Oregon Jewish Life May/June 2022

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A financial planner and a rabbi walk into a bar. Being wise with your finances might be important to you. Being generous might be important to you. Helping you do both is definitely important to us. Contact us at givesmartly@ojcf.org.

CO N TE N TS Oregon Jewish Life May/June 2022




FEATURES COVER STORY Portland's Kachka 'weaves fundraising for Ukraine with a Seder." 16 UP FRONT An Israeli's dream takes flight in Portland page Rabbi Michael Cahana aids refugees at Polish border Jennifer Robinett joins MJCC executive team

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FOOD Summer Salads




Mr. Madam, the true story of a female impersonator turned male madam








SAY IT OUT LOUD-SENIOR AND PROUD! Marcia Director -A lifetime supporting the community Mark Rubin begins every day with gratitude Bunny Edelson makes each day count 8 Surprising things that can raise your blood pressure Developing healthy habits is key to sound mental health Senior Gift Guide

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ISR AEL 80 Israel-founded unicorns dot the United States


JLIVING Birthright global young professionals event Youth mental health forum

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COVER Bonnie Morales





Cindy Salt zman


H O N O R A RY E D ITO R Leni Reiss

ART DIREC TOR Tamara Kopper

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ellen Brauns tein Shannon Levit t Allison Mint z

EDITORIAL editor@ojlife.com ADVERTISING SALES 602-538-2955 advertise@ojlife.com BUSINESS publisher@ojlife.com EVENTS editor@ojlife.com

Rock y Patel M.D. Michelle Talsman Everson

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2022-2023 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, Arizona 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 ser vices.



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2022-2023 Resource Directory Guide

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MAKING A SPLASH Summer is almost here and like most people, we are definitely ready for it. Although summer often elicits thoughts of lazy afternoons and a slower pace, our summer will be anything but slow. In addition to our usual workload, we are working on a brand new publication that we are quite excited about. So though it won't be a slow summer for Oregon Jewish Life, it should be a fun and productive one. We will be announcing the launch of the new publication in The Weekly, and on all of our social media. If you haven't signed up for The Weekly yet, please do so here: https://azjewishlife.com/the-weekly-sign-me-up/ Also keep your eye out for our Annual Resource Guide, the most comprehensive Jewish community resource in Arizona. It will be coming out in the early fall. Enjoy your summer.

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An Israeli’s Dream Takes Flight in Portland


lying with his uncle as a child inspired Elad Segal, an Israeli native, to learn to pilot an airplane. Three decades later, he has realized his dream of opening his own flight training school, NW Wings Aviation, in Beaverton. The school offers courses for students seeking various piloting licenses including becoming a certified flight instructor themselves.



NW Wings Aviation, which opened in January 2021, also offers aircraft rentals, Pilot for a Day flights and a 40-minute sightseeing tour of Lake Oswego, Sauvie Island and downtown Portland at 3,000 feet. The school has four models of aircraft: a Cessna 150, 152, 172 and 206. Segal himself has been flying since he began his own training in 2014. “I decided this is what I wanted to do in my life,

“For me, flying is freedom, the freedom to see everything from above, to go to and explore new places and come back.” ~ Elad Segal

have a flight training school. I flew with my uncle and this is where I got hooked on aviation and flying.” Segal earned all his credentials at Hillsboro Aero Academy, where he went on to serve as a senior certified flight instructor. He also became interim assistant chief of ground training for Hillsboro Aero Academy. Segal is passionate about flying. “For me, flying is freedom, the freedom to see everything from above, to go to and explore new places and come back.” He enjoys introducing people to aviation. “To take that person who doesn’t have any knowledge of flying and in the end he can fly an aircraft and continue pursuing his dream to be a pilot, it’s this fulfillment of bringing more people into aviation.” Segal trains people with no experience all the way from being a private pilot to those who go on to become commercial aviators. “There is more and more interest in flying because people see that it’s reachable and available. More people want to give it a try and fly and fulfill their dreams.” The investment in learning to fly and getting a private pilot license is $10,000 to $13,000, he said. “After a few months, you can fly an airplane” at 1,500 to 7,000 feet. “With that knowledge and the smile on someone’s face when we complete any stage, it’s priceless.” Back in Israel, Segal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in middle east studies with a minor in human resources in 2013 from Ben Gurion University in Tel Aviv. He served as a commander in the IDF’s Army Special Unit where he was also a medic. Following his army service, he worked for Israel’s Ministry of Transportation where he served as deputy manager traveling between marinas along the Israel coast

Emma, 4, Arel, 6, Elad and Etti.

performing security checks on vessels. He chose to bring his family to Portland in 2016 because of a well-respected flying school, Hillsboro Aero Academy, and an active Jewish community. Segal, 39, and his wife, Etti, are members of Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland. They are the parents of two children, Emma, 4, and Arel, 6. Etti Segal, 39, earned a law degree at College of Management Academy Studies in Rishon LeZion in 2012. While in Israel, she was a personal injury and malpractice attorney as well as a legal advisor for a construction company. Today, she teaches Hebrew and Jewish studies at Congregation Neveh Shalom and helped start the synagogue’s Ivrit Israelite for children. She is a volunteer for the local Israeli group, Kirov Levavot, which builds a vibrant local Israeli and Jewish American community through shared identities. “This is what we were looking for, a place where we can actually have a Jewish community to be a part of,” Elad Segal said. Find more information about NW Wings Aviation, email info@nwwafly.com or visit nwwafly.com or call (503) 906-0945. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2022 11

Bringing comfort M Rabbi Michael Cahana brings aid to refugees, sees dignity, ‘festival feeling’ at Polish border

By Shannon Levitt Rabbi Cahana unpacks supplies from Portland, Oregon, to be donated



ore than three million refugees have made their way to Poland since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. With that many people on the move, things could quickly unravel into chaos. Instead, Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana, who was at Poland’s border with Ukraine last month, described “a festival feeling, with all the warmth and love from people helping from all over the world - an amazing thing to see.” Cahana, senior rabbi at Portland’s Congregation Beth Israel, was in Krakow April 9-14, with the Central Conference of American Rabbis. CCAR, along with a handful of other international groups of Reform rabbis and cantors, brought money and supplies to assist a refugee predicament that gets bigger every day. All told, the cohort arrived in Poland with about two tons of supplies and $750,000. Cahana alone brought “five really big duffel bags, about 50 pounds each, and a big check, over $60,000,” he said. Portlanders answered the call for donations so generously, that he didn’t have space to bring everything. Thus, what he couldn’t carry he gave to Positive Charge! PDX, a Portland charity also assisting Ukrainian refugees. Cahana had expected mostly monetary donations, but a lot of people purchased items for him to deliver. “There was something really powerful for people about putting something that they had held in their hands into my hands to give to the refugees – a sense of real physical connection,” he said. Jonathan Ornstein, CEO of the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow and the local point person for CCAR, said all the donations “had a tremendous impact on our humanitarian relief effort.” He was grateful that Cahana and the other rabbis


“worked shoulder to shoulder” with the staff “doing whatever was necessary.” At the Ukrainian border, three hours from Krakow, Cahana saw volunteers from across the globe meeting refugees, giving them food, arranging transportation and playing with the children, “ just giving them a little bit of distraction so the parents, the moms can get the resources they need,” he said. The scene was impressive, but Cahana said the most impressive – and surprising - part of the whole operation is that with millions of people crossing, he saw no refugee camps as there are in other hotspots around the world. “Here people are met and helped and taken care of whatever it is that they need - right away,” he said. “It’s really quite amazing.” Back in Krakow, Cahana described another astute piece of assistance inside an abandoned shopping mall. The big, once-empty space, is filled with a plethora of supplies being sorted discretely by volunteers, so that when refugees walk in they have something akin to an ordinary shopping experience: clothes and shoes displayed, sorted by size, and toy-filled bins for children. There are even dressing rooms. Mothers can shop for what they need, while their children play in a kid-friendly area. Cahana said the only thing missing was a cash register. “People came in, took what they needed and left with their dignity,” he said. Seeing all the resources that had been brought to bear on the crisis, made him reflect on the issue of homelessness in his own city of Portland. For that population, “it’s always a scramble for resources, but it’s always an afterthought,” he said. “We say it’s a crisis, but we don’t treat it like a crisis; we treat it like a burden,” he said. People often talk about caring for refugees or for homeless people, he said, but instead of doing what’s “convenient for us in terms of how we give, we should consider what is most dignified for the person receiving.”

Volunteers at the border waiting to greet refugees; Rabbi Cahana and his son, David, outside a humanitarian aid Centre in Przemyśl, near the Polish / Ukrainian border, donated toys for the children and the Rabbis and Cantors from the Heneini Group with the supplies we carried, outside the JCC Krakow. Cahana brought his son with him to Krakow. David Cahana works with homeless people in Michigan, and he agreed with his father in calling the Polish response to refugees “incredible.” Treating people as “honored guests,” David said, “goes a long way to give folks a small sense of normalcy in an otherwise traumatic time.” The refugee story is “our history” as Jews, Rabbi Cahana said. And being there right before Passover, he and his fellow rabbis talked about how the refugee situation they were witnessing resonated so powerfully for them: “the experience of leaving a dangerous place, running for their lives and coming into a place of freedom,” he said. Yet, even with all the goodwill toward refugees that now exists, he fears what may come. “What the Russians are doing - it’s war crimes,” Cahana said. “It’s attacks on civilians; it’s intentionally trying to create a refugee crisis; and it’s really horrific.” In March, Poland enacted a law that allows Ukrainians to live and work in the country for 18 months or more, and it is giving Polish cities financial help in finding housing and jobs for the refugees. But in the face of continued violence, more people will cross the border and eventually be met with fewer resources. After hearing so many insults hurled at refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and South America, and seeing door after door close on them, Cahana has to wonder how long the positive feelings toward Ukrainian refugees will last. Shannon Levitt is a freelance writer in Arizona. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2022 13


Jennifer Robinett joins MJCC executive team


ennifer Robinett has been appointed the new Assistant Executive Director of the Mittlemann Jewish Community Center. Jenny holds a B.A. in Recreation Administration and has worked in various roles at the Multnomah Athletic Club for the last nine years. Jenny's most recent role has been the Membership Business Operations Manager at the Multnomah Athletic Club. In that capacity, she worked closely with MAC membership, partnered with the Finance and Accounting Departments, and served on the Diversity Admissions Committee. From 2017-2021, Jenny served as the Youth Programs Manager at the MAC. She had oversight of all Youth Programs Department activities and instructional offerings and supervised a staff of 40. From 2013-2017, Jenny was the Early Childhood Supervisor at the MAC and assisted in the design and administration of all youth programs camps and classes, as well as special events for families and children. Before joining the MAC, Jenny worked in early childhood education as the Director of the Child Development Center at the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, and as a preschool teacher. Jenny will start at the MJCC on May 16.


MJCC facility, exercising at MJCC, celebrating events, and the pool at MJCC. 14



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PORTLAND'S KACHKA ‘weaves fundraising

for Ukraine with a Seder’ By Shannon Levitt

KACHKA, Bonnie and Israel Morales’ Russian restaurant in Portland, takes its name from a particularly harrowing family history, one which recounts how Rakhil Altshuler, Bonnie’s grandmother, escaped with her infant from a village in Belarus before all of its Jews were murdered by the Nazis in the fall of 1941. After wandering the countryside alone for two months, during which time her baby died, Rakhil was discovered by a Nazi-affiliated town warden. Her cover story that she was a Ukrainian on her way to family aroused his suspicion, so he asked her to prove her identity by saying the word “duck” in Ukrainian, a language she didn’t actually speak. She took a chance and used the Belarusian and Yiddish word instead, hoping against hope it would be right. The word was kachka.



Left: Tvorog Vareniki (Ukranian Farmer's Cheese Dumplings) Below left: Kachka interior Below, right: The display of the many dishes at Kachka.




That word saved Rakhil’s life. Thus, when Bonnie and Israel opened their restaurant eight years ago, with a menu inspired by the regional food of the former Soviet Union that award-winning chef Bonnie grew up with, it was clear what they would call it. While her grandmother’s story is alternatively sad and chilling, it also tells of a woman who “fought tooth and nail to climb out of a ghetto and crossed through the Russian forests and joined a partisan group and fought with partisans who didn’t even want her,” Bonnie said. “If that happened to me, I physically don’t know how I would get up again and start walking.” And yet, she acknowledged, both she and Israel are “fighters” who are “willing to stick their necks out for things

they believe in.” By choosing the name Kachka and evoking a survival story filled with grit and determination in the face of an unjust world, they set into motion something that would become more than an ordinary family business. In the years since Kachka opened, the restaurant and its owners have garnered many awards and accolades for their food and service and appeared in national publications from Bon Appetit to the Wall Street Journal. But they’ve also come to believe there’s more to running a restaurant than the business of food. Bonnie calls what they do “world building.” “I realize now that as a small business owner you get this opportunity to decide what is appropriate and right and what the culture is you want to set in your space,” she said. “It’s



“I realize now that as a small business owner you get this opportunity to decide what is appropriate and right and what the culture is you want to set in your space. It’s really empowering because, while I can’t solve all the world’s problems, I can try to address what I have control over.” ~Bonnie Morales



really empowering because, while I can’t solve all the world’s problems, I can try to address what I have control over.” And Kachka is at the forefront of the restaurant industry in addressing some big and controversial issues. The restaurant covers employees’ health insurance and pays everyone at least $25 per hour. It provides transparency by opening its books for the staff to review twice a year. It supports anti-racism through dialogue and by supporting Black, Indigenous and people of color’s organizations and initiatives. But the couple is also concerned with the world outside of Portland. When Bonnie and Israel heard the news that Russia invaded Ukraine, it hit close to home and presented the pair with a new opportunity, if not to build a world, at least to do their part to help repair one. “It feels like it is required of me, it is my duty to advocate for people in need there,” Bonnie said. On April 20, Kachka hosted a Passover Seder, and 100 percent of the proceeds, amounting to several thousand dollars, went directly to HIAS, a global Jewish nonprofit that assists and protects refugees, and is currently helping Ukrainian refugees. The choice of HIAS is also personal. The organization helped Bonnie’s own family when they were new immigrants to the United States after having fled from the chaos of Belarus in the late 1970s. Tickets for all 72 seats sold out in one day. Kachka has put on Passover Seders at other venues since 2017, with the exception of the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic when the restaurant organized Passover meal boxes instead. But, like Ma Nishtana suggests, this Seder was different from all others. Even before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Bonnie and Israel had been dancing around the idea of having a Seder at the restaurant. The prospect of bringing people together around the table after two years of separation and “the hope of actually feeling safe enough to do it was already a really beautiful reason to do it,” Bonnie said. “It’s springtime, and there’s a sense of coming out of bondage,” she laughed. “But seriously, there’s a feeling of liberation.” Then the war started. Bonnie and Israel knew they could help people facing this disaster, people in a part of the world represented by their restaurant. With Passover on the horizon, they decided to employ the holiday both to bring people together after two years of solitude, and to raise as much money as they could for HIAS, which is already active in the region. “People do like to eat, and we immediately thought about how the Seder would be really important, and there’s a really strong parallel already with what’s happening with the refugees from Ukraine,” Bonnie said. “And it just felt like the absolutely most appropriate time

Below: Restaurant namesake Rakhil, Bonnie's grandmother. Bottom: A good time is had by all with an outing to Kachka.




2022 Passover Seder menu. to weave in fundraising for Ukraine with a Seder.” This year’s holiday is symbolically loaded to be sure, but each Passover is very special to Bonnie. Some people might complain about the length of the Seder, sitting for hours with people you sometimes don’t even like, waiting endlessly for the meal, she said. But the holiday brings back beautiful memories of her family Seders, and that combined with the ritual, and especially, the food, makes this meal something she always looks forward to. “I love any holiday that centers around food,” she laughed. “I suppose that makes me Jewish.” To ensure a creative and uplifting evening, Bonnie asked her friend Hannah Treuhaft, a local educator and performance artist, to lead the Seder. Both are congregants at Temple Beth Israel in Northwest Portland, and Hannah had helped out at Bonnie’s Seders before. She told stories throughout the evening, sang songs and ended by leading everyone in a rendition of Chad Gadya, “One Little Goat,” asking the groups at different tables to make the sound for the animals and objects in the song – a cat table, dog table, fire table, etc. 22


Israel and Bonnie Morales. “Hannah’s got this amazing, amazing energy and enthusiasm for running a Seder,” Bonnie said. With her teaching background, Hannah has a distinct knack for explaining the significance of all of the evening’s ritual elements to the many nonJewish participants and keeping them engaged, Bonnie said. “She’s a rock star.” Another unique element of Kachka’s Seder originally came from Hannah, when some years ago, she suggested to Bonnie that the karpas, the vegetable that is ritually dipped in salt water and eaten, could be something more akin to an appetizer. Of course, thought Bonnie when she first heard the concept. Instead of letting people be hungry, wondering when dinner will finally be served, she would serve something delicious to eat. “I’ve always thought it’s such a shame that the Seder plate is not something that you eat, that it’s this thing you look at which then gets thrown into the compost, so I figured out how I can represent all of the components of the Seder plate as little dishes,” she said. Thus, each of the six symbolic items on the Seder plate – karpas, maror, beitzah, charoset, z’roa and chazeret were tasty zakuski, the Russian word for small bites. And there was vodka. Kachka had its own take on the traditional four cups of wine and served four house-made grape-based vodka infusions. After all, Kachka celebrates the food and drink of the former Soviet Union. Marisa Robertson-Textor was one of the 72 people who attended Kachka’s Seder, and she was particularly looking forward to the vodka, which is more her style, she said. As someone who studied Russian in college and lived in PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARLY DIAZ

Moscow for a combined six years after college, as well as being a food writer and recipe tester, she knows which restaurants get the region’s food right and which don’t. She first experienced Kachka when she was visiting friends in Portland. She loves Russian food and was intrigued though a bit skeptical. She had been to too many Russian restaurants in the U.S. that came up short. Kachka was different. “The first time I went there I absolutely fell in love,” she said. “This place really gets everything right. All the flavors are true and perfect - the platonic ideal of Russian food. And not just Russian food, but all the food across the former Soviet space.” She remembered that the first appetizer she ordered was so good that she ordered a second serving and then a third, something she never does. “I loved it so much,” she said. “There are certain dishes that have almost brought me to tears; this food has an emotional resonance for me.” She and her husband have since moved from New York to Portland, in part, because of Kachka. It is the place where they go to celebrate everything. “It’s where we go when we’re happy, where we go when we’re sad,” she said. Throughout the pandemic, when restaurants were among the businesses that struggled the most economically, there came a time when Kachka resorted to selling pantry items like flour and even toilet paper to survive, which Marisa and her husband bought in order to support the restaurant they had come to love. One of Marisa’s first thoughts upon hearing of the Russian invasion, was that this year’s Seder would be in honor of Ukraine and in honor of its Jewish president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “I have spent time in Ukraine as well and it’s not lost on the community that their president is Jewish,” she said. “There’s this very hopeful, important and symbolically rich element to that fact, to what it means that someone whose ancestors died in Ukraine know that he is the president of this country.” Like Bonnie, Marisa feels an attachment to this part of the world and a responsibility to do what she can for its people. Because she speaks Russian, she has been translating things she sees on social media for English speakers, “to help disseminate information, help people fleeing the conflict and help them land softly,” she said. She was happy to learn that the Seder’s profits would go to HIAS, and there was never any doubt that she and her family would celebrate the Seder at Kachka. “Being at this Seder for me is a way so many things important to me come together. It’s a way of feeling connected to a part of the world that represents the best of who I am in a way, to the culture and the food. Where else would I want to be?” Shannon Levitt is a freelance writer in Arizona. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2022 23

A Lifetime of Supporting the Community

Marcia Director

Continues To Raise Funds For Local Nonprofits SPECIAL SECTION




By Michelle Talsma Everson


n Marcia Director’s more than 40 years working as a grant writer, she has helped to raise millions of dollars for local charities that support a wide range of causes. While she celebrated her 88th birthday, she’s still hard at work as the grant writer for the Geezer Gallery, a local arts-based nonprofit serving the senior community. “A lot of my grant writing experience was learned on the job as there weren’t any specific grant writing classes when I started,” Marcia shares. “I can work from home, so I’m only semi-retired and still write grants for The Geezer Gallery. They showcase artists who are seniors and provide therapeutic arts programs to local seniors as well. I’m passionate about their mission.” In addition to The Geezer Gallery, during her impressive career, Marcia has helped raise funds for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Albertina Kerr Centers, Library Foundation of Portland, the Oregon College of Art & Craft, and many others. “I have always enjoyed fundraising, especially the networking and relationships,” she adds. While she doesn’t get out and network quite as much as she used to, she enjoys working from her home at Courtyard Village Raleigh Hills, described as, “A community for vital, independent seniors embracing life

“There are so many activities and educational opportunities for the residents. It’s a wonderful place to live and I’m glad I’m here.” ~Marcia Director

to the fullest.” She’s lived at Courtyard Village a year and enjoys all the activities the retirement community offers. “They recently had a Mother’s Day Tea and it was beautiful,” Marcia shares. “There are so many activities and educational opportunities for the residents. It’s a wonderful place to live and I’m glad I’m here.” Marcia adds that living at Courtyard Village allows her to connect with a community and enjoy activities that she may not have had the opportunity to do in the past. While Marcia enjoys her independent living, she’s happy to share that her five adult children and many of her 10 grandchildren (and two great grandchildren!) live nearby. “I’m so blessed to be able to see them often,” she says. Marcia is also a longtime member of Congregation Beth Israel and served on the board for anumber of years. If the last name “Director” sounds familiar, her PHOTO COURTESY OF MARCIA DIRECTOR


late husband Alan Director and his family owned the popular Director’s Furniture for more than 80 years before selling the business. While Alan sold the original family business, their son Scott owns Scott Director's Custom Furniture, following in his dad’s footsteps in the furniture industry. Before his passing, Alan and Marcia celebrated more than 65 years of marriage together. “I’ve lived an amazing life. When I was younger, I balanced family and work, and now I can still grant write while also enjoying all the joys of retirement and amenities at Courtyard Village,” Marcia says. “I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do all of that.” OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2022 25


Every morning Every night

THANK YOU Mark Rubin begins and ends each day with gratitude By Ellen Braunstein


hat makes Mark Rubin, 83, happiest is knowing that “my family is well and safe.” The same can be said for his three sons who promised their mother right before she died that they would look after their father. A retired food broker, Rubin lives in Courtyard Village, an active senior living community in Raleigh Hills, which is 10 minutes from downtown Portland. Since 2017, he is living life to the fullest surrounded by family and friends whom he helps without hesitation. “I have been helping any way I can,” he said. Rubin stepped up twice when the 183-apartment community experienced a food worker shortage because of the pandemic. “They gave me an apron with my name on it and said, ‘We need your help tonight.’ I said, ‘I’ll be more than happy to.’ It’s my responsibility to watch out and make sure everybody’s OK,” even if it’s just to seat someone at dinner. 26


Rubin volunteers for many activities at Courtyard Village from leading bingo and trivia to building a sukkah on the lushly landscaped grounds. He also lights the menorah and leads Passover seders. Not all has been idyllic since he relocated to Courtyard Village. When the pandemic struck and his wife died of Parkinson’s in May 2020, he was yanked from his apartment to be with his sons who were working from home. Rubin rotated from house to house for 50 weeks at his sons’ insistence. “When the pandemic was happening there were pictures in the newspaper of grandparents behind glass windows talking to their children and grandchildren. My sons said, ‘You’re never going to have that. You’re coming to live with us.’” Courtyard Village immediately welcomed him back when it was time to return a year ago, he said. Rubin grew up in Dallas where his parents instilled strong

Jewish values in their children. They attended Congregation Shearith Israel where his grandfather served as president. “It’s always been a hallmark in our family, our parents teaching us as kids about a great Jewish tradition.” He made memories on a visit to Dallas where he and his friends celebrated the 70th anniversary of their bar mitzvahs with a special service. From Dallas, Rubin went on to attend University of Oklahoma in 1956. He met his wife, Leah, on campus and they married in 1959. He came to work for General Foods Maxwell House division in Oklahoma City. His wife, who had a degree in primary school education, got a job with Oklahoma City Public Schools. She also volunteered at the synagogue Sunday school and would do so in most places where they relocated with the company. After 12 years of moves with General Foods, the Rubin family settled in their Portland home for the next 50 years. Rubin left General Foods Kool-Aid Division and bought into a food brokerage business, where he worked for 44 years. Mark and Leah joined the Conservative congregation, Neveh Shalom. Rubin became involved with the synagogue, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and the Jewish Education Association, which is now the Jewish campus organization, Hillel. He went to minyan for twenty years at Neve Shalom on Tuesdays and led the services. His wife became the Neveh Shalom Foundation School director from 1974 until retiring in 2006.

He and Leah raised three sons who became businessmen. His oldest, David, is in the fabric and clothing industry. His second son, Dan, works as a vice president for an Italian Food Company. His third son, Gary, bought a parrot food business. Rubin now has six grandchildren ranging in ages from 22 to 28. One graduated from University of Wisconsin and is working for the Jewish National Fund in Phoenix. Rubin believes in exercise and a heart-healthy diet, instilled by his wife. The unexpected death of his younger brother convinced Rubin, then 35, to go to the doctor for medical screenings. Tests uncovered two blockages in his heart. In 1974, on Rosh Hashanah, he had his first of two open heart surgeries. The other was in 1989. Rubin volunteers twice a week at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center where he underwent his heart surgeries. The cardiac rehabilitation program is “for people who have come out of heart surgery and want to talk to someone who has already been through it.” His secret to a meaningful life is gratitude – “waking up every day and saying ‘thank you’ and going to bed every night and saying ‘thank you.’” On Fridays, he ushers in the Sabbath by saying the blessing over the candles. He also offers a blessing over the 14 Kiddush cups he has collected. Thinking back on a life well lived reminds Rubin “of how fortunate I am, how lucky I am to be where I am today.”

Why Courtyard Village

Courtyard Village RALEIGH HILLS

Courtyard Village is one of Portland’s very few socially active independent senior living communities – privately owned and locally operated. Here are a few reasons why our residents absolutely love it here: Superb SW Portland location in close walking distance to Fred Meyer, restaurants, dry cleaners, and more Optional Meal Plan (quality chef-prepared meals are not included in the monthly rent) Spacious Apartment Homes with large kitchens, full-size appliances (dishwasher, too!), and ample closet space Robust calendar of events, socials, and activities. Expansive Transportation Service too! Affordable & Financially Attractive: Competitive monthly rent, no Community Fee, no “buy-in” investment, & no “2nd person” fee

Why Move Now?

COME AND SEE THE COURTYARD VILLAGE DIFFERENCE FOR YOURSELF (503) 297-5500 www.courtyardvillage.com 4875 SW 78th Ave. • Portland, OR 97225

There are so many reasons to downsize and embrace a new adventure here at Courtyard Village including the following: Mortgage Interest Rates are low, housing inventory is low, and the demand for housing is high. This is the best time to sell to receive well over asking price! Excellent Selection of apartment homes to choose from! Genuinely Kind & Helpful Staff and welcoming Resident Ambassadors to ensure a pleasant and gratifying beginning to a wonderful lifestyle We Pay for your Move!


Bunny Edelson is makes each day count By Allison Mintz

Zanly and Bunny


arbara “Bunny” Edelson, has lived nearly 94 years, and is a force to be reckoned with. Bunny is spunky, feisty, and one of the most active individuals you will ever meet. Born in 1928, Bunny will be turning 94 years young in July. Bunny said that her secret to having such an active life is to “get up and get going.” She also said that she likes to swim everyday, she has an appetite like a horse, and she tries to stay out of mischief. Bunny was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lived there until she completed college. Bunny’s parents divorced when she was little. Her big brother, had a major hand in raising Bunny and giving her the confidence she has today. Bunny looked up to her older brother and loved him dearly. As Bunny said, “my brother was wonderful. He was like my father, my brother, my everything.” Bunny’s brother died at 46 years old. This was a difficult moment for Bunny, as he was the world to her. Bunny had an exciting life and had the opportunity to live in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. She worked with an interior design magazine in New York. She loved working, as she felt it was stimulating and gave her a chance to meet interesting people. As an Associate Editor, she was given the opportunity to interview some of the architectural greats, including Frank Lloyd Wright. Bunny met her late husband Zanly on a trip to Hawaii. “I went down to the beach and I saw a man staring at 28


Allison with her mother, Bunny

Dear mom, you would fade away after I was so worriedple of how to move forward a you set the exam s been on the go and a socia You have alway anyone I know. more friends than been full of kindneth s ay w al s ha t ar reak Your he have a stubborn st the flip side, you le edged sword. It has k age. It is a doublive in your own home. A are still able to out in a mischevious way sometimes comes ly went behind our backs when you recent h your grandson with yo thought that wit uble", but that stubborn get into any "tro goal. you achieved your ow old gracefully. H You are growingatching you grow old graceful about w ad. You are not doi I usually get m is that you are slip through my headthat. How much lon anything about back on this time don’t want to look u. I just can't be impatient with yom I have a lifeti person with who With All My Andrea


me. He was a bit creepy, so I decided I wouldn’t go out again after lunch. When I went back to pick up my stuff he had moved his bag next to mine. We started talking, and he was actually very nice.” Bunny and Zanly went out for dinner and married just a few weeks later. Zanly was a successful Surgeon in Oregon. He even had one of his friends call Bunny to give her a reference and let her know that he was a great guy. Bunny and Zanly went on to have three children together. Zanly had two children from a previous marriage, who Bunny loved and cared for as her own. Bunny said that she is fortunate to have 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and three greatgrandchildren. Bunny’s universe centers around her family and making sure she is there to support them in any way possible. When her children were young, Bunny was always active in their school as PTA President, Boy Scout Den Mother, and Girl Scout Leader. She supported her

, dad died. Instead. fe and live a full li have al butterfly. You

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children through religious school and getting her children B’nei mitzvah. She was an active member with Congregation Beth Israel. When it was time for college, Bunny made the drive to drop off at the dorms. “When I drove home from taking the kids to college I cried so much I couldn’t even see.” Even now, Bunny lives for her family. She is so thankful that four of her five children still live in Oregon. When Bunny turned 50, she told her husband she wanted to work again. While Zanly wasn’t too keen on this idea, Bunny said she was going to do it, and she did! Bunny worked for Parker Furniture doing interior design for the next 30 years. She designed homes, boats, offices, and hotels. She retired at 78 years old as she felt she was missing out on attending her grandchildren’s sporting events and activities. Bunny was married to the love of her life for 45 years. Her husband Zanly passed away 25 years ago. “If I could go back to any day in my life, it would be any day that my husband was still alive” Bunny said. Bunny had to find a way to keep moving forward, so she stayed active by volunteering in the community. She volunteered for Meals on Wheels, The Sunshine Pantry, and volunteered at the school. As Bunny said, “I am not a sit around type of person.” Even at 94 years old, Bunny still has an active life. Bunny has different groups of friends that she gets together with each month. From her monthly lunch group, theater group, and lecture series group, Bunny shows that you don’t need to slow down just because you are getting older. As Bunny said, “be happy, stay healthy, enjoy yourself, have confidence in yourself, and you can do anything you want to do! How you live your life and treat others is important.” Bunny is a true inspiration and is showing the world that age is truly a state of mind and that if you keep yourself active, surrounded by love and positivity, you will have a more productive and happier life.


8 blood pressure SAY IT OUT LOUD - SENIOR AND PROUD!

Surprising things that can raise your By Rachel Nania for AARP

WHY IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE DANGEROUS? High blood pressure — also known as hypertension and called the “silent killer” because it often comes with no symptoms — can wreak havoc on the body, causing damage to the blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and more. If left undetected or uncontrolled it can lead to: Heart attack Stroke Heart failure Kidney disease Vision loss Sexual dysfunction Angina Peripheral arterydisease It’s estimated that nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure; only about 1 in 4 adults with hypertension have it under control. Source: American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



eople who watch their blood pressure are generally familiar with the more common factors that can cause their numbers to spike — salt and stress, for example. But a handful of unsuspected foods, habits and health issues can play a role, too, and sabotage well-intentioned efforts to lower high blood pressure, or hypertension, a condition that affects nearly half of U.S. adults. Here are eight surprising things that can send your numbers soaring.

1. SLEEP APNEA Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which a person stops and restarts breathing several times throughout the night, can cause a bump in blood pressure. And it’s becoming increasingly common in the U.S. as more Americans struggle with being overweight, says Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., president of the American Heart Association and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Excess weight is one of the foremost risk factors for developing sleep apnea; age is another big one. When a person with sleep apnea stops breathing, the brain steps in and wakes the body up to take a breath; this can happen up to 30 times


an hour. “And when we don’t get good quality sleep — and particularly if we’re not getting good quality sleep because our airway gets closed and our brain and our body have to maintain enough awareness to try to open up the airway — that is very, very hard on the vascular system,” Lloyd-Jones says. All the stress and strain drives up blood pressure — “and not just when we’re asleep, but also when we’re awake for the rest of the day,” Lloyd-Jones says. It can cause a whole host of other health issues, too, including an increased risk for heart attack, type 2 diabetes and liver problems. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine found that severe sleep apnea in middle or old age can increase risk of premature death by up to 46 percent. A common warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring, so if someone tells you that you snore loudly or gasp often during sleep, it may warrant a discussion with your health care provider. A number of devices and therapies can

help to treat sleep apnea, and studies suggest that treatment with one of the more common options — a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine — may even improve blood pressure numbers.

2. AIR POLLUTION Research reveals that exposure to both “fine particulate matter” air pollution (what you’d find from car exhaust and fuel burning, for example) and coarse particulate matter air pollution (like dust from roads and construction sites) can boost blood pressure in adults. The link has also been established in children. One study led by researchers at the University of Michigan found that even short-term exposure to high levels of air pollution can

impact the blood pressure of healthy adults. The change was typical of what a person might see if his weight increased by about 5 or 10 pounds, the researchers noted in a news release. Another, also led by University of Michigan researchers, demonstrated that filtering the air can lower a person’s blood pressure, study coauthor and assistant professor of internal medicine J. Brian Byrd, M.D., told AARP. Exercise can also lower high blood pressure, even in places where pollution levels are high, a 2020 study found. In 2019, 99 percent of the global population lived in places where air quality did not meet World Health Organization guidelines. In addition to the pollution from cars, traffic noise has been linked to an increased risk for high blood pressure.

3. BLACK LICORICE No trick on this treat: Black licorice — we’re talking the real deal, not just licorice-flavored candy — can be a health hazard, and not just because of its sugar content. The candy contains the compound glycyrrhizin, derived from the licorice root, which can cause the body to hold on to lots of salt and water, thereby driving blood pressure up. Consuming black

licorice can also lead to low potassium levels and abnormal heart rhythms. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions against eating large amounts of black licorice at one time. Eating just 2 ounces a day for at least two weeks could land adults age 40 and older in the hospital, the agency says.

4. ALCOHOL Although it’s often repeated that wine is good for the heart, alcohol can send blood pressure soaring, both in the short and long term. Lloyd-Jones explains that while alcohol initially relaxes the blood vessels, those vessels start to constrict once the liver metabolizes it. Blood pressure can remain at higher-than-normal levels the day after imbibing. And if drinking too much becomes a pattern, so will higher blood pressure numbers. Heavy drinkers (more than three drinks a day for women, four for men) who cut back to moderate drinking (up to one drink a day for women, two for men) can lower the top number in their blood pressure reading by about 5.5 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury, a measurement for pressure) and their bottom number by about 4 mm Hg, according to the Mayo Clinic.

5. COMMON MEDICATIONS Headache? Joint pain? Be mindful what you reach for when you head to the medicine cabinet. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) can raise blood pressure. And so can regular use of acetaminophen (Tylenol), according to a new study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association. “Any time people are using those types of medications for pain control, if they’re using them continuously, they need to get with their doctor,” Lloyd-Jones says. Other over-the-counter products to be aware of: decongestants, which relieve stuffiness by narrowing blood vessels to reduce swelling in

the nose. This can also raise blood pressure. “So you don’t want to use them consistently or routinely,” Lloyd-Jones says. Even supplements like ginseng and ephedra are associated with increased blood pressure.

“But insulin, itself, tends to drive up blood pressure in many people,” Lloyd-Jones says. “So if you’re eating a lot of added sugar or simple starches, you’re having these more intense and longer bursts of insulin, which will raise blood pressure.” Added sugar is common in soft drinks, cakes and cookies. Some yogurts and breakfast cereals can also be high in added sugar. 7. SMOKING Yet another reason to kick the habit: Smoking, a proven risk factor for heart attack and stroke, can also mess with your blood pressure. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, nicotine is to blame. It causes the blood vessels to narrow and the heart to beat faster, which makes your blood pressure get higher. “If you look at the monitoring, it’s clear that the blood pressure [of smokers] over a 24-hour period is higher than non-smokers’,” Byrd says.

6. ADDED SUGAR When we eat sugar, our bodies release insulin to help clear the sugar from the blood and get it into the cells where it can be used for energy. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2022 31






<120 mm Hg

<80 mm Hg


120-129 mm Hg

<80 mm Hg

Stage 1 Hypertension

130-139 mm Hg

Stage 2 Hypertension

≥140 mm Hg

80-89 mm Hg

Source: CDC



≥90 mm Hg

8. ANOTHER HEALTH CONDITION The overproduction of a hormone called aldosterone can cause high blood pressure and even make it difficult to control with medication. Byrd says people who haven’t had any luck lowering their high blood pressure with multiple medications should talk to their doctor because “there’s a reasonably good chance that they have a condition called primary aldosteronism.” The condition often is missed, Byrd says, but medications can treat it. High blood pressure could also point to an issue with the kidneys or the thyroid gland. It can even signal low levels of potassium. Increasing the amount of potassium in your diet (fruits and vegetables are great sources) can lower blood pressure, Lloyd-Jones says. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE USUAL SUSPECTS It’s important not to overlook the biggest drivers of high blood pressure in the U.S., chief of which is weight. If you’re overweight, losing even a few pounds can have a big impact on blood pressure — you can reduce

your numbers by 1 mm Hg for every 2.2 pounds you lose, according to the Mayo Clinic. And don’t discount your diet. Americans consume, on average, about 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day, the majority coming from packaged foods and restaurant meals. That number should be closer to 1,500 mg, the American Heart Association says. “There is too much sodium in our food supply, we are not getting enough physical activity, we are gaining too much weight, and we are drinking too much alcohol, and every single one of those things contributes to increasing blood pressure levels,” Lloyd-Jones says. To stay on top of your blood pressure, take your measurements often and “understand where you are on the spectrum,” LloydJones says. You can do this at home with a cuff-style biceps monitor. If you notice your blood pressure is starting to increase or if it’s already elevated (a systolic, or top, number that’s less than 120 and a diastolic, bottom, number less than 80 is considered normal), it’s important to be careful around the foods and habits that can make it worse, LloydJones adds. It’s also important to work with a doctor to find the best way to control it, be it with medications, lifestyle changes or both. “Home blood pressure monitoring is a really important and empowering way for patients to take control of this,” Lloyd-Jones says.


Developing healthy habits is key to sound mental health


Senior Priority By Rocky Patal, M.d,


here are many issues that deserve a spotlight when it comes to senior healthcare, but mental health is proving more important than ever according to One Medical’s Senior Health Medical Director Rocky Patel, MD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (52.9 million in 2020).” And recent reporting from the World Health Organization highlights how the “first year of the COVID-19 pandemic showed that the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%.” Rocky Patel, MD, a provider at One Medical, a modernized primary care practice offering convenient, humancentered care across every stage of life, shares his insights on senior mental health exclusively with Arizona Jewish Life and how treatment for mental and physical health goes hand in hand. Why is it important for seniors to prioritize their mental health as they age? It is important for seniors to prioritize their mental health because in turn, we can treat their chronic conditions more effectively. Depending on the severity of their problems, prioritizing their mental health can also assist us with determining the level of professional help needed. Untreated mental health disorders in older adults can lead to diminished functioning, substance abuse, poor quality of life, and increased mortality. Did you see a spike amongst seniors facing mental health problems during the pandemic and if so, what are some typical mental health problems

that seniors face? Yes, throughout the pandemic, we saw spikes of anxiety in our seniors. Some typical mental health problems that seniors face are depression, anxiety and insomnia. How do you identify if a senior is struggling with their mental health? Some ways you can tell a senior in your life is struggling with their mental health include: Excessive anxiety or worry Long-lasting sadness or irritability Extreme changes in mood Social withdrawal  Dramatic changes in sleeping or eating patterns What can seniors do to improve their condition themselves or prevent a mental health crisis down the road? If seniors are experiencing any of the above signs, they should talk to their primary care provider about treatment options. It’s also important to develop healthy behaviors such as staying active (for example, walking around the block), eating a well-balanced diet, and getting a good night's sleep. Keeping the mind active with puzzles, games, or a new hobby is also important for brain health. What are some ways you can support a senior struggling with their mental health?If a senior in your life is struggling with their mental health, simply being there along the way is helpful. Going on walks with them, making meals and eating with them, playing games together or even finding them a support group are great ways

to help them feel connected. And of course, if their condition worsens, schedule an appointment with their primary care provider to review the best course of action to improve their mental wellbeing. One Medical is a modernized primary care practice providing highquality care to all ages, with four locations in the Greater Phoenix area, including Biltmore, Scottsdale Fashion Square, SunTan Village and Kierland Commons. One Medical prioritizes mental health as an integral part of its overall care approach. Its mission is to make receiving quality care more affordable, accessible, and enjoyable while providing care intentionally designed around aging patients’ needs. One Medical first opened its doors in Arizona in spring 2015 with the successive openings of its. One Medical stands apart with its more personalized primary care experience, catered to each patient's needs, from longer appointments with providers, on-site lab services and proactive reminders about care needs. They are uniquely positioned to deliver a more modernized healthcare relationship through their membership (just $199/year - cheaper than one year of a premium Netflix subscription) makes it easy for patients to get care when and where they need it through the One Medical app and website. Patients can even add caretakers as approved users to their One Medical member profile to help manage their care, perfect for keeping families plugged into the status and needs of senior family members' health. OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2022 33

SENIOR GIFT GUIDE Check out these unique gift ideas for the senior in your family

TWEET TREATS Perky-Pet Bird feeder with a 1/2 lb. seed capacity $9.29 - perkypet.com

OPEN SESAME Cuisinart® Deluxe Stainless Steel Electric Can Opener $49.99 - bedbathandbeyond.com

DIGIT DELIGHT Nekteck Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine $69.99 - nekteck.com

GOING DUTCH LeCreuset Cast Iron Deep Round Dutch Oven $249.95 - cutleryandmore.com

PAGE TURNER Little Book of Jewish Appetizers by Leah Koenig $18.95 - sugarbooandco.com

SEE INTO THE FUTURE Jewish Wisdom ball $24.00 - MODERNTRIBE.com

GO GRAZING Terza Cheese & Charcuterie board (Feeds 3-4) $129.95 - goldbelly.com

LIP SMACKER Bobbi Brown crushed lip color (shown Blush) $29.00 - bobbibrowncosmetics.com

CARE THAT WEIGHT Mela Weighted Blanket $92.00 (King) - melacomfort.co.uk




KEEP ON TREKKING Foxelli Aluminum Trekking Poles $51.97 - foxelli.com


Summer is fast approaching, and that can only mean


backyard dining and easy dishes to satisfy.


SALADS FRESH TOMATO SALAD INGREDIENTS 2 pints cherry tomatoes 2 large Heirloom tomatoes Fresh basil leaves A pinch of fresh oregano 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Salt & pepper to taste 1/2 baguette, pieces torn Optional Pieces of chicken breast

INSTRUCTIONS Combine sliced Heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. Combine oilve oil, herbs and viegar, and drizzle over tomatoes. Garnish with bits of baguette and fresh basil






INGREDIENTS 11 oz box of organic baby spinach pre-washed 4 hard boiled eggs sliced 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in halves 1 long English cucumber sliced 2 cups mushrooms sliced 2 tbsp sesame seeds toasted INSTRUCTIONS Slice hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumbers



Toasted sesame seeds Fill large salad bowl with spinach, then add eggs, mushrooms, cucumbers and tomatoes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds last. Make dressing: In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine easy spinach salad dressing ingredients. Shake until well mixed. Toss salad: Pour dressing over salad – as much or as little as you like – then toss salad gently.

HEALTHY SPINACH SALAD DRESSING 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp soy sauce ifoodreal.com Olena Osipov Spinach Salad

MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD Prep Time: 12 mins • Cook Time: 10 mins Total Time: 22 mins Serves 6


3 cups uncooked fusilli pasta 2 heaping cups halved cherry tomatoes 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 cups arugula 1 cup Persian cucumbers, sliced into thin half moons 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 cup basil leaves, torn 1/2 cup minced parsley 1/2 cup chopped mint 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts DRESSING

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, or dried Italian seasoning 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 3/4 teaspoon sea salt INSTRUCTIONS

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, or until slightly past al dente. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, herbes de Provence, red pepper flakes, and salt. (Note: the dressing will have a strong flavor, it’ll mellow once it coats all of the pasta salad ingredients). Drain the pasta, toss it with a little olive oil (so that it doesn’t stick together) and let it cool to room temp. Transfer to a large bowl with the tomatoes, chickpeas, arugula, cucumbers, feta cheese, basil, parsley, mint, and pine nuts. Pour the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with more lemon, salt, pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and serve. Courtesy of loveandlemons.com OREGON JEWISH LIFE | MAY/JUNE 2022 39


Mr. Madam, the true story of a female impersonator turned male madam


HE STORY: Mr. Madam is based upon a true story, taken from several books by Kenneth aka Kate Marlowe. This one-person show is set in his study one evening where we find Kenneth mad that the world has forgotten who he was. Kenneth has been described as one of the gayest and most openly homosexual personalities of the late 50s and early 60s. He went from a 1940's/1950's drag performer to being a madam (for Hollywood gays), to being the author of several books and at the age of 50 began transitioning, and soon after marries a man in prison. You just cannot make this stuff up! In July 2010 Armistead Maupin commented: "I met Kenneth Marlow in 1972 when he was in the process of becoming Kate Marlowe. He threw a fundraising Big Band dance at which Sally Rand (then 70) performed her famous Fan Dance under a VERY DIM blue bulb. He called the evening "The Ball to End All Balls." When I interviewed her later (Kate) she told me she'd grown up in a whorehouse in Winnemucca, Nevada. I'm not at all sure if that was true but it was a fascinating detail, so I appropriated it for Anna Madrigal in Tales of the City. For further details: https://bit.ly/39PoA4q 40


MR. MADAM June 9 - 25, 2022 Thursday @7:30pm

Friday @7:30pm

Saturday @7:30pm

Sunday @2:00pm

June 9

June 10

June 11


June 16

June 17

June 18

June 19

June 23

June 24

June 25



80 Israelfounded unicorns now dot the United States A record number of privately held Israelifounded companies worth at least $1 billion are headquartered in nine states. By Diana Bletter/Israel21c


here are now 80 Israeli-founded unicorns — -privately held companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more — based in the United States, according to the United States–Israel Business Alliance https://nyisrael. org/ (USIBA). Each of these unicorns has at least one Israeli founder and global or regional headquarters in the United States. Making an analogy to racecars, USIBA President Aaron Kaplowitz said that Israeli innovation might be compared to “a flashy red Corvette that draws considerable capital investment on the strength of exciting game-changing solutions” but actually is more like a Ferrari,

“a powerful economic engine that employs tens of thousands of Americans and generates billions of dollars in local economies.” The nine states with Israeli-founded unicorn headquarters are California (32), New York (26), Massachusetts (10), New Jersey (4), Florida (2), Illinois (2), Texas (2), Oregon (1) and Washington (1). The combined total valuation for all 80 unicorns amounts to $224.8 billion. Kaplowitz said that although Manhattan and Silicon Valley are generating Israelifounded unicorns at “an unprecedented clip,” the real story here is that Israeli founders are identifying states beyond New York and California as viable options to grow their companies, source local talent, and establish a robust US presence.” Further information on The United States–Israel Business Alliance, which works to strengthen the economic relationship between individual states and Israel, can be found here.


Young professionals from around the world experience networking weekend at

Birthright Israel Excel Summit


ver 300 Birthright Israel Excel Fellows from North America and around the world gathered in New York City this past April for the Excelerate22 Summit. This marked the first time the annual Birthright Israel Excel Summit has been held in person since 2019, a welcome change from the virtual Summits of the last two years. Birthright Israel Excel is a prestigious business fellowship that offers a summer internship in Israel, followed by membership in an exclusive community of peers focused on professional development, personal growth, Israel engagement, and philanthropy. After their internships, Excel Fellows have maximized their experiences by taking on positions at top-tier companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Bain & Company and Google, developing strategic partnerships with Israeli companies, and starting their own companies, often hiring other Fellows. According to Birthright Israel Excel’s Executive Director Idit Rubin, the pandemic has meant less live networking events, but has also resulted in the growth and strengthening of global connections within the Excel community, a trend that the organization wants to continue to develop in upcoming years. Some 30 Fellows from Israel and several others from the UK, South Africa, Argentina 42



and Mexico joined their North American peers for Excelerate22, cementing those bonds. “Birthright Excel Fellows are active every day as recognized leaders in their professional arenas and within the broad Jewish community. As they gather this year for the first in-person Summit in two years, we are experiencing a sense of renewal and opening a new chapter in the history of what is considered the most prestigious program in the Jewish world today,” said Gidi Mark, CEO of Birthright Israel. Throughout the weekend, participants enjoyed plentiful networking opportunities, industry-specific panels and discussions about topics such as business development, Jewish identity and Israel engagement. Since 2011, Birthright Israel Excel has been engaged in developing the next generation of Jewish business leaders. The Excel Fellowship selects extraordinary college students around the world for a summer business or tech internship in Tel Aviv at leading companies. After their return, Excel Fellows become part of a global community that provides resources for professional and personal development and Israel engagement, while also being dedicated to philanthropy. https://birthrightisraelexcel.com/ PHOTO BY LUIS RUIZ

OJCYF and the impact of giving J LIVING

By Suretta Plawner


s youth, we are told the overwhelming social issues perpetuating inequalities and discrimination followed by the climate crisis are our problems to solve. Yet, we do not have the financial capital to affect international change overnight. So what can we do? The Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation provides teens the opportunity to explore these issues and engage in conversations about the impact of giving. Through examining a variety of nonprofits, we are introduced to the social justice work happening around us. This is my third year participating in the program and I have really valued the chance to connect with changemakers in my communities. While I miss being able to meet as a group in person, it is great to connect virtually with teens all over Oregon. I have learned a lot about the vital role nonprofits play in society and their dependence on community support. The program’s incorporation of Judaism, philanthropy, leadership, and social justice makes it an even more unique opportunity. Following two smaller rounds of giving to both Jewish and nonsecular organizations, OJCYF hosts an event to raise funds for the main round of giving. This year, our theme is “Live Green, Give Green”. We unanimously decided that climate change and sustainability is at the forefront of advocating for our future. OJCYF’s annual benefit is a large part of the program as it provides us the first-hand experience to lead and organize a fundraising event that raises the majority of their funds. Our impact on the community relies on the production of this event and the generosity of donors. Our benefit will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 3rd from 7:30 – 8:30 pm. More information about the event and how you can empower Jewish teens to engage in philanthropy can be found by visiting the www.givebutter.com/OJCYF2022. Note that this event is Take Two! It was previously scheduled for April 24th. Suretta Plawner is a Senior at St. Mary’s Academy The Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation (OJCYF) is a nationally celebrated program of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation (OJCF). Now in its 19th year, the program cultivates the next generation of thoughtful philanthropists and community leaders. During the course of a school year, young philanthropists learn about tzedakah, tikkun olam, and community needs. The program has directly impacted more than 260 teens and supported organizations ranging from synagogues and day schools to those working on child welfare and social justice. At the culmination of the program the teens undertake the responsibility of fundraising from – and the joy of grantmaking into – the community.

OJCYF invites you to join us on May 3rd for a virtual event hosted by these future leaders called “Live Green. Give Green.” The teens are raising funds for grantmaking to projects with an environmental focus. There is no charge to attend but a suggested donation of $18 per individual or $54 per household is appreciated. To register, or to donate without attending, visit www.givebutter. com/OJCYF2022.


Message from


Commissioner Sharon Meieran

MULTNOMAH COUNTY’S SECOND EVER YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FORUM WHEN Saturday, 5/21 9:30 a.m. doors open 10:00 a.m. to noon: Program Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Lunch 12:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m.: Affinity Spaces 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Resource Fair WHERE In-person and virtual DoubleTree by Hilton Portland (1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232) WHO Youth (ages 13-21) in Multnomah County and elected officials, community leaders, non-profits, and mental health providers.



ommissioner Sharon Meieran, U.S. Rep Suzanne Bonamici, and Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty open Multnomah County’s Second Ever Youth Mental Health Forum on May 21 Young people from middle school to college age are invited to join Multnomah County’s second Youth Mental Health Forum on Saturday, May 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. The forum is a way for people to connect with peers and share with elected officials their ideas that could inform policies around mental health access and care. Youth are invited to attend all or part of the event. It will feature behavioral health providers, a resource fair and affinity spaces. There is no cost and lunch is included. The event — both in-person and virtual — is sponsored by Commissioner Sharon Meieran, with brief opening remarks from US Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and young people from across the County. All are welcome. The first Youth Mental Health Forum in 2020 was held just before the first COVID cases were reported in Oregon. Commissioner Meieran organized the event to give youth the space to share openly about the mental health challenges they were facing and offer ideas for solutions. Much has changed since 2020, but one thing is clear: young people — already facing behavioral health challenges before the COVID pandemic — face new and persistent issues. Anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation have increased dramatically, fueled by two years of isolation, grieving and fear for friends and family, the dramatic increase in racially biased crimes and hate crimes, and escalating gun violence.


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