Portland’s UnShul

Portland’s UnShul was designed to engage the Jewish soul with the best that Portland has to offer. Two Shabbat mornings a month we greet the Divine in community through lyrical prayer and Torah discussion infused with insights from nature and Jewish mysticism. One Friday night a month we welcome Shabbat in people’s homes, nourishing ourselves with prayer, study and a wonderful pot luck meal. Our Holy Days and life cycle celebrations are drenched with love, relevance and beauty. Our commitment to social, economic, racial and gender justice is the foundation of all we do. Our rabbi and members attend rallies, marches, City Council hearings and more as if our lives depended on it–because they do!

Check out the UnShul Facebook page to find out where we will meet, as well monthly updates about social justice actions and more. We can’t wait to meet you!

UnShul 2018 Happenings

Shabbat Happenings:

Shabbat Morning Service 10:00 am twice a month:

  • Second Saturday Shabbat service meets on the Eastside at Central Lutheran Church (this space is 100% accesible in all ways – front entrance, gathering room, bathroom).
  • Third Saturday Shabbat service meets at the home of Rabbah D’vorah.

Lyrical, musical, joyful, meaningful, heart opening, transcendent—all words used to describe Shabbat morning davenning with Rabbah D. On Second Saturdays we lift our voices in prayer together from 10-12 and then dive deeply into meditation and mystical Torah study from 12-1. Together we will open Judaism’s deep well of wisdom through the lens of the Zohar, Sfat Emet, and other mystical commentators.

On Third Saturdays we lift our voices in prayer together from 10-12 and then explore the Torah portion from 12-12:30 using the lush foliage outside the windows. This service integrates one of the best qualities of our previous Torah hikes and elevates our intraconnectedness with nature and all of Creation. 

If you yearn for a beautiful Shabbat morning service in an intimate environment, these services are for you. Can’t wait to see you!

Friday night with the Rabbah, rotating at different homes around Portland, 7 pm, one Shabbat every month

We gather in Beloved Community to learn a little, sing a little, talk a lot and eat a beautiful meal that you help create with your pot luck contribution. Please join us!

Additional Events:

Holy Wow! Celebrating Jewish Time in Community:

Every year we hold a Seder and Chanukah party and we would love to share the High Holy Days with you too!

Pop up social action events:

Vigils, marches and gatherings several times a month supporting the Water Protectors, Immigrant and Refugee rights, Rising Up Against Hate, Rising Up in support of Women, LGBTQ peoples, Muslims, those without documentation, Black Lives Matter, Climate Change, Living Wage, Homeless awareness and more (Pioneer Square, Dawson Park, etc. determined by what is happening in the moment!)


Rabbi Debra Kolodny (Rabbah D’vorah)

Rabbi Debra Kolodny (Rabbah D’vorah) is a veteran of several social justice movements, bringing a spiritual perspective and an activist’s passion to racial and economic justice, women’s, environmental, peace and LGBTQ causes since 1981.

She currently serves as the spiritual leader of Portland’s UnShul and is a social justice consultant, helping to build advocacy coalitions, teaching “Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces” and supporting labor-management partnerships. She just launched the Portland Spirit Led Justice Alliance to support, expand and amplify the contribution of spiritual leaders and communities in justice campaigns.

From 2002 until 2011 she served as Executive Director of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, the headquarters organization of the Jewish Renewal Movement. She moved to Portland to serve P’nai Or as its rabbi, then led Nehirim-a national retreat and advocacy organization for LGBTQ Jews. In 2016-June 2017 she served as Executive Director of Resolutions Northwest.

Since 1998 Rabbah D’vorah has worked at the intersection of faith traditions, a place she considers to be a fulcrum of power and potential.  Rabbah D’vorah was the facilitator of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable from 1998-2004, helping shepherd this interfaith consortium of Welcoming and pro-LGBTQ faith traditions housed at The Task Force. For the next six years she retreated annually at Kashi Ashram, learning from Guru Ma Jaya Sati Baghavati. In 2011 she co-created and co-taught with Ibrahim Baba, z’l’’ (may his memory be a blessing) a Sufi Sheikh and the former Provost of the Starr King Seminary a week-long Jewish/Sufi workshop filled with mystical practice, prayer and text study. In 2015 she conceived and co-led Bosom of Abraham: Rocking our Sufi, Jewish and Christian souls with Sufi Guide Arifa Byron and UCC Pastor Jennifer Brownell. This Portland inter-spiritual prayer, learning and practice community  brought chant, zikr, learning and meditation together in a unique experience that transcended dialogue and cultivated expanded consciousness. She has also been a tai chi practitioner since 1996.

In addition to her spiritual practice, leadership and activism, Rabbah D’vorah has taught in hundreds of venues on the topics of Judaism and sexual orientation, gender identity, meditation, prayer, environmentalism, Eco-Kashrut, Restorative Justice, mysticism, peace, deep ecumenism, healing the wounds created by religion and more. She published Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith in 2000, as well as dozens of essays and interviews in anthologies and magazines.

Rabbah D’vorah graduated from Cornell in 1981, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1985 and from the ALEPH Jewish Renewal Seminary in 2011.