Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Thursday,
Jul 31st
Home IJN Special Sections Kosher Living A Sephardic presence

A Sephardic presence

E-mail Print PDF

Niso Aharonian pictured at Beit UrielNiso Aharonian lives in Denver, which is a long way from where he was born and raised, Herzliya, Israel, and even further away from where his parents came from, which is Iran.

He loves it here, says Aharonian, a soft-spoken and articulate man of 31 who works as a locksmith and limo driver in Denver, to which he moved a decade ago with his wife.

In virtually every respect, he has found Colorado the perfect home for him and his family, which now includes a young daughter, but there was one thing missing for him — a means by which an observant Sephardic Jew like himself could practice his religion.

The observant part was easy. East Denver, where he lives, now has plenty of Orthodox shuls for observant Jews. In the first few years after Aharonian came to Denver, these congregations was where he worshipped.

The Sephardic part wasn’t so easy. There is Ohr Avner, a Sephardic congregation formed by the Bukharan community, but it’s located miles away, in Aurora, an impossible distance for an Orthodox Jew who cannot drive on Shabbos.

And the Sephardic part was important to Aharonian, he says, since that’s how he was raised in Israel, in the Levantine Jewish tradition that his parents brought to Israel from their native Iran, which they left after the Islamic revolution in 1979.

So Aharonian, who seems the sort of man who has no trouble taking the initiative about things he considers important, started his own synagogue.

In the process, he has brought to Denver not only an authentic Sephardic congregation — one in which Jews from the entire Middle East can be religiously and ritually comfortable — but a means of honoring a rabbi, Sephardic like Aharonian, whom Denver Jews came to love and whose life was cut tragically short by a raging wildfire in Israel’s Carmel Forest.

The rest of this article is available in the March 28, 2014 Kosher Living 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 new online e-Edition.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:26 )  

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

U.S. sells munitions to Israel from its surplus stockpile

Ron Kampeas The U.S. Defense Department sold to Israel munitions from its Israel-based surplus stockpile. ... [Link]

Thousands attend pro-Israel rally in Paris

Cnaan Liphshiz Thousands of people attended France’s largest pro-Israel rally since the launch of the Israel Defense Forces’ offensive in Gaza. ... [Link]

Elsewhere: Arabs for Israel, Abbas’ new role, Kabbalist guru’s fall

Miriam Moster JTA rounds up noteworthy items from around the Web. ... [Link]

Genesis Philanthropy Group names Ilia Salita as new CEO

Marcy Oster Ilia Salita was appointed the new CEO of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, which funds Jewish identity-building efforts for Russian-speaking Jews around the world. ... [Link]

Israeli man seriously injured in rocket strike

Marcy Oster An Israeli man was seriously injured when a rocket landed in Kiryat Gat, located halfway between Tel Aviv and Beersheba. ... [Link]

The images missing from the Gaza war

Uriel Heilman Why are Western media outlets omitting images of Hamas fighters in Gaza from their coverage of the war? ... [Link]

Israeli Arab reinstated at job after suspension over anti-IDF Facebook post

Marcy Oster An Arab nurse at an Israeli hospital suspended from his job for a Facebook post that calls the Israeli military “war criminals” was reinstated. ... [Link]

Does Nancy Pelosi believe Hamas is a humanitarian group?

Ron Kampeas The House minority leader is under attack from critics over a quote that has been taken out of context. ... [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