‘Kesher: The West Side Jewish Connection’ Screens to Sold-out Crowd

A new documentary by the Denver Office of Storytelling, “Kesher: The West Side Jewish Connection,” filled the 390-seat Holiday Theater on Jan. 31.

The 52-minute film surveying the 150-year history of Denver’s West Side Jewish community was met with audience responses ranging from “Fascinating, I had no idea” to “There it is! I got married in that building.”

A post-screening question-and-answer period quickly became a tender storytelling of its own with one resident after another standing at the microphone to share a memory or an insight. Parallels were drawn between the pressures of assimilation, migration and gentrification depicted in the film and similar pressures felt by North Denver’s Latino community.

“Kesher” is the ninth project in the Storytelling office’s five years as a city entity tasked with preserving and sharing the history and culture of Denver. The department uses film to “uplift community voices for conversation and engagement, particularly around issues of social justice.”

Its documentaries include “Reclaiming Denver’s Chinatown,” “¡Qué Viva la Raza! Honoring a Denver Legacy,” “Five Points: A Denver Legacy,” “A Thousand Paper Cranes,” “From Prohibited to Proud: The History of Drag in Denver” and more.

City Council President Pro-Tem Amanda Sandoval introduced “Kesher,” which means connection, and shared that the project was made possible by funds redirected after a 2023 effort to create a West Colfax Jewish Historic Cultural District did not move forward.

Visit IAmDenver.org to view the documentary and to learn about hosting a screening.

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