Program Guide: January 19, 2014 (Shevat 18, 5774) 

Collage by Avital Rotbart
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TONIGHT: 6:30 pm on 990 KRKS AM  
Sholem Aleichem's Granddaughter - Bel Kaufman, Shares Her Personal Recollections of the Beloved Author


Bel Kaufman, the 102-year-old granddaughter of famed Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem, is our guest tonight on Radio Chavura.  The program can be heard at 6:30 pm on 990 KRKS AM, or online 24/7 by clicking here.
Bel Kaufman Collage
(L) Bel as a child with her grandfather, Sholem Aleichem;  (R) A recent photo of Bel Kaufman.
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.'


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 hosts Maxwell and Dean Rotbart, 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 Radio Chavura interview here.



Talya Rotbart

Edited by Talya Rotbart


Thanks to the following individuals whose keen eyes helped us identify articles of interest in recent editions: Richard Behar, Dr. Herzl MelmedDr. Donald Salem, Lela Kay, and Shirley Lewis. If you spot a news feature that is worth including in a future edition of this newsletter, please email the URL to Talya at [email protected].


by Jonah Lowenfeld (January 17, 2014)

"'UNESCO has fully adopted the Arab narrative of the history of the Middle East," [Simon Wiesenthal Center dean and founder Rabbi Marvin] Hier said. "The Arab world is not interested in such an exhibition. Such an exhibition goes against their narrative that the world forced Israel upon them as a result of World War II.'

Hier called the U.S. decision not to co-sponsor the exhibit, 'very problematic,' and even speculated that, had the U.S. joined on, UNESCO might not have postponed the exhibit." 
by Caroline Glick (January 17, 2014)

Ya'alon's private statements about Kerry were no harsher than public statements that the Saudis have made 
regarding the Obama administration's regional policies. Last November, journalist Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal. According to Goldberg, the Saudi royal attacked US President Barack Obama 'with a directness that would make Benjamin Netanyahu blush.'"


by The Editors of Tablet Magazine (January 16, 2014)
Photo Courtesy of Tablet Magazine via AFP
Supporters of Jonathan Pollard in Israel
Photo Courtesy of Tablet Magazine via AFP

"Rather, Pollard's continued incarceration appears, at this point in time, to be intended as a statement that dual loyalty on the part of American Jews is a real threat to America - and a warning to the American Jewish community as a whole.

But why do Jews need such a warning? In a country where no one drinks from separate water fountains and same-sex marriage is legal, the idea that American Jews are uniquely susceptible to the lures of serving two masters at once - and therefore need an extra-stiff dose of public deterrence to keep from selling out their fellow Americans - is as silly as it is vicious."
CBN News: Israel's Strategic Needs
CBN News: Israel's Strategic Needs 
(Click on image to view video)
by Ari Soffer (January 16, 2014)

"In a bid to 'remind' Kerry of the existential threat posed by a withdrawal - particularly by rocket attacks - AFSI took the initiative to republish a recent presentation by Langfan illustrating the strategic importance of the Judea-Samaria region, and translated it into Hebrew and Russian 'in case he doesn't understand plain English.'" 



by Daniel Siryoti (January 14, 2014)

"The Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech at the Muqataa government compound in Ramallah on Saturday."


Forbes Writer to NYU's President: "I'm Ashamed To Be An Alumnus"

by Richard Behar (January 14, 2014) 


NYU President John Sexton  (Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau via Forbes)
NYU President John Sexton 
(Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau via Forbes)

"I appreciate that you condemned the boycott, President Sexton, but I found it strange that a champion debater, a man with such passion, was quite so perfunctory. When I compare your statement to those made by many other college presidents, I am as perplexed as I am ashamed."  







by Charles Krauthammer (January 9, 2014)
"Free Palestine" graffiti on Denver's Auraria Campus 

"Upon taking the oath of citizenship in Jerusalem, [European piano virtuoso Evgeny Kissin] declared: "I am a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state.... Israel's case is my case, Israel's enemies are my enemies, and I do not want to be spared the troubles which Israeli musicians encounter when they represent the Jewish state beyond its borders."


Express your solidarity. Sign the open letter or write your own. 






Susie Sigman - Temple Emanuel Temple Emanuel's Susie Sigman, a previous guest on our program and friend of the show, on being named president of the national Program Directors of Reform Judaism!

Hebrew Calendar

Radio Chavura Jewish Colorado Calendar 



January 22 (Wednesday):  Hillel Academy's 62nd annual dinner, honoring Dr. Robert and Esther Wershaw; Rabbi Chaim and Rivky Sher; and Rabbi Yisroel and Leah Engel. The Denver Synagogue/BMH-BJ.  6:00 pm


January 26 (Sunday): 15th Annual John C. Livingston Memorial Program presented by the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society & Beck Archives.  Regional premiere of "The Whipping Man"  - a "hauntingly powerful drama about newfound freedom and the painful legacy of slavery." 2:00 pm.  The Curious Theatre Company located at 1080 Acoma Street, Denver 80204.  For information, phone 303-871-3016.  Seats are limited.



Denver Academy of Torah will hold its 21st annual dinner at The Denver Synagogue/BMH-BJ.  5:00 pm cocktails and silent auction.  6:30 pm dinner.  Proceeds support the school's K-12 program.  Dinner chairs:  Devorah and Scott Friedman; Randy and Mike Weiss; and Rayna and Mort Zussman[See ad above.]


January 30 (Thursday): The Hebrew Educational Alliance presents "Living With Loss, One Day At A Time," with author Rachel Kodanaz. The event lasts from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm, and has no charge. Contact Naomi Kirshner at 303-758-9400 x. 213 for more information.


February 1 (Saturday)Rodef Shalom will hold its annual dinner, "In Harmony," at 7:30 pm. Honorees are: Dr. Claude and Besty Brachfeld; and Rabbi Sandy Cohen and Ben Cohen.  Della Levy is the event chair.  For more information, phone: 303-399-0035. 



The Denver Synagogue/BMH-BJ community wide Talent Show, presented by the

BMH-BJ Women's League.  7:00 pm in Fisher Hall.


February 5 (Wednesday):  The JCC South Denver brings Lynn Rubenstein to teach a series of "Israeli Folk Dancing for Beginners" classes, to be continued on February 19th, March 5th and 19th, April 9th and 23rd, and May 7th and 21st. The classes will be held from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Cost is $10/class. 


18th JCC Film Festival
Click to view schedule
February 5 - February 16: 18th Annual Denver Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Mizel Arts & Culture Center (MACC).  For schedule, click here. Opening reception honoring Udi Baron and family at 5:30 pm.  All seating is reserved.  350 S. Dahlia Street, Denver, 80246.  


February 8 (Saturday)Join The Jewish Experience for its annual Wine, Cheese & Chocolate
fundraiser at Infinity Park. This year's event will feature an "Edible Construction Competition" in honor of the new home of The Jewish Experience at 399 S. Monaco Pkwy.  [See ad below.]
February 11 (Tuesday): The JCC South Denver brings Jewish Outreach Initiative educator Sarah Lehrfield to teach a "Jewish Values for Jewish Moms" series of classes, also to be held on March 11th. The topic for the February 11th class (11:00 am - 12:00 pm) will be "Challah Baking." Cost is $5/class.
February 19 (Wednesday): The JCC South Denver invites Debbie Goodman, JCC Director of Jewish Life and Learning, to bring her "Lunch and Learn" series to southeast Denver. The class will also be held on March 12th. The February 19th class (11:45 am - 1:00 pm) will showcase the film Las Abuelas de Plaza Mayo, followed by a discussion. Cost is $5/person. 
The Jewish Experience will host Rabbi Ken Spiro, author of "WorldPerfect - The Jewish Impact on Civilization," as the first guest at TJE's new home. Call 303-316-6412 for more information.  Tentative.
February 22 (Saturday):  A fabulous evening of fun, gourmet feast and an array of incredible auctions are in store at the Yeshiva Toras Chaim Melave Malka.  8:00 pm. 1555 Stuart Street, Denver, 80204. Phone: 303-629-8200.
February 24 (Monday):  JEWISHcolorado and Jewish Community Relations Council's "Date With The State" to be held in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at The State Capitol, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Reservations:  Janet Sherman, JCRC Director, at 303-316-6490 or [email protected].  Event co-chairs: Glenda Kaufman and Jennifer Dechtman.
February 27 (Thursday): The Hebrew Educational Alliance will host an "All-Judaic & Israeli Art & Jewelry Festival." Runs through March 3rd. Contact Neal Price at 303-758-9400 for more information or to volunteer. [See ad below.]
March 16 (Sunday):  The BMH-BJ Women's League will present its Annual Purim Carnival.  11:00 am to 3:00 pm

 Send calendar notices for your organization's upcoming events to us at: [email protected]

NEXT EDITION: January 26, 2014


On next week's edition of Radio Chavura, we will speak with Rabbi Ahron Wasserman, executive director, and Rabbi Raphael Leban, managing director, of The Jewish Experience.


Leban and Wasserman
Rabbi Leban (l) and Rabbi Wasserman  

The Jewish Experience offers classes, programs and events for greater Denver-area Jews of all backgrounds, regardless of their previous education, affiliation or upbringing. TJE's mission is to inspire and nurture Jewish growth and help members of the community apply the lessons and principles of Torah in their everyday lives.


Rabbis Wasserman and Leban will preview their new home - scheduled to open in February 2014, at 399 S. Monaco Parkway.  The center will house classrooms, meetings spaces, lounge areas, teen rooms, a kosher kitchen, a learning library, administrative offices and much more.


The Rabbis also will discuss the wonderful and diverse programs that are offered through TJE for kids, teens, and adults.


On February 8th, TJE will host a "Wine, Cheese & Chocolate" fundraiser at Infinity Park.  The annual event, which this year will include an "Edible Construction Competition," is a major component of TJE's yearly funding efforts.  For more information or to make a reservation, contact TJE at, or phone: 303-316-6412. 

 Last Week on Radio Chavura: 


Comparing Jewish Day Schools to Public Schools:
Lessons Each Can Learn From the Other  

Maxwell Collage
Photos (L-R):  Maxwell Rotbart majored in history and finds lively ways to teach the subject, including a Civil War reenactment, and portraying "Doctor History".  Maxwell has co-hosted Radio Chavura since its debut in July 2012.  Maxwell graduated cum laude from Metropolitan State University of Denver in December 2013.  Here he is pictured with Dr. Stephen Jordan, the University's president. Click on photo to view larger image.



On the first half of last week's program, co-host Maxwell Rotbart reflected on his experiences at Grandview High School, where he recently completed a semester as a fulltime student teacher. Grandview, which is in the Cherry Creek School District, is - at 2,600 students - the second-largest high school in Colorado.


Maxwell previously spent four years assisting and teaching at the Denver Academy of Torah.  On the show, he compared the two educational environments and reflected on insights he gained by teaching in a large public school that can be brought into the Jewish day school classroom, and what he brought to Grandview, inspired by his experiences at DAT.


Maxwell pointed out that Grandview's physical facilities play a significant and unexpected role in boosting student pride in the school. Grandview has two full-size gyms, a swimming pool, a football field, a soccer field, tennis courts, and two baseball fields.


Working in their favor, teachers in Jewish day schools enjoy smaller class sizes, which allow them more time to build individual relationships with their students, working to inspire and encourage each student to fulfill his or her potential.


Maxwell, who graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in December and earned his Colorado State teaching license, plans to pursue a career in Jewish education.  He is currently working on a series of history books, aimed at middle and high school students.


Maxwell is also available to tutor Jewish students on a one-on-one basis in most secular and Judaic subjects.  For more information, email him at:  [email protected] or phone:  855-JEWISH-4 (855-539-4744).




Segment Two: A Conversation with Jamie Sarche, Feldman Mortuary


Why Prearranged Funeral Planning Is As Important As Life Insurance for Living with Peace of Mind 


Nowak and Sarche
Nancy Nowak (l) and Jamie Sarche

In the second half of last week's program, we spoke with Jamie Sarche, director of outreach and prearranged funeral planning at Feldman Mortuary. Feldman Mortuary has served the community as Denver's Jewish mortuary since 1936.


Jamie talked about the fact that - because funeral planning is such an uncomfortable topic for so many people - too few decide to plan ahead of their actual time of need.


Yet prearranged funeral planning is much like life insurance - the time will come where it is very much needed; without a plan, the challenging days surrounding the death of a loved one will be compounded by the stress of arranging the funeral.


Jamie's goal is to make the end-of-life transition as smooth as she can for families in grief. By meeting with families when all members are healthy, Jamie is able to - very tactfully - have a conversation about death and put in place all of the accompanying necessary planning.


Jamie was joined on the show by one of her prearranged funeral planning clients, Nancy Nowak, who talked about the amazing way that Jamie was able to help her family when Nancy's husband passed away.


Hear the full broadcast now


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Newest Radio Chavura Photo Essay 

 Click on photos 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)

To Contact Avital, Phone 1-855-539-4744

 "You don't make a photograph just with a camera.  You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved." 


- Ansel Adams



Avital has quickly earned a reputation for her stunning ability to capture priceless moments of joy and celebration.  In addition to her work on behalf of Radio Chavura and Business Unconventional, she serves as a staff photographer at Girls Inc. and Camp Maayan.


Avital puts her heart and soul into photography - and it shows.  Talk to her about capturing the "spirit" of your loved ones and your most important moments.  

Email: [email protected] or phone 1-855-JEWISH-4 (539-4744).


Stars for Israel Logo

Today marks 10,286 days since Jonathan Pollard ( was imprisoned in the United States.
Top US Officials: Free Jonathan Pollard Now!
Top US Officials: Free Jonathan Pollard Now!
Click on image to view video 

Today marks 1,509 days since Alan Gross ( was imprisoned in Cuba.

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

Can't listen live to Radio Chavura? You can hear this week's full show right now, here. All previous broadcasts are available for free from

This week's broadcast is not available in a No-Music version.
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Maxwell and Dean Rotbart
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