Tagged Oregon Jewish

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Mitzvah with Meaning

For Beit Haverim student Emily Anderson, who has loved to read since she was very little, figuring out what to do for her bat mitzvah project was easy – she wanted to find an opportunity where she could help at-risk kids with their reading skills. “I thought I’d be helping kids who were at the…

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Mitzvah with Meaning

  For Beit Haverim student Emily Anderson, who has loved to read since she was very little, figuring out what to do for her bat mitzvah project was easy – she wanted to find an opportunity where she could help at-risk kids with their reading skills. “I thought I’d be helping kids who were at…

Portland celebrates 60 years with rabbi Stampfer

On a recent afternoon, Rabbi Joshua Stampfer made his way to a light-filled classroom in Congregation Neveh Shalom, greeted other members of his study group and opened a volume of Talmud. Everyone turned to page 119b(5) in Tractate Shabbos, but the real topic was “Why was Jerusalem destroyed?” Rabbi Stampfer read aloud, in Hebrew and…

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Seeking Peace in the Shadow of War

This column on the renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians might seem somewhat detached because I am writing as all of us are preoccupied figuring out if America will attack Syria – and whether Assad, Hezbollah or even Iran will take out their frustration on Israel. The rush that overwhelmed the civil gas-mask distribution…

The Meaning of Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Jews are not “bar-mitzvahed” or “bat-mitzvahed.” it does not happen to them. it is a status achieved by demonstrating personal awareness of the responsibility to take on the fulfillment of the mitzvot of Judaism.   Children who become bar or bat mitzvah are “obligated to the mitzvot” (Mishnah Avot 5.21). According to Jewish tradition, this…

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Becoming a Woman in Front of Women

Not every girl gets to lead services chant the entire Torah portion of the  week when she becomes a bat mitzvah. Portland Women’s Tefillah, led by Erica Goldman, has provided that opportunity to girls (and women) of all backgrounds since 1984, when the well-known Jewish educator cofounded the group  embarked on what was to become a 30- year…

Mason's Ark

Everyone knows the story of Noah’s Ark, right? Noah was commanded by God to build a great ship and stock it with male and female pairs of every animal on Earth. God sent down a massive flood to wipe out every living thing on the planet to give humanity, which had become irretrievably corrupt, a…

Living With Parkinson’s

Ashland resident Judy Visser was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 11 years ago. A wife/mother/grandmother, Judy was a teacher and education director for Temple Emek Shalom who lived the active Southern Oregon lifestyle. This could have been a devastating diagnosis. This should have been a devastating diagnosis. Our telephone interview, though, began with music: Judy played a…