Monday, April 15, 2024 -
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Grand Junction Jewish roundup

West of Denver by 244 miles, there’s a lot of activity in Grand Junction. The town’s synagogue is growing, significant interfaith support exists, and there’s even a Jewish Film Festival. Here’s a sampling of recent Jewish events in the center of Colorado’s Western Slope, courtesy of Grand Junction resident Joseph Breman:

Ohr Shalom in Grand Junction, Colo. (Screenshot via Google Maps Streetview)

Ohr Shalom in Grand Junction, Colo. (Screenshot via Google Maps Streetview)

Support For Israel

“A Christian church hosted an open community event in support of Israel, the hostages and the Jewish people about one month after the brutal massacre. Three-hundred people attended. It was remarkably well done.”

Campus Fights Back

“The president of Colorado Mesa University, John Marshall, has strong positions not only on Oct. 7 but also on the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses.

“Since 2004, CMU has observed Holocaust Remembrance Week (started by an Italian Catholic from Brooklyn).

“An anti-Semitic incident occurred the first day that Dr. Vincent Patarino and his family moved to Grand Junction after accepting a teaching position at CMU. He decided to fight this scourge with education, and the event is held every year.

“The university, under the leadership of President Marshall, has brought in top keynote speakers, including writer Bari Weiss and Ferne Pearlstein, the producer of the award winning film “The Last Laugh.”

“After October 7, President Marshall wrote on Snapchat that he was upset and angry about the events on the so-called A-list college campuses and their terrible response to anti-Semitism.

“He proclaimed that he wants all Jewish students who are considering their college choices to know that they are welcome at CMU and they will be safe here — ‘full stop.’”

Congregational Growth

“Congregation Ohr Shalom has grown — now about 70 family units. The building has been remodeled with adaptations for security, and is thriving. Remember, please, this is a ‘small town.’ The leadership works very hard and accomplishes a great deal.

“The City of Fruita and Grand Junction have issued proclamations that, in effect, state that Jew hatred is not welcome in their communities. Our presence is felt.”

The Fight Against Anti-Semitism

“On Christmas Day, 2023, the Goyim Defense League distributed anti-Semitic materials aimed at children. The community was in a frenzy about it. The League of Women Voters stepped up.

“The League of Women Voters purchased a full-page advertisement in the Sunday edition of The Daily Sentinel.

“They gained signatures of more than 250 leaders in this community whose names appeared under a statement denouncing anti-Semitism and pledging to stand with the local Jewish community.”

More Media, The Better

“Jay Seaton, the publisher of The Daily Sentinel, goes out of his way on many occasions to do editorials about anti-Semitism and Israel.”

Tinseltown, Mountain Style

“Three weeks ago, Congregation Ohr Shalom held its first Annual Film Festival. Can you believe a Jewish Film Festival in Grand Junction?”

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IJN Staff Writer | [email protected]

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