Tag Archives: Leadville Jews

Leadville News – August 23

Shabbat Service, Leadville Jews Celebrated

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Residents and visitors enjoy the Temple Israel Synagogue and Museum in Leadville, located on W. 4th Street. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

One area of Leadville’s history that has seen a renewed interest in recent years is the city’s Jewish pioneers. Maybe it’s all the good works at the Jewish Cemetery, or the ongoing development of the historic Temple Israel located at 4th and Pine Streets, but the synagogue has been seeing its share of the Leadville spotlight.
And so it will again, taking center stage this Saturday, Aug. 25 as Shabbat morning services will be held at the historic Temple Israel in Leadville on the corners of West 4th and Pine, on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Please see the details below regarding Saturday’s event.

But first, for those readers who may have missed the last services back in June, Leadville Today was there to record and preserve the presentation “Jewish Life in Leadville in the 1880s.” This two part program presented by Rabbi Ruth Gelfarb and Leadville’s Bill Korn who is President of Temple Israel Foundation provides a rarely seen look into the life of Pioneer Jews in Leadville and their lasting contributions to America’s highest city. Here are those presentations – enjoy and learn!

Part One – “Jewish Life in Leadville in the 1880s.”

As for this Saturday, Aug. 25, The Synagogue of the Summit is hosting and running the Shabbat morning services. All are welcome to this egalitarian, casual dress service, but please leave your animals at home. The group’s monthly Kabbalat Shabbat and Pot Luck Shabbat services are held throughout the area in a unique way that allows them to enjoy the beauty of the area in collective worship. From a glorious Mountain-Top Shabbat Service to a cozy, indoor Pot Luck Shabbat Dinner, all are invited you to join them for every season.

Part Two – “Jewish Life in Leadville in the 1880s.”

Come, pray in the very building that the Jewish population of Leadville prayed in back in the 1800’s! After the service, the group will enjoy a noontime lunch at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery picnic grounds. There are also hiking trails available for a Shabbat afternoon stroll. The drive from Temple Israel to the fish hatchery is about 10 minutes. Please bring a picnic lunch, including drinks, for you and your family to enjoy. Synagogue of the Summit will provide Kiddush Wine and Challah for a Motzi. For more details, please go to their website.

Please RSVP via email with name and number attending to Jackie Balyeat – jbalyeat@hotmail.com If you have questions or need assistance arranging a carpool, contact Jackie at (317) 414-5663. Shabbat Shalom! If your small congregation or chavurah is interested in holding a Shabbat service in Leadville, please contact us via the Temple Israel Leadville website: www.jewishleadville.org.

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Temple Israel is located at 201 W 4th Street in Leadville.

Latest News – July 1

Fire Safety Urged Over Holiday Weekend

As the cool morning air is still settled in the mountain valleys, Leadville skies will appear hazy and perhaps even a bit smoky, at first. But things will clear, and blue skies will usher in a prefect summer day in Leadville Today.

Fire_Durango AreaAs of the first day of July the only active wildfire in Colorado is the Lightner Creek Fire which is in La Plata County near Durango in the southwest part of the state. However, five other western states are also contending with active wildfires, and shifting and gusting winds could bring some smoke into local skies even at 10,200 feet!

But smoky skies could be just the reminder residents, and especially visitors, need to use extra precautions as the long July 4th weekend comes into focus. Residents should be wary of lighting fireworks this Fourth of July weekend, emergency officials are urging, warning that pyrotechnics could ignite more fires if not used properly.

The weather while perfect for outdoor recreation, however there is not any rain in the forecast for days, only afternoon thunderstorms which always come with lightening putting forests at risk just as easily.

Yesterday, the Lake County Office of Emergency Management (LCOEM) reported a errant campfire from a non-approved fire ring had created a small blaze (see story below) along County Road 48 or what is more commonly known as the road which runs out to below the Sugar Loafin’ Dam, behind the golf course. Fortunately local crews were quickly able to extinguish the fire, thanks to solid training and reports from other people in the area.

It will be a busy weekend. There will be lots of people in town. Please use extra caution and report any emergency situations immediately to authorities.

Campfire from Non-Approved Ring Sets Blaze

The following report was submitted by Lake County Public Information Officer Betty Benson

Fire Ring

Fire coming from a non-approved ring created a small blaze off County Road 82 in Lake County On June 30, 2017. Photo: LCOEM

June 30, 2017 – A fire started in the woods in a non-approved fire ring just west of Hwy 48 today as a result of a camp fire not being fully extinguished.   Several nearby campers saw the fire and called 911.  Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue arrived on scene to find the fire had spread to about 10’ x 50’ and they were quickly able to apply a wet line all around it and then extinguish it with additional water. 

 The mop-up efforts included shoveling the area to ensure there were no remaining flames or embers before the fire crew left.  The Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue crew were assisted by Lake County Sheriff Deputies and Forest Service personnel.  The US Forest Service has deployed 2 crews to patrol the Lake County US Forest Service area over the next several weeks due to the high fire danger.  The Office of Emergency Management and all fire responders ask that everyone are diligent when in the forest.    Never leave a fire unattended; be sure it is 100% out before leaving a fire,   If you start a fire in a fire pit be sure you have water and shovels handy.  Everything is very dry. 

Leadville Cemetery Restoration Work Continues

Last weekend, June 24 & 25, Rabbi Sara Gilbert of Greeley’s Beth Israel Congregation led Shabbat service as well as the clean up efforts at the Jewish Cemetery at the Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville. Every year, the group which includes the volunteers from across Colorado gathers to share their faith, learn local Jewish history and provide a great community service with the Annual Leadville Jewish Cemetery Clean Up.

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People from across the state came together in Leadville last weekend to share their faith and look after the dearly departed at the Hebrew Cemetery in Leadville during the 21st Annual Jewish Cemetery Clean up on June 24 & 25. Photo: Leadville Today.

“The discovery of silver caused Leadville’s population to grow to approximately 30,000 residents about 300 of which were Jews,” stated the historic handout distributed at the event. In 1880, the Hebrew benevolent society established the Hebrew cemetery adjacent to the newly established Evergreen Cemetery. Then in 1884, the land for the Temple Israel sold for $1 to the Congregation Israel by Horace Tabor and was built ten years later in 1894.

An electrical fire in 2006 prompted the synagogue’s full restoration and the project was completed two years later.

The eager volunteers for the 21st Annual Leadville Jewish Cemetery Clean Up come from all across the state and the region, some from as far away as Arizona. The do-gooders of all ages, socialized and worked together resulting in an outstanding community effort as more and more people showed up throughout the weekend.

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“Many hands make light work,” was the case at the 21st Annual Jewish Cemetery Clean Up in Leadville. Photo: Leadville Today

A little more about the cemetery, according to organizers the Jewish community first required space for the dedicated Jewish Cemetery with the passing of Gustave “Fred” Jelenko in June 1879. He was settled into the southwest corner of the newly established Evergreen Cemetery.

At the end of the day, reflecting on the group’s improvements everyone agreed how awesome it was to bring so many people from different parts of the Colorado, sharing in one goal: to give back to the people that no longer can and to respect the history.

Leadville is such a rich town filled with endless history, to learn more about its Jewish heritage connect at the Temple Israel website. or visit the synagogue at the corner of W. 4th Street and Pine. Thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time to make Leadville a better place to live and visit!