Now Is The Time

I hope you and your family enjoyed the Chanukah holiday.


As if December wasn’t busy enough, it is also the peak time for year-end giving. The Jewish Federation is ready to receive and process your tax-deductible donations, right up through December 29 (please note date). Pay online or contact our office at 503-245-6219 to pay by credit card, for information about a stock donation, or even a distribution from an Individual Retirement Account (for those over 70 ½ years old). Act now and benefit from making your charitable contributions before the end of the year.


For all payments over $250, Federation will send you a tax acknowledgement by January 31, 2018.


I often get asked, “Why should I support the Jewish Federation?”


Federation is community! Let’s be honest, there are many organizations in our Jewish community that do wonderful work and deserve our support. Many have their niche populations they serve while others are more membership-based. They are important! They meet community needs! And, in total, they help make Greater Jewish Portland what it is today. However, there is only ONE organization, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, that works for and brings people together from the ENTIRE Portland-area Jewish community


The Jewish Federation is all about community! Without community, we are separate, isolated, and less strong; ideas get confused and people may feel alienated. With community we are able to convene dialogues; we develop mutual understanding and compromise; we form partnerships and collaborations; achieve our mutual goals, and provide support in good times and in times of tragedy and crisis.


The Jewish Federation is the face of Greater Jewish Portland and our mandate, made possible by our 98-year history, is to build community, educate Jewishly, help the vulnerable, support the State of Israel, and advocate for and promote an exceptional quality of Jewish life. Our mission goes beyond a single narrow cause.


Federation works for all of us! A gift to the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign enables our community to function twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.


Your Jewish Federation provides the basic funding that does it all, from simple operating costs to responding to our community’s highest priorities. Without community-led planning and coordination, many needs would go unmet. The Jewish Federation carries the communal load, providing for the ever-present needs and planning for the future. There is a wide spectrum of programs and services that can only be offered when we give collectively and there are many organizations who might not be able to maximize their work without the support they receive from the Jewish Federation.


Jewish Federation’s funding is broad and deep. While keeping fundraising costs low, the Jewish Federation follows an allocations process to deliver funding to 53 Jewish agencies and programs. From supporting people in need of comfort, families with strife and individuals in pain to providing Jewish education (formal and informal) and nourishing souls, Jewish Federation funding goes far and wide. Through your generosity and the success of our Campaign for Community Needs, we continue to do even more.


The Jewish Federation also provides direct service for several important initiatives such as: PJ Library, One Happy Camper, Jewish Right Start, Jewish Free Loan, Chai Israel teen experiences, and Jewish community relations work. Your support of our annual campaign does so much for so many in our community, Israel and around the world.


There is no other gift that does as much in our Jewish community as a gift to your Jewish federation. If you have not done so already, please make your contribution now.


Thank you to everyone for your ongoing commitment to strengthening Jewish life and for making the good we do possible!


I was recently on a flight and saw this article in the airline’s magazine. I found it quite inspiring about a Torah being returned to its home community in Olomouc, Czech Republic.


Also, current members of Sol Stern AZA are having a special reunion event/chapter meeting on Tuesday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. Dinner will be provided. Please RSVP here


Rachel’s Well, our new Community Mikvah, is a wonderful addition to our community. Please join us on Sunday, January 21st for its grand opening. Tours begin at 2:00 p.m. (RSVP required) and the ribbon cutting is at 3:00 p.m. Please click here for more information.


Here is a quote from a community member: 


I am excited to join in celebrating the opening of the mikvah. The commitment to including a range of genders and sexual orientations from the start was a big and very pleasant surprise for me. I have wanted to use a Mikvah at various important moments in my life, but never found one at which I felt accepted and welcome. 

I am sure that much consideration and debate must have gone into settling on those policies, and I am grateful to the community for doing this ongoing work. 


Finally, I know many families look for things to do on Christmas Day. There are multiple options in town, including: Chinese food and a movie at the MJCCbring cookies to local firehouses to thank our first responders, and Congregation Shaarie Torah’s Men’s Club is having a spaghetti dinner


Shabbat shalom and early (no Marc’s Remarks next Friday) best wishes for a wonderful, healthy and happy secular new year.




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