Last summer, Rabbi Ami and Eliana Silver had decided to return to Israel when a casual conversation led to the reanimation of Boulders modern Orthodox community.
Kehillath Aish Kodesh, the citys only Orthodox shul for several years, closed it doors in January, 2014.
Two months later, the Boulder Orthodox Synagogue rose from its remnants and held its first minyan. But the new congregation wasnt sure it needed a rabbi. It wasnt even on their radar screen, Silver says. Or mine.
The Silvers were finishing up their tenure as the OUs Torah educators at Cornell University, where they fostered students awareness and knowledge of Judaism and served on the Hillel staff.
After a three-year tenure at Cornell, we had decided to move back to Israel and find jobs there, says Silver, who prefers the less formal title of Rabbi Ami.
Eliana Silver, whose father and sister live in Boulder, graduated Naropa University with a BA in psychology and belonged to Aish Kodesh.
One of my wifes Boulder friends called and said, Why dont you consider coming to Boulder? Silver says in a soft voice that alternates between reflection and enthusiasm.
He describes the ensuing conversations with the Boulder Orthodox Synagogue as an interesting process.
They were not actively seeking a rabbi, Silver says. The congregation lacked formal leadership, and there was no rabbinical search committee.
Some wanted a full-time rabbi. Others did not.
Silver, 30, who had acted as a visiting rabbi at the Boulder Orthodox Synagogue, agreed to move here for about one or two years to provide spiritual direction to the community and help establish future goals.
He was officially hired as the full-time spiritual leader in August, 2014.
Just recently, the Boulder Orthodox Synagogue changed its name to Kehillat Orot Yisrael (Lights of Israel Community).