Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Saturday,
Dec 20th

Historic Isaac Solomon Synagogue returned due to insufficient funds

E-mail Print PDF

The former JCRS Synagogue will no longer be a shul.The Isaac Solomon Synagogue, once the spiritual center of the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society, has been turned over to its owner by the foundation that sought for years to restore and repurpose the historic structure.

Eugene Kay, the last chairman of the JCRS Isaac Solomon Historic Synagogue Foundation — which until early last year had a 90-plus year lease on the building — told the Intermountain Jewish News this week that in late 2012 the foundation forfeited that lease, returning control of the former synagogue to the Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design (RMCAD), current owners of the campus that was once home to the JCRS in Lakewood.

The art school hopes to eventually transform the small but architecturally significant synagogue into a gallery for student artwork as well as a memorial to the predominately Jewish population that once sought treatment for tuberculosis at JCRS.

After years of raising funds and grant money, and making significant progress on repairing and restoring components of the building, Kay said the foundation concluded that the challenge of full restoration was simply too tough to overcome.

Remaining restoration costs for the synagogue — primarily for interior projects — are estimated at $450,000.

“It wouldn’t have been a lot of money for History Colorado,” Kay said, “but they had already given us the money to fix up the outside.”

Efforts to raise funds from the city of Lakewood proved unsuccessful, as did, to any significant degree, appeals to the Denver Jewish community, which never showed serious interest in the project, according to Kay.

“We didn’t think we could get the Jewish community excited enough for a building in that location,” Kay said.

“If people are going to take a tour of Jewish Denver, they’re going to go to the Mizel Museum or the JCC, not the West Side.”

The foundation also looked at the possibility of moving the structure.

“You can move any building,” Kay said. “It’s just a question of how, but this building is of such a design that you’d literally have to take it apart brick by brick.”

Moving the building from its historic original location would not only have been forbiddingly expensive but also would have meant losing its historical landmark designation and the many benefits that accompany that.

The rest of this article is available in the July 18, 2014 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

 

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Tampa-area agency head dead in murder-suicide

Anthony Weiss A Florida Jewish agency head who had been deeply involved with caring for migrant children was found dead with her longtime partner in what police are calling an apparent murder-suicide. ... [Link]

A military miracle: Hanukkah care for U.S. armed forces personnel

Raffi Wineburg For the last seven years, Kosher Troops has been sending care packages to American-Jewish servicemen and women across the globe. ... [Link]

Behind every great ‘Serial’ podcast host, a Jewish studies professor

Gabrielle Birkner In the series finale of the podcast sensation “Serial,” a certain Jewish studies professor got a shout out. It was Sarah Koenig’s husband, who directs the Jewish Studies program at P... [Link]

French far-right mayor’s city hall menorah sparks controversy

Cnaan Liphshiz National Front candiate also placed a nativity scene in public space despite concerns this violate church-state separation. ... [Link]

Jesus comes to the Hanukkah party

Ron Kampeas The Christian savior keeps insinuating himself into Hanukkah festivities. ... [Link]

For Cuban Jews in U.S., rapprochement with Castro regime cause for concern

Uriel Heilman For those old enough to remember the most brutal years of the Castro regime, there is deep concern that rapprochement with Washington will extend the life of a dictatorship whose crimes can be neither... [Link]

Washington Institute names former Palestinian negotiator as fellow

Ron Kampeas The Washington Institute for Near East Policy named a former Palestinian negotiator to its think tank team. ... [Link]

Tunisian Jewish leaders endorse secularist’s presidential bid

Cnaan Liphshiz Contacts made by candidate Beji Caid Essebsi make him the best choice for president, Tunisan Jewish leader says. ... [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