Together again! JFGP celebrates 102 years

The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland celebrated 102 years of supporting a vibrant Jewish community locally and globally at its annual meeting June 13 in the Mittleman Jewish Community Center Ballroom.
“I love seeing all these amazing faces in person,” said outgoing JFGP Board Chair Lauren Goldstein. “I’m thrilled to be here in person with so many of you. … but we have some amazing community members on Zoom as well, so I think that is the best of both worlds having a hybrid meeting.”
More than 150 people joined the hybrid celebration in person and on Zoom.
Later in the evening, Goldstein said she heard many times during the pandemic that Federation played a vital role as a community convener. “We needed to spearhead a communitywide collaboration. … When we come together as a community, great things happen.” 
She praised the board for funding the community study that begins in October. The study will give all the community’s Jewish organizations the data they need “to invest in a community that will be thriving.” The Jewish Federation has contracted with the Cohen Center at Brandeis University to perform the study, looking at the Jewish community from Southwest Washington down to Lane County. This will be the most comprehensive scientific study ever conducted of our Jewish community.
The meeting celebrated Goldstein’s leadership over three challenging years. 
“I cannot express the incredible role Lauren played in both convening our community and helping it move forward,” wrote JFGP President and CEO Marc Blattner in his weekly email after the meeting. 
Mindy Zeitzer was introduced as the new chair of the Federation board, the fifth woman to lead Federation over the past century. Zeitzer is a past chair of the Federation’s campaign and allocations committees.
Federation board members completing their terms were Jack Birnbach, Karen Blauer, Ted Nelson and Ed Tonkin. Craig Berne, Christie Moore and Jeffrey Weitz joined the board.
The evening also featured the presentation of the Laurie Rogoway Outstanding Jewish Professional Award to Missy Fry, a behavioral health social worker at Jewish Family and Child Service. Mayah Greenfield and Ike Salinsky each received an $1800 college scholarship from the Lillian and Gilbert Sussman Fund.
“This year, our unrestricted annual campaign increased by 
5 percent, and we raised in excess of $400,000 for our Ukraine Fund. Together, our community generously contributed $4.2 million,” wrote Blattner, thanking Campaign Co-Chairs Ted Nelson and Jess Hilbert, and everyone who donated. See stories on page 9 about how some of those funds have been allocated to meet needs locally and in Israel.

Federation allocates funds to 18 local organizations

The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has provided funding for 18 local organizations for fiscal year 2022-23. 
For the past eight months, the dedicated volunteer leaders on the JFGP Allocations Committee have met to discuss, review, evaluate and make very difficult decisions on how to allocate finite financial resources. This year, due to the success of the annual campaign, the committee was able to allocate 5 percent more than last year. 
The committee used the additional $62,000 to provide increased funding to four agencies:
Cedar Sinai Park – Increased funds will help with continued and increased need for PPE supplies, challenges related to recruiting and retaining nursing staff, and the financial impact from people not moving in during the pandemic. 
Jewish Family & Child Service – Increased funding will help JFCS address increased demand for mental health support and emergency financial/food assistance. 
Mittleman Jewish Community Center – During the pandemic, the MJCC had closings mandated by the Oregon Health Authority, membership losses (now growing again) and hiring challenges. Funding will help the MJCC as they resume more programs and services. 
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education – With the increase in antisemitism and hate crimes, more funding will assist OJMCHE in providing critically needed community education and teacher training. 
This year, 14 organizations received funding similar to last year. Agencies whose funding remained stable were B’nai B’rith Camp, NCSY, Chabad of Northeast, Chabad of Hillsboro, Portland Kollel, Greater Portland Hillel, Oregon Hillel, Chabad Reed, Moishe House, OneTable, Maayan Torah Day School, Maimonides Jewish Day School, Portland Jewish Academy and TIVNU: Building Justice.
“We recognize and appreciate the incredible work of every Jewish organization in town – and each is deserving of more funds,” says JFGP CEO Marc Blattner. “Limited financial resources, however, require difficult leadership decisions.” 
“I am so proud of our Allocations Committee and their thoughtful deliberations,” says Blattner. “Among many competing priorities, the committee focused on the impacts of the pandemic and strengthening organizations as they come out of it. They also looked at special circumstances that may require more funding for an organization.” 
The JFGP Annual Report will be published in late August, providing full details on how every dollar was allocated.

Federation funds projects in Israel

For the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland granted $115,000 to 11 organizations that provide social services in Israel.
“No funding from the Jewish Federation goes to fund the Israeli government, nor do any dollars fund projects ‘over the Green Line,’” emphasizes JFGP president and CEO Marc Blattner. 
The Overseas Special Projects grants are made to organizations with smaller budgets (less than $10 million are given preference). Grants range from $5,000 to $20,000. The grants support projects that aid diverse populations including Jewish and Arab students in remote communities, special needs children, at-risk children, Holocaust survivors, underprivileged Ethiopian Jewish families, trans individuals and survivors of sexual violence. They also support mental health programs, STEM education and multi-cultural education. 
Eight past OSP recipients received grants for projects again this year:
Ofanim provides extracurricular enrichment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to children living in peripheral communities in northern and southern Israel – Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, native born and new immigrants. Portland supports three groups in Kiryat Malachi. 
Neve Michael is a safe haven for over 280 needy children (ages 5 to 18 from all over Israel) who are at risk and whose biological parents can no longer care for them. Our funding will purchase “Personal Arrival Packages” for children who arrive at the center. 
Krembo Wings is Israel’s only all-inclusive youth movement. It brings children with special needs together with able-bodied peers. Our funding will support the operations of Krembo Wing’s new branch in Beit Shemesh, the first chapter to serve ultra-Orthodox children. 
Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Victims helps survivors. There are 168,500 survivors living in Israel today – 25 percent of whom are living in poverty. Our funding will provide financial assistance to 100 vulnerable Holocaust survivors. 
Beit Yossi provides a therapeutic home and intervention for severely underprivileged Ethiopian Jewish families in Ashdod. Our funding will support therapeutic intervention for 16 parents and 22 children. 
ERAN provides mental health first aid to all residents of Israel in emotional distress via the telephone, mobile phone and the Internet free of charge, anonymously and confidentially. ERAN operates 13 branches across Israel. Our funding will support ongoing training for volunteers in multiple branches. 
Hasharon Sexual Assault Crisis Center provides practical and emotional support to survivors of sexual violence and their non-offending acquaintances and strives through education and outreach to create social change to end sexual violence in Israel. In 2021, 8,500 individuals accessed the center’s services. 
Ma’avarim (passageways, crossings or transitions) is a trans-led organization by and for the Israeli trans community. Our funding for Ma’avarim in partnership with Israel Gay Youth will be used for an Employment Assistance Coordinator position for the trans community, employer competence training, job seeker application assistance and coaching. 
Three organizations received grants for the first time: 
Mabat leads transformative programs on Israeli college campuses developing multi-cultural awareness, countering prejudice and racism, and promoting diversity and co-existence. Jewish and Arab students and alumni engage in yearlong accredited leadership seminars and community volunteering. Our funding will support capacity-building for Mabat’s Alumni Network. 
Shira Banki’s Way is named after 16-year-old Shira Banki, who was stabbed to death in 2015 by an ultra-Orthodox man during the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. We fund the “Teachers’ Lounge Tel Aviv-Jaffa.”
This program creates encounters between Jewish and Arab educators to foster a working relationship between them. In addition we fund curriculum to teach values of tolerance and acceptance in schools. 
Feuerstein Institute teaches people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of ability how to think, learn and function better. Portland is supporting “Aim Higher,” a program that helps high-potential Israelis from the Ethiopian community and the socio-economic periphery pursue their goals in higher education. 



Add Comment