Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript from interview with Rabbi Yocheved Mintz by Barbara Tabach, March 11, 2015






During this oral history, Rabbi Yocheved Mintz weaves the journey of her life before and during her move to Las Vegas. She recalls thinking the "whole world was Jewish" growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, and discusses finding a community in Las Vegas, and becoming a rabbi in 2004.

Yocheved (nee Porath) Mintz is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, where she grew up surrounded by Jewish tradition and teachings. Her grandfather was Rabbi Israel Porath and inspiration to become the family?s first female rabbi. She was ordained in May 2004. The next year she became the second spiritual leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue, now known as P?nai Tikvah. She soon was known as a tireless and inspirational rabbi for the entire Jewish community of Las Vegas. After eleven years, on June 17-18, 2016, Rabbi Mintz?s life and dedication to being Jewish were celebrated. She transitioned to be Rabbi Emerita/Senior Educator. Before moving from Chicago to Las Vegas in 1999 she was abundantly busy with raising four sons she had with her husband the late Dr. Alan Mintz (1938-2007). However, she also managed to pursue her education, become an interior designer, and co-found with her friend Etty Dolgin, a Jewish education consulting firm called Kesher Team. Yet there was a lingering goal to become a rabbi. Throughout her life, Yocheved eagerly studied various approaches to living a Jewish life. So once she had settled into Las Vegas, she began her commute to Los Angeles to study at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a trans-denominational seminary. She interned at Temple Beth Sholom and has been involved in Jewish education locally and nationally. She has served as the first president of the Las Vegas Board of Rabbis and on the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada.

Digital ID



Yocheved Mintz oral history interview, 2015 March 11. OH-02284. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement





i AN INTERVIEW WITH YOCHEVED MINTZ 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 Yocheved (nee Porath) Mintz is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, where she grew up surrounded by Jewish tradition and teachings. Her grandfather was Rabbi Israel Porath and inspiration to become the family?s first female rabbi. She was ordained in May 2004. The next year she became the second spiritual leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue, now known as P?nai Tikvah. She soon was known as a tireless and inspirational rabbi for the entire Jewish community of Las Vegas. After eleven years, on June 17-18, 2016, Rabbi Mintz?s life and dedication to being Jewish were celebrated. She transitioned to be Rabbi Emerita/Senior Educator. Before moving from Chicago to Las Vegas in 1999 she was abundantly busy with raising four sons she had with her husband the late Dr. Alan Mintz (1938-2007). However, she also managed to pursue her education, become an interior designer, and co-found with her friend Etty Dolgin, a Jewish education consulting firm called Kesher Team. Yet there was a lingering goal to become a rabbi. Throughout her life, Yocheved eagerly studied various approaches to living a Jewish life. So once she had settled into Las Vegas, she began her commute to Los Angeles to study at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a trans-denominational seminary. She interned at Temple Beth Sholom and has been involved in Jewish education locally and nationally. She has served as the first president of the Las Vegas Board of Rabbis and on the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada. During this oral history she weaves the journey of her life before and during her move to Las Vegas, from the ?year of the hamburger? to her ?retirement.? v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Yocheved Mlintz March 11, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface??????????????????????????????????..iv Traces maternal (Sarah Sheinberg) ancestry to Bogrebishtu, Ukraine; her father (Joseph Porath) was born in Jerusalem and was the son of Rabbi Israel Porath. Story of father immigrating to US and becoming chief of Orthodox Rabbinate of Cleveland, Ohio. Talks about growing up in Cleveland with a very Jewish feeling; World War II years and her awareness of Europe; member of Habomin Zionist youth group. Love of school and going away to University of Chicago at age 16. Met and married Alan Mintz in 1959 during her senior year. ..??????????.1 ? 4 Talks about teaching In Jewish community and having babies while husband attended University of Illinois Medical School; Alan joined Navy, where he did his residency; she kept involved in education both public school and Jewish. Forms Jewish education consulting firm called Kesher Team with Etty Dolgin; started Moadan Kol Chadash in Chicago. Also had an interior design business. Describes husband, Alan Mintz?s Medicon business, inspiration for Cenegics?..5 ? 8 Decision to move to Las Vegas in 1999 is talked about; scouting for mezuzahs in search of Jews; joined Temple Beth Sholom; volunteered at Milton I. Schwartz School, became a board member later; strategic planning committee and guided a five-year plan, resulting in Adelson campus; worked with Victor Chaltiel. Work with Etty includes teaching Hebrew to rabbis. Recalls the four things she wanted to be as a girl; one was to become a rabbi like her grandfather; steps in early 2000s she took to achieve that goal; following studies as a commuter student and breast cancer, she was ordained in 2004??????????????????????8 ? 11 Tells the story of assuming the leadership of Valley Outreach Synagogue from Rabbi Richard Schachet; challenges associated with that; provides brief history of Reconstructionism movement and her personal identification with the movement and the Renewal Movement. Describes current P?nai Tikvah congregation, why and where it meets???????????.12 ? 15 Talks about the opportunities that have been created for Jewish education locally through benefactors such as Victor and Toni Chaltiel and Miriam and Sheldon Adelson; Milton I Schwartz as founder of Hebrew Academy (1988); how she worked to grow and solidify educational opportunities. Compares to her Jewish education in Cleveland; being a learning congregation and benefits of being small. Explains the name P?nai Tikvah?????.16 ? 19 vi Mentions people who have been on P?nai Tikvah?s board; other boards that she has served on, such as Jewish Federation; Jewish Family Services; interfaith work; getting a dog; passing of Alan, her husband, in 2007; mentoring her assistant Nancy Eason. Reflections on Las Vegas and its Jewish community; Board of Rabbis and guests she targets to bring to speak????20 ? 25 Appendix?..Invitation/ad for Rabbi Mintz?s retirement celebration??????????..29 1 March 11, 2015. This is Barbara Tabach with Rabbi Mintz in her Las Vegas home office. My name is Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, spelled Y-O-C-H-E-V-E-D, M-I-N-T-Z. Tell me your family story. My mom was born Sonia Stupak. The name changed when she came to the United States to Sarah Sheinberg. She and her mother were in the town?they were born in which was Bogrebishtu, the Ukraine. Bogrebishtu means search the cellars, during the time of pogroms. The Cossacks came and invaded the village. I had an aunt who was seventeen at that time and her name was Yocheved. She was set upon by the Cossacks; they assaulted her and buried her up to her neck and then killed her with the spears that they were carrying as they were on horseback. My mom and the remaining two children?I think it was Celia at that time and my mother?Celia and Sonia, my mom?bribed a boatman, and I think it was on the Dnieper River. Got across the river at which point he sold them out. They were put in a jail. My grandmother instructed my mom, who was about seven at the time, to wait until one of the other members in their cell?it was a gypsy lady with a long skirt?had to use the outhouse. So she ducked under the gypsy lady's skirt, went with her to the outhouse. And then following her mom's instructions, she ran through the woods to a nearby village, found a rabbi. He evidently paid ransoms to get them out of jail. Eventually, they made their way across Europe to rejoin my grandfather and eventually the rest of the family in Cleveland, Ohio, which is where she met my dad [Joseph Porath]. My dad was from Jerusalem. His father was Rabbi Israel Porath, who was one of the prized students of Rabbi Abraham Kook. My grandfather, Rabbi [Israel] Porath, had been an ambassador to Turkey from Jerusalem and Rabbi Kook had suggested that?he felt that it would probably be wise for him to go to the United States; that he could do more for the world Jewish 2 community in the United States than in the Palestinian territories at that time. There's so much more. So anyways, he came to the United States with four children. I told you the story. Eventually, there were six sons and each son had a sister. The family joke was how many kids were there? Not twelve, but one?but seven. So eventually there were seven kids and he became the chief of the Orthodox Rabbinate of Cleveland, Ohio, and that's where I grew up. Do you know how they (your parents) met? Through a Jewish organization. It was a very?I don't want to say insular, but the Jewish community in Cleveland was so rich and vibrant. I was a child. I really thought the whole world was Jewish. It was so comforting even though I was very much aware of what was going on with the World War II. I remember both my parents were?my dad was in the Coast Guard; my mom was (in a) civil patrol? What is it called? I've forgotten what it was called. She had a lovely little uniform, too. We had a victory garden. I remember the whole thing. I remember in grade school we would have paper drives and scrap drives. I remember the ration books. And I knew what was going on in Europe. It was a sad time, but as a child you figure everything's going to be okay. I remember when the war was over. I was a member of Habonim, which is a Zionist youth group. I remember in 1948?I was only eight years old?I remember when the State of Israel was born and how everybody had their radio on and everybody ran out into the streets and we were dancing. It was a great time, very heady. And I wanted to go to Israel so badly for so long. I did end up going to Israel when I was in my teens. I was very...Except my brother went to Israel before I did. 3 He was younger? He was older than I, but he wasn't nearly as fervent as I. Ah, okay. Ironically, he actually went to Israel with Alan, who was going to be my husband. I met my husband-to-be when I was fifteen at camp. He was at Camp Avoda. Now, it should be pronounced Avodah, but it was Camp Avoda from a camp that was sponsored by the Board of Jewish Education of Chicago. On the same campus was called Camp Sharon for future Hebrew teachers. I was a camper at Camp Sharon, future Hebrew teacher. So the teenage girls from Camp Sharon had...I hate to use the word ?hooked up? because it is a different connotation now. But we know what you mean. Yes. So we dated the boy counselors from Avoda. Actually, I dated his best friend. And how did that happen? Okay. That happened because the two of them flipped a coin to see who would go with my friend Brenda. You can't see that. So Alan got Brenda; Marvin got me. I'm still good friends with Marvin. He and his wife ended up being members of this congregation. The world is small, isn't it? The world is very small. But that's when I found out about the University of Chicago and that early entrance system and I thought it would be a hoot to take a college entrance exam because I was too young, just going into tenth grade. And you described yourself as a geek. Yes. Well, I was a geek. I liked school. I couldn't understand other girls' fascinations with cashmere sweaters and clothing. I worked in the tech part of the stage crew and I loved theater and I loved studying. I just loved school, which wasn't unusual in my family. My older brother, who did turn out to be a rocket scientist, was geeky and my younger brother is geeky. So we 4 come by it naturally. Education was very highly regarded in our family and that was good. So it was fine. So I did take the test and I passed it and I passed out of two years of French. I cajoled my parents into giving me the opportunity to go to college two years early. Afterwards I realized what a sacrifice that was for them to see their sixteen-year-old daughter leave town, going off to college. That was brave, on everybody's side there. Well, for me it was an adventure, but for them it had to have been really tough because who knew whether I would ever come back again? But it was the right thing. It truly was the right thing. It was a great opportunity for me and set me on a wonderful path. I got a great education at University of Chicago; majored in education, minored in premed because at that point I was going with Alan and I knew he was going to be a physician. We got married in 1959. I was in my senior year. Although we didn't expect to be as happy as soon as we were, I got pregnant right away. And so when I graduated in June, I was the only one that looked right in those gowns because I was nine months pregnant. It worked, huh? I remember that the back of the cathedral where we had the graduation ceremony at University of Chicago, the janitor was standing there like this. Ready to catch the baby. We had the baby out at camp, the same camp where we had met. At that point Alan was the program director for Avoda. He went to the University of Illinois Medical School and I taught school. What were you teaching? I was certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade in the Chicago system. So I taught in 5 the public schools. Now, in the public schools if you were pregnant at that time?children were not supposed to see pregnant women, believe it or not. So I actually did not teach in the public school when I was pregnant. I taught in the University of Chicago Lab School, which was fabulous. It was a great, great opportunity. At the same time I was always teaching after-school Hebrew programs. So I was involved with the South Side Hebrew Congregation, with a school in Jeffrey Manor. Eventually we moved north, as the Jewish community did, and lived in Rogers Park for a while. When he was in the Navy and going back and forth on an MSTS, I went back to Cleveland, thinking I would live with my mom when I had two kids and another one on the way. That worked out for about two weeks and then we got an apartment along with our...the kids and our bunnies and kitties. We had a wonderful year except for the fact that my husband was going back and forth on the MSTS in the Navy. I called that the Year of the Hamburger. We lived on three hundred dollars a month; that was his money from the Navy. I can remember?I see it so vividly now?sitting on the floor of my kitchen, crying my eyes out as he's describing the ports he's visiting and going into Holland. He's sending pictures of him looking great and I've got these kids and rabbits and bunnies and kittens. Oh, my gosh. But it was a good year and our third son was born then. Moved back to Chicago. He gave the Navy two more years and then he did his residency at Michael Reese. We raised our kids there. I was involved in education both in the public schools and very much in the Hebrew schools. Became a principal for a while. Was always interested in creative Jewish education. Eventually became part of a program called the Master Teacher's Program, which is from the Board of Jewish Education there where they took a select number of teachers that they had promise. I met my future business partner there, a woman by 6 the name of Etty Duljon, and we started a group called the Kesher Team (self-publishers of enrichment materials for Hebrew and religious schools, consultants in Jewish education in 1984). Now, all this time I'm also doing interior design so that I can afford to [do the other]. And that's residential interior design? Then it was primarily residential. When I came here [to Las Vegas] it was also commercial, of necessity. I'll tell you about that in a second. But I was an associate member, I still am an associate member, of the American Society of Interior Designers. Going back to Etty. When we met each other through this program, we were given an assignment to interview each other, kind of like what we're doing now. And we realized that while we were very, very different people?she was a fiery, opinionated, Israeli, tough as nails on the outside, sweet as could be on the inside?we both were what they call meshugga la davar, crazy about a thing, and that particular thing was Jewish education. So we started a company called the Kesher Team. Kesher means connection. We did educational materials for supplementation and for enrichment for Hebrew schools and Hebrew teachers and we wrote some books in Hebrew. Then we started a school. We were asked to start a school because at that time they only had Hebrew schools in Sunday schools. The demographic that wanted us to start a school wanted to spend their weekends with their kids. So we said, ?Well, we'll have an after-school experience based on the kind of education that kids get when they go to camp, which is much more experiential.? It was tough because we got a lot of pushback. We started what was called the Moadon Kol Chadash. Kids did not call it Hebrew school because? Was it affiliated with any synagogue? It was affiliated with a very brave synagogue, Rabbi [Elliot B.] Gertel from [Congregation] 7 Rodfei Zedek?it's a big synagogue in Chicago?saw that this was a good idea, God bless him. He just retired. It [is] a [historic] conservative synagogue. He had a regular program and he saw that our program was getting the same effects as the regular program where kids went four days a week. Our kids would go one day officially, but then we had other programs and we had family education. It was way ahead of its time. Now people are trying to copy it, which is fine, which is the way it should be. So we started that and it's over twenty-five years old now. In the late '90s, when my husband sold his Medicon program, which was a way of saving money within the field of radiology, and I thought he was retiring, I left the school, became emeritus, and thought we were going to go out into the sunset. Within six months my husband had come up with an idea to pursue age management medicine, which was just in its infancy at the time. He had been observing his mom who we taught how to run when she was seventy because when she had been a child she never learned how to run. She had been in an attic in Poland and had literally had never learned how to run. At the age of seventy her friends were not well and she was getting depressed. People were dying around her and she kind of felt that her whole life was a waste. She had never had the opportunity to go to school. When she had come here as a five-year-old, she had actually worked in the factories and tried to go to school, but would fall asleep. At any rate, he tried to get her into a program in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Project. I can't remember the name of the doctor who was running it at that time. Rudman. Rudman was his name. But he passed away and the program was only for men. So my husband on his own pursued out of curiosity what would make a seventy-year-old be able to run marathons while other seventy-year-olds were having trouble just getting up out of a chair? He became a pioneer in age management medicine. And he and his partner John Adams did their due diligence and 8 decided that Las Vegas would be the place for them to start an institute for age management medicine, which they called Cenegenics. It's a made up name. Actually, the oldest of our four sons made up the name. How do you spell Cenegenics? Cenegenics, C-E-N-E-G-E-N-I-C-S. Of course, H?agen-Dazs is a made up name, too, but that worked pretty well. And they were right; it was the right place. But coming out here I was very depressed. The youngest of our four sons and I, when I finally moved, when I finally sold the house in Chicago, he and I drove out here, allowed ourselves as many days as we needed to just get across country just to ease my transition. We were on the road for about four or five days when I said, ?Okay, I'm ready.? So giving ourselves a little time context, what year is this move? Well, I moved here in '99, but he came here in '97. So Vegas is what to you at that time? At that point what I saw when I came here, which was probably why I was so depressed, is that there was very little that one could say in terms of community. I remember going around...I live in a beautiful community here, Eagle Hills. This is one of the early communities of the Summerlin area. I counted mezuzahs because I was trying to see if there were Jews around here. There was no such thing as a Jewish community. I became aware very early on that the walls around the homes here kept out more than the sand; that people kept in their silos. That was so different. It was such a culture shock certainly from Cleveland, but Chicago, having been in Chicago for so many years. So that was tough. And then I gave myself about...I don't remember whether it was six weeks or six months to be officially depressed and then I said, ?Okay, now 9 you're going to throw yourself into the community.? Did you join a synagogue at that time? I did. I joined Temple Beth Sholom. That was the synagogue at the time although at that time Beth Am was around. It just was going on. Aish HaTorah was starting. I did go equal opportunities; I visited some of them. I became a volunteer over at the Milton I. Schwartz School, eventually becoming part of their board of directors. In fact, I was working on the strategic planning committee that they were trying to get accreditation. And the strategic planning committee?we did a five-year plan?and I said, ?If we're going to do a five-year plan, let's just do it like we really want to envision the school. Five years we're going to have a campus, we're going to have a high school, we're going to go all the way up through high school.? You dream and God doesn't always laugh. That was when Sheldon Adelson became involved and five years later there was a school; there was the Adelson campus. Victor Chaltiel was very involved at that time, too. We got out here in the fall. In the spring of 2000, Etty called me from Chicago, Etty Duljon, my partner. We used to do seminars. We used to teach teachers how to teach and we were called all over the country and we set up Jewish learning centers elsewhere. She called me and she said, ?There is going to be a conference of a rabbinical school in the Poconos.? That's where the conference was going to be. ?And they want us to come out and teach them how to teach them Hebrew.? I said, ?I'm teaching rabbis Hebrew?? And she says, ?Evidently, some of them don't know Hebrew and some of them do.? That's sort of amazing. Which is amazing to me, too. So at that point I missed her a lot and I missed doing that and we put together this conference, this seminar, and we came out there. I noticed that the rabbis, the 10 rabbinical students, many of them were older. It wasn't like most seminaries where at that point you came out of college and you went into rabbinical school. I have to backtrack because I don't think I told you in this time that when I was five years old, my grandfather [Israel Porath] being a rabbi had the most wonderful books and I longed to have just a drop of the knowledge that he had. So I used to fantasize, as five-year-olds do? Is that the four things [you wanted to be]? Yes, about the four things that I would want to be. I wanted to be a teacher, I wanted to be an actress, I wanted to be a rabbi, and I wanted to be a trained white horse because five-year-olds can want to be those things. And at that time, which was 1945, the chances of my being a rabbi were about the same as being a trained white horse. I did do acting. I kind of put that aside because I didn't do that professionally. I did Summer Stock at Cain Park Theater in Cleveland and I did some radio work and a lot of amateur productions in Chicago. So I've always been an actress on the side. So here I am seeing the Poconos and we're looking and I'm saying, ?There is a possibility?these people are becoming rabbis at an older age.? There is a synchronicity that happened then because at that conference there was the dean of a newly opened rabbinical school in Los Angeles who came to see what this rabbinical school was doing. They had the same name, the Academy for Jewish Religion. They thought that they were going to be working together; that never happened. But they had just opened. So I thought for a lark I'd love to go out and just sit in on a class and see what it's like. I called my stepsister, who was the hazzaneet. She has a beautiful voice. She wasn't ordained anywhere, but she had been singing in congregations for a long time. I said, ?This is the opportunity. We've always talked about someday having a shul; I'd be the rabbi, you'd be the 11 hazzan, et cetera. Let's go and see what it's like at this Academy for Jewish Religion in California. It's only been open for about six months.? So we got together. She came from Berkeley; I came from Las Vegas. We sat in on a class. And within ten minutes I said, ?This is what I've been looking for all my life.? And then I said, ?And this is why I came to Las Vegas.? So there is like this moment of epiphany and this had been dormant, this dream. There was an epiphany that God had a purpose that I didn't know for this transition to Las Vegas. It was a greater purpose that truly changed my life. So now, this is still in the late '90s. This is 2001 at this point. I said to my husband, ?What would you say about me commuting back and forth to Los Angeles for three to five years to become a rabbi?? He didn't even hesitate. He said, ?You put me through medical school. It's your turn now.? And I in perfect female form retorted, ?Aren't you going to miss me?? He got a lot of mileage out of that. The truth is I did it in three and a half years, which was far faster than they would have wanted. I took eight courses when they would say you shouldn't take more than four. The last year Alan couldn't stand it any longer; he was very upset with me going back and forth and he needed me to be around. The last year also, in 2003-2004, in my senior year, while I was?well, anyway, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had surgery; I had multiple surgeries. I had a double mastectomy. I had chemo. I did my internship through Temple Beth Sholom. I wrote my master's thesis in 2004 even though I had no hair on my head. I'll show you a picture. In June of 2004, my whole family came out and I was ordained. Wow. 12 It was a wow. I thought at that time, I don't know what my future's going to be; it's not fair for me to make a decision about or to even look for a congregation. Originally I had no plans to work with a congregation; I simply wanted the education because as an educator I wanted to know more. Later that year Rabbi Richard Schachet, who was the founding rabbi of Valley Outreach Synagogue, which at that time was meeting in Henderson, approached me and asked me to consider succeeding him. His wife had died. It turns out she had been very much the executive director and he was feeling that without her he couldn't go on. And they didn't have a building. They didn't have a building on purpose. They felt that they should be a synagogue without walls. They also didn't have books. They also didn't have a board; they had a steering committee. They also didn't have a 501(c) (3), although they thought they did. So I spent that first summer organizing it, using everything that I had learned as an interior designer, in setting up my own business, et cetera. I got a 501(c) (3) and I got the books in order. I realized that, oh, my gosh, I don't know how they were able to support themselves because the money had been run through the former rabbi's home account. How large a congregation was it? Well, that was also very iffy because it was very hard to tell. He had told me that at that point there were ninety-four members. There was no way to verify there were ninety-four members. So I kind of got sold a bill of goods. I did what they had wanted. I got the books in order, set up a board, and then realized 13 that that's really not what they wanted. What they wanted was what they had. So the first year was very, very difficult. The former rabbi had run the congregation kind of Judaism light. The educational system for the kids was circumspect. I kind of put things in order, which involved asking people to learn and that's not necessarily what they wanted. They liked being entertained. He used to have people from the Strip come down and entertain. So there was a...not a rift, but I could feel that there was not full...they weren't with it. What I didn't know was also happening was that at that same time the rabbi was not happy where he had gone to, Portland. Oh, so he moved from here to Portland. He moved from here to Portland, which was a very nice thing for him to do because he felt I needed to have the space. I would have loved to have him be here as the emeritus. It would have been great to work with him. He was somewhat of a renegade; he was known as a renegade, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he was bad. He was very much beloved. He taught at the University of Nevada. He was a very smart guy. But then in the spring without telling me he contacted all of the old members and said he was coming back. So that essentially split the congregation in half. On his way back for his first service, which was to be Rosh Hashanah, he had a fatal car crash. Oh, my goodness. That congregation...they were going to start a chavurah, which they did, but it never really took off. And many of them...I mean those were gone; they couldn't look me in the eye. I mean I went to the Shiva for the rabbi and I offered to let them know that there was still a home for them in the congregation. That was a tough, tough thing. For people who might be listening to this fifty years from now, was it conservative, more liberal? 14 It was Reconstructionist. It was the only Reconstructionist?it still is?the only Reconstructionist congregation in Nevada. And Reconstructionism was started in the '20s. It's the smallest of the...Orthodox, Conservative, Reform Reconstructionist is the four major denominations in American Judaism. It was started by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, who himself originally was both Orthodox and he was an ordained Conservative rabbi in Chicago it turns out. His daughter, Judith Kaplan, became the first bat mitzvah in 1926 or 1929; I never could remember which. His daughter ended up marrying Ira Eisenstein and she became one of the major influences in Jewish liturgy and musical liturgy in the United States. He became the first dean of the Jewish Reconstructionist College, which still is in Philadelphia or Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. I was raised Orthodox and then my parents joined a Conservative shul and I married a man who was a former secular. So I've had the opportunity?and rejoined a Reconstructionist congregation in Evanston, in Chicago. And then I taught at Solel, which was Reform, in Highland Park and various other synagogues. So I had a smattering of everything. And the kind of school I had been looking for, the seminary I had been looking for, I didn't want a particular denomination because I felt a Jew was a Jew was a Jew. So I'm comfortable in any of the denominations. Reconstructionist Judaism of the four is one of the most progressive. It is more observant than Reform. But nowadays, frankly, you can't tell without a program. The difference is how the congregations are run, frankly. Reconstructionist Judaism clearly had women rabbis before Conservative Judaism did and it's egalitarian before some Conservative congregations. It's hard to believe, but there are still some Conservative congregations that are not egalitarian; most are. So I continued the affiliation with the Reconstructionist Judaism. I also at that time 15 became very involved with the Renewal Movement and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, who just passed away this past August. [Speaking Hebrew] Which the Renewal Judaism brought back a lot of the joy and wisdom, the Hasidic Movement. You will see within every aspect of Judaism now how the Renewal Movement is interwoven. Renewal Movement never wanted to be a denomination. I think it's going to become a denomination whether it wants to or not. But it interweaves. You'll see it and the effect is everywhere. In our congregation, which is unique here in the valley in many ways, but one of the ways...we dance because when you pray, you pray with your whole body. It's very joyous. God wants us to be joyful. But we're still very small and that's going to be a problem. We have to become via