Future Generations will learn from Oral Histories

The voices and recollections of Las Vegas residents who have experienced local history bring Las Vegas history to life. We call them oral histories. They are not memoirs, but a conversational look at experiences and observations. For me, it is a great honor to listen to the recollections of longtime local residents: what brought them to live here, where their ancestral roots were, and living in Las Vegas for a number of years has been like, and how it has changed over the years. For as long as this project is funded, additional people will be interviewed and added to this important perspective of local history.

Through this website, the oral histories will be available for all for years to come. So as I continue to interview more people who are of Jewish ancestry and call Las Vegas home, we thought you might like a list of who has participated so far. It’s a fascinating cast of characters.

Among the oral histories are two friends, Adele Baratz and Florence Frost, talking about the early days of Temple Beth Sholom; a mother and daughter, Marilyn Glovinsky and Melissa Lemoine, recalling getting involved with Congregation Ner Tamid; and 100-year-old Gertrude Rudiak with her son Richard and granddaughter Dani Ramge honoring the longevity of the family in Las Vegas.  

Others who are leaving a legacy of memories include: Rabbi Sanford Akselrad; Sari and Paul Aizley; Deanne Alterwitz; Daryl Alterwitz; Wilma and Burt Bass; Blaine Benedict; Shelley Berkley; Arlene Blut; Jackie Boiman; Shelley Bristol; Sabina and Tony Callwood; Justice Michael Cherry; Suzie Chenin; Rabbi Malcolm Cohen; Jerry Countess; Renee Diamond; Dorothy Eisenberg; Kenny Epstein; Mark Fine; Fran Fine Ventura; Raymonde Fiol; Bob Fisher; Jerry Fox; Norma Friedman; Phylllis Friedman; Elaine Galatz; Freddie Glusman; Rabbi Felipe Goodman; Oscar Goodman; Greg Goussack; Gene Greenberg; Rabbi Shea Harlig; Steve and Wendy Hart; Elliot Karp; Mimi Katz; Barbara and Bernie Kaufman; Harry Kogan; Henry Kronberg; Marla Letizia; George Levine; Ron Lurie; Joyce Mack; Judy Mack; Michael S. Mack; Stanley Mallin; Flora Mason; Margot Mink Colbert; Rabbi Yocheved Mintz; Beth Molasky; Irwin Molasky; Susan Molasky; DeDee Nave; Jacob Paz; Sharon Sigesmund Pierce; Barbara Raben; Arne Rosencrantz; Lynn Rosencrantz; Roberta Sabbath; Michael Saltman; Sonja Saltman; Harry Sax; Jon Sparer; Judy Steele; Faye Steinberg; Gary Sternberg; David and Heidi Straus; David & Iris Torjman; Doug Unger; Mindy Unger-Wadkins; Ruth Urban; Sharon Walker; Jerry, Marcie and Doris Welt; Valerie Wiener.

Once the interview occurs, the audio file is transcribed and the interviewee is given a chance to lightly edit, remembering that this is the spoken word and not a memoir.

BONUS: In Special Collections we have identified nearly four dozen recordings from the past to add to the website.  These old cassette tapes have been digitized and transcribed. So if you are interest, you can listen to the voices of Chic Hecht, Hank Greenspun, Louis Wiener Jr. and Edythe Katz-Yarchever—just for starters.

Oral histories are the backbone of this project and we are honored by those individuals and groups who embrace our mission to save Las Vegas history for future generations on story at a time. Click here to explore now!

~Barbara Tabach, Project Coordinator