Yom HaShoah program grows to four-day learning experience

Renowned Jewish-Christian and Holocaust scholar Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg and noted Jewish feminist Blu Greenberg are coming to Portland for a four-day community experience. “Reshaping the World after the Holocaust: a Weekend of Learning,” April 24-28, is presented by the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center. The Greenbergs, who are husband and wife, will serve as keynote speakers and will lead the weekend of activities, including lectures, presentations, classes and commemorative community events.

“What began as an idea to gather support for the Oregon Holocaust Memorial and Education Endowment Fund has grown into a four-day learning experience for our community,” says OHRC Executive Director Sonia Marie Leikam. The weekend, chaired by community leader Mark Rosenbaum and organized by the OHRC with the help of legions of volunteers, will present a series of events and programs to remember those who suffered in the Holocaust and to learn from the lessons of that horrific chapter in human history. Events are open to the entire community and built on community-wide program partnerships.

“As the generation that lived through the Holocaust gets smaller and smaller, our need to study and understand its implications gets larger and more important,” says Rosenbaum. “Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and Blu Greenberg are seminal thinkers in the area of post-Holocaust studies. Their lectures and study-group sessions present a unique opportunity for the citizens of Portland to listen to and ask questions of the best of the best.” Spread across venues including the Oregon Jewish Museum on opening night, Congregations Beth Israel and Shaarie Torah, Portland State University, the Multnomah Athletic Club and the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, the event will raise funds to preserve and sustain the physical and educational components of the Oregon Holocaust

Memorial. Partnerships with the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Portland area synagogues, the Archdiocese of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and educational, arts and cultural institutions are expected to draw a broad audience. A host of individual and corporate underwriting sponsors are supporting the four-day event.

“In honor of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial’s 10th anniversary, the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center has embarked on an effort to raise $1 million in support of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial and Education Endowment,” says Rosenbaum. “This community-wide effort will secure the funds necessary to preserve and sustain the physical and educational components of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial for future generations, as well as to continue to tell the stories of our local survivors and to convey the significant contributions they have made to our community.”

“Our goal is twofold – to raise funds for the Oregon Holocaust Memorial and Education Endowment and to nourish community with programming to engage, inform and inspire audiences,” says Leikam.

For more than 30 years the OHRC has touched thousands of lives – from school- children hearing from a survivor about the events of the Holocaust, to educators receiving resources and training on how to talk to their students about genocide and human-rights violations, to casual visitors to Washington Park who come upon the Oregon Holocaust Memorial unexpectedly, to survivors and their families who find at the memorial the opportunity for peaceful contemplation.

Rabbi Greenberg is a leading Jewish thinker who has written extensively on post-Shoah theology, on the relation- ship of Judaism and Christianity, and on the ethics of power and religious/ cultural issues of pluralism after the Holocaust. He served as executive director of the President’s Commission on the

Holocaust, chaired by Elie Wiesel, which recommended the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the National Mall. He also chaired the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 2000-2002. He is currently writing a book on the development of the covenant in the course of Jewish history.

Blu Greenberg is an American writer specializing in modern Judaism and women’s issues. She is the author of On Women and Judaism: A View from Tradition (1981) and Black Bread: Poems, After the Holocaust (1994). She is active in the movement to bridge Judaism and feminism. In 1997 and 1998, she chaired the first and second International Conference on Feminism and is co- founder and first president of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She also has tried to build bridges between women of different faiths by helping to set up “Women of Faith” and by her involvement in the “Dialogue Project,” which seeks to unite Jewish and Palestinian women.

A Weekend of Learning
(See full schedule at ReshapingtheWorldPostHolocaust.org)
Thursday, April 24:
Lecture on lost art, 7 pm at OJM
Friday, April 25:
Community Shabbat Service with Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, 6 pm Congregation Beth Israel
Saturday, April 26:
Day of study with the Greenbergs, 8:30 am-2:30 pm at Congregation Shaarie Torah
Commemorative Dinner with Rabbi Greenberg, 7 pm, Multnomah Athletic Club
Sunday, April 27:
Study sessions with Greenbergs 9:30 am-2:30 pm at PSU
Docent-Led Tours of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial, noon-2 pm, Washington Park
Yom HaShoah Commemorative Program 3 pm at MJCC
Monday, April 28:
Holocaust Remembrance Day: Reading of the Names,
10 am-5 pm, Pioneer Courthouse Square
ReshapingtheWorldPostHolocaust.org | 503-245-2733

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