Program Guide: January 26, 2014 (Shevat 25, 5774) 

Collage by Avital Rotbart
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TONIGHT, June 26th: 6:30 pm on 990 KRKS AM


On this week's edition of Radio Chavura, we 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 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 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. 



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, Cheryl and David Fellows 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 The Jerusalem Post Staff (January 26, 2014)

Ms. Johansson with the SodaStream machine
Courtesy: The Jerusalem Post
Acclaimed actress Scarlett Johansson has received international criticism for her scheduled appearance in a Super Bowl ad promoting SodaStream, an Israeli company. A human rights group that she serves as an ambassador for - Oxfam - is now "considering the implications" of Ms. Johansson's opposition to the BDS Movement, amending her official biography on the Oxfam site to reflect its displeasure with her and with Israeli companies that allegedly "further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities." Oxfam has indicated that it is reconsidering her "role" as one of their celebrity ambassadors. Said Ms. Johansson in a statement responding to Oxfam and her other critics:

"SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma'aleh Adumim factory every working day... 


I believe in conscious consumerism and transparency and I trust that the consumer will make their own educated choice that is right for them...


I stand behind the SodaStream product and am proud of the work that I have accomplished at Oxfam as an ambassador for over eight years. Even though it is a side effect of representing SodaStream, I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two-state solution in the near future."  


Boulder City Council Unanimously Approves JCC Building Project

by David Fellows (January 21, 2014)


The Fellows
Cheryl and David Fellows publish The Boulder Jewish News
For those of you who aren't already familiar with the Boulder Jewish News, it is a fantastic community resource that everyone in Colorado should be reading and sharing. Subscribe (for free) here!


"Councilman Macon Cowles described the JCC as a gateway project, since the building will be one of the first things people see coming in to Boulder on Arapahoe Ave, and said that the community 'thanks you for this great project.'"


Also, be sure to check out the Boulder Jewish News's recent article about the Boulder JCC's trip to Cuba.



Palestinians vs. Pro-Palestinian Israelis

by Khaled Abu Toameh (January 21, 2014) 

"First, the protesters are acting against Israelis who openly support the Palestinian issue and are completely opposed to the policies of the current Israeli government. In other words, the Palestinians are "spitting in the face" of those Israelis who support their demands and are prepared to put their lives at risk by entering Ramallah to talk peace.
...Not a single Palestinian official has dared to condemn the assaults on the Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. Even the PA leadership, whose representatives often say (in English) that they are in favor of such meetings, has yet to denounce the actions and threats of the "anti-normalization" activists."


by Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada (January 20, 2014)
Click here to view video of Prime Minister Harper's Speech
Click here to view video of Prime Minister Harper's Speech

"People who would never say they hate and blame the Jews for their own failings or the problems of the world, instead declare their hatred of Israel and blame the only Jewish state for the problems of the Middle East. As once Jewish businesses were boycotted, some civil-society leaders today call for a boycott of Israel. Think about that.


Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that: a state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish as Jews, and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history. That is condemned, and that condemnation is masked in the language of anti-racism. It is nothing short of sickening."


Please be sure to also read Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick's analysis of Prime Minister Harper's speech.


Terrorist murderers are "heroes," Abbas said four times in speech 

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (January 19, 2014)


Terrorist murderers are
Click here to view the video of Abbas's remarks
"Israel released these terrorists because the PA demanded Israel release 104 prisoners from jail, all of them murderers, in order for the PA to resume peace negotiations with Israel. 
Three released terrorist "heroes" celebrated with Abbas on stage:

1. Jamal Abu Muhsin - stabbed a 76 year-old Israeli civilian to death in a park in 1991.

2. Ahmad Kmeil - a commander of a terrorist cell that murdered an Israeli soldier and 15 Palestinians who they suspected of helping Israel.

3. Na'im Al-Shawamreh - placed a bomb in 1993 that killed the police sapper who was trying to defuse it." 




EXCLUSIVE: Incoming ASA Chief Accuses Forbes Writer of Homophobia After Scathing Critique of Her Anti-Israel Rant

by Joshua Levitt (January 16, 2014)


Last week Radio Chavura published an op-ed piece by Forbes Magazine investigative journalist (and past program guest) Richard Behar. In his editorial, Behar observes that incoming American Studies Association president, Lisa Duggan, should be supporting Israel, instead of a boycotting the country. Wrote Behar:


"Is Duggan [who is a professor of lesbian and gay studies at New York University] aware that Israel, who she considers one of the greatest oppressors of human rights in the world, is quite possibly the gayest-friendly country in the world, let alone the tyrannical Middle East? Yes, but she and many of her cronies call it 'pinkwashing' - in essence a conspiracy by Israelis to support gays in order to detract attention from their treatment of Palestinians. In other words, Israel just can't do anything worthwhile."


Duggan responded to this well-articulated point by accusing Behar of homophobia. The level of discourse among Palestinian activists continue to reach new lows.

Did You Spot This Photo?

Airport workers in Zurich inadvertently parked the planes of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani next to each other on the tarmac this week. Both leaders were in Switzerland to speak at the annual economic conference at Davos. Members of their delegations crossed paths disembarking from their respective planes, two of whom - incredibly - exchanged brief greetings!
(Photo: The Jerusalem Post)

Yasher Koach:


Denver-based real estate attorney Josh Fine is a Denver Broncos fan. No, that's an understatement. Josh Fine is a HUGE (all caps, please) Denver Broncos fan.


So when Josh's brother, as a New York Jets season ticket holder (in the year when the Jets are the host team for the Super Bowl) was eligible to buy two tickets to the big game against the Seattle Seahawks at an $800 face value for each, he gave Josh the opportunity to purchase the tickets.


Josh bought the tickets with his in-laws, Barbara and Rabbi Ivan Geller, MD, giving him the chance to see the Broncos play their first Super Bowl game in 16 years! 


Josh could have used the tickets, traveling to East Rutherford, NJ, with his wife and constant supporter, Julie; son, Ilan (pictured with Josh above at the recent AFC Championship game); or a friend or co-worker.


Instead, he donated the tickets to raise funds for Jewish education. Inspired by the concept of investing in products and using the profits from that investment to fund Jewish day schools, Josh donated the tickets to the Denver Academy of Torah, which - as part of its silent auction - was able to sell them for an incredible $10,000! Said Josh of his donation:


"Our $1,600 gift turned into $10,000 and I do not feel at all regretful about giving up the tickets because they are going to a much better cause!"
For more information about Colorado's five top-tier Jewish day schools, click here.

Next Week on Radio Chavura - Exclusively at

Jewish Students Fondly Recall Rabbi Uriel Malka, z'l, Namesake of Denver's Beit Uriel Congregation


On next week's edition of Radio Chavura, we speak with Niso Aharonian, co-founder of Beit Uriel, a new synagogue in Denver that follows the Sephardic tradition of prayer.


Niso, who started Beit Uriel with his brother, Avraham, is joined on the first half of the program by Eliana Azoulay and Josh Khalepari, two of the regular congregants at the synagogue.


Niso, Eliana, and Josh share with listeners the warmth that they feel at Beit Uriel, located at 295 S. Locust Street. Denver, 80224, and discuss the beautiful sense of community that has developed among members of this young Sephardic congregation.


While most Colorado synagogues follow the Ashkenaz tradition of prayer, based on the customs of European Jewry, Sephardic prayers follow the style of the Jews of the Islamic world. The moving services at Beit Uriel are infused with melodies rarely heard elsewhere in Jewish Colorado.


On the second half of the program, Niso speaks about the namesake of Beit Uriel, Rabbi Uriel Malka, z'l. Rabbi Malka was a beloved Judaics teacher at the Denver Academy of Torah, who - tragically - was killed in the Mount Carmel Forest Fire in Israel in November 2010 at age 32.


Two of Rabbi Malka's former students, Yehuda Alter and Liat Fischer, join Niso to reflect on Rabbi Malka's legacy in Colorado. Yehuda and Liat both fondly remembered how Rabbi Malka used to engage them in the class by re-enacting battles from Jewish history.


As Niso discusses during the program, currently Rabbi Malka's widow and children, living in Israel, are struggling financially. Beit Uriel is spearheading an effort to raise funds for his family, and needs the help of the Denver Jewish community to support the Malka Family.


For more information about Rabbi Malka and his legacy, or to donate, visit

Hebrew Calendar

Radio Chavura Jewish Colorado Calendar 



January 28 (Tuesday): Rodef Shalom will be hosting an event at Jumpstreet (7969 East Arapahoe Road * Greenwood Village) for students in grades 3-7 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Call 913-221-1699 for more information. Fee.


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 4 (Tuesday): Join Ellyn Hutt in her 15-week "People of the Book" series class at Temple Emanuel at 10:45 am, hosted by CAJE's Adult Education division. Her class will immediately be followed by another CAJE class at 12:00 pm, taught by Yael Weinstein on "The Antisemitism Equation." Fee.


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 above.]
Join Rodef Shalom for its "Shabbat with a Backbeat" musical services at 9:30 am in the Social Hall.
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 13 (Thursday): The Allied Jewish Apartments will be hosting an event at Rodef Shalom (450 S. Kearney * Denver), featuring Israeli emissary Yoni Alon. The topic of his remarks will be "The Lost Tribes of Israel Revisited." He will speak from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. RSVP at 303-399-0035.
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 Colorado Section of the National Council of Jewish Women will have a panel discussion at Temple Sinai from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, moderated by CBS-4 anchor Gloria Neal, about "Women and Homelessness in Metro Denver: Looking for Safe Haven." Please bring feminine hygiene and other related products. Call 303-759-1827 for more information.
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]

Last Week on Radio Chavura: 

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, was our guest last week on Radio Chavura.  The program can be heard 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 observed, "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 recalled that Aleichem used to say to her, "'The tighter you hold my hand, [the better] I will write.' So," Kaufman joked, "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.

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 10,293 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 1,516 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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