Radio Chavura
Direct download: 030214_RadioChavura_AviHalzel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:55pm MST

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 www.beituriel.org.

 

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 MST

Bel Kaufman, the 102-year-old granddaughter of famed Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem, is the guest on the January 19, 2014 edition of Radio Chavura.
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, 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.


Be sure to subscribe to the free weekly Radio Chavura e-newsletter and program guide at:  www.SubscribeChavura.com.

 

Read more about Bel Kaufman and her Radio Chavura interview here.

Direct download: 011914_RadioChavura_KRKS_26min_Bel_Kaufman.mp3
Category:National Edition -- posted at: 10:05am MST

NATIONAL EDITION: Featuring Historian Dr. Jeanne Abrams and JNF Leader Gene Kay

On this week’s edition of Radio Chavura, we feature exclusive interviews with two Denverites who will be active participants in the upcoming JNF National Conference, scheduled to be held here in Colorado from October 25th through October 28th. 

Our first guest is noted historian Jeanne Abrams.  Dr. Abrams – author of the newly published book, Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers in Sickness and health – will lead an afternoon session on Sunday the 27th, during which she’ll share the amazing and at times harrowing tales of Colorado’s early Jewish Settlers. 

After Jeanne, we talk about the Jewish National Fund with Gene Kay, board chair of the JNF’s Rocky Mountain Region.  Gene, along with Stanley Kamlet, are well-known throughout the United States for their tireless work on behalf of the Jewish National Fund.

Both Gene and Stan will be honored at the national conference on Monday morning, October 28th.

If you haven’t yet registered to attend the JNF national conference, we at Radio Chavura encourage you to do so today.  Simply visit JNF.org and click on the national conference logo.

The JNF Conference, like the JNF itself, is a chance to give of yourself and discover how much personal satisfaction you will reap in return.

The national edition of Radio Chavura is intended to build support for the Jewish National Fund conference to be held in Denver from October 25th through October 28th. The conference will bring together hundreds of committed Jewish leaders from across the United States to learn about JNF's ongoing work on behalf of the land and people of Israel. Those attending will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with committed volunteers of all ages, as well as to contribute their own ideas for enriching the work of JNF.

CREDITS:

Hosts:  Maxwell and Dean Rotbart

Musical Director:  Julie Geller

Audio Production:  Blane Nichols

Additional Audio Elements:  Jason Hickman

Director of Research:  Talya Rotbart

Staff Photographer:  Avital Rotbart

Opening Music (Hinei Mah Tov) and Closing Credits (Elokai):  Julie Geller

Songs:

  • Eli Ata Ve'Odecha - Oded Melchner
  • Jews Don't Camp - Rocky Mountain Jewgrass
  • Lo Yisa Goy - Miami Boys Choir [Support Jewish Day Schools]
  • Open the Gates (Pitchu Li) - Rabbi Joe Black - Leave a Little Bit Undone
  • Niggun Nevo - Shlomo Katz [Denver Community Kollel]
  • Sim Shalom - Talya Rotbart, Vocalist and Gabriela Gottlieb, Pianist - Lu Yehi

JNF Liaisons:  Neta Yoffe and Boaz Meir

Photo:  Dr. Jeanne Abrams

Direct download: 093013_RadioChavura_JNF_02_National.mp3
Category:National Edition -- posted at: 2:16pm MST

NATIONAL EDITION: Exclusive Interview with JNF's Russell F. Robinson

Russell F. Robinson, JNF's CEO and a member of its global board of directors, is the featured guest on this inaugural national edition of Radio Chavura.

Robinson divulges that at this year's national conference, JNF will formally announce an unprecedented 10-year, $1 billion fundraising campaign, that he says will be "the most innovative, most bold campaign" even untaken by a Jewish organization.  

The national edition of Radio Chavura is intended to build support for the Jewish National Fund conference to be held in Denver from October 25th through October 28th. The conference will bring together hundreds of committed Jewish leaders from across the United States to learn about JNF's ongoing work on behalf of the land and people of Israel. Those attending will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with committed volunteers of all ages, as well as to contribute their own ideas for enriching the work of JNF.

"Colorado has a flourishing and vibrant Jewish community which couldn't be more excited to welcome the JNF national conference," says Maxwell Rotbart, co-host of Radio Chavura.

Rotbart notes that the Colorado Jewish community, which predates statehood in 1876, gave rise to the United Way and helped inspire Golda Meir's Zionism during her sojourn in Denver as a high schooler.  Well-known global brands that have Jewish roots in Colorado, include Samsonite Luggage, Hot Pockets, and perhaps most famous of all, the Barbie doll.  (Inventor Ruth Mosko Handler was born and raised in Denver.)

Today, Colorado is an incubator of many cutting edge companies in the technology and health sectors, serving as the global headquarters of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, which educates and connects biomedical and health innovators who seek to commercialize their ideas, inventions and discoveries.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who recently returned from an inspiring visit to Israel, will be the JNF conference's opening speaker on Friday, October 25th.  Other Coloradans scheduled to participate in the program include Rabbi Joe R. Black, spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel; Jerome "Jerry" Tinianow, chief sustainability officer for the City of Denver; and Dr. Jeanne Abrams, an historian and professor at the University of Denver.  

At the breakfast and closing plenary on Monday, October 28th, Ken Salazar, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and a former U.S. Senator from Colorado, will be the speaker.  During the breakfast, longtime JNF lay leaders, Eugene "Gene" Kay and Stanley Kamlet will be honored for their years of service. 

CREDITS:

Hosts: Maxwell and Dean Rotbart

Musical Director:  Julie Geller

Audio Production:  Blane Nichols

Additional Audio Elements:  Jason Hickman

Director of Research:  Talya Rotbart

Staff Photographer:  Avital Rotbart

Opening Announcement: Eugene Kay

Opening Music (Hinei Mah Tov) and Closing Credits (Elokai):  Julie Geller

Songs:

  • Zum Gali Gali - Fred Fastow, Jewish Songs for Classical Guitar
  • Maym Mayin - Israeli Folk Group, Authentic Israeli Folk Songs & Dances
  • Lo Yisa Goy - Miami Boys Choir
  • Yism'Chu - Rabbi Joe Black, Sabbatical

JNF Liaisons:  Neta Yoffe (New York) and Boaz Meir (Colorado)

Direct download: 092313_RadioChavura_JNF_01.mp3
Category:National Edition -- posted at: 7:21pm MST

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 MST

The Palestinian Authority continues to hide its true intentions toward Israel from the non-Arab world, while consistently pushing a three-part anti-Israeli message to the Palestinian people, says Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, and the special guest on this week's final installment of our three-part High Holidays series.

"When people understand the true Palestinian ideology, they realize that the victimhood [storyline] is a mask," Marcus explains during a pre-recorded telephone interview from Israel.  That internal Palestinian message has three consistent components, he says:  First, to deny Israel's right to exist; second, to demonize Israel and Jews, and third, to promote violence.

Since 1996, PMW has monitored the Palestinian media, speeches and schoolbooks to showcase what the Palestinians are saying - in their very own words, and how their Arab-language messaging differs from the mask the Palestinians present to the English-language world. 

While numerous global news organizations do report on PMW's findings, Marcus tells Radio Chavura that too often the news media miss a critical aspect of the Palestinians' messages to their own people - what the journalists call "incitement."

"We say there is no incitement," says Marcus, who grew up in the U.S. and now lives in Israel. "They're expressing their honest beliefs and opinions. They're saying it and we should listen to them and believe them."

The PMW has a staff of nine translators who read the Palestinian newspapers and watch the newscasts of two Palestinian TV stations.

Read more about Itamar Marcus and Palestinian Media Watch on our website.

Recent Palestinian Media Watch Articles - "In Their Own Words":

Click here to Support Palestinian Media Watch and its vital mission 

Direct download: 090113_RadioChavura_KRKS_26min_Itamar_Marcus.mp3
Category:High Holiday Specials -- posted at: 8:19am MST

3_Guests_Flyer
______________________________
 
Tonight on the Radio!

Dr. Neil W. Levin, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary and one of the world's leading experts on Jewish music, joins us for our hour-long High Holidays series kickoff. 

Dr. Levin presents seven classic Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur songs from the Milken Archive of Jewish Music, where he has served as the artistic director since 1993.  These moving tunes are guaranteed to move and inspire you as we approach the New Year and the Days of Awe. 
The seven featured melodies are listed and linked below.  By clicking on the links you'll be able to hear the unabbreviated versions of each song.

Ahot K'tanna

This classic tune, conducted in the "Western Sephardic" - or Amsterdam - tradition, dates back to the American colonial era, and would undoubtedly have been heard by George Washington had he ventured into one the five American congregations that had existed at the time. The exact same tune can still be heard at Congregation Sheerith Israel (a.k.a. The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue) in New York, the country's very first synagogue. This recording is sung with a unison choir, as it would have been done in the 18th century.

Ahot K'tanna is a "piyut," or inserted liturgical poem within the liturgy, and is recited at the close of the Jewish calendar year.  The text reads: "The year being ended, may all the evils of thereof be terminated..."
This tune is a sophisticated artistic treatment of the shofar service, which is conducted multiple times during the High Holidays. Herman Berlinski's composition gained popularity in the 1960s in Reform congregations in America, and beautifully intertwines the call of the ram's horn with its accompanying liturgy.

Rabbi Black Bookshelf
Photo: 
This shofar and the accompanying books come from the office of Temple Emanuel's Rabbi Joseph Black.
This holiday tune, composed by Israel Schorr, is sung with a traditional choir in the virtuoso cantorial practice, or Hazzanut. The prayer, which comes from the Yom Kippur service, translates as: "We dare not cast our supplications before You with a false felling of our own righteousness. We do so because of our faith in Your great mercy."
This tune is part of the "Mi Sinai" tradition, which dates back to the Rhineland region of Germany in the Middle Ages. The Mi Sinai tunes are so old, and so well known, that - in the Ashkenazi world - they might as well be considered canon. The Hatzi Kaddish is recited at the start of Mussaf service on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
This tune is a typical cantorial quasi-improvisation (with a typical improvised choral backup). The coposition is attributed to Moshe Koussevitsky, widely-considered one of the greatest cantors of all time. This version was recorded with Ben Zion Miller, a leading modern-day cantor. 

Une Sane Tokef is a central "piyut" for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and reads: "We observe the mighty holiness of this day - one of awe and anxiety... We conceive You established on Your throne of mercy... as Judge and Witness, recording our secret thoughts and acts, and setting the seal thereon."
Set by Joshua Lind, this tune follows the typical joyous nature of the Asheres S'foseinu prayer, which reads: "May our entreaties find favor before You, most high and exalted God, Who not only hears but understands, and Who gives consideration to the voice of our shofar blast." Appropriately, this prayer is read following each of the three sets of shofar blasts in the Rosh Hashana Mussaf service.
This prayer is read at the end of the Mussaf service on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. This very tuneful setting, again by Joshua Lind, accompanies the following words: "May You strengthen and bless us on this day; may You inscribe us [in the Book of Life] for a happy life..."
The Milken Archive of Jewish Music is a cultural and historic project of unprecedented scope, launched in 1990 by philanthropist and business executive Lowell Milken.  Milken is the chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation.
Dr. Levin has devoted his professional and academic life to the scholarly study of the music of Jewish experience from historical, musicological, ethnological, Judaic, and cross-cultural perspectives.  You can read his complete bio here.
Following Dr. Levin's interview, we air a conversation we had with Chuck Michaels, a local attorney, whose ancestors were among the pioneering Jews who lived in Leadville, CO.

Chuck, who - 17-years-ago -  was at the very first B'nai B'rith Leadville Cemetery Cleanup with his wife Sara and then-infant daughter Shayna (now a senior at Beth Jacob High School), tells us about his ancestor, Solomon Flaks, and gives us a taste of life in late-19th century Leadville. We interviewed Chuck earlier this summer at the B'nai B'rith Leadville Cemetery Cleanup.

Chuck and Sara's two other children are Shmuel, 15, and Benjamin, 13, both students at the Denver Academy of Torah.
FInally on tonight's episode, we receive a field report from Dr. Herzl Melmed, 76, on the final leg of his 500-mile solo bike ride on behalf of "Biking for Kids Under Fire."

Direct download: 081813_RadioChavura_FullBroadcast.mp3
Category:High Holiday Specials -- posted at: 2:57pm MST

Season Two: 'Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem' - U.S. Congressman Doug Lamborn

One of Israel's staunchest allies in the U.S. House of Representatives is Congressman Doug Lamborn, representing Colorado's 5th District.

As the co-chair of the bipartisan Israel Allies Caucus, and co-chair of the Republican Israel Caucus, Congressman Lamborn is a consistent and strong supporter of the special strategic, economic and cultural ties that exist between the United States and Israel.

In recognition of his dedication to the welfare of the people of Colorado and his unwavering support for the State of Israel, Congressman Lamborn will receive the "Pillars of the Colorado Jewish Community" award during tonight's special broadcast of Radio Chavura, marking the start of our second year on the air.

Part of what makes Congressman Lamborn's support of Israel so remarkable is that his district - encompassing Colorado Springs and Buena Vista - is anything but a "Jewish" district. Indeed, Congressman Lamborn represents a minuscule Jewish population, estimated at only 500 families,

So why does he stand steadfast with Israel? Congressman Lamborn explains that he backs Israel because doing so is the right thing to do morally, is consistent with the best interests of America, and because his strongly held Christian values are closely aligned with a pro-Israel stance.

Congressman Lamborn's actions match up with his rhetoric. Three times since he first took office in 2007, Congressman Lamborn has led the effort to pass legislation that would relocate the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (the country's lawful capital). He has also been the lead sponsor of a legislative amendment that would prohibit the distribution of taxpayer funds to any individual, private entity or government that does not expressly recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist.

In tonight's exclusive sit-down interview with Congressman Lamborn, taped recently at the studios of 1460 KZNT AM in Colorado Springs, we discuss the roots of the Congressman's awareness of the special role that Israel plays in the world and its friendship with the United States.  We also talk about his strong Christian faith and values - shared with his wife, Jeanie - and how they have deepened his respect for the State of Israel.

In particular, Congressman Lamborn notes the Biblical verse, where G-d speaks to Abraham, saying "And I will bless those who bless you and curse him who curses you (Genesis 12:3)."

Among other topics that Congressman Lamborn covers are the reasons why the U.S. and Israel are so often the target of radical Islamic groups and whether America's support of Israel makes it a greater target for terrorists.

Congressman Lamborn also serves on the Congressional Task Force Against Anti-Semitism and the International Religious Freedom Caucus. Those wishing to comment on Congressman Lamborn's support of Israel may visit his website, or call him at 719-520-0055.

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 radiochavura@gmail.com. For more information, visit our website: www.Chavura.com.

First Broadast:  July 7, 2013
Photo: Congressman Doug Lamborn - (Photo Credit: Avital Rotbart, Radio Chavura) 


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 radiochavura@gmail.com. For more information, visit our website: www.Chavura.com.

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 MST