News in Brief Oct. 14, 2020

Videos, info sought in Chabad fire investigation; rewards offered
Portland Fire & Rescue and Portland Police Bureau investigators have asked for help finding answers regarding a pair of fires at a Jewish center in Southwest Portland this summer. The fires damaged the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in August. No suspects or motive have been identified. 
Investigators ask anyone with information about the fires to come forward. They also ask for help from anyone in the area with video footage from 8 to 11 pm, Aug. 14, and 1 to 3 am, Aug. 19. 
Two rewards have been offered. Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime, and tipsters can remain anonymous. Call 503-823-HELP (4357). StandWithUs, in partnership with the Mizel Family Foundation, has pledged an additional $5,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction.


COVID team offers COVID tests and free flu shots Oct. 18

On Sunday, Oct. 18, 1-3 pm, the CNSCOS Team will be at Mittleman Jewish Community center to give out masks, hand sanitizer and fall-themed goodies. Come say hello, ask us questions about COVID-19 and our work, and get your FREE flu shot! 
We will be joined by nurses from Signature, a health-care company that provides mobile and in-home health care. 
Signature can also provide COVID-19 tests. These tests cost $180 and individuals may be reimbursed by their insurance company. For those in need of a test who cannot afford the $180, CNSCOS can cover a limited number of tests. If you’re in need of a free COVID-19 test, please email or call 971-990-5652. If you need help attending this drive-through event, contact us for a taxi voucher.
Sign up for a time slot to receive either a flu shot or a COVID-19 test here or call 971-990-5652 to reserve a time slot.


Israel360 looks at Mizrahi experience Oct. 20

The 2020-21 monthly Israel360 events, which focus on historical, cultural and political aspects of Israel, will begin Oct. 20 with “The Slow Path to Acceptance: The Mizrahi Experience in Israel.”
Dr. Henriette Dahan Kalev will discuss Israel’s absorption of Jews from the Arab world along with the current environment in Israel. Every society struggles to determine the boundaries of its culture and its citizenry, and that struggle is rarely without ethical dimensions. As a Moroccan Jew and a scholar, Dr. Kalev brings both a personal and an academic eye to this struggle for ethnic justice. 
Dr. Kalev is professor emerita from Ben Gurion University, author and Truman Institute for Peace research fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
In our era of renewed civic discussion about racism, learning about seven central historical events that have shaped the Mizrahi experience in Israeli society can provide interesting parallels to our society. Dr. Kalev will discuss these historical events and contemporary life. 
The program is free, but registration is required. This event is co-sponsored by Neveh Shalom Israel360, The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at PSU and PDX Hillel.  Register here
Future programs are The Israeli Peace Agreements with Arab States (November); A Virtual Tour of Herod’s Buildings with our own Rabbi Robert Kahn (January); A Physician’s View of the Yom Kippur War with Itzhak Brook (February); Naomi Shapiro’s story, A Lone Soldier (April); Cinema as a Political and Social Tool by Tomer Heymann, an award-winning documentary film maker (May); and Pnina Tamano-Shata, the first Ethiopian-born woman in the Knesset (TBA).
For information on the series, call 503-246-8831 or visit


PJA/MJCC fixture Maryjane Rocker retires
Maryjane Rocker, executive assistant for Mittleman Jewish Community Center and Portland Jewish Academy, retired Oct. 9 after 23 years to move to Independence, Ore., with her husband, Andy.
“I would not have made a home on this campus for 23 years if it were not such a haimish, inclusive, fun place,” says Maryjane. “I think about Julie Smith, Patricia Schwartz and Merrill Hendin, who put their all into making PJA the stellar school that it is. Working with Lisa Horowitz and Steve Albert at the helm of TWO independent and close organizations has been a wonderful, unique job.”
In Independence, she plans to research Oregon history, volunteer, learn to quilt and be a country girl. 
“During her time at PJA and the MJCC, Maryjane … has provided tremendous support to the boards of directors for each organization … her support of the boards has been invaluable,” says MJCC/PJA Executive Director Steve Albert. “In addition, Maryjane has focused extensively on campus safety and security, ensuring OSHA compliance, serving as our point person with the different security firms with which we’ve worked, as well as the Portland Police Bureau, and managing and documenting the drills for fire, lockdown, evacuation and earthquake. She has done a great deal to enhance our awareness of and preparedness for safety and security challenges.”

Cedar Sinai Park welcomes interim CFO
Kathy Thompson, MBA, CPA, has joined Cedar Sinai Park as interim chief financial officer. Kathy stepped in to fill the vacancy after Julie Stewart’s departure from Cedar Sinai Park early this month. 
“CSP thanks Julie for her contributions as CSP’s chief financial officer and wishes her all the best in future endeavors,” says CSP Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Fuson.
Kathy is an experienced CFO with broad knowledge in diversified businesses including nonprofits. Kathy’s expertise includes managing a finance department, strategic and financial planning, analytics, process improvement, mergers and acquisitions, treasury management, accounting, human resources, insurance and risk management, information technology, software implementations, pension management and tax. Prior to her consulting and contract work, Kathy worked for almost 20 years as treasurer/CFO for Zidell Companies. 
Cedar Sinai Park has been serving Jewish Portland’s elders for 100 years. 
CSP has begun a search for a permanent CFO. (See job post)

JFCS presents free course for 55+ community 
Jewish Family & Child Service presents Wise Aging, a four-week course focused on building joy, resiliency and spirit. Typically offered at $125 per course, Dinah Gilburd, group facilitator, is offering the Oct. 29-Nov. 19 course for free with any donations received directly supporting JFCS. 
“It is a challenging time, and I want this workshop to be accessible to anyone who would like to participate,” says Dinah. “Give yourself the gift of enhancing the aging process, through a different lens.”
The group will meet on Zoom 10-11am, Thursdays, starting Oct. 29 for four weeks. The workshop is limited to eight participants. 
The workshop draws from the book Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thai and explores this later stage of development from a variety of spiritual perspectives and practices. 
“My circle of friends has expanded.” says Sandy, a Wise Aging participant. “My ideas about friendship have deepened. I am open to hearing different ways of experiencing and dealing with life. I feel more supported than previously as I go through this journey of life.”  
Participants may purchase Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit; for a free copy, contact Hannah Holstein at
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Dinah collaborates with JFCS, leading workshops and trainings for parents, educators, and organizations that support the mental health needs of children and families. She has been leading Wise Aging groups since 2018.
To register and for more information, contact Dinah at

Facebook bans Holocaust denial
For more than a year, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs has been part of a Jewish advisory panel to Facebook, urging the social media giant to take steps to ban anti-Semitism and hatred. 
Facebook’s decision to finally ban Holocaust denial was announced Oct. 12. 
The effort began in August of this year, when JCPA organized a campaign against anti-Semitism and hate on Facebook, garnering support from 90 Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. The JCPA is the national umbrella organization of the Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council.
In September, JCPA convened all the Jewish participants in the Facebook Jewish Advisory group, prior to a meeting with Facebook officials, to create a coordinated approach. 
The Jewish participants emphasized their highest priority: Facebook needed to ban Holocaust denial. Zuckerberg had pointedly refused to do so in the past.  
On the morning of Oct. 12, a month after that very hard-hitting meeting with Facebook officials, Zuckerberg announced a change in policy. 
The Facebook official responsible for its policy in this area wrote JCPA: “Thanks for your role in making it happen.” 

Attend Yonina concert in your home Oct. 18

The musical duo Yoni and Nina Tokayer, known as “Yonina,” will perform a live Zoom concert at noon Sunday, Oct. 18. The virtual concert is hosted by the Mittleman Jewish Community Center.
The Israeli-American musical duo started sharing music through weekly home videos posted on Facebook and YouTube in 2016. Millions of viewers around the globe have heard their music videos or seen their concerts in Israel, with 40 million views of their performance of “One Day” being their most popular. The duo’s debut original album “Emet Pshuta” (Simple Truth) was released in 2017, and they are working on a second album. 
Yoni and Nina have been singing together since they met, have been married for four years and have two children who make guest appearances in their videos. Known for positive music and soft harmonies, Yonina blends Jewish, Israeli and international music. 
Tickets for the Sunday Zoom concert are $10 per household. Register at

PJA sets virtual auction Dec. 6

Portland Jewish Academy invites the community to its virtual auction at 5:30 pm, Dec. 6. 
Wear your favorite hat and join a wonderfully themed evening: Hats Off to PJA! It’s free to register for this year’s auction, but you can order a kosher dinner box to enjoy at home.
The annual auction is PJA’s most important fundraiser. It benefits the scholarship fund and provides essential operating support. More than half of PJA students receive some scholarship support, which helps maintain a diverse student body. Demand for financial assistance is increasing in response to today’s economic climate. 
PJA serves hundreds of students daily on campus and virtually. 
For details and to register, visit

PJA third-graders gather in small groups
Third-graders from Portland Jewish Academy had small group gatherings in the Mittleman Jewish Community Center sukkah to sing, learn and enjoy finally being together, under the state guidelines that currently allow for limited, in-person instruction. Throughout Sukkot, the MJCC sukkah was available for community use within COVID-19 guidelines.


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