Jews have been part of Trinidad's social, economic and political life since first arriving as traders along the Sante Fe Trail. Maurice and Isaac Wise opened a store on Main Street in 1867. The Jaffa Brothers' Trading Company was established in 1872. Sam Jaffa was elected as Trinidad's first mayor in 1876. The Jaffa brothers, Sam, Henry and Sol, built Trinidad's Jaffa Opera House in 1882. In 1883 Trinidad's Jewish community formally organized Southern Colorado's first Jewish congregation, which also drew members from Northern New Mexico. Fundraising began with ecumenical support from the non-Jewish community. Temple Aaron, designed by famed architect Isaac Hamilton Rapp in the popular hybrid Exotic Revival-Moorish style, was dedicated in 1889. The Congregation's spiritual leader was Rabbi Leopold Freudenthal. It was affiliated with the Reform Movement and sponsored an early B'Nai Brith chapter. For 130 years and counting, Temple Aaron has visibly affirmed the American principles of Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Religion. This marker dedicated June 2019
by Colorado Preservation, Inc.,
City of Trinidad,
Temple Aaron Community,
Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.