Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education has closed its galleries during the ongoing pandemic but continues to offer virtual exhibits and window exhibits.
Since mid-July, OJMCHE has been presenting exhibits in its 12 highly visible ground floor windows facing Davis Street and around the corner facing the North Park Blocks.
This week, the museum debuts a window exhibit of panels from its core permanent exhibit, Oregon Jewish Stories. Oregon Jewish Stories draws on the museum’s large photo collection to document the experience of Oregon’s Jewish community from its beginnings in the Gold Rush era of the 1840s through today. It explores the questions of identity that many Oregon Jews wrestle with and explores the experience of Jews throughout the state.
The museum has also unveiled Good Trouble, a new virtual exhibit on the museum’s website.
The virtual exhibit begins with a photo of the window exhibit OJMCHE created in honor of civil rights icon Sen. John Lewis. Those panels are visible from the sidewalk next to the museum’s main entrance. The panels include the text of Lewis’ final essay, which the New York Times published days after the senator’s death July 17, 2020.
With the late Sen. Lewis in mind, OJMCHE asked Portland’s Jewish community to share the ways in which they have participated in “good and necessary trouble” over the years.
The virtual exhibit provides a world or national context and then presents local actions and reactions against that backdrop. The sentiments conveyed in the images in the digital exhibition portray a number of social movements – environmental, anti-war, social justice and others. The exhibit is a reminder that using our voices to foment positive change is a venerable Oregonian tradition.
“It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either,” wrote Rabbi Tarfon nearly 2,000 years ago (Pirke Avot 2:21).
OJMCHE works to make connections from the past to the present to create a better future for all.
View the virtual exhibit at ojmche.org/good-trouble.