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
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.
Since the shootings in Pittsburgh, there have been highly publicized tensions between African American and Jewish American figures. But why is there a special historical relationship between blacks and Jews? What are the causes that unite and what divides?
“African Americans and Jewish Americans have interacted throughout much of the history of the United States. This relationship has included widely publicized cooperation and conflict, and—since the 1970s—has been an area of significant academic research. Cooperation during the Civil Rights Movement was strategic and significant, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The relationship has also featured conflict and controversy related to such topics as the Black Power movement, Zionism, affirmative action, and the role of American and Caribbean-based Jews in the Atlantic slave trade.” (Wikipedia)
Professor Ellen Eisenberg will delve into these and other questions in this part of Intersections.
Ellen Eisenberg has taught in the History Department since 1990, and holds the Dwight and Margaret Lear Chair in American History. She teaches courses on American and African American history since the Civil War, American social history, American Jewish history, American immigration history, the 1960s, Reconstruction, and a research seminar called History in the Archives. Several of her courses serve as electives for the American Ethnic Studies program.
Ellen Eisenberg’s research centers on the history of American immigrant and ethnic communities, particularly American Jewish communities. Since the mid-1990s, she has focused on Jews in the Pacific West, with an emphasis on relationships between Jews and other minority ethnic groups. She has written four monographs on Jews in the West, as well as publishing a number of articles and book chapters. The First to Cry Down Injustice? Western Jews and Japanese Removal during WWII (2008), was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her a two-volume history of Jews in Oregon was published in 2015 and 2016. Courses she teaches at Willamette University: Nation of Immigrants, American Immigration History, African American History, 1865-present, Topics in American History, 1865-present, History in the Archives, American Jewish History, and History Workshop: Race and Ethnicity in the American West.
Dr. Eisenberg is the author of The Jewish Oregon Story, 1950-2010 (2016), Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians 1849-1950 (2015), Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America’s Edge (co-authored with Ava Kahn and Bill Toll, 2010), The First to Cry Down Injustice? Western Jews and Japanese Removal during WWII (2008), and Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920 (1995).
You are able to join Rabbi Stampfer’s fall 2018-19 emeritus class online through Congregation Neveh Shalom’s live-stream service. The class is using the book, Introduction to the Bible by Christina Hayes of Yale University. Hayes will be at the class in person Jan. 17 to add extra insight. To view live online on Thursdays at 11 am or watch past classes, please click here: https://nevehshalom.org/stampfer-bible-class/.
*Please note that registration for the class is closed, and we are not able to accept more in-person students.
Mark Twain said it best when he said, “no one has an uninteresting life!” This workshop is an opportunity to explore your life and write your stories. Dorothy Dworkin, an experienced author, columnist and writing coach, will offer prompts and suggestions to get you started on writing your stories. She will help you organize your memoir with noncritical feedback from your fellow writers and from her years of experience facilitating the writing process. No experience necessary, only a desire to share your experiences with family, friends and fellow “memoirists.” Class size is limited to 12.
May 2 – 30
11:00 am – 12:30 pm, CG306
Register at oregonjcc.org/registration