Program Guide: January 5, 2014 (Shevat 4, 5774) 

Collage by Avital Rotbart
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Save the Date: January 19, 2014
Sholem Aleichem's Granddaughter - Bel Kaufman, To Be Interviewed Exclusively on Radio Chavura
 6:30 pm on 990 KRKS AM


Bel Kaufman, the 102-year-old granddaughter of famed Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem, will be the guest on the January 19th edition of Radio Chavura.
Born Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich in 1859, Sholem Aleichem is best known for writing the stories that were eventually adapted for Broadway and film as 'Fiddler on the Roof.'


Bel Kaufman and Sholem Aleichem
Bel Kaufman and
Sholem Aleichem
Often referred to as "the Jewish Mark Twain," Aleichem was born into a Hasidic family and grew up in a shtetl in what is now the Ukraine. He resettled in New York City in 1905 and passed away in 1916. Aleichem had six children. His daughter, Lyalya, a Hebrew writer, was Kaufman's mother.

In her exclusive interview with Radio Chavura, Kaufman observes, "I am the only person in the world at this time who [personally] remembers Sholem Aleichem."


Although Kaufman was five years old when her famous grandfather died, she still has clear memories of him. She recalls that Aleichem used to say to her, "'The tighter you hold my hand, [the better] I will write.' So," Kaufman jokes, "anyone who enjoys his writing has me to thank."


Kaufman, who lives in Manhattan with her 97-year-old husband, is a successful author in her own right. In 1965, she penned the bestselling "Up The Down Staircase," which recounted the life of a first-year public school teacher in New York City. The book was made into a film in 1967, starring Sandy Dennis as the teacher.


Read more about Bel Kaufman and her upcoming Radio Chavura interview here.

2013's Five Most Popular Radio Chavura Audios:
Rabbis, Kids, Politicians and Community Leaders
 A Conversation with Hosts Maxwell and Dean Rotbart

(L-R): Rabbi Joe Black; Roz Weiss; Maxwell Rotbart and Congressman Doug Lamborn;
Mayor Michael Hancock; Pearl and Heidi Clayman, and Estee and Aaron Brooks.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

DEAN: The ball has dropped in Times Square, the champagne bottles are empty, and the fireworks displays over downtown Denver are already almost a week old.


MAXWELL: With students getting ready to return to school this week, we take a look back at our most popular radio programs of the past year. We had listeners from all around the state, nation and world join us for our weekly half-hour of Colorado-style Yiddishkeit.


Hear for yourself what our listeners found most compelling:


1.     Lamborn: "Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem" - July 7, 2013


MAXWELL: Over the summer, U.S. Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05), chair of the Congressional bipartisan Israel Allies Caucus, sat down with us for an exclusive interview, focusing on United States policy towards Israel and what changes Congressman Lamborn wants to see going forward.


DEAN: Congressman Lamborn is a true leader, friend of Israel, and friend of Colorado Jewry.  That's why we presented him with our "Pillars of the Colorado Jewish Community" award.


2.     Boutique Judaica to Close: End of An Era - March 3, 2013


DEAN: In January 2013, Boutique Judaica owners Roz Weiss and Carolyn Auerbach joined me and Avital for an interview discussing their beloved gift shop of more than thirty-five years. Sadly, the day after the taping, Carolyn's husband, Ralph z'l, passed away. In the weeks that followed, Roz and Carolyn made the difficult decision to close their store.


MAXWELL: This interview, which aired during Boutique Judaica's final week of operations in March, is a touching reminiscence of a Denver institution, recorded on its last "normal" day of business.


3.     Denver Jewish Students in an Amazing Race - May 19, 2013


MAXWELL: In a fun-filled interview with Denver Academy of Torah middle school students Aaron Brooks, Estee Brooks, Heidi Clayman, and Pearl Clayman, we previewed The Color Run, an exciting summer 5K used to

Chery Fellows
Cheryl Fellows

raise funds for various charity organizations. The four students featured were running on behalf of Yachad: The National Jewish Council for Disabilities.


DEAN: Aaron, Estee, Heidi, and Pearl are great examples of the high caliber of Denver's Jewish young people. We hope to feature students more often on our program in 2014.


MAXWELL:  In the second half of this program, we spoke with Cheryl Fellows, head of the Boulder Jewish Festival about the upcoming annual summer event. 


DEAN:  Cheryl and her husband, David, are also responsible for producing the terrific Boulder Jewish News.


4.     Hancock: "What the Jewish Faith Taught Me" - November 24, 2013


MAXWELL: This was one of my favorite shows this past year. Denver's Mayor Michael Hancock, who had recently returned from his first trip to Israel, graciously invited us to join him in his City Hall office to reflect on the time that he spent in the Holy Land.


DEAN: Mayor Hancock's remarks are both inspiring and insightful! He has long and deep connections to the Jewish community in Denver.


5.     High Holidays Preparation with Rabbi Joe Black - August 25, 2013


DEAN: I enjoy speaking with Temple Emanuel's Rabbi Joseph R. Black - and not just because we both graduated from Northwestern University! Rabbi Black, with humor, warmth, and a little bit of song, is such a wonderful spiritual leader here in Colorado.


MAXWELL: I agree. I periodically attend services at Temple Emanuel, and it is always such a pleasure to see Rabbi Black and to hear him speak.


DEAN: His interview, discussing High Holiday preparations is appropriate not just for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, but for those seeking a higher spiritual connection all year round.



MAXWELL: We're pleased that so many Radio Chavura listeners enjoyed these - and other - broadcasts, and look forward to having everyone join us for another full year of programs in 2014.


DEAN: On behalf of our entire staff, Radio Chavura wishes everyone a happy and healthy New Year.


"Good luck, all the best, until we hear from you again."




Were You There? Who Do You Recognize?



Newest Radio Chavura Photo Essays 

Kollel Group
 Click on photo to view all 72 photos from this year's Denver Community Kollel Jewish Family Extravaganza, held on December 25th.


High-resolution digital jpg files of all photos featured in Radio Chavura's photo essays are available for convenient purchase for $18 each. They make great gifts and keepsakes! To order, email us or phone: 1-855-JEWISH-4 (539-4744)

 An Encore Presentation: 
This Week on Radio Chavura: 

Evergreen's Rabbi Levi Brackman
Helps Teens Identify Their Passions  

Rabbi Levi Brackman
Decades ago, cartoonist Gary Larson, creator of the popular "Far Side" comic strip, drew an image of two middle-class parents, watching their son play video games, and wishfully thinking that maybe - one day - he would find a high-paying job as a Nintendo or Mario Brothers player (because he clearly was incapable of doing anything else). 

Most parents of teenage children can relate to the disconcerting fear that their children will never find a passion that will translate into a fulfilling career.

Rabbi Levi Brackman, founder of the Denver-based Youth Directions, is determined to make sure that all teens find a meaningful path in life that fits their interests and talents.

Rabbi Brackman, who is the guest on this week's edition of Radio Chavura, started Youth Directions only four years ago, but has already transformed the lives of many young adults in Colorado - both Jewish and gentile - by giving them the "space" to discover their lives' purpose.

With a specific action plan, designed based upon his years of experience as an entrepreneur and community leader (both in the United Kingdom and the United States), Rabbi Brackman works with public and private school teachers to bring Youth Directions into their classrooms, helping students to learn about themselves in the safety of their own school.

Rabbi Brackman also serves as director and rabbi at Judaism in the Foothills, a dynamic, non-judgmental congregation at the base of the Rocky Mountains that Rabbi Brackman founded with his wife Sheindy in 2005.

To learn how to get your child involved with Youth Directions, or how to bring its curriculum of self-empowerment to your school, contact Rabbi Brackman at 303-462-5777.

To find out more about the amazing Judaism in the Foothills community, call Rabbi Brackman at 303-679-0613.



This program was originally broadcast on June 2, 2013


Stars for Israel Logo

Today marks 10,272 days since Jonathan Pollard ( was imprisoned in the United States.

Today marks 1,495 days since Alan Gross ( was imprisoned in Cuba.

Jacob Ostreicher was imprisoned in Bolivia in June 2011.  He was released on December 16, 2013.

This Investigative Reporter Wrote A Cover Story For Forbes on Israeli-Palestinian Hi-Tech Cooperation, Stirring Major-League Controversy
This Show Reveals the Secret To Stemming Assimilation and Intermarriage. Hint: Denver Has Five Strongholds
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Maxwell and Dean 
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