Summer in Las Vegas is a time when many people take a vacation and leave town to escape the heat, but here at UNLV Libraries we are still working hard on the Jewish Heritage Project. Many thanks to the individuals and organizations who have donated their records and/or oral histories to Special Collections for preservation and research use, and to our other supporters. We are currently organizing, describing, and digitizing these historical documents, photographs, and oral histories to make them accessible online, although some are already available for use in our reading room. Please contact us if you have primary sources you are interested in donating (firstname.lastname@example.org) or if you are interested in recording an oral history (email@example.com). For more information on what kinds of primary sources we are looking for, please see this blog post.
While our development of a more comprehensive web portal to access the Jewish heritage digital collection is underway, I will continue to provide sneak peeks at some of our processed collections. This month I chose some highlights from the Edythe and Lloyd Katz Papers, a collection of historical materials donated by Edythe Katz-Yarchever.
Edythe and Lloyd Katz came to Las Vegas in 1951 to manage three of the city's four movie theaters: the Huntridge, the Fremont, and the Palace (later called the Guild). As president of the Nevada Theater Corporation, Lloyd Katz was one of the first business owners in Las Vegas to desegregate. The Katzes were also involved in the local Jewish community. Lloyd helped found Jewish Federation of Las Vegas and the Jewish Family Service Agency, and served as president of the Jewish Federation and Temple Beth Sholom. In 1980 the Katzes founded the Sperling Kronberg Mack Holocaust Resource Center in memory of Edythe's parents Gertrude and Hyman Sperling. Edythe Katz-Yarchever was the founding chairperson of both the Holocaust Resource Center and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Education Relating to the Holocaust, which was established by the Nevada Legislature in 1989. Through her work with the Resource Center and the Council, she ensured that teachers were properly trained to educate children about the Holocaust, and that its victims, survivors, and lessons would not be forgotten by future generations. Edythe Katz-Yarchever continues to serve as honorary chairperson of the Holocaust Resource Center. Lloyd Katz passed away in 1986.
Photograph of the Guild Theater during the presentation of I'm All Right Jack
Handwritten press release for the opening of Cinemas 1-2-3
Playbill for East Lynne, performed as a fundraiser for the Las Vegas Jewish Community Center, 1955
(L) Letter to Lloyd and Edythe Katz from U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt, 1975
(R) Letter from Frank Sinatra and Lloyd Katz about a Jack Entratter tribute dinner and fundraiser for the Temple Beth Sholom Religious School in Las Vegas, 1965
Letter from Edythe Katz to the Editor of the B'nai B'rith Messenger about Ralph Englestad, October 31, 1988
(L) Jewish Federation of Las Vegas board meeting agenda, December 18, 1985
(R) Holocaust Education Conference program, 1997
This collection is currently open for research. The collection guide is available here: https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/ead/96-17_Katz-Yarchever.pdf.