PHOTO: Rabbi Chiam Wilhelm of Chabad Northeast Portland demonstrates the technique for blowing a shofar during a children's shofar-making workshop Sunday, Aug. 27 at the Eastside Jewish Commons. The blowing of the shofar is a signal of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, and the beginning of the High Holidays. (Rockne Roll/The Jewish Review)
The Jewish Review asked leaders in Portland's Jewish community to share their wishes for the coming year with readers. May you have a blessed and sweet new year.
My family extends its heartfelt wishes to you and your family for a New Year overflowing with meaning and fulfillment. May you enjoy only great health and tremendous joy in the year ahead and find meaning in your personal Jewish journey in our beautiful Jewish community and beyond.
Shana Tova Umetuka – Bring on the sweetness in 5784!
-Marc N. Blattner, President and CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
Anyada Buena, Dulse i Alegre, May you have a good, sweet and happy New Year from everyone at Congregation Ahavath Achim. We hope you will join for High Holydays at Congregation Ahavath Achim, we do not require tickets and welcome all Jews to join us.
-Melissa Abu, Synagogue Administrator, Congregation Ahavath Achim
As we reflect on the year that is ending and set goals for the year ahead, may we commit ourselves to meeting the needs of all in our community. May the coming year be one filled with peace, joy, gratitude, and new connections. Best wishes for 5784 from all of us on the Schnitzer Family Campus.
-Steve Albert, Executive Director, Portland Jewish Academy & Mittleman Jewish Community Center
Shana Tova to all of our celebrating friends! OneTable is looking forward to a wonderful 5784 and wishes everyone sweetness and goodness for the new year and every Shabbat. Check out our High Holiday resources and reach out to HannaK@OneTable.org to learn more.
-Abbie Barash, Associate Director for Field Operations, OneTable
Shana tovah! Wishing a sweet and fulfilling new year to our whole community!
-Mel Berwin, Director of Congregational Learning, Congregation Neveh Shalom
As we get ready to welcome in a New Year with new possibilities and new spiritual energies, we have the opportunity to contemplate additional ways to welcome Hashem into our day-to-day lives. When we affix a Mezuzah on our doorposts or light Shabbat and Holiday candles before sundown, we invite G-d’s presence into our homes. When we Study Torah we invite G-d into our minds and souls. When we choose something kosher to eat, we invite G-d into our meals. And the list goes on with every Mitzvah. This coming year where might YOU benefit by making space for G-d to dwell? May we each be written and sealed for a good sweet year!
-Rabbi Dov and Chani Bialo, Chabad at Reed and SE Portland
"For on that day will [G-d] forgive you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." (Lev. 16:30)
It is a rare gift to be able to look back. Life keeps us running in place, maybe sometime glimpsing a bit into the future. But what we often lack is reflection. How rare to take the time to evaluate ourselves and our goals.
A central task of the High Holidays is to do just that, to take a cheshbon nefesh – an “accounting of the soul.” To honestly evaluate our words and actions in the previous year to see if they live up to the ideals we have of ourselves.
And when we fall short – as we all do – we have a pathway of tshuvah – Repentance – to make things right.
The High Holidays are a time of gathering. How wonderful it is to be all together again! But it is also a time for us to be alone and reflective. To let the music and poetry call us back to ourselves. To be painfully honest and joyfully confident in our ability to make the changes we need.
We pray that these Days of Awe will be deeply meaningful and cleansing for you.
Shanah Tovah u’mtukah – a good and sweet 5784!
-Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, Rabbi Rachel L. Joseph, Cantor Rayna Green, Congregation Beth Israel
Shalom campers, families, and friends! As we approach Rosh Hashanah, camp memories are still warm in our hearts. Just as each summer builds new friendships and memories, let this new year awaken new joys and cherished connections. May the ruach of camp guide us to embrace new challenges, build unity in diversity, and find hope. Let us carry the laughter, learning, and love we’ve shared into the future. L’shana tova, to a year of growth and happiness to all. Camp cheers and a sweet new year to you and your loved ones!
-Zach Duitch, Executive Director, Camp Solomon Schechter
“The Days of Awe are a time to ask of ourselves something only we can control: the strength to do better. To be better. To make the world we live in a kinder, more peaceful place. To hear in the sacred shofar blast, a call from within to change.” – Barack Obama
From all of us at Cedar Sinai Park, may 5784 find us blessed with the grace and courage to self-reflect and become the true essence of our best selves.
-Kimberly Fuson, CEO,
Cedar Sinai Park
A new year means opportunities for new beginnings. Sometimes, stepping into the unknown can be hard. Jewish Family & Child Service provides our community with stability and hope to support and guide you through challenging times and change. JFCS wishes you, your family and your friends a Shanah Tovah u’Metukah, a good and sweet new year of health, happiness and community.
-Susan Greenberg, Executive Director, Jewish Family and Child Service
The Sefat Emet teaches that the Holy One places a holy point deep inside of every person, actually placing a piece of God-self deep at the core of all eight billion people and all of our ancestors. On Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment, this teaching is a tremendous reminder that true justice means recognizing the dignity of every person, the divinity found inside of all of us. The Sefat Emet’s teaching is a clarion call, remembering us that true justice rejects fundamentalist dualisms that divide the world into us versus them, oppressor versus oppressed, my side versus your side. Rather, true justice elevates the dignity, the humanity, and the holy point found in every person. May we all merit to return fully to God’s compassion and justice. A sweet and happy new year to you and your loved ones.
-Rabbi Meir Goldstein,
Wishing the greater Jewish community a year filled with good health, peace, and greater justice in the world. Shanah Tovah!
-Merrill Hendin, Principal, Portland Jewish Academy
Shanah Tovah from BB Camp! BB Camp warmly wishes you a Sweet New Year filled with simcha (joy), chaverut (friendship), and shalom (peace)! May the fun you had with friends over the summer at BB Camp sustain you with lasting joy throughout the high holidays, fall season, and beyond. We hope you’ll join us at one of our many retreats and events, and we can’t wait to see you again next summer! Shanah Tovah U’Metukah!
-Michelle Koplan, CEO, B’nai B’rith Camp
Wishing you all a sweet new beer- we mean year, from your local, kosher brewery. Cheers from Leikam Brewing!
-Sonia Marie Leikam, Leikam Brewing
It’s a great pleasure to have an opportunity to wish the entire Jewish community Shana tova umetuka – a good and sweet year. May this year be one of fulfillment and blessing, and may it also be a year of learning! When considering adult education opportunities this year, please keep PSU Judaic Studies in mind. Those over 65 can audit courses for free; under-65s can audit too with prior arrangement with the department. We would love to welcome you to our classes! Tizku leshanim rabot – wishing you many healthy and happy years.
-Natan M. Meir, Academic Director, The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, Portland State University
The Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe provide us with a unique opportunity to reflect on what brought us moments of awe and wonder in the past year as well as look at the ways in which we might set goals to bring us wonder moments in the coming year. May this new year be filled with awe, wonder, community and growth as we taste the sweetness of the apples and honey and the call to action of the Shofar.
-Rabbi Eve Posen, Associate Rabbi, Congregation Neveh Shalom
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the times when the value of a congregation is most paramount. Our sages teach us that Hashem never turns away the prayer of a congregation. A congregation is much more than just a group of people praying together in a room. A congregation is a group of people praying for each other. When each of us thinks not of ourselves, but rather about the person sitting next to us, then we become a true kehilla. With best wishes for a meaningful High Holiday season,
-Rabbi Sholom Skolnik,
Congregation Kesser Israel
I know so many of you had an incredibly fun and inspirational summer at Camp Kesher. You made new friends, learned about Judaism and formed meaningful connections. I encourage you to stay connected this High Holiday season. Join us for holiday meals, attend a synagogue or learn about Judaism at home. No matter what you do, never stop growing. Wishing you a year of adventure, meaning and growth. Can’t wait to see you back next summer!
-Meira Spivak, Director,
Oregon NCSY/Camp Kesher
On behalf of all of our members, which include Holocaust survivors and their descendants, we wish you Shana Tovah! In 5784 may you, your families and friends share a year of harmony and love, and for all the world to recognize our common humanity, and live with compassion, understanding, and acceptance.
-Sue Wendel and Diana Lindemann, Co-Coordinators, Next Generations Group
Shana Tova Jewish Portland!! Remember: YOU can change the world. May it be a year in which we realize our potential amidst joy, happiness, good health and prosperity,
-Rabbi Motti Wilhelm, Chabad SW Portland