A Progressive Jewish Congregation in Portland, Oregon
Shir Tikvah Office: 503-473-8227

Shir Tikvah News

Coming of Age: Shir Tikvah Celebrates Our Bat Mitzvah Year

As we prepare to mark our bat mitzvah, Congregation Shir Tikvah is excited to partner with other members of Portland’s Jewish community to offer opportunities  to learn about and properly care for sacred materials no longer in use.   Lecture by Oren Kosansky, Rabat Genizah Project May 6, 7 pm at Shir Tikvah (ADDRESS AND DIRECTIONS HERE) The Rabat Genizah Project brings together an international team of experts to develop a digital archive of Moroccan Jewish documents. Housed at the Casablanca Museum, the collection includes community records, photographs, rabbinical commentaries and a wide range of other published and unpublished materials. Dr.  Kosansky’s talk is called Hidden Treasures: The Lives and Afterlives of Sacred Texts. Genizah B’Karka: Burial of Sacred Texts May 31, 11am at River View Cemetery Main Building 0300 SW Taylors Ferry Road (DIRECTIONS HERE) Bring your unusable sacred texts to River View Cemetery. Use the Main Entrance to meet at the

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Shabbat shalom – Shabbat Akharei Mot-Kedoshim 5775: The Goal of Learning Torah

Shalom Shir Tikvah Learning Community, This week’s parashah is once again a double: Akharei Mot, “after death” and Kedoshim, “set apart”, which is what “holy” means in Jewish religious culture. Because every couple of years these two parashot occur as a double (meaning that we read at least a third of them both), it was only natural that our inquisitive and creative Sages who comment upon and interpret every aspect of Torah should comment upon this too: what do we learn from the juxtaposition of these two parshas, and their names? Are we to understand that after death we are holy? what exactly would that mean? It’s not a stretch for us to accept the idea that the memory of our beloved dead is holy to us, that is, it is set apart in our hearts in a special place, so to speak. We might even set that memory apart

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Shabbat Tazria/Metzora: Time Out (and rare footage taken on the eve of the Holocaust)

Shalom Shir Tikvah Learning Community, This week’s double parashah reflects a fundamental understanding of ancient Israelite religion – and we are not sure that we know what it is. Between parashat Tazria and parashat Metzora, we are presented for four solid chapters of VaYikra (Leviticus) with rules of what anthropologist Mary Douglas called “purity and danger” in her book of the same name. The guidance presented by Torah in these verses (12.1-15.33) separates the tamey from the tahor, two categories that are unhelpfully translated as “pure” and “impure” when in truth the situation is more complicated than that. In her examination of the religious laws which include this as well that other famous duality of Jewish law (kosher or not), Douglas insists that we regard these ideas not with the dismissive superiority of moderns but with what I like to think of as a post-modern curiosity about that which is

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Shir Tikvah’s New Home

For the past year, volunteers from the congregation have been working with the Steering Committee to develop a vision for a space that can accommodate our growing numbers and allow us to further anchor the eastside Jewish community. Along the way, we’ve updated the congregation and spoken about this future step in general terms.  Now is the time to speak in specifics.   Members are invited to attend one of three meetings this April. This is a chance to learn about the top options, provide your thoughts and find out how you can help. Two of the meetings are scheduled to coincide with Shir Tikvah’s regular gatherings — Nashira and Shabbat morning services. There will be a third evening meeting for those members who cannot make either of the other ones. Members, choose a meeting to attend, mark your calendar, and bring your thoughts.  Your Steering Committee is looking forward

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Kley Kodesh, erev Shabbat, April 17 at 6:30 pm

This week! Kley Kodesh – a kirtan-infused version of Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service – with J.D. Kleinke, Rabbi Ariel, Tim Crespi, and the voices of Congregation Shir Tikvah. Please feel free to tell your friends, re-post, Instatweet, send smoke signals . . . be ready to breathe big.

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Congressman Earl Blumenauer wants to hear the Jewish melody from us

Join Rabbi Ariel in welcoming him Thursday evening April 9 7 pm at Shir Tikvah Sing Your Own Farm Bill Congressman Blumenauer’s office has launched the “Sing Your Own Farm Bill” campaign, for diverse voices to come together to consider policies and programs that would create a more visionary, equitable and cost-effective Farm Bill for Oregon that will inform a comprehensive vision for reform to take across the nation. Our Congressman wants to meet with us. He is meeting with stakeholders across Oregon. Farmers, winemakers, local food advocates, nurseries, nutrition advocates, restaurateurs, conservationists, animal welfare supporters, researchers, pollinator advocates – we need all these voices to contribute to the song. What would an Oregon-focused Farm Bill mean for Jews? What is the Jewish teaching that informs an ethical and effective Federal food policy? Come and share your thoughts, and learn more together with Congressman Blumenauer. During our Pesakh Festival we

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Pesakh – The Festival of Freedom

Freedom starts in our hands, in our hearts, in our minds. Let us remember that freedom begins with acknowledging what is and then choosing to be free, taking actions to become free, to allow freedom and harmony into our lives. We can choose not to be enslaved. When we create a world where all are safe, then we will be safe; when all reach out to one another, all will find harmony. Countdown to erev Pesakh, at sundown April 3: 1. Where will you be? Are you hosting a Seder and inviting guests? Are you a guest at a Seder? It is a mitzvah, a holy obligation, for all the People of Israel to gather on the 14 of Nisan at twilight to tell the story through the steps of the Seder meal. If you do not have a place to be contact the Shir Tikvah office and we will

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Sign up now for our fall trip to Prague and Israel!

November 18- December 1, 2015 Travel arrangements by Da’at Travel. Rabbi Ariel Stone will lead us on our trip exploring Prague and Israel. Click here to see the new Flipbook with pictures and the full itinerary. Follow the links in the Flipbook to register and to see all the fine print.  

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Tu B’Shevat

God placed the human being in the Garden of Eden to till it and to tend it. Genesis 2.15 The Tu B’Shevat Seder marks the New Year for trees. Following the ritual created by Jewish mystics in Sefat five hundred years ago, we celebrate the physical world that sustains us in its infinite variety with songs, poetry and ritual. Four glasses of wine symbolize states of existence, seven species of produce recall Israelite harvests, and doing it all on a cold winter evening encourages us to look for hints of spring. This is the ideal holiday for environmentally aware, tree-hugging Oregonian Jews. In the mystical Seder we remind ourselves of the ancient Jewish sources that inform our modern ecological ethics. History Tu B’Shevat, the 15th day of the month of Shevat, is a holiday closely connected to the agricultural cycle of the land of Israel and is known as the

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