News in Brief Sept. 30, 2020

PHOTO: Rabbi Benjamin Barnett will moderate the Oct. 15 PDX Business program on How to be Anti-Racist.

PDX biz series: How to Be Anti-Racist
The Mittleman Jewish Community Center’s (now virtual) business series explores How to Be Anti-Racist at noon Oct. 15.
The panel, which features a Black social activist and a white ally, will be moderated by Rabbi Benjamin Barnett of Havurah Shalom. Rabbi Barnett works to build relationships across religious and culture lines in the name of creating a less violent world.
Panelist Karen Haberman is an anti-racist who worked for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Atlanta in 1963 and in Mississippi in 1964. She attended a Historically Black College as an exchange student and then graduated magnum cum laude from Harvard with a bachelor’s in social relations.
Panelist Barbara O’Hare is a Black social activist who has worked to undo racism for the last 25 years. She is the founder of Dialogues Unlimited, which is a cosponsor of United in Spirit. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and has facilitated dialogues with law firms, police officers, faith communities, school boards and community groups.
The program is free, but a suggested donation of $18 supports this and future programs. For more information on the series and registration for the October Zoom/Facebook Live event, visit

Kesser Israel to celebrate Jodi Fried's five years of service

Congregation Kesser Israel will honor Jodi Fried on a Zoom program “Celebrating Five Years of Community Excellence” at 7 pm, Oct. 6.
In conjunction with its High Holiday Appeal, the congregation is honoring Jodi for her five years of outstanding service to the congregation. Jodi grew up as a member of Kesser Israel, and from 2015-2020 served as Kesser’s membership and program director.
Kesser Israel Rabbi Ken Brodkin says Jodi “is an exceptional Jewish professional who has had an outsized impact on Jewish life in Portland. In her quiet, modest manner, she has engaged and empowered many volunteers.”
Jodi says she is proud of her five years at Kesser. “There is so much to be proud of, from Scholars in Residence Shabbatons, to the way our small team ran a multi-faceted High Holiday program each year, to burning the mortgage this past December,” she says. “What I am most proud of are the relationships I built within the Kesser community, the broader Portland Jewish community and beyond, and the way I fostered community connection amongst others.”
Rabbi Brodkin says Jodi successfully created an environment where people of all backgrounds and affiliations can connect and feel valued. “She effuses belief in each person that she works with or touches,” he adds.
To join the Oct. 6 Zoom meeting celebrating Jodi, go to
For more information on the program, email
This year, Jodi decided to focus on “being more present for my family as a stay-at-home-mom.”
She is an empowerment coach for moms, and she continues to host her To (Mom) Life podcast, a podcast for moms juggling it all ( 
Visit her website or join her Empowered Jewish Mom Movement on Facebook at  

Women’s ReJewvenation retreat goes virtual
Do thoughts of rainy days, coupled with continued social distancing, have you feeling down or overwhelmed? Then set aside the weekend of Oct. 23-25 for ReJewvenation, B’nai B’rith Camp’s annual Women’s Retreat coming to you virtually this year.
Join a warm and diverse community of women to light Shabbat candles, learn a new recipe, play a game of Bingo, try out a fitness class and much more, all from the comfort of your own home. Organizers are excited about the opportunity to connect and find laughter, joy and beauty in new ways, while raising vital dollars for the future of BB Camp. All participants will be asked to make a meaningful gift to support BB Camp. BB Camp lost more than $2 million of income this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has pivoted to provide day camps in Lincoln City, Portland and Seattle, virtual programs and serve over 30,000 meals to food-insecure families in Lincoln City (now being expanded to victims of the Echo Complex Fire). 
Registration is free. For details, visit or contact Stacey Lebenzon at

Portland gets page on JewishGen website has reserved a slot for Portland to create its own page in KehilaLinks, a free feature on the organization’s website. 
KehilaLinks pages are little online books for communities where Jewish people have lived. They can contain memorials and cultural, genealogical and historical records for future generations. Each community can post its history, photos, memoirs and data. 
Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon Secretary Linda Wolfe Kelley is the volunteer manager for Portland’s KehilaLinks page. The JGSO invites all Jewish organizations in Portland to participate so this legacy can be left for the next generations. 
The Portland page seeks photos and family stories about Oregon Jewish families. Send permissions from authors and families and with your submissions. For submissions and questions, email Linda at

Monthly Mitzvah: Mikvah

To celebrate 36 (double chai) years in Oregon, Chabad of Oregon is promoting a different mitzvah for each month of this year. The celebration is based on the Mitzvah Campaign created by Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, z”l, in 1967. 
In October the focus is on the mikvah. 
There is nothing more holy in this world, nothing more precious to its Creator, than the union of a man and a woman. It is, after all, the fountain of life. 
Precious things are kept in sealed boxes. Some treasures in your wardrobe are so beautiful, of such value, that they come out only at special times, under specific conditions. The union of a man and a woman is especially precious.
This helps explain why Judaism prescribes a cycle of union and separation between husband and wife. And why the most important institution of Jewish life, next to the home, is the mikvah that stands at the vortex of that cycle. Because precious things only stay beautiful when you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
To learn more or for a private tour of Mikvah Shoshanah, the Portland Women’s Mikvah, contact Simi Mishulovin at 503-309-4185.





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