Frustrated by not finding a Jewish community that fit her needs, Jo Borkan thought about leaving Portland for another city. Instead, she co- created Havdallah* Yoga with Yael Podebski. Havdallah Yoga is a monthly yoga class that is for Rosh Hodesh** and marks the end of Shabbat.
In 2011 the Jewish Federation of Portland found there were twice as many Jews living in Portland than previously thought. The increase in numbers was due to unaffiliated synagogue Jews and those living on the Eastside.
The grassroots movement of find your own Judaism and spirituality has been on the rise across the US. Organizations such as Birthright Israel NEXT Shabbat and Moishe House Without Borders have been facilitating and funding DIY Judaism for young adults. For the over 35 crowd, no funding or support currently exists.
* Havdallah is the ceremony separating Shabbat from the rest of the week,
** Rosh Hodesh is the ‘rosh’ or head/start of the new Jewish month.