Members of Trinidad’s 132-year-old Temple Aaron are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 6 and 7. The congregation is growing again after the temple nearly closed for good five years ago.
Both Jews and non-Jews rescued the stately red brick building from a secular fate. Temple Aaron vice-president Neal Paul of Littleon was among them.
“It was kind of a kick in the gut, I just couldn’t imagine an old synagogue being sold,” he said. “It really kind of created a little angst in my heart.”
The temple needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, so they are continuing to raise money. First up is a $60,000 boiler and then there’s a new roof. But the list is long, including eventually restoring the interior of the historic sanctuary which features carved wood and a pipe organ.
“We’re trying to take it somewhat piece by piece because,” Paul said, “we just don’t have the resources to do the whole thing.”
Now, Paul said, several dozen people from around Colorado and New Mexico have joined the congregation and many others are supporters. They’ve been celebrating the major Jewish holidays and hosting Sabbath services and Torah study both in person and virtually. Although some of the old Torahs, the sacred scrolls of Jewish scripture, were given away when it seemed like the temple was closing, two of them still remain.
There’s also been a bar mitzvah ritual in recent years, according to Paul, and he and his fiancée and fellow board member Sherry Glickman were just married at Temple Aaron over the weekend.