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Jacob Gorden Papers

 Collection
Identifier: B281
Collection contains correspondence, and notes related to Jacob Gorden from 1920, documents, and digitized photographs from circa 1900 to 1969..

Dates

  • circa 1900-1969

Creator

Language of Materials

The papers are in English, Russian, Yiddish, and French.

Extent

1.25 Linear Feet : flat box (19 x 15 x 3 inches)

Biographical / Historical

Jacob Gorden was a schocket (Jewish ritual slaughter), a mohel (one who performs the ritual circumcision), and a Talmudic scholar in Denver, Colorado. He and his wife Charlotte Gorden were leaders of the Orthodox Jewish community on Denver's west side and helped the Hebrew Educational Alliance. Velvel Heller, Jacob Gorden's uncle, had established himself as a schocket in Denver. Velvel Heller wrote his nephew of the opportunities in Denver and Jacob decided that he emigrate from Kolk, Russia to Denver in 1914. Jacob Gorden became a schocket and by 1917 had saved enough money to bring his wife Charlotte Gorden and his daughter Bess Gorden to Denver. In the next few years two more daughters and a son were born to the Gordens. The Gordens then moved to 1490 Julian Street. In 1935 Jacob Gorden also began work as a mohel. In 1944 Jacob Gorden was asked by Dr. Maurice Shapiro of Albuquerque, New Mexico to perform ritual circumcisions in New Mexico. In Albuquerque a blindfold was placed over Jacob Gorden's eyes for the ride to the final destination. Jacob Gorden only told his wife where he had been after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. He could then tell his wife that he had been in Las Animas, New Mexico. In 1926, Charlotte Gorden, Mrs. Chernyk and Mrs. S. Friedman began the Beth David Sisterhood for the purpose of building a school for Jewish children. The Beth David Brotherhood was formed to help with fundraising and the two groups founded the Beth Jacob Hebrew School at the Gorden home in 1929. The Denver Hebrew Institute was willing to merge with the new group and the organization became the Hebrew Education Alliance, a synagogue with a focus on Jewish Education. Jacob Gorden became the Gabbai (the person in charge of selecting the Torah readings during the Sabbath service) for the new sysnagogue and served in that position for over forty years. Jacob Gorden died at the age of eighty-nine.

Arrangement

The papers are arranged in two series: 1. Correspondence and Notes, ; 2. Documents, .

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428