Education at OJM

The Oregon Jewish Museum invites you and your students to experience the rich and diverse history, art and culture of the Jews of Oregon and the Jewish experience nationally. We offer a wealth of on-site and off-site museum resources to create dynamic educational programming. 

On-site, our school group and adult tours include a tour of the museum's curated and traveling exhibitions and lessons about immigration experiences. Our tours place the Oregon Jewish story within the larger context of American and international Jewry. 

The museum’s Traveling Education Trunk brings Oregon Jewish history into 3rd-5th grade classrooms. The Trunk combines 3-D objects with written materials and activities to tell the stories of Oregon's first pioneering Jewish citizens. Learning activities that accompany the Trunk meet Oregon State Benchmarks in several areas including social studies, history, and geography. 

Students on Group Tours will:
Learn about celebrated Portland icons such as: 

Participate in a hands-on tour of current exhibits
Sit in the historic auditorium to watch and discuss a film about Oregon Jewish history

We Serve Students of All Ages
Museum staff and education volunteers work with teachers to provide additional age-appropriate content. These materials integrate multicultural viewpoints and histories while meeting state content standards, providing a springboard for broader dialogues about identity, belonging, and assimilation.  All educational programs promote an experiential approach to learning that take into account different learning styles, student backgrounds, and abilities.

Ask about our full admission scholarship program for public school groups.

For more information call the museum or email Sandra Oberdorfer, Program Coordinator at

K-12 Grades

K-2 Elementary 
Children of this grade level learn about Jewish cultural symbols and holiday traditions. We offer a collection of traditional Judaica that students are invited to handle and explore.

3-5 Elementary
Our elementary programs help students understand Oregon's diverse heritage through an exploration of its historic Jewish community. In the museum, students can handle and explore archival objects and historical photographs. Or, with the Traveling Trunk, students can learn about the Oregon Jewish immigration experience without leaving their classrooms.

Middle School
Middle school students explore what it means to “exhibit culture” in a museum setting.  Special art classes encourage students to create artwork that engages with Jewish themes and Jewish cultural practices.

High School
High school students use the museum’s exhibits and collections as a means of understanding anti-Semitism and discrimination in a state and local context. This program is particularly adapted to students studying Holocaust history.  

College students visiting OJM receive hands-on “behind the scenes” insight into the Pacific Northwest's largest collection of Jewish art, artifacts, and documents. Archive, Education, and Gallery internships are available for college credit.  

Adult Continuing Education 
OJM hosts lectures, panel discussions, films, workshops, and other events related to current museum exhibitions and other subjects.  We welcome group visits from senior and adult visitors.