Shabbat in the Park with Congregation Shir Tikvah @ Overlook Park
Aug 21 @ 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Welcome Shabbat in the great outdoors. All are invited to eat, sing and enjoy the beauty of the Portland summer with us.
Overlook Park – N Interstate Avenue at N Fremont Street
Band starts at 6 pm – prayers at 6:45pm

Service animals welcome – please leave other pets at home

Shir Tikvah Rabbi Ariel Stone and J.D. Kleinke will be joined by Stumbleweed, a perennial favorite at this event.

Bring a blanket or a chair, and pack a picnic dinner to enjoy while the bluegrass band plays!

JGSO: Handwriting Analysis For Genealogists @ Congregation Ahavath Achim
Feb 7 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon is pleased to present Handwriting Analysis for Genealogists by Ron Arons

Description:     This presentation will cover both document examination and graphology. The former is the more accepted discipline of comparing questioned samples with known handwriting samples. For decades courts have allowed document analysis as evidence in probate cases, etc. Graphology is the more questionable “art” of trying to determine personality characteristics and behavior based on the analysis of signatures and handwriting in general. Although a “soft science” graphology has some merit. Examples of both how document examination and graphology can be used in genealogical research will be provided. Also, various software packages and books that can help understand these two topics will be discussed.

Bio:     Ron has presented at 12 of the past 15 IAJGS conferences on a wide variety of subjects and has also been behind the scenes at 3 IAJGS conferences to help produce “Game Show Night/Jewish Genealogy Jeopardy”. Ron has traced his roots to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, England, Belarus, and the Ukraine. In 2006 Ron appeared on the PBS TV series The Jewish Americans. He has published three books including The Jews of Sing Sing and, most recently, Mind Maps for Genealogy. Ron earned a B.S. in Engineering from Princeton and an MBA from the Univ. of Chicago.

CANCELLED: Shabbat in the Park with Shir Tikvah @ Overlook Park
Aug 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Last month it was rain. This month it is heat! Due to extreme weather, Shabbat in the Park has been cancelled.

When your bluegrass band can’t make it due to the temperature, you know it’s time to celebrate Shabbat at Home. We want all of our congregants and their guests to stay cool and healthy, so there will not be evening services at the synagogue on Friday the 19th.

Portland PRIDE Parade @ Portland
Jun 18 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Join the MJCC and a dozen other Jewish organizations and synagogues from our community as we march together at Portland PRIDE.

Meet between 8 – 10 am on NW Everett between 8th and Broadway. Join us for bagels, nosh and coffee at 9:00 am. Swag will be available. See you Sunday!

The 2017 Portland PRIDE theme is “We ARE the Change!”

Pride is the tangible and VERY visible representation of LGBTQ progress and power. Whether we call it a march or a parade, when Portland’s downtown streets fill with tens of thousands of people claiming their space and celebrating who they are-who WE are-make no mistake, that is power and that is change. We ARE the Change!

PRIDE Partners

B’nai B’rith Camp, Cedar Sinai Park, Congregation Beth IsraelCongregation Kol Ami, Congregation Neveh Shalom, Congregation Shir Tikvah, Jewish Family & Child Service, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Moishe House, Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, PDX Hillel, Portland Jewish Academy & Portland’s UnShul

Sponsor: Jewish Federation of Greater Portland


3 Days, 5 plays ALL FREE @ Artists Rep’s Alder Stage
Aug 4 @ 7:30 pm – Aug 6 @ 7:30 pm
3 Days, 5 plays ALL FREE @ Artists Rep’s Alder Stage

IMAGE: “Shylock and Jessica” by Maurice Gottlieb (1876). A Maiden of Venice will be performed Aug. 6.


Portland Shakespeare Project and Proscenium Journal, in association with Artists Repertory Theatre, present the third annual Proscenium Live Festival of New Work. All performances are free and begin at 7:30pm on Artists Rep’s Alder Stage.

The 2017 festival will offer new plays each night featuring five outstanding playwrights. Full-length plays will be presented on Friday, Aug. 4 and Saturday, Aug. 5; three short plays commissioned by Portland Shakes and Proscenium Journal will be offered on Sunday, Aug. 6.

The Sunday performance will begin with “A Maiden of Venice,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s most controversial play, told from the point of view of the Shylock’s daughter, Jessica.

The three-night festival features new plays written by award-winning playwrights Steve Rathje, C.S. Whitcomb, Aleks Merilo, Susan Mach and Patrick Wohlmut and are performed in a staged reading format featuring more than a dozen of Portland’s most talented actors on Artists Rep’s Alder Stage.


Aug. 4, 7:30pm: Artists Repertory Theatre’s Table|Room|Stage Oregon Play Prize Winner “Signs” by Steve Rathje; Directed by Michael Mendelson.

“Signs” is a surrealistic comedy about love, purpose and the little things that seem to matter so much to us. April reads horoscopes. Lydia writes horoscopes. April reads them devoutly, using them to guide her life choices. Lydia just makes them up, using the money she makes from them to support herself while she completes her novel. When April comes in contact with Lydia, the all-too-familiar force who has been transcribing April’s fate through her horoscopes all along, the story turns upside down.

Steve’s recent play Signs is winner of the $10,000 Oregon New Play Prize and is being developed and produced at Artists Repertory Theatre. ”Signs” was also a finalist for the National Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference.

Aug. 5, 7:30 pm: “Santos” by C.S. Whitcomb; Directed by Michael Mendelson

“Santos” is a new play set in Pasadena, California, circa 1968.  Rafael Santos, in his heart, is Don Quixote, but in the real world is just trying to get cast as a bandito bit player while teaching high school drama and keeping his family together.  A comedy with a side of tango.

Aug. 6, 7:30 pm: Three new plays, commissioned by Portland Shakes and Proscenium Journal.

“A Maiden of Venice” by Aleks Merilo, directed by Josh Rippy: In the walled Jewish Ghetto of Venice, a girl comes of age with only her money-lender father to guide her. When her father lashes back at men who have persecuted him, she is forced to choose between love, faith, and the debts we owe to family. An adaptation of Shakespeare’s most controversial play, it is told from the point of view of the Shylock’s daughter, Jessica.

“Coyote Play” by Susan Mach, Directed by Josh Rippy: “Coyote Play” (working title) is a contemporary re-imagining of the French-Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros,” an absurdist piece which examines the normalization of Fascism.

“Patchwork Dreams” by Patrick Wohlmut, Directed by Brenda Hubbard: Penny is a Patchwork: an automated, obedient servant created from the bodies of deceased people. But when an accident results in the development of consciousness, Penny becomes something much more complex, problematic and potentially terrifying – not just to others, but to herself.

The festival is supported in part by an Ozy Genius Award, awarded to Steve Rathje by Ozy Media, and by Portland Shakespeare Project.

Portland Shakes is a nonprofit theatre company in residence at Artists Repertory Theatre dedicated to educating, enriching and entertaining audiences by producing classical works and contemporary works associated with classical material. Since its founding in 2010 by Michael Mendelson and Karen Rathje, more than 4,500 people have enjoyed the company’s productions of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and The Turn of the Screw, as well as a many audience enrichment and education events. More information at

Proscenium is the first free literary journal dedicated to publishing plays. Proscenium publications are free of charge and readily accessible online, allowing playwrights to share their work with a large, web-based audience. Proscenium Journal‘s mission is to support emerging playwrights, make new plays easier to discover, and make theatre easily accessible to new and wider audiences. Proscenium Journal: Supporting playwrights. Encouraging discovery. Making theatre accessible. More information at

JGSO: Ellis Island Name Change Myth & “Finding “Waldo” at Ellis Island @ Congregation Ahavath Achim
Oct 8 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon invites you, your family and friends to its upcoming program on two topics – Ellis Island Name Change Myth & “Finding “Waldo” At Ellis Island presented by Joel Weintraub

Ellis Island Name Change Myth
The idea that inspectors at Ellis Island regularly Americanized immigrant names is a persistent myth. We will investigate the evidence that should exist (it doesn’t) to confirm the story as fact, and why name changing at the station was improbable given how immigrants were processed. The history of this immigration station, the types of people who passed through their doors, the legal documents (including their name) they came with, and station detention documents generated for about 1/6 of them, will be discussed with actual examples. Note: be prepared to avoid deportation by Inspector Weintraub.

Finding “Waldo” At Ellis Island
Using a case study, we will show how nine different strategies can be used to find the immigration record of an elusive immigrant to Ellis Island. For those who still cannot locate Ellis Island immigration records of their ancestors, this talk may provide some approaches you might not have tried. The difficulty of providing accurate indexes from transcriptions of ship manifests is a major problem associated with many of these strategies. We will see how well you do as a transcriber of manifest names.

Bio: Joel, a New Yorker by birth, is an emeritus Professor at California State University Fullerton and won awards for his science teaching. He volunteered for nine years at the National Archives and Records Administration. Joel created search tools for the U.S. and New York City censuses that are freely available on the Steve Morse “One-Step” website. He and Steve are currently developing locational tools for the 2022 release of the 1950 federal census. Joel has written and talked on NYC and Federal census research, immigration and naturalization, Ellis Island, biographical research, and Jewish genealogy topics.

JGSO: Read All About It!: Using Online Newspapers For Genealogical Research @ Congregation Ahavath Achim
Dec 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon invites you, your family and friends to its upcoming program “Read All About It!: Using Online Newspapers For Genealogical Research” by Janice M. Sellers

Description: Newspapers are valuable in genealogical research because you can find information about births, marriages, deaths, moves, business, naturalizations, court cases, and more. Millions of pages of the world’s newspapers are now accessible online, but there is no one place to find them all. This class provides an overview of what is available online and techniques to help improve your chances of finding information about your relatives.

Bio: Janice M. Sellers is a professional genealogist specializing in Jewish, black, forensic, and newspaper research. She edits three genealogy publications and serves on the boards of San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, African American Genealogical Society of Northern California, and Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. She is also a member of Association of Professional Genealogists, Genealogical Speakers Guild, and California Genealogical Society. Before becoming a professional genealogist, she worked in publishing for many years as an editor, indexer, translator, and compositor. Her web site is

JGSO: Jewish Life in Poland @ Congregation Ahavath Achim
Oct 7 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon invites you, your family and friends to its upcoming program “Jewish Life in Poland” by Avraham Groll.

Description: Part 1 (10th-15th centuries) will explore patterns of Jewish migration to Poland between the 10th-15th centuries. We will discuss when and why the major shifts happened, where the Jews settled and their involvement in the Poland’s development. This presentation is designed for beginners, and is not a workshop. Maps, pictures, and documents will be displayed. Handouts with further information and a bibliography will also be distributed.

Part 2 (16th-18th centuries) will explore patterns of Jewish migration to Poland between the 16th-18th centuries. We will discuss the “Golden Age of Polish Jewry,” the reaction to Shabtai Tzvi, and how the Jewish experience in Poland helped set the stage, in part, for the eventual rise of the Hasidic movement. This presentation is designed for beginners, and is not a workshop. Maps, pictures, and documents will be displayed. Handouts

Bio: Avraham Groll, the Director of, is passionate about connecting people with their Jewish roots, and helping them experience what it means to be part of the Jewish people. Avraham holds an MBA from Montclair State University, an MA in Judaic Studies from Touro College, and a BS in Business Administration from Ramapo college, and spent two years studying at Yeshiva Ohr Yeruslahayim in Israel. He is a frequent lecturer on a variety of Jewish genealogical and historical topics.

JGSO: Research Session @ Hillsdale Public Library
Jun 23 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

June’s JGSO meeting will be a research session providing one-on-one support. Bring your research materials and your personal laptops or tablets. Some computers with internet access will be available for those without. While you work with our Mavens/Experts, take advantage of some of the resources that are available within the library.

Set aside a few hours each month to work on your family tree. Redefine your research goals. Get help with the endless supply of genealogical websites. Exchange knowledge and ideas with others who have similar interests. Help others and be prepared to learn something new as you listen to other people’s questions and the processes used in finding their answers.

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