Photo: EJC Executive Director Cara Abrams with her husband, Tony, and daugher, Ruth Micah.
Eastside Jewish Commons hires first executive director
Eastside Jewish Commons has hired its first executive director. Cara Abrams will begin her new post to help build Jewish life on Portland’s eastside on July 6, 2021.
Cara is a native Oregonian from Eugene who has been in Seattle for the past five years. She describes herself as a “Jewish communal leader and educator working to build community that is inclusive, innovative and intersectional.” She was director of education with the Kavana Cooperative and co-chair and board member of Limmud Seattle, a global movement of 90+ grassroots and volunteer-run learning festivals connected by mission and values.
“We are so honored to have the opportunity to work with Cara,” says EJC Board Chair Mia Birk. “Her energy, experience and passion are a perfect fit for what we’re trying to accomplish: building, expanding and deepening our diverse connections to Judaism.”
Earlier this month, EJC and Congregation Shir Tikvah moved into a shared 13,000-square-foot space at 2420 NE Sandy Blvd. Shir Tikvah has begun having in-person services and educational gatherings. And EJC is readying the space to host all-ages programming presented by numerous organizations and synagogues – a goal Cara is ready to aid.
“As a Jewish community builder, the pandemic has taught me many lessons about how and why we gather,” says Cara. “We all seek to feel connected to something relevant and meaningful, and EJC is an amazing platform for meeting these needs – socially, intellectually and spiritually. I am inspired by the energy driving this venture into action and am thrilled to join the team!”
For more information about EJC, visit ejcpdx.org.
Rabbi Barnett to chair Oregon Board of Rabbis
Rabbi Benjamin Barnett will succeed Rabbi Eve Posen as chair of the Oregon Board of Rabbis July 1, 2021. The Oregon Board of Rabbis supports the rabbis of Oregon and Southwest Washington. The board comprises rabbis who are ordained from across the spectrum of Jewish life and observance. OBR serves to find common ground among colleagues from all movements in Judaism. It addresses key social and ethical issues and represents the religious voice of Oregon’s Jewish community.
Rabbi Barnett serves as rabbi of Havurah Shalom. In that role, he strives to listen deeply and accompany others in ways that support healing, growth and meaning in the lives of individuals and in the community. As a teacher of Jewish meditation and contemplative prayer, he works to inform the pursuit of justice with the wisdom and compassion born of spiritual practice. He is passionate about building multi-faith and multicultural relationships.
For more information, visit oregonboardofrabbis.org/.
BB Camp hires three staffers
With the reopening of summer camps, B’nai B’rith Camp has hired three new staff members to further serve the community and align with its strategic priorities. BB Camp offers overnight camp on a lakeside campus on the Oregon coast, several day camps and year-round youth, family and community engagement programs.
Ben Charlton returns to BB Camp as the chief program officer. He previously worked for BB Camp in several positions including five years as overnight camp director. He moved to Maryland last year to be closer to his family and serve as the director of programming at Main Street Connect, working with adults with disabilities.
Under the direction of the CEO Michelle Koplan, Ben will build a vibrant Jewish community through program innovation, development and implementation. Ben’s responsibilities include implementing the agency’s strategic vision of program; overseeing a portfolio of programs and related services; evaluating the effectiveness of programs to provide ongoing feedback; helping to promote and diversify funding through new programs and philanthropic support; and providing mentoring, guidance, supervision and professional development to staff.
Ben received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from the University at Buffalo and first joined the BB Camp community in 2013 as the Jewish education director. Ben and his fiancé, Sari, love spending time outdoors, enjoying regular hikes, and walking on the beach with their dog, Roger.
Rikki Nouri is BB Camp’s new community care and inclusion director, who will provide culturally competent mental-health clinical and inclusion services to the diverse community of BB Camp. Rikki will guide BB Camp’s inclusive practices, specifically overseeing campers and staff care and well-being to the diverse community of BB Camp. She has a Ph.D. from the Technion, Israel, in organizational psychology and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Haifa. She moved to the United States in 2015 for her post-doc at Penn State University. Rikki has taught organizational behavior courses at Portland State Business School. She is on the Greater PDX Hillel board of directors.
Rikki loves using her vast experiences working with at-risk youth, people with disabilities and mental health diagnoses. In her free time, Rikki enjoys Israeli folk dancing, mindfulness meditation, yoga and jogging. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids.
Nicole Danberg has a long history with BB Camp and is excited to be back as the new operations coordinator. Nicole is responsible for assisting in the management of effective and streamlined administrative systems, information technology, safety/security and human resources.
Nicole was born and raised in Portland and spent many of her summers as a BB Camper. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s in psychology. In 2014, she became a BB Camp counselor and then worked in several roles for the camp. Before joining BB Camp’s year-round staff, Nicole worked with people experiencing homelessness and severe mental illness at a nonprofit in Washington D.C. Most recently, she spent her time working on various political campaigns.
In her spare time, Nicole likes to go camping, attend concerts, say hi to every dog she sees, and is always on the search for the world’s BEST slice of pizza.
Jobs Board: Help Wanted
Congregation Neveh Shalom
Youth and Family Engagement Associate
Pay: $16,200 (20 hours/week including weekend and/or evening events)
The ideal candidate will be a team player who enjoys working with families with students in third through 12th grades. They should be a doer, a collaborative and creative thinker, and skilled at building relationships. Ideal candidate would have some experience developing programs for kids and teens. Teaching experience is a plus but not a must. Must have an abundance of creative ideas and excellent follow-through. Proficiency in Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) is required. We are looking to hire someone to begin right away. This could be a long-term opportunity and grow to full time for the right candidate.
This position works with and reports to Rabbi Eve Posen, CNS associate rabbi, and the YAFE committee.
Primary responsibilities include: Creating and implementing programs and activities to engage 3rd-12th grades students and their families, including but not limited to USY; supporting the programs in place for families with kids from infants through second grade; assisting in planning and attending our annual Family Camp weekend at Camp Solomon Schechter (April 29-May 1, 2022); and re-imagining our teen engagement program and cultivating teen leadership.
For more information or to apply, email Rabbi Eve Posen at email@example.com
Foundation School/Neveh Shalom
Early Childhood Educators
Full-time positions with benefits and part-time hourly
Are you a joyful, nurturing educator who loves working with young children? We are looking for experienced, creative and caring teachers to join our vibrant team and collaborative community. We have full-time, annual positions with amazing benefits as well as part-time hours.
Responsibilities include: Create developmentally appropriate and engaging classroom; create a safe and nurturing environment; oversee the physical needs and hygiene of the children; develop rapport with parents through frequent communication; and manage the schedule and transitions in the classroom.
Must be able to lift 40 pounds, sit on the floor for extended periods of time, stand for at least 30 minutes. Two years’ teaching experience at ECE/preschool level or degree in education/early childhood required.
For full list of qualifications or to apply, contact Leah Conley firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland Jewish Academy
Afterschool Site Directors
WAGE: $35,000-40,000 (depending on experience)
LOCATION: Portland Jewish Academy, Glencoe Elementary School, Forest Park Elementary
PJA is seeking three professionals who can each lead a team of educators in a before and after school program.
The Afterschool Site Director (SD) is responsible for staff and program supervision and is accountable for daily site operations. SD oversees the direct care and supervision of children in PJA before and after school programs. SD maintains an atmosphere and environment conducive to the intellectual, social and emotional development of students in an after school setting and engages program participants in academic enrichment and support, arts, active recreation, community building, service learning, life skills and leadership activities. SD supports the development of staff, systems and resources for a successful program. SD uses large-group management skills, positive behavior management, and curriculum design to support project-based learning, social-emotional learning and community building. SD maintains safety and security of children in their care and partners with school staff and families/guardians to ensure a successful after school program.
For more information and full job description, visit pjaproud.org/about-us/employment