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Forty-year Ministry of Rabbi William Friedman Celebrated in Denver

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The completion of forty years of service in the American Rabbinate by Rev. Dr. Wm. S. Friedman was commemorated by the Jewish community of Denver with impressive ceremonies last week.

Leadership in this celebration is being taken by the members of Congregation Emanuel, whose spiritual leader Rabbi Friedman has been since his graduation from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1889. This is the only pulpit which Rabbi Friedman has occupied in the four decades of his ministry.

Rabbi Friedman’s ministry in Denver spans forty years replete with achievements for his own people as well as for the entire Rocky Mountain region, and the country at large. Coming to Denver when that city was a struggling village, he found a congregation of less than fifty members. Today Congregation Emanuel numbers over five hundred and fifty members, has an enrollment of over four hundred children in the religious school, and is one of the most influential congregations west of the Mississippi River.

Two years after Dr. Friedman’s arrival in Denver, he started the movement which culminated in the establishment of the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives, the first institution in American for the free treatment of sufferers from tuberculosis on a national, non-sectarian scale. For many years Dr. Friedman has been chairman of the local board of managers of the hospital and he is now serving as president of the institution. In appreciation of his service, as its founder, the first building of the hospital group was named “The Wm. S. Friedman Building” upon the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the hospital.

Concurrently with his activities on behalf of Jewish causes, Rabbi Friedman has been zealous in non-Jewish circles in promoting the cause of good-will and mutual understanding between races and creeds. Interchange of pulpits between himself and leading Christian ministers throughout the Rocky Mountain region has for many years been a feature of this program of developing better understanding between Jews and non-Jews. His eminence in the Jewish community has brought him responsibilities and leadership in every phase of civic and communal endeavor and this in turn has developed esteem and friendship between himself and his non-Jewish colleagues in the fields of religion and social service.

Among the many civic and philanthropic offices which Dr. Friedman has held are the following: Vice-president, Charity Organization Society of Denver; member of the State Board of Charities and Corrections for twenty-two years, serving as president for six years; vice-president, Colorado State Conference of Charities and Corrections; member of Advisory Council of the Governor of Colorado.

Other offices which Dr. Friedman held concurrently with the above and which he still holds, include vice-president of the Board of Denver Library Commissioners; member of the executive committee of the Hospital Saturday and Sunday Association; member of the board of the Big Brother Association; member of the Colorado State Board of Peace Commissioners; member of the executive committee of the Colorado Red Cross.

In 1906 the University of Colorado conferred the degree of LL.D. upon Rabbi Friedman. In 1905, Congregation Emanuel elected Dr. Friedman rabbi for life.

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