Purim arrives at just the right time of year, when cherry trees are starting to blossom, giving us a glimpse of spring.
It's the most joyous of all Jewish holidays, a time when festive celebrations bring loved ones together, and when having fun is not only permitted -- it's an obligation!
Making New Memories
More than 5 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer's disease, a number that is expected to triple by 2050. Every 66 seconds, someone is newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. It is the only disease among the nation's top 10 causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed in a meaningful way.
Alzheimer's can lead to dementia, a broad term that describes a group of symptoms -- such as loss of memory, judgment, language, and complex motor skills -- caused by permanent damage to the brain's nerve cells.
The challenges of living with dementia and other cognitive disorders can sever social connections at a time when they are needed most. Dr. Bère Miesen, a Dutch psychologist, understood this need for social connection when he opened the first "memory café" in the Netherlands in 1997. The idea is gaining traction in the U.S., where close to 200 cafés have opened in cities and towns nationwide.
These events bring together people living with symptoms of dementia -- as well as their caregivers and other community members -- in a safe, supportive environment where they can socialize and feel a sense of acceptance and normalcy.
The meetings are particularly beneficial to caregivers, who
can socialize, share coping tips, and get some much-needed relief. The gatherings also help build awareness and reduce stigma.
There are several memory cafés currently active in metropolitan Portland; for a list, visit
For more information, contact Sarah Hollingworth, LMHP, PEARLS Program Manager, at 503-336-7079, ext. 131, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocacy: Strength in Numbers
On February 7, nearly 500 people from diverse religious traditions gathered in Salem for this year's Interfaith Advocacy Day. Activities included issue briefings, meetings with legislators, and a keynote address by Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon's Attorney General.
JFCS is pleased to have Attorney General Rosenblum as the guest speaker at our annual Celebrating Our Caring Community Luncheon on May 2
event was organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland's Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in conjunction with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and other faith-based organizations.
Workshop topics included health care for seniors (led by David Fuks, former CEO at Cedar Sinai Park), affordable housing, and child hunger.
Oregon faces a massive $1.8 billion budget deficit that, if left unresolved, could lead to drastic cuts to education, health care, and other critical services that benefit Oregonians of all ages.
In the afternoon, participants met with dozens of legislators, emphasizing that balancing the
must not come at the expense of Oregon's most vulnerable residents.
In addition to the Federation, the many sponsors included the Islamic Society of Greater Portland, the Oregon Center for Christian Voices, First AME Zion Church, and the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland.
For more information, contact Marty Michaels, Grants Manager, at 503-226-7079, ext. 117, or at email@example.com.
JFCS To Help Survivors Heal
Portland's Jewish Holocaust survivors will soon receive innovative
new services designed to reduce trauma and isolation, thanks to a g
rant made to JFCS by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).
When combined with matching funds f
rom the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, the award will enable nearly $40,000 in new programs for local survivors.
JFCS is one of only 11 organizations to receive second-round funding through JFNA's Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care. JFNA established the center in late 2015, following an award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that allows up to $12 million over five years for state-of-the-art trauma-informed services for Holocaust survivors in the United States.
Person-centered, trauma-informed care promotes the dignity, resilience, and empowerment of trauma victims by incorporating knowledge about the role of trauma into programs, policies, and procedures.
These grants mark the first time that the U.S.
has provided direct funds for Holocaust survivor services. Of the more than 100,000 survivors who live in the United States, nearly one-quarter are age 85 or older, and one in four lives in poverty. Many live alone and are at risk for social isolation, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other debilitating conditions that stem from their past.
JFCS will use the grant to add holistic group counseling and wellness services for local survivors, many of whom live below 150% of the federal poverty line. Most of the 115 individuals that JFCS works with
Russian-speaking refugees from the former Soviet Union who immigrated during the 1980's and 1990's as part of a JFCS resettlement program.
"Triggers are everywhere, especially as survivors experience the losses associated with aging," said Carrie Hoops, executive director at JFCS. "These new services will help foster a sense of healing."
For more information, contact Marty Michaels,Grants Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (503) 226-7079, ext. 117.
Please Save The Date for the Fifth Annual Celebrating our Caring Community Fundraising Luncheon!
We are thrilled to welcome Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as our guest speaker.
Ms. Rosenblum was elected to a four-year term as Oregon's 17th Attorney General in November 2012.
She is the state's first woman and first Jewish Attorney General, and the Jewish values she has learned throughout her life dovetail with her priorities.
As Attorney General, her emphasis includes advocating for Oregon's most vulnerable residents, particularly fa
milies and children, seniors, Oregonians whose first language is not English, and students who have incurred significant education-related debt.
Proceeds from this yearly event support Jewish Family & Child Service.
For nearly 70 years, we have provided social services in the Portland area, helping people of all faiths and backgrounds realize their full potential.
Our outstanding team helps ensure that isolated seniors, people with disabilities, and others who are facing adversity are treated with dignity and compassion. We work to heal the community -- one person, one family at a time.
Please save the date, and join us at the Multnomah Athletic Club on Tuesday, May 2
2017, for a delicious lunch and meaningful program. Registration will be open soon and sponsorship opportunities are available!