News Archive

The Elaine K. and Norman Winik Mezuzah Collection
A Reflection of the Breadth and Depth of Jewish Art and History

Posted on June 18, 2018

Gathered from all corners of the Jewish world, from Yemen to India and from Israel to Eastern Europe, the Elaine K. and Norman Winik Mezuzah Collection is a dazzling display of artistry that highlights the many ways the Jewish people have observed the simple command to “inscribe these words on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” They’re modern and traditional, made of filigreed silver, carved olive wood, ceramic, ivory, hand-blown glass, fabric, brass, clay. They’re embellished with a striking array of images drawn from Jewish iconography -- lions, crowns, arks, Torahs, Trees of Life, Magen Davids -- and resplendent with the richness of the world of nature figured in the form leaves, flowers, fruit, and birds.

The extensive collection, now premiering at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE), contains 169 mezuzahs from the 19th and 20th centuries (120 currently on display) hunted down by the Winiks on travels all over the globe, including 90 visits to Israel. Elaine, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 94, had a passionate commitment to the Jewish people and distinguished herself as the first female president of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. Norman, who passed away at the age of 87 in 2009, was a graduate of Yale and served as a captain in the Marine Corps during WWII. Together they amassed a trove of distinctive mezuzahs that represent the breadth and depth of Jewish art and history. “Wherever we traveled,” Elaine wrote, “we tried to find a mezuzah made by a Jew from each country.” Click to continue »

OJMCHE's archives are a treasure trove

Posted on April 26, 2018

You have probably visited OJMCHE's exhibitions but did you realize that the museum also houses the largest repository of documents, photos, films, recordings, and artifacts chronicling the history of Jewish life in Oregon since the 1840s? These are all carefully curated in the museum’s collections, which contain a wealth of information regularly accessed by professional researchers, students and those just wishing to find out more about their families’ pasts. This month Oregon Jewish Life has a feature on the museum's Archives and Artifact Collection. You can read the article by Debra Shein here. Click to continue »

2018 Sala Kryszek Art & Writing Competition

Posted on April 23, 2018

OJMCHE is proud to announce that judging has ended for this year’s Sala Kryszek Art & Writing Competition. Last week, judging teams were busy with nearly 100 writing entries and 45 art entries. The quality of the entries made the deliberations difficult and judges in all categories expressed their appreciation for students’ thoughtful submissions.  Click to continue »

In Memoriam Miriam Greenstein October 21, 1929 – April 2, 2018

Posted on April 2, 2018

OJMCHE board member and Holocaust survivor Miriam Greenstein died peacefully on April 2 surrounded by her loving family. There was a private burial at Shaarie Torah Cemetery and a memorial service is scheduled for Monday, April 9, 2pm at Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. Click to continue »

Song of Miriam Award

Posted on March 28, 2018

Congratulations to Jill Slansky who will receive the Song of Miriam Award from OJMCHE this year in honor of her years of outstanding volunteer service. The annual awards brunch celebrates and honors women volunteers in the Jewish community. Jill has been a longtime OJMCHE board member and also served on the board of the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center. Click to continue »

The Road to Unfreedom Book Review by Deborah Herzberg

Posted on March 28, 2018

Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century is one of the best-selling books that we carry in the Museum Shop. Mr. Snyder is a highly-respected historian of the Holocaust whose latest book The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America is subtitled “How Russia’s campaign to undermine democracies threatens the European Union and the United States.” On Tyranny’s highly readable message is that we can use awareness of the ‘politics of everyday’ to be aware of the small ways citizens might succumb to or fend off the slow slide towards tyranny. The Road to Unfreedom is an in depth analysis of ways that Russia is working towards the destabilization of Western democracies. It details how Russian efforts first influenced the British Brexit vote towards leaving the European Union. Snyder proceeds to detail the ways they then influenced the nomination and election of Donald Trump who was susceptible to this influence because he was deeply in debt to Russia through the shell corporations which had bailed him out of bankruptcy. Russia did this by using social media to ‘exploit American gullibility.” Click to continue »