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Feb. 8 Community Email


  • This Shabbat - Kabbalat Shabbat, Community Minyan, Tu B'svhat Tot Shabbat
  • Congregational Meeting to Vote on New Rabbi - Sunday, Feb. 12
  • Rabbi Joey on Trump & Ahashverosh in The Times of Israel
  • Holy Pandemonium Purim Party - March 11
  • Revenge, Justice, Survival & Celebration Class Starts March 8
  • Hakol Deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 14
  • Win Our Hearts for Valentine's
  • Sing & Clap at Camp Havurah on Feb. 18
  • Havurah Advocacy - City Council Hearing, Muslim Educational Trust, J Street, Advocacy Day
  • High Holidays Leaders & Readers
  • Tikkun Olam - Shabbat School Postcard Brigade & Diaper Drive on Feb. 11, Portland Homeless Family Solutions, "Lost Boys of Portlandia" on March 1
  • In the Community: Dare I Call You Cousin, LGBTQ Birthright Israel Trip, How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick, Weekend In Quest, Remembering Nehama Leibowitz, Pacific NW Reconstructionist Shabbaton


Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, Feb. 10
7:30 pm
Havurah Shalom

Join us this Friday for a spirited and joy-filled Kabbalat Shabbat Service with Rabbi Joey and our talented Havurah musicians, Ilene Safyan, Scott Snyder, John Duke, and Steven Sandberg-Lewis. Childcare is available for kids ages 2 to 8.

"Tree of Life" by Gustav Klimt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Community Minyan
Saturday, Feb. 11
10:00 am
Havurah Shalom

Join Rabbi Joey, Emily Simon, Sam Sirkin, and other Havurah leaders and Torah readers for Saturday's Community Minyan. In Beshalach, Pharaoh releases the Israelites only to pursue them, then drowns with his army in the Sea of Reeds. Miriam leads the women singing and dancing on the other side of the sea, but the people’s joy dissipates after days of wandering without water. Miracles produce water, manna and quail, and the people defeat Amalek’s army. Tot Shabbat families will join the minyan for the Torah service.

Tu B'shvat Tot Shabbat
Saturday, Feb. 11
10:30 - 11:30 am

Havurah Shalom

This Saturday is Tu B'shvat, the holiday celebrating the 'birthday of the trees.' Why do we celebrate in the middle of winter? Tu B’shvat inspires us to notice subtle new growth and tender beginnings. We remind ourselves to have faith that the rains will cease and the seasons will progress. Even more importantly, we celebrate the internal growth that happens when we aren’t really paying attention. Please bring one of the traditional seven species (something with wheat, barley, figs, grapes, pomegranates, olives, honey) to this Saturday's Tot Shabbat, or some other fruit or nut. Please RSVP today!


Sunday, Feb. 12
1:00 - 3:00 pm

Havurah Shalom

Don't miss this Sunday's Congregational Meeting on Feb. 12. Members who attend will vote on the Steering Committee's recommendation regarding the candidate for our next rabbi.


In President Trump’s first couple of weeks in office, he targeted seven Muslim nations and insulted refugees, he castigated traditional allies and environmentalists alike, and he frothed at the mouth in situations that require global diplomatic insight. He himself has little, if any. Or perhaps he has other ideas, when it comes to getting what he wants or needs. Why else would he loosen sanctions on Russia in the very moment when the situation in eastern Ukraine has deteriorated?

He’s been crowned king, but he’s a clumsy one so far. His feckless tweet-politics embarrasses members of his own party. He makes off-color remarks to women and encourages Holocaust deniers. He transparently draws from a limited supply of favorite adjectives when referencing the “amazing job” Frederick Douglass has “done” at a Black History Month gathering. He imperils public education.

Now he’s tampering with our independent judiciary. What next?

Read all of Rabbi Joey's commentary here on The Times of Israel blog.


A Joyous, Capricious, Justice Celebration For All Ages
Saturday, March 11
4:30 to 7:30 pm
Havurah Shalom

4:30 pm - Singing, Spieling (interactive Purim storytelling) and more!
5:15 pm - Juggling, Casting Lots, Eating Pizza, Playing Games

DANCE your woes away at our PURIM DANCE PARTY!

Cheese pizza will be provided (including gluten-free options). Bring a vegetarian salad (please list ingredients) to share, plus drinks (L'chaims) for young & old. Send song requests to our DJ at It's free, but please RSVP.


Wednesdays, March 8, 15 & 22
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Havurah Shalom

Our joyous and beloved Purim and Pesach traditions are mixed with strains of revenge. Complicated questions echo throughout our texts and celebrations: what are the lines between revenge and justice, survival and subjugating others, self-love and selfishness? The Mekhilta, an ancient midrash collection, which tends to be more universalist and human-centered than most, will be our starting place. Taught by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner. Register here by Feb. 22.


You'll win Rachel's and Teri's hearts just by logging into your account through our website. By logging in, you can save hours of staff time that would otherwise be spent looking for members' addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. And you'll have access to an up-to-date membership directory any time of the day or night!

Just click here to reach our website, then click on the “login” link in the upper right corner. Enter the email address where you receive emails from Havurah, and make up a password if you haven’t made one up already. (It can be short, long, silly, simple, complex ... your choice!) After you receive a confirmation that your password has been received, you can log in as a member any time.

When you log in, click on “community” in the horizontal menu and you'll see our Havurah directory at the bottom of the drop-down list. Then click on the directory link and use the search box to find the member you're trying to reach.

Many thanks to all who have logged in and already & won our hearts! heartheart


Saturday, Feb. 18
10:00 - 11:45 am

Kiddush Lunch Following

We’re planning a super fun musical "Camp Havurah" Shabbat morning service, great for all generations of Havuraniks. Please come!

Enjoy lots of great singing in Hebrew and English. Perfect for families with kids fourth grade and up, minyan “regulars,” singles and empty nesters alike. Childcare is available for younger kids. A shortened Torah service will cap the morning’s prayer. Led by Havurah musicians and leaders, Susan Brenner, Jacob Mandelsberg, Sarah Shine, Tanja Lux, Roger Brewer and more. A coordinated kiddush lunch will follow with Havurah providing main dishes and cookies. Please bring sides and salads. Shabbat Shalom! Download a flier here.



Yes, the High Holidays are more than half a year away, but now is the time that we start planning for September’s services. This year, with our transition to a new rabbinic presence, High Holiday leaders and other service participants will be coordinated by a team made up of Spiritual Life Committee members and others who are interested.

Here is what we are gathering together:

  • People who would like to lead part of a holiday service, read a beautiful poem or piece, give a drash or otherwise be up on the bima participating.
  • Anyone who would like to be part of the Liturgy Team, which includes helping to figure out who is doing what, guiding leaders if needed, collecting scripts and other outlines from previous years. The team will have some in-person meetings but also work independently.
  • Scripts or other materials that were used in past years, to help future leaders.

Diane Chaplin, co-chair of the Spiritual Life Committee, is coordinating the HH Liturgy Team. Please contact her at if you can contribute or if you have questions or comments.


Results of Portland City Council Hearing Last Thursday

Numerous Havurah members joined over 75 Metropolitan Alliance for the Common Good (MACG) members to add their voices to the crowd at City Hall last Thursday, successfully supporting a critical emergency Tenant Relocation Assistance ordinance which passed 5-0. It was a victory for stable communities and families in the face of the Portland housing crisis. The new temporary law requires Portland landlords to pay $2,900 to $4,500 to tenants they evict without cause or who have to move as a result of a rent increase of 10 percent or more in one year.

Solidarity with Muslim Educational Trust

Countless Havurahniks joined our friends at the Muslim Educational Trust in solidarity following the executive order to ban entry to the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Before the potluck dinner, Muslim Educational Trust President and Co-Founder Wajdi Said gave Rabbi Joey and Lisa Rackner gifts of gratitude (pictured below).

J Street's Alan Elsner at Havurah

About 120 people gathered at Havurah on Monday night to hear Alan Elsner, J Street Special Advisor, discuss the new administration and Trump's nominee for U.S Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Elsner urged people to challenge the nomination and to educate others about Friedman's blatant disregard for the views of many American Jews. He also encouraged people to remember that numerous leaders have come before Netanyahu and Trump, and more will follow. The current situation won't destroy democracy or Israel if we stay active and vigilant. Our voices for a two-state solution need to be loud and strong! The evening was recorded, and you can see it here. For more information about J Street, contact Nancy Becker at 503-422-2482.

Interfaith Advocacy Day in Salem

Yesterday Rabbi Joey and several carpools of Havurahniks drove to Salem for Interfaith Advocacy Day. Following a keynote speech by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, participants met in small groups to receive updates on key issues: housing, hunger, wage theft, health care, gun violence, and climate justice. Afterward, participants met with their legislators to advocate for action. Thank you to the Tikkun Olam Committee and Tikkun Olam Committee member Marjorie Walters for rallying Havurah members to attend this important event. 


Havurah Postcard Brigade During Shabbat School, Feb. 11 

Please join fellow Havurah members at 3:00 pm on Saturday, Feb. 11, in writing postcards to US Representatives. All you need to bring is a pen! Choose your issue, write your message of protest or support. We will provide addresses for several key members of Congress. We have around 70 blank postcards, complete with postage, that need to be filled out and mailed. Let's give wings to our voices and pray with our pens. – Heidi Grant Waxman

Havurah Diaper Drive for Refugees at Shabbat School, Feb. 11

As many of you know, Havurah members have been working with recently arrived families as part of our effort to provide direct services to Portland's refugee community. Two of the families recently had babies. Diapers are prohibitively expensive for some families. Please help contribute to our efforts to support these families with donations of diapers and baby wipes. Gift cards are also welcome. Thanks so much!

Portland Homeless Family Solutions Goose Hollow Shelter Direct Service Project News

Since July 2015 Havurah has participated in PHFS' Adopt-A-Night program at their Goose Hollow nighttime shelter. On our monthly volunteer evening 10-12 Havurah volunteers fill all of the needed volunteer positions. Some of our volunteers also give their time at Goose Hollow on other nights, as well as at PHFS' daytime shelter, called 13 Salmon. Information about these two shelters, their next orientation at each shelter, and so much more that PHFS does, can be found on their website: Gloria Halper coordinates this Tikkun Olam project:

"The Lost Boys of Portlandia" on March 1, 7:30 - 8:30 pm, Havurah
& Panel Discussion with Youth Who Have Experienced Homelessness

Join us for a screening of Outside the Frame's documentary "The Lost Boys of Portlandia" and a panel discussion with youth who have experienced homelessness. Homeless youth in Portland debate if and how to return to mainstream society while creating their own film version of the iconic story of Peter Pan.  

The nonprofit Outside the Frame was founded and is directed by Havurah High teacher Nili Yosha. The evening is sponsored by the Tikkun Olam Committee of Havurah Shalom, Oregon Film, and KBOO Community Radio. Watch the trailer here. For more information visit Outside the Frame's website or the Facebook event page.


"Seven Stitches"
New Novel by Havurah Member Ruth Feldman

Powell's Books writes this about Ruth Feldman's new novel, Seven Stitches: It’s been a year since the Big One – the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake – devastated Portland, and while Meryem Zarfati’s injuries have healed and her neighborhood is rebuilding, her mother is still missing. Refusing to give up hope, Meryem continues to search for her mother even as she learns to live without her in a changed Portland. After she receives a magical prayer shawl handed down from her maternal grandmother, a mysterious stranger appears, and Meryem is called to save a young girl living in slavery – in 16th-century Istanbul. The third companion in Ruth Tenzer Feldman’s Oregon Book Award–winning Blue Thread series, Seven Stitches (Ooligan Press) explores how we recover – and rebuild – after the worst has happened.

Ruth will read from her novel at the following locations & times:

  • Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:00 pm, Another Read Through, 3932 N Mississippi Ave
  • Monday, Feb. 20, 7:30 pm, Powell’s on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd
  • Wednesday, March 1, 7:00 pm, Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway St, Portland

Dare I Call You Cousin
West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

The “Dare I Call You Cousin” exhibition includes poems, photographs and videos compassionate to the struggle of Israelis and Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. You can see it at West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Rd, before and after services, from 9:30 to 10:30 am, and noon to 1:00 pm, on Sundays in February. "Dare I Call You Cousin" is a collaboration by three artists: Portland poet and Havurah member Frances Payne Adler, Jerusalem photographer Michal Fattal, and Tel Aviv videographer Yossi Yacov.


LGBTQ Birthright Israel Trip

Shorashim is promoting a Birthright Israel LGBTQ Israeli Pride trip again this year, from June 4-14. Sign up here!

How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick
Wednesday, March 1, 7:00 pm, MJCC

Join Portland Hadassah for an evening with the author Letty Cottin Pogrebin. A founding editor and writer for Ms. Magazine, Ms. Pogrebin is also the author of eleven books, including How To Be A Friend to a Friends Who's Sick. Pogrebin's advice about friendship and illness - infused with sensitivity, warmth, and (believe it or not) humor - is interwoven with boldly candid stories from her own journey through the land of the sick and her sometimes imperfect interactions with friends who are sick or suffering. Cost: $36, includes wine, refreshments, and snacks. Register here.

Weekend In Quest
March 3 - 5 in Astoria, Oregon

The 11th annual Weekend in Quest, a Shabbaton (study weekend), will be held March 3-5 in Astoria, Oregon. It is sponsored by The Institute for Judaic Studies of the Pacific Northwest in Portland and co-sponsored by Havurah Shalom. The scholar-in-residence is Professor Roger Porter, Emeritus Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. Professor Porter’s program is entitled “Who is the Jew?” Anti-Semitism in Shakespeare and Philip Roth. For more information, to download a brochure and to register, go to  and/or contact Havurah member Mimi Epstein at

Remembering Nehama Leibowitz (z"l): An Evening of Text & Conversation

On the 20th yahrzeit of renowned Torah commentator Nehama Leibowitz: “Remembering Nehama Leibowitz (z”l): An Evening of Text and Conversation” with guest speaker Nehama Stampfer Glogower. Nehama Stampfer Glogower was a student of Nehama Leibowitz and will introduce the Portland community to her teacher's unique methodology and approach to Torah study. The event, which is open to women and men, is on Wednesday, March 15, 7:00-9:00 PM at the MJCC.

Pacific NW Reconstructionist Shabbaton
May 5 - 7, Camp Solomon Schechter

Register online here for the Pacific NW Reconstructionist Shabbaton Weekend, May 5-7. Celebrate Shabbat at Camp Solomon Schechter with members of the five Pacific Northwest Reconstructionist congregations!

  • Be inspired by rabbis and educators, including visiting faculty from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
  • Enjoy programming for all ages
  • Share music, meals, and more!

See the attached flier for more details.

Thu, May 24 2018 10 Sivan 5778