Holidays

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Hanukkah essay contest announced

Maimonides Jewish Day School in Southwest Portland announces Oregon’s second annual Hanukkah essay contest. All Oregon students in third to sixth grades are encouraged to reflect on and write an essay on the topic, “What Freedom Means to Me.” The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland is a contest partner. The contest has sections for third-fourth…

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A year full of holidays

(Note: Jewish holidays start at sunset the evening before the first day of the holiday) Rosh Hashanah Sept. 10-11, 2018 On Rosh Hashanah the sound of the shofar announces the arrival of the High Holy Days, or 10 Days of Awe that stretch from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of…

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Seders for 2018

PHOTO: At Gesher, seder participants role play their way through the Passover seder. “Dress up” as slaves, flee to the middle of the Red Sea, feast and tell the story as if we were slaves leaving Egypt. Gesher provides slave clothing and sustenance for the journey.   Passover (March 31-April 7, 2018) Passover, also known…

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It’s hamantaschen time – bake, buy, eat

They’ve been baking pastries together for a long, long time, first for synagogue use and then as a community event and fundraiser. The Shaarie Torah Sisterhood’s annual hamantaschen marathon gets going Feb. 4 this year. Expect the best, as they turn out thousands of fruit- and poppy seed-filled pastries that look like Haman’s tri-corner hat….

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Chanukah Tales

  All Jewish holidays begin with a good story. Passover depicts Moses facing off against Pharaoh, and Purim features Mordechai and Esther prevailing over the wicked Haman. Chanukah boasts a particularly compelling narrative with its epic tale of freedom versus tyranny. The underdog Maccabees managing to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and the…

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Gifts, Grinches and Gratitude

Dear Helen: I’m part of a circle of friends who’ve traded holiday gifts for decades. Eventually we stopped giving them to all the children, too, but it would feel very strange, even socially uncomfortable, to skip Chanukah gifts for the core friends. This summer I gently suggested donating our gift money as tzedakah instead; I…

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