The Tonkon Timeline


Moe Tonkon Becomes First Jewish Member of Three Prominent Portland Social Clubs


Founding partner Moe Tonkon, called “the Jackie Robinson of the Portland anti-Semitic social-club scene” by Willamette Week, was the first Jewish member of three separate social clubs: Arlington Club (in 1969), the University Club (in 1969), and The Waverly Club (in 1972). Fellow Tonkon Torp founding partner Morris Galen recalled, “He was the [first Jewish] person that [they] asked to join. And when he was asked to join the Arlington Club they said, ‘We want you to be on the Membership Committee from the start because we want Jews and Gentiles hereafter to be treated the same and we want you to be comfortable that they are.’ This was the status that this man had. I don’t know of any Jewish person who has applied and not been accepted since because he was Jewish.”