News in Brief Sept. 2, 2020

IMAGE: The Mittleman Jewish Community Center is creating camplike programs for this fall. The weekly camps will be Mondays-Thursdays, 3-6:30 pm, for kindergarten through sixth-grade children. 

OJMCHE to collect stories of 2020
The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education has been selected by the Council of American Jewish Museums as one of 10 Jewish museums to record and collect the Jewish community’s stories of this moment in history. This project will provide a snapshot for researchers and future generations of being Jewish in Oregon in 2020 – how we have collectively and individually experienced the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, struggles for justice and the 2020 presidential election. 
OJMCHE’s goal is to capture 150 personal stories. Trained volunteers will work with staff to record online interviews with members of the local Jewish community. Interviews will be about 30-40 minutes in length. The process requires no prior knowledge or software for the person being interviewed.
“As archivists we know the value of oral histories and documentation of current events,” reads an email from archivist Alisha Babbstein and curator of collections Anne LeVant Prahl. “We have had many requests for information about the 1918 pandemic in Oregon, and we are sorry to say that we have no relevant archival materials.” 
To ensure this crisis is well documented, OJMCHE is looking for Jewish community members of all ages and backgrounds to be interviewed. If you are willing to be interviewed or would like to be trained as an interviewer, email Alisha Babbstein,

JFCS names new Emergency Aid Coordinator 
Caitlin DeBoer became the Emergency Aid Coordinator for Jewish Family & Child Service Aug. 31, 2020, replacing Tavia Berrigan, who had moved from JFCS’s development office to lead the program’s ramp up. 
JFCS had to scale up its Emergency Aid Program rapidly when the crisis struck. Thanks to the local Jewish community’s COVID-19 Emergency Campaign, emergency aid funds are available to help individuals and families weather the economic storm triggered by the pandemic that threatens our health. Food and shelter (rental assistance) are the two major reasons people have requested emergency aid during the pandemic. Assistance can be provided for help with utility bills, prescriptions and other medical bills, and a variety of other needs.
Caitlin graduated from Portland State University in 2017 with a Masters in Social Work. She interned at JFCS as a student and has worked at the agency for nearly three years in the counseling department. Caitlin has worked directly with clients as the provider of a depression treatment program for older adults. 
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring my clinical experience and trauma-informed lens to my new role working with individuals seeking emergency financial assistance,” says Caitlin. 
For more information or assistance, contact JFCS Emergency Aid Program Manager Caitlin DeBoer at 503-226-7079, ext. 134, or by email at

Donation creates OJMCHE photo exhibit fund 
The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education has created a fund to support ongoing photography exhibitions through a gift from the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation. The gift of $250,000 will create the Arnold and Augusta Newman Photography Fund and will ensure that the museum can bring national and international photography exhibitions to Portland as well as supporting lectures, receptions, workshops and the acquisition of photographs for the museum’s permanent collection.
Arnold Newman (1918-2006) is acknowledged as one of the great masters of the 20th century, and his work has changed portraiture. He is recognized as the “Father of Environmental Portraiture.”
“This generous donation makes it possible for OJMCHE to continue to mount powerful photography exhibitions that challenge viewers and share important historical lessons and truths,” said Director Judy Margles. “The OJMCHE board, staff and community are incredibly grateful to board member David Newman and his brother, Eric, for creating this fund.”
The first exhibition supported by the fund will be next fall’s To Bear Witness – Extraordinary Lives, an exhibition in partnership with The Immigrant Story and Portland photographer Jim Lommasson. Through photographs and profiles, the exhibition will capture, share and preserve the stories of a small group of individuals from varied backgrounds who left their homelands for safe haven in Oregon.
On behalf of the foundation, Eric and David Newman said, “Although our parents were not particularly observant, they were Jewish to their core. This is why our father chose to have exhibits at OJMCHE and why he would be so pleased with the foundation’s gift. OJMCHE affords the unique opportunity to showcase not only the artistic side of photography, but also the journalistic and documentary sides that are so important to tell the story of Jews in Oregon and the world.”

September volunteer theme: Women & Girls
As the effects of the pandemic are prolonged, social issues are exacerbated and volunteerism is needed more than ever.
To connect people with more and different ways to help, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has assembled a list (by no means exhaustive) of organizations in greater Portland that will benefit from your good deeds. Federation has partnered with many of these organizations during Good Deeds Days of service in the past. 
JFGP encourages Jewish community members to volunteer, connect and make a difference in the greater Portland community to do our part in perfecting the world and bringing about an easing of the suffering of many in our midst.
The volunteer webpage groups organizations around a monthly theme, but all will welcome your efforts any time. September’s theme of Women & Girls includes nine organizations such as Dress for Success, Children’s Book Bank and women’s shelters. 
For more information on making a difference as a volunteer, visit

Pandemic inspires return to Oregon
Longtime Portland Jewish communal professional Debbi Bodie, who had moved to Colorado in early 2019, returned to Portland to be close to her family due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
“Fortunately, I was able to find a job back home, and I have accepted the customer service manager position at OM Stone,” says Debbi. OM Stone specializes in custom stone creations for funeral homes, cemeteries, homes, parks, universities and any other stone application throughout the world. Debbi was already familiar with OM Stone before joining the company professionally. Hesed Shel Emet, the Oregon Jewish Indigent Burial Society, which uses OM Stone to create flat grave markers, was cofounded by Debbi.  
“Years ago when I was the chair of the cemetery committee at Congregation Neveh Shalom, I took my committee to OM Stone for a tour, which is why I contacted them to partner with Hesed Shel Emet,” says Debbi.
In the mid-1990s, Debbi served as sisterhood president at Congregation Beth Israel for five years before beginning her Jewish communal career. She went on to serve as Chief Development Officer of Cedar Sinai Park for 15 years. During that time she cofounded Hesed Shel Emet. She coordinated 52 burials in Oregon and Southwest Washington during her nearly 10 years as Hesed’s program administrator (including two before the program’s official launch). 
She served as executive director of Portland’s Congregation Shir Tikvah for three years before moving to Fort Collins, Colo., to serve as executive director of Congregation Har Shalom. 

Lice Knowing You closes in Oregon
Janet Kennedy, Oregon director of operations for Lice Knowing You, announced the closure of the Portland area clinic. The “original” Lice Knowing You will remain open in the Seattle area with CEO Nancy Gordon.  
 “We were hopeful that we could find a way to make it through the pandemic intact, but things often do not turn out the way we hope they will,” said Janet. “We opened in 2011 … to create a place where families can safely remove the pesky parasites called head lice that afflicts many school-aged children.”
Janet worked with school districts, private schools, B’nai B’rith Camp, pediatric clinics and municipalities providing guidance and safe methods to properly handle head lice checking and removal, specifically with manual removing. Head lice do not discriminate – “If you are alive and have hair, you can have head lice.”
“In 2014, I participated in Portland’s first women’s trip to Israel with Eve Levy and JWRP for Jewish mothers,” says Janet. “It was a life-changing adventure. When I returned, I was filled with gratitude and humility with the wonder of wanting to give back to my community. With those emotions, I infused Lice Knowing You with integrity, compassion and a spirit of kindness to all.”
With the clinic’s closure, Janet offered three simple tips for anyone concerned about head lice. One, combing head lice works. Two, do a wet check if you have been around someone who has head lice – all you need is a lice comb and wet, detangled hair. Three, never be persuaded to try random methods – you’d end up combing anyway.

OJCF Professional Advisors Group now online
After a successful event on June 18 focusing on the SECURE Act, the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation Professional Advisors Group will continue to meet online through fall of 2020. With webinars scheduled in September, October, November and December, the group provides an opportunity for all advisors to learn together about relevant and timely issues facing their clients. Through generous underwriting, there is no fee to attend. CLE and CPE credits are also available.
Chaired by Walker Clark and Lindsay Krivosha, OJCF’s Professional Advisors Group comprises professional advisors in various legal and financial fields who support the mission to build and promote a culture of giving in Oregon and SW Washington that supports a thriving Jewish community now and for generations to come. They assist by promoting charitable planned giving, participating in educational programs and consulting with and providing direction to OJCF staff and leadership regarding technical tax and legal issues.
OJCF invites interested advisors to join the Professional Advisors Group. Individuals who wish to apply to be a formal member of PAG will be able to take advantage of benefits not available to all advisors. Some of the benefits are inclusion in an online OJCF PAG directory on the foundation’s website that includes links to the member’s business/firm site as well as an invitation to Professional Advisors-only events held annually each year. If you have any questions about the Professional Advisors Group, contact Nathaniel Smith at or call 503-248-9328.

MJCC Afternoon Fall Camp coming soon
The Mittleman Jewish Community Center is creating camplike programs for this fall. The J plans to offer programs on a weekly basis Mondays-Thursdays, 3-6:30 pm, for kindergarten through sixth-grade children. Other afternoon enrichment activities, such as MadScience and Skyhawk sports, will also be available during the week beginning in September. 
The camp guidelines for the state were updated the last week of August, so the MJCC is working to create a safe and fun fall camp in accordance with the new guidelines. A start date for camp will be set soon. Camp sessions will run through the fall. 
Summer day camp counselors are staying on for fun, games and crafts weekday afternoons providing safe social interaction for children and a break for the parents.  The counselors are highly skilled at providing camp programs, even during these challenging times, and the MJCC is thrilled to offer this program for families. Space is extremely limited. Registration will open in the weeks to come. Register early to ensure a space. For more information and to register, email Josh Harrington at, or visit online at registration:

StandWithUs creates Teen Leadership Councils
StandWithUs is setting up Teen Leadership Councils, a one- semester program for high school students, who want to develop their leadership skills and ability to tell Israel’s story and to fight back against anti-Semitism.  
SWU Teen Leadership Council students will have the opportunity to further their Israel knowledge, plan innovative Israel programs for their peers and play a vital role in ensuring that teens in their community are connected to Israel. 
The program will run twice. Fall semester will be September- December 2020, and spring semester will be January-April 2021.
Participants will attend four online TLC chapter meetings led by SWU high school speaker Aviv Attia, plan one educational program for teens in their community and receive personalized mentorship from Attia.
Email Aviv Attia at or fill out the interest form at


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