Milt Carl (1925-2017)

Milt Carl was born in Portland in 1925, the third of four surviving children of Russian immigrants. The children were: Sid, Bess, Milt and Eva (Walleston). They lived in South Portland at Third and College until the early 1930s, when they moved to Park and Jackson. His father owned a men’s clothing store. Milt worked as a newsboy from the time he was eight, and he was active in many Jewish clubs and youth societies, including: the Cardinals, the AZA, and later Sigma Alpha Mu. Milt left the University of Oregon after one semester and served in the Navy from 1943-1946. After that he married his wife Cissy.

Milt’s family attended Congregation Shaarie Torah and were active when the synagogue moved from South Portland to Park and Jackson in 1960.  Milt helped to raise money and was on the committee to hire Rabbi Geller. Milt was president in 1966, the year after the synagogue relocated to NW 25th and Lovejoy. He created a “Mortgage Redemption Club” that helped Shaarie Torah finance its two moves. He served as president again from 1976 to ‘78.

Milt became involved with the Jewish Community Center when Harry Policar, his favorite childhood gym instructor, was appointed athletic director there. He told his father that he wanted to go wherever “Polly” went, and so his family began paying dues at the Community Center instead of at the Neighborhood House where Polly had worked previously. He became a member of the Ramblers and was a lifelong supporter of the Jewish Community Center, serving as president of the board from 1969 to 1971. He oversaw the Center’s move from downtown to SW Capital Highway. He also facilitated the merger of the Portland Hebrew School with the Hillel Academy to create Portland Jewish Academy.

Milt was very active supporting the B’nai B’rith Summer Camp. He spent many years attending the annual Men’s Camp, a fund-raising week to support the children’s summer programs, and he served as president of the association for 35 years. His Men’s Camp experience led to his involvement with the Cedar Sinai Park. One year at Camp, Gene Nudelman asked him for help raising money for an infirmary. Over time, he became very active in raising money for the Jewish Home.