As you read this email, I will be driving back from beautiful Penticton, British Columbia (at the base of Okanagan Lake). This area is known as a summer resort town with burgeoning wineries all around. I was here with my son for a week-long summer camp and unfortunately did not get to enjoy the beautiful surroundings as much as I would have liked.
I was not the only one away. Michael Jeser, Federation’s Director of Financial Resource Development, is currently in Israel on a Campaigners' Mission with JFNA. He is there with 60 other volunteer and professional Federation leaders from around the country and has created a blog about his experiences. He met with new immigrants brought to Israel by our partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and heard their personal stories of what inspired their move to Israel. He learned what another partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is doing to serve Israelis with disabilities while visiting the “accessible health zone.” Ever played basketball in a wheelchair or participated blind in an obstacle course? Michael also visited a JDC program that provides employment services to Ultra-Orthodox men in the city of B'nai B'rak. We should be so proud of the programs and services we are supporting in Israel. Read more in Michael’s blog.
Despite being the “slow” summer months, there is plenty happening in our community. Make sure you check the Community calendar and see all that is happening. Here are three communal activities over just the next few days:
This Sunday, the City of Portland presents Sunday Parkways in Northeast Portland. The Sunday Parkways program promotes healthy active living through a series of free events opening the city's largest public space - its streets - to walk, bike, roll, and discover active transportation while fostering civic pride, stimulating economic development, and represents the community, business, and government investments in Portland's vitality, livability, and diversity. The Jewish Federation will once again have a booth at the event and looks forward to saying hello to the many who live in NE Portland and beyond. Look for us in Woodlawn Park. For more information and maps, please click here.
After 64 years, the Jewish Ritualarium of Portland (aka Portland Community Mikvah) in the Goose Hollow neighborhood will be closing its doors. As you will recall, the Jewish Federation, in partnership with the Oregon Board of Rabbis and others, is building a new community mikvah. The house where the current mikvah is located is being sold (closing is on Monday) and the proceeds from that sale will underwrite much of the cost related to the new mikvah.
This Sunday at 4:00 p.m., join the Oregon Board of Rabbis for a short ritual ceremony to close the mikvah (1425 SW Harrison Street, Portland). All are welcome to witness this rare and historic moment.
As I learned from Rabbi Ariel Stone, President of the Oregon Board of Rabbis, according to halakha (Jewish law) a sacred space can only be sold in order to create another sacred space. This will be done. We are in the final stages of the permitting process with the City of Portland and will then go through a 4-5 month construction process. Please contact your rabbi or the Jewish Federation for more information on mikvah needs in the interim.
Please join the Jewish Federation and Mittleman Jewish Community Center for a fun night of Hillsboro Hops baseball. The Hillsboro Hops will be hosting the Boise Hawks at Ron Tonkon Field on Wednesday, July 27. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and game starts at 7:05 pm. A few tickets remain – so please join us in Section 2 down the right field line.Click here to purchase tickets by Sunday and use password JEWISHPDX to get your discount.
I look forward to sharing more next week.