For 27 years, the Jewish Women’s Round Table has recognized women volunteers in the community at its Song of Miriam Awards Brunch, which has attracted as many as 325 people annually.
In the face of the pandemic, last year’s brunch was cancelled. This year, JWRT leaders still believed it would not be safe to hold such a large indoor event. However, local organizations had nominated 14 outstanding volunteers for the 2019 event, and other nominees were submitted this year. JWRT wants to be sure the community knows about their good work.
At the Jewish Review, we share those sentiments and will do our part to see that Song of Miriam Award recipients get the recognition they deserve. Throughout the next few issues, the Review will feature pictures of honorees along with a description of their work and why they are valuable to their organizations.
The Jewish Women’s Round Table was formed in 1992 as a gathering of the leaders of Portland-area Jewish women’s organizations and agencies. It was first known as the Jewish Women’s Presidents’ Round Table, and its aim was to exchange ideas about leadership topics. Later, membership was extended beyond presidents, and the name was changed to the Jewish Women’s Round Table. The Round Table also sponsors an annual Community Havdalah service for residents of Cedar Sinai Park and their families.
JWRT held the first Song of Miriam Awards Brunch in June 1993 to honor 13 recipients. In subsequent years, between 15 and 23 women received the annual award. Honorees have been selected by more than 25 congregations and organizations from Oregon and southwest Washington.
“We are so grateful to the Jewish Review for making it possible to carry on the tradition of the Song of Miriam Awards in these challenging times,” says JWRT President Marki Maizels. “Next year, we plan to hold our Awards brunch in June, and we look forward to seeing everyone in person and celebrating the amazing work done by volunteers in our community.”
Following are three women whose organizations selected them to receive the Song of Miriam. More honorees will be profiled in issues throughout the summer.
Honored by Mittleman Jewish Community Center
Marni Glick currently serves as treasurer of the Mittleman Jewish Community Center and Portland Jewish Academy boards. Under her leadership, the boards have successfully navigated the financial uncertainties brought on by the COVID pandemic.
Marni is a great listener who always sees multiple sides of an issue and helps make decisions that address a range of concerns and perspectives. That trait was particularly helpful as MJCC faced the multiple closures mandated during the past year and a half.
Her 33-year career with the city of Portland Budget Office and Bureau of Transportation gave her invaluable experience that helped MJCC continue its operations while minimizing deficits and debts.
She has a wide range of interests and expertise and has been actively involved with MJCC for years, not only as treasurer, but as chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Campus Plan Working Group and the Governance and Executive Committees.
MJCC says Marni’s expertise always ensures outstanding oversight, but never more so than during the difficult times of the pandemic.
Honored by Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
Eliana Temkin is a member of Jewish Federation’s Board of Directors, chair of the Federation’s Rogoway Outstanding Jewish Professional Leadership Award Selection Committee and former member of the (local) Allocations Committee.
As a former Jewish professional at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Eliana brings a deep understanding of our community – its agencies and its professionals – to her volunteerism.
She takes time to be thoughtful and supportive of her fellow committee members and is a pleasure to work with as a staff person. Those who work with her are better off for the experience, no question. She is a true partner in all that she does, and her love for our community is apparent.
Eliana’s activism extends beyond the Jewish Federation into her synagogue, Havurah Shalom, the newer Eastside Jewish Commons initiative and so much more.
JFGP Director of Community Planning and Allocations Caron Blau Rothstein says of Eliana that, “We are so fortunate that Eliana dedicates her volunteer time and talents to the Jewish Federation in particular and the Jewish community of greater Portland at large.”
Honored by Congregation Kesser Israel
Sam Perrin is a shining light in the Kesser Israel community. Whether writing a grant application, preparing and cleaning up after the weekly Kiddush (in pre-COVID times) or packing boxes for the annual Passover food drive, she brings her talent, creativity and strong work ethic to everything she does.
Sam is a skilled artist and writer who has been glad to help whenever there is a fund-raising flyer to design or art needed for a brochure. Together with her family, she took the lead in the Mishloach Manot fund-raiser this year, packing more than 100 gift baskets when COVID prevented the usual large group of volunteers from gathering.
Sam is also a role model in her commitment and dedication to her faith. She has led thoughtful discussions in monthly study groups. She is also a talented actor who always makes Kesser Israel’s annual Purim spiel one of the best in town.
The community of Kesser Israel joins together in thanking Sam for her many years of service and says they are fortunate to have her unique talent and energy that lifts and inspires them all.