Preserving the Past: The Legacy of Jewish Women


Please join us every Tuesday evening this January for our Lifelong Learning Lecture Series. All lectures are open to the public and will be held in Zidell Hall of Rose Schnitzer Manor at 7:00 pm. For more information, please contact Polina Munblit at (503) 535 4004.


Tuesday, January 3rd: “The Personal Journey of a Jewish Woman” Speaker: Priscilla Kostiner

Priscilla Kostiner has spent her life as a Jewish lay leader and professional in the Jewish world.  She has been fortunate to have had teachers, mentors and colleagues who have helped open doors to wonderful opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. Whether leading Shabbat services at the Rose Schnitzer Manor, speaking about Judaism to high school students, or greeting new immigrants on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, Priscilla loves what she does, and is looking forward to sharing her experiences with you.


Tuesday, January 10th: “Whatever Happened to Old South Portland” Speaker: Ellen Eisenberg

Ellen Eisenberg, the Dwight and Margaret Lear Professor of American History at Willamette University, is the author of Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920 (1995), The First to Cry Down Injustice? Western Jews and Japanese Removal during WWII (a 2008 National Jewish Book Award finalist), and Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America’s Edge (2010), co-authored with Ava F. Kahn and William Toll. Her latest work is a two volume history of Jews in Oregon, titled Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians, 1849-1950 and The Jewish Oregon Story, 1950-2015.


Tuesday, January 17th: “Abi Gezunt – As Long as You’re Well, You’re Happy!”

Speaker: Cantor Ida Rae Cahana

Ida Rae Cahana was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, where she made history and the local news at the age of seventeen, when she became one of the first women to sing in a synagogue as cantorial soloist. Ida Rae has since appeared on Broadway with Phyllis Newman, as soloist at Alice Tully Hall with Leonard Nimoy, in concerts at Merkin Concert Hall and the 92nd Street Y.  She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 and her Oregon Symphony debut in 2013. After ordination from Hebrew-Union College –Jewish Institute of Religion in 1993, she served congregations in Toledo, Ohio, Providence, R. I. and Central Synagogue in New York City. Ida Rae is a featured soloist for two recordings from the Milken Archive of Jewish music (Naxos label), of Yiddish Art Song, and on their latest release of Jewish Wedding Music. In July of 2012, Ida Rae was installed as Senior Cantor for Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon where she is delighted to be serving with her husband, Senior Rabbi Michael Cahana.  Cantor Cahana’s greatest joy is to be the “ema on the bima” for her four children, Sarit, Liora, Idit, and David.


Tuesday, January 24th: “One Person Can Make a Difference!” Speaker: Jeannie Smith

Jeannie Smith is the daughter of Polish Rescuer, Irene Gut Opdyke; who passed away on May 17, 2003.  Irene received international recognition for her actions during the Holocaust while working for a high-ranking German official. Irene's life story was performed on Broadway in the nationally acclaimed play "Irena's Vow," staring Tovah Feldshuh.  Irene's book: "In My Hands, memories of a Holocaust rescuer” gives a detailed account of her life during WW II, and is used in classrooms around the country.


Tuesday, January 31st: “Jewish Women and Civil Rights: Behind the Scenes, Around the Table, and on the Picket Line” Speaker: Kimberly Hartnett

Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett is a Portland writer and the author of Carolina Israelite: How Harry Golden Made Us Care about Jews, the South, and Civil Rights, published by The University of North Carolina Press in 2015. Her book is the first comprehensive biography of Golden, the bestselling author whose one-man newspaper and hugely popular books, "Only in America," "For 2-cents Plain" and many others, used wry humor and blunt observations to raise awareness of the Jewish role in fighting for civil rights in this country. Kimberly is a former daily newspaper journalist who grew up in the newspaper business, starting with the weekly paper published by her mother in Massachusetts in the 1960-70s.  She worked for daily newspapers in New England and the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years, including a decade at The Seattle Times as a writer and editor.


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