The JoC Survey is Here!

We’re announcing a long awaited project today in collaboration with the JOC Collective! We’re introducing our 2023 Cultural Shift Survey!  A comprehensive survey crafted to gain valuable insights into the demographics and interests of Jews of Color (JoCs) in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)!! To take the survey and to learn more please go to:

The confidential data collected from this research is being stewarded, conducted, and analyzed by Jews of Color through a partnership between TischPDX, @jewsofcolorcollective, JOCI and Tiyuv.  You can share this survey with Jews of Color in your community and beyond and we’d be so grateful! 

We know that many people in our Jewish communities, especially Jews of Color, have been feeling disconnected or maybe experiencing fraying relationships with their Jewish communities at this time. We hope that this survey can be an offering to bridge those gaps and foster a deeper sense of belonging, return or Teshuvah.

Who is eligible to participate in this research?

  • Jews who identify as a Jew of Color, however they understand that term;
  • currently live in the Pacific Northwest United States (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or Alaska);
  • Must be age 18 or older.

Participants can fill out the 2023 Cultural Shift Survey starting in November 8 – January 5. TischPDX will publish the data in a report and host discussions of the survey findings and key trends in April 2024. 

To take the survey or to learn more please go to

Thank you so much for helping us get the word out! Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, to our Director of Programs, Metasabiya at [email protected].

Alumni Support Program Report 2023

TischPDX’s Alumni Support Program (ASP) is a pilot program launched in 2022 with the support of Seeding Justice, the Women’s Giving Circle and the Jewish Liberation Fund.

Its primary goal has been to sustain TischPDX’s mission of bolstering the leadership of marginalized Jews in Portland, OR through supporting the 20+ graduates of TischPDX’s Emerging Jewish Leadership Incubator. 

In 2022, we were able to hold quarterly gatherings and provided microgrants of $550 to each alumni who completed our cohort program. We were able to support 17 alumni led projects and events led by TischPDX’s network of Jewish organizers and community builders through these microgrants.

Annual Report 2022

2022 was another year of growth and stabilization for TischPDX. Highlights of our year included launching our Alumni Support Program and our Cultural Shift Project. This year we also commissioned our first Exploratory Impact Evaluation with alumni and hosted our annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot event. We saw our staff grow to three and we were able to focus time and resources on professional development and staff wellness. All of this was possible thanks to our donors, successful grassroots fundraising drives and to the new and returning grantors who support our work. See more by clicking on the full report below! 

View our 2022 Annual Report

Impact Study with Tobin Belzer

TischPDX was very pleased to be able to commission an exploratory impact evaluation conducted by sociologist Tobin Belzer. The purpose of this study was to explore how TischPDX alumni experienced being part of our Emerging Jewish Leadership Incubator and how their involvement in the EJLI has affected their thinking and actions since leaving the program.

The study found that “TischPDX robustly fortified participants’ Jewish trajectories and made a substantial contribution to the unfolding story of their Jewish lives.”

TischPDX alum: “After being in Tisch, I felt all in. Being part of the community helped me feel closer to the budding organization and made me want to show my face more. There are so many people creating things and I wanted to integrate that into my life. About 30% of the people from my cohort are still in my circle of Jewish friends and I am close with people from subsequent cohorts.”

Check out the study here.

Reflecting on Elul and the Days of Awe with Alumni Sara Figueroa

Sara Figueroa (she/her) guides us into the Days of Awe as she shares about her journey, learnings, and thoughts on Elul.

Sara has been with Tisch from the beginning, and has supported Portland’s Jewish community in countless ways. Inspired by Rabbi Allan Lew’s book “This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared”, she has stepped into regularly guiding fellow Jews through the month of Elul and into the Days of Awe and leading High Holiday experiences.

On Spirituality & Community

I have always been a spiritual seeker and experimenter. In my early 20s, I spent time with the Romemu community (a jewish renewal synagogue) and a meditation community founded in India. Both primed me to ask the question: what do I want for myself when in community?

One of the answers I knew when I arrived in Portland was – I wanted something different than what I grew up with (a Conservative Movement Synagogue experience – it had it’s good things!) But I still struggled to articulate what I wanted. That didn’t make me feel shy about visiting various synagogues, joining various Jewish orgs looking for community. I was looking for my peeps and I found them! 

Becoming part of the Alberta Shul and TischPDX helped me realize that I was looking for an inclusive, experimental, creative space to be Jewish and Jew-ish. I wanted to know what other people wanted and were also doing so that I could evolve too. I am so honored to have collaborated and learned from fellow Tisch cohort members. It has been magical to see them create amazing spaces, events, experiences and rituals as facilitator and teachers.

What She’s Learned On Her Journey

For formal workshops: Prep, get feedback, prep again, get feedback again and practice and then practice again!

For informal workshops: Less is more! I really felt this year (in my Elul workshops) that having more space and talking more time for activities made the whole experience so much more meaningful. I learned some deep truths about myself, and learned some profound things from participants that you can’t hear in any other context.

Her Current Interests

Food! I am beginning a journey with cooking all non-Ashkenazi holiday food so I am looking for Mexican and Puerto Rican dishes I can make at various jewish holidays that reflect my Latinx heritage.

Her Hopes & Dreams

Next year to do a backyard Tisha B’Av experience – it is so powerful working with grief as a catalyst for healing and transformation.  And I would love to think about some kind of summer retreat experience that includes this and maybe mixing in camping since everyone wants to get out of town 🙂 

Reflections on Elul

For me Elul is a time for re-prioritizing, making space and re-reading “This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared” by Rabbi Alan Lew. Relying on the same text (regardless of the book’s and writer’s limitations) provides a pivot point for turning into a new spiritual year and being renewed.

I ask of the book’s spiritual messages: what am I seeking that is missing in this book? And what is still here that I am not doing that will make a difference? 

While imperfect, the profound spiritual seeking, questioning and evaluation of Rabbi Lew and the lessons he gleaned from his life and pulpit, for me provide a starting point to delving deeper in all I do during the high holidays. He says of Elul that it is “a time to gaze upon our inner mountains, to devote serious attention to bringing our lives into focus; a time to clarify the distinction between the will of God and our own willfulness, to identify that in us which yearns for life and that which clings to death, that which seeks good and that which is fatally attracted to the perverse, to find out who we are and where we are going.” And the tool during this time is cheshbon-ha-nefesh, literally a spiritual accounting or soul/spirit accounting (nefesh is spirit/soul in Hebrew).

My wish for you is that you find a path for you as you make your way toward the high holidays, in whatever form feeds your Jewish and/or spiritual transformation.

TischPDX chosen as an SRE Network Grantee

We’re grateful to be chosen as an SRE Network 2022 Spring Open Grant recipient! In Spring 2022, SRE Network awarded a total of $300,000 in two-year, $50,000 grants to six organizations to support the areas of gender justice with an intersectional lens. We are one of those six out of 35 that applied.

Find out more about SRE Network and the other awardees.

About SRE Network

In 2006, the “Me Too” movement was founded by a survivor and activist, Tarana Burke. In 2017, #MeToo went viral, and a global movement around sexual violence emerged. It was in the context of Jewish women coming forward privately and publicly, sharing their stories of gender-based abuse, harassment, and discrimination by colleagues and leaders in Jewish workplaces and communal spaces, that SRE Network (then SafetyRespectEquity Coalition) was launched in 2018. With support from Jewish foundations across the United States, our early investments focused on documenting their testimonies, developing robust organizational policies for Jewish institutions, supporting respectful workplace trainingimproving hiring and advancement practices, and furthering gender equity in the rabbinate. Since that time, SRE Network has invested over $3.75M in efforts to advance gender equity in Jewish spaces, published groundbreaking research, and our Standards for Safe, Respectful, Equitable Workplaces, adopted by over 150 member organizations, provides a roadmap toward making lasting change.

Annual Report 2021

2021 was a year of rapid growth for our organization.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, a palpable rise in white nationalism, and climate chaos; we have thrived in our mission of supporting young and marginalized Jews in Portland, OR. We are excited to share with you in these
pages some of our successes and challenges. We are grateful for new partnerships, the continued creativity and resilience of our amitim and alumni in the face of COVID challenges and for the overwhelming support we have
received from our local community and from organizations and funders nationally.

See more by clicking on the full report below! 

View our 2021 Annual Report