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

Shir Tikvah and Its Space

 A Snapshot Chronology

2002: Shir Tikvah is founded.

2003: Shir Tikvah is incorporated. Torah Study and Services are held in various venues. Operations are often handled in homes of the Founders.

2005 – 11: Four separate venues are leased for Shir Tikvah operations: Torah Study/Services, office space, Nashira Project, adult education offerings.

2007-11: Doubling of initial membership to 130. Nashira Project moves from Fulton Community Center to Mittleman Jewish Community Center and again to the Emerson School.

2011: World Café/Atid – visioning of Congregational needs including space. Determination: Four separated spaces were both inadequate and inefficient.

2011-13: Nashira Project moves to Tucker Maxon school. Bayit Committee formed to address space needs. Bayit consolidates space for Rabbi and staff at Bridgeport and invests in improvements. Bayit financial analysis regarding feasibility for new/larger space. Bayit searches for new shared space that would meet the following criteria:

  • Religiously neutral (no Christian iconography)
  • Affordable
  • Improve efficiency for programming, including Nashira

Rabbi begins to discuss a Commons vision with leadership as a possible alternative to sharing space with another Christian congregation.

2014-15: Steering establishes Yibaneh (it shall be built). Membership grows to 167 families. Yibaneh continues looking for affordable, neutral space to buy/rent, while also exploring feasibility of Eastside Jewish Commons.

Early 2015: Steering holds three Congregational Dialogues regarding the two paths for feedback (solo purchase/rental vs. Commons concept) and guidance on values and concerns.

2016-17: Membership holds steady at 175 families. Current space at Bridgeport is inadequate for a congregation of this size, both for major religious observances/celebrations and day-to-day operations (office space and programming). Bridgeport is not ADA compliant, limiting access. School space remains off-site.

Detailed financial analysis shows that sole purchase of a space would be virtually impossible to afford given our size and membership makeup.

Steering contracts with Mark Sherman to conduct a formal study on feasibility of Commons idea, as well as interest among area developers and others. Interest is high.

Shir Tikvah, along with potential partners identified by Sherman and under guidance from Steering, assists with the development of the Eastside Jewish Commons Task Force.

Summer of 2017: Shir Tikvah has three members appointed to the Eastside Jewish Commons Task Force, which will incorporate as a separate 501-c-3 non-profit in 2018.

Fall of 2017: Eastside Jewish Commons Task Force holds listening sessions on the eastside to determine interest in the broader community, further develop a broad base of financial support and to better gauge the programming interests of Jews on this side of town.

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