December 3rd, 2013
by Elaine Lee, Membership & Communications Director
This month finds our congregation carrying on, ramping up and moving over, literally and so to speak. Temple Micah is embarking on its planned move from Park Hill Congregational Church at 2600 Leyden St. into a nearby larger prominence and emerging relationship with Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver.
“We’ve got a permit, we’ve got a contractor, and now we can move forward,” according to Chuck Kessler, a Temple Micah board member and Park Hill resident.
Rooms being remodeled for Temple Micah offices are predicted to be ready to occupy in December. Shabbat services and other activities are anticipated to make the leap too before 2014.
Already in transition, the temple has held major events at PHUMC, including a get-together for Micah members and prospective ones, High Holy Days services and the Top Latke Taste-off & Hanukkah Party. A ceremony officially heralding the startup of Temple Micah’s residence with PHUMC will be co-led there by its senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Eric Smith, and Rabbi Adam Morris, at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. All are welcome!
The physical leap also constitutes a leap of faith, as the temple enters into a newly evolving alliance at its new address, which entails leasing space from the Methodists. The church on Montview Boulevard between Forest and Glencoe sits just a few blocks from where the temple has long leased from and collaborated with the Congregationalists of PHCC.
Micah members plan to gather at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, with PHCC counterparts, led by Pastor David Bahr and Rabbi Morris, for a service acknowledging their congregations’ valued relationship. Both the temple and PHCC hope to preserve it to the extent feasible. For example, Temple Micah and PHCC plan to continue their connection by still co-hosting “Mitzvah Day” community volunteer efforts each fall and Holocaust remembrances each spring. However, the service also marks the bittersweet parting and formal end to that notably cooperative era together.
Temple Micah congregants of more than three decades may recall the departure from another “Park” setting, as the temple left its place bordering Crestmoor Park at Monaco and Cedar in Denver to move in with PHCC. That change of address made Temple Micah the sole Reform Jewish synagogue in Park Hill then and to this day, while continuing to draw people from across Denver and suburbs.
As for this winter’s relocation within the same neighborhood, Rabbi Adam Morris notes, “Planning and plans are coming together… with work on our new offices; interior and exterior signage; creating and installing elements that will allow us to feel at home when we use the large sanctuary and our new Mikdash/Sanctuary.”
The temple will have regular use of the Babbs Chapel as its designated sanctuary, which is being adapted and refurbished at PHUMC especially for this purpose. Sharon Thorson, chairperson of the chapel remodel, has teamed with Rabbi Morris, Temple Micah President Michael Clapman, Vice-President Brian Silverman and others on the Space Committee to coordinate the move.
For updates on Temple Micah’s moving progress, check out http://www.micahmove.blogspot.com/.
Warm Welcome to New Micah Members…
- Sarah & Bruce Kabat & family of Denver
Greet a Newborn…
- Robert Arthur Simon-Schatz, son of Stephen Simon & Kirsten Schatz, was born on Nov. 8, 2013.
- Daniel Garner, yahrzeit Dec. 4, 2013; brother-in-law of Janis Anderson.
- Molly Levin, yahrzeit Dec. 6, 2013, mother of Jennifer Bricker, whose family recently moved out of state.
Cultivating Love… Mental Health of America spotlights Evan Silverman, a Temple Micah member, as “a man on a mission to cultivate love.” Why? Here’s a link to learn how you or others you know may take his triumphs to heart and understand his courage and coping strategies in living with a health challenge:
Mazel Tov to 6th Top Latke Taste-off Winners… Chefs Rowen & Marin Griffith took the Top honor for overall best latke at Temple Micah’s latke fest last month. Other awards went to Chefs Agnes Dwenger for most innovative latke, Joel Friedlander for best traditional latke and Stefanie Winfield for best presentation. Congratulations to all the participating chefs and to all lucky latke eaters who enjoyed the luscious celebration. Special thanks to Alice Alban, who chaired this event; Sharon Thorson, co-chair; Robin Aubrey, chef coordinator; Jessica Wurtzel, design chief; Susan Waldman, mentor; Temple Micah President Michael Clapman, Rabbi Adam Morris and the Rev. Dr. Eric Smith, latke judges; Dena Sorokin, all-around helper and everyone else who helped in myriad ways, including prize donors. Many thanks, too, to households that reserved Top Tables, a new option this year yielding an essential influx of financial support: Alice & Scott Alban; Liz & Larry Feldman and Sharon & Jon Thorson. And thank you to Latke Chef Nate Ramirez, who turned in dollars donated anonymously to the temple for the opportunity to taste his recipe! Everyone’s a winner with Micah latkes.
Bookmark This Holiday… Next selection of the Temple Micah Women’s Book Group is Irene Nemirovsky’s “Suite Francaise.” Start reading well before the group’s next meeting on Monday, Jan. 20, which also happens to be the King Holiday. At the end of that day, sit in and turn a page at Brio Tuscan Grille, 2500 E. 1st Ave in Denver’s Creek Creek. Arrive between 6:45-7:00 p.m. to dine or at 7:30 p.m. for the book review and dessert, if you’d like. The author wrote the manuscript during WWII in Occupied France, but not till 1998, long after her death, did her daughters read what they had assumed was a journal — and discovered it to be a complete novel. Written in the 1940’s, this tale was first published in 2004. RSVP to Nancy Weil or leave her a message at the temple, 303-388-4239 x1. Meanwhile, several in the group hope to watch and then discuss a movie version of “The Book Thief,” which they read previously. If you’re interested, contact Nancy right away to seize the opportunity!
Introducing All Things Jewish…Whether you’re considering conversion to Judaism or want a refresher, Intro to Judaism, a 28-week course taught by rabbis from the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council, including Rabbi Adam Morris of Temple Micah, may be for you. The course spans Jewish holidays, history, lifecycle events and Jews’ relationship with Israel. Next session starts Thursday evening, Jan. 23, 2014; each participant needs a rabbi’s sponsorship. For info on the program cost, location and to register, contact Betsy Epel, 720-941-2655.
Parenting Help for Today… Jill Young, Psy.D., will offer a six-session program on Parenting the Love and Logic Way at 9:15 a.m. Sunday mornings, starting Feb. 2, hosted at Temple Micah Religious School, 1958 Elm St., Denver. Check with Jill, or watch for more details from the temple.
Micah Meets the Public… Temple Micah has been in the media often recently, both in print and online. Click on links below for a sample, forward to friends if you wish, and share your “Top Temple” with the rest of your world:
Denver Post –
Greater Park Hill News –
December 3rd, 2013
by Michael Aubrey, Temple Secretary, Board of Trustees
Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. -- Austin O’Malley
Saturday, Nov. 8 was the last bat mitzvah at our Leyden Street sanctuary. But, of course, the lasts and the firsts are stacked closely now that our move is imminent.
The thing about lasts and first is that they are memorable events. We remember what emotion and novelty charge with meaning. The soft, fuzzy middle is what we forget. So, how do we collect and keep the last 30 years of Micah memories — lest we forget? We “capture” them and make them permanent.
What have you captured? A photograph, a program from deep in that fuzzy middle, or maybe a treasured quote from days long ago, a random “colored rag”… let those captured memories free.
For the last few years I have let roll a slide show at the annual meeting. Pictures of the previous year set the mood and remind us of our special community before we begin our business. I plan to do that again but interspersed with a taste of the deep past.
We are a “people in whom the past endures.” Share your past artifacts and see them endure in a walk down memory lane.
Oh, and visit Temple Micah’s Facebook page for recent events that you may have missed or want to recall.
December 3rd, 2013
by Rabbi Adam Morris
Did you know that the Chanukah legend about the oil that miraculously lasted for 8 days – did not emerge until 600 years after the Macabeean revolt and rededication of the Temple? Still, if you ask many people (Jews and people who are not Jewish), it is this reason that they would give for the observance of the holiday of Chanukah. We do not know if there actually was a small jug of oil that miraculously lasted for 8 days or simply a good story about a small jug of oil that miraculously lasted for 8 days. Yet to those of us peering into the rear-view mirror that is history, it IS part of the story.
The telling of history works in this very non-linear manner. Sometimes interpretations in the form of legend or story become grafted into the historical narrative — thereby enhancing and illuminating a particular event or era. Sometimes a particular moment or period of time lacks any enhancement or embellishment, and its story and its dimensions are diminished or even lost to successive generations.
During the next few weeks our community will trek through an important part of its own history. It is no Maccabean revolt, but significant in the life of Temple Micah. This month we end our almost four-decade-long residence in Park Hill Congregational Church. While our relationship will continue, we also acknowledge that it will profoundly change. We must occupy this time in our communal life with open hearts to the blessings of our time at 2600 Leyden St. We know how the historical rear-view mirror can alter or even diminish the significance of important moments. In 35 years the group of people that call Temple Micah its community may know that we lived here… but there is a good chance that they may not know how we lived here. Let us thoughtfully and mindfully live the end of this chapter in the story of Temple Micah and Park Hill Congregational Church.
November 1st, 2013
by Elaine Lee, Membership and Communications Director
It’s not every month that the Temple Micah Women’s Book Group gets to discuss a book with the author in person. But do you know that Micah’s own Nancy Weil wrote “Karmafornia” — the novel to be read at your leisure this month and reviewed at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 at her home in Park Hill? RSVP to “NC” herself, who’s listed in the Micah directory, or leave her a message by way of the temple, 303-388-4239. Here’s more about this author and her book!
The book is available on Amazon, at http://FoolCourtPress.Net or from her.
Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly says about it:
“In 1978, two young lovers leave Boulder, Colo., and head to Berkeley, Calif., where they struggle with life’s messy problems and intrusions in this capable, well-developed look back at an edgy, bygone time. Arriving at the University of California, Berkeley, Laura – with free-spirited boyfriend Walt in tow – begins graduate studies in biology. It isn’t long before she meets fellow student Cob, an irresistible fruitarian from Nebraska with whom Laura eventually has a passionate affair…. This love triangle plays out against the background of the political and social upheaval of the time, with Weil referencing everything from the controversial Proposition 13 – which rolled back property taxes – to the mass suicide by cult members of Jim Jones’s People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. Weil ably captures the period, while convincingly delineating her characters.”
Other tales by her have appeared in the anthology Electric Grace (Paycock Press, 2007) and the online journal ArLiJo. She claims to prefer “the elbow room of novels to the restricted arc of short stories.” Since migrating to Denver several years ago with husband, Tim, in tow and becoming a charter member of the Temple Micah Women’s Book Group, she has clung to many bookish loves as national website co-chair and Washington, DC, Chapter Newsletter editor of the Women’s National Book Association – a network of women and men devoted to books and literacy for almost a century.
Get more acquainted with this writer in our midst at www.ncweil.com or by skimming her blog, http://aestheticpoint.blogspot.com/. Or look for Nancy at Micah Hanukkah festivities, where last year her mighty pen and online tools were tossed aside for a latke chef’s apron and spatula.
Speaking of Hanukkah happenings, act fast or they may come and go without you! Temple Micah’s 6th Top Latke Taste-off & Hanukkah Party will happen earlier than ever at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. Latke-makers are urged to sign up as soon as possible or by the chef entry deadline of Friday, Nov. 15. If you decline to cook, but wouldn’t dream of missing this party, RSVP or reserve seats at a Top Table for up to 8 people by Wednesday, Nov. 20. Lots of volunteer helpers are wanted too, with set-up beforehand and take-down afterward.
Warmly Welcome These Micah Members!…
- Michele & Gregory DeRosa & family of Lone Tree
- Nissa Oldefest of Denver
- Warren Paul, yahrzeit Oct. 7, 2013, Micah member & father of Jacob & Ella Paul
- David Segal, yahrzeit Oct. 20, 2013, father of Bradley Segal, father-in-law of Ruth, grandfather of Adam & David
Thanks to all whose generosity and support made Temple Micah’s High Holy Days possible…
- Flower donors – the Askenazi, Feldman, & Snell Labson families
- Set-up/Take-down volunteers
- Service participants
- Donors for High Holy Days and Arden Pearl Roll of Remembrance
- Break-the-Fast food and beverages, donated by Y.Lo Epicure
- Park Hill United Methodist Church
With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah converging… How about showing gratitude for your blessings by giving a Thanksgiving tribute — in honor of loved ones for Hanukkah? Your generosity can help provide Thanksgiving meals for people who hunger, while this gift honors relatives or friends for Hanukkah! Monetary contributions to Jewish Family Service’s Dorinda Levy Thanksgiving Fund can be made at www.jewishfamilyservice.org/donate. Or bring the following holiday food items to Jewish Family Service, 3201 S. Tamarac Drive, Denver, CO 80231, by Wednesday, Nov. 20. Questions? Contact Shelly Hines, JFS Family Safety Net director, 303-597-5000.
- Disposable aluminum foil roasting pans
- Canned yams or sweet potatoes
- Instant mashed potatoes
- Canned pumpkin pie mix
- Evaporated milk
- Canned cranberry sauce or jelly
- Canned green beans
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Turkey gravy mix
- Fresh apples
- Canned fruit
- Grocery certificates for those with special dietary needs
JEWISHcolorado is hosting CHOICES on Wednesday, Nov. 20 and the Men’s Event on Thursday, Nov. 21, both at 6:00 p.m. at Wings Over the Rockies. Speakers for CHOICES are Tamara Kleinberg, entrepreneur, innovator and author of “Thinking Sideways” and Rochelle Shoretz, founder and executive director of Sharsheret, an organization supporting Jewish women and families fighting breast cancer. RSVP to CHOICES@JEWISHcolorado.org. Also, to help provide new fuzzy hats and socks for women undergoing chemotherapy, check JEWISHcolorado.org for drop-off locations. The next evening’s speaker for the Men’s Event is Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown Universities. RSVP to MensEvent@JEWISHcolorado.org. Questions? Call Susan Weinberger, 303-316-6481.
November 1st, 2013
by Alice Alban, 6th Top Latke Taste-off Chair & Board Member
As you all must realize by now, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is coming up. We get to celebrate Thanksgiving AND Hanukkah on the same day. The first day of Hanukkah actually starts on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 27. Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 28. By the time tryptophan has set in, Jews will be lighting candles on their menorahs for the second night of Hanukkah. What a rare occurrence: the last time this happened was 1888. The next time it happens won’t be for another 79,000 years.
What a rare and fun combination! Families can celebrate BOTH holidays together and only need to fly home once. Would challah make for good stuffing? Do marshmallows really go with latkes? Would cranberry relish taste good inside a deep fried doughnut? That answer is “YES!” – anything tastes good deep fried.
It should be remembered that both the Pilgrims and the Jews were fighting for religious freedom. To be able to celebrate both secular and religious holidays in this country is what America is all about. For this, we give thanks.
Another way to celebrate Hanukkah is by attending Temple Micah’s 6th Top Latke Taste-off & Hanukkah Party. The event will be held Saturday, Nov. 23 at Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver. Our favorite Balloon Man is coming. Face painting, too!! Even Hanukkah gelt. After the Taste-off, there will be music and menorah lighting. Don’t forget to bring your family menorah. Check Temple Micah’s website for further details and to RSVP, or call 303-388-4239 x1. See you there!
November 1st, 2013
LINE UP FOR LOVELY LATKES, ETC.
- HAPPY HANUKKAH, WITH LATKES OF LOVE!… Temple Micah’s 6th Top Latke Taste-off & Hanukkah Party will light up the calendar at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. RESERVATIONS WITH PAYMENT for non-cooks planning to attend MUST BE RECEIVED by Wednesday, Nov. 20. To RSVP, latke lovers click here! Expectant parents or those with kids younger than age 5 may request a MazelTot.org discount in advance to cover full cost of the 6th Top Latke Taste-off & Hanukkah Party (or click to see pricing). Latke chefs, fix up a recipe of only 75 two-inch latkes in diameter… and admission for your household will be free! Chef entry deadline is Friday, Nov. 15; sign up with Robin Aubrey or make your intent known at 303-388-4239 x1. Contestants don’t need to bring as many latkes as previously, since some latkes for the light meal will be supplied by Latke Love, a Park Hill business. Homemade entries by chefs of all ages could win prizes for best traditional latke, most innovative latke, best presentation and best in show, all to be decided by appointed judges. Besides a light dinner with taste of latkes, entertainment includes balloon creations and facial art at the temple’s future home, Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver. Communal candle-lighting takes place there at 6:30ish that evening. Bring a Hanukkah candelabra and candles for the blessings, and sing along with the “Top Latke⁄Family Jam Band” –Hal Aqua, David Ross, Michael Friedman and Michael Paff. (There’s no charge for candle-lighting or concert.) Be sure to thank lat-KEY planners: Alice Alban, chair; Sharon Thorson, co-chair; Robin Aubrey, chef coordinator; Susan Waldman, mentor; and Jessica Wurtzel, design chief. Lots of volunteer helpers are needed – please do your part for this celebration!
- TOUR ISRAEL WITH MICAH CHUMS… An Israel Trip Planning Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 promises plentiful reasons to journey to Israel with Rabbi Adam Morris and Micah congregants in January 2015. Hear about itinerary, costs and other aspects of the offer with Jerry Kazaaz of Custom Travel, and Kari Epstein and Sharon Thorson, volunteer organizers. The meeting takes place at Temple Micah’s 2600 Leyden St. location; RSVP or express your interest in this travel to Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1. Then start packing.
- LEARNING IS BOOMING… MICAH BOOMERS +⁄- is a cluster of grownups who like to gather with others in the Micah community to discuss modern relevance of biblical Jewish texts. Meet with Rabbi Adam Morris at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 at Temple Micah, 2600 Leyden St. Discussion will center on “Ruth: Wherever You Go…” Find optional resources at www.micahboomers.blogspot.com. Tell Risa Tatarsky if you’ll go and you’ll bring snacks to share, or tell the temple, 303-388-4239.
- MEET A MICAH NOVELIST… Even if you’ve never been to a library or bookstore in your life, you owe yourself this evening with Nancy Weil. Temple Micah Women’s Book Group kindly will dissect her “Karmafornia” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at her home in Park Hill. To RSVP and buy a copy of the novel, contact Nancy in the Micah membership directory or leave her a message at the temple, 303-388-4239 x1. If you wonder what else to read, ask her for ideas, since she’s as avid a reader as a writer – and would be happy to share the group’s list of titles.
RABBI ADAM MORRIS
Editor’s note: Rabbi Mo is taking a break from the MICAH e-MAILBOX this month.
ALICE ALBAN, 6th TOP LATKE TASTE-OFF & HANUKKAH PARTY CHAIR & BOARD MEMBER:
HAPPY THANKSGIVUKKAH (OR CHANKSGIVING)
As you all must realize by now, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is coming up. We get to celebrate Thanksgiving AND Hanukkah on the same day. The first day of Hanukkah actually starts on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 27. Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 28. By the time tryptophan has set in, Jews will be lighting candles on their menorahs for the second night of Hanukkah. The last time this happened was 1888. The next time it happens won’t be for another 79,000 years. What a rare and fun combination! Families can celebrate BOTH holidays together and only need to fly home once. Would challah make for good stuffing? Do marshmallows really go with latkes? Would cranberry relish taste good inside a deep fried doughnut? (That answer is “YES!” – anything tastes good deep fried.)
ELAINE LEE, MEMBERSHIP AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR:
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT – LET’S BE GROUPIES AT LEAST THIS MONTH
It’s not every month that the Temple Micah Women’s Book Group gets to discuss a book with the author in person. But did you know that Micah’s own Nancy Weil wrote “Karmafornia,” the novel to be read at your leisure this month and reviewed at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 at her home in Park Hill? RSVP to “NC” herself, who’s reachable via the Micah directory or tap her through the temple, 303-388-4239 x1. The book is available on Amazon, at http:⁄⁄FoolCourtPress.net or from her. Here’s more about this author!
Do Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
October 2nd, 2013
Elaine Lee, Membership and Communications Director
Religious school for children beckons… and so, too, Jewish and Hebrew learning can suit grownups. Bethany Friedlander, Temple Micah educator, poses the invitations with a question: Have you ever been somewhere new, a little nervous to go since you would not really know anyone and maybe not really know what to expect? And then you get there. And you look around. And you feel perfectly comfortable and at home. Maybe you felt like that at services on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. Or maybe it was when you were invited to someone’s house for some delicious food. Or maybe when you went for a walk and someone said “good morning” with a huge smile.
Come to Temple Micah Religious School one Sunday morning at 1958 Elm St. in Denver. Anyone. Parent or not. As we gathered in the Assembly Room at Blessed Sacrament for our first day of the temple’s 2013-2014 Religious School session, Bethany recalls, “I was greeted with almost 70 students from kindergarten to 7th grade, their parents and teachers. There is something awe-inspiring about the holidays, but I think that having religious school start in the midst of the holidays truly made the last few weeks an ‘awesome’ experience. Not only have we prayed together, sung together, spoken together, but also we have learned together.
“Let us continue that learning experience all year round,” she adds. “I look forward to seeing all families learning together at our first Byachad program on Sunday morning, Oct. 6 at Blessed Sacrament. I also hope that parents and other congregants will take advantage of the adult Hebrew classes taking place Sundays from 9:15-10:15 a.m. on religious school dates.” Get an insider’s view of religious school or adult Hebrew classes by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 303-388-4239 x4.
TODAH RABAH – GREAT BIG THANKS to all of Temple Micah’s High Holy Days participants, helpers, donors and supporters of all sorts! Thank you also to Park Hill United Methodist Church and Park Hill Congregational Church for their patience, cooperation and assistance throughout these holidays.
GREET NEW MICAH MEMBERS!…
- Jason & Robin Glanz & family of Denver
- Daniel Liptzin & Jennifer Betz & family of Denver
- Robyn & Alex Martichuski & family of Centennial
- Nicole & Eric Myers & family of Denver
- Lia Woodall & Kenneth Vogel of Denver
MAZEL TOV TO THESE COUPLES!…
- Heidi Hansford & Howard Flamm were married on Sept. 1, and she became a Flamm.
- Lauren Tatarsky & Jake Lohwater wed on Sept. 8, and he has taken the bride’s last name.
- Reid Gates, yahrzeit 9-9-13, nephew of Karen & Jeff Roberts, cousin of Alyssa, Caroline & Benjamin
MICAH AUTUMN OPTIONS… Take advantage of these programs!
- DI Chai – It’s a do-it-yourself Jewish learning opportunity – tell the rabbi what you’d like to learn and he’ll help you to meet that goal. E-mail Rabbi Mo or call 303-388-4239, x1.
- Me’at Shabbat – Toddler-focused, interactive Shabbat activities happen at 9:00 a.m. third Saturdays monthly including Oct. 19 for tadpoles, their parents and sibs at 2600 Leyden St., in Denver. Get acquainted with the rabbi, other young Jewish families and interfaith families!
- Rabbi Mo’s Roundtable – Sit with friendly Micah people for an hour of schmooze at Snooze, 2262 Larimer St. downtown, at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 18 and more third Thursdays; buy your own breakfast items.
Thanks so much to Allied on the Go, an initiative of Allied Jewish Apartments, for bringing expanded Jewish programming to the greater Denver community. Lynn Rubenstein, activities coordinator, and her husband, Rabbi Steve Rubenstein of Shalom Cares, led a recent Sukkot and Havdallah celebration, Pizza in the Hut Potluck, for the Micah community. About 20 people of varied generations participated in this lovely autumn evening at the sukkah on the temple lawn.
“Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship”… See, study and discuss this Shalom Hartman Institute video lecture series, with Rabbi Adam Morris of Temple Micah and others in the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council. Choose whichever time suits you, either Tuesdays from 12:00 noon-2:00 p.m. or Wednesdays from 7:00-9:00 p.m., starting Oct. 8-December. Cost is $118; register with Betsy Epel, 720-941-2655.
Intro to Judaism starting Thursday, Oct. 3 is a 28-week program designed for anyone interested in exploring Judaism or considering conversion. Created and taught by rabbis of the Rocky Mountain Rabbincal Council, the course spans history, culture, religious practices and day-to-day life of the Jewish people. Cost is $400 for a single or a couple; scholarships are available. For more information contact Betsy Epel, 720-941-2655.
JAAMM Festival, the 6th celebration of Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music, from Tuesday, Oct. 15-Sunday, Nov. 10, includes “Memories and Well Grounded Hopes,” an original collaborative piece by the dance troupe Wonderbound with klezmer fusion music played by Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe. They take the stage with Israel’s Liat Dror/Nir Ben Gal Dance Company at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Elaine Wolf Theatre, Mizel Arts & Culture Center at the Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver. For the rest of the festival schedule and ticket arrangements, call the box office, 303-316-6360, or go to www.maccjcc.org/jaamm.
Circles of Change, a fundraising event of Building Bridges on Friday, Oct. 18, is a breakfast program to celebrate people striving to create change and inspire hope. The morning starts with registration at 7:00 a.m. and the program at 7:30 in the Seawell Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 1101 13th St. downtown. Cost is $85/individual or $30/student; call 303-691-2393 for details.
“The American Jewish Cocoon and the Crisis of Zionism” is Peter Beinart’s topic, presented by J Street Colorado at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 at EXDO Hall, 3545 Larimer St., Denver. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Complimentary private parking lot parking spaces are available. Tickets can be bought at http://facebook.com/JStreetColorado.
Christmas Mitzvah Project seeks volunteers from Denver’s Jewish community for local hospitals, nursing homes or hospices on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24, and Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25, to reduce staffing needs so that employees who celebrate those holidays can be with their families. No specific skills are required, but volunteers must attend a brief orientation in early December. To participate, contact Courtney Jacobson, 303-226-5466.
Jewish Interest-Free Loan of Colorado is a community resource to explore if you need financial help. Call 303-759-0841 for information or a confidential consultation about an interest-free loan. Funds may be loaned for varied purposes such as furthering education, keeping up with living expenses, making a car purchase, paying medical bills, dealing with an emergency, making home improvements or addressing unexpected business needs.
October 2nd, 2013
by Michael Clapman, President, Board of Trustees
With Sukkot a few weeks behind us, I have become reacquainted with the holiday and have learned that this holiday is, in part, a festival of the harvest. A celebration of food that comes, to use the modern vernacular, “from farm to table.” One can hardly go to a restaurant today without learning about where the food was grown, what ingredients it has, and more importantly, doesn’t have. One is constantly being urged to consume only organic, sustainable food.
So I asked my stepdaughter, Lauren, who is committed both professionally and spiritually to the concept of sustainability, to share some of her thoughts on this subject.
“When I first became passionate about sustainable food, after being on a track towards humanitarianism and international relations for many years, I remember my mother asking me what in the world made me interested in food. Under the circumstances, this was a very legitimate question. For someone who had volunteered for an orphanage in Ethiopia, fought for human rights in Burma, and studied Peace and Conflict Resolution in college, it appeared strange to suddenly be interested in sustainable agriculture and food systems. But there-in lies the problem itself: we live in a culture where food is taken for granted and where children think potatoes are those things that come out of a bag, fried and salted. We have been taught not to think about food, so we don’t really know what the story is behind our food. The fact is, if you care about human rights, you should care about food. If you care about the environment, you should care about food. If you care about health, you should care about food. And if you care about animal rights, or poverty, or consumer rights, or your own children, you should care about food.
“It’s not our fault that we don’t know about our food; it was made to be that way. It was made to be that way, because if we did know, things would have to change. And if things changed, those benefitting from the current system would have to lose out. So it was better if we didn’t know that our farmland is being destroyed by pesticides and herbicides, which are showing up in breast milk and causing disease. It was better if we didn’t know that Mexican immigrants are getting paid inhumane prices to conduct inhumane work on our farms. And it was better if we didn’t know that the lab-created, ammonium-doused, chemically engineered food we eat is causing epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and early onset puberty in communities around the country, disproportionately affecting low-income communities. Yes- our food is more loaded than we ever imagined!
“However, things are beginning to change. People around the country are beginning to realize what’s been going on with our food- and they are outraged, rightfully so. And they are starting to take manners into their own hands. Farmers markets are sprouting up all over the place; many young people- bleeding heart activists and advocates for health and the environment- are becoming farmers who grow organically and sell locally, rebuilding a culture around good food; consumers are looking at labels and deciding that maybe the less-processed items with ingredients they can read would be better for their children; and so the sustainable food movement, as they call it, is growing exponentially. Food is one of the very few things we all have in common. We all eat. And for those who have ideals that are touched by food (and most of us do), it is hard not to have a passion for sustainable food.
“Sustainable food, in simple terms, means food that is grown in a way that avoids damaging people, animals, and the environment. But beyond that, the sustainable food movement is about getting us back in touch with the food we eat, what it does to our bodies, and how it affects our world.
“There is a significant and active Jewish movement around sustainable food (Hazon International being the focal point of this movement). We can ask the same question of the Jews that my mother asked of me: why food? Because Jews care about human rights. They care about the environment and about poverty and about health. So they care about food.
“Next time you sit down with a meal, maybe ponder for a moment about the story of the food you are about to eat. Where and how was it grown, and by whom? How did it get to your plate and who made that possible? Do you feel good about the story of your food?”