Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Sunday,
Apr 26th

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!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

In ‘A Nazi Legacy,’ a son’s love is tested by mass murder

Uriel Heilman What happens when a son’s love collides with the immutable facts of history? ... [Link]

Children of Bergen-Belsen survivors gather to warn: Never forget

Marcy Oster Seventy years after the camp’s liberation, dozens personally touched by the history — including children born at a nearby DP camp — return to the site to share memories. ... [Link]

Terrorists planting bomb on Israel-Syria border killed in Israeli strike

Marcy Oster The attack comes two days after Arab media reports that Israel attacked a convoy of long-range missiles in Syria that were intended for Hezbollah in northern Lebanon. ... [Link]

Nepal aftershocks delay IDF emergency aid mission

Marcy Oster Two flights, containing some 260 personnel, were pushed back to monitor changing conditions on the ground and the condition of the runway in Kathmandu. ... [Link]

In aftermath of Nepal quake, Israelis sending help and looking for their own

Ben Sales Teams of Israeli emergency workers are heading to south Asia following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has killed at least 2,000; some 200 Israelis are among the missing. ... [Link]

Jewish Google exec dies on Mount Everest in avalanche triggered by Nepal quake

Marcy Oster The sister of Dan Fredinburg, 33, reported his passing in a post on his Instagram account, saying he suffered a head injury in the avalanche. ... [Link]

Palestinian arrested in Jerusalem car ramming attack on police

Marcy Oster Four officers were injured when a car deliberately slammed into them while they were standing by an eastern Jerusalem road near the site of rioting earlier in the day. ... [Link]

Obama playfully skewers journalists over Netanyahu controversy

Marcy Oster “I look so old John Boehner’s already invited Benjamin Netanyahu to speak at my funeral,” Obama said at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. ... [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