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Transcript of interview with Gene Greenberg by Barbara Tabach, February 12, 2015






In 1976, Gene Greenberg decided to accept a job transfer with Donrey Media Group and relocated from Laredo, Texas to Las Vegas. Las Vegas was comfortable fit and for the next 30 years, he primarily worked in television ad sales. He rose to become executive vice president and general manager of KVBC-TV. Significant to Gene’s ties to Las Vegas have been his ties to the Jewish community. This oral history includes reminiscences of connecting with the Jewish community and meeting many of the Jewish leaders through Young Leadership, Jewish Federation, and being on the board for Temple Beth Sholom. The most poignant aspect to his Jewish roots is the survival of both his parents during Holocaust. Both Helen and Abe Greenberg were from Lodz, Poland and interred in concentration camps. Gene is a frequent presenter of their story for his commitment to Holocaust education and as a member of the next generation. Gene and his wife Melanie both spent their childhoods in Kansas City, Missouri and are graduates of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. They married in 1970 and have three children: Sari Mann, Elissa Burda, and Jaron Greenberg.

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[Transcript of interview with Gene Greenberg by Barbara Tabach, February 12, 2015]. Greenberg, Gene Interview, 12 February 2015. OH-02276. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Gene Greenberg 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 ©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 and Editors: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White 11 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 m Preface In 1976, Gene Greenberg decided to accept a job transfer with Donrey Media Group and relocated from Laredo, Texas to Las Vegas. Las Vegas was comfortable fit and for the next 30 years, he primarily worked in television ad sales. He rose to become executive vice president and general manager of KVBC-TV. Significant to Gene’s ties to Las Vegas have been his ties to the Jewish community. This oral history includes reminiscences of connecting with the Jewish community and meeting many of the Jewish leaders through Young Leadership, Jewish Federation, and being on the board for Temple Beth Sholom. The most poignant aspect to his Jewish roots is the survival of both his parents during Holocaust. Both Helen and Abe Greenberg were from Lodz, Poland and interred in concentration camps. Gene is a frequent presenter of their story for his commitment to Holocaust education and as a member of the next generation. Gene and his wife Melanie both spent their childhoods in Kansas City, Missouri and are graduates of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. They married in 1970 and have three children: Sari Mann, Elissa Burda, and Jaron Greenberg. IV Table of Contents Interview with Gene Greenberg February 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface...................................................................................iv Begins with story of getting involved with Jewish Federation when they arrived in Las Vegas in 1976; Jerry Countess as an asset to the Federation; mentions being in young Jewish leadership with Arne Rosencrantz, Dennis Sabbath, and Mark Segal. Talks about moving to Las Vegas from Laredo, Texas, and job transfer with Donrey Media; Cork Radio. Opportunities due to his career; Jayn and Art Marshall, Sarah Saltzman, and their importance in the Jewish community, including Federation and Temple Beth Sholom; served on temple’s ritual committee, and steps to becoming congregation president, after Stuart Mason’s and Jared Shafer’s terms...................1-5 Recalls hiring of Rabbi Felipe Goodman and his wife Liz Goodman; admiration of Rabbi’s Life Cycle events; story about the Greenbergs’ daughter’s wedding being first in the new temple as in neared completion on Haven wood Lane....................................................6-9 Family history is shared; parents were from Lodz, Poland and in 1944 were sent to Auschwitz with their two sons; both boys perished. Touches upon his parents survival, liberations and starting a family; by 1947 they were living in Kansas City, Missouri. Story of his mother’s twin brothers being likely subjects (one survived) victims of Dr. Josef Mengele’s twin experiments in Auschwitz; link to Australia survivor population through DNA testing..................10-12 Explains his participation in Holocaust Resource Center, Children of Survivors, and Holocaust Education conferences; explains two approaches he takes as a speaker on the subject, (1) his parents’ story and (2) why Jews were targeted by Hitler; made video-recording of his parents, for his senior project at the University of Missouri......................................13-15 Discusses the celebrations of Hitler birthday in mid-1980s at the Imperial Palace, Edythe Katz and Jerry Countess involved him in response, he employed by Donrey Media’s NBC TV affiliate, Channel 3, in sales. Compares observations of anti-Semitism locally and in Kansas City..................................................................................16-21 His description of Las Vegas in the early era of Jewish mobsters such as Siegel, Dalitz, Berman, Greenbaum; recalls enjoying the stories shared by Louis Weiner Jr, a partner at Channel 3, including Pat McCarran. As an active member of Jewish Federation, he remembers many community leaders including Hank Greenspun and his passion for Israel, Fred Smith, FCC and 1970s TV billing scandal, Jim Rogers taking over Channel 3............................22-25 v Recalls that Congregation Ner Tamid and Temple Beth Sholom were the two Judaic options they moved to Las Vegas; decision process for joining a congregation; mentions Leo Wilner, David Cantor, Oscar Alterwitz, Dennis and Roberta Sabbath, Jerry Countess, Sol Savegh, Irwin Molasky, Mel Wolzinger.......................................................................26 - 28 Thoughts on Jewish education in Las Vegas, Adelson School, USY and youth trips to Poland and Israel..............................................................................29 - 30 vi THE SOUTHERN NEVADA JEWISH COMMUNITY DIGITAL HERITAGE PROJECT at UNLV University Libraries tt Use Agreement Name of Narrator: (aEHE (•rtlEEM'&ElE-G-__________________ Name of Interviewer: ____________ We, the above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV, the recorded interview(s) initiated on along with typed transcripts as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I understand that my interview will be made available to researchers and may be quoted from, published, distributed, placed on the Internet or broadcast in any medium that the Oral History Research Center and UNLV Libraries deem appropriate including future forms of electronic and digital media. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, NV 89154-7010 702.895.2222 Vll Today is February 12th, 2015. This is Barbara Tabach sitting in my office at UNLV Libraries. I'm sitting with Gene Greenberg. Would you spell your name, please? G-E-N-E. G-R-E-E-N-B-E-R-G. Great. We were just chatting about the Jewish Federation and when you came (to Las Vegas). Let’s pick up on that story. The first people I met in town, outside of work, were involved in Federation a lot. And you arrived in 1976. Seventy-six. And so they encouraged me to get involved and they set up a meeting with Jerry Countess [Director of Jewish Federation of Las Vegas] and I met Jerry. He was very welcoming, which was a little unusual because some of the other Jewish organizations in town were not at that time as welcoming. Oh, really? Yes. And I understood. After living here for a little bit I understood, because Las Vegas in 1976 was still very transient. People would be here for months rather than years. You'd form a relationship and then they'd tell you, “Oh, by the way, I'm leaving.” So people would get discouraged from doing that. But up until Jerry Countess—and again, this was all stories I've been told because I wasn't here before Jerry—but up until Jerry there really wasn't an official Federation. There was a Federation, but it kind of worked differently. And because of that, they had never developed any kind of a leadership system. I mean it just didn't happen. In fact, one story I heard that one of the first Federation fundraisers before Jerry — that someone from national would come to town and they were set up in a conference room at one of the hotels in town and sitting around 1 the table were all the big guys from the hotels. The Federation person made his pitch and said he wanted to run a campaign and talk to the Jewish employees and get them to fund raise; they were told, “No, don't talk to the employees; we don't need you to do that.” Then they each got up and walked by his briefcase and dropped money in his briefcase. Hard cash. Hard cash. Now, again, this is a story told by a national guy that came to town. I think he was the one that did that. So I can't verify that. You can't verify the names and how much they dropped in there. I don't know other than that was how the campaigns were run. So Jerry came in and had to build this from scratch. He did a pretty good job. He developed leadership. He got a young leadership group going, which I was part of, and really helped Las Vegas legitimized; up until that point, I don't think we were taken very seriously in national. Jerry also, because of his contacts, brought in a lot of very top level speakers. Like who -- put you on the spot, right? Sure, 1976 I'm supposed to remember. But I will tell you that I met Shimon Peres because Jerry Countess was instrumental in bringing him to town. Also, Hank Greenspun was alive at the time. We all know Hank Greenspun's connection to Israel and everything he's done. Really, through those years a prime minister of Israel didn't come to the United States without seeing Hank. And if for some reason Hank couldn't make it to Washington, they came here. Wow. That was significant. Yes. So we got to meet. And Jerry always included the young leadership in these things where probably in another (city) - in Los Angeles say - guys like us would have never have gotten invited to a meeting like that. But Jerry made sure that we did and I think it paid off. 2 Who were some of those young leadership people? Ame Rosencrantz, who you’ve met. Dennis Sabbath, a blessed memory, he passed. Mark Segal was in our young leadership class... Talk more about how you got invited to be a part of that? Well, I think just because I was young (and) the fact that I came here to work in the media. Okay. So we should talk about that. What brought you here? I was living in Laredo, Texas at the time. I was paying my dues. I went to work out of college; I went to work for Donrey Media, which, if you remember, they used to own the R-J and all this. They hired me and sent me to Reno. I worked in Reno for six months and then they sent me to Laredo. I knew that I was in their management trainee program and they could kind of move me at will. They moved me to Laredo. We were in Laredo for three years and I kind of had it. Loved the Jewish community down there. It was very nice and all that. But it wasn't a place we wanted to stay for a very long time. And so I started putting out feelers. Donrey people came to me and said, “We don't want you to leave the company. We have a spot in Las Vegas.” So they moved me to Las Vegas. I first came with Cork Radio and I was there for a couple of months and then they moved me to the TV station Channel 3. So you were with broadcast media. Right, right. It helps, too, I'm sure that Jerry Countess and people knows that, okay, we've got a guy that wants to be involved and he's also at a television station. Exactly. It's helpful. I don't deny that. 3 You can't minimize that, right. If I was making bagels, I may not have gotten some of the opportunities. So that helped. And so I got involved and I got to be friends. I think another person really instrumental in getting very active in the community was Jayn Marshall. Tell me about Jane. Jayn and Art (Marshall) were big givers. They were at the top leadership level in the community. Art was a past president of Temple Beth Sholom. Jayn's mother, Sarah Saltzman was just probably one of the most wonderful people you'd ever meet. She just kind of brought anyone new in and just wanted to help them and all that. Jayn made sure that us young guys who weren't at the level yet where we could give or make very big financial contributions to the campaign should still be treated and brought along. So Jayn invited us to events that we, again, would never be invited to someplace else, the big gifts events, and didn't care what we gave, just wanted us to be involved. Jayn was a real important part of getting involved because she really made us, my wife and I, both feel part of the community and it made you want to do more. I still remember Jayn giving a speech at the first big gifts event I went to. It was at the DI [Desert Inn] Country Club, at their Wimbledon Towers in the Presidential Suite. It was very impressive. Senator Frank Church of Idaho was the speaker. Jayn said that every year they make their pledge; they don't know how they'll ever pay it. But because they did it - somehow they managed to pay it. So I kind of went along with that. Anyhow, really as far as the overall community, the Federation and Jayn and Jerry Countess really were the big people to me getting involved. I was actually at the beginning more involved in Federation and that part of it than I was in Temple Beth Sholom. Pretty much just 4 being a member was fine and I went to services and all that, but I didn't really get heavily involved. And then Arne Rosencrantz, he was on the board and he asked me if I would be on the Ritual Committee and I said, “Okay.” It wasn't something I was excited about, but I said, “Okay.” Then Arne and Stuart Mason... came to me and said, “Hey, we want you to run for the board at Beth Sholom.” And I said, “Really? I don't know. I haven't been here that long.” How long had you been here by that time? When I ran for the board, I had been here seven years. They said, “No, no, just...” At that time you really had to run. Oh, it was competitive. There were some competitiveness in it. The night of the election you had to get up and give a speech. People kind of worked at getting members that would vote for them to come to the meeting. So there was a little - it wasn't someone nominates you and you're in. There was a little bit of maybe - - because normally in those years if there were five openings, there might be eight people running for it. So I did. I said, “Okay,” and I did get on the board. Stuart Mason was elected president that year. He served one term. And then Jared Shafer was president the next term and he asked me if I would serve as first vice president, and did. He did two terms and said that he was done. So in the next election, I ran and that's how I got to the presidency at Temple Beth Sholom. I had been here ten years at that point when I ran. I was on for three years. Most people serve two. But without getting into names, there was someone who wanted to run for president after I had been on for two years that a lot of the board people didn't want, but felt he might be able to win unless I went for a third term. 5 And how long is each term? A year. So I went ahead. I did; I ran. I'm not crazy about the fact that I did it because the third term was a real tough one. [Laughing] It was real tough. There were just clergy issues that got a little worse and things. I think as we said at the round table.. .before you do this, before you get into a leadership position in a synagogue - you really look up to your clergy. But after dealing with them as employees, it gets a little different. When you get into the sitting across the table and negotiating a contract and you get into the having to evaluate them and tell them what - it just gets to be a little other thing. But it was okay. I got to be president during one of my kid's bar mitzvahs, so that was fun. But overall it was fine and I've stayed involved in the synagogue since. There's a couple of years where I kind of faded away. When we hired Felipe [Goodman], I promised him that I wouldn't leave him out there; that I would stay involved and I would stay there and I'd be around and I'd help him out when I could. The turnover of the rabbis at Temple Beth Sholom is very well documented, as far as you can just see the list. Rabbi Goodman has been there for...sixteen years? Yes, something like that. What changed that finally things sort of settled down? Or did you just choose better? Yes, I think, one, we did a little better job of searching this time. I was only—I mean, let's see, 76, Schneerson was the rabbi when I got there. He was replaced by Lederman. And then Appel? I'm trying to remember the order. You probably have it somewhere. We have it somewhere, Yes, but not in my memory. Yes. Rabbis are never going to be loved by everybody. If s just a thing. It's kind of like the president; there are people that love him and there are people that want him impeached. 6 From the day before they— --Before they even take office. Right, right. And rabbis are the same. They just cannot make everybody happy and there are people that are going to find reasons not to like him. Felipe and Liz...I like to tell Rabbi Goodman that we actually hired him so Liz would come to Las Vegas. And Liz is his wife? His wife, right. They're a great couple and they have a great family. He is probably the most normal human being as rabbi that I've ever been involved with. You can go to lunch with him and have a conversation about sports and you can just talk about anything. He is one of the best sermon deliverers not just in Las Vegas, but other cities I've seen rabbis and I've visited communities for different things and listened to sermons and no one does it really better than he does. They're relevant. They're meaningful. They're delivered well. There's humor in them. They're personal. He just tells a compelling story when he does that and that helps a lot. But even then I'm sure that if there was a congregational vote today, there would probably be 25 - 30 percent of people that would like to see him gone. Don't know why. He does Life Cycles better than anybody; I've been to Life Cycle events in every congregation in town. Talk about what is a Life Cycle event. What are you talking about? Bris, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings and funerals. I think you told me at the round table that you had the first wedding [at Temple Beth Sholom.] We had the first wedding in the new synagogue. I don't know how much of this story I probably told about it - we had no chairs. Tell it again even if you moved into this new building, right? Or you were getting ready to. 7 My daughter and son-in-law announced their engagement and we set the wedding date, which was August 13th, 2000. A year before is when we set that date and at that time - Town Center and Havenwood Lane was a pile of rocks with a sign that said, “Future home of Temple Beth Sholom.” That was it. A year from that date we were going to have a wedding in the synagogue. You’re thinking plenty of time. Yes. It was crazy. Stuart Mason's company was building it. Stuart said, “If 11 get done.” I remember the superintendent of the project, on his clipboard there was a piece of tape on the metal part of the clipboard, across the thing that said, “Greenberg wedding, August 13th.” We felt pretty good that it was going to happen. I'm trying to remember - The Thursday before the wedding, the synagogue's liaison with the construction company called my wife, Melanie, and said, “I need to talk to you. Can you come up to the synagogue?” So we went up. The sanctuary was fairly done, but there were no seats in it. He explained to us that the seats were held up in customs. They were made in Colombia and I guess things from Colombia just got a little better look over than other things and they were stuck in customs. We've got to come up with a plan here. One of the things that the sanctuary slopes, and so using just regular chairs, they would kind of slide all down to the front. So we just didn't know. Talked about regular chairs and taping them to the ground; all kinds of things to try to come up with a solution. We just went home and muttered, “We'll figure out something. If people have to stand, we'll just shorten the service or whatever.” Then we got a call that said, “The seats are here.” Someone made a phone call to 8 someone who made a phone call to customs and they got released. Wow. Yes. It's good to have friends. Somebody pulled a string possibly. Yes. They knew our congregation was pretty top heavy with people the time Chic Hecht was around. I don't know if he was an ambassador or still a senator. There's Shelley Berkley. There's mayors, council. We had pretty good network... So anyhow, the seats got there and the crew actually worked twenty-four hours a day just getting everything screwed down and the seats were in. Now, when you see our—and I probably; I don't know if—the wedding pictures of the synagogue are different than all the others because it's very stark. I mean a lot of things that are there now weren't there that day. The Ten Commandments aren't there. The tapestries aren't there. The seats weren't stained; they were still kind of bare. So things were okay not yet. The caterer came in and none of the ovens were working. They had to rent ovens and bring them in and then make them kosher. I was just going to ask, how do you get kosher ovens brought in? You make them kosher. You use blowtorches and everything to bum them. This is what they do if someone wants to have a kosher meal at a hotel. The Venetian may be the only place that has a kosher kitchen that's always there. If you wanted to have something at the Bellagio and you want it to be a kosher dinner, they come in with blowtorches and a rabbi supervises to make sure they do it right and make them kosher. So that's what they did. Everything went off okay. You had a happy bride. Happy bride got married. Everything happened. 9 That's amazing, though; weddings are stressful enough without adding location frustrations. Yes. The bride was insulated from all that pretty much. We kept her in the (dark)... Oh, that was nice of you. We dealt with it. She was in law school and doing all this stuff. So why bother her? Now, does she still live here? Yes. How many children do you have? I have three. And do they all live here? My two daughters live here. My son lives in Spokane, Washington. Let's go back. Let's talk about family history. Weil switch gears a little bit here and have you tell me about what you know of your family ancestry. Interesting. My parents were Holocaust survivors. So my history doesn't go back very far because that's as far as I know. I'll give you a sub story here, a sidebar in a minute. So my parents were from Lodz, Poland. When the war broke out, they had two sons at the time. They were in the Lodz Ghetto. When the Lodz Ghetto was liquidated, they were taken in June of 1944 to Auschwitz. When they arrived in Auschwitz their two sons, my two brothers, went immediately to the gas chambers. Oh, my. So they didn't survive. My mom and dad [Helen and Abe Greenberg] did survive. My dad was liberated from Auschwitz by the Russians. My mom by then had been—this was in January of 10 1945—they just had the seventieth anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation. My mom was transferred to Bergen-Belsen and she was liberated, I think, in April of'45. Neither knew the other was alive. They had some misses and all that and they ended up finding each other at a displaced person's camp in Frankfurt, Germany. I have an older brother that was bom about nine months after they found each other in Frankfurt, Germany. They came to United States in, I think, '47. My dad was a tailor. My mom had family that had left Europe before the war and had settled in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City, Missouri, until recently was a pretty—and still may be—a major garment center. So there were plenty of needs for tailors. They sponsored my parents to come to America. There was a lot of roadblocks to keep survivors out of America. Immigration problems aren't new. I mean they kept Jews out of here before the war and they tried to keep the survivors out after the war. Nevada Senator Pat McCarran was a big part of that. So they went to Kansas City. I grew up in Kansas City. I met my wife there, who was a Kansas Citian. When I graduated. . .and I told you we went to Reno and how we got here. But we have three—so, I don't know much more of my family history. I regret I didn't know that. The only immediate family survivor that we know mom had twin brothers. One of the twins survived and came to Kansas City, also. I do a lot of speaking on the Holocaust and all that and I never made the connection until I was talking to a Holocaust scholar from San Francisco. We were talking about my family and all that and he said, “Well, your uncle and his twin were probably part of Dr. Mengele's twin experiments and they did the experiments on his twin and he was the one that they watched to see if anything happened to him.” So Mengele would give them some virus to see if the twin would get the virus, too, or he would do things. 11 So that's how he survived. We also found, a few years ago, family that lives in Australia, not immediate, but cousins that couldn't get into the United States after the war and so they went to Australia. Australia has a huge survivors' group, because a lot of people were able to go to Australia. This past Hanukkah my kids gave my wife and I as our gift - this thing is called 23andMe. It's a DNA testing lab that tries to find out other people that have your DNA that could be cousins or relatives. So we did that and it's come back. It's kind of strange. It says I have like four hundred second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh generation cousins, DNA cousins. Some of these things could be twenty thousand years ago; it says it. It goes fifteen hundred years ago if you're this cousin, your great-great-great-great-great grandparents shared DNA. So I don't know what to make of it yet. I just got the results back about a week ago. So I don't know really how to...I'm spending time trying to analyze it and figure it out. So far I haven't found the, oh, my god, this DNA matches this person perfectly. I think all survivors that lost siblings and things like that kind of hope that somewhere there's going to...that they really die and they're going to show up. That makes sense. When I travel, and I used to travel a lot, when I would travel and go into a new city—this was before the wonderful Internet—the first thing I would do when I'd get in a room was pick up a phone book. And look for Greenbergs. Look for Greenbergs or Leskes, my mom's maiden name was Leske, to see. Now, Leske is not a very common name; Greenberg is. My parents had the Polish spelling of it, which is G-R-Y-N-B-Y-R-G, because Poles don't believe in vowels or something. 12 Oh, okay. And so that kind of helps. When my parents became citizens they changed the spelling to G-R-E-E-N-B-E-R-G. So that's as far back in my history as I can go. So do you belong to the Holocaust organizations? Yes. I'm a member. In fact, for years I kind of became the chairman of the Children of Survivors group. But I let go of it. I'd been doing it for a long time. I went through a period of time where I wanted to kind of step away from it all. But now I have gotten back active in the group. They have a chairperson that is much better than me at being organized. March 11th there is the Clark County Student/Teachers Holocaust Conference. I have that on my calendar here. They've asked me to speak. Not up at the huge gathering, but to do some classrooms. What will you speak about? Well, I haven't asked them yet. Over the years have put together two different speeches depending on what they want me to say. One of them is my parents' story and I go through the parents' story and do a little bit of history with that and give a little more meaning to it and what this means and why this happened and so on. The other is whyl Why did Hitler go after the Jews? Why did he? How do you answer that? Back when I was in Young Leadership in Federation, when I was young...I don't know if you know Dennis Prager and Joe Telushkin.. .(They) were co-directors of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California. They wrote a couple of books together. Telushkin has been amazing. Probably if you go in the library, you'll find maybe half a shelf of Joe Telushkin. When we were in Young Leadership training, they kind of alternate; one month Joe would come 13 to town for a meeting and speak with us and work with us, the next month Dennis would. Joe is a rabbi. Dennis never got ordained. I think he went through most of the thing and never did. Dennis is now a right-wing talk show host in L. A. on the radio. But Dennis one time did a talk to Children of Survivors that made everything come together for me. You sit there and you grow up and you hear that Jews were a scapegoat. That we're going to use them as scapegoats. That it was because Jews had money and power. But the explanation that makes most sense to me, and the one that I talk about, is Jews were chosen because they brought ethical monotheism to the world. Hitler...someone that said thou shall and thou shall not; these kind of laws. And Hitler needed to get rid of the people that brought thou shall and thou shall not to the world because in you don't have thou shall and thou shall not, you can do anything you want. I use a lot of Dennis' talk. And he sat there and said, “Listen, this is what you guys need to be telling the world.” It all made sense to me. Educators need to—one of the messages is that it's more important to teach people to be good than it is to teach algebra. A lot of really highly educated people built Auschwitz. That's pretty much the core of the message that I give on that one. So I'll ask them which one they want me to talk and it kind of depends on how old the kids are, I think. I've gone to second-grade classrooms before and I keep it real simple there. That would be hard— Yes, it is. —to tell a child that story. It is; it is. If a school calls and says, “Could you speak to us? Could you speak to a classroom on this subject?” The first thing I ask them is if they have had a survivor speak. And if they 14 haven't, I give them the number of the person running the Speakers Bureau and I say, “You've got to have a survivor speak before you talk to me because they're not around much longer. So you've got to use this time and let kids interact with these people.” Were your parents able to participate in any collecting of their stories? Well, both my parents passed away before Spielberg did the Shoah Foundation. So they don't have the oral history like he put together. But I listened to my dad. My dad loved to talk about it. My dad talked about it all the time. That's interesting, isn't it? Because some people tell me that— My mom never did. Never did. Did not like to talk about it. I mean years ago when video cameras were just out on the marketplace for people for home use—a friend of mine had one and I borrowed it. My parents were in town. And I set it up on a tripod and