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Synagogue of the Summit: A Jewish home in ski country

L-r: Besty Cytron, Ron Cytron and Barry Skolnick conduct an SoS service at Sapphire Point Overlook. (Marilyn Shapiro)

L-r: Besty Cytron, Ron Cytron and Barry Skolnick conduct an SoS service at Sapphire Point Overlook. (Marilyn Shapiro)

The Synagogue of the Summit is the heart of the Jewish community in Summit County.

Known for its world class skiing, the county includes towns such as Frisco, Breckenridge, Dillon, Silverthorne and Keystone. Although the Jewish community is small, it gives a home to Jews in the area and is central to the Jewish community in the region.

Synagogue of the Summit offers both religious and social activities.

Led by Rabbi Ruth Gelfarb, Synagogue of the Summit offers plenty of opportunities for prayer and learning.

Rabbi Gelfarb is a part-time rabbi who serves about six weeks a year and during the High Holidays. She also works at Har HaShem in Boulder and is the president of Haver, Boulder’s rabbinic fellowship.

Rabbi Gelfarb is originally from Great Neck, NY.

She came to Synagogue of the Summit because of her love of Judaism and teaching others about it.

“One of the wonderful things about Synagogue of the Summit community is that it is comprised of Jews from all over the country and from a myriad of Jewish denominational backgrounds. This diversity adds richness to our community,” said Rabbi Gelfarb.

“Everyone in our community has a deep love for the world that we have been given. As such we are able to hike and snow shoe as part of our services and programming.”

In addition to the services led by Rabbi Gelfarb, there are lay-led services once a month that are provided by different members of the community.

Socially, Synagogue of the Summit holds annual bike rides and other outdoor activities, many focusing on community service.

“We recently participated in the Leadville cemetery cleanup where we had about 15 congregation members show up and help,” said President Jonathan Knopf.

As well as the Leadville cemetery cleanup, the congregation will hold its first Mitzvah Day. Members of the community will be working on four different mitzvah projects around the county.

There are approximately 140 families in the community who play an active role in the synagogue’s success.

“With no physical building, we use different venues around the county to hold our events. Despite this, attendance is never an issue,” said Knopf.

Since Summit County has many tourist attractions, a lot of people who come from out of town attend services or other events at Synagogue of the Summit.

“We are a very open community. Last Chanukah we had about 15-20 people from out of town attend our event,” said Knopf.

“Synagogue of the Summit is a great place for people in the area looking for a Jewish community.”

Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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