Leadville, Colorado - Jews and the Frontier Mining Communitiy
Temple Israel marker, Leadville, Col.
JASHP, in coordination with the Temple Israel Foundation, Leadville, Col., has funded a historic marker at the synagogue and will be funding and dedicating a new historic interpretive marker project at the Jewish cemetery this spring.
“The first Jews to settle in Leadville traced their origins to Germany. They tended to be assimilationists and practiced Reform Judaism including services largely in English, women as members of the congregation and the use of a choir and organ. Later immigration to Leadville contained a larger proportion of Eastern European Jews who were more orthodox. During 1892 the congregation split with the orthodox establishing their own congregation Kneseth Israel, which occupied a former church on West 5th Street.
Jew accounted for some 300 residents during the 1880’s and their presence was mostly felt in the retail trades. Leading names included David May and the mine owning Guggenheim family, who went on to establish firms of national importance. Jews were also involved in a wide variety of social, philanthropic and political activities and supported several organizations in addition to the synagogue. Leadville was host to a lodge of B’Nai Brith, both men’ and women’s Hebrew Benevolent Societies and a religious school. “