Radio Chavura (Synagogues)
Preparing for the High Holidays - Rabbi Evette Lutman, B'nai Havurah

Beginning this week exclusively on Radio Chavura, we launch our annual series on preparing for the High Holidays.

This year we are proud to feature another prominent group of Colorado spiritual leaders, starting with Rabbi Evette Lutman, the spiritual leader of B’nai Havurah, the Denver Reconstructionist Congregation that serves more than 240 households.

B’nai Havurah is an egalitarian and participatory community, open to multiple perspectives and forms of religious expression.

Rabbi Lutman, who is affectionately called “Rabbi Evette” by her congregants, was hired in July 2010 upon her rabbinic ordination for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA.  She has a law degree from Ohio State University.

Our interview with Rabbi Lutman was conducted in June 2014, just prior to her departure for Israel.  The rabbi is passionate about Israel and urges her congregants to visit and stay engaged.

Rabbi Lutman discusses her personal and congregational preparations for the High Holidays, which begin this year on Wednesday evening, September 24th.  

In future segments, we’ll feature Rabbi Daniel Rapp, visiting professor of Talmud and Associate Dean of Students at Yeshiva University (East Denver Orthodox Synagogue); Rabbi Raphael Leban, The Jewish Experience; and Rabbi Brian Field, Judaism Your Way.

Although the rabbis represent a variety of approaches and Jewish denominations, each rabbi shares insights certain to make 5775 relevant and inspirational. 

Fresh episodes of Radio Chavura are available on Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm at as well as from the iTunes store.

The program is hosted and produced by Maxwell and Dean Rotbart.

Direct download: 090114_RadioChavura_Rabbi_Evette_Lutman.mp3
Category:Synagogues -- posted at: 1:05pm MDT

Top Row (l-r): Niso Aharonian, Rabbi Uriel Malka, z'l, and Eliana Azoulay Bottom Row (l-r): Liat Fischer, Josh Khalepari, and Yehuda Alter
Top Row (l-r): Niso Aharonian, Rabbi Uriel Malka, z'l, and Eliana Azoulay
Bottom Row (l-r): Liat Fischer, Josh Khalepari, and Yehuda Alter
Beit Uriel is spearheading
an effort to raise funds for Rabbi Malka's widow and six young children, and is asking the help of the Denver Jewish community.


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


On this 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 class by re-enacting battles from Jewish history.

Direct download: 020214_RadioChavura_BeitUriel.mp3
Category:Synagogues -- posted at: 1:01pm MDT

Denver's Temple Emanuel: 2,000 Families, 138 Years, 1 Susie Sigman

On Sunday, April 21, we speak with Temple Emanuel’s dynamic director of membership and programming, Susie Sigman.

As the go-to person at Colorado’s largest and oldest synagogue, Susie manages a congregation that is larger than some cities in our state. And she does it with professionalism and plenty of ruach (spirit)!

Susie works tirelessly to ensure that members of Temple Emanuel feel at home and are part of a meaningful community. Susie tells us about Temple Emanuel’s many religious, educational, and social activities; the synagogue’s (quite musical) religious leaders; and the inclusive nature of Reform Judaism.

Radio Chavura is co-hosted by veteran reporter Dean Rotbart, and his son, Maxwell – both homegrown members of the Denver Jewish community.  The program is broadcast each Sunday 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:

Direct download: 042113_RadioChavura_KNUS_26min_SSigman.mp3
Category:Synagogues -- posted at: 8:35am MDT