The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education’s virtual annual meeting June 15 drew 130 people, an increase from the typical 90 to 100 people who have attended recent in-person annual meetings held over lunch.
Deputy Director Gail Mandel, Curator of Collections Anne LeVant Prahl, and Manager of Museum and Holocaust Education Amanda Solomon told OJMCHE members about their work before and during COVID-19.
Director Judy Margles acknowledged the concerns that many of us feel as we confront the pandemic, oppose racism and grapple with our worries about the future. But she also focused on hope – that this is a moment of breathtaking challenge and so, all the more, it is a time to cherish hope.
With the dissolution of the Institute for Judaic Studies, OJMCHE has taken over stewardship of two of IJS’s signature programs: Weekend in Quest and Portland Jewish Film Festival. Unfortunately, the 2020 PJFF was yet another casualty of the COVID-19 crisis.
The museum was fortunate to receive a forgivable loan from the Paycheck Protection Program of the Small Business Administration. The loan, which will convert to a grant, has enabled the museum to end the fiscal year financially sound.
Board member Steve Reinisch paid tribute to Elaine Coughlin, whose term as board president concludes June 30. Jeff Mazer is the museum’s incoming president. OJMCHE also welcomed Leonard Shapiro to the board.
“OJMCHE’s annual meeting is a time to bring the community together to mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next,” says Margles. “Not being in the same room with museum members and not being able to exchange greetings and good wishes with each other was a challenge.”