The day after Yom Kippur, while Jewish Denver was still in a post-repentance stupor, DAT Minyan spiritual leader Rabbi Asher Klein arrived at the IJN in exceptional, buoyant form.
Twenty-four hours ago he fasted, prayed and beseeched G-d’s forgiveness with his congregation in a crowded multipurpose room at DAT. This morning he smiles the giddy smile of a new father (for the fourth time).
The only time fatigue makes an appearance is when Klein mentions receiving an accounting “decree” from Yeshiva University.
He laughs at the slip.
“But I annulled the decree,” he adds impishly.
Klein, who describes himself as “youngish,” has been leading the 150-member DAT Minyan since August, 2011. Although he and his family were rooted in the East Coast, the offer was too enticing to pass up.
“Unfortunately, several shuls are trying to recreate what was. The DAT Minyan is very much about creating something fresh and new, with high hopes for the future.
“A tremendous amount of credit goes to the founders of the minyan — Rabbi Alter and others. They put a lot of effort and thought into making the DAT Minyan an authentic, spiritual, davening experience.”
Every Shabbat, DAT’s multipurpose room is filled to the brim with a plethora of eclectic worshippers. “It’s a ridiculously diverse crowd,” Klein smiles. “I don’t even know where to start with that.”
Although the core membership affiliates with modern Orthodoxy, chasidim, black hats and individuals who have recently been introduced to Judaism regularly attend.
“We have a lot of parents whose children go to DAT, Denver Jewish Day School and Hillel,” he continues. “Because DAT is right next to the Berkshires at Lowry, we attract young couples and singles.
“Young families with two to four kids comprise our largest demographic. But we also appeal to baby boomers and seniors. In terms of age, philosophy and religious affiliation, it’s all there.”