Colorado Floods Wreak Havoc With Jewish Holidays as Shuls Battle Rising Water

Boulder and Denver Inundated by Historic Disaster

Rising Waters: Congregations in Boulder, Colo. were scrambling to save anything they could after historic floods swept through the region.
jta
Rising Waters: Congregations in Boulder, Colo. were scrambling to save anything they could after historic floods swept through the region.

By Andrea Jacobs

Published September 17, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(JTA) — Before the start of Yom Kippur, a flood of historic proportions swallowed Boulder, Colo., and surrounding areas, displacing families, damaging synagogues and threatening services on the holiest day of the Jewish year – until determination came to the rescue.

Orthodox Boulder Aish Kodesh hit the Internet first, sending a mass email to 500 residents announcing that heavy rains and flooding had destroyed the tent it had prepared for the holiday. The email offered alternative locations for services, including hard-hit Chabad centers and Denver synagogues out of harm’s way.

Elon Bar-Evan, executive director of Boulder Aish Kodesh, said the tent and parking lot were under water and that many prayer books intended for the services were ruined.

Rabbi Marc Soloway, spiritual leader of Conservative Bonai Shalom in Boulder, told the IJN Friday that his synagogue had sustained significant flooding.

“Our Yom Kippur services are scheduled elsewhere, but it is unclear whether we will be able to have them there at this point due to flooded roads and so forth,” Soloway said. “It’s a mess.”

At Har HaShem, Boulder’s major Reform synagogue, the power was out.

“The lower level of the main building was under four feet of water,” said communications and membership director Ellen Kowitt, reached at her home in Erie, Colo.

Because Kowitt often works from home, she was able to update the website. Before the server collapsed, Rose wrote an email to the congregation:

“The Talmud teaches that rain is a sign of blessing. That might sound questionable right now. Whether we can turn this into a blessing remains to be seen … I believe in us.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.