It is hard to believe that next week will not only conclude 2019, but also the end of a decade. Recently there have been lists out there for the “Best of …”, but for many it is just the start of another new year.
Looking back at the past decade we might remember (in no particular order):
Portlandia ... Shootings in Las Vegas, Clackamas Town Center, Parkland, Reynolds High School, Umpqua Community College, Pittsburgh, Poway and far too many others … Kyron Horman disappears … Same sex marriage becomes law of the land … Elie Wiesel passes away … Trail Blazers make first conference finals since 2000 … Operation Protective Edge … Cubs win the World Series … Anyone yet know “What the Fox Says”? ... Apple creates the iPad ... Ice Bucket Challenge … Arab Spring … Elana Kagan becomes third Jewish justice on Supreme Court … Governor Kitzhaber resigns … Iran nuclear deal … Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman … Oregon State University wins baseball championship … Gilad Shalit released by Hamas after five years … Major Pew Research study on Jewish community … Fauda and Shtisel become television hits … Prince William and Catherine Middleton get married … Pokemon Go … Anti-Semitism on the rise … Stabbing on the MAX train … Jonathan Pollard released from federal prison … Total solar eclipse … White nationalists in Charlottesville … Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies … Legalization of recreational marijuana … Game of Thrones … Fires at Eagle Creek in Columbia River Gorge … Debbie Friedman, renowned Jewish singer, passes away … Ducks football are national contenders … U.S. Embassy moves to Jerusalem … Fidget spinners … Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish … Instagram, Uber, Waze, and Netflix all launch … Abe Foxman retires from Anti-Defamation League … Psi’s Gangnam Style becomes most watched video ever … Portland Timbers win MSL Championship and Portland Thorns win the NWSL Championship twice … Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis and the first pope from South America … #MeToo movement … President Obama concludes his second term and Donald Trump elected president … Aly Raisman wins gold at Olympics … Bob Dylan wins a Nobel Prize … Ashton Eaton is the world’s greatest athlete … Israel holding two elections and still no winner … Hurricane Harvey, super storm Sandy, and other natural disasters … and so much more.
Beyond the rest of the world, we had many things happen in our local Jewish community since 2010:
Jewish community as a whole raises in excess of $100 million in annual campaigns and capital campaigns … Challenges of Jewish continuity … Rachel’s Well Community Mikvah built … Greater communal divide over Israel … New Harold Schnitzer Center for Living and rehabilitation center at Cedar Sinai Park … Community Chaplain hired … Charlie Schiffman passes away, as well as many other community leaders … New clergy come to Portland … Community-wide Jewish Free Loan program … New home for the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education … Jewish Right Start for pre-schoolers ... Holocaust education mandated for all high school students across state … Climate change is a Jewish issue … New cabins and facilities at B’nai B’rith Camp … Over 13,000 PJ Library books mailed to children in our community … Trainings across community on Safe and Respectful Workplace … Passover 4All … Jewish community marches together in Portland Pride parade … Shlichut (emissaries) from Israel come to Portland … funding for Jewish youth groups from Federation … Eastside Jewish Commons moves forward … Oregon Hillel opens program at Oregon State University … New facilities at Camp Solomon Schechter … Jewish Review stops publishing and Oregon Jewish Life begins … Maayan Torah Jewish Day School opens … $300,000 in Community Innovation Grants … Betty Rosenfeld Leadership Development Fund … Tivnu launches first domestic Jewish Gap Year program in Portland … Chai Israel provides grants for all teens going to Israel … Congregation Kol Ami dedicates new building … Natan Sharansky speaks at Federation’s Annual Meeting … Congregation Ahavath Achim sells historic synagogue building … Jewish-Latino and Jewish-African American dialogues take place … Pathways, Moishe House and OneTable serve young adult needs … Oregon Area Jewish Community merges into Jewish Federation … Ongoing efforts to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement … Chabad expands number of centers for Jewish life … Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning closes … Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer speaks to community … Greater Portland Hillel named Hillel of the Year … Federation’s oldest donor is now 106 … security becomes a mantra for the Jewish community with new security director.
Disclaimer – Please excuse anything I left out or is in error
It is truly amazing all that our community continues to accomplish. In 2020, we have much to look forward to. Our Centennial Trip to Israel leaves in March and the Wexner Heritage Leadership Program for a special group of 20 younger adults will begin. Plus, more news to be announced soon. This will be an exciting decade as we continue to emphasize enhanced Jewish experiences and greater Jewish involvement and connections.
A community leader recently sent me the following quote. Karl Wallenda of the famous family of high wire artists said, “Being on a tightrope is living. Everything else is waiting.”
I assure you there will be no waiting as we continue enrich and strengthen Jewish life for generations to come.
Shabbat shalom and an early happy and healthy 2020 to you and your family!