Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Monday,
Oct 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

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]

In Knesset, former protest leader Stav Shaffir follows the money

Ben Sales The youngest female legislator in Israeli history says budget transparency is the key to solving nearly every social problem — including Israeli-Palestinian peace. ... [Link]

Heirs to German Jews sue Swiss bank UBS to recover inheritance

Marcy Oster The relatives of German Jews whose art collection was seized by the Nazis have sued UBS, claiming the Swiss bank cheated them out of their inheritance. ... [Link]

From the Archive: Kesher Israel’s murdered rabbi

Julie Wiener Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest last week wasn’t the first time Washington’s Kesher Israel was ensnared in a sordid crime case. ... [Link]

Ex-Nazis were paid millions in Social Security, probe finds

Raffi Wineburg Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States, an investigation by The Associated Press fou... [Link]

29 projects debut on expanded Slingshot guide highlighting innovation

Julie Wiener An alternative Hebrew school program in Manhattan, a digital repository for Jewish texts and a Tulsa synagogue-based bakery that employs mentally ill adults i are among the 29 Jewish groups listed for... [Link]

Elsewhere: Handwritten deliverance, emigration anxiety, a bittersweet rebirth

Raffi Wineburg JTA rounds up noteworthy news items from the Web. ... [Link]

Amended charges have suspected JCC shooter facing possible death sentence

Marcy Oster The alleged gunman in a shooting spree at two Jewish agencies in Kansas City is facing a potential death sentence after prosecutors amended charges against him. ... [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