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Audio clip from interview with David and Iris Torjman, November 12, 2015

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Audio file
Download jhp000212.mp3 (audio/mpeg; 4.73 MB)





In this audio clip, Iris and David speak about going to shows at the hotels in Las Vegas in the 1960s through the 1990s. David Torjman was the Hebrew School teacher at Temple Beth Sholom and taught the children and grandchildren of many hotel owners and operators. They speak about their wedding reception during which Sasha Semenoff played.

Digital ID



Wayne Rowe oral history interview, 2009 November 10. OH-02572. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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I came in '66 for the summer to live with my aunt and I was looking for a job just for the summer because I was going to school. Who is your aunt? Fay Shapiro. And Joe Shapiro was my uncle. So then I was looking for a job. So the first week I was in Las Vegas, my aunt said to me, "We go to temple Friday night." So, okay, I never went to temple Friday night. I was Jewish, but I never went to temple Friday night. So anyhow, we went to temple and they told the people I was looking for a job. And they said, "Oh, David Torjman, he knows everybody." So they introduced me to David. So that night he took me after temple to the Flamingo Hotel, maybe I could find a job. Well, after ten minutes he says, "You're not twenty one, so you can't get a job here, but would you like to see a show?" And so in those days the hotels were mostly owned by Jewish people. They knew David. They didn't want him to gamble or anything. So they would say, "David, you want to see a show?" So we went out every night when I came here. My second home away from home was the Flamingo. I knew everybody there and they knew me because whenever they come to the synagogue, here I am. And if they have kids or grandkids, they know who I am. So anything I wanted, I have it there. Dennis Stein, Patsy Rose, Jerry Gordon, Jack Entratter, name it. I mean not all at the Flamingo. Most of them, they were at the Flamingo. Jack Entratter was at the Sands. During the summertime I used to drive the kids from their home to the camp. We had summer camp at Temple Beth Sholom for the age of, let's say, seven, eight till the bar mitzvah. Take them camping. Take them out there. People spend half a day there, activities, arts and crafts and stuff like that. That's how I know the people. In those days there is no hotel that the head of them was somebody that I know and they know me. And we were very close with Larry Snow, who was head of the baccarat at Caesars Palace. So he knew David because David took care of his grandkids. He knew me because my father was best friends with his brother in New York. His brother was a cop in New York. It was a small world for both of you. Yes, yes, yes. Yes. So whatever show we wanted to go to, we went to. Any show, any restaurant. So what were some of the shows you went to? Oh, we went to Diana Ross. We saw Frank Sinatra so many times. We saw Dean Martin. [ Every show in those days from the 70s till about the 90s. The night that David asked me to marry him, he was at Jack Entratter's suite. Yes, suite at the Sands. And Frank Sinatra was there with his mother. Who was? Frank Sinatra was there with his mother. And David asked Jack Entratter for a show that night because he was going to propose to me. So we saw Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorm? that night. How did you ask her? Did you get down on your knees? I don't think he remembers. Did you get down on your knee? He came in the middle of the show. My table was? Who came? Jack, Jack Entratter, to check. I mean we were only two people right by the stage, a small table for two. And anything, anything your heart desire to get. He said, "Don't be ashamed. Don't be embarrassed. Anything you want, you just ask the waiter, anything." Opening night of Caesars Palace we saw Andy Williams. I think the next week was the one who sings "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Tony Bennett. Tony Bennett, yes. Champagne we shared with everybody at the table. But anyhow, he was just a teacher. He was a Hebrew schoolteacher. So why did they wine and dine the Hebrew schoolteacher? They liked him. They loved him. Not only that, when I got married...We eloped and then we went back to New York. That's why we had two ceremonies. We came back here and the Sisterhood made us a reception. Sasha Siminoff played the violin. It was a big deal, a sit-down dinner, challah at every table. They loved David.