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
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.
Yom HaZikaron – A Community-Wide Commemoration
Please join us as we honor those who have given their lives for the State of Israel.
Tuesday, May 7, 8:00 pm at the MJCC. Free and open to the community.
Chai Baby + PJ Library Indoor Playground
Join us on the second Wednesdays of every month from September to June for Chai Baby Indoor Playground, with kosher snacks, storytelling, friends and fun!
For parents/caregivers and their children up to five years old.
Please mark your calendar for our 2019 dates, held on the second Wednesdays each month:
Free and open to the community.
In partnership with PJ Library, Chai Baby, and Portland Jewish Academy.
From Warsaw to Baltimore: Escaping Nazi and Contemporary United States Ghettos
Amanda recently presented her thesis entitled From Warsaw to Baltimore: Escaping Nazi and Contemporary United States Ghettos. This research focuses on an integrative approach which reveals largely overlooked parallels between the two. By focusing on processes and structures, she explores the exclusionary practices that make ghettos a mechanism of oppression and mass violence of the 20th century. While noting important differences, she examines the evolution of the term ghetto, ideas and ideology about those who reside in ghettos; policies that ensure inhabitants of the ghetto remain in them; and, finally, struggles of those who escape the ghetto to find support or acceptance needed to maintain life outside the ghetto.
This is part of the OJMCHE series of informal lunchtime conversations. Bring a lunch or buy a lunch in Lefty’s Cafe and join us in the museum’s auditorium for a lively give and take as we share and explore ideas, experience, and expertise.
Vote on your favorite photo in the exhibit “Israel from the Eyes of the Community: A Community Art Display.” Photos are on display in the MJCC Art Gallery April 29- May 31. Community members will vote on their favorite photo from April 29-May 8. Winners will be announced at 8 pm during the Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration.
In addition to the free activities, Israeli food will be available for purchase. Grab some delicious cuisine featuring Israeli salads, pita, falafel and more.