Daily Archives: April 1, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

Born in Lithuania in 1940, Maia Ilina was smuggled out of the ghetto in Kaunas shortly before it was liquidated in 1944. She spent the rest of World War II in hiding with a Lithuanian family; all her known relatives perished. After the war ended, she was taken to a Jewish orphanage. Now nearly 72…

Girl Talk

If you’ve lived in the Portland area for some time now, it’s likely you’ve heard the voice of Francine Raften booming through your radio speakers at some point. A local radio personality for nearly three decades, Raften found great success on the airwaves interviewing celebs, politicians and everything in between including then future President Bill…


Crossing Over

Throughout history, humanity has instinctively understood the power of music to heighten emotions. The strident beat of war drums, melodious Torah chants, ethereal church hymns and the ominous rhythm of the Jaws movie theme have all used the language of the soul. Yet Rabbi Alan Berg says that he has never heard a liturgical composition…


Seder stories

Passover is one of the most compelling Jewish holidays. Jews have struggled to observe it during the most difficult of times and circumstances – whether in grinding poverty, on the battlefields of wars or at the peril of their lives in concentration camps.

Faces of Israel

The mosaic of Israeli faces on this month’s Oregon Jewish Life cover depicts the diversity of this modern nation as it prepares for its 64th birthday. The following pages offer glimpses of different aspects of the miracle that is the state of Israel.

Oregonians connect with modern Israel

Returnees and first-time visitors alike marveled at the modernity of Israel, perhaps best exemplified by the nationwide network of battery charging and exchange stations for electric cars that opened the week before the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s Connect to Israel Mission in February. “Before our trip, I read about A Better Place in Startup…

Exploring your Birthright

Jake Reckford caught the travel bug in high school and did want to go to Israel … eventually. While Birthright seemed a fun, smart way to do it, he had college to finish and then a job to do. When the job went away, however, and his 24th birthday loomed, the planets aligned and he…

Rotarians find miraculous, modern country

Karl and Iris Raschkes of Salem were part of a group of 10 Rotarians from the Salem, Beaverton, Portland and Vancouver Clubs hosted by Rotary Clubs in Israel. Our first impression of Israel was of the modern international Ben Gurion Airport. As we drove to Jerusalem we noticed the highway system was as modern as…

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