Elizabeth Menashe (nee McBride) was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, to parents Ruth and Jack McBride. She had two siblings: Jerry and Margaret. When Elizabeth was two, her family moved to Spokane, Washington, where she spend her childhood. The family relocated again, this time to Bend, Oregon, when Elizabeth was entering high school.
After graduation, Elizabeth enrolled at Oregon State University (OSU), earning a degree in food and nutrition. During religious week at OSU, Rabbi Nodel from Portland’s Congregation Beth Israel spoke to her sorority about Reform Judaism, sparking her interest in Judaism.
Upon graduating from OSU, Elizabeth moved to Rochester, Minnesota for an internship at the Mayo Clinic in St. Mary’s Hospital. Following her time there, she moved to Portland, working as a therapeutic dietician at OHSU.
Soon thereafter she married Ruben Menashe; she converted to Judaism at Congregation Beth Israel before their wedding. They had one son, Jack Ruben. Elizabeth was always an active volunteer. She was on the board of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Western Region of Women of Reform Judaism, participating in activities such as “ship-a-box” (sending items to Israel) and Federation for Solicitation. Soon after she became president of the Sisterhood at Beth Israel and later became the president of the Federation - the first woman president in 75 years.
Notable committees Elizabeth was involved in include: March of Dimes (to provide Providence Child Center with wheelchairs); President of the Federation (arranged for teens to receive funds to travel to Israel); Docent at the Portland Art Museum for 27 years; formed an organization called “Voices for Children,” raising funds for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); president of the Sisterhood at Beth Israel; and a representative on the Metropolitan Youth Commission.