Hanukkah to light up homes across the Roaring Fork Valley | PostIndependent.com

Hanukkah to light up homes across the Roaring Fork Valley

On Sunday, members of the Jewish community from across the globe will light the first night of Hanukkah candles as the eight-night holiday is set to begin.

While the Roaring Fork Valley’s Jewish congregation is not so large as to have menorahs on every neighborhood block, its strength and support is felt by its members that have called the valley home for years.

“I’ve been in Missouri Heights since 2003 and I absolutely feel comfortable with the Jewish presence here,” said Werner Knurr, who retired to the valley with his wife in 1995.

While the main Jewish congregation in the valley, Aspen Jewish Congregation, has its offices in Aspen, with Hebrew school and Shabbat celebrations in Carbondale the organization continues to strive to support the Jewish community from Aspen to New Castle and along the I-70 corridor.

“Roughly eight years ago we began doing Hebrew school in Basalt,” AJC Executive Director Jason Schnissel said. “Four years ago we began alternating Friday services between Basalt and Carbondale.”

Now the group hosts a monthly downvalley service in Carbondale as community members are invited on the final Friday of the month to celebrate Shabbat.

“We’ve been working to extend our reach to the entire Roaring Fork Valley,” he added. “As we have expanded our reach and programming we are meeting new people in new places.”

Roaring Fork resident Steve Rittvo attends the Friday service every month and feels the AJC provides services for and supports its downvalley community.

“There’s a real strong commitment from the AJC,” he added. “Having a sense of community is really important no matter if you are red or blue.”

The congregation’s tag line has been updated to read Serving the Roaring Fork Valley as it aims to build relationships and enrich lives in Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond.

On Sunday, members of the congregation will be gathering at menorah at the Willits Town Center in Basalt to welcome in the first night of Hanukkah.

azorn@citizentelegram.com