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Meet Cheri and Alan Rubin

Written by Marilyn Saltzman on .

The hills of Genesee are alive with the sound of music, dance and theatre, thanks to the Rubin family.

A keyboard player and vocalist, Cheri has performed across the country and taught dozens of kids to sing and perform. She is currently president, Board of Directors, of the Evergreen Music Festival, which hosts the annual July 4 celebration at Buchanan Park.

Alan, who most recently performed in the Evergreen Chorale’s rendition of "Guys and Dolls," will play Zoltan Karpathy in the chorale’s production of "My Fair Lady.". At Beth Evergreen he has been a member of the choir and a regular in the Purim plays, including his most recent role as The King (aka Elvis).

Even their daughter, Franny, is a performer, logging about 50 gigs a year with her jazz band, Franny and the Jets. She’s also a Lindy Hop dancer, actor and member of an improv troupe.

The Rubins’ commitment to the arts is surpassed only by their dedication to community service. For six years, Cheri brought her talents to Evergreen Middle School’s Glee Club, directing such shows as "Cinderella," "Wizard of Oz," "Annie" and "Willie Wonka" as well as annual talent shows.

Cheri has chaired the Music Committee and served as choir director and accompanist at Congregation Beth Evergreen for most of two decades. She has prepared numerous teens for their Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies by helping them with their Torah chanting. Alan has been on the Spiritual Life Committee of the synagogue for more than 20 years and served a three-year stint as president of the Board of Directors.

And there’s more. Cheri is a trustee for the Colorado Ballet and serves on the Mountain States Regional Board of Directors for the Anti-Defamation League. She co-chaired the 2016 Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program. For 14 years, Cheri was backup vocalist and keyboard player for Shabbat Unplugged at Temple Emanuel in Denver. Currently she is taking rumba and salsa lessons, and competes in ballroom dancing.

Cheri came naturally to both performance and community service. Her parents met when her mother, a lifelong actress and supporter of the arts and Jewish causes, was raising funds for Allied Jewish Federation in Detroit. One day she met a man who said, “I’ll donate if you go out with my brother, Bernard.” After three dates, her parents married.

Growing up in Detroit, Cheri studied to be a classical pianist and won a keyboard competition as a teen. After college Cheri took off with an all-girl band, Sweetheart, and spent two years on the road, starting in Eufaula, Alabama, and winding up in New Orleans, where she played during Mardi Gras. Cheri moved to California and got a “real job” in the insurance industry. She later started her own company, C.J. Meyers Co., specializing in life and health reinsurance for large companies.

Alan was living and working for AT&T in San Francisco when his father, a Holocaust survivor, took him and his brother on a trip to Israel. Just separated from his first wife, Alan wasn’t looking for a new relationship. Yet Cheri, who lived in Oakland, was on their tour; and a dinner together in Tel Aviv marked the beginning of their courtship.

Though still living in California, the couple got married two years later, in 1994, at the Hebrew Education Alliance in Denver, the last couple married there before the synagogue moved from West Denver.

After enduring fire, flood, a mudslide and earthquake in California, the couple decided to move to Colorado. Alan was traveling regularly for work, and Cheri was running her own business, so it was easy to relocate. They moved to their home in Evergreen without a “maybe baby” room, and two weeks later, Cheri learned she was pregnant. So they found the original architect and had him add a nursery.

“Part of the reason we moved to Evergreen was an article in the Intermountain Jewish News about a charming little Jewish community,” Alan recalls. The week they moved, they attended a lay-led Beth Evergreen service at the Methodist Church. They were invited to come to a board meeting, and both immediately were appointed to the Board of Directors, a role with which they were both comfortable based on their volunteerism in California. Alan had served as board member and president of the Men’s Club at Temple Emanuel in San Francisco. Cheri had been vice president of the Board of Directors of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay.

Alan is one of those rare Colorado natives, having grown up in west Denver on Osceola Street. He attended Colfax Elementary and went to Hebrew School four afternoons a week and on Sundays. His mom grew up in Auraria and like Cheri’s mother, met her husband on a blind date.

Alan’s father had escaped from his homeland of Ostrog, Ukraine, with his brother a week before the Nazis came to town. The family they left behind all perished in the Holocaust. The brothers walked 400 kilometers before being swept up by the Red Army. They spent six years in Russian labor camps and after the war, the two were taken to a displaced persons’ camp in Italy where they met distant cousins who had other relatives in Denver. Those relatives, who owned a poultry processing plant in Greeley, sponsored six survivors to come to Denver. Unable to bear the poultry plant after a couple of days, Alan’s dad went to work in the dry cleaning industry and founded Great Western Dry Cleaning.

His father’s work ethic was passed on to Alan, who started selling furniture for May D&F while attending college, earning enough commission to pay his own tuition and save $15,000 by the time he graduated. Alan went to work for AT&T as a staff manager and later worked as a sales trainer and manager for Qwest Communications and CenturyLink. He also owns his own company, Useful Knowledge, which specializes in training sales teams.

Don’t miss the talented Rubin family as they perform around our community.