Announcing the Jewish Federation's 2024 Song of Miriam Honoree
Bonnie Newman / Chair of Dignity Grows


Moving to Portland was a long-time retirement dream for Bonnie and husband Harris. They chose Portland for its hiking, biking, food, weather, and politics. Their greatest discovery after moving here in February 2021, however, was Portland’s welcoming and dynamic Jewish community.

Bonnie connected with Wendy Kahn, Chief Development Officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, a few days after arriving here. She immediately joined Dignity Grows at its inception, volunteering on the Logistics and Education committees. The Dignity Grows Portland Chapter of Dignity Grows is under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. The mission of Dignity Grows is to empower our neighbors in need by providing free menstrual and basic hygiene supplies in reusable totes to allow them to engage in everyday life. Dignity Grows is leading the fight against Period Poverty through building relationships with direct product support with secular agencies such as Self Enhancement Inc (SEI), A Safe Place (Family Justice Center for Clackamas County), Transition Projects, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Our Just Future, and Divine Threads. Bonnie became the chapter’s second chair in May 2023; she has led the organization to pack almost 1500 Dignity totes for needy neighbors, engaged over 200 volunteers, and raised over $26,000 this year alone, together with her leadership team.

Bonnie began supporting Eastside Jewish Commons shortly after it opened in 2021 with database entries and volunteer engagement. She also briefly held a position on EJC’s Board and has written several articles about EJC for the Jewish Review.

As a participant in JCRC's Climate Action Committee, she helped organize the James Recycling Event at the MJCC in 2022 and wrote Climate Corner columns in the Jewish Review. In addition, she and her husband participate regularly in community cleanups and park projects.

Dedicated volunteers like Bonnie are a gift, and they do not move to Portland daily. She is detail-oriented, conscientious, and understands the mission of the work at hand—it’s never about Bonnie but about achieving the best outcomes for the Jewish community. On behalf of the Jewish Federation, we honor Bonnie.

Hear me roar


The Lion of Judah program has brought together women of all ages and from many walks of life to play an essential role in creating social justice, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, preserving human dignity and building Jewish identity.


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