Exhibit explores long shadow of urban renewal on South Portland
South Portland and the Long Shadow of Urban Renewal opens at the Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Ave., on Nov. 14.
The exhibit examines the rise, fall, redevelopment and future of South Portland. The exhibit looks at the logic and motivations of city leaders, beginning in the 1950s, whose redevelopment efforts focused on the future at the expense of the city’s past and present. These ambitions impacted residents, businesses and property owners in one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods. But it also steered a stagnant, conservative city toward a modernist and meticulously planned aesthetic. Today, a portion of the former urban renewal area is a National Register Historic District while nearby, what remains of the old neighborhood survived decades of change and is also designated historic. South Portland and the Long Shadow of Urban Renewal shows how new places can eventually become historic, while also shedding light on some present-day aspirations for the city that may transform the area once again.
Old South Portland had been the center of the immigrant Jewish community. Congregation Shaarie Torah and Congregation Ahavath Achim were forced by urban renewal to relocate from the area in the early 1960s.
The AHC is open Thursday-Saturday, 11 am-5 pm. For more information, visit www.visitAHC.org
Jewish Grandparents Network studies evolution of roles during pandemic
Jewish Grandparents Network is asking grandparents and parents to participate in two research initiatives to see how the COVID pandemic has impacted grandparents and their families. A short survey for grandparents will be available online until mid-November. Parents who have young children and living parents or in-laws can sign up for focus groups that will begin around Thanksgiving.
The online survey for grandparents mirrors questions from a pre-COVID survey and is designed to show how the family dynamics have changed during the pandemic. Take the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/LMZXFJJ. Anecdotal and early survey results show a split to two extremes.
“One cohort of grandparents haven’t seen their grandchildren since COVID; the other cohort is providing significant care of their grandchildren,” says JGN CEO and cofounder David Raphael. For instance, “My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter lived with us for a month.”
“Some desperately miss their grandchildren, and a second group is providing essential roles.”
The focus groups are designed to assess the needs and views of the middle generation. Parents between the ages of 21 and 50 with children under 18 living at home can sign up for a focus group at surveymonkey.com/r/2WS2986. For more information, contact Christopher@jewishgrandparentsnetwork.org.
Founded three years ago, the Jewish Grandparents Network plans to use the research results to decide what initiatives it should focus on and what kinds of Zoom-based content they can provide to aid grandparents and their families.
New teacher training fund to bring Holocaust education to rural Oregon
The new Nancy Green Memorial Teacher Training Fund in honor of Regina and Sidney Atlas will support Holocaust education throughout Oregon with a special emphasis on rural areas of the state.
Dr. Gerald Green donated $25,000 to the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education to create the fund to support OJMCHE’s onsite and offsite endeavors to bring Holocaust education to all parts of Oregon. The fund honors the memory of Nancy Marie Frahm Green, z”l. OJMCHE Director Judy Margles says donations to the fund may be made online at ojmche.org/product/memorial-teacher-training-fund/.
With the passage in 2019 of Senate Bill 664, which mandates Holocaust and genocide education in the state of Oregon, OJMCHE’s education team, led by Education Director Amanda Coven, has increased its outreach to educators, schools and students across the state. With educational programming now online, OJMCHE has a robust series of virtual workshops, tours and professional development for teachers.
“As a first-generation American with grandparents killed in the Holocaust and with cousins and uncles who survived that horrific event, the Holocaust has never been far from my thoughts,” says Dr. Green. “As the world we live in gets more polarized, genocide and racism continue to come to the fore … The program of educating teachers in all Oregon school districts is a perfect fit for our philanthropic and moral and educational interests. Nancy taught middle and high school in Portland for 27 years, and this will be a fitting memorial to her and to honor our now deceased cousins, Regina and Sidney Atlas, Auschwitz survivors.”
Barbara Atlas, OJMCHE board member and daughter of Regina and Sidney, says, “The entire Atlas family is honored that our cousin Gerald would not only remember his wife, Nancy, in creating this fund, but that he also wishes to honor our parents. This is a loving and wonderful mitzvah.”
JFCS adapts Thanksgiving food program
For many years, Jewish Family & Child Service and volunteers have brightened the season for needy individuals, families, Holocaust survivors and other seniors with delicious, nutritious Thanksgiving dinners. In past years, more than 100 volunteers have assembled and delivered the boxes.
This year, with COVID restrictions making assembly and delivery difficult, JFCS will send gift cards for Thanksgiving to 160 Holocaust survivors, JFCS clients and people requesting emergency aid. Positive Charge! PDX is organizing the creation of handmade cards to be sent with the gift cards. All cards should be able to fold/fit into a 6” x 9” envelope People can make cards and then drop them off by 1 pm, Nov. 15, at three locations:
SW Portland: Driftwood Coffee at 4604 SW Vermont St.
SE Portland: Dairy Hill Ice Cream at 1428 SE 36th & Hawthorne
West Linn: Dairy Hill Ice Cream at Robinwood Shopping Center, 19143 Willamette Dr.
For more information on the card project, visit facebook.com/events/415318336514715.
Mitzvah of the Month: Jewish books
To celebrate 36 (double chai) years in Oregon, Chabad of Oregon is promoting a different mitzvah for each month of this year. The celebration is based on the Mitzvah Campaign created by Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, z”l, in 1967.
In November the focus is on a home filled with Jewish holy books. Furnish your home with as many holy books as possible. At the very least, get hold of a Chumash (Bible), Psalms and a prayerbook.
“We’ll be glad to help,” says Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm. “For assistance or more information, please call me at 503-957-7842.”