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Program Begins at 32:49
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Leslie Aigner (z"l)
Born in 1937 in a small town in Czechoslovakia, Eva grew up in Budapest, Hungary. A survivor of the Budapest Ghetto during WWII, Eva had the fortune after liberation by the Russians to be reunited with family members in Hungary but then learned all those remaining in Czechoslovakia had perished and her father was killed in a Hungary-based forced-labor camp. In 1956, she married Leslie (z”l), and that same year the Hungarian Revolution broke out; soon thereafter, the couple escaped over the Hungarian/Austrian border. They made their way – and their lives – in Portland, where they began speaking out against Holocaust denial. Today a JFCS client, Eva was the vice-chair of the project to build the Oregon Holocaust Memorial, dedicated in 2004.
Leslie also was born in Czechoslovakia and eventually moved to Hungary in the early 1940s, hoping to escape Nazism. Les survived the Budapest Ghetto and Auschwitz, where his mother and sister died in the gas chambers. He later was sent to sub-concentration camps in Germany, where he eventually contracted typhus and nearly died. He was liberated in 1945 from Dachau by the Americans, weighing just 75 pounds. After one month of medical treatment, he again could walk unaided. Upon his return to Hungary, he learned most of his family had been murdered in the Holocaust.
After local Holocaust deniers became vocal in the late 1980s, Les and Eva both began sharing their story with hundreds of thousands of audience members, work that Eva continues today. They have two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Les died in August 2021 at age 92.
Lisa Schroeder is executive chef and owner since 2000 of award-winning Mother’s Bistro & Bar in downtown Portland. Among its notoriety are Willamette Week’s Restaurant of the Year, Tripadvisor’s Award of Excellence and Urbanspoon’s Best 101 Breakfasts in America.
Author of “Mother’s Best” cookbook, Lisa is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and was chosen as a Top Student Chef by Food and Wine Magazine. She honed her cooking skills at New York-based Le Cirque and Lespinasse and, in France, at Moulins des Mougins and L’Auberge de L’Eridan.
The French-trained and former New Yorker is actively and philanthropically engaged in our community. Learn more about Lisa.
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (1st Congressional District) includes among her top legislative priorities strengthening public education, ensuring resources for educators and students, civil rights and reversing our climate crisis. Oregonian to the core, Rep. Bonamici began her education at Lane Community College and earned her bachelor’s and law degrees at University of Oregon.
Rabbi Gary Oren, Shaarie Torah
Ordained in 2008 from Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Rabbi Oren joined Congregation Shaarie Torah in 2021.
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