Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Tuesday,
Oct 21st

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

Syrian mortar hits Israeli Golan

Marcy Oster A mortar fired from Syria landed in Israeli territory on the Golan Heights. ... [Link]

Hundreds protest ‘Klinghoffer’ opening

Raffi Wineburg Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside New York’s Metropolitan Opera House Monday night to protest the opening performance of “The Death of Klinghoffer.” ... [Link]

Jack the Ripper not necessarily Jewish

Julie Wiener Scientists are contending that a recent book identifying the serial killer as a Jewish barber was based on flawed DNA analysis. ... [Link]

Poll: Most Israeli Jews oppose Palestinian state on ’67 lines

Marcy Oster Three-quarters of Israeli Jews oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, a new poll found. ... [Link]

Jerusalem bus ads featuring young women in prayer shawls vandalized

Marcy Oster Several public buses featuring photos of young women wearing kippot and prayer shawls were vandalized in Jerusalem. ... [Link]

Some Beit Shemesh lawmakers eye splitting city into haredi and non-haredi entities

Marcy Oster Opposition members of the Beit Shemesh City Council submitted a proposal to divide the community into haredi Orthodox and non-haredi municipalities. ... [Link]

Arab-Israeli team hails ex-Knesset lawmaker accused of treason

Marcy Oster An Arab-Israeli soccer team honored a former Knesset lawmaker who fled Israel amid accusations of treason and espionage. ... [Link]

Hoops guru David Thorpe connects with players on and off the court

mbrodsky The Florida trainer has earned the trust of NBAers like Israelis Omri Casspi and Gal Mekel, as well as those reaching for the stars. ... [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