FAQs

Over the past few months, we’ve received several questions from community members about this initiative. Below are answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions.

How many Jews are on the Eastside, and where do they live?
Based on the 2011 demographic and opportunity study sponsored by Jewish Federation, approximately 23% of Portland’s Jews live on the Eastside. In addition to these approximately 10,800 Portland Jews, there are 2,800 people who are not identified as Jewish living in households with Jewish members.

2011FederationStudy

More than 200 households were represented in three conversations held during October – November, 2017. The map below indicates relative distribution of participating households. We will continue to refine the map based on addresses of households signing on to receive updates and invitations to future events. Please make sure you are signed up and share with others who may be interested.

EastsideAddressesMap_website


Where is the space?

We will be actively looking for space this year. Our goal is to be within 18-20 minutes’ drive of most Jewish households on the Eastside. If you want to make sure your address is counted in our survey, please sign up here. We will also send you the latest updates on the status of our location search.

What is the timeframe?
It is very hard to know, but we are thinking the whole project can be achieved within two to three years. In the meantime, we see an opportunity to build a Pre-Facility Eastside Jewish Commons experience through this website, social media, and occasional programs. Sign up here to receive future EJC program announcements and Jewish Eastside community building opportunities.

How much will it cost, and who is paying for it?
We are doing our due diligence on the overall business plan for EJC, based on its size, quality, location and operating model. Currently, we envision a space that will be affordable for community partners to use, and which will NOT require membership for public access.

Funding for EJC development has come primarily from early investors who have contributed anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to support planning efforts. Members of the EJC Board of Directors and partner organizations have committed a minimum of $1,800.

If you are interested in supporting EJC as an early investor, please contact Mark Sherman at mark@mshermanconsulting.com.

Are contributions tax deductible?
Yes. A special thanks goes to Congregation Shir Tikvah for acting as a fiscal agent until we become established as an official 501c3. A capital/investment campaign will be kicked off in the coming months.

Which programs will be offered at the EJC?
We’re actively exploring possibilities that respond to the program ideas shared at the Eastside Jewish Community Conversations. Click here for a link to notes from those conversations. Sign up here to receive more information about program priorities so we can hear your opinion.

Who is leading this?
EJC is currently being run by a Board of Directors of community volunteers. Click here for the most up-to-date list.

Which organizations have been involved so far?
Click here for the latest list of EJC partners. If you are a representative of an organization that you think should be involved, please sign up and send us your suggestion.

Will I need a membership?
The EJC will be for everybody who is interested in Jewish Community life. You will not need a membership to participate.

Has this ever been tried before?
EJC is aware of and researching other collaborative Jewish spaces. These include 6th & I and Sketchpad. If you are aware of models we should be thinking about, sign up here and send us a message.

Which synagogues are involved?
We have developed partnerships with multiple synagogue organizations including Westside based synagogues with active Eastside membership. Congregation Shir Tivah, which is based on the East side, has played an important role in advancing the Commons concept and has helped to spearhead a collaborative process involving other rabbis and synagogues. Many congregations plan to hold regular services at EJC which will provide multiple options for our Eastside community. If you want to know more about your synagogue’s participation, sign up here and send us a message.

How can I get involved?
EJC is counting on the help of the community to spread the word and foster support for this effort. You can help by sharing this information with others:

  1. Please share a link to this website with others who might be interested in building Jewish life on Portland’s Eastside.
  2. Follow EJC on Facebook and share our posts with others.
  3. Send us an email at pdxejc@gmail.com and ask to be added to our upcoming Enewsletter.

If you are interested in supporting EJC as an early investor, please contact Mark Sherman at mark@mshermanconsulting.com.