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Temple Aaron (Trinidad, Colo.) Records

 Collection
Identifier: B133
On July 23, 1883, twenty-nine Jews of Trinidad, Colorado met in the home of Sol Jaffe to organize a synagogue. They adopted the name of Congregation Aaron in honor of the Jaffe brothers’ (Sol, Henry, and Samuel) father. Samuel Jaffe, who became Trinidad’s first mayor, was chosen vice-president. In 1889, Rabbi Leopold Freudenthal, became the congregation’s second rabbi and served until his death in 1916. He gradually introduced moderate Reform Judaism. In addition to Jews from Trinidad, many of the members came from Raton, New Mexico and small towns in Colorado and New Mexico. In 1889, Temple Aaron was built at Third and Maple streets, where it still stands. Architect Isaac Hamilton Rapp designed it in a Moorish Revival style. Economic conditions in Trinidad deteriorated and most of the Jewish families left Trinidad, but the temple still holds High Holiday Services. Temple Aaron is the oldest temple in Colorado that has remained at the same location as originally built, but it was closed in 2016. The collection includes the constitution and by-laws of the congregation, documents from the centennial celebration, and newspaper articles on the temple.

Dates

  • 1883-1989

Creator

Extent

.5 Linear Feet (letter document box)