L'Chaim Gala a night to celebrate community

PHOTO: Gala Chair Ed Tonkin invites the community to join him Oct. 8 for the party of the century! (See Gala details below story.)

The Jewish Federation’s Centennial Gala will be a glamourous evening of reconnecting and celebrating a century of community building in Jewish Portland – L’Chaim, To Life! 
The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s L’Chaim Gala was originally envisioned for 2020 – 100 years after Portland launched the first Jewish Federation west of the Rockies. The evening will celebrate the people who built this community and those who continue to strengthen it. The delayed celebration will have the added joy of reconnecting with each other in person.
“This will really be a celebration – a stellar evening of camaraderie, community and fun,” says Gala Chair Ed Tonkin. “It is going to be unique in the history of this Federation with a different venue, an extraordinary menu, music and dancing.” (See box.) 
“The gala gives us the ability to look back and remind ourselves of all we have accomplished in the past 100 years … and to dream of the future with the Federation in incredible shape for the next 100 years,” says Tonkin. “That leaves us with the now – celebrating today. We will be celebrating all the people in the room with gratitude and optimism. It’s important to say ‘L’Chaim!’”
Tonkin adds that our forebears, the people in the room and those who will follow provide not just monetary support. “They give their time, effort and love to make this community strong.”
JFGP Chief Development Officer Wendy Kahn, who has worked with Tonkin to plan what they both call a party, is excited to “Celebrate successes, come out of the sadness and go forward.”
“What is the value of a party?” says Kahn. “It is a symbol of the community, the people, of holding it up and honoring it in one night. It is about all of us.”
Tonkin says he gained a tremendous sense of gratitude during the many hours he and Kahn spent exploring archives of photos, articles and papers, and interviewing people who have built this community. He gained an appreciation for the Federation’s ability to be flexible, react and adapt.  They will share the people, history, challenges and strength they discovered in a short video during dinner. “A picture is worth 1,000 words,” says Tonkin.
JFGP Board Chair Mindy Zeitzer says she appreciates “Ed and Wendy for putting in so much time and energy to create and plan an amazing community celebration. … It will be an incredibly fun and elegant celebration and gathering after far too long of a hiatus! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s faces!”
“I cannot wait for our community to come together at the Gala,” says JFGP President and CEO Marc N. Blattner. “Not only are we celebrating the Jewish Federation’s 100th anniversary, we also are celebrating all the incredible accomplishments of our Jewish community. It will be a night not to be missed.”
Zeitzer adds, “I invite and hope everyone in our community comes to celebrate our 100-plus years of a vibrant and engaged Jewish community and raise our glasses to 100-plus MORE. This is joyous opportunity to help sustain and support our vibrancy!”


WHAT: Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s Centennial Gala
WHEN: 6:45-11:30 pm, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022
WHERE: Portland Art Museum, Mark Building
FOOD: Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, three-course dinner
MUSIC: Patrick Lamb’s jazz quartet featuring Dan Balmer during cocktail hour
              Patrick Lamb & The Hit Factory for after-dinner dancing
RSVP: jewishportland.org/GalaCelebration 
Reservations required by Sept. 22. No walk-ins. 
Black tie optional. Covid vaccination required if eligible. 


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