It was a busy first full week of 2019 in our office. We were able to process the end of year donations (THANK YOU!) and the results were outstanding. As I have shared in the past, we have the highest pledge collection rate of any Jewish Federation in the country! That is due to each and every one of you – and we are most grateful and appreciative.
Please note that tax receipts for contributions of $250 or more will be mailed out by the end of this month. If someone requires a tax receipt for donations under that level, please do not hesitate to call the Jewish Federation at 503-892-7417.
I am also pleased to share that the Campaign for Community Needs is on a wonderful pace. But we need everyone’s support to grow our community resources and to meet even more needs. Support the campaign today!
Every year at this time, I like to use my weekly email to highlight some important announcements in our community:
1. We are proud to announce the call for nominations for the 2019 Laurie Rogoway Outstanding Jewish Professional Award. The award was established five years ago to honor our esteemed colleague and friend Laurie Rogoway, a pillar of Jewish professional leadership for over 30 years in Portland.
The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual currently working in a professional capacity at a Jewish communal organization in Greater Portland. This is for early to mid-career professionals (minimum 3 years in Portland Jewish Community). The nominee must demonstrate outstanding professional work and a commitment to the field of Jewish professional leadership.
The award will be presented at the Jewish Federation’s Annual Meeting on June 5. The recipient will receive up to $1800 to participate in a professional development experience.
This is your opportunity to recognize the excellence in Jewish professional leadership in our midst. Nominations are due by February 22. Please fill out the form online here .
2. The federal government shutdown is impacting many of our friends and neighbors. Uncertainty over the length of the furlough is causing additional anxiety and stress for those who are not getting paid during this time.
Jewish Free Loan of Greater Portland offers interest-free, emergency bridge loans to help Jewish federal employees and contractors in Oregon cover their living expenses during the shutdown. Loan amounts and repayment terms are flexible, depending on the need. More information and a link to the application are available here.
I am delighted that we have already received several inquiries. Please help us spread the word! In recognition of the urgency of the situation, we will turn these loans around as quickly as possible. But I also want to share that these free loans are available year-round for all community members. For more information, contact Ben at 503-892-7417.
3. It is that time again when families are looking to register for Jewish pre-school, Jewish camp, and teen Israel programs. The Jewish Federation is proud to provide the following grants on a first-come, first-served basis(there are limited funds).
Jewish Right Start provides incentive grants ($500 - $2000 depending on number of days a week) for new families choosing Jewish pre-schools.
One Happy Camper provides $1,000 or $700 grants (depending on length of camp experience) for first-time Jewish overnight campers. You can choose any of our local camps or attend any of the 155 Jewish overnight camps across North America.
Chai Israel provides up to 18% (maximum of $2,000) for any teen wishing to travel to Israel on a minimum three-week experience or a Gap Year program.
4. I know many of our teens are graduating high school this year and may be looking for college scholarships. The Sussman Fund was established in 1981 by Lillian and Gilbert Sussman to provide grants to Jewish students from the Greater Portland area for their undergraduate studies.
5. A few weeks ago I shared about a special “change” opportunity for our community. We have partnered with RoundUp, a secure and simple app that will “round up” your credit/debit card charges to the nearest dollar with the “extra change” coming to the Jewish Federation. This is highly secure and safe to do – and takes 60 seconds to enroll.
We are delighted by the number of people who signed on initially, and we hope many others will join us. Just think, if everyone in Jewish Greater Portland participated and had $1 per week of “extra change,” our community could raise in excess of $1.8 million in a year. Think of the change your change can make!
6. Last week, I mentioned that David Raphael, the founder of the Grandparents Network (which coordinated the national grandparents study that our community participated in), will be visiting Portland and holding a special focus group open to any grandparent age 55+ on Monday, January 21 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Jewish Federation office (6680 SW Capitol Hwy). A few more spaces are available – please RSVP here .
7. I have not mentioned the Centennial Trip to Israel in a while. We are now at 450 participants and the trip is still 430 days away. No reason we cannot bring 500+ people. Join us! Sign-up at www.pdxisrael.org today!
8. Finally, as you may remember, I am an ice hockey fan and my son plays in the Portland Junior Winterhawks Association. Please join our community for the first Portland Winterhawks Jewish Heritage Night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $16 and can be purchased here (promo code: jewishpdx). I promise it will be lots of fun and you will watch some incredible hockey.