V’asu li mikdash v’shakhanti b’tokham, ‘Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.’ (Exodus 25.8)
As in the Torah’s description of the building of the mishkan in the wilderness, the community is as strong as the gift of each individual self – in commitment and in participation – who belongs to it. A holy Jewish community is not simply made up of people who come to the same place to pray, but of people who recognize that the reality of community evokes a certain intimacy, a certain interdependency, if they would live the meaning of that prayer. A holy, that is, an authentic Jewish community evokes a sense of God’s presence through the quality of each member’s caring for the welfare of the others who join with them in their spiritual journey: ‘God’s holy presence is made real through tzedakah, justice.’ (Isaiah 5.16) Justice is a quality which can only be expressed in community.
No authentic Jewish search for self takes place in isolation, or in rejection of others, or outside of the community of meaning. ‘Reflection alone will not procure self-understanding. The human situation is disclosed in the thick of living. In living, man relates himself actively to the world. Deeds are the language of living, articulating the uniqueness of human being, the insights of being human. The decisive form of human being is human living.’ –from Abraham Heschel, Who Is Man? (Stanford University Press, 1965)
As someone said, living is with other people. At every moment we are balancing our existence between the sense of ourselves as individuals, with our individual responsibilities and perspectives which cannot be reduced to any generalization, and the real need we have for each other, physically, psychologically, and spiritually, if we would create ourselves as a kehillah kedoshah, a holy community.
Hazon works to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. We affect change in three ways: through the direct human impact of our programs; by supporting the American Jewish environmental movement and the Israeli environmental movement; through thought-leadership (writing, speaking, teaching, campaigning).
For more information, click here: Hazon (link)
Jewish Family & Child Service (JFCS)
Jewish Family & Child Service is a private non-profit social service organization dedicated to assisting individuals and families within a context of Jewish values. JFCS offers a wide range of human services including individual, couple, family, and group counseling, services for seniors and people with disabilities, emergency assistance and referrals during time of crisis, services for immigrants and refugees and other specialized assistance for Holocaust survivors. All our services are offered without regard to age, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
For more information, click here: JFCS (link)
Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland is the voice of our local Jewish community. The Federation is the central planning, coordinating, and fundraising body for a wide range of local and international agencies that offer the entire community a broad spectrum of humanitarian programs.
For more information, click here: Federation (link)
Since its founding in 1914, Portland’s Jewish community center has provided a wide variety of social, cultural, educational and recreational programming. We are immensely proud to offer Jewish cultural arts and social programs; premier fitness, spa and wellness facilities open to all; beautifully-appointed public areas and rental spaces; day camp; programs that serve the elderly, infirm and disabled; and Oregon’s only kosher café.
For more information, click here: JCC (link)