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Transcript of interview with Gilbert Shaw by Barbara Tabach, May 3, 2016






In this interview, Gil Shaw recalls milestones at Congregation Ner Tamid?first bat mitzvah?and anecdotes about leaders, first rabbis, donation by Moe Dalitz, services being held in Protestant churches, and even a controversy over colors for the new temple building of Ner Tamid.

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Gilbert Shaw oral history interview, 2016 May 03. OH-02665. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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AN INTERVIEW WITH GILBERT SHAW An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV ? University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader?s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Gilbert Shaw, better known as Gil, was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles, California, where he had his bar mitzvah. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the US Navy and became a combat correspondent. The next twenty-seven years was a military career in both the Navy and Coast Guard and included service in both Korea and Vietnam. His training as a journalist and photographer gave him a trained eye on the history around him. This gave him a keen eye on his experiences as a founding member of Las Vegas? first Reform Judaism synagogue, Congregation Ner Tamid. In 1973, Gil and his family moved to Las Vegas. Retired from the military he was ripe for a new career when he met Don and Lil Eisner. Don soon offered Gil a sales position with Familian Pipe and Supply Company. Eventually he became a regional manager for the company. It was also Don who one night called to talk about an ad in the newspaper regarding a Reform temple forming. Knowing that this might appeal to both families, they attended the meeting held at Dr. Maurice Pearlman?s home. The meeting of about thirty people was led by Dr. David Wasserman and Dr. Gene Kirshbaum. Soon the steps to start the valley?s first Reform congregation was underway. Gil recalls milestones?first bat mitzvah?and anecdotes about leaders, first rabbis, donation by Moe Dalitz, services being held in Protestant churches, and even a controversy over colors for the new temple building of Ner Tamid. The Appendix of this oral history features a history of Congregation Ner Tamid written by Gil and a copy of a speech Gil presented during the celebration of the temple?s 40th anniversary in 2014. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Gilbert Shaw May 3, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface??????????????????????????????????..iv Talks about family Jewish ancestry; father was in Navy, moved to Wisconsin where he met Gil?s mother; family moved to Los Angeles in 1938 at age of 10. Had his bar mitzvah in Los Angeles. Enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and became a combat correspondent?journalist and photographer in Korea; later joined the Coast Guard; anecdote of swearing his son into Coast Guard. Explains his job as a combat correspondent; being a teacher of journalism and photography; did go to Vietnam and assigned to Coast Guard Pacific Command as a public affairs officer.???1 ? 5 Moved to Las Vegas in 1973; worked for an ad agency that went out of business. Met Don and Lill Eisner; Don hired him to be a salesman for the Familian, wholesale plumbing company; promoted to regional manager. Story of how Don Eisner learned of a meeting to form a Reform temple in Las Vegas in 1974; organizational conversation for the future Congregation Ner Tamid; talks of first meetings and services being held in Protestant churches; refers to a speech he gave in 2016 for the 40th anniversary of the congregation?????????.??..6 ? 8 Refers to his personal affiliation through the years since his bar mitzvah; through the service and when his wife became active; joined a Reform temple in New Orleans, which was a positive experience for him. Talks about his children?????????????????..9 ? 11 History of Congregation Ner Tamid, gift shop was a steamer trunk, first rabbi was Steve Weisberg who was a young rabbi from Los Angeles; High Holy Days were in Gold Room of Las Vegas Convention Center; both he and his wife Natalie served on as board members. Departure of Rabbi Weisman, replaced by Rabbi Mel Hecht and later Rabbi Maline and attendance slipped????????????????????????????????11 ? 13 Tells about being on committee to elect a board; Mike Cherry being asked to be Temple President; mentions other early members including Moe Dalitz; 1988 Rabbi Sanford Akselrad became the new rabbi; first bat mitzvah was for Rona and David Mendelson?s daughter. Refers to donated materials???????????????????????????14 ? 17 Shares what it was like to start a congregation from scratch; honor of being called to the bema on High Holy Days as a founding member; funny story. Mentions Greenspuns donation of land for current synagogue location on Valle Verde at I-215; also his collection of photos documenting Ner Tamid that he is donating. Talks about paint colors controversy; being the default temple historian and importance of knowing history?????????????????.18 ? 21 vi Talks about teaching photography at OLLI; satisfaction he derives from that experience. Introduces his friend Florrie Sasner and story of meeting at Ner Tamid Seniors. Together they talk about community outreach of the synagogue; efforts to introduce the east and west congregations to each other????????????????????????22 ? 24 Reflects on general changes he has witnessed since moving to Las Vegas; Chabad influence; Hillel rabbi teaches ?The Torah Decoded? at OLLI. Mentions seeing historian Doris Kearns Goodwin at Hamm Hall recently??????????????????????25 ? 27 Talk about anti-Semitism; organization memberships; Jewish interest in education and volunteerism. Remembers Dr. Maurice Perlman who was another founding member not to be forgotten. Speakers program that he organizes????????????????..28 ? 33 INDEX????????????????????????????????34 ? 35 APPENDIX: Congregation Ner Tamid history written by Gil Shaw; speech given by Gil Shaw during Ner Tamid?s 40th Anniversary celebration. vii viii 2 Today is May 3, 2016. This is Barbara Tabach and I'm sitting with Gil Shaw in my office at UNLV Libraries for the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage project. Gil, first spell your name for us. G-I-L?well, G-I-L-B-E-R-T, but my mother only called me that when she was mad at me. My last name is Shaw, S-H-A-W. Let's start a little bit about your family ancestral background. My father's family: I don't know anything past when they came to the United States. My grandfather came to this country in about 1899 and settled in New York. He was a Hebrew teacher. My grandmother and?one, two, three?four children came over in 1900. My father was born in 1901. So he's the first of the family born in the United States. They lived in Brooklyn. They had other relatives there, cousins and so forth, who I eventually met; I did not know anybody there during my childhood. My grandfather died when my father was eleven. I really don't know a whole lot about the family?other than my dad went in the Navy right after World War I and he was in for a short period of time and he moved to Wisconsin where he had a brother, broke out of the New York clique. My father met my mother in Wisconsin and they were married in 1927 and they lived there until 1938 when we moved to Los Angeles. My father's?all the people in that generation are gone now. The cousins I knew on my father's side were very few. I did contact some of them and I've been in contact and they are starting to go, too. I think I'm the oldest one left on that side of the family. So you were about ten years old when you moved to California? Yes, about ten, yes. What was California like in 1938? 3 Oh, everybody was talking about the earthquake a few years before. Los Angeles was much smaller than it is now. We moved into a Jewish neighborhood in the West Adams area. My first contact with other than the Jewish neighborhood generally?I met kids in school earlier?but my first contact really was in Los Angeles in school. That's about it, just through school. My mother's side: the family came here before World War I except for my mother and the oldest?she was the youngest of the family. The oldest one in the family and my grandmother, they were trapped in Russia, or Ukraine, because of the war. So they were separated from family until 1921 when my mother came over; I think she was about thirteen then. My uncle, my mother's sister's husband, owned a farm in Wisconsin in a little town called Genesee Depot and my mother was raised there. She went to school there in a one-room schoolhouse, which I got to see the last time I drove through there just for nostalgia sake. It was gone, but I had been by there and seen the one-room schoolhouse. I don't know how she met my dad, but they got married in Milwaukee. They lived in Milwaukee. And my dad drove a truck, drove an old milk truck. He used to deliver the milk from house to house. I was born and had my first ten years in Milwaukee. I don't remember a whole lot about it, but I do remember incidents. I remember relatives. I remember at Passover crawling under the table at my aunt and uncle's house to find the matzah. My cousin, who was six months younger than me, we'd crawl under the table together like nobody knew we were there, probably stepping on their feet and banging in their legs, but they didn't know we were there. So you were looking for the afikomen. Oh, yes. What was the prize back then if you found it? 4 I think my uncle gave us a dollar, which was an awful lot of money. That was the uncle who was the farmer. By then he owned maybe four or five farms in southern Wisconsin, the same area. We used to go out to the farm regularly. That about covers that end. Of all my cousins on that side of the family, I think I'm the last one left of the first cousins. I was the second youngest. The youngest was a professor up at Washington State. And we used to go up and visit them every once in a while and they came down here. After his wife died, he spent about a month with me down here with my late wife and myself. That about covers my background. My father's parents are from Austria and my mother's parents from the Ukraine. Did you have a bar mitzvah and were you raised religiously? I did have a bar mitzvah. I did have a bar mitzvah in Los Angeles and that was about the end of my Jewishness until later. I was seventeen when I went in the Navy and spent two years and was lucky enough to get into a very interesting career field. They were replacing the combat correspondents that they had during the war over all reservists. I went to the second class they ever had for enlisted correspondents after the war. So I got into journalism and photography at that time. After two years in the Navy, I got out and I was out for about a year and I really wanted to go back because I liked it. So I did go back. I was stationed in the Pacific. I managed to get to Korea during the unpleasantness there. I was at Chungcheong, the Munsan-ni, which was the base camp for the peace talks, where all the high-ranking officials lived. We all lived in tents. It was kind of interesting. People from all the services were there. After that I went back to the Amphibious Force. After that tour I was in the amphibious force and then went back to Great Lakes, Illinois as instructor to the Navy journalist 5 school, which was a successor after the correspondents. They gave us a specialty called ?journalists.? And I taught journalism and photography. I really was not happy teaching. I wanted to go back (to field duties.) I asked to go back to the fleet, either fleet, and I would reenlist. And they said, "Eh, you've been in eight years; you're not going to get out." Well, I did. I made arrangements to go in the Coast Guard. I had Coast Guard students and one of them got me in touch with the chief petty officer. At that time the only chief petty officer in the journalist rating in the Coast Guard and he helped me get in the Coast Guard. His name was Alex Haley. He achieved some fame of his own on the way. Alex was a mentor. I went in the Coast Guard. I lost one stripe, but I went up through the enlisted ranks. I went through the warrant officer ranks and I ended up as a lieutenant commander. That covers twenty-seven years. Wow, very quickly. That's amazing. My son went in the Coast Guard. The day I retired I swore him in and he stayed twenty-seven years, too. He's retired. That?s a legacy. What does it mean to be a combat correspondent? You go out and you do news stories. I had a lot of stuff in Stars and Stripes during the Korean War. I wrote about the base camp generally and also did a lot of stories that went to the hometown newspapers. They had a center that did nothing but send stories to the hometown newspapers. The correspondents would go out to the ships and get the guys to fill out the forms and send them to Chicago and then they'd send them to the hometown newspapers. I did a lot of that. In Korea I was kind of a floating guy. I could go anywhere I wanted so long as it was in 6 Korea and Japan. I went from ship to ship in the Amphibious Force. It was quite interesting. I never knew when I was going to get my mail or my pay, but they were very good on the ships about getting my laundry done when I'd come. But other than that...It was really great for a young guy out there. Sounds exciting. I got married when I was teaching and we went on with the Coast Guard to New Orleans, Toledo, Cleveland, San Diego, Alameda, back to Great Lakes in Illinois where I was the Coast Guard liaison officer with that hometown news center, the one I had worked for years before as one of the slaves. I went back as the Coast Guard liaison officer and I was the operations officer there and during that period I got a free vacation in Vietnam. I didn't spend a whole lot of time there, but I did get to Vietnam. Then when I got back I got transferred to New York. From there, I moved to being a public affairs officer for the Coast Guard Pacific Command in San Francisco. And then from there I went to being a media officer at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington. I was the unnamed Coast Guard spokesman. You hear, "A spokesman said." Well, that was me for the Coast Guard. Then I retired and moved here and that was 1973. That's an amazing career, being a person who loves journalism myself. Those aren't pleasant experiences that you had to cover, but I imagine that would be a book all by itself. I really enjoyed my whole career. I would do it again except I'm not smart enough now because all the stuff they do now. The journalists, they're now called public affairs specialists and they do all the TV stuff, internal and external. It's a lot tougher now than it was in my day. Because it's a lot more quickly available? So much more available and so much more to learn. But they're pretty bright kids. When I went 7 in we only had nineteen journalists, the whole Coast Guard, worldwide. Now they combine; when they put the public affairs, they put the photographers and the journalists together and it came to about a hundred for the whole service. So did you do photography yourself then? I did; I taught photography. Part of a journalist's specialty was photography. I enjoyed photography and I did it except when I was shipboard as an officer; I had other things to do and I didn't have much time for that. But other than that I was always involved in photography. Wow, what an amazing background. So when you moved here...In '73, you said? Yes. You were retired. I retired and I went to work for...Well, that's part of the Ner Tamid story almost. Perfect. Segue into that. Segue into that. We met this couple who had just moved here from Los Angeles, Lil and Don Eisner. They're both passed. We were having dinner one night and he said?I was working for an advertising agency that on Christmas Eve the boss came in and said, "We're going out of business starting tomorrow." Oh. What was the agency's name? I don't even remember. That's okay. So they went out of business Christmas Day and they told us Christmas Eve. I wasn't too worried. I mean I had enough coming in to pay the mortgage and to feed the family. My oldest son had gone off to the Coast Guard by then. We met this couple, the Eisners. Don said, "You're not working, are you?" And I said, "No." I said, "I'll get back to it one of these days." 8 He said, "Well, I just came to open a wholesale plumbing company here. How would you like to come to work as salesman?" He said, "We'll see you make a decent pay." I said, "Well, that would be great except I don't know anything about plumbing and I've never sold anything in my life." "Yeah, we'll train you." So I went to work for them and I stayed with them twenty-two years. That was my second?well, I call that my job. My career was the Coast Guard and that was my true love. And the name of their plumbing...? It was Familian Pipe and Supply. It's now Ferguson Plumbing. Ferguson and Familian were both bought by some British company and they decided to have one company. I retired from there about a month before they went as part of Ferguson and it was an interesting career. I started out as a salesman. I ended up as the administrator for a five-state area. We had thirteen branches. There was the regional manager and me. Well, we had a guy that did some of the technical stuff about ordering and working special deals and then we had a secretary, but that was the whole regional staff. So this was no huge job I had. My boss was on the road most of the time. So I ran the office and I made sure that things got done; that the corporate office was kept happy; that the managers in all thirteen branches were happy, but that was not a most interesting job. But it was okay. I enjoyed my second career. And then I retired and I've been kicking around ever since. How did this tie into Ner Tamid? Don [Eisner] called me one night at home and said, "Hey, I read something in the paper that they're starting a Reform temple here. They're going to have a meeting tonight. Let's go." So I was going to say no and I thought, nah, I'll go with him. I don't want to antagonize 9 my boss when I don't have to. I did that enough in the office; I didn't have to do that after. So we went to the first meeting at a house and there were thirty people there, roughly. I honestly can't tell you how many are still members of the congregation. I don't remember who was there at that time. Then we had a couple more meetings in houses. There were three gentlemen who really were the founding members, David Wasserman?well, it's in here [referring to documents in Appendix]. We started out in a Baptist church, West Charleston Baptist Church. We went from there to an Episcopal church?Christ Episcopal Church is where Ner Tamid was meeting?a bit incongruous, but that's the way it was. What year was that? We began really in 1974. They asked me to make the opening speech at Ner Tamid's 40th anniversary and services?. I tell about [services held in] a Baptist church to a Methodist church?or to an Episcopal church to a Methodist church before we finally got our own property then. My youngest daughter started her Jewish education in a Baptist church, she was bat mitzvahed at Christ Episcopal Church, and she was confirmed at the Methodist church across from the university, on Maryland Parkway. And I challenged anybody in the audience to match that and I didn't see any hands go up. My family moved on. They went to school and married and now live...I have one in Seattle, one in San Francisco, one in L.A. and one here. So let's go back to 1974. Do you remember whose home the first meeting was? Yes, it was at the home of [Dr. Maurice Pearlman]. The main two (organizers) are Dr. Gene Kirshbaum, who was a veterinarian and who has been gone several years, and Dr. David Wasserman, who is a dentist who lives here still and is still a member of the congregation. 10 Then we met at another home. They had already worked on West Charleston Baptist Church, which is now the Salvation Army, and we had our next meeting there. By then we had maybe sixty or seventy people who had heard about it. So there was a desire for this. Oh, yes. Now, were you belonging to a congregation prior to that? Yes, I was in Beth Sholom. I told you I had dropped out right after bar mitzvah. And when I was teaching at Great Lakes, we had a Jewish chaplain and he found out I was there. He came up and I met him and he asked me to come to services. He was a really nice guy. So I said, "Sure." I met the people there. There were three or four other people, senior enlisted people like me who were teaching, and there were some officers, doctors and dentists mostly, but one shipboard line officer. I found it very comforting to be with these people. Then the chaplain asked me and one of the electronic school teachers if we would come along when we took the school people, going to school, which were young Navy guys and a few Marines and occasionally a Coast Guard guy, if we'd come along and kind of ride herd on them because he couldn't be the bad guy and the young sailor sometimes they tended to get rowdy. The communities all around Great Lakes, every Wednesday they got off till midnight; that was the only day of the week they got off and then they had to go off on weekends. So every Wednesday we would go to some community in either northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin and they would have beach parties and we went to theater in the round and we went to the fights. But he asked if he would come along and kind of ride herd on these kids so they didn't get out of line. And occasionally they did and we'd stomp on them a little bit. But that's how I got back into Judaism. Then while I was in the service, if there was a 11 Jewish chaplain around, I would go to services, like in Japan. And then I met my wife and we got married a year after we met and she became very active in the congregation. Then when we went to New Orleans, we immediately went out to look for a Reform congregation. This rabbi was my first contact with Reform Judaism. I said, "Hey, it's something I can understand." Because I used to go to services I remember when I was a kid in Milwaukee in my uncle's shul and I didn't know what was going on. They were all going at their own speed and stopping and talking to people and going out and I didn't understand anything. But the Reform I could understand. We were well accepted into a congregation in New Orleans. One of the couples said, "You're new here, aren't you?" I said, "Yes, how do you know?" "We saw you near the delicatessen looking at a map." But we joined a congregation wherever we went and there's only one place where we ever had any problem. They were all happy to welcome the service people. We had one place where they would let me into the High Holy Days if I wore my uniform, but my wife was not welcome. Really? Yes. And that was a Reform congregation? No, it was a Conservative because they didn't have Reform in that town. So the Reform movement was attractive at that time. Yes. I was on the ship on Lake Erie for two years and when we'd pull into a port, I would go to services on Friday night. I'd find it. Of course, there I was in uniform and all the mothers with daughters would say, "Ah." But I'd say, "Married." I stayed with Judaism pretty well and we came here and joined. We had a daughter who 12 didn't start yet, but we had one educational age, pre-high school, high school. So in 1970s when you were getting involved here, were you children born already when you moved here? Oh, yes. Carol was born in nineteen?let's see. She's ten years younger than Jeff. Jeff was born in '55. So Carol was born in '65. Our oldest daughter was confirmed at Beth Sholom and the youngest was confirmed at Ner Tamid and bat mitzvahed at Ner Tamid. Where do we go from here? So let's talk about the history of Ner Tamid. So in 1974, these home meetings are occurring and people know that they want to form a congregation. Yes, and we grew pretty quickly. We couldn't do things other congregations did?well, we did, but it was different. Our gift shop was a great big steamer trunk. On Friday night we would spread a blanket on the floor. For about a year or year and a half we had the gift shop. I'd open up this trunk. I'd take everything and lay it out on this blanket and people would come up and buy things. That's a great image. But it was great. Of course, there was no kind of control. We'd decide how much we were going to charge for things; we had a committee. They'd count the money at the end of the night and there was really no good financial control. I don't think anybody who had it ever cheated the congregation out of a penny, but it was kind of a different operation. Our first rabbi, Steve Weisberg, was really a brilliant guy. He had a problem; he was a control freak and he had to control everything. A really nice guy, really bright, did a real good job, but when we hired an administrator, he wouldn't give him a key to the office. That's a little difficult, isn't it? 13 Yes. Like I say, I really liked Rabbi Weisberg. He started some good programs and the educational program for the kids. He did a lot of adult education things. He was pretty well organized. How old a man was he at that time? He was a young man. He was younger than I was I know, and I was about forty-five, forty-six maybe, and he had to be maybe in his thirties somewhere. Where was he from? What was his background? He came from Los Angeles. He didn't have a congregation in Los Angeles. He was highly recommended by Rabbi Herman who was the L.A. area or the southern area boss for the Reform?wherever his title was?for the Reform movement. He said, "This would be a really good guy for you." At the time he was working for several funeral homes, which kept him busy in the L.A. area. He was with us for...I don't remember how long, but it was for a while, a couple of years anyhow. We had our High Holy Days in the Gold Room at the convention center, which is no longer?the convention center is there, but the Gold Room is long gone. It was free. The first year we were completely shocked; we had over two hundred people show up. How did you get it for free? We paid the convention center something. I'm sure it was worked through some of the politicians, some of the people with connections. But it was free to the people, free entry. I see what you mean, okay. It helped our financial condition somewhat and we got a lot of people to join. Some of the Strip entertainers would drop in because it was convenient and it was free. Like who? 14 Joan Rivers. And... Oh, [Marty Allen], but he was still alive and doing comedy in his nineties, a couple of years ago. He had a partner and I can't remember his name. But we'd get some of the musicians off the Strip would drop in because we'd get to talking with them afterwards. If we'd see new people, we'd all go out and try to recruit. We had High Holy Day services there several years. We had some congregations in L.A. that donated books for us. They were happy to see a Reform congregation in Nevada. They helped us I'm sure with things that I didn't know about. I was not on the first board. I was on the second board; I was vice president. We didn't have a vice president for this and a vice president for...We had a vice president. I did one term there and I did another time on the board later on where I was secretary. My wife was on the board a couple of times. What was her name? Natalie. She was on the board a couple of times. We watched the congregation grow. It just kept growing and growing and adding. Then I was not on the board, so I don't know the...And I never go searching for the dirt of what's happening. But Steve Weisberg left us and he went to Texas, Amarillo, I think, and he stayed there the rest of his career. He died young. His wife came back once. She showed up for yahrzeit services for him. Who succeeded him? Nobody for a while. I think Mel Hecht was after that. Then Rabbi Maline. He was a winner. Forget I said that. Just an editorial aside. Well, he and his wife, they were from Boston and that's where he had come from and they didn't think we were very proper here. We did not wear coats and ties in the summer to services. Well, one of the first things he said was, "The children here know nothing; they're all stupid," which 15 did not delight us too much. Then we were out a rabbi for a while. Eileen Kollins filled in and she did a wonderful job. There were a couple of other people that filled in. Congregation Ner Tamid suffered hugely financially because we didn't get people joining because...Well, with Rabbi Maline toward the end, his services would meet in the library and he was lucky to get ten people there on Friday night. It dwindled, huh? Well, he looked down on us as uncouth peasants. I'm embarrassed to say I was on the selection committee for him, which didn't work too well. We had another rabbi in between, too, and I can't remember what his name was. Memory goes. How about the physical structure of moving? You had all these temporary locations. Well, we came to the point?and, again, I was on the committee of trying to put together a board for the next year. Somebody said, "We have to have somebody with some influence." I said, "Too bad Mike Cherry is not a member of our temple." Because Mike, when he was a young guy, he was my attorney when I first got here. He was in his thirties, young guy starting out with a partner downtown in a little converted house downtown. So somebody said, "Well, I know Mike pretty well. I'm going to give him a call." He said, "Mike, how would you like to join Ner Tamid and be president?" He said, "Okay." So he joined Ner Tamid and he was elected president. Chic Hecht was a senator here then. He was a senator from Nevada and he was a member of Beth Sholom, long standing. His family had been here a long, long time. They approached him and said, "Hey, we'd like to get some land, Bureau of Land Management land so we can build a building. We can't afford to go out and buy a piece of land where there is civilization. We can buy out in the desert, but that's not what we want to do." Of course, that 16 part, whatever the desert was, is probably the middle of the city now somewhere. So Mike got ahold of him and a few other people got ahold of him and he pushed the Bureau of Land Management and we got a piece of land on Emerson. Then we really went out and dug for money. We got some money from some of the less savory casino executives of the past. Such as? What's his name, the head of?it was the name that was on the school. Moe Dalitz? Was it Moe Dalitz? Yes?no, it was another one. Entratter? No, no, it wasn't Entratter. Sarno? I can't remember. His name was on the school on Emerson. I just don't remember. But they got a lot of people to give some money. I think he gave us half a million, which then was a pretty good chunk. Well, whoever?I can't remember the name. But when he was brought up before...His name was being thrown around and he asked them, "Take my name off; it shouldn't be on the outside of the building while I'm in this trouble." They dropped the case and his name went back up. He was honorable enough to say? I think it was Moe Dalitz. It might have been. I think so, yes. But, at any rate, it helped a lot. We got a lot of new people to join. Then they opened the building. We just had a general purpose room; we didn't have a sanctuary then. They went 17 out?and I was not on the committee that time?and they brought this young man, twenty-