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Eileen Naiman

An HEA Member Through and Through

Eileen Naiman began her time at HEA as a religious school student on the Westside of Denver, a time she remembers fondly. “We used to visit a little corner candy store down the street and purchase penny candy to take to class,” Eileen reminisced to Rabbi Shulman in a recent conversation at her home. “We would stuff the candies in our desks. I always loved the teachers at the Alliance.”

Eileen grew up as the daughter of Romanian and Russian parents on Bryant Street under the Colfax viaduct. Fellow shipmates set her parents up while her father immigrated to America, connecting with his bride-to-be when he came to Denver. Over the years, Eileen and her family gravitated to and celebrated many simchot (Jewish celebrations) at HEA. Her brother Irwin held his bar mitzvah at the Alliance. Eileen and her husband David met at Kiddush lunch at the Alliance in 1985 and were subsequently married by Rabbis Laderman and Goldberger.

“HEA is simply part of my history. To me, the Alliance is community. It is involvement. It is continuing my Judaism,” Eileen reflected. Indeed, Eileen continues to stay involved in HEA on the Sisterhood board, the Westsiders HEAConnect group, the new HEAConnect group fighting Antisemitism, and through attending Shabbat services and other programs. For years she also enjoyed volunteering on Fridays at the HEA preschool. “It was a real joy to usher in Shabbos with the kids.”

Eileen prefers to stay busy and engaged with people. She worked for 18 years at First National Bank of Denver and then another 15 years at a law firm downtown. She currently serves as a lay leader in Hadassah, Jewish Family Services, Jewish National Fund, and other organizations. “I have always been a career woman,” Eileen shared, adding, “David and I loved going to shul too.” Eileen Naiman inspires us all to appreciate the centrality of community in our lives from childhood to adulthood. “I need to have community – and this is my community.”

Sun, July 14 2024 8 Tammuz 5784