With a front page article in last week’s Intermountain Jewish News (IJN), JEWISHcolorado’s Chief Jewish Life and Engagement Officer Dr. Julie Lieber has officially landed smack in the middle of, well… Jewish life and engagement here in Denver.
Writing for IJN, Andrea Jacobs describes Julie’s journey from academia to the Jewish non-profit world, as well as her work since joining JEWISHcolorado. As it happens, her tenure began just as the pandemic did, and much of what she’s accomplished has been grounded in her background as a Jewish educator and reflective of her awareness that the balance between the religious and contemporary worlds is a fine one. While she’s been with us for less than a year, Julie understands that JEWISHcolorado’s priority is to insure that “we are responsive to the needs of all Jews in this community.”
“That’s a hard thing to accomplish,” she says, “because Jews have lots of different needs.”
Jacobs reports that JEWISHcolorado has increased its reach during the pandemic as it strives to meet both individual community member’s and Jewish organizations’ needs. While some recipients are unaware of the source, between JEWISHcolorado’s COVID-19 Community Relief Fund and the Jewish Human Services Relief Fund (a partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America), we’ve distributed nearly $1 million to thirty-some Jewish agencies and non-profits.
But that’s not all Julie’s been working on. Jacobs writes that, along with her staff of twelve, the Jewish Life and Engagement team she heads up has been running programs that “engage the community in Jewish life” and nurturing cross-organizational relationships that support both their work and the Jewish community as a whole. Jacobs notes that JEWISHcolorado is neither secular nor religious per se. As Julie remarked in her interview, “Our hope is to support, uplift, and empower the wide variety of Jews in Colorado.”
That she has done, and that she will continue to do. For Dr. Julie Lieber, neither snow nor rain nor even pandemic will stop her from our goal: “…to highlight our commonalities, bring people together, and create a constructive, unifying dialogue.”
“I feel blessed and grateful to be a part of [JEWISHcolorado],” Julie tells Jacobs. And we are likewise blessed and grateful to have her at the helm of Jewish Life and Engagement.
*IJN credit: Andrea Jacobs