August 23, 2017

Annual Leadville Cemetery Cleanup

Join B’nai B’rith Denver for a meaningful and fun weekend in Leadville this summer.  B’nai B’rith sponsors the annual clean up of the historic Leadville Hebrew Cemetery each June.  Yearly goals include cutting weeds, pruning tree branches, cemetery picket fence painting, and sprucing up soiled grave markers.

Weekend events begin at 5:00 pm Saturday with a Kosher Pot Luck Dinner for the Less Fortunate in the Leadville area, with volunteers also being served.  The pot luck will be held at St. George Episcopal Church at 4th & Pine (one block west of Harrison), across the street from the beautifully restored historic Temple Israel.  Donations to B’nai B’rith to help provide the food would be greatly appreciated.  The pot luck will be followed by a Havdalah Service led by Rabbi Debra Rappaport from B’nai Vail Congregation.

The annual cemetery clean up starts at 9:00 am Sunday.  Early volunteers will be served free coffee and bagels.  A grave side memorial service at noon will by conducted by Rabbi Rappaport.  Following the memorial service, a kosher barbeque lunch is planned for hungry volunteers. 

The Leadville Hebrew Cemetery was established in January of 1880, during Leadville’s pioneer boom times.  When the Temple Israel Foundation acquired the cemetery, it had experienced decades of neglect.  Only 59 orginal markers from 130 burials remained, and the locations of 12 burials had been lost.  Working with the Temple Israel Foundation, B’nai B’rith Denver took control of the cemetery grounds 16 years ago and since then the site has been cleared of heavy overgrowth, a new encircling fence constructed, and an entry arch and monument constructed.  It was reconsecrated in 1999, and the replacement of missing markers completed in 2004.  Plots are now available for interments.