OJMCHE looks back at the determination, resilience, and leadership that have brought Portland’s Conservative congregation through 150 years, preserving tradition while embracing modernity.
In 1869 a group of Polish and Prussian immigrants settled in Portland and founded the city’s second synagogue, Ahavai Sholom, blending traditional religious practices with modern American customs, struggling to find stability in their early days. Three decades later a group of Russian immigrants faced the same challenges when they founded Neveh Zedek Talmud Torah. The two congregations eventually merged, becoming Neveh Shalom in 1961. Always ready to adapt and innovate, today the congregation stands at the forefront of social justice, carrying forward the Jewish values which light their way.
The exhibit gives visitors a view into the history of Neveh Shalom, highlighting some of the events and people who shaped its growth, drawing personal connections between devotion to tradition and the progressive outlook which has characterized the congregation from its very beginning.
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON THE ISRAEL360 TALK at Neveh Shalom March 12.
Mel Bochner: Enough Said from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
Mel Bochner (b.1940) consistently probes the conventions of painting and language. Bochner’s text-based works will be on view.
From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundations, this body of recent works, 2007-2018, challenge audiences to reflect on the nature and structure of everyday language. Curated by Bruce Guenther, adjunct curator for special exhibitions, the exhibition explores language as image and idea through Bochner’s long-held interest in complex printmaking techniques.
“Bochner’s historic use of language and words as both a linguistic system of inquiry and as a formal visual vocabulary of his painting practice has found new focus in the last decade through the artist’s intense engagement with printmaking and his exploration of the relationships of words as image, text, voice and thinking,” says Guenther. “He plumbs English and Yiddish for language’s power to establish identity, to command respect, or to attack in works of unpredictable emotionality and humor.”
“Mel Bochner is one of the most important conceptual artists of our time. His word art makes us smile, laugh, frown and jeer – but always forces us to think,” says Jordan D. Schnitzer. “He seduces us with emotions, words and phrases that we all have used. Whether we laugh or frown experiencing his art, we are forever moved.”
Born in 1940 to an Orthodox family in Pittsburgh, the artist attended Hebrew school and was exposed to art early through his father, who was a sign painter with a workshop in the family’s basement. Displaying an early talent for drawing, Bochner participated in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s innovative children’s art classes, eventually winning a scholarship to Carnegie Melon University.
Israel from the Eyes of the Community – A PDX Community Art Display:
Members from the Greater Portland area submitted photos that were taken by them while in Israel. A committee selected the photos on display. During the week leading up to our annual Yom Ha’Atzmaut Celebration (May 8), visitors were ask to vote for your favorite photo! That evening, we will announce the winners.
This year’s winning photo was taken by Nimoi Markel.
Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 12.
Exhibit on display April 29 – May 31
Sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and PJ Library
Spring Monthly Mitzvah Projects
Each month the MJCC and PJA communities will collect items for the monthly mitzvah. Drop off items in the blue bin in the MJCC lobby. Check the display for how you can participate and donate to these worthy causes.
This project reflects the Jewish commitment to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), providing opportunities to give back to our community.
Please drop off items in the blue bin in the MJCC Lobby.
May – Household Supplies for Organizations Serving Refugees
Guest Speaker – Rabbi Dov Ber Cohen – JWRP & Aish Lecturer
Dov Ber Cohen, originally from England, has extensive experience in tzedakah, Tikkun Olam and self-development projects. Having completed a BA Honors Degree at the University of Manchester, Dov Ber Cohen spent the next 6 years living in Asia, where he taught English and Buddhism, as well as volunteered in orphanages and trained in several martial arts.
After leaving Asia, Dov Ber Cohen came to Israel and studied in yeshiva for over a year, discovering the deep wisdom and spiritual insight of Torah Judaism. Dov Ber Cohen started multiple organizations that focus on self-help and the idea of Tikkun Olam. He is currently a lecturer at the Aish World Center, JWRP and JustifI. He travels the globe teaching thirsty souls.
To learn more about Dov Ber Cohen click here.
The term Shabbaton is often employed to mean an event and/or celebration that is held on Shabbat or over a full weekend. A Shabbaton is an immersive family Shabbat experience — providing engaging programs and activities for all ages.
The Shabbaton is for everyone — singles, couples of all ages and families with kids.
The Shabbaton has professionally staffed programming for all ages:
- Childcare for children ages 0-2
- Fun Camp SEED programming for children ages 3-12
- Awesome teen programming with NCSY (13-18)
- AKIVA programming for college students
We also provide evening childcare — babysitters in the hallway outside your room will monitor your sleeping children and will call you if your child needs your attention.
As adults and as parents we need to recharge our physical, emotional and spiritual batteries. The Shabbaton is an opportunity to enjoy delicious food and drink, have a fun time relaxing and socializing with other adults and enjoy amazing Jewish classes from world-class speakers and lecturers.
- Regular pricing — $500 for a room with up to four people.
- EARLY-BIRD SPECIAL — $450 BEFORE APRIL 1.
- $100 for a 5th family member in room (only available for a family with children)
- Upgrade to a suite for an additional $300.
Join us in the land of Oz. Reunite with friends and travel down the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz for a lively hour of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before proceeding into the Emerald City Ballroom for dinner and program. Entertainment, dinner, drinks and surprises.
A Jewish Studies Sampler with Rabbi Jonathan Seidel PhD
Four Surveys of Intriguing and Slightly Mysterious Topics:
- The Dead Sea Scrolls Today
- Kabbalah – New Approaches and Discoveries both Scholarly and Popular
- Jewish Magic: Amulets, Healing and Transformation
- The Jewish Role in the Development of Science both Empirical and Mystical
Sundays: February 17, March 31, April 28, May 12
Cost: $15. Register: oregonjcc.org/jewishlearning
Shoshana Gugenheim, one of the first women in modern times to train and practice as a soferet (a female Torah scribe), will do a workshop and/or lecture on the scribal arts and being a female in a “forbidden role.”
Shoshana is an interdisciplinary artist, Torah scribe, curator and educator. Shoshana is occupied with questions about Judaism and patriarchy, ritual, feminism and gender gaps. Influenced by her studies in and work as an educator, Shoshana addresses ways of schooling and un-schooling and engages institutional critique as a way to imagine new possibilities, often through publicly generated solutions. Her work reinvents traditional practices, primarily, but not solely, Jewish ones, and reinserts them with new forms into familiar contexts. Some subjects of her artistic research include the Jewish female body, branding and logos, citizenship, animal welfare, silence, loss, and death and dying.
Her scribal work inspired her international collaboration, Women of the Book, launched with the Jerusalem Biennale 2015, and is informing her current work on high animal welfare parchment manufacturing.
Yair Dalal & Dror Sinai in Concert
Eric Stern Music and Michelle Alany present an intimate evening with Israeli international artist, composer, violinist, oud player, and singer YAIR DALAL. Joining Dalal is percussionist DROR SINAI. This is a rare opportunity to hear Dalal in an intimate setting. This event is co-sponsored by Congregation Shir Tikvah of Portland.
About YAIR DALAL: Dalal’s family came to Israel from Baghdad and his Iraqi roots are embedded in his musical work. Much of Dalals work reflects his extensive musical skills in both classical-European, Jazz and Arabic music and also reflects a strong affinity he has for the desert and its inhabitants. Over the last decades he has put out 14 albums, covering wide and varied cultural territory, and authentically representing Israeli, Jewish and Middle Eastern cultures. Dalal has won several Israeli and international awards acknowledging his music and his contribution to Israeli music. https://www.yairdalal.com/
About DROR SINAI: Dror Sinai is an international performer, educator, leader, Healer and Energy facilitator. Percussion of the World, founding member of the World Music Committee for the Percussive Art Society. Presents lectures, clinics, retreats, workshops and residencies to diverse audience including schools, universities and Jewish communities.
Guest artists, featuring Michelle Alany & Eric Stern will play a short opening set.
Special workshop with Yair Dalal and Dror Sinai tba.
Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door.
Congregation Shir Tikvah (Bridgeport Community Church)
Mah Jongg for Beginners
Learn to play this ancient game. It will give your mind a workout!
April 16 – May 14
10:30 am – 12:30 pm, CG301
Cost: $100. Members: $85.