May Newsletter 
Dear OJMCHE Community,
I write to you all today with news of developments at the museum. In the coming days, we will begin installing in our main first floor gallery the exhibition Lawrence Halprin, curated by guest curator Kenneth Helphand. We had planned to share this important Portland-centric exhibition in 2020 but we all know how any well laid plan went last year!
Fortunately, this summer is the perfect time to celebrate Halprin's innovative urban fountains and plazas. Halprin’s work helped to spark a renaissance in landscape architecture in the United States and evolved into a model for creative and innovative work that addresses the urban condition. Our hope is to reopen the museum in late June with CDC guidelines in place. In addition, in partnership with the Architectural Heritage Center, we will offer weekly walking tours of the South Portland neighborhood that features the fountains and were once the thriving home to the majority of the city's Jewish community. We think these small, focused tours will be the perfect way to re-connect safely while learning together.
In the coming weeks, we will share specific news on the museum's re-opening.  We cannot wait to see everyone in person. Your support over the last year has meant the world to us as you continue to make OJMCHE thrive in this complicated and evolving world.
Warm regards,
Judy Margles, Director

By now many of you are aware that the Oregon Holocaust Memorial was defaced with Nazi graffiti this past weekend. For all of us, this is an unconscionable, shocking, and heart-wrenching act. Where we draw hope from is the outpouring of love and support we have received through emails, social media, phone calls, donations to the Memorial’s endowment, and prompt media coverage. Read More.

We're looking for OJMCHE Docents!
As we prepare to reopen our physical space to the public, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is looking for individuals who are interested in being trained to become a museum docent.
Are you interested in connecting and learning about  social justice, Oregon history, and Jewish history, art and culture? Apply to be a docent today before the May 21 deadline.
Apply to be a Docent
OJMCHE pandemic interview project expands!
OJMCHE is adding interviews of small groups to its project of collecting the stories of Oregon Jews during the pandemic. We'd love to hear how groups and friends have weathered the pandemic together. 
OJMCHE is interviewing small groups about their shared COVID experiences. Some examples of groups:
  • Jewish work colleagues
  • Family members
  • Book club
  • Synagogue havurot
  • Podded friends/neighbors
In addition to our collection of individual COVID/quarantine stories, we are collecting the stories that will shed light on our shared lives during the pandemic. You can read about the Chronicling Our Times project here.
Are you part of a group (2-7 people) that would like to participate? Please contact Alisha Babbstein, our archivist, at to get started. 
The Immigrant Story featured in Oregon ArtWatch
Sankar Raman, Director of The Immigrant Story, was recently featured in Oregon ArtsWatch. You can read here about how Sankar turned his photography hobby into a powerful mission. OJMCHE is proud to be an on-going collaborator with Sankar and The Immigrant Story.
"At this point, the portraits of The Immigrant Story have taken over Raman’s photographic life. Even before coronavirus he had mostly given up on travel photography. He no longer always carries his camera with him as he once did. The portrait work took a brief hit too, stymied for several months in 2020 by the pandemic. But it is now regaining momentum." - Blake Andrews, Oregon ArtsWatch
We've partnered with the Immigrant Story multiple times in the past and will be working with them once again this Fall for our exhibition To Bear Witness – Extraordinary Lives.
Les and Eva Aigner, photo by Sankar Raman.
Join us for upcoming events!
Rise Up Against Hate Oregon
May 8, 11:30am
Join us on Saturday and watch the live stream of this event from 11:30 am on Rise Against Hate's youtube channel or through their Facebook and Twitter accounts. 
Rise Against Hate Oregon is the result of a coming together of AAPI community leaders who want to overcome anti-Asian hate through targeted government action, community support, and harnessing the power of the entire AAPI community.
More Information about Rise Up Against Hate here
Ben-Gurion, Epilogue - Exclusive Film Screening and Discussion
Movie available May 6-19 | Discussion May 16, 10:30am.
Congregation Neveh Shalom, Israel 360 and American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) are pleased to invite you to a free online screening of the award-winning documentary, Ben-Gurion, Epilogue, to be enjoyed anytime between May 6-19, 2021, presented for the Greater Portland Jewish Community. Then join us for a free Zoom discussion with the film’s director, Yariv Mozer, live from Israel on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 10:30 am PT.

This 70-minute documentary brings to life Ben-Gurion’s introspective soul-searching, revealing, and surprising vision for today’s crucial decisions and the future of Israel. The film was made possible when the lost soundtrack to a six-hour interview was discovered in BGU’s Ben-Gurion Archives.

Click here to RSVP for Ben-Gurion, Epilogue
A Conversation with Author Sarah Federman, The French National Railways and the Journey to Accountability
May 19, 12pm
In the immediate decades after the Second World War, the French National Railways (SNCF) was celebrated for its acts of wartime heroism. However, recent debates and litigation have revealed how the SNCF worked as an accomplice to the Third Reich and was actively complicit in the deportation of 75,000 Jews and other civilians to death camps. Sarah Federman delves into the interconnected roles—perpetrator, victim, and hero—the company took on during the harrowing years of the Holocaust. This talk will address the war years and the SNCF’s journey toward accountability in France and the United States, culminating in a multimillion-dollar settlement paid by the French government on behalf of the railways.
Register for A Conversation with Sarah Federman
Lawrence Halprin at the Lovejoy Fountain, Courtesy Lawrence Halprin Collection, Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania
Lawrence Halprin: Touchstones and Innovation
May 25, 12pm
Lawrence Halprin stands as one of the great landscape architects of the modern era. In a distinguished career spanning 60 years, he created iconic and trailblazing projects including: FDR Memorial, Sea Ranch, Ghirardelli Square, Nicollet Mall, Freeway Park, Levi Strauss Plaza, Jerusalem’s Haas Promenade, Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove, as well as designs for campuses, shopping centers, communities and more.
His innovative design for Portland’s Lovejoy and Forecourt (Ira’s) Fountains is the focus of the exhibit “ Lawrence Halprin” opening at OJMCHE this summer and will be the subject of a talk by guest curator Kenneth Helphand, Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus, University of Oregon. This talk is co-sponsored by the Architectural Heritage Center and the Halprin Landscape Conservancy. 
Register for Lawrence Halprin: Touchstones and Innovation
A Community Call to Confront Hate
May 26, 9am-1pm
In this time of national and local reckoning with our country and city’s grim legacy of discrimination and hate, we have come together as a broad coalition of friends and allies to create a series of public programs to confront hate. The Community Call to Confront Hate Summit is the culmination of a collaborative effort by several Portland and Northwest-based organizations, including OJMCHE, that previously presented webinars on the history of hate in Oregon. Read More.
Register for A Community Call to Confront Hate

Save the Date

June 21, 12pm * Annual Members' Meeting
We look forward to having our members join us online for this year’s Annual Members’ meeting. This will be an opportunity to hear from Director Judy Margles on the work of the museum over the last year and during this unforeseen time of closure. There will also be remarks from OJMCHE’s Board Chair Jeff Mazer. Our keynote address will be from Melissa Martens Yaverbaum, Executive Director of the Council of American Jewish Museums.
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