Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Tuesday,
Sep 30th

B’nai Havurah celebrates 50 years

E-mail Print PDF

B’nai Havurah, the Reconstructionist congregation established in 1963 in Denver, celebrated its 50th anniversary at a special event on March 23 at the Loup JCC.

Themed “Founders Seekers,” the evening paid tribute to synagogue founders Art and Ruth Chapman, Diane (Greenspun) Choate, Harvey and Judy Cohen, Shirley and Mike Coren, Art and Janet Fine, Celeste Grynberg, Arnie and Saundra Heller, Susanne Nathanson, Alida Stein and Irwin and Carol Wagner.

The congregation started out as a study group formed by six couples in 1961 after hearing a talk about Reconstructionism by Rabbi Ira Eisenstein.

Within two years, the group doubled in size. Art and Janet Fine joined the first chavurah because they already knew and admired the other members.

The chavurah was officially incorporated into the Reconstructionist movement in 1963.

Arnie and Saundra Heller, among  the original founders, grew up in Orthodox homes on Denver’s West Side. They were attracted to movement’s inclusiveness and informality.

Alida Stein says she still appreciates the grassroots services at B’nai Havurah and continues to subscribe to the ideals of Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionism: “The past deserves a vote but not a veto.”

Bobbie and Ed Towbin joined the congregation in 1967. “We all knew each other,” Bobbie Towbin says. “By then, the two chavurot had a lot of energy and their collective journey made them feel close to each other.”

She remembers that starting the religious school in 1969 “was a big thing.” Students met in members’ homes.

Ruth Chapman says that seeing the kids’ enthusiasm “showed just how successful the new community was at making Judaism meaningful.”

When the need for a rabbi became apparent, Harvey Cohen remembers at least “a year of debate” on the issue. The first rabbi was hired in 1983.

B’nai Havurah began renting space in its current location at 6445 E. Ohio Ave., and purchased the building in 1995.

Rabbi Evette Lutman is the spiritual leader of B’nai Havurah, which has over 230 family units. There are 17 chavurot and 102 at-large members.

“We felt that it was important to mark our 50th year and celebrate our journey — where we have come from and who we are today,” says co-chair Elizabeth Ferber Reader.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 March 2013 09:24 )  

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Netanyahu lunches with Adelson following U.N. speech

Marcy Oster Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had lunch in a Midtown Manhattan restaurant hosted by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson following his address at the United Nations General Assembly. ... [Link]

Israeli cargo ship blocked in Oakland port docks in LA

Marcy Oster An Israeli-owned cargo ship prevented by pro-Palestinian demonstrators from unloading in the Oakland Port will try to unload in Los Angeles. ... [Link]

Frenchman probed for telling TV he might kill Jews

Cnaan Liphshiz French police opened a criminal investigation against a young man who made anti-Semitic statements during a televised interview. ... [Link]

The Jewish stars of ‘Star Trek’ shill for VW

Julie Wiener Could the twin appearance of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner soften the hearts of Jews who refuse to buy German cars? ... [Link]

At U.N., Abbas attacks Israel, but Netanyahu’s mind elsewhere

Uriel Heilman Between Benjamin Netanyahu’s show and tell and Mahmoud Abbas’ genocide tirade, there was some drama at the U.N. General Assembly — but few real surprises. ... [Link]

Belgian far-right party to push for ritual slaughter ban

Cnaan Liphshiz Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Belang party said it will submit a bill proposing a blanket ban on ritual slaughter. ... [Link]

Yaalon: IDF took out 80 percent of Gaza rockets during offensive

Marcy Oster Israel destroyed some 80 percent of Palestinian rockets and mortars in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. ... [Link]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2014 U.N. General Assembly address

Uriel Heilman Read Benjamin Netanyahu’s Sept. 29, 2014 speech. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com