It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our beloved Board member, Gersham Goldstein. Gersham had been a member of the NJCHS Board for almost thirty years, serving for many, many years as the Treasurer of the Society, then as the Chair of the Board in 2004. Even after his term as Chair concluded, Gersham continued to the end to be closely involved with directing the Society, serving as chair of the Finance Committee and on the Executive Committee. We will greatly miss his intellect, his deep commitment to the Society, his generosity of spirit, and his wit and humor.
Gersham was a prominent Portland tax lawyer and renowned tax law expert. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the City College of New York, and then a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Gersham then worked as a research assistant for Gerald L. Wallace at NYU, whom he credited as having been a significant influence in his career.
Gersham came to Oregon in 1963 to work for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Alfred T. Goodwin (later appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and also an NJCHS Board member). Over his early career he worked for Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield and New York Congressman Jacob Javits. Gersham also taught at NYU and at the University of Cincinnati. Gersham and his wife, Pauline, returned to Portland in 1975, where Gersham took a position at the Davies Biggs law firm, which later became a part of the Stoel Rives firm, from which he retired as a partner.
Gersham was a generous philanthropist, dedicating his prodigious talents and resources to a variety of causes. He demonstrated his love of the law and history through his decade’s long Board roles on both the NJCHS and the Pioneer Courthouse Historical Society. He was also deeply connected to the Jewish community in Portland. He served as president of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland from 2009 to 2011. He also served on the boards of the Robison Jewish Home, Congregation Neveh Shalom and Greater Portland Hillel.
He is survived by his wife, Pauline, and daughter, Deborah, and her husband Magid, daughter-in-law Jennifer, and his four grandchildren, Noah, Krystal, Logan and Jakob. He was preceded in death by his son Marcus in 2015.
We will greatly miss our talented raconteur, trusted advisor, mentor, and dear friend.
The following special memorial donations were made to honor Gersham’s legacy and his decades long commitment to the Society and especially his many years of service as its Treasurer and stewardship of the financial health of the Society.
Founder Level ($3,000 and Above)
Patron Level ($1,000 and Above)
Grantor Level ($250 and Above)
Robert D. Lowry
To make a special memorial donation in honor of Gersham Goldstein select below