Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Friday,
Apr 29th

Is Denver Jewry on the skids?

E-mail Print PDF

Green Gables Country Club, Colorado chapter of the American Jewish Committee, Hebrew High School, have all closed. What does this mean?

It is in the nature of community life that, taking the long view, organizations will come and go. After all, who remembers these once stalwarts of our Jewish community: Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society, Na’amat, the Colorado chapter of ALYN, friends of Histadrut and Congregation Zera Israel?

Even so, recent closures of longtime, major institutional foci in the Denver Jewish community — Green Gables Country Club, Colorado chapter of the American Jewish Committee, Hebrew High School, CAJE’s library — give us pause. Also closed in the last couple of years were two Judaica shops. Is our community on the skids, reflecting long-time predictions of American Jewish diminishment due to assimilation?

Especially the closure of the American Jewish Committee office worries us, since it played a significant role in many vital areas: interfaith relations, immigration reform and, perhaps most important, intra-Jewish relations within Denver Jewry. We find ourselves at a loss as to the logic of AJC’s national office, which wishes to focus more on international efforts. Whence the strength to do so without strong local chapters? The national AJC severely let down many local activists at AJC.

Still, we may observe that organizations go, but they also come. We may note the opening of JCC South, the expansion of Jewish congregational life in Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch and Westminster, with the growth of Aish Denver and Chabad, and  the growth of outreach organizations such as The Jewish Experience and the Denver Community Kollel. We may note innovations at HEA and Emanuel, new construction at Temple Sinai, expanded Judaic course offerings at DU, two new Orthodox minyanim on the East Side — and all this is only within metro Denver.

If we look further to Boulder, Longmont, Colorado Springs and mountain communities, such as Vail, Aspen and Steamboat Springs, we see an veritable expansion of Jewish organizations and activities.

Clearly, the gains more than make up for the losses. Perhaps the changes in our community may be more accurately described less in terms of gains and losses than in terms of diversification and geographical expansion. A generation ago, Jews in Denver tended to cluster in two or three neighborhoods. There were virtually no Jews living in either downtown Denver or outlying suburbs. Now, while the major Jewish neighborhoods have expanded in both size (think Lowry and the East Side) and number (think Greenwood Village), Jews live both in the core — downtown — and in every suburb surrounding Denver. We at the IJN know this through the great geographical diversification of the zip codes to which we mail the newspaper.

Our community is not dwindling. The loss of certain entities may be painful — leaving gaps that need to be filled — but overall we see growth, vitality and renewal. The fact is, the larger Denver- Boulder area is one of the few, distinct growth areas in the Jewish community of the US. For this we can be grateful and excited. We welcome the challenges of growth.

Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 September 2013 08:11 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Cast Your Vote

Do you eat kitniyot on Passover?
 

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Rock legend Phil Lesh gathers musician friends for a Grateful Dead Passover

Andrew Silow-Carroll SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (JTA) – “Why can’t we eat veggie burritos tonight? Will I be miracled? Will they play ‘The Wheel?’ Will Phil sing?” These four additional questions were asked at a Passo... [Link]

Hundreds attend 1st Jewish film festival in Casablanca

Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) — Nearly 500 people attended the first Jewish film festival of Casablanca, which was organized in the Moroccan city by a Sephardic Jewish woman from Atlanta. The three-day event, which end... [Link]

Can you help a kibbutznik find his American relatives?

mbrodsky SEEKING KIN The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. (JTA) – “If only” – it’s the most common regret expressed by “Seeking Kin” interviewees, an... [Link]

Amid complicity debate, Polish clergy to attend 70th anniversary of post-Holocaust pogrom

Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) — Polish clergy and researchers will hold a seminar in Kielce about a historically significant pogrom in which locals killed Holocaust survivors in that city 70 years ago. Occurring amid... [Link]

Netanyahu calls for ‘direct, bilateral negotiations’ with Palestinians

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is ready to start “direct, bilateral negotiations” with the Palestinians. The invitation, which Netanyahu has repeated... [Link]

Palestinians riot as Jewish worshippers visit Joseph’s Tomb

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinians in Nablus attacked Israeli soldiers escorting a convoy of Jewish worshippers who entered the West Bank city to visit Joseph’s Tomb. The 26 busloads of worshi... [Link]

Sides swap character attacks in trial over Bay Area’s Koret Foundation

Andrew Silow-Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (J., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California via JTA) — A civil trial focused on control of the $500 million Koret Foundation is pitting its founder’s widow, Susan Koret, a... [Link]

As Jews flee Belgium, a seder marks a family exodus

Cnaan Liphshiz BRUSSELS (JTA) — I was feeling nervous about coming to Brussels for seder with my family. Making the 130-mile trip there from my home in Amsterdam meant taking my 5-month-old son on a train that... [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