Jerry Kopel

Jewish Legislators

The first names were taken from vote abstracts available at the secretary of state and legislative council library. You can probably go back to 1876, but you need to have someone very old reading the names to determine whether or not they are Jewish legislators. The ones I found were familiar names to me. If you want to know how long they served, the legislative council library has that information.

1928 Ira Quiat

1932 A.B. Hirschfeld

1936 Eddie Bohn ?

1938 Robert Blum ?

1944 James Radetsky

1946 Ben Bezoff

1948 Marshall Quiat

1961 Ben Klein

Andres Lucas (later converted to Christianity)

Ted Rubin

John Streltzer Total 4

1963 Don Friedman (R)

1961 was probably the first time there were 4 Jewish legislators. There were four again in 1963, Streltzer was gone. Friedman may have been the first Jewish Republican elected.

1965 There were seven Jewish members. The most ever.

David Hahn

Andre Lucas

Don Friedman (R)

Ben Klein

Gerald Kopel

Hubert Safran

Marvin Woolf (R)

1967 There may have been seven



Mel Coffee

Barbara Frank ? (wife of Jack Frank)




No one new in 1969. The number dropped to three.

1971 Morton Pepper (R)

(plus Friedman, Klein, Safran, Kopel

1973 David Gaon

(plus Friedman, Klein, Safran, Kopel)

1974 Ken Kramer (R) appointed

(plus Friedman, Gaon, Klein, Kopel, Safran)

1975 Barbara Holme

Jean Marks

(plus Gaon, Friedman, Kopel, Kramer)

1977 William Comer? (don't know for sure)

1979 no one new

1981 John Herzog? (don't know for sure)

By 1983 it was down to Kopel and Holme

By 1985 through 1992, it was Kopel

For eight years Jan. 85 through Jan. 92 I was the only member of Jewish Faith in the legislature. When I left the legislature, I gave an early speech announcing my retirement. In the speech, I included the following:

"One of the great things about the legislature is its diversity, in gender, ethnic background, economic levels, and religious beliefs. We have all benefited from it. For the past eight years, I have been the only member of Jewish faith in the 100-member legislature. And my 22 years of service is the longest in Colorado legislative history for anyone of Jewish faith. I hope that any gaps caused by my leaving, will be filled."

Tom Gavin followed up on Jan. 31, 1992 with a column entitled "One in a Hundred" about "one Jew in the 100-member Colorado legislature and he's leaving." It ended "It's been a remarkable career and if they're all like Jerry Kopel, what Colorado gentiles should now be shouting is: Send us more Jews.

1993 Linda Powers

Paul Weissman

Doug Friednash

Ken Gordon

Marcy Morrison (R)

1995 Todd Saliman was added (six Jewish legislators)

1997 Dorothy Gotlieb (R)

Dan Grossman

(plus Saliman, Gordon, Morrison)

1999 same five

2001 Alice Borodkin

Andrew Romanoff

(plus Saliman, Grossman, Gordon)

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Copyright 2015 Jerry Kopel & David Kopel