Radio Chavura



A weekly half-hour program featuring Colorado's Jewish community. Airs Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on 990 KRKS AM in Denver. Radio Chavura: The Spirit of Our Community


  • Allies In Isolation: Israels Unique Friendship with the Federated States of Micronesia

    Allies In Isolation: Israel's Unique Friendship with the Federated States of Micronesia

    13/11/2014 Duração: 46min

    This week on Radio Chavura, we feature an exclusive interview with His Excellency Asterio Takesy, Micronesia’s Ambassador to the United States and Israel. Micronesia, an international exporter of fish, bananas, and black peppers, is not known for much in the western world except as the periodic answer to an obscure question on Jeopardy. Yet when Israel is under fire at the United Nations – and when isn’t Israel under fire at the UN? – the Federated States of Micronesia has proven to be one of the Jewish State’s staunchest global allies. Only the United States, Canada, the Marshall Islands and Palau stand shoulder-to-should with the FSM in defense of Israel when the UN is singling out the Jewish State for rote condemnation.  The track records of other “allies” – including France, England, Germany, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, and all of Central, South and Latin America are nowhere near as pro-Israel as Micronesia’s. Ambassador Takesy is interviewed by Radio Chavura co-hosts Maxwell and Dean Rotbart.

  • Preparing for the High Holidays 5775: A Time to Refocus

    Preparing for the High Holidays 5775: "A Time to Refocus"

    14/09/2014 Duração: 21min

    Rabbi Daniel Rapp, whose permanent home is in New York, might be dubbed the "Commuter Rabbi," because he regularly shuttles between Manhattan and Denver in order to serve and enrich our community in his capacity as the Interim Rabbi at East Denver Orthodox Synagogue. Rabbi Rapp and his family were in Denver for much of this past summer and will return again soon so that he can help lead Yom Kippur services at EDOS. Rabbi Rapp is a recognized Torah scholar and a Dayan (judge) at the Beth Din of America.  His impressive credentials include serving as Associate Dean of Students of Undergraduate Torah Studies at Yeshiva University, where he is a visiting professor of Talmud.  Rabbi Rapp received his juris doctor from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was twice honored for academic excellence. In mid-August, shortly before he returned to New York, Rabbi Rapp sat with Radio Chavura co-host Dean Rotbart at The Jewish Experience Center to share his thoughts on how the Jewish community can prepare for th

  • Preparing for the High Holidays - Rabbi Evette Lutman, Bnai Havurah

    Preparing for the High Holidays - Rabbi Evette Lutman, B'nai Havurah

    01/09/2014 Duração: 26min

    Beginning this week exclusively on Radio Chavura, we launch our annual series on preparing for the High Holidays. This year we are proud to feature another prominent group of Colorado spiritual leaders, starting with Rabbi Evette Lutman, the spiritual leader of B’nai Havurah, the Denver Reconstructionist Congregation that serves more than 240 households. B’nai Havurah is an egalitarian and participatory community, open to multiple perspectives and forms of religious expression. Rabbi Lutman, who is affectionately called “Rabbi Evette” by her congregants, was hired in July 2010 upon her rabbinic ordination for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA.  She has a law degree from Ohio State University. Our interview with Rabbi Lutman was conducted in June 2014, just prior to her departure for Israel.  The rabbi is passionate about Israel and urges her congregants to visit and stay engaged. Rabbi Lutman discusses her personal and congregational preparations for the High Holidays, which begin this y

  • Jewish Family Service of Colorado Showcases the Best of the Jewish People

    Jewish Family Service of Colorado Showcases the Best of the Jewish People

    20/07/2014 Duração: 37min

    This week on Radio Chavura, we speak with Yana Vishnitsky, president and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Colorado, about the important role that JFS plays in our community. As an immigrant, Yana, herself, has a special connection to JFS, which she explains during our interview. Begun in 1872 as the Hebrew Ladies' Benevolent Society, today JFS of Colorado directly serves 23,000 Coloradans annually – both Jews and non-Jews. Working with the elderly (in-home meals and cleaning); mentally endangered (kids with difficult home lives and adults suffering from depression); special needs (people with Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injuries and others who cannot live independently); and impoverished members of our society (unable to afford sufficient food, rent, and medical care), JFS provides care based on the Jewish values of repairing the world and engaging in acts of loving kindness. JFS’s much lauded Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Food Pantry provides meals for 1,600 people each month; that’s in addition to the 3,200

  • Jewish Values Make For Great Business Values - Safe Systems Larry Halpern

    Jewish Values Make For Great Business Values - Safe Systems' Larry Halpern


    Larry and Cindy Halpern have built their company, Safe Systems, Inc., into Colorado's largest locally owned security provider by following a Jewish-inspired philosophy of treating customers like members of the family. Safe Systems, which began in 1982, faithfully serves more than 10,000 residential and business customers in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Ft. Collins, and all along the Front Range.   Larry is the featured guest this week on both Radio Chavura and on 710 KNUS AM's weekly Business Unconventional broadcast.  Joining Larry is Tim Watson, director of sales and marketing. Larry's joint appearance on the two audio programs arises because the story of Safe Systems's phenomenal success is one of interest to both the Jewish community - where Larry and Cindy have long been supportive of many fine nonprofit programs and institutions - and to the secular community, which admires his company's growth, service record and remarkable hiring practices. Indeed, Larry tells Dean Rotbart, co-host of both Radio

  • Exclusive Interview with Marcie Natan - National President of Hadassah

    Exclusive Interview with Marcie Natan - National President of Hadassah

    05/05/2014 Duração: 56min

      On this week's edition, we speak with Marcie Natan, the national president of Hadassah: The Zionist Women's Organization of America, about how the 102-year-old organization continues to attract a devoted following - despite the changing times. The answer - which is well-worth listening to - is that Hadassah has remained true to its pro-Israel and social action values, which traverse generational differences. Indeed, Hadassah is the world's flagship Zionist organization and a prime example of how Jewish medical innovation is saving the lives of Israelis and Palestinians alike. Posted:  May 4, 2014Duration: 56 min 39 secsPhoto:  Marcie Natan, Hadassah

  • Thinking Beyond The Four Questions - A Conversation With Ari Hoffman

    Thinking Beyond The Four Questions - A Conversation With Ari Hoffman

    14/04/2014 Duração: 32min

      Denver psychotherapist and wilderness guide Ari Hoffman believes that the four traditional questions asked during the Passover Seder are just the beginning of the questions that we should be asking ourselves. Indeed, Ari explains in this compelling discussion, the Exodus story can teach all of us something about human nature, overcoming adversity, and internal growth. But - before we can get to that point, we must ask the question: "What do I want to be free from this year?" To speak with Ari Hoffman about his therapy sessions - which are designed to help families, couples, and individuals escape their proverbial Egypts and traverse the desert towards Israel - call him at 303-803-4832. Listen to our complete interview with him here.

  • Paula Burger Writes a Book About Her Holocaust Survival with the Bielski Partisans

    Paula Burger Writes a Book About Her Holocaust Survival with the Bielski Partisans

    07/04/2014 Duração: 28min

     Paula's Window: Papa, the Bielski Partisans, and A Life Unexpected By Paula Burger (As told to Andrea Jacobs)    Purchase Paula's Window on Amazon     Paula Burger was only a child when she and her younger brother, Denver's beloved Cantor Isaac Koll, survived the Holocaust with the Bielski partisans.    Now Paula, an accomplished painter and grandmother, has written an account of her harrowing childhood experiences and the heroic efforts of her father, Wolf Koladicki (z'l), to protect his children under the most trying of circumstances.  On this week's edition of Radio Chavura, Paula explains her reasoning for writing with book and the lessons it provides.     Writes Robert Bielski in the foreword to the book: "Paula's story brings the pain and suffering of her experience to the forefront so that her family, students and all generations to come will learn of the evil brutality that Paula, her brother Isaac and her father Wolf endured."   [Note: Those who read Paula's Window will

  • The Jewish Ethics of Public Relations - Denver Community Kollel

    The Jewish Ethics of Public Relations - Denver Community Kollel

    06/04/2014 Duração: 01h02min

    Hear the unedited audio from the April 2, 2014 Torah 4 Tycoons business ethics lunch and learn series, presented by the Denver Community Kollel. The topic was, "In the Eye of the Beholders: The Ethics of Public Relations." The panel was moderated by Daniel Woodrow and featured Rabbi Mordechai Fleisher, senior lecturer, Denver Community Kollel; and Dean Rotbart, co-host of Radio Chavura and Business Unconventional (710 KNUS AM in Denver). The questions discussed included: Is it okay to present a front that may be misleading? What are the ehtics of making contributions to make an impression of generosity when ulterior motives are the driving force behind them? Does the Toray actually obligate one to put on a good face for the general public? How far does Halacha expect one to go to avoid suspicion of wrongdoing even when nothing has been perpetrated? Radio Chavura is proud to be a supporter of the Denver Community Kollel. Photo (clockwise):  Actor, Ron Moody who played "Fagin" in the 1968 movie, "Oliver;" pre

  • Flashback: Exclusive Interview with Esther Pollard - November 2006

    Flashback: Exclusive Interview with Esther Pollard - November 2006

    06/04/2014 Duração: 51min

    In November 2006, Radio Chavura co-host Dean Rotbart conducted a broadcast interview with Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan Pollard, the former American naval intelligence analyst who pled guilty to passing classied secrets to Israel and has been in prison since 1985. Joining Dean was Dr. Donald Salem, a respected Los Angeles dentist and an expert on the Pollard case and Israel advocacy. While Pollard's action were illegal, the program highlights the inequity of his extended jail sentence and the duplicity of American politicians and citizens who argue for Pollard's continued incarceration. Mrs. Pollard was interviewed for Israel This Week, a precusor to Radio Chavura.  The program was broadcast live in 2006 on Sunday nights in Los Angeles on 870 KRLA AM, a leading news/talk station. Although Radio Chavura co-host Maxwell Rotbart was not featured on air, he was a behind-the-scenes producer for the program. Sim Shalom, the opening and closing song on Israel This Week, was peformed by Talya Rotbart. For more inf

  • 030214_RadioChavura_AviHalzel.mp3


    03/03/2014 Duração: 14min
  • Jewish Students Fondly Recall Rabbi Uriel Malka, zl, Namesake of Denvers Beit Uriel Congregation

    Jewish Students Fondly Recall Rabbi Uriel Malka, z'l, Namesake of Denver's Beit Uriel Congregation

    02/02/2014 Duração: 23min

    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   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 cong

  • A Conversation With Sholem Aleichems Granddaughter - Bel Kaufman

    A Conversation With Sholem Aleichem's Granddaughter - Bel Kaufman

    19/01/2014 Duração: 26min

    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. (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 recal

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

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

    30/09/2013 Duração: 45min

    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 yo

  • NATIONAL EDITION: Exclusive Interview with JNFs Russell F. Robinson

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

    20/09/2013 Duração: 28min

    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 welc

  • Strong Jewish Marriages and Perfect Games

    Strong Jewish Marriages and Perfect Games

    08/09/2013 Duração: 26min

    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

  • Exclusive Interview with Itamar Marcus, Director, Palestinian Media Watch

    Exclusive Interview with Itamar Marcus, Director, Palestinian Media Watch

    01/09/2013 Duração: 26min

    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

  • Our Special 5774 High Holiday Programming: Featuring Dr. Neil W. Levin, Milken Archive of Jewish Music

    Our Special 5774 High Holiday Programming: Featuring Dr. Neil W. Levin, Milken Archive of Jewish Music

    18/08/2013 Duração: 54min

    ______________________________   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 Sheerit

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

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

    03/07/2013 Duração: 26min

    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 steadfa

  • Boaz Meir: JNFs Mission Circa 2013 Includes Desalination and Desert Reclamation

    Boaz Meir: JNF's Mission Circa 2013 Includes Desalination and Desert Reclamation

    30/06/2013 Duração: 26min

    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

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