News in Brief June 10, 2020

Photo: FLOWERS FOR SHAVUOT – Volunteer Peggy Dorf gets ready for surprise Shavuot flower deliveries at Congregation Kesser Israel. The Congregation delivered flowers to over 110 households in the Portland area to help bring the community together for the holiday. The deliveries spread light, joy, and even brought some members and friends to tears.


BB Camp cancels overnight camp; plans day camps and virtual events

In a June 2 letter to supporters and families of B’nai B’rith Camp, Oregon’s oldest Jewish overnight camp announced it will not be able to offer overnight camp this year due to a decision from the state.
An email from Gov. Brown’s office earlier that day announced: “After much consideration, and in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority and local public health officials, our office will not be allowing overnight camps to operate this summer.”
BB Camp is continuing plans to offer its two day camps this summer in Portland and Lincoln City, but has not yet finalized details. Additionally BB Camp staff is working to plan “ways to gather virtually and in-person with social distancing so that we can be together as an overnight camp community.”  
BB Camp already offers virtual Shabbat Walk and Friendship Circle every Friday at 4 pm. In the week following the announcement, BB Camp also held several Zoom Community Conversations for youth, families and a camp staff.
“As you can imagine, we, like you, are heartbroken beyond words,” wrote BB Camp Board President Jordana Levenick and Executive Director Michelle Koplan. “Not to share a summer with our campers and staff on beautiful Devil’s Lake is unfathomable. We share in your disappointment  ... to not have the opportunity to discover, play and enjoy a magical summer at BB Camp.”

Maayan Torah offers preschool camps
Maayan Torah Day School is happy to announce Preschool Summer School for children ages 2-5. The camp runs July 20-Aug. 14 from 9 am to 3 pm Monday-Friday.
Children may attend one week or all four. Maayan is a licensed preschool operating under the highest level of safety and cleanliness. Space is very limited. If camps are closed due to COVID-19 a full refund will be issued. Themes are: July 20-24, Splat! Color; July 27-31, Blast Off into Space; Aug. 3-7, Explore Science; and Aug. 10-14, Adventure Outdoors. 
For details, contact Tia Weniger at

PDX>Israel delayed till at least summer 2021 
The PDX>Israel 2020 trip, originally rescheduled for March 2021, will now be moved to summer 2021 or later due to continuing concerns and restrictions related to COVID-19.
More than 400 people had signed up for the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland Centennial trip to Israel when the global pandemic made the trip impossible for this year. 
“At present, Israel’s borders are closed to non-citizens coming to the country for tourism,” wrote trip leaders in a June 8 email. “It is unclear when Israel will reopen to international tourism, although it’s likely to be in stages with citizens of countries with similarly low rates of infection welcomed back first.”
Trip co-chairs Priscilla and Tony Kostiner and Kathy Davis-Weiner and Michael Weiner will coordinate with JFGP staff trip leads Marc Blattner and Caron Blau Rothstein to reschedule the trip once medicine has options to manage and prevent the virus.
“It is highly unlikely a vaccine and/or proven treatment options will be available in the time frame required for us to reopen registration and prepare thoroughly for this special trip,” they wrote June 8.
JFGP plans to provide some virtual Israel experiences later this summer. 

Study Torah: Sink your brain into something deep 
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 June the focus is to study Torah. Study a portion of Torah daily. Even a few lines contain the infinite wisdom and will of G-d.
“We’ll be glad to help,” says Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm. “For assistance or more information, call me at 503-957-7842.”
To help people study during these unprecedented times, Chabad of Oregon offers two online Torah study classes.
Women's Torah Class with Mimi Wilhelm explores the inner meaning of Shabbat at 8 pm Mondays on Zoom. Contact for details.
Cultivating Character with Rabbi Motti Wilhelm meets at 8 pm Wednesdays on Zoom to discuss the Torah’s perspective on charity, ownership and free choice. Pirkei Avot (“Ethics of the Fathers”) records sayings of the sages dealing with the cultivation of positive character traits and attitudes. Contact for details.


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