May of 2019. Usually, by Yom Hashoah, the contest deadlines have come and


gone and winners have been selected. But this year, due to COVID-19 and school closures, the art and writing submission deadlines have been extended. They will also have separate deadlines this year. For the competition, students are presented with a prompt that becomes their cue to create a piece of writing or a work of art. The prompt for the contest provides an opportunity for students to consider the circumstances in which a situation like the Holocaust can occur. Entries can reflect a wide range of literary and world history topics, although students are asked to relate their responses in some way to what they’ve learned about the Holocaust.  The following is the art and writing prompt for this year’s competition: Language can be used as a tool of hate. Hate speech – language that expresses intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice against a particular group – can serve both as a warning sign and catalyst to genocide and mass atrocity. The Nazi party used both written and spoken words, as well as visual media, to disseminate hateful ideas. Their consistent inflammatory speech was intended to not only vilify and humiliate Jews but shape the perceptions and attitudes of how non-Jews viewed and treated Jews. Hate speech can have the power to influence ordinary people to accept,

Past art winners of the Sala Kryszek Art & Writing Competition.

approve of, or commit violence, as happened during the Holocaust, when six million Jewish men, women and children, and millions of people from other minority groups, were murdered. Reflecting on Holocaust history, create a piece of writing or work of visual art that examines how hate speech was expressed, why it was effective at oppressing Jews and other minorities, and its consequences for modern society. All writing entries

must be submitted and received by OJMCHE by May 15, 2020. Please visit ojmche.org and click on “education” and “Sala Kryszek Art & Writing” for submission guidelines. All art entries must be submitted and received by OJMCHE by May 30, 2020. Students may choose to upload their entry and artist statement to Dropbox or mail their entry to OJMCHE directly. Any entry that is mailed will be photographed by an OJMCHE educator and

uploaded to Dropbox. Judges will be viewing the photographs only. Please see the art guidelines for detailed submission instructions following the ojmche.org link instructions above. After the contest, student artwork and writing samples will be on display at the OJMCHE. In the past, winners of both the art and writing contests have received a trip to Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Holocaust Museum accompanied by a teacher and parent.

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Ben Wahba with some of the friends he met while visiting Ethiopia.

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SUMMER FUN

An unexpected gap year adventure By Ben Wahba

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y name is Ben Wahba, I’m from Portland, OR and I’m living in Tel Aviv for the semester. I will be attending University of Oregon next year, Home of the Ducks! I heard about Aardvark Israel from my parents who found it on the internet and it seemed interesting. From the one conversation I had with Shani before registering, I knew this was going to be the program of a lifetime and would make my gap year unforgettable. As the program was approaching, in the back of my head I was always thinking, “What if I don’t like Aardvark? What if I don’t make friends? What if I don’t like my roommates?”  I saw just how ridiculous I was being within 30 minutes of arriving on Aardvark when I spoke to Daniel Judkowicz and he welcomed me with open arms as his brother.  As a young Jewish man who naturally disconnected with the community after my bar mitzvah, it was shocking to think I could’ve ever considered another program. Coming on Aardvark, I made lifelong friends from South Africa, Brazil, Australia, etc. I’ve learned more about my friends’ backgrounds, history and slang than in any geography class. I knew I’d be learning a lot this year on Aardvark, but didn’t think that it would also include all the different cultures my friends come from. If I had to pick one defining moment of my life on Aardvark, I would say the most fascinating thing would be going to Ethiopia with my friends. I had always been educated on the third world in an academic sense, however, I had never seen the true meaning of undeveloped and how fortunate everyone on Aardvark is compared to the Ethiopians. It was undeniably one of the saddest, yet most powerful places I have witnessed, from the children sleeping on the side of the road in the scorching sun to the outdoor synagogues made out of thin metal walls. All that mattered to the Ethiopian Jews was praying together. It didn’t matter whether they were inside a building with cover, or on the side of the road. As long as they had someone to pray with. As our tour bus drove through small townships, no matter what their opinion of us being there was, they always smiled back and said “Salaam.” The Ethiopians are a good people, to say the least. The most surprising thing for me on Aardvark has been the coronavirus. I didn’t think that a global pandemic was going to overtake my gap year and while it has, I’ve come to see it as a blessing in disguise. Yes, we can’t go to the Moadon anymore or take Tiyuls around this beautiful country, or go to our internships; however, quarantine has allowed everyone to be closer than they are with their own siblings. Not only that, but Aardvark has now given us the opportunity to be here for another two and a half months this summer! I don’t know about anybody else, but that sounds like a much better option than being smothered by mom and annoyed by my dad at home.  Since quarantine begun, my former internship at a refugee elementary school closed, which was a real bummer as I was working at a daycare for babies before Aardvark and I wanted to continue my passion of working with children in the Promised Land. Fortunately, I got a new internship during Covid-19! Charlee (the social media manager) has taken me under her wing in the world of creating content for the different social media platforms of Aardvark, like TikTok and Instagram. As a teenager who enjoys technology maybe a little too much, it’s the perfect fit! Every other Student of the Week has ended with advice to prospective Aardvarkians, so I’ll just say this. We all have expectations in life; Lord knows I did with my gap year. All you have to remember is while you’ll be happy no matter what program you do because you’re in Israel, it seems to me that the best kind of people migrate to Aardvark and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more beautiful family of Jewish youth than Aardvark Israel, and if you’re thinking of coming, sign up before it’s too late. P.S. Sign up for Aardvark Israel!

Ben Wahba is participating in the Aardvark Israel Immersion Program. Aardvark Israel’s mission is to bring together a diverse group of students from all over the world for meaningful, life-changing experiences in Israel that strengthen their Jewish identity, deepen their commitment to Israel, and foster their personal growth. Aardvark spotlights students each week on their website aardvarkisrael.com. This is Ben’s story he shared when he was featured as “Student of the Week.”

Reprinted with permission from Aardvark Israel Immersion Programs.

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Boaz Meir: ISRAEL

Bringing JNF to the Pacific Northwest Mala Blomquist

Boaz Meir with television personality and author, Siggy Flicker, at the Annual Women for Israel Luncheon 2019.

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oaz Meir is the executive director for the Mountain States and Pacific Northwest regions at Jewish National Fund. When he was growing up in Israel and attending The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he planned to become a veterinarian. “I have a beautiful college degree in animal sciences,” says Boaz. “You know, you do a degree in one thing, and life takes you in another direction.” That direction led him to New York in 1991 and then to California, where he worked as the West Coast regional director for the Jewish Agency for Israel. “In 2010, the Denver Jewish Federation had an opening for a major gifts director, and at the time my youngest son was just born, and I was always on the road, and we figured it would cut down on all the travel, and I could be home to raise my kids,” says Boaz. Then in 2013, Russell Robinson, CEO of JNF, called Boaz and told him that they

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were looking for a full-time person for their Denver office. “I took the JNF job, and it was a blessing.” Says Boaz. “It’s a wonderful organization.” When Boaz started in Colorado, the overall campaign was $700,000, and in 2019 it was $7 million. And now that he is in charge of the Pacific Northwest, he wants to “restart the engines” there. One of the challenges is creating leadership for the region. “We have Portland and Seattle as the anchors of the Pacific Northwest, and they are 180 miles apart,” says Boaz. “So, you cannot have the same board the way it is in Colorado.” He would also like to bring speakers in from Israel to share their stories on the various projects they are working on from water resources to historical sites. “We have over 100 affiliates that we are working with,” says Boaz. “There’s always somebody from Israel in the U.S., and we are coordinating it.” Boaz had started planning these events before the pandemic hit. “We were supposed to have Miss Israel from 2013, she was the first Ethiopian Miss Israel, and a gentleman from the IDF’s Special in Uniform,” he says. “All of that is not happening now.” He is hoping to be able to reschedule some of the speakers if things strt to get back to normal this summer. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way, so we have to figure out a way.” Boaz’s favorite part of his job is when he’s able to “wow” people about JNF. When people think JNF is all about planting trees he likes to tell people about ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, a world-class rehabilitative village located in the heart of the Negev or the programs where they take non-Jewish university faculty and students on

ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran a world-class rehabilitative village located in the heart of the Negev; participant of the therapeutic riding program, one of the many programs offered at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran. separate two-week fact-finding missions to Israel so that when they return they can fight BDS on their campuses. Boaz is also proud of the infrastructure that JNF has in place to face the current crisis. “It’s such a healthy organization; we put a lot of money into savings,” he says. “As difficult as it is, we haven’t fired anybody, and we haven’t cut anyone’s pay.” JNF also invested heavily in being able to work remotely. There are no desktops in the offices; everything is in the cloud. All this was done in preparation for a disaster or a recession. “Everybody’s asking me, ‘Are you guys draining the endowment fund?’ and I say, no, we are not. We have so much money in reserve, and leadership that is active,” says Boaz. As Russell Robinson says, “We have survived 2001 (9/11), and we survived 2008, and we are strong enough to survive anything else as long as we keep on working, and as long as we keep on making an effort.” “Hopefully, a year from now, the Pacific Northwest will have an active leadership and an active office that will be able to tell the story of what goes on with JNF in Israel to the communities of both Portland and Seattle.” Says Boaz. For more information, contact the Pacific Northwest office at 206-760-1188 or visit jnf.org. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 59


LIVING

FACES & PLACES

SUPERHEROES WEAR MASK – David Saltzman delivered 1,000 masks to Cedar Sinai Park on May 1. David’s mom lives at Rose Schnitzer Manor. (David is ORJL publisher Cindy Saltzman’s brother.)

TABLE FOR TWO – Willa Schneberg and her husband, Robin Bagai, shared a photo of their seder table. Willa said that they had a virtual seder with friends in New York City on the second night.

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ONE BIG FAMILY – The fourth and fifth grade classes at Congregation Shir Tikvah did a Passover project where they illustrated different versions of the 4 sons to demonstrate all the different kinds of people who make up the big, worldwide Jewish family.

DRIVE-BY BIRTHDAY – Friends of Elaine Weil in Palm Desert made her birthday extra special by sending greetings via golf cart drive-by.

WINNER, WINNER SPAGHETTI DINNER – Lincoln City Mayor, Dick Anderson and his wife, Sue, held a Spaghetti Day of Giving on Giving Tuesday, May 5, for B’nai B’rith Camp. The Andersons usually co-chair a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for camp scholarships but could not hold the event this year.

DELIVERING GOODIES – Positive Charge PDX delivered a donation of baked goods from Safeway to Blanchet House and Farm that serves more than 2,000 meals per day to people in need.

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PR E VIE W S

LIVING

Rising Up for Human Dignity Free Film & Discussion Series The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education joins their partners in presenting the Rising Up for Human Dignity Film Series, a three-part series that will bring audiences together to witness, celebrate, and amplify the perspectives of Syrian, Rohingya, and Congolese communities through film and discussion. All discussions will be live streamed on Thursdays in May, starting at 7 pm. Watch the films when you like and join the discussion live. When you register, you will receive links to view the films online and stream the panel discussions. More information can be found at neveragaincoalition.org/ risingup. Rising Up for Human Dignity is co-sponsored by World Oregon, PSU Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Amnesty International USA Group 48, and Never Again Coalition. MAY 7 AT 7PM, DISCUSSION “FOR SAMA” (2019, SYRIA) “For Sama” is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and 62

MAY/JUNE 2020 | OREGON JEWISH LIFE

gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice– whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much. MAY 14 AT 7PM, DISCUSSION FOR “I AM ROHINGYA: A GENOCIDE IN FOUR ACTS” (2018, CANADA) “I am Rohingya: A Genocide in Four Acts” is a powerful documentary that chronicles the journey of fourteen Rohingya youth who take to the stage in order to depict their families’ harrowing experience in Burma and beyond; before, during and immediately after the escalation of military violence in their native homeland, the Arakan region of Burma; their unforgiving escape by foot and by boat to makeshift camps in Bangladesh; and their eventual resettlement in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. With no prior acting experience, the decision to re-enact the stories of their people becomes a courageous act of resistance, demonstrating to the world that they will not be erased, and they will not be silenced. Panelist include director Yusuf Zine, actor Ruma Ruma and Rohingya activist Sirazul Islam. MAY 21 AT 7PM, DISCUSSION FOR “SEMA” (2019, DR CONGO) “Sema” (which means “speak out” in Swahili) is a film about survival made by survivors. It follows the lives of two women from different backgrounds whose lives are changed forever by rape, and who must find the strength to survive and make a difference for themselves and their children. Thanks to the support of Dr Denis Mukwege, Panzi Hospital, and the courage of survivors, the Movement of Survivors of Sexual Violence in the DRC was formed. The Movement decided to create a film to tell the story of what a survivor of sexual violence faces. The survivors of The Movement came together to write the screenplay based on their own real experiences. The majority of the acting roles are played by the survivors themselves. In order to create a truly powerful film, they bravely reenacted their own traumas. The survivors took on these parts consciously, realizing the benefit of artistic expression as part of the healing process. For more information, visit ojmche.org/events.


Virtual Adult Social Hour Every Wednesday, join other adult congregants of Congregation Neveh Shalom for an adult social hour from 8 to 9 pm. Join Rabbi Eve for a bit of socializing, ask the rabbi, engage with one another and more. Bring your own evening beverage. PJs welcome! Join Zoom at the appropriate time and use the password CNSSOCIAL.

Virtual Camp Experiences – Bringing the Magic of Camp into Your Home The Union for Reform Judaism, which leads the largest Jewish denomination in North America, is canceling all of its overnight camps this summer because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. URJ Camp Kalsman is one of the Jewish overnight camps impacted by this decision. While we are sheltering-in-place physically, virtual experiences will bring us together socially and in spirit. These experiences allow us to see the faces of our friends, hear their laughter, sing our songs, learn new skills, and grow in new ways. Camp Kalsman will also continue to monitor health conditions and explore creative ways to gather in small groups and/or in different locations – this will be a priority for them. The ongoing virtual community building, new friendships, reunions, growth, and learning together will make in-person experiences that much sweeter in the future. The URJ has created a URJ Youth and Camp Virtual Programming page where you can find your favorite Reform movement program online. All event are open to everyone and can be found at urjyouth.org/ virtual-communities.

BB Camp’s Virtual Shabbat Walk and Friendship Circle

Join B’nai B’rith Camp every Friday for a Virtual Shabbat Walk and Friendship Circle. Gather your family, your Shabbat essentials (candles, challah, wine, etc), and your Zoom video device and join BB Camp at 4 pm for a fun way to bring in the Shabbat! Register in advance for this meeting (registration required to access this event): After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Together we will light candles, do kiddush and motzi and sing. In perfect BB Camp style we invite each household to share a “rose” (highlight) from your week. If you would like to lead a song or one of the brachot (blessings), or if you have any other questions, please contact Stacey at soller@bbcamp.org. For more information, visit bbcamp.org/virtual-shabbat.

MJCC Virtual Talent Show

Join the Mittleman Jewish Community Center the first-ever Digital Community Talent Show on Sunday, May 31 at 11:30 am. Participant submitted applications and the criteria was that they be less than three minutes long and familyfriendly. To watch to show, visit oregonjcc.org. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2020 63


2019-2020

RESOURCE GUIDE FRONT & CENTER The Arts Supplement

Now, more than ever, it is important to have access to all of the resources for the Jewish community in a comprehensive, accessible and easy to navigate format. We at Oregon Jewish Life know that you are counting on us to publish our annual Resource Guide, the only one serving the communities of Oregon and Southwestern Washington, as we have for almost a decade.  The 2020-2021 Resources Guide will be even more comprehensive because of all the organizations, congregations, businesses, nonprofits, schools and restaurants that contribute to making it the biggest and best guide yet.

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Profile for JewishLifeMagazine

Oregon Jewish Life May/June 2020 Vol. 9/Issue 3  

The only lifestlyle magazine serving the Jewsih communities of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Oregon Jewish Life May/June 2020 Vol. 9/Issue 3  

The only lifestlyle magazine serving the Jewsih communities of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

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