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Four Questions for Pearl St. Lamplighters Jerry and Marilyn Pinsker

The Boulder County Center for Judaism is pleased to honor Jerry and Marilyn Pinsker with the mitzvah of lighting this year’s Community Menorah on the Pearl Street Mall in central Boulder on Monday, December 26 at 5:30 pm.

Chany Scheiner, co-director of the Boulder County Center for Judaism, said Jerry was selected because, along with his wife Marilyn, he has “given his blood for the Boulder Jewish community.” A Boulder resident for 40 years now, “he has done everything from book rooms and manage the calendar to run Bonai Shalom’s Hebrew School and work with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In between, he has handled every imaginable type of crisis.”

On hearing they’d received this honor, Rabbi Marc Soloway of Bonai Shalom wished the Pinskers mazal tov, saying, “Jerry and Marilyn Pinsker are lovable pillars of Boulder’s Jewish community; present and giving in so many ways. I feel privileged and honored to be their rabbi. They light lamps for us wherever they go.”

Francine Lavin Weaver, another long-time, active Boulder resident described the Pinskers as

“prominent participants in the Boulder community at large and the Boulder Jewish community for as long as I have known them. Their reach extends to Eisenhower Elementary School, the Anti-Defamation League, Bonai Shalom, and the Boulder JCC – since its inception. They both are real doers and always greet everyone with a smile, and some knitting! As 2016 draws to a close, Jerry is retiring from his role as facilities director at the Boulder JCC, where he has spent many years making sure the lights go on and the technology is prepped for conferences, meetings, etc. As we kindle the lights this year, we thank Jerry and Marilyn for their unending dedication to this community. May their leadership live on and their personal lights shine for many years to come!”

And now to the asking – and answering – of our traditional four Lamp Lighter questions:

What brought you to Boulder County?
“We moved to Boulder from New York 40 years ago. It was a very turbulent time in New York and we spent the summer of 1975 looking for places to relocate. We immediately fell in love with the Boulder area.”

What is your favorite Chanukah Memory?
“Lighting the Chanukiah with our children when they were young and now lighting it with our granddaughter Daliah. We always made sure that Chanukah was very special, successfully minimizing the ‘December Dilemma’.”

What do you enjoy best about living in Boulder County?
“There are so many things we love about Boulder. The outdoor activities, the climate, but most of all our welcoming, caring Jewish community. It is such a pleasure being in a Jewish community where one can go to any synagogue and be welcomed with open arms.”

What it was like working for the Boulder JCC in its infancy?
“When I started my relationship with the Boulder JCC it was a small operation with approximately 15 employees, almost all part-time. It felt like a close knit family. Almost everyone was involved in many areas of the Jewish community, so outside of the JCC we often saw each other at services, holiday events, etc.”

Because Jerry and Marilyn have contributed in so many ways over the years, we added an extra request for information to this year’s interview.

Between your paid and volunteer work, you have touched so many different organizations, can you tell us about one favorite memory?
“Marilyn and I ran the Bonai Shalom Hebrew School for a number of years. Marilyn taught in the Boulder Valley School District and had some of our Hebrew school students in her regular school classes. It was so gratifying when there was an immediate connection because of the pre-existing relationship she had with the students at Hebrew School, especially when they needed help with Hebrew assignments and she could provide that during recess.”

And for Jerry, “I was president of Bonai Shalom during the construction of our sanctuary. It was so rewarding to physically help build the building we are still using almost 30 years later.”

No reservations are necessary for this fun, family-friendly event. Just show up on the Pearl Street Mall in front of the Courthouse around 5:15 pm on Monday evening, December 26th and join the festivities surrounding the lighting of Boulder County’s largest community menorah.

Enormous thanks go out to Andy and Audrey Franklin, JEWISHcolorado, the Boulder JCC, Boulder Jewish News, the Oreg Foundation, and Rhonda and Bruce Wildman. Without their generous support, this event would not be possible.

For further information, contact the Boulder County Center for Judaism at 303-494-1638 or boulderjudaism.@gmail.com, or visit our website at www.BoulderJudaism.com.

About Lisa Napell Dicksteen

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