Ruben, Liz Menashe receive Stampfer Award March 18
By JEWISH REVIEW
article created on: 2010-02-25T00:00:00
Ruben and Elizabeth Menashe will receive the Rabbi Joshua Stampfer Community Enrichment Award March 18 at the Benson Hotel.
Created in 1999 to honor Stampfer on the 50th anniversary of his ordination, the award honors an individual, family or organization who has enriched Jewish cultural, educational and/or community life with the dedication that is exemplified by Stampfer, now rabbi emeritus of Congregation Neveh Shalom.
The invitation states: “Elizabeth and Ruben Menashe embody the spirit of the Rabbi Joshua Stampfer Community Enrichment Award because of their unique contributions to the well-being of the people and the charitable organizations of the Portland community. They are being honored for who they are, what they have done and for being role models for the entire community.”
Though active in many organizations in both the general and Jewish communities, Ruben’s crowning achievement may be his role in the development of the Rose Schnitzer Manor assisted living facility at Cedar Sinai Park and Liz is well-known as the first woman president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.
“Ruben is an amazing man,” said CSP CEO David Fuks. “Ruben was instrumental in the management and process in the development of Rose Schnitzer Manor. His leadership and social grace really helped make that effort enormously successful.”
Fuks said he considers Ruben a mentor and exemplar: “He represents to me a gentleman engaged in working on behalf of the community.”
“Liz is one of the most experienced leaders in our community and her long years of service in so many different capacities testify to her dedication to our community and to other humanitarian causes,” said JFGP Executive Vice President Charles R. Schiffman. “She is an elegant lady, a dynamic role model for men and women and has an iron will clothed in a velvet glove. We are blessed to have her in our midst.”
Schiffman also commented on the couple’s joint contributions: “Her skills and Ruben’s complement each other and the two of them combine to make an invaluable community asset.”
Ruben is a Portland native who attended Grant High School and Willamette University, serving as student body president and a football standout at both schools. In 1962, he founded Ruben J. Menashe, Inc., a successful Portland development company.
Liz was born in Canada and grew up in Spokane, Wash., and Bend. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in foods and nutrition. After completing a Dietetic Internship at St. Mary’s Hospital/Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Liz came to Portland where she worked as a therapeutic dietician at OHSU and Good Samaritan Hospital.
Ruben and Liz met on a blind date and were married 46 years ago at Congregation Beth Israel. They have one son, Jack R. Menashe II, who is married to Madeleine Krys Menashe of Potomac, Md., where the couple is raising 9-year-old daughter Ella.
Ruben has actively served on the boards of: The Metropolitan Home Builders Association (vice president three years), St. Mary’s Home for Boys, The Rask Family Memorial Scholarship Fund (12 years and chair for two years), Temple Beth Israel (executive committee and first vice-president), The Robison Jewish Health Center (executive committee and vice president), where he also chaired several building committees during major renovations.
He has called co-chairing the Rose Schnitzer Manor development project one of his favorite contributions to the community. Co-chairs Ruben, Milt Carl and Jordan Schnitzer have joked they spent almost more time together over those five years than they did with their families.
At the dedication of RSM, Ruben said: “This project was built with love and respect for the Jewish tradition of loving and caring for the elderly members of the community.”
Liz’s volunteer career spans both Jewish and civic organizations. When she became the first woman president of JFGP in its 75 year history, she had already spent years in leadership roles. Liz has been a leader in the Reform Jewish movement by serving on the National Board of Women of Reform Judaism, and as first vice-president of the organization’s Western Region. She was also director of the Pacific NWRegion of the organization. At Beth Israel, she was a board member and Sisterhood president.
For more than 18 years Liz has worked on the Providence Child Center Foundation Board, serving as board president and co-chairing the new building campaign to aid medically fragile children. She has served on the board of the March of Dimes and chaired its Mothers March for East Multnomah County. She Co-Chaired the March of Dimes White Rose Award luncheons for many years and was, herself, the recipient of the Award.
Liz serves on the board of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation and is one of the founding donors of the PJ Library project, which provides bedtime story books with Jewish content to children from 6 months to 6 years of age.
She has been a docent at the Portland Art Museum since 1974 and is now a sustainer docent. Liz is also one of the founders of “Voices for Children” which raises funds for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children ).
She received the “Song of Miriam” Award presented to Jewish women of distinction by the Jewish Women’s Roundtable.
The Stampfer award is sponsored by the six organizations the rabbi helped establish: Institute for Judaic Studies, Oregon Jewish Museum, Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, Camp Solomon Schechter, Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at PSU and Congregation Neveh Shalom.
This year’s Stampfer Award will be presented at 6 p.m., March 18 at the Benson Hotel. Dinner reservations are $65 per person. RSVP to 503-246-8831 or firstname.lastname@example.org.