Welcome to J Street Portland
As of April 2012, we've moved to a different home page. Please click here to go there.
Our upcoming events
J Street Portland's next meeting is 7pm next Tuesday, March 13.
We'll hear from people who have recently spent extended periods of time in Israel and the West Bank. Join us to hear these activists' firsthand perspectives as they share their experiences. Afterwards, we will have an open conversation about what they learned, their feelings, and their impressions.
It will be an informal evening of exchanged information and ideas. We hope others who have spent time in Israel will also join us for what is sure to be an engaging discussion.
Our reporters include: Frances Payne Adler, a poet and retired professor of literature and social action. Ms. Adler recently went to Israel with Rabbis for Human Rights and then stayed on for another 4 weeks. Also with us will be Rev. Wayne Smith, a retired minister and current NW coordinator for Churches for Middle East Peace. He and his wife Ruth spent 3 months in 2011 living in a small Palestinian village.
What: In-depth discussion on the current state of Israel and the West Bank
Click here to register and get the address for the gathering.
If you have not previously been to a J Street event, feel free to come at 6:30 and we will give you an orientation.
We look forward to seeing you there on Tuesday for what is sure to be a lively conversation!
Elinor Gollay and Joel Glick,
J Street Portland, Co-chairs
J Street Portland Recommended Readings
Based on the rhetoric coming out of the primary debates, one would think it means unflinching agreement with the policies of the current Netanyahu government accompanied by vicious anti-Palestinian statements.
The truth is, many members of the far-right are committed to this hardline definition of "pro-Israel" which excludes those of us who are deeply concerned about its current path and future.
Here in Portland, we know being "pro-Israel" means supporting Israel's future as a secure, democratic, Jewish homeland, living side by side by with a Palestinian state. And we need to make sure our voices are part of the conversation as the future of "pro-Israel."
J Street in local press:
Pro-peace, pro-Israel book personalizes J Street
Jewish Review, November 1, 2011
J Street Portland and the World Affairs Council of Oregon co-sponsored a Portland appearance by Mr. Ben-Ami October 23rd 2011, where he spoke on the themes of his new book A New Voice For Israel and also spoke on current events in the Middle East. The Jewish Review covered the event, read their article here.
Listen to the full audio recording of Jeremy Ben-Ami's October 23rd presentation.
Jewish Review, October 28, 2011
J Street offers D.C. something that was missing
by David Sarasohn, The Oregonian, October 26, 2011
Ben-Ami argues that it is possible for a candidate -- even a Jewish candidate -- to criticize certain Israeli policies without being, so to speak, struck by lightning. See the full article.
J Street founder to share concerns in Portland
Jewish Review, October 15, 2011
"In a conversation with the Jewish Review in advance of his appearance in Portland, Jeremy Ben-Ami ranked the Israeli-Palestinian impasse alongside threats to Israel from Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Qaeda and Iran.
"Ben-Ami, the author of the recently published “A New Voice for Israel,” in which the author examines through the lens of his family experience the relationship between American Jews and Israel and the impact of that relationship on politics, policy and the Jewish community, will speak in Portland on Oct. 23 at the First Congregational Church."
See the full article here.
J Street plans congressional visits, informal gatherings
Jewish Review, August 15, 2011
The Jewish Review previews J Street Portland’s plans to deliver signed Two-State Summer postcards to the offices of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) as part of the National Day of Action (August 23). Activists in 29 cities across the country are also expected to participate. See full article
J Street launches summer campaign
Jewish Review, July 1, 2011
"On June 17, a J Street Portland delegation participated in a video conference with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who was at his office in Washington, D.C.
"The main purpose of the meeting was to ask the senator to back President Obama’s current proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps" See full article.
Peace process reminds musician of Sondheim song ‘Send in the Clowns’
By Ed Kraus, The Jewish Review, July 1, 2011
"For decades we’ve leaned on the slogan that the Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” But the current moment in Mideast politics takes me back to the classic Stephen Sondheim song “Send In The Clowns.” ..." See full article.
200 pack federation anti-BDS forum
The Jewish Review, June 1, 2011
The May 17 panel “Combating the Anti-Israel Boycott and Divestment Movement, Perspectives from the Left, Right and Center” was brimming with both people and emotions. See the full article.
J Street Portland’s January 25 meeting topic was "What Does it Mean to be 'pro-Israel?'”.
Attendees on January 25 had a heartfelt discussion on this topic, want to talk about it again soon and to include more voices in the discussion.
J Street Portland In Action
On January 19, Rabbi Michael Lerner spoke in Portland about his new book, Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East. Many J Street Portland members were in attendance.
Rabbi Lerner is founding editor of the magazine Tikkun, and also leads Beyt Tikkun, a Jewish Renewal synagogue in the San Francisco Bay Area. In his new book Rabbi Lerner suggests that a change in consciousness is crucial. With clarity and honesty, he examines how the mutual demonization and discounting of each side's legitimate needs drive the debate, and he points to new ways of thinking that can lead to a solution.
Stories of Hope from the Holy Land: Grassroots Arab-Jewish Peace Efforts That Do Not Make the News
Saturday, November 19th, from 7 to 9 pm, First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson St. , Portland
Eliyahu McLean and Izzeldin Bukhari, of Jerusalem PeaceMakers, led “An Evening of Inspired Peace”.
The two men spoke about spiritually based peace work bridging Israelis and Palestinians, shared wisdom from the mystics of both traditions and led chants in both the Sufi Muslim and Jewish traditions. Read Polina Olsen's article about the event in the December 1, 2011, Jewish Review.
See the flyer (pdf) for speaker bios, co-sponsors, and online and offline donation options.
On Sunday, October 23rd, J Street founder and President, Jeremy Ben Ami, visited Portland to speak about his book: A New Voice for Israel. An overflow crowd attended the event, which was co-sponsored by J Street Portland and the World Affairs Council (WAC) of Oregon. Also see the Oct 15, 2011, issue of the Jewish Review, for an article previewing this event.
First Congressional Candidate Forum, Monday, Oct. 10, 7 to 9 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel, 1972 NW Flanders in Portland. Although this was not a J Street Portland Event, it was of interest, particularly to residents of Oregon's First Congressional District. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Portland.
Our community discussions focus on the most important, timely issues facing Israel and have become the heart of J Street Portland. The topic for discussion at this meeting was "What's Happening in Israel Now? Tent cities, demonstrations and inequality."
On Aug 22 and 23, more than 35 J Street Portland activists delivered over 500 signatures of Oregon constituents to Rep. Earl Blumenauer and to the offices of Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley, as part of J Street's National Two-State Summer Day of Action.
Thirty J Street Portland supporters met with Rep. Blumenauer on Aug 22. They presented him with over 500 signatures of people in Oregon who want the United States to play a strong leadership role in working for Two States Now. Most then continued to Senator Wyden's office another set of the signatures. On Tuesday Aug 23, the signatures were delivered to Senator Merkley's office and to Rep. Schrader. Thank you to everyone who signed the various postcards and petitions, who made phone calls and who showed up. We made a difference!!
J Street Portland has been busy bringing our national “Two-State Summer” focus to our community. Our goal is to increase support for President Obama’s approach to restarting serious final status negotiations based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps and robust security provisions. A vital aspect to this campaign is our local advocacy. We have had delegations of 6-8 participants meet during the last half of June with Senator Jeff Merkley (from his DC office via video), Rep. Kurt Schrader of the 5th congressional district in his local office in Oregon City, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer of the 3rd district in his Portland office. We met with Rep. David Wu on July 5th in his downtown Portland office.
Right: Pictured in the delegation that met with Senator Merkley are: Emily Polanshek, Ed Kraus, Nathan Cogan, J Street Portland co-chair Elinor Gollay, Rabbi Daniel Isaac, Hilda Welch, Gary Sampson and Francis Payne Adler.
Left: The delegation that met with Rep. Blumenauer included Jacob Rosenblum, Hannah Ferber, Diane Lund, Michael Musikant, Earl Blumenauer, Emily Polanshek, Joel Glick and Judy Fiestal.
Our meeting with Representative Kurt Schrader was led by J Street Portland co-chair Joel Glick, along with Drs. Ginny and George Feldman, Ed Kraus, Emily Polanshek and Sally Young.
"Budrus" -- The award-winning documentary about nonviolence as a powerful force for change in the Middle East. “Budrus” follows a Palestinian community organizer who unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray. Saturday, June 25th at Havurah Shalom, 825 NW 18th Ave at Kearney in Portland. Discussion followed the film showing.
J Street Portland Meeting -- plan J Street's Two-State Summer Campaign in Portland. Planning our local actions, including having the two-state summer conversation, house meetings, and an August day of action. Monday, June 13, 2011, 7pm in NE Portland
Combating BDS, Perspectives from the Left, Right and Center.
Tue, May 17, 2011 at 7:00PM. Mittleman Jewish Community Center 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219
J Street Portland Strategic Planning Session
Sunday, 5/15, 2pm at Willamette View Manor
J Street Portland Meeting
Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 7pm at the home of Elinor Gollay
19th Annual Portland Jewish Film Festival
April 3 - 17, 2011
J Street Portland, the Institute for Judaic Studies, and the Northwest Film Center presented the 19th Annual Portland Jewish Film Festival, celebrating the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and identity through the medium of cinema. Highlights of this year’s Festival included: LA RAFLE (THE ROUND UP) that examines the infamous “Vel’ d’Hiv’ ” round up told through the story of one family; THE MATCHMAKER an Israeli comedy/drama coming-of-age story set in Haifa in 1968, BREATH MADE VISIBLE a film that profiles San Francisco dance pioneer Anna Halprin, and GRACE PALEY: COLLECTED SHORTS
J Street Portland Meeting
Evening of Tuesday, March 29, 2011
J Street Portland Meeting
Evening of Wednesday, March 9, 2011
"Budrus" at the Portland International Film Festival
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 8:00pm
Sunday, February 20th, 2:15pm
J Street Portland is proud to sponsor “Budrus,” an award-winning documentary about how non-violent actions can be a powerful force for change in the Middle East, at this year’s Portland International Film Festival.
“Budrus” follows a Palestinian community organizer who unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray.
The movie is directed by award-winning filmmaker (co-writer and editor of “Control Room” and co-director of “ ”), and produced by Bacha, Palestinian journalist Rula Salameh, and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni (formerly of WITNESS, director of “Encounter Point”). Read more information about the film at www.justvision.org/budrus/about
Evening of Thursday, January 27th, 2011
We have a full agenda including the exiting news that we’ll be sponsoring a film at the Portland International Film Festival next month. Come help us plan to take full advantage of this opportunity to get the word out about working for and J Street
Carinne Luck and Gordon Gladstone
Tuesday evening, January 11th, 2011
Less than a week until the J Street activist training with Carinne Luck, vice president of J Street, who is coming all the way from Washington, DC, and regional director Gordon Gladstone in Seattle, Sunday January 9th. Please register now! http://Jstreet.org/pnwtraining There are car pooling opportunities so send us an email if you’d like take advantage of that.
Then Carinne and Gordon will be in Portland. It’s Carinne’s first trip to Portland and we very much want you to meet her!
Join us at 7 pm
Archive of Past Events