If 2016 was the year when the music world lost many of its greats (Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, to name a few), it seems that 2017 is, sadly, become the year that Denver’s Jewish community is losing its pivotal leaders. Last week, the man the IJN calls the Jewish community’s “premier Jewish leader,” Bob Loup, passed away.
Earlier this year, Jack Hyatt passed, as did IJN Editor and Publisher Miriam H. Goldberg.
At the tail end of last year, we lost Rose Community Foundation leader Sheila Bugdanowitz. And one year earlier, community pillar Jordon Perlmutter.
The Denver community is facing, to some degree, an existential crisis, because the question we face is who will fill the void?
It was a question that Loup himself worried about, according to his widow Robyn, who told the IJN “Others must step up now.”
She is absolutely right, and not only do we have current established leaders, but there are also burgeoning community leaders, some of whom we featured in our VIP New Faces edition last November.
But, it must also be said, they just don’t make them like they used to. Life was harder for many of these leaders growing up, and it seemed it honed their commitment to community, their desire to give something back — and to ensure that the community thrived. Some of these leaders are reminiscent of the immigrant industrial barons of yore, who rose from a hardscrabble childhood to becoming leading industrialists and finally, to leaving a lasting legacy through their largesse.
With the passing of these giants, the landscape of Denver Jewry is altered.