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Let Our People Go! - The 2013 Edition


By Maxwell Rotbart


Every Passover, Jews from around the world remember the Exodus from Egypt, when the Hebrews - lead by Moses - miraculously crossed the Sea of Reeds on their way to the promised land of Israel.


We are blessed to live in the United States, but it can be easy to marginalize the value of freedom, especially as most of us have never experienced bondage or slavery in any form.


Unfortunately, this isn't the case for all Jewish people this year - not even for all American Jews.

Maxwell Rotbart - Radio Chavura
Maxwell Rotbart


In Cuba, humanitarian aid worker Alan Gross ( has been imprisoned since December 2009 on trumped up charges of working against the Cuban government. Alan, now 63, has lost 105 pounds since his imprisonment, and has spent most of the last 1,208 days in a hospital facility. Alan's elderly mother has terminal cancer and is unlikely to ever see her son again.


In Bolivia, American businessman Jacob Ostreicher ( has been held in captivity since June 2011. After 660 days, he still hasn't been charged with any crime. Jacob's real "crimes" are two-fold: One is trying to bring a capitalist rice-producing enterprise to poverty-stricken socialist Bolivia. The other is being an open and unapologetic Jew.


And, in North Carolina, Jonathan Pollard ( has languished in jail since November 1985 - close to 10,000 days - for providing Israel with classified documents pertaining to her security and threats from Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, and Iranian WMD capabilities.


Jonathan admits that what he did was illegal. What is unconscionable, however, is that Jonathan is the only person in the history of the United States to spy for an ally nation and still receive a life sentence (the median sentence is - in fact - between two and four years). Even enemy agents (representing Al-Qaida, Iran, North Vietnam, and Russia) intending specific harm to the United States, have received far more lenient prison sentences. After 27 years, Jonathan has more than paid his debt to society.


We need to remember Alan, Jacob, and Jonathan, too, at our Passover Seders - not just our ancient Israelite ancestors.


Pray for their speedy release from captivity. Call your Congressperson. 

Le'Shana HaBah BeYerushalaim! Next Year in Jerusalem!

Radio Chavura invites your comments.

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Rabbi Zev Pomeranz - Radio Chavura
Rabbi Zev Pomeranz 

Rabbi Zev Pomeranz, associate rabbi at Aish Denver, is a second-generation Holocaust survivor.  He will be one of the speakers at the Colorado Holocaust Survivors Memorial Service to be held on April 7th at the Jewish Community Center.  The theme of this year's event is "Growing Up as Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors."


The service, which begins at 4 pm, also features Miriam Hoffman (1st Gen) and Adam Leventhal (3rd Gen), Cantor Saul RosenthalRabbi Raphael Leban and the Hillel Academy Boys Choir.  Tana Rosenberg (3rd Gen) is chairwoman.


Tana, Miriam, Rabbi Pomeranz and Sam Kutner (2nd Gen) are scheduled to be guests on our March 31 program.  


DAT School Dinner - Radio Chavura
Click on Photo to View Larger Version


The Denver Academy of Torah's recent annual dinner, celebrating the school's 20th anniversary, was a wonderful tribute to the power of a dream to blossom into a reality. Honorees were Dr. Peggy KasloffJeff Wilson, and Cantor & Mrs. Zachary Kutner


Pictured here (l-r): Howard Shapiro, Philip Hirsch, Ilan Caplan and Daniel Mogyoros  

Photo by Avital Rotbart





Georgie and Sue Seserman - Radio Chavura
Georgie & Sue Seserman


In last week's edition of our newsletter we ran a photo of Denver high school students Ben Weil and Georgie Seserman, who will be performing for us on an upcoming edition of Radio Chavura.  


Many readers clicked on the photo of Ben and Georgie, who were joined in the studio by Rabbi Michael Sunshine of Jewish Student Connection.  Unfortunately the link for that photo was incorrect.  This is the actual link.  We thought you also might like to see a photo (at left) of Georgie with mom Sue, who accompanied her to our studio.



Every Sunday @ 6:30 p.m. on 990 KRKS AM in Denver  

24/7 @


Julie Geller, Radio Chavura's Musical Director, Invites You To Download Her New Passover Song: 

 Make it Part of This Year's Seders

Julie Geller - Radio Chavura
Watch Julie's Latest Video: Click on Image

Yay! It's spring here in Denver!  My flip flops are out. I'm itching to get back on my bike and go running. 


What this all means is that Passover, the Jewish festival of Spring, begins this week. I thought it would be fun to write a new song for you to enjoy and even sing at your seders if it strikes your fancy. You can download it for free here.  You can even watch the video here.
A big thank you and shout out to the talented Yaniv Salzberg for recording this for me and playing on it! 

Julie Geller Coupon - Radio Chavura

This Week on Radio Chavura

Passover Bingo: A New Family Tradition
And Student Composer Yoni Gottlieb 
Tamara Pester - Radio Chavura
Attorney Tamara Pester

"A central theme of the Passover holiday." 


"Freedom!" "Bingo!" 


This week on Radio Chavura, we play Passover Bingo on the radio!  


This wonderful family game - on the shelves for the first time this year - is the brainchild of Denver business and intellectual property attorney Tamara Pester, who created Passover Bingo to keep her young niece and nephew engaged during the lengthy Seder.  


Encouraged by her family, Tamara spent a year-and-a-half innovating, and finally has a finished product for all kinderlach to enjoy. Passover Bingo is available at the  BMH-BJ (gift shop, Temple Emanuel gift shop, Tattered Cover, Bookies, East Side Kosher Deli, and from  


Our interview with Tamara highlights the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates the Colorado Jewish community - the same community that brought the world Samsonite Luggage, Hot Pockets, and the Barbie doll.  


Yoni Gottlieb - Radio Chavura
Composer Yoni Gottlieb

In the second half of our program, we speak with Yoni Gottlieb, a 10th grade student at Denver Jewish Day School. A classical pianist and budding composer, Yoni shares with us his original composition - Reverie - and tells us about his film reviews website:


Highlighted at the start of this week's program is an excerpt of Rabbi Joe Black's Afikomen Mambo song - available for purchase through the iTunes store. Rabbi Black is the spiritual leader at Temple Emanuel.

Last Week on Radio Chavura

The Vital Role of Jewish Day Schools:
A Conversation with Rabbi Israel Rosenfeld 
The Rosenfelds
(l-r): David, Tova and Rabbi Israel Rosenfeld

Last week on Radio Chavura, we inducted Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld, who headed Hillel Academy of Denver for 25 years, into our Pillars of the Colorado Jewish Community honor society. Rabbi Rosenfeld - a Holocaust survivor - has dedicated his life to providing a quality education to Jewish children and mentoring day school faculty members. 


PCJC_LogoThe author of numerous books on education, Rabbi Rosenfeld told us about how he entered the profession (with the help of Rabbi Samuel Adelman z"l) and what brought him to Denver, so many decades ago.  


Rabbi Rosenfeld also made a passionate argument for Jewish day school education, which is the one community institution that can preserve the integrity of our people for generations to come.


Radio Chavura encourages all of our listeners to support Denver's five Jewish day schools -
Beth Jacob High School of DenverDenver Academy of TorahDenver Jewish Day SchoolHillel Academy of Denver; and Yeshiva Toras Chaim - as well as educational organizations such as the Jewish Student Connection and CAJE's Hebrew High, which serve Jewish students enrolled in secular schools.


Joining Rabbi Rosenfeld on Radio Chavura was his wife,Tova, who told us about her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Also in studio was their eldest son - David - who serves unofficially as our community ambassador (Thank You, David!). 

Rabbi Rosenfeld is one of our state's great Jewish educators. We are proud to recognize him as one of the Pillars of the Colorado Jewish Community.
Hear our interview with Rabbi Rosenfeld now.
Chavura Community Calendar 


March 25 (Monday)  Passover Begins.  First Seder.  Chag Sameach!

March 25 & March 26 (Monday and Tuesday)

Passover Seders. Judaism in the Foothills. Conducted by Rabbi Levi Brackman. Reservations requested.  303-837-2224.  Special kids program available. Fee.

April 3 (Wednesday)
Discussion of the Oscar-nominated documentary, The Gate Keepers. Middle East Study Group. Hosted by Herzl Melmed and Robert Hazan.  7-9 pm.  6192 S. Galena Way, Englewood, 80111. Phone: 303-773-3891.  No fee.

April 7 (Sunday)
Miriam Hoffman - Radio Chavura
Miriam Hoffman



Colorado Holocaust Survivors Memorial Service. Theme: "Growing Up as Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors." Scheduled speakers include Rabbi Raphael LebanRabbi Zev Pomeranz, Miriam Hoffman and Adam Leventhal. 

Chairwoman: Tana Rosenberg (JCC - @ 4:00 pm) Free.


April 9 (Tuesday)

Governor's Holocaust Remembrance Program coordinated by the Mountain States Region of the Anti-Defamation League. 6 pm to 7 pm.  Phone: 303-830-7177.

April 10 (Wednesday)

A Comedy Evening with A.J. Jacobs presented by Colorado Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE). Location: Casselman's, 2620 Walnut Street, Denver, 80205.  General Admission: $100.  Phone: 303-321-3191 or

April 11  (Thursday)


BMH-BJ Congregation Annual Event honoring Cantor Emeritus Zachary & Trude Kutner; Dr. Ivor & Tracey Douglas (Young Leadership Award); and David Engleberg (Community Service Award). 6 pm Cocktails and Silent Auction.  7 pm Dinner.  $360 couple.  

April 16 (Tuesday)
Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society Annual Heritage Award Dinner.  Honoring Colorado Jewish sports figures: Irv Brown, Steve Hess and Gerald Mellman.  Premiere screening of "Play Ball! Early Colorado Jews in Sports."  BMH-BJ Congregation.  6:30 pm.
April 21 (Sunday)
  • Temple Micah * Run, Walk, Schmooze! * Honoring Rabbi Adam Morris * Washington Park (Denver) * Registration @8:00 am - Race @9:00 am * RSVP by April 16 @303-388-4239 x1 for early rates.

* Hillel of Colorado * Spring Fling 2013: Dedication to the Next Generation * Featuring actress Mayim Bialik * RedLine (2350 Arapahoe Street * 80205) @11:00 am * More Info @ 303-777-2773 x 224 * Fee


* Holocaust survivor Osi Sladek to speak as part of Bnai B'rith's "Light: The Holocaust & Humanity Project."  11 am to 1 pm.  Loup JCC.  Details: 


April 28 (Sunday): 


Colorado Hebrew Chorale * Lag B'Omer Celebration * Enjoy music, food, fun, and a bonfire, with special guests from the Denver Zoo! * Denver's Four Mile Historic Park (715 South Forest Street * 80246) @2:00 pm * More Info @ 303-355-0232 * Advanced RSVP Encouraged * Fee. Phone: 303-355-0232.


  • Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado Super Sunday - Smile & Dial.  To volunteer, contact Susan Weinberger at 303-316-6481.

April 29 (Monday):


ACT! for America founder, Brigitte Gabriel, will speak on the rise of Islamic radicalism in our nation.  Friendship Assembly of God, 3685 New Center Point, Colorado Springs 80922.  7pm. Free. 

Brigitte Gabriel - Radio Chavura
Brigitte Gabriel - April 29th



May 4 (Thursday):


4th Annual Youth Directions Fundraiser and Auction.  Rabbi Levi Brackman, executive director. 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm.  Artwork Network, 878 Santa Fe Drive, Denver 80204.  Former Denver School Board President, Nate Easley, is this year's recipient of the annual Youth Dedication award. Tickets $50.


May 19th (Sunday):  


Walk for Israel and Celebrate Family Festival. Yom Ha'atzmaut - Israel Independence Day. Pre-ceremony begins at 2 pm and the walk takes off at 2:30 pm  Jewish Community Center.


May 30 (Thursday): 


History of the Jewish Community of Leadville * Presented by Bill Korn * JCC South (9625 East Arapahoe Road * 80112) @7:30 pm * More Info @ 303-799-6975



Send calendar notices for your organization's upcoming events to us at: 



Talya Rotbart

Edited by Talya Rotbart*

Pollard Betrayed by Giulio Meotti  (Il Foglio/Arutz Sheva)

Pollard's ideological bona fides have been proven many times. Even the sentencing judge, Aubrey Robinson, acknowledged that Pollard was an ideologue and not a mercenary.


And yet, in spite of this, virtually all of the most influential Jewish voices in America remain silent. How long is the list of respected writers, opinion makers and journalists who routinely have a great deal to say about Jewish issues, but nothing about Jonathan Pollard, or worse, ask Barack Obama not to grant him clemency?


Shalit: 'Thanks for saving me, now its Pollard's turn'  (

"I thank those who worked for my release, and now I ask you to join the struggle to save Pollard."


Protestors storm Israeli pianists recital  (

Sixty pro-Palestinian activists interrupt Yossi Reshef's performance in South Africa, chanting and blowing vuvuzelas until concert stopped.


President Obama's Four Questions by Dr. Aryeh Hirsch  (Arutz Sheva)

"Is it fair that Palestinian children don't have their own state? Is it just that settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished? Why do you not picture yourself in their place, with a lack of self-determination? As your founding generation heads into the twilight, why do you not try to understand the Palestinians, and take the risks needed for the goal of 'two states for two peoples (sic)? '". 


VIDEO:  Created in Israel - Part of Your Life

Created in Israel Video - Talya Rotbart
Click Image to Watch Now


"Land for Peace" is dead. It's time to try 'Peace for Peace'. A genuine, sincere peace agreement shouldn't require the surrender of Israel's heartland to a band of armed terrorists.


Israeli, US Universities Team Up for Energy Research (Jerusalem Post)


VIDEO:  Students 'FlashWaltz' at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem


Flash Waltz
Click on photo to view video


Israeli Windsurfers Win Gold, Bronze in Brazil (

Proving the old adage that "good things come in threes," Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits took home her third consecutive first place prize at the RS-X World Championships in Buzios, Brazil.


Double-Standard for Anti-Semitism on Campus by Ronn Torossian (Arutz Sheva)

College campuses throughout the United States are bastions of racism and anti-Semitism, and for many years that fact has largely been ignored by the mainstream media.

Marijuana: Another Gift of the Left to America's Youth by Dennis Prager

What the left has done to America's youth in the last 40 or so years is so damaging as to be unforgiveable. They have ruined public school education; left them with so much debt that they will likely be the first American generation to live materially inferior to the their parents; and robbed their innocence with sex education classes, now beginning in kindergarten in Chicago and elsewhere. Now they are making marijuana available to more kids and in greater potency than ever before.


IDF Most 'Female Friendly' Army in the World (Arutz Sheva)

More than one third of the army's "enlisted men" are women.

An American in Israel by Naomi Ragen (Jerusalem Post)

The American consulate seems to be exclusively aimed at benefiting West Bank and east Jerusalem Palestinians.

Naomi Ragen
Naomi Ragen

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking (New York Times Sunday Review) 

Thirteen years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.



Ukraine - Town To Stop Using Jewish Headstones As Pavement (Vos Iz Neias?)



Fitch Ratings downgrades National Jewish Health's bonds  (Denver Business Journal)



Seeking Kin: From Denver to Brooklyn, a family reconnects  (JTA)

(CBS - Denver) 
Joshua Fine
Josh Fine

By Rabbi Levi Brackman (



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* For additional articles, videos and photos of interest throughout the week, follow Talya on Facebook.


Seth Ward
Seth Ward
On this week's edition of Radio Chavura, we hear from Dr. Seth Ward, a professor in the religious studies department at the University of Wyoming. In July 2012, Dr. Ward was in Albuquerque, NM, where he served as the program chair at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies. Dr. Ward phoned us from that conference to talk to us about Crypto-Judaism and issues affecting the descendants of Jews who were forced to hide their religion during the Inquisition.
We also speak with Elizabeth Naidu, a native of India, who frequently lectures at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center about the indigenous Jewish population of India. She shares with us a little bit of her own background, as well as a little bit of Indian-Jewish history and culture

November 11, 2012:

Alan Veingrad
Shlomo Veingrad

Former Dallas Cowboys Linebacker, Alan "Shlomo" Veingard, discusses his journey from the gridiron to the world of Orthodox Judaism. Shlomo was the featured speaker at the Yeshiva Toras Chaim annual dinner.
As he returns to Australia, Rabbi Selwyn Franklin, the departing BMH-BJ Congregation senior rabbi, shares some highlights of his time in Colorado and a recommendation for his successor.



People around the country and as far away as Mongolia - no kidding - are listening to this special edition of Radio Chavura and writing us to say how much they enjoyed the episode.  If you haven't heard the show yet, what are you waiting for?

StudioJHomegrown Colorado Jewish Music
Host: Julie Geller

Maybe it's the crisp mountain air. Maybe it's the snowmelt. Maybe it's the spiritual influence of our great Jewish day schools and educational programs. 


Regardless, it is undisputed that Colorado's Jewish musical artists generate a unique vibe - a special feel that distinguishes them from the sounds of other Hebrew and Jewish groups.

Julie Geller


Last month, we launched Studio J at Radio Chavura, an all-music edition of our program that will be hosted several times a year by our multi-talented musical director, Julie Geller.


Each edition of Studio J at Radio Chavura will highlight bands that are channeling the Rocky Mountain energy and producing awesome, original Jewish music.  


In fact, the first band that Julie featured on last month's show was Sababa: Cool. Jewish. Music. 


Sababa features Temple Emanuel's artist-in-residence, Steve Brodsky; Scott Leader of Arizona and Robbi Sherwin of Texas. 


Julie also showcased two of the beloved songs of Or Zimrah, the house band of Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, and the fun, rockin' tunes of Rocky Mountain Jewgrass: High Octane Jewish Bluegrass


WARNING: Studio J at Radio Chavura has been known to cause listeners to leave their seats and start dancing. if you find yourself enjoying the show, please subscribe at

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It's Time to Address Jewish Day School Tuition 


TuitionDenver has five top-tier Jewish schools - Beth JacobDenver Academy of TorahDenver Jewish Day SchoolHillel Academy, and Yeshiva Toras Chaim
We Support Jewish Day SchoolsSadly, these schools are often under-funded, and parents increasingly must struggle to afford Jewish day school tuition.

As 2012 drew to a close, hosts Maxwell and Dean Rotbart shared two of their ideas for solving the day school tuition crisis without raising rates, refusing students, or turning to government funding. How is this possible? 


Hear the full show online now by clicking here


Listen to the full show - without music - by clicking here.


We invite you to share your thoughts on how to best fund Jewish day schools.  Email: or phone 1-855-JEWISH-4.


Can't listen live to Radio Chavura? You can hear this week's full show right now, here. All previous broadcasts are available at:
Dean and Maxwell Rotbart
Radio Chavura Co-Hosts
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We Support Jewish Day Schools