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 Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. 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.
CBE in the News
Lucy Ginley, long term member of Beth Evergreen passed away Tuesday the 5th of September after being hit by a car while riding her bicycle with friends and family. She is survived by husband David, her sister Pat, son Arthur and daughter-in-law Luda and daughter Aimee and son-in-law Steve and their two kids Jason and Alex.
Lucy a longtime resident of Evergreen was a competitive white water boater, landscape architect, dedicated member of the Evergreen Garden club, member of book clubs, ski patrolled with the Loveland Ski Patrol for 12 years, and was a wonderful mom and grandma. She was strong woman who loved the outdoors, plants and especially boulders. Her determination was illustrated by her becoming a licensed landscape architect at age 50 after graduating from CU and starting her business EcoDesigns. She loved to ski, hike and travel the world with the family. She will be sorely missed. To read Lucy’s entire obituary, please click here.
There will be a funeral for Lucy Ginley on Friday, September 8 at 1PM at CBE. A shuttle bus will be available from the Evergreen Methodist Church at 3757 Ponderosa Drive beginning at 12:30PM. As Lucy was a much-beloved member of the community, we encourage members to take advantage of this service to help reduce parking lot congestion.
The funeral will be followed followed by a burial at Evergreen Memorial Park and a meal of condolence immediately after at the Ginley home in Hiwan Hills. Directions to both locations will be available at the synagogue. There will also be a Shiva minyan on Saturday, September 9 at 7PM at the Ginley home.
Our hearts are with the Ginley family during this difficult time.
May Lucy’s memory be for a blessing.
Rabbi Jamie Arnold has been with Beth Evergreen since 2005. The congregation has dramatically transformed since then. Rabbi Arnold sat down with the IJN to talk about some of the changes and what the congregation is up to.
To observe the culmination of Hanukkah and begin 2017, Conifer’s St. Laurence Episcopal Church and Congregation Beth Evergreen hosted an interfaith spiritual renewal celebration on Dec. 31.
In 2005, the members of Congregation Beth Evergreen took a leap of faith. The 30-year-old congregation had experienced growth, purchased land and built Evergreen’s first synagogue. Now it was the time for the next step: a full-time rabbi.
From JustAroundHere.com by Marilyn Saltzman
Joanne Greenberg acts locally – and globally. Since the 1960s, she has volunteered in our mountain community while sharing her novels and short stories with the world. The author of 18 published works, Joanne not only lends a hand to others in our community, but also has been an advocate for the deaf and the mentally ill across our state and nation.
It is among the most apt and poetic of synagogue names.
Beth Evergreen conjures images of the pleasant foothills village southwest of Denver, and of the beautiful trees — pines, spruces, firs and many others — which surround it in lush abundance.
In The Canyon Courier by Stephanie DeCamp
Bernie Goldman walked through the doors of the Canyon Courier in 1974 to place a want ad — he was looking for members of the Jewish faith with whom to celebrate the High Holidays. And so, Congregation Beth Evergreen was born.
Rabbi Jamie Arnold of the Beth Evergreen congregation and other area faith leaders are joining a national initiative to help youngsters stay healthy through diet and exercise.
Three Denver mothers heading multiracial families are seeking to build on what it means to live in Jewish community.
Note: The following message (written July 21st) from Evergreen Rabbi Jamie Arnold to his worship family, Congregation Beth Evergreen, traveled around the world and back to Colorado in about a month. It’s global journey began when Rabbi Jamie emailed it to his Evergreen congregation the day after the July 20th mass shooting at an Aurora theater. The message was shared family to family, person to person and eventually was emailed from Florida to Mountain Connection Publisher Jacqué Scott. The message obviously has been meaningful to countless people.