Editor's Letter

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest 22 years ago, I quickly became enchanted by the easy access to both beautiful mountains and ocean. I enjoyed many lazy days reading a book on the beach and frolicking with kids and dogs in the waves. I hiked many a trail exploring out of the way waterfalls in the gorge. And I
marveled that everything is so green!

But I still missed the rugged, arid beauty of Colorado’s front range. Then about 15 year ago, a journalism conference in Bend introduced me to Central Oregon. The piece I’d been missing was right here in Oregon! Oregon truly does have something for everyone. Sometimes we forget to look in our own backyards for exciting adventures. If you think adventure requires a long plane ride, think again.

As we head into the lazy days of summer, Oregon Jewish Life features a variety of activities and fun places to keep you entertained. Our combined June/July issue offers staycation and summer fun suggestions to keep you busy this summer.

In addition to our staycation stories, our Arts and Entertainment section includes more close-to-home fun. The 22nd annual Portland Jewish Film Festival offers 17 films spread across more than two weeks.

And after you’ve staycationed and relaxed your way through the summer, our August Resource Guide will be just the thing to get you connected with all the organizations, congregations and businesses you need for a productive and meaningful new year.

The August Back to School section will profile a diversity of schools to help you decide where your child’s needs will best be met.

Speaking of students, our cover story profiles educator Karen Twain, who has agreed to lead the Governor’s Reading Initiative designed to get all children reading by third grade. Karen has a long history of helping struggling students, beginning with her own elementary school days when she was a peer tutor for students with special needs. As the principal at Metzger Elementary in Tigard, she turned a highly diverse, struggling school into an award-winning institution.

Karen believes the state has plenty of wonderful, dedicated teachers who truly want to see all children succeed. She hopes to help them get the tools and support they need so every child will become a reader.

I was especially interested in this initiative since my son Josh graduates from the UOTeach program this summer and is looking forward to beginning his career as a primary teacher. When he was a child, Josh once told his brother that in order to truly love reading you have to become part of the story. I’m happy he’ll be teaching in a state that will allow him to become part of the story of creating a generation of readers.

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