Reform Timeline
Reform Synagogue Timeline

The purpose of this timeline is to record the series of events of the Temple Israel reform synagogue from its planning and construction through to the time the building stopped being used as a synagogue.

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1884

January 15 - First publicly announced meeting held at New Turner Hall West Fourth and Pine to build the Temple.

January 17 - “The prominent Israelites of Leadville who are interested in the erection of a place of worship, held a meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the question and mature plans for the consummation of the object. There were present Messrs. J. Schloss, J. Bernheimer, Samuel Mayer, Sol Rice, Issac Boyer [Baer], Sol Herman and David May. They will hold another meeting at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon at New Turner hall [West 4th and Pine Street] and hope to meet all their brethren interested in this movement.” [1]

January 20 - The Temple Israel congregation is organized. [2]

February 23 - “Among the prospective social events, none is looked forward to with more pleasurable anticipation than the annual Purim Bal-masque, which is set down for Tuesday evening, March 11, at City hall. The proceeds of this affair will go into the building fund of the proposed new Temple Israel, the construction of which, it is hoped will begun at an early day….” [3]

August 5 - “The board of officers of the Jewish congregation met yesterday at noon for the purpose of letting the contract for building the new temple. A number of bids were presented and opened, the lowest being that of Mr. Robert Murdoch. The architect will be Mr. George E. King. The following are the specifications of the building: Its dimensions will be 25x75 feet. The audience room will be 24 feet high. The windows will be of stained glass, 7 feet high by 5 1/2 feet wide. There will be a gallery for the choir. The seating capacity of the room will accommodate 250 people. In the rear of the building there will be a platform and pulpit and a handsome ark where the ten commandments will be stored. The building will be lit by 50 gas burners. The pews are to be of modern style and handsomely cushioned. There will be a vestibule of seven feet in front of which will be nicely carpeted, as will be the entire building throughout. There will be one main aisle leading through the audience room, affording easy entrance to and exit from the pews. The dedication ceremonies will be conducted by a Jewish minister from Cincinnati, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Gray and the Rev. Mr. Wilson, of this city. The contractor will begin work at once on the edifice, which will be pushed forward until it is completed. Its location on the corner of West Fourth and Pine streets, will be central and as convenient to all parts of the city as any place that could have been selected. The exact day on which it will be dedicated will be the twelfth of September as nearly as can be ascertained at present. When finished the Temple will be an ornament to that neighborhood, and in fact to the whole city. The building committee consisting of Messrs. Sam Mayer, Dave May, Ike Baer and M. A. Kahn, are all go-a-head men, and our citizens can depend on their having the edifice competed according to agreement. The above cut gives front view of the building” [4]

August 7 - “The contract for building the new Temple Israel will be to let to-day. The building will cost in the neighborhood of $3,000 and will be completed by the 20th of September, which is the day on which the Jewish New Year begins. The congregation propose to make the dedication the most imposing affair of the kind that has ever taken place in this city. The committee have already telegraphed to Block & Co., of Cincinnati, for the music to be used on the occasion. All denominations will be invited to be present at the dedication exercises. The work of erecting the temple will begin as soon as the contract is awarded.” [5]

August 11 - Foundation corner stone laid.

August 12 - Survey completed.

September 14 - Notice- “Office of Congregation Israel Leadville, Colo, Sept. 8, Notice is nearby given that on Sunday Sept. 14, 1884, at 2 o’clock p.m., the Congregation Israel will offer the privilege of the seats at their new temple, corner of Fourth and Pine streets. Non members who wish to join the congregation will have a chance to do so at the time and place designated. By order of the Congregation, M. A. Cahn [Cohn] Secretary.” [6]

September 17 - “Rev. Julius Sachs of Cincinnati, Ohio, arrived in the city yesterday morning. Rev. Mr. Sachs is here on the call of the Temple Israel congregation and will conduct services during the approaching holidays.” [7]

September 19 - “This evening at 7:30 the Temple Israel congregation will dedicate their new edifice on the corner of West Fourth and Pine streets. Six weeks ago the building of the new temple was commenced and is to-day nearly completed. A very limited number of invitations have been extended for this evening’s services. A larger number would have been issued but for the limited capacity of the auditorium. Tonight the new year commences being the 5,645 of the Ismich Era. Rabbi Sachs, of Cincinnati, a recent graduate of the Union college of American Hebrews, will officiate.” [8]

September 20 - “The new Jewish Temple of the Congregation Israel that has just been completed was dedicated last night with the most impressive ceremonies, by Rabbi Morris Sachs of Cincinnati Ohio. The corner stone of the building was laid the eleventh of last August and the building has been rushed to completion in an unparalleled short time. The building is a very handsome edifice. It is the second Hebrew Temple in this state and is an ornament to the city. The windows are of stained glass; the pews are cushioned, and the floor and platform coved with a handsome carpet. The room is lighted by sixty jets of gas. The pulpit and ark are of elegant workmanship. In the rear of the building is the gallery for the choir…. By 8 o’clock the audience room was filled to its utmost capacity. The programme of the exercises was as follows.

Voluntary…. Organ and Orchestra Presentation of Key…… Chairman Building Committee Acceptance….. President of Congregation Solo…… Sen Sheorim (Lift up your head, O ye gates) Psalm 24 Circuit of the Sanctuary…. Psalm 100 Blessing the Law…. Response by Choir Reading of the Law…. Genesis, Chapter 1-v. 1-3 And the lord said there be Light, and there was Light Placing of the Law in the Ark Adonai, Adonai, Ki Rachum….. (O Lord O Lord of Mercy) Reading of Scriptures…. I Kings, Chapter VIII- v. 22-54 Invocation Consecration Hymn… Resound Ye Domes Voluntary… Organ and Orchestra Rosh Hash Rash Hosha Service En Komocho (None is like unto Thee)… Choir Sermon Yigdai (Be Exalted)… Choir Benediction Sermon by Morris Sachs

In the absence of Mr. David May, chairman of the building committee, Mr. Ike Baer presented the key of the building to Mr. J.H Monheimer, president of the congregation in a few appropriate and well chosen words. Mr. Monheimer accepted the key and responded as follows:

Mr. Chairman and Gentleman of the Building Committee. As president I accept the key you have tendered me, and in the name of the congregation Israel and on behalf of its members, allow me to express to you our heartfelt thanks, for the energy, real and devotion you have displayed in the erection of this the Miracle Temple of the age.

The history of our institution dates back to only a few months, and we may all feel justly proud of our accomplishments, but weak and few in numbers, yet many and strong in our determination to do good, we have completed in thirty three days this house which in a few moment is to be dedicated to Him who rules the universe, that its doors may be thrown widely open all who seek knowledge, and believe in the one and true God. Our time being limited, I shall have to close shortly but before doing so, would like to say a few words to those, who are ever foremost in the good work of charity, to them is due the thanks and the respect of all, they who are the beacon light of our existence, have been our aid in the great work, not only have they emptied their treasury to help us accomplish and complete this work, but the hand of their skill may be seen in every apartment of our temple. I suppose you are all aware of whom I refer, it is to the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society, they who have since the existence of Leadville done all in their power to relieve the needy, clothe the naked and provide for the sick. Thanks are further due to the members of the choir, who have studied arduously for several weeks to make the Holiday services interesting. Again thinking the various committees and the members in general for their aid in this holy work, I close my remarks so that the regular service may be continued.”

Followed by a sermon by Morris Sachs

“…The temple is very appropriately termed the ‘Magic Temple of the Age’. The globes of the chandeliers are of colored glass, and present a very fine effect. Great credit is due to the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent society for their efforts in raising funds with which to complete the temple.” [9]

September 27 - “There was an important meeting at the new Temple Israel last evening, for the purpose of election officers for the new Jewish year just entered upon, and the receiving of reports for the old term. There was a large attendance, and the election at once proceeded to. The old officers were all reelected, as follows:

President- J. H Monheimer Vice-President- David May Secretary- M. A. Cahn Treasurer- Sam Mayer Superintendent of Sunday School- J. Baer Trustees- I. Mooney, J. Kahn and J. Sonnenberg.” The following reports were then read: Treasurers report. To the honorable president and members of the congregation Temple Israel: The following is my annual report to you as treasurer of your society: President J. Monhiemer, Vice-President David May and Superindent L. Baer made statements summarized in the following: No one was injured during the construction of the building. Through the sale of pew seating in the temple the congregation raised $925. One burial permit was issued for $20 to Mrs. White.

Summary of 1884: Cornerstone laid on August 11. Survey conducted August 12. Colorado State Governor Grant donated $100 to the congregation on August 21. The congregation held five meetings and functions (payed $8 per use) at City Hall (132 and 134 East 6th Street) while the synagogue was being built. Lumber was supplied by Tabor, Pierce & Co. 213 East 5th Street Bricks were supplied by Jeremiah Irwin, corner of 4th and Maple Robert Murdock was paid $1,622.87 for the contract work and supplies George King was paid $50 for the architectural work Leppel was paid $432.87 for beer, wine, and liquor. A porter was paid $3 on September 18th presumably to move items into the Synagogue. [10]

October 4- “Day of Atonement. Exercises held all day yesterday at the Synagogue. A memorial to Rabbi Sachs. The day of atonement was strictly observed by the Jewish population. The whole of yesterday was spent in the temple, recently erected, and divine services were conducted by Rabbi Sachs, who was assisted by various members of the congregation. About 11 o’clock in the morning the young divine delivered a long lecture on the ‘Bible as the book’, which was very attentively listened to by a large congregation. It was really a masterly effort; one of the finest sermons ever delivered in Leadville. In the afternoon Rabbi Sachs lectured on the beauty of union, and the good results the union of American Hebrew congregations is achieving. He advised the Leadville congregation to join, by all means, this union, and thus feel that they too take and active interest in American Judaism. His remarks were listened to with absorbed attention and it may be unhesitatingly predicted that the congregation Israel of Leadville will act on the advice of the speaker and join the U of A. H. C. At the conclusion of his afternoon discourse, the Rabbi was eloquently addressed by Mr. Jacob Bernheimer, in behalf of the executive committee of the congregation. Mr. Bernheimer made a glowing and touching speech, the substance of which is embodied in the following document which will be presented the juvenile Rabbi. The document appended explains itself:

To Rabbi Morris Sachs: The executive board, in the name of the congregation Temple Israel of Leadville, tender to you their heartfelt thanks for your prompt response to their call; for the able and efficient manner in which you dedicated their new temple to the services of the God of their Father, the God of Israel; for the able manner in which you conducted the services during the holidays. In the great work you are about entering upon, as a guide and leader in Israel, we pray the great Creator and ruler of the universe may endow you with health and strength and crown your labors with abundant success. J.H. Monhiemer, president, M.A. Kahn, secretary, Dave May, vice president, Issac Baer, superintendent of Sunday school, Sam Mayer, treasurer, I. Kahn, Joe Sonnenberg, S. Mooney, trustees. Leadville September 29, ’84, Tishri 11, 5644” [11]

October 24- “… Here in Leadville the day will be celebrated by prayer in the Temple Israel, on which occasion Judge Freauhoff will deliver a lecture on the life of Sir Moses Montefiore. After services the members will have a banquet in honor of Sir Moses Montefiore’s centennial anniversary.” [12]

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Temple Israel Foundation
208 West 8th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461
303.709.7050

Temple Israel Museum
201 West 4th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461
longled@longled.cnc.net

Hebrew Cemetery
SW Corner of Evergreen Cemetery
North end of James Street, Leadville
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