Eliana "Elli" "Jackson (Jax)" Finberg

April 1, 1996February 4, 2021

Eliana Malka Finberg, who also went by the names Elli Rose and Jackson (Jax) Rose, died Feb. 4, 2021, in Portland, Ore. They were 24.

Eliana was born April 1, 1996, in Portland, Maine. From a young age, they pursued passions with determination and an artistic flare. Though they excelled in academics, they especially loved the arts, playing piano, violin and flute in school all while being active in theater. In addition to being a voracious reader, they found comfort and enjoyment in photography, painting, writing, and experimenting in a variety of artistic endeavors.

They attended Camp Ramah in Palmer, Mass., for many summers and thought of it as a home away from home, a respite of sorts from life in Portland and a place where lifelong friendships were made. A 2014 graduate of Portland High School, Eliana served as the co-editor in chief of the school’s newspaper as well as co-president of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). They spent a year at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., exploring gender and sexuality studies as well as TV and film production. They later obtained a pastry certification from The French Pastry School in Chicago, and then moved to Portland, Ore., where they created beautiful pastries and cakes at several local bakeries, including Lauretta Jean’s Pie, Farina Bakery and most recently Little T American. They enjoyed selling their art locally and online and worked at Collage PDX until the start of the pandemic. They also worked briefly at Boys and Girls Aid as a Youth Care Counselor where they previously volunteered. In the fall of 2020, while working full-time, Elli returned to school, enrolling in Portland Community College to study library science.

Elli, who recently chose to be called Jackson, cared deeply for other people — those often at the margins of society and especially the LGBTQ+ community. They also deeply valued friendships and often expressed how fortunate they were to have close friends in both Portlands who provided immeasurable emotional support. They credited friendships with providing the sustenance to keep trying to navigate the challenges brought on by mental illness. Our family is forever grateful to all who supported and loved this beautiful young spirit. We encourage others who are struggling to please reach out for help ( To prevent suicide, we need to be able to talk about it openly – without fear or shame.

Elli is predeceased by a younger brother, Ezra, and paternal grandfather, Norman Buddy Finberg. They are survived by mother and stepfather Amy Rolnick and John Williamson, father Rick Finberg, brother Noah Finberg, step siblings Tim Williamson, Jennifer Braziel and Laura Williamson, paternal grandmother Nancy Finberg, maternal grandparents Michael and Louise Rolnick, and aunts, uncles, cousins who all loved them dearly. They also left behind their beloved cat, Peaches.

Due to COVID-19, the funeral service will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Avenues for Youth Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center in Portland Ore. (, NAMI Maine ( or the charity of your choice.

Please visit to view Elli’s online memorial and offer condolences.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Eliana "Elli" "Jackson (Jax)" Finberg

have a memory or condolence to add?

Becky Schnur

February 14, 2021

Oh, Amy, I just heard this sad news. I am so sorry. Thinking of you and your family. May Jax’s memory be a blessing and a source of comfort to you all.

Crystal Ayala

February 13, 2021

Dear Jackson, you will be truly missed. I am so sorry for the pain you lived in and wish this world was just an ounce as kind as you were to it.

I worked with Jax, and he was such a bright and caring soul. He gave so much to the community in Portland. Jackson was talented, so very thoughtful, artistic, giving, real goofy, and unfortunately hurting. I am so proud of him for expressing who he was inside, and heartbroken for him and everyone who loved him.

Rest In Peace Jax

Colleen Donovan

February 13, 2021

Dear Amy,
I am so sorry for your deep loss. Eliana was a beautiful person - they will be missed on this Earth.
Colleen, Chris, and Clare

Debbie Remar Petrovsky

February 13, 2021

Rick, Amy, Nancy, Noah, Stephen, Jill, and Family

I was saddened to hear of your recent family trajedy. I am so sorry that your beloved Eliana was taken from you. May you find comfort in the treasures you shared.

I wish you did not have to go through this profound hardship.


Carolyn Radding

February 12, 2021

My heart breaks for your entire family. My deepest condolences to everyone.

Philip Thibault

February 12, 2021

Losing any Portland High Student is a tragedy--Losing this student is heartbreaking....My deepest condolences to their family and especially to their strong cadre of friends--the Portland High family is like none other. --Monsieur/Magister T.

Jessica Lantos

February 11, 2021

We send our deepest condolences to your family, and we keep you in our hearts.

Tom and Jessica Lantos

Vickie Lamontagne

February 10, 2021

Years ago I took my daughter to see High School Musical at Lyman Moore. I remember Eliana as the little girl standing next to a very tall O'Kelley and then they danced. So much fun to watch her. I still smile when I think of this. Keeping Eliana's family in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Monique Gaudet

February 10, 2021

I am so, so, so sorry to hear this heartbreaking news. I met Eliana only a few times, but they made a deep impression on me. They were such a lovely, kind, funny, intelligent, and thoughtful person – and impossibly beautiful. My heart breaks for you and your family. My deepest condolences.

Marshall & Amy Tinkle

February 10, 2021

Amy, Rick, Nancy, Mike & Louise and the whole family: please accept our deepest condolences. You are all thought of with great love and compassion at this time. We pray you find solace and eventually peace with the support and help of everyone around you. Those of us at Etz Chaim synagogue (and, we assume, the entire Jewish community) stand ready to welcome you to our virtual minyans, should that provide a measure of comfort.