Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

CJS celebrates 150 years of Denver Jewish life

DU’s Center for Judaic Studies will celebrate 150 years of Jewish life in Colorado with nine months of events under the theme “Pioneering Jews: Cowboys, Rebels and Trailblazers.”

The center’s events will begin with an exhibition about Denver’s first Jewish residents at the Jewish Community Center’s Singer Gallery. Jeanne Abrams, professor of Judaic studies at DU, will curate the exhibit, “Blazing the Trail: Denver’s Jewish Pioneers.”

It includes photos, documents and household items. Abrams notes that objects in the exhibit come from the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society’s Ira M. Beck Memorial Archives, a special collection at DU’s Penrose Library.

Among the items shown are furnishings from the Champa Street home of Louis and Louise Anfenger, who moved to Denver in 1870. Anfenger was a founder of the Denver B’nai B’rith chapter and Temple Emanuel.

Other exhibits include a kiosk featuring women’s history and an interactive scroll through history for children.

“It is significant that Denver is also celebrating its 150th anniversary this year because it means that Jews were here at the very beginning of the city and helped it become what it is today,” Abrams says.

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