PHOTO: Richard and Judi Matza recieve a standing ovation as they are inducted into the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation's Julie Diamond z"l Legacy Society at the Foundation's annual meeting Wednesday, June 14, at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. (Rockne Roll/The Jewish Review)
By ROCKNE ROLL
The Oregon Jewish Community Foundation looked after the future while celebrating the present at their annual meeting and Julie Diamond z”l Legacy Society Celebration Wednesday, June 14, at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center.
Board chair Jonathan Singer spoke to the organization’s goals for the new fiscal year. “This year, we are embarking on a new strategic plan,” he said, “To ensure that OJCF can continue to improve.”
When it comes to making a philanthropic impact on your community, “We are here for you,” Singer continued.
President and CEO David Foreman highlighted just a few of the ways OJCF has been there for the community over the last year, including $8.7 million in community grants, $55,000 in camp and educational scholarships and $212,000 in grants from the community fund, including supporting the Community Security Director program along with the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.
“Our predecessors could not have imagined the breadth or depth of this Jewish community,” Foreman said.
Looking ahead to the coming year, the meeting approved the organization’s board of trustees for the coming year, adding Benjamin Ariff, Arlene Siegel Cogen, Lisa Fasolo Frishman and Ann Sacks as incoming trustees, as well as approving second terms for Jason Kaufman, Steven Kaufman and Susan Menashe. Steve Gradow will also join the board as a representative of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education while Diane Rankin will represent the Federation, Elizabeth Schwartz will represent Congregation Beth Israel and Nate Smith will represent Portland Jewish Academy.
Singer thanked outgoing board members for their service as well as Kathy Chusid, who served as a vice chair during the most recent fiscal year and will step down from that role.
“She really helped us through a lot of transitions,” Singer said of Chusid. “She has been a very steady voice.”
The biggest celebration was the round of applause for Richard and Judi Matza as they were inducted into the Julie Diamond z”l Legacy Society. Founded by Diamond in her role as the foundation’s President and CEO in 2009, the society now counts more than 160 members who have made planned gifts from their future estates.
The Matzas both grew up in Portland and met at Lincoln High School, marrying in 1968. Born to Greek Sephardic Jewish parents, Richard has been a multi-term president of Congregation Ahavath Achim and the couple have given generously to Portland Jewish groups as well as Sephardic communal organizations throughout their lives.
Current Ahavath Achim President Mark Berkovich introduced the couple, saying “Richard’s love and dedication to Sephardic Portland is second only to his wife, Judi.”
Echoing the sentiment, Richard encouraged guests to visit the congregation, saying “You will step into another world.”
Matza emphasized the importance of OJCF’s work and why he and Judi had devoted themselves to it.
“We Jews must take care of ourselves,” he said, “and our children must learn to take care of our people and our institutions.”