Monday, September 16, 2019 -
Print Edition

Colorado Springs Jewry steps up after forest fires

The home of the Sikorski family, reduced to rubble by the Black Forest fire. (Julie Richman)COLORADO SPRINGS — It is almost dusk Sunday evening. I’m looking out the window from our home in Colorado Springs and I see Pikes Peak. It has a little bit of snow left on it. It’s chilly. The sky is blue with some bright white clouds. The trees look so green. The rain has stopped and I can hear the dripping in the gutters. I hear the sounds of finches in our yard. A few rabbits run through the grass. I see a squirrel.

We are celebrating Father’s Day in our backyard this evening with the two families living with us for now, awaiting the fate of their homes in the Black Forest fires.

I look again at Pikes Peak in the distance and see the burn area from the Waldo Canyon Fire last summer. It’s quiet and peaceful.

My friend and our Rabbi Mel Glazer shared some thoughts last evening on our synagogue’s Facebook page:

“I spent a few hours there (at the Disaster Assistance Center) on Shabbat afternoon, and I simply walked around and listened to people talk.

I heard some remarkable stories! Such strength and hope like I have rarely seen before. ‘We’re going to be all right.’ ‘G-d is taking care of us.’ ‘We will rebuild and it will be better.’

“I have no idea how much I helped them, but I do know how much their courage reminded me that we are what we give away to others. Tragedy creates opportunities for good people to change the world for the better. I’m glad I was there . . .”

My friend, Michelle Sikorski, born and raised here in the Black Forest, shared some poignant photos over the past few days.

Our synagogue, Temple Shalom, is so grateful that Michelle had her Bat Mitzvah in our sanctuary. She teaches in our religious school, serves on the Temple board of directors, and has been an active member of the Hadassah chapter of Colorado Springs.

The Sikorski family holds a special place in all of our hearts in our Jewish community.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN’s print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email

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