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History

Congregation Beth Evergreen was founded in 1974 when Bernie Goldman, a recent transplant from Long Island, NY, put a small article in the Canyon Courier asking if there were other Jews in the area who wanted to celebrate the High Holidays with him. Perhaps a dozen people joined him then, and the ball was rolling. From that beginning, the group held monthly services and holiday observances in member’s homes.

As the group grew too large for living rooms, services were moved to the old Greystone Castle on Upper Bear Creek Road. Then, through the gracious support of Reverend Dr. Dick Vickery and his congregation, CBE shared the building of the United Methodist Church of Evergreen for ten years.

Along the way, members did everything from planning and conducting services to creating holiday observances, such as Passover Seders and Purim Balls. We eventually started a Religious School through volunteer efforts. As the needs of the congregation grew, the congregational leadership sought the assistance of professional educators and clergy on a part-time or volunteer basis.

During the late 1990’s, the continued growth of the congregation led the congregation to seek our first Rabbi. In 1997 we engaged Rabbi Eliot Baskin, D.Min. who was engaged first on a quarter-time basis, growing to a half-time basis (in addition to his position as Denver Community Chaplain at Jewish Family Services of Denver). Rabbi Baskin was with us until August of 2004.

In the spring of 2004, the Board of Trustees, after considerable discussion and input from the congregation, made the commitment to move forward and hire a full-time rabbi. The search continued through spring of 2005 when Rabbi Benjamin ‘Jamie’ Arnold was hired as Congregration Beth Evergreen’s first full-time Rabbi. He joined the congregation in July, 2005. In 2008 the congregation signed a seven-year contract with Rabbi Arnold.

Over the years, our congregation has been blessed with a wealth of talented musicians and singers. Since 1997 we have had musical leadership from recording artists Steven Brodsky (CDs with band Mah Tovu include Only This and Turn It), Cantor Robbi Sherwin (CDs include Aish HaKodesh and Todah LaChem), Hal Aqua (CDs with band Los Lantzmun One World and Take a Trip to Lantzville), and Daniel Stellini (CD is First Light). Two past cantorial soloists: Brett Krichiver and Alissa Stanton have gone on to Rabbinic school! Members of our congregation are immensely talented as well and inspire us their musical support.

While employing a Rabbi, executive director, religious school director and educators as part of the Congregation Beth Evergreen team, the tradition of member participation and volunteerism continues today. See the “participate” section of this site for more info on all of the active committees in the congregation.

After 31 years as an unaffiliated congregation, in June 2005 Beth Evergreen made the decision to affiliate with the Reconstructing Judaism. Today, Congregation Beth Evergreen has 200 member families and offers a Jewish home for all Jews in the Mountain communities west of Denver. As we grow, we remain committed to fostering a strong sense of community by offering opportunities to participate in meaningful worship, pursue the spiritual, and engage in lifelong Jewish education. Our progressive, egalitarian approach to Jewish practice encourages participation in the celebration of religious, life cycle, and communal events, regardless of an individual’s history or personal relationship with Judaism.

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Mon, April 12 2021 30 Nisan 5781