In 1961, at the age of thirteen, Gerald “Jerry” Gordon became a bar mitzvah. This typical coming of age celebration was unusual in that he had simultaneously studied in both his home state of California and his adopted home of Las Vegas, where he spent summers with his grandparents. 1961 is also the same year that the Gordons made Las Vegas their permanent home.
Jerry graduated from Las Vegas High School, attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas and earned his law degree from University of California, Los Angeles. His gregarious and trustworthy personality led him to career building steps in the legal community of Las Vegas that included illustrious names such as Louis Wiener, Jr., David Goldwater, Neil Galatz, and many others. His personal law specialty became bankruptcy, especially dealings with hotel/casinos.
As a member of the Jewish community, Jerry’s energy and expertise to organize was instrumental in the construction of Congregation Ner Tamid, the reform synagogue, at its site on Valle Verde and I-215. It was a multi-year process and includes a vast array of stories—a cash donation from Moe Dalitz, finalization of receiving of a donation land from the Greenspun family during the High Holy Days, and the ongoing challenges of a building campaign during a recession. In addition, he explains that CNT included two unique negotiations: 1) a cell tower and 2) a solar field on the synagogue’s property.
Jerry and his wife Yvonne met while attending UNLV. Yvonne taught math at various levels in the Clark County School District. They raised their two children, Sara and Jeffry, in Las Vegas, and forged an important role together in Congregation Ner Tamid. In April 2017, they were among those honored for their work with the synagogue.View Related Items View Oral History