Radio Chavura (community groups)
Jewish Family Service of Colorado Showcases the Best of the Jewish People

This week on Radio Chavura, we speak with Yana Vishnitsky, president and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Colorado, about the important role that JFS plays in our community.

As an immigrant, Yana, herself, has a special connection to JFS, which she explains during our interview.

Begun in 1872 as the Hebrew Ladies' Benevolent Society, today JFS of Colorado directly serves 23,000 Coloradans annually – both Jews and non-Jews.

Working with the elderly (in-home meals and cleaning); mentally endangered (kids with difficult home lives and adults suffering from depression); special needs (people with Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injuries and others who cannot live independently); and impoverished members of our society (unable to afford sufficient food, rent, and medical care), JFS provides care based on the Jewish values of repairing the world and engaging in acts of loving kindness.

JFS’s much lauded Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Food Pantry provides meals for 1,600 people each month; that’s in addition to the 3,200 nutritious meals that JFS’s Lunchbox Express program delivers weekly to children when school is not in session.

With 850 volunteers and a dedicated staff headed by Yana, Jewish Family Service of Colorado showcases the best of the Jewish people.

Direct download: 072014_RadioChavura_JFS_YanaVishnitsky.mp3
Category:Community Groups -- posted at: 4:24pm MDT

Strong Jewish Marriages and Perfect Games

Rabbi Gadi and Mrs. Eve Levy discuss their workshop, "7 Habits of Highly Effective Jewish Marriage."   The Levys, both of whom work at The Jewish Experience in Denver, developed the course to offer married couples Torah-principled marriage guidelines.  

One of the 7 habits, Mrs. Levy explains, is to celebrate diversity.  

There comes a point in each marriage, she notes, when every husband and wife looks at one another and wonders, “How did I ever marry you? We’re so different!”

Mrs. Levy reminds us that gender differences a reality we need to laud. “It’s good to understand that we’re different, the Torah tells us so.”

Also on this week's program, lifelong bowler, David Suson, discusses the newly repositioned Denver Jewish Bowling League, which continues the tradition of weekly competitive Jewish league bowling begun by B'nai B'rith in the 1940s.  The new league, which began on August 28th, is still accepting new teams and individiual bowlers. 

Suson, by the way, has bowled three league-sanctioned perfect "300" games.

Photo: Host Maxwell Rotbart with Rabbi Gadi Levy

Direct download: 090813_RadioChavura_KRKS_26min_GadiLevy_DavidSuson.mp3
Category:Community Groups -- posted at: 7:00pm MDT

Boaz Meir: JNF's Mission Circa 2013 Includes Desalination and Desert Reclamation
Come October 25, 2013, the eyes of the Jewish world will be focused on Denver, as the Mile High City hosts the annual Jewish National Fund national conference. 

JNF, which is also known by the initials KKL (for its Hebrew name - Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael), is one of the largest and most prominent Israeli environmental groups, tracing its origins back to the days of Theodor Herzl and the Zionist Congresses (during which time it was tasked with buying land in Israel).

Today, JNF is mostly often associated with reforestation efforts in Israel (planting 250 million trees in the last 100 years).  But JNF is also deeply involved with other missions crucial to Israel and its people.

Boaz Meir, the recently-appointed director of JNF's Mountain States region (encompassing Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho), joins us in the studio to discuss what JNF looks like today; the work of its Mountain States regional office; and what we can expect at the national conference this October.

One of the most exciting endeavors that Boaz discusses with us is the work that the Mountain States office is doing to lend its support to JNF's campaign to populate the desert regions of Israel.  

This week's show is the final episode of our first season. We began broadcasting Radio Chavura on Sunday, July 1, 2012.  Our program airs weekly on 990 KRKS AM

For more information on JNF, contact Boaz and the Mountain States offices of JNF at  303-573-7095.

Radio Chavura is co-hosted Maxwell Rotbart and his father, Dean – both homegrown members of the Denver Jewish community.  The program is broadcast each Sunday at 6:30 pm on 990 KRKS AM in Denver.

Do you want to suggest a potential guest for the show or learn how to become a sponsor? Call Dean & Maxwell at 1-855-JEWISH-4 or email them at For more information, visit our website:

First Broadast:  June 30, 2013
Photo: Boaz Meir, JNF 

Direct download: 063013_RadioChavura_KRKS_26min_BoazMeir_JNF.mp3
Category:Community Groups -- posted at: 7:36pm MDT

Jewish & Widowed: A New Community Group

A new community-wide initiative, Jewish & Widowed, is the focus of our program this week on Radio Chavura.

The group, offering a safe, non-threatening way to begin new friendships, will hold its first event this coming Wednesday, May 8th.  The program is open to Jewish men and women of all ages who have lost a spouse or significant other.

Joining us in the 990 KRKS AM studios to discuss the creation of Jewish & Widowed, as well as its goals, are Connie Suson and Lisa Thorner.

Connie, programming director at Congregation Rodef Shalom, came up with the concept for a community-supported program to connect Jewish men and women who've lost a spouse or partner.  Connie's own father is a widower.

Among those who quickly embraced the concept and shared in its development is Lisa Thorner, programming director at Temple Sinai, who also has a widowed parent.

Connie and Lisa stress that Jewish & Widowed is not a dating service, nor is it a forum for a "group cry."  Rather, it's aimed at fostering friendships and fun among individuals who, in time, will direct their own social functions.

Our interview with Connie and Lisa will be especially interesting to potential group members; their friends and family; and to other community leaders who will enjoy hearing how Connie, Lisa and others have found common purpose, even though they represent different Jewish congregations, religious affiliations and organizations.

Radio Chavura is proud to join these other organizations as co-sponsors of Jewish & Widowed:  Allied Jewish ApartmentsBMH-BJ: The Denver SynagogueB'nai HavurahCongregation Rodef Shalom; Feldman MortuaryHebrew Educational AllianceJFS at the JCCKeshetShalom CaresTemple Emanuel; and Temple Sinai

For more information, contact Connie at 303-399-0035. 

Everyone is welcome to kibbutz, kvel and laugh - just not to kvetch (this is an upbeat group)!

Photo:  Lisa Thorner, Temple Sinai


Direct download: 050513_RadioChavura_KRKS_26min_Widowed.mp3
Category:Community Groups -- posted at: 10:47am MDT