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Essay or speech transcript by George Katz on the history of Temple Beth Sholom, 1960s




Creator: Katz, George


1960 to 1969


Essay or speech transcript about the beginning of Temple Beth Sholom and the contributions of the temple presidents.

Digital ID



jhp000563. Miriam "Mimi" Katz Papers, 1940s-2015. MS-00721. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Temple Beth Sholom, as we know it today, had its beginnings in 1946 moving into its first home on 13th and Carson Streets in 19 Fortunately, most of the founding and current presidents are still with us, giving of their invaluable experience, and some of them sit with us this evening. These pioneers and leaders not only served the Temple well, hut also were leaders in civic, community, governmental and business life. Many were respnsible, and are now responsible, for the phenomenal growth of Southern Nevada. To them we all owe a debt of gratitude. These leaders, past and present, were elected to the high office of President of Temple Beth Sholom by their respective Boards of Directors. It's amazing how wisely and well they were chosen. In spite of differences it was always the Temple and congregation that came first. I recall one Board, in particular, with fondness. This was in 1958, the second year of residency for my wife and I, when Temple Beth Sholom had no more than 200 family memberships. It was in 1957 that construction began on our current home. However, due to a shortage of funds, construction was stopped until new fund raising could be formulated. A plan was pre-sented, and one of the major banks was ready to commit funds with the proviso that the $30,000 mortgage on the 13th and Carson building be paid off! IMPASSE! At a special congregational meeting called by the President and Directors, the $30,000 was raised when 30 congregants pledged $1,000 each. Once again the Temple had looked to its officers and directors, and they came thru. Most of the $30,000 was pledged by the then current and former officers and directors, some of whom I am happy to say sit with us this evening. To my wife and I. who were not only new to Las Vegas, but also to Temple Beth Sholom, Las Vegas began to look like a better place to live. Who are the officers and directors? How do they come to serve? 1. In the first group - 15 are elected by the congregation at their annual meeting. They serve 3 years , staggered so no more than 5 are elected each year. Currently, there are 5 who are finishing up their 3rd year. No elected Board member may serve more than two consecutive terms. 2. In the second group - we have the members who are appointed each year by their respective organizations - Sisterhood, Men's Club and Senior Citizens. 3. The last group is made up of all past Temple Presidents, without whose valuable experience it would be difficult to function. This is the Board who each year elect all officers. As we reflect on the current officers and Board of Directors, we see the same dedicated Temple and Jewish Community leaders - leaders in their profession, in the community and in business life, as were our leaders in the early and middle years of the growth and vitality of our congregation. The Officers and Directors of Temple Beth Sholom, as in the past,have ONE thought in mind - the welfare of the congregation. I, therefore, concur and wholly support the officers and directors in their decisions.