I signed!

Cahana petition signedOn July 26, Congregation Beth Israel served as one of the first sites to collect signatures for the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative. Rabbi Cahana was among the first Oregonians to sign and over 100 signatures were gathered Friday night. This is an amazing step toward extending the freedom to marry to all loving, committed couples in Oregon.

Sign the petition here.




A Historic Day!

Portland’s Oldest Synagogue Praises Supreme Court Ruling

Congregation Beth Israel proudly commends the Supreme Court ruling today overturning the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. According to Senior Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana:

Today is an historic Day! The Supreme Court stood up for the values of equality and freedom in our nation – and in support of true family values. Values echoed in our Jewish tradition.

As the Torah teaches: Lo tov heyut haAdam levado – it is not good for a person to be alone. (Gen. 2:18) Marriage is an institution which strengthens families and supports children and it is good and right for its benefits to be applied without discrimination. This is a proud and happy day. And our work is not over. Now it is time for us to unite and work for marriage equality here in Oregon.

For over a decade, Congregation Beth Israel has stood in support of Marriage Equality; first under the leadership of Rabbi Emmanuel Rose and continuing under Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana and Rabbi Rachel L. Joseph.

CBI was among the founding members of the Community of Welcoming Congregations and has been active in bringing equal rights to gay, lesbian and transgender people in our community. We join with our national organizations, the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and others representing over 900 congregations across North America, including 1.5 million Reform Jews and over 1,800 Reform rabbis in applauding this victory.

Listen to Rabbi Cahana's statement on the ruling below:


Read the Oregonian article about the ruling, which features part of Rabbi Cahana's statement.

Coming Out as a Person of Faith


"By allowing same-sex couples to marry, we honor the sacred institution of marriage.
We promote healthy families. And we respect the Divine dignity of two human beings
who choose to dedicate their lives to each other."

- Rabbi Michael Cahana

Rabbi Cahana recently participated in the "Coming Out as a Person of Faith" exhibit, a multi-media exhibit revealing the experiences, stories, and perspectives of clergy, parents of gay children, and LGBT couples of faith who support the freedom to marry. The exhibit's intention is to share with Oregonians how persons from a wide spectrum of Jewish and Christian faith traditions support the freedom to marry and how their faith informs their support of this issue. This exhibit, a project of the Basic Rights Education Fund, is currently traveling throughout the state of Oregon.

Learn more about the exhibit.