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Rachael Walkinshaw
Rachael Walkinshaw

 

Rachael Walkinshaw, a Liberal Arts major with a strong interest in art history, is completing the minor in Judaic Studies. When Rachael started taking Judaic Studies courses, in her words, “I felt something click—I finally felt like this was my path, not someone else’s.” 

In 2018, Rachael was awarded the Sara Glasgow Cogan Memorial Scholarship/Internship at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE). Among Rachael’s responsibilities at the museum, where she interned during the 2018-19 academic year, was primary curatorial responsibility -- including research and writing -- for the museum’s exhibit on the history of Congregation Neveh Shalom on the occasion of that synagogue’s sesquicentennial. Rachael also authored a digital version of the exhibit, published on the Neveh Shalom website.

Rachael expressed her deep intellectual and personal connections to her work at OJMCHE in an essay that she wrote at the close of her internship:

 

“As I reflect on the past 7 months and what the Sara Glasgow Cogan internship has meant for me, I can’t help but feel that it has been one of the most impactful experiences in my life. What the work has taught me, the connections I have made, and perhaps most significantly, what I have learned about myself, I will carry with me far into my future.

 

My supervisors and mentors at the museum have lifted me up, encouraging me to do more and push farther, to mine my own potential. When I began the internship, the only expectations I had were related to the stereotype of an intern who is incapable of taking on any real responsibility; what I experienced has been vastly different and far exceeded any hopes I had. I started out by doing simple research for an exhibit and before I knew it, I had become guest curator of the exhibit. Through this experience I discovered both the depth of my roots in the Jewish community in Portland and a depth to my own capabilities which I have never explored before.” 

In her last year at PSU, Rachael plans to take part in a capstone project that will see her teaching immigrant and refugee youth in after-school settings in Portland schools. She will also begin a new position as coordinator of Congregation Shir Tikvah’s Nashira religious school. After graduating, Rachael intends to pursue a career connected to Jewish education, museum work, or educational administration. She is also considering graduate work in Jewish studies or museum studies. 

 

Learn more about Judaic Studies: https://www.pdx.edu/judaic