“Leonard’s of the 1930s & ‘40s: The Great Characters & Legends of Portland’s Unofficial Jewish Community Center”

February 24. 2014 at 7PM

From 1930 to 1950, Leonard's was a downtown Portland institution, brimming with professional men and Damon Runyon-esque characters, nearly all of whom were Jewish. A café, cigar shop, and card room were its primary offerings; however, Leonard's true purpose—and the reason for its success— was the fact that it served as a club and community center for Jewish men at a time when Jews were not allowed membership in many of the prominent clubs of the city.

Leonard Kaufman, son of the club’s namesake, will share memories and accounts of his father and the community hub he created, as well as about the notable and colorful men who made Leonard's the legendary landmark it is remembered as today. Historian Harry Stein, author of a biography of one of Portland's most significant Jewish sons, U.S. Federal Judge Gus J. Solomon, will present a contextual view of the city's Jewish community during the early to mid-twentieth century.