History Pub

Developed by Holy Names Heritage Center, History Pub is a collaborative program of the Heritage Center, Oregon Historical Society, and McMenamins. Programs feature a presentation by an expert from fields including history, journalism, and women's studies. Whenever possible, individuals who participated in or were affected by the events share their memories as part of the program. The voices of historical participants add a unique perspective to the discussion of these important issues.

History Pub is designed to increase public understanding of historical events that have shaped the past and their continued implications for the present and future. The series explores lesser-known historical events and the important roles minority groups have played in the Northwest and encourages participants to consider the ways social, cultural, and political forces affect individuals, communities and physical places.

The series is held at the historic McMenamins' Kennedy School in northeast Portland. Where else can you hear fascinating history while enjoying a slice of pizza and a frosty pint of handcrafted ale? History Pub appeals to a broad audience and is also family-friendly. This innovative program typically draws a crowd of 150 people each month.

“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.