Machar: A Jewish Leadership Program in Portland, Oregon


Source: Urban Jews PDX


Machar is a Jewish leadership program that builds community among Jewish young adults - those in their 20s and 30s, who are post-college and pre-kids - by serving as an incubator for young Jewish leaders and their ideas. Machar gives young adults the tools to imagine and create programming that will engage their peers in something Jewish.


Machar has three critical components. Machar participants:

  • develop Jewish literacy by taking subsidized Florence Melton Adult Mini-School classes;
  • learn leadership skills;
  • build a program, event, or project to engage their peers.


Examples of Machar projects include:

  • a presentation from an American Jewish World Service alumna;
  • establishing a Portland chapter of Mosaic, a national Jewish hiking group;
  • a Succot-on-the-Park Blocks event that combined Jewish outreach with education on homelessless in Portland;
  • symposium on Jewish identity and comic book heroes.


Machar has worked together with Urban Jews PDX to develop a shared online list that reaches 500 young adults. It utilizes that list to inform young Jews about events that may be of interest to them, throughout the Portland Jewish community. It advises Jewish community leaders of all ages on how to reach young adults, and helps them design and promote events to attract young adult Jews.  

Updated: Dec. 28, 2008