Kehillah Kedoshah, our holy community,
This past year has been filled with many emotions from the military invasion of Ukraine by Russia. If you’ve watched the news you’ve seen the war-torn Ukrainian cities, the refugees fleeing for their lives, Russian citizens standing up against their government. Previously we sent an email lifting up the words of Isaiah “Nation shall not threaten nation, neither shall they again know war.” It is clear that this is still a prayer, not yet reality.
Pirkei Avot, Ethics of our Ancestors teaches “we are not obligated to complete the task, neither are we free to desist from it.” As a kehillah, a community, we come together to do the work of creating a more peaceful world in multiple ways. We pray, we act, we create change.
Below are a few resources to help you get more informed, talk to kids, donate, and gather as a community.
With prayers for peace,
-Rabbi Eve Posen
Supporting a Refugee Family in PDX
Ukrainian Refugee Family Coming to Portland – Household Items Needed
After months of working with HIAS to bring a displaced Ukrainian family here, our CNS Welcome Circle, ShalomPortland, is about to welcome a family to Portland. The family consists of four adults, Eduard and Daria, Eduard’s parents, Alexander and Tamila, and their three cats. They will be arriving here by mid-January.
We have secured a rental for them here in SW Portland, but it needs furnishings. Since they lived in the hard-hit city of Kharkiv, they lost everything. Please look over the list of items to see what you would like to donate for this family.
You can respond to Sara Safdie, the Circle coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that some donated items need to be new. The list will be continuously updated to reflect which requests have been filled. We will contact you just before the family arrives to accept your donation. Thank you for your help!
Explaining Russia’s War on Ukraine with Professor Natan Meir
We are now hearing 24-7 news reports about the unfolding situation in Ukraine, but what does it all mean? In this “explainer session” organized and hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Dr. Natan Meir provided historical and geopolitical context for Russia’s attack on Ukraine. He discussed the complex historical relationship between Russia and Ukraine, the ethnic and linguistic makeup of Ukrainian society, and Ukraine’s Jewish community.
Natan Meir is the Lorry I. Lokey Professor of Judaic Studies and Academic Director of the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, Portland State University.
Presented by Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
Click here for the video recording of Explaining Russia’s War on Ukraine with Professor Natan Meir
Understanding the Crisis in Ukraine, A Conversation with Marat Grinberg
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has everyone confused and seeking more clarity. Marat Grinberg, Associate Professor of Russian and Humanities, Reed College discussed the situation, offering an up-to-date analysis, and answering your questions.
Marat Grinberg emigrated from Ukraine in 1993, studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University, and received his PhD from the University of Chicago. A scholar of Jewish and Russian literature and culture, and of cinema, he is the author of “I am to Be Read not from Left to Right, but in Jewish: from Right to Left”: The Poetics of Boris Slutsky (2011); Aleksandr Askoldov: The Commissar (2016); and co-editor of Woody on Rye: Jewishness in the Films and Plays of Woody Allen (2013). Marat Grinberg’s most recent essays have appeared in Tablet Magazine, Mosaic, and Los Angeles Review of Books. He lectures widely on topics ranging from Shoah literature and film to Jewish-Russian poetry. Grinberg’s latest book, forthcoming from Brandeis University Press in the fall of this year, is The Soviet Jewish Bookshelf: Jewish Culture and Identity Between the Lines.
Presented by OJMCHE
Click here to watch the video recording of Understanding the Crisis in Ukraine, A Conversation with Marat Grinberg
Resources for Kids
The situation in Ukraine, and war in general, can be hard to discuss, especially with the youngest members of our community. Please check out these resources on talking to your kids about war.
Donate to Support Jews in Ukraine
The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland is participating in a continental special campaign effort to assist Jews in the region. To date, over $365,500 has been raised. Your support is essential at this time. 100% of your contribution goes to those in need.
Want to do more for the world?
If you are wanting to do more to help bring healing to our world, the re-energized Tikkun Olam/Social Action Committee is a great place to explore The focus of our committee will be housing and homelessness, climate justice, immigrant & refugee rights, and social equity & inclusion (people of color, LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, etc.).
Learn more about our Tikkun Olam committee by clicking here.
For more information, contact us:
Fred Rothstein, Executive Director
Liza Milliner, President
Rabbi David Kosak
Rabbi Eve Posen
Michelle Caplan, Director of Congregational Advancement
Lisa Richmond, Program Director