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
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."