So Much Happening, May 8, 2020

I want to share important news that our Jewish community’s COVID-19 Crisis Campaign has raised over $800,000! We are grateful to the support of hundreds of donors, as well as the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation in partnering with the Jewish Federation. I am excited to share that this week an anonymous donor made a matching challenge grant of $50,000 to grow the fund.
Our initial goal was to raise $750,000 to get our community through June 30. We now recognize operational funding challenges will continue through the summer months. Please help us maximize this challenge grant by making your gift here and enable us to raise over $900,000.
Your congtributions are being put to important use. Yesterday our COVID-19 crisis campaign grants committee allocated an additional $83,600 to five organizations (one had previously received funding). Grants were awarded to the following:
  • Alberta Shul received $1,800 for loss of revenue
  • B’nai B’rith Camp received an additional $25,000 for loss of rental revenue
  • Chabad of Eugene received $1,800 for payroll and rent support
  • Mittleman Jewish Community Center received $50,000 for payroll support, enhanced cleaning, and building modifications
  • NCSY received $5,000 for loss of revenue
To date, we have granted $603,500 in funds to 32 different Jewish organizations in our community. We receive new grant requests every day.
We do not often directly learn about the impact of our grants on individuals. Here is a beautiful letter I just received from a community member we helped:
I know we are bombarded with numerous virtual activities to participate in, but here are two national experiences that may be of interest to you (and more on this concept next week):
The Jewish Grandparents Network invites you to participate in one or all three video conversations on key issues that grandparents face today - with particular attention to the impact of the pandemic:
  • Wednesday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m. -- Today’s Jewish Families: Different, Joyful, and… Sometimes Challenging
  • Wednesday, May 20 at 11:00 a.m. -- What Is Carried Forward: Sharing Values with Our Grandchildren
  • Wednesday, May 27 at 11:00 a.m. – “The Whole World Is A Narrow Bridge”: Grandparenting During Times of Crisis 
A full description of these free programs and sign up information can be found here.
In addition, do not miss The Great Big Jewish Food Fest – May 19-28 -- a 10-day festival by and for people who love Jewish food, celebrating the diversity of our culinary tradition, from its rich global history to its religious and cultural foundations, its diversity of flavors and identities to its intersection with modernity. All events are free and open to the public, but festival “attendees” will be encouraged to donate to direct service partners focusing on supporting small food-related businesses and food insecurity.
Festival programs include cooking workshops and demonstrations; conversations among thought leaders and industry professionals; discussions around recent research on the role of food in Jewish identity and community; social events such as happy hours and Shabbat dinner gatherings; activities for kids, and more.
We hope to have many of our local Jewish culinary talents participate.
On Wednesday, we heard from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. We discussed the federal response to COVID-19, the challenges facing state economies, the role of the Paycheck Protection Program and reaching small businesses that need the funding, the potential Israel-Palestinian peace plan, and other issues impacting our state and nation. Senator Merkley was very articulate and thoughtful in his responses. If you missed the call, you can watch a recording here.
Next Wednesday we will have the opportunity to hear from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden at 1:00 p.m. Register here.
On Wednesday, May 20, we will be joined by Israeli Deputy Consul General for the Pacific Northwest, Matan Zamir. He will provide a briefing and take your questions at 4:00 p.m. Based on the current and potential news in Israel, it should be an interesting conversation. More information to come soon.
Typically at this time of year, many Jewish organizations announce their Song of Miriam award honorees (with this year’s event originally scheduled for May 31). The Song of Miriam was created by the Jewish Women’s Roundtable (a volunteer group made up of women representing Jewish organizations and congregations in Oregon and Southwest Washington) in 1993. The awards brunch brings together the Jewish community to recognize outstanding women volunteers for their vital role in Jewish life and dedication to Jewish values.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland is pleased to honor Eliana Temkin as its 2020 Song of Miriam honoree.
Eliana Temkin is currently a member of the Jewish Federation’s Allocations Committee and chair of the Federation’s Rogoway Outstanding Jewish Professional Leadership Award Selection 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 volunteer role. While at the MJCC, Eliana started the Florence Melton-Adult Mini School in addition to producing educational and cultural programs. She is currently active with her synagogue, Havurah Shalom, the Eastside Jewish Commons initiative, and so much more. After her long career as a Jewish professional, Eliana transitioned to the health care sector. She is married and the mother of three adult sons.
Mazel tov, Eliana, and all the other honorees this year for their commitment to Jewish life and our Jewish community.
Speaking of impressive women, join us tonight for a special Unity Shabbat in honor of all the mothers in our community. Candle lighting is at 7:30 p.m. and you can register here.
Shabbat shalom and Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Marc N. Blattner
President and CEO


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