Portland Teachers’ Union Will Meet With Jewish Federation

Advocacy rankled some Jewish teachers at Portland Public Schools.

An "All Out for Palestine" march in Portland on Nov. 28. (Allison Barr)

As WW has reported, the Portland Association of Teachers recently turned its attention from a weekslong strike to the Israel-Hamas war.

On its social media platforms, the teachers’ union has advertised cease-fire marches and a “Palestine 101″ panel discussion. On Dec. 10, PAT hosted a pro-Palestine “teach-in” at its headquarters, though the union was not an official sponsor of the event.

This advocacy rankled some Jewish teachers at Portland Public Schools. “I feel betrayed,” says David Goldstein, a Spanish language teacher at Robert Gray Middle School. “It makes me feel like my union doesn’t have my back.”

When PAT leaders did not respond to Goldstein’s concerns, he reached out to the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. PAT president Angela Bonilla originally told JFGP she would be open to meeting with the federation after the strike but then didn’t respond to follow-up emails and voice messages.

After WW reported the controversy Dec. 14, the union rediscovered JFGP’s phone number.

Federation president and CEO Marc N. Blattner announced Tuesday that his group would meet with PAT leaders later this week “to help them better understand our concerns as they continue to promote pro-Palestinian events to their members.”

Bonilla tells WW, “We will continue to engage with members respectfully and meaningfully on the challenging issues of our time, including this issue.”

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.