2020 Annual Report

Check out the Annual Report here.

On behalf of the staff and board at TischPDX, we hope that you and your families are safe and healthy in these times. We are delighted to share with you the Annual Report of TischPDX: Unaffiliated Jewish Leadership Incubator, documenting the successes and challenges of this past year.

5780 has been a remarkable, brutal, enlightening and invigorating year. We are proud to say that TischPDX has been able to adapt gracefully to each new situation.

At the heart of our program are our fellows, or, in Hebrew, our “amitim.” In September, 2019, the beginning of the Jewish year 5780, TischPDX welcomed a new cohort: six young, enthusiastic Jews who live and work with other young Jews on Portland’s east side. Each one has brought their passions, insights and knowledge to bear in our time together. One of our new cohort members is teaching the Alef-Bet to her/their peers through a weekly session that includes snacks, Kabbalistic stories, midrash and art. Another is leading a monthly Shabbat book club with a racial justice focus. During the high holidays we held a weekend long retreat on Reed’s campus for our first and second cohorts to meet one another and learn together. Another innovation from our first year was the decision to extend the length of the program from 10 months to 16 months. This meant that our 1st and 2nd year cohort members overlapped from September through December.

This allowed for greater networking possibilities,robust conversations and for the 1st cohort to takemore leadership with their peers in the 2nd cohort.

In December, we graduated our first group of amitim. In their exit interviews, our amitim told us that after their 16 months in TischPDX they: 1) felt more comfortable in traditional or mainstreamJewish environments, 2) have learned more aboutJewish life in Portland and 3) feel more connected to the Jewish yearly cycle and Jewish holidays. Wewere delighted with this feedback and are now working on building an alumni engagement program to keep these first cohort members engaged with TischPDX.

In the past year, we have been working to raise the profile of TischPDX on the national stage. In March, we received word that TischPDX had been accepted into a highly competitive national “EntrepreneurSprints Program,” hosted by the national Jewish creativity incubator Upstart, which is providing coaching, networking and financial support to TischPDX through November 2020. We are delighted to have received this honor and are looking forward to their support in our next stage of growth. With their support, we are actively working on messaging, staffing, board development and looking at ways we can replicate the TischPDX model nationally. Thank you in advance for your interest in TischPDX and for reading this report.