Stay Healthy and Safe - July 3, 2020


As the pandemic continues and we see cases on the rise in Oregon and across the country, we must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID 19 – wear masks, socially distance, and wash your hands.

With the holiday weekend, my comments will be shorter than usual (my pleasure!).

We have now made COVID-19 support grants totaling $814,100 to 41 different Jewish organizations across the State of Oregon and SW Washington. Approximately $75,000 remains in the fund. We have made the decision to hold those funds and not accept any more grant requests until September. Our initial goal was to support/assist Jewish organizations through at least June 30 and we believe we have done that.

Our “last” round of grants totaling $115,100 went to the following organizations:

  • Gan Israel Day Camp for loss of funding and PPE supplies -- $2,500
  • Havurah Shir Hadash in Ashland for loss of revenue -- $3,600
  • Maayan Torah Day School for online technology needs and PPE supplies for school reopening -- $10,000
  • Maimonides Jewish Day School for online technology needs and PPE supplies for school reopening -- $15,000
  • Mittleman Jewish Community Center for loss of revenue -- $40,000
  • Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education to assist with their reopening -- $5,000
  • Portland Jewish Academy for online technology needs and PPE supplies for school reopening -- $35,000
  • Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland for revenue loss and cleaning supplies -- $4,000

Last week, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and PJ Library, along with Jewish Family and Child Service hosted a conversation with Dinah Gilburd, LCSW, on effective tools for parenting in a crisis. The feedback from the program was overwhelmingly positive.

We would like to offer more of these workshops/conversations for a broad range of parents in our community. To that end, we are asking for your help. We have created a survey to gather feedback from families about what they are looking for during these unsettling times to help them and their children. Please do take the survey.

I want to share a special “shout out” to B’nai B’rith Camp. Sadly, as you know, there is no Jewish overnight summer camp for children this summer. At BB Camp's facility on Devil’s Lake they offer day camp for children from Lincoln City. Unfortunately, many of these children live with food insecurity.

BB Camp has used their camp kitchen to provide meals to children in the area. In the first two weeks of the summer they have already served 5,860 meals (breakfast and lunch 7 days/week) through their BB Camp’s Free Meals Summer Food Services Program! The number of meals is expected to continue to increase in the next several weeks and beyond. What a beautiful program and gesture.

Finally, I want to share with you an excellent Jewish summer resource. Jewish Federations of North America has put together a wonderful website of programs and activities where you can select age appropriate opportunities and content of interest to you. Check it out by clicking here.

As we begin the July 4th weekend, beyond the family barbecue and fireworks, I hope we each take time to reflect on our country and those, who one colleague noted, “may not feel that America is the land of the free and home of the brave.”

Stay healthy and safe. And have a happy 4th of July.

Shabbat shalom.


Marc N. Blattner
President and CEO


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