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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Museums

Mission: The Oregon Jewish Museum is the Pacific Northwest’s only Jewish museum, located in the region’s second largest metropolitan area. The Oregon Jewish Museum’s mission is dedicated to the preservation, research and exhibition of art, archival materials and artifacts of the Jewish people. It is the repository for archival documents, artifacts, and photographs concerning the history of the Jews in Oregon and endeavors to discover and collect all materials that may help to illuminate this history. Furthering its mission, the Museum brings innovative exhibitions about the history, culture and art of the Jewish people to this region—cultural enrichments that would be totally absent without its efforts. We aim to provide educational opportunities to a broad range of audiences, from youth to senior citizens, and those from all backgrounds.

Programs: Third annual sukkah pdx juried design-build exhibit, inviting designers,artist and makers of all backgrounds to propose contemporary responses to the traditional challenges of sukkah design (a sukkah is a temporary dwelling, traditionally erected each fall in observance of sukkot). Awardees of this juried competition create and install their winning sukkahs on the grounds of the oregon jewish museum. The structures are on exhibit for the week of sukkot, where they serve as the focal point for a weeklong series of events that a create contemporary context and connection to the themes of this ancient tradition,such as food and housing security.

three major exhibits launched this year include: ""settling in" ", "bat mitzvah comes of age" and "illuminated letters: threads of connection". "settling in" examined the experience and acculturation of immigrants to oregon through the lens of jewish experience. The exhibit focused on two groups: eastern european and russian jewish immigrants who were "americanized" through the neighborhood house, the settlement house founded in south portland in 1905 and later immigrants served through the immigrant and refugee community organization (irco). The struggles and triumphs of the early 20th century immigrants are compared with challenges and achievements of a contemporary and diverse group of immigrants from burma, cambodia, congo, cuba, eritrea, and somalia. Through their compelling and sometimes astonishing stories, the exhibit highlighted the old and new realities of the immigrant experience. "bat mitzvah comes of age" featuring the remarkable story of how, in less than a century, individual girls, their parents and their rabbis challenged and changed communal values and practice to institute this now widely practiced jewish ritual. "illuminated letters: threads of connection" artist sara harwin's long-time fascination with the intersection between language and art. Her work draws on the ancient tradition of illuminated manuscripts and encompasses large panels and hanging mobiles that use strong jolts of color, sacred imagery, pattern, and movement to achieve an innovative blend of visual and textual commentary on jewish life and thought.

our vibrant public programs include film screenings, concerts, lectures and discussions. Included were a film screening of shalom ireland, which included a theatrical reading from james joyce's ulysses, in partnership with corrib, portland's irish theatre; sunday music concerts, which bring the best of oregon's jewish musical talent, such as nationally recognized artist alicia jo rabins. Our programs and exhibitions reflect a variety of disciplines, including history, visual and bookmaking arts, art history, archival and collection management, music and other performing arts, film, literature, oral history, and the humanities.

other smaller exhibitions, music events, and lectures.

Community Stories

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just heard about this contest and am excited to get in under the wire. The museum's interest in reaching and involving a younger audience is a really big deal. I participated in a confab representing 20s and 30s -- and their openness to our ideas and viewpoints was awesome. We held a huge street party this summer that was amazing. Hundreds came, we made art, danced, an amazing NY artist joined us, the music could have gone on all night. Thank you OJM.

15

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Portland area Jewish professional I often am in need of Jewish historical "stuff" - stories, facts, pictures, etc to keep my materials alive. OJM always has what I need, no muss, no fuss.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love how the Oregon Jewish Museum isn't just about Portland but now brings exhibits on the road to other parts of Oregon. I just saw the Sholem Aleichem exhibit here in Eugene and it made me think about how lucky we are that the people at the Oregon Jewish Museum are thinking outside the box. Sometimes we feel isolated here and they are helping us overcome that.

17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served on the Board of Directors for 10yr I have worked on the Archives for 8 years. I have chaired two exhibits I have worked on fund raising

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We feel fortunate to live in a community (Portland, Oregon)where over twenty years ago a group of far sighted and persevering individuals felt the need and founded the Oregon Jewish Museum,the only Jewish museum in the Northwest.The exhibitshave been most educational,relating from various aspects the history of the Jewish community of Portland and Oregon. The Museum is ably led by our executive director, Judith Margleswho is responsable for the great approbation that the museum receivesthough in cramped quarters.We now look forward even greater achievments with our soon to be dedicated new space which will accommodate more exhibits and our archives. We have something to cheer about! Toinette and Victor Menashe

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I brought my 6th grade class to the museum's "Yes We Can" exhibit this past winter I was amazed at how much they learned about the history of discrimination and the status of minorities in Oregon. The Oregon Jewish Museum did an expert job in making this available to the public and with the teaching their staff provided to us. Thank you OJM.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience began many years ago with a position on the board. I spend a couple of hours, once a week, archiving the material of Portland Section National Council of Jewish Women & The Historic Neighborhood House. I'm part of a team of 4 who have been working on this project for 5 years under the expert eye of Anne Prahl, the curator. I am also an interviewer for the Oregon Oral History Project at the museum. I am so impressed with the staff, interns and volunteers at the museum for their tireless work in a setting that is anything but luxurious. I feel the museum is important for our state. Our Jewish population is small and our history is being well perserved by very capable, caring people.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

Here's what I love about the Oregon Jewish Museum: it is truly open to all, Jews and non-Jews alike! As someone who is married to a Non-Jew, and one who has a Jewish cultural (but not spiritual) identity, my spouse and I both feel comfortable and fully welcomed at the Museum! We've taken advantage of the Museum's varied offerings by attending stellar exhibits, compelling book discussions, scholarly lectures, astounding theatre productions, and moving musical events. The Oregon Jewish Museum reaches out to the entire community with a message of diversity, tolerance, and acceptance. We love it!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My friend shlepped me to OJM to see the "48 Jews" exhibit by Jac Lahav and I was awestruck to see how they put on a show of the quality I have experienced in New York or LA major museum. I am looking forward to going back.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The museum hosted an awesome street fair this summer which my friend invited me to. We ate donuts, did free art projects, and danced to 3 live bands. Hundreds of people filled up the street and created an energy I've never seen before in Old Town. I hope they do another event like this next summer! So much fun!!