Intermountain Jewish News

Nov 25th

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

Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft pays shiva call to family of Ezra Schwartz

Marcy Oster The family also received a visit from a local imam who had written in a letter to the Schwartzes that he hoped the tragedy would “be a catalyst for bringing our communities together.” ... [Link]

Rabbinical student attacked in Florida

Marcy Oster The assailant, who was riding a mountain bike, shouted “Jews should go back to Auschwitz. Hitler was right,” before pushing and punching the victim. ... [Link]

Ex-Kabbalah Centre exec must pay $177,500 in damages in sexual assault suit

Marcy Oster A Los Angeles County jury found Yehuda Berg, the son of the center’s founder, guilty of inflicting emotional distress on a former follower. ... [Link]

Mass. Bay Transit Authority bans political issue ads

Marcy Oster The decision followed a contentious meeting at which advocates on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict pressed their views. ... [Link]

Israeli soldier seriously wounded in Hebron-area stabbing attack

Marcy Oster The Palestinian assailant, who according to reports pulled up to a traffic junction and exited from his car brandishing a knife, was shot and later died. ... [Link]

Philly-area Jewish high school receives $8.6 million gift

Marcy Oster The donation to Kohelet Yeshiva High from the Kohelet Foundation includes $7.5 million in unrestricted funds and $1.1 million for two new programs. ... [Link]

Einstein once kept kosher, and 7 other Jewish facts for relativity’s 100th b-day

Gabe Friedman The famed physicist believed in Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza’s God and raised money for the Jewish state, despite reservations. ... [Link]

Nachum Segal promoting Jewish unity with Hanukkah show in Paris

Jas Chana The “JM in the AM” host will then emcee a musical performance titled “Let There Be Light: The Concert of Jewish Unity” at the Grand Synagogue of Paris. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942 • •