Daily Archives: September 1, 2013

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A New Era in Aging

Helen Goldhammer was living alone in her Hillsdale condominium, doing just fine, says her daughter Carol Levy. Last July, though, Helen had a mild stroke and moved to the Robison Jewish Health Center for rehabilitation. She had a room of her own and, Carol says, “a team of very caring people” who helped helen recover…

Life-Cycle Primer

Birth Jewish children are given Hebrew names in addition to their English names. The most prominent ceremony surrounding a birth in our tradition is the circumcision of the male child, performed on the eighth day after birth. The ceremony is called a brit milah, which means covenant, harking back to when Abraham entered into a…

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Oregon’s Congregations Evolve

During the first 100 years of Jewish life in Oregon, congregations emerged, merged and evolved to meet the ever-changing spiritual, life-cycle and community needs of an increasingly dispersed and diverse population (see the early history, pages 10-14). by the 1960s, Oregon’s synagogues had stabilized to include today’s Congregations Beth Israel, Neveh Shalom, Shaarie Torah, Ahavath Achim…

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A Guide to Jewish Holidays

ROSH HASHANAH (Sept. 5-6, 2013) Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated each year on the first day of Tishrei, early in the fall. The day is a special time of rejoicing as we wish each other L’Shanah Tovah, a good year. It is also a solemn day because Rosh Hashanah is not only the…

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Kids & Shabbat

Last February my family was about to sit down to Shabbat dinner. As we gathered in the dining room and took our seats, my then 5-year-old son, Leo, was nowhere to be found. My wife and I called out his name, and suddenly he emerged from his bedroom, running up to us with a big…

The Beauty of Shabbat

In words that form images of light and darkness, waters receding from the firmament and stars separating day and night, the hebrew Bible (torah) describes the separation of the seventh day from all the others. this is the Sabbath – the day G-d desisted from the work of creation. the hebrew word Shabbat comes from…

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Engaging a Diverse Community

Nationally and locally, the organized Jewish community has striven to embrace and engage an increasingly diverse and diffuse population. The so-called big Tent approach has been spurred in part by Jewish population studies, such as the 1990 national study that revealed a 52% intermarriage rate and the 2008-09 Portland study that found an astonishing 47,500…

Where We Were

For more than 150 years, Jewish life in Oregon has been characterized by dreamers, doers and those devoted to a cause. The pioneer Jews who came to the Western Frontier sank deep roots. Those first Oregon Jews, who came from Germany in the mid-1850s, often lived in other places in America before finding their way out West….

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