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Transcript of interview with Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel by Barbara Tabach, April 19, 2016






Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel was born June 28, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to New York City to attend university, where he received two Bachelor of Arts degrees: one from List College and one from Columbia University. He went on to achieve a Master?s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Soon after graduating in 1996, Rabbi Tecktiel accepted his first clergy position in New Rochelle, New York. From there he went on to lead a congregation in Louisville, Kentucky, before eventually moving to Las Vegas to become the spiritual leader of Midbar Kodesh Temple in 2008. In this interview, Rabbi Tecktiel discusses the path that eventually brought him, his wife, Susan, and their three children to Las Vegas. He talks about his passion for developing Jewish community engagement and programming, and specifically about Midbar Kodesh Temple initiatives, including Yom HaShoah and educational programming. In addition, Rabbi Tecktiel reflects upon the growth of the Jewish community, both those affiliated and unaffiliated, and the impact of Jews on Las Vegas?, as well as Nevada?s, development.

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Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel oral history interview, 2016 April 19. OH-02653. [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 RABBI BRADLEY TECKTIEL 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 Community Digital 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, Amanda Hammar 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 Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel was born June 28, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to New York City to attend university, where he received two Bachelor of Arts degrees: one from List College and one from Columbia University. He went on to achieve a Master?s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Soon after graduating in 1996, Rabbi Tecktiel accepted his first clergy position in New Rochelle, New York. From there he went on to lead a congregation in Louisville, Kentucky, before eventually moving to Las Vegas to become the spiritual leader of Midbar Kodesh Temple in 2008. In this interview, Rabbi Tecktiel discusses the path that eventually brought him, his wife, Susan, and their three children to Las Vegas. He talks about his passion for developing Jewish community engagement and programming, and specifically about Midbar Kodesh Temple initiatives, including Yom HaShoah and educational programming. In addition, Rabbi Tecktiel reflects upon the growth of the Jewish community, both those affiliated and unaffiliated, and the impact of Jews on Las Vegas?, as well as Nevada?s, development. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel On April 19, 2016 by Barbara Tabach in Las Vegas, Nevada Preface?????????????????????????????????..?..iv Reflects upon decision to become a rabbi, stemming from passion for fostering Jewish community; attending Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. Talks about first job in New Rochelle, New York; joining congregation in Louisville, Kentucky; then moving to Las Vegas to lead Midbar Kodesh Temple; family adjusting to life in Las Vegas. Comments on children?s educational experience at Adelson Educational Campus???????????1-6 Discusses how the Midbar Kodesh congregation has evolved since he became rabbi; opening of sanctuary and rededication of social hall; building of the educational wing, made possible by David L. Simon Foundation. Elaborates on educational programming, including use of technology. Mentions synagogue?s specially-made Haftarah scroll and its use as fundraising project. More about raising children in Las Vegas; their involvement in sports?????...7-11 Shares thoughts on how the role of rabbi?s wife has changed over time; his wife?s career as educator, balanced with role within congregation. Talks about Board of Rabbis and its activities, including Yom HaShoah program; family history, immigrating from Russia and Poland to Chicago, Illinois; current neighborhood and the opening of new Orthodox synagogue nearby; keeping kosher in Las Vegas. Shares story of recent satirical Purim letter to congregation that received broader local publicity???????????????????????...12-17 Talks more about congregation?s community-wide programming. Mentions interfaith activities, including monthly Bible study session with pastors, trip to Israel, work with law enforcement. Thoughts about why there are so many unaffiliated Jewish people within Las Vegas community, in contrast to the growth of congregations. Questions the need for a Jewish Community Center, senior retirement home. Mentions void of Judaic studies, Hebrew language at UNLV?.?18-23 Discusses anti-Semitism within community; children?s experiences with anti-Semitism; daughter?s gap year in Israel. Considers the impact of the Jewish community on the growth and development of Las Vegas, and more broadly in Nevada. Talks about importance of local Yom HaShoah programming, especially for Holocaust survivors?????????????24-28 vi 1 This is Barbara Tabach. I am sitting with Rabbi Tecktiel in his study at Midbar Kodesh. It is April 19, 2016. For this project, the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage project, and speaking with rabbis, it's nice to know how a rabbi made that life decision to become a spiritual leader. It goes back to essentially when I was in college. I had gone to Orthodox day school from fifth grade on and that decision about where to go to college was sort of based on that. I had really enjoyed the notion of studying both Judaic studies intensely and secular studies intensely, which is what a day school is essentially all about. You get to study Hebrew and Bible and Talmud and all those wonderful things alongside English, math, history. So when I was deciding where to go for college, I wanted to go to a place where I would be able to continue that dual track of studies. So I went to List College in Columbia University; it's a joint program in New York. At Columbia, I was able to pursue excellence in secular studies, and at the Jewish Theological Seminary, their undergraduate program, I was able to pursue excellence in Judaic studies. During that time in college, I was a counselor at Camp Ramah, which is a Conservative overnight camp, and I also staffed our youth group's, United Synagogue Youth (USY), pilgrimage trips to Israel. It was actually on one of those trips, in between my junior and senior year of college, I was taking a group of sixty-five eighteen-year-olds to Poland for a week and then Israel for five weeks. I was the group leader. As the group leader, while we were in Poland for that week, I was responsible for all of our?in addition to all the logistical stuff, I was also in charge of all our Judaic stuff; where and when we were going to pray, what we were going to eat, how we were going to find kosher food, what we were going to study together. It was almost like a portable Jewish community for that week, while we were moving around and I was responsible for their spirituality and their connection to Judaism. I found that I really enjoyed doing that; I really 2 enjoyed helping that community create an identity for themselves even if it was only for that week in Poland and then the five weeks in Israel. So I said to myself, you know what? This is what I want to do with my life. I want to go out to a community and help that community shape their Jewish identity. I figured what better way to do than to become a rabbi and go out to a synagogue and help that community build their sense of identity as a Jewish community. So that's what led me to become a rabbi. Wow. And so you did your seminary-type work...? The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, which is one of the considered movements, ordination seminary where they ordain rabbis, happens to have an undergraduate program that has nothing to do with the rabbinical school. It's for people who, like me at the time, wanted to pursue a BA in Jewish studies. At the same time, while I was pursuing a BA in Jewish studies there, I was also pursuing a BA at Columbia University, which is two blocks away from the seminary. The seminary is 122nd and Broadway, and Columbia is 110th to 120th. So they're right next to each other and they created a joint program. So I was able to pursue those two BAs at once. Of people in my program?there were probably twenty-five or thirty people in my program my year?I think there were three or four of us that went on to rabbinical school. Most people did not go on to rabbinical school. Most people go on to do other things?doctors, lawyers, whatever it is. But the few of us do decide to continue on in rabbinical school and that's what I did. If you hadn't become a rabbi, what would you have been? That's a great question. I think I would probably, interestingly enough, would want to have gone into some form of law enforcement whether it was being a detective or police officer or a lawyer, something along the lines of...I was very intrigued throughout high school and college with law enforcement. One of the reasons I couldn't do that was because I have horrible eyesight. So I 3 would never have been accepted into any program because of that physical limitation. But maybe a private eye; I don't know; that was sort of... Interesting. It's always interesting to know what career paths we would have chosen. So what year did you become a rabbi? Nineteen ninety-six. Was your first congregation here? No. My first congregation where I was an assistant rabbi was in New Rochelle, New York. What was that like? Oh, it was a great experience. The senior rabbi there was a phenomenal mentor. It was a great way to sort of break into the whole notion of becoming a pulpit rabbi. It was a large congregation and a very active observing Jewish community of New Rochelle, which is close to New York. It was great. It was a great first experience in working as a rabbi. I guess the obvious question is, how does one end up in Las Vegas? We were in Louisville, Kentucky. We were there for about seven years. My eldest child was finishing fifth grade. There was a day school in Louisville, a Jewish day school, and I was pretty committed to have my kids go to day school, at least through eighth grade. But the problem was the day school was small and it basically ruptured while we were there; there was just not enough support from the community for it. And so I said to the congregation, "I have my daughter who is about to enter sixth grade. I have two more children behind her. I can't live in a town that doesn't at least have a day school that will go through eighth grade so that they could at least get a foundation of Judaic studies." So as much as we loved being in Louisville?it was a great town; it was a great place to raise kids and families?we decided that for our kids' sake we had to go to a day school that at 4 least went to eighth grade. The way the placement system works in the Conservative movement is there's a list of synagogues that are looking and the rabbis get ahold of that list and they send their resumes to the synagogues that they would like to go to. So I chose synagogues in places that I knew had what I hoped were viable day schools. I came out here and interviewed, and you sort of match up with each other and that's how we got here. Who was on your vetting committee? Here in town? Yes. Gay Goldstein was on the committee. At the time the presidents were Carlos Banchik and Isabel Goldberg [and] were on the committee. I believe Rosa Gavrin was on the committee. I'm trying to remember the faces that were around the room. I'm sure there are others, but those are the ones I remember distinctly. I think Howard Baron was the chair of the committee if I'm not mistaken. How did it compare to come to Las Vegas?let me back up here. So you went from New Rochelle to Kentucky? I stopped in Atlanta on the way for a couple of years. So Kentucky to Nevada is a different culture. Yes and no. My wife and I, my wife especially says that our life in Henderson is no different than it really was in Louisville aside from the Strip and walking into a grocery store and seeing a bank of slot machines. My kids have their afternoon sports just like they did in Louisville. We go to the grocery store just like we did. The weather obviously is a significant difference and the geography is a significant difference. But our life is basically schlepping our kids to their activities, going to school, going to work and celebrating Jewish holidays. It really is not all that much different except when we go to the Strip. Obviously, there's that. But even in Louisville, within a half an 5 hour of Louisville there was a couple of riverboats. So it wasn't like there wasn't gambling available even there. We did worry a little bit with our kids. There are some billboards on trucks and on cabs and things like that that are sometimes a little risqu? and we wondered how our boys would deal with that. They don't even notice. I remember when we first got here. To go to a movie theater, to go to a bowling alley, you often had to go through a casino. When we first got here, we'd walk through and the kids would be bug-eyed at all the machines and everything. Now they complain when we have to go through there because of the smoke. They'd rather go to the bowling alleys and the movie theaters that aren't attached to casinos because they don't want to breathe in the smoke as they're walking through. The same thing with the grocery stores. When we first walked through, they would notice the slot machine bank as they walked in. Now you don't even notice it anymore. The fears that we had have not manifested themselves in any great way. I think they've pretty much grown up the same way they would have grown up in Louisville. Maybe just a little more aware. Yes, a little more aware, maybe. Maybe. My daughter always says that she's glad she finished her education in Las Vegas because she's a lot more even tempered about what's out there. Yes. My kids are in day school right now. So they're still living a very sheltered life at the Adelson Campus. Maybe if they went to public school, they'd have a little bit more of that experience. But if you ask my kids, they've lived a pretty sheltered life here in Las Vegas. So it was the Adelson Campus that was attractive? Well, there's also the Schechter School. The Schechter School went until fifth grade. So we were able to take advantage of that for a couple of years and then, yes, the Adelson Campus. Knowing 6 that that was here and that it went all the way through high school was even better. In your opinion, how does that educational opportunity for Jewish kids compare with might have existed in your own experience growing up? I grew up in Chicago. When you grow up in New York or Chicago or Philadelphia or L.A., you grow up in cities with huge populations. There's obviously a lot more opportunity. So in Chicago there's a couple Jewish high schools. There's a co-ed Orthodox school. There's a Yeshiva for boys, a Yeshiva for girls. And now there's even a Conservative?or maybe they consider themselves nondenominational?high school. So there's lots of opportunities in Chicago. But there are Jews in places other than those big cities, and I think it's important if you want to be able to help a community that you have to be willing to make some compromises. Is it the ideal high school education that I would have wanted for my kids? Probably not. But it's certainly better than I would have been afforded in a place like Louisville. So it does afford me the opportunity for all my kids to have at least a foundation in Jewish life and education. What was the congregation like? By then the core building was built? Here? Yes. Right. When I came here in '08, they had just finished their building campaign for the sanctuary and to redo the social hall and to build a new educational wing. But they had put it on hold because when I got here is when the economy crashed. So they had the money, but they just weren't ready to make that commitment to build. In the end, I think we somewhat benefited from the downturn in the economy because we were able to build much cheaper than we would have initially because there were a lot of builders who were just looking for work to do. In 2010, they finally broke ground and built the sanctuary, redid the social hall, and then 7 built the educational wing. For the first couple of years I was here, we mainly used the social hall as our multipurpose room. We were very excited in the fall of 2010 when we were able to open the sanctuary for the first time for the High Holiday services. Very nice. Who was responsible for the design and building and that part of that? I know that Zev Yakubowski's firm was the builder. As far as the design and that part of it, I don't know. I know Barry Fieldman was involved in the financing and also in the building. The two principle people were Yakubowski and Fieldman, I think, in making it happen. As far as the design goes, the design of the building was already done before I got here, so I wasn't really involved with that piece of it. Someone else may know better about that. I was able to tweak a few things, but for the most part it was already cast in stone. This was a relatively young congregation. It only had, what, one rabbi prior to you? Right. No, they had another rabbi that they talk about?I can't remember his name?but only for a short period of time. For a while Bob Fisher was sort of the spiritual leader and then Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn came on. So he and Bob worked together for a number of years. Then Cantor Andres Kornworcel came and he was here for a year or two with Rabbi Wiederhorn, and then a couple of years with me. Do you have a new cantor now? Yes, we have a new cantor now, Daniel Gale. Where did he come from? He came directly from Birmingham, Alabama. Interesting. I love where everybody comes from. Sure. He was originally from Michigan, from the Detroit area, but he was working at a congregation in Birmingham. 8 What things have you done or what milestones have you accomplished in the time you've been here? Obviously, the opening of the sanctuary and the rededication of the social hall. What are the milestones...Well, we have the dedication of the Simon wing, the David L. Simon Foundation. Talk about the Simon Foundation. It's an interesting story with the Simon Foundation. David Simon...His life partner was a woman by the name of Connie Pectol. David was Jewish; Connie is Mormon. Before I got here the two of them were regular attendees on Friday night. They would come together on Friday nights to services and they developed a friendship with some people in the congregation. Then unfortunately, David passed away. Before he passed away, he made it clear to Connie that Jewish education and tikkun olam, repairing the world, was something that was very important to him, and it became important to her because it was important to him. He left a significant inheritance and Connie decided to create a foundation with that money. He obviously left enough money to keep her comfortable but also to have the ability to create a foundation in his name; had members of her family and David's family and members of our congregation create the board of this foundation. She decided as a way of creating a legacy for David she wanted to build something in his name, and so that's what we did. We built this educational wing and we have some education programming that goes on in addition to our religious school. We have the library. We did a wonderful tech conference for a couple of years, a Jewish technology conference for a couple of years in the Simon Foundation name. So we've tried to do things that foster the mission of the foundation. That's been exciting. What is Jewish technology? It's essentially how do we use technology in the classroom, whether it's the day school classroom 9 or the religious school classroom? How do we use technology to teach even in programming? Just like in today you're using technology, what are the things that we can take from that and be able to enhance Jewish education? What kind of things have you done there? How would you describe that? I'll give you a perfect example. On Purim, we use an LCD projector and a screen to project the text of the Megillah, the text of the scroll of Esther, that we read so that people in the audience could follow along. So there's one way to use technology. We have a set of laptops that the religious schoolteachers are now able to use in the classroom to allow the kids to do research, allow them to play Hebrew games, things like that. So that's how we use technology today. I was here and we did that little bit of a videotaping of you. But for this oral history, talk about the Haftarah. Am I saying that right? The Haftarah Scroll? Yes. Yes. So last year...Was it last year? Yes, last year rather than do a dinner gala, we needed to do a fundraiser because that's part of our sort of yearly goal is to do something with fundraiser in the spring. But we wanted to do something different than just having everyone come together for dinner and speeches and things like that. So we had an artist in resident, a guy by the name of Mordechai Rosenstein, who does beautiful, beautiful artwork. This is some of his artwork right here. Oh, that's beautiful, yes. He has created what he calls a Haftarah Scroll. It looks very much like a Torah scroll except instead of having the text of the five books of Moses, it has the text of the prophets that we use for the secondary reading each Saturday. We have a primary reading each Saturday from the five 10 books of Moses, and we have a secondary reading that we do from the prophets each Saturday. Normally we just do it right out of a book, the second reading, but he created this beautiful scroll. The scroll, the way it worked was, you as a family or as an individual could sponsor a particular portion. We inscribe your name at the bottom of the scroll and we have a book that has more information about who you're sponsoring in memory or in honor of and that remains a legacy here in the congregation. We use it every Saturday. We have it in a nice case in the back of the sanctuary for people to be able to see. It's open to that week's portion. Then at the point in the service where we have to read it, we actually take it out and bring it to the reading table and the person who is chanting chants from it. So it was a beautiful way to create a legacy here in the synagogue and have a physical reminder of their legacy and it can continue. Every year now if somebody wants to dedicate a portion in honor or memory of someone, we can add it at any time. Oh, so it's a growing project. Right. My third child will have his bar mitzvah next year. We've already dedicated a portion for each of our other children, so we'll dedicate that portion when we get to it in a couple of years. What's it like to raise kids here? Again, when we got here we were nervous about that. That was a question that we asked. But for the most part, it has been pretty easy. I think my kids have done pretty nicely here. They certainly love the weather nine months a year. During the summers they get out of here anyway. They go back to Georgia [to] go to a summer camp. They've enjoyed the school that they've been able to attend. They've been able to play?I'll give you another example. My daughter all four years of high school played varsity sports. Her name was?I don't want to brag?but her name was in the newspaper in the sports section because they put the names of who scored in the volley game or whatever. So she was in the local paper. I guarantee you if 11 she went to the local public school, which she would have gone to either Green Valley or Coronado, she would not have played varsity sports. But because Adelson has a smaller population and because they play smaller schools, she was able to play varsity sports all four years, which for her and for me was very exciting. Oftentimes Jewish kids?and I reflect on my husband growing up when he said it was difficult to play sports because of obligations for Hebrew school or whatever. And Shabbat. In our case it's Shabbat, right? So if she went to public school, not only would she not?I don't know if we should publish this. But I don't think she was necessarily good enough to play varsity sports, but she couldn't have played anyway because many of the games and practices are on Friday nights or Saturdays and she would not have been able to play. So at Adelson she was able to do it because they didn't have any games or practices on Friday or Saturday or Jewish holidays. It's really better. I used to teach in a small school and I always thought it was better that more kids could participate in activities. Right. It really is good for them. Right. Not everybody is going to be a pro. Right. Exactly. And she knew that. But she worked hard, she played hard and she loved it. I think it was important. My son also plays sports now and he's getting up to the varsity level and it will be great for him. That's wonderful. So what is the role of a rabbi's wife? How does she fit into the community both here at Midbar Kodesh as well as the greater community? 12 Right. I think it's changed over time. I think there was a time certainly when I was growing up and when my parents were growing up that the rabbi?s wife generally didn't have her own job; she usually was a homemaker. She was often very involved in the synagogue life and what was [going] on in the synagogue. Now, there are still some groups [where] that still remains the status quo. But within the Reform movement and the Conservative movement, I think there's definitely been a movement towards the rabbi's wife really having her own life. I can give you an example. My wife works full-time. She's a teacher at Adelson. She took a couple of years off teaching while the kids were much younger, but went back to work in 2010 and has always been working at Adelson since then. She is involved in the synagogue. She's here volunteering at events and she's here every Friday night and Saturday and certainly the hostess when we have people over for Friday night dinners or holiday meals. She definitely plays that role but also is able to maintain her own sense of independence and her own life as well. I think within the Conservative movement it tends to be more the trend. Things do change, don't they? Yes. I sat in one time with...Is it the Council of Rabbis? The Board of Rabbis. Board of Rabbis. Is that a common entity in other cities? Right. The answer is yes. I was involved in the Board of Rabbis?in New York, then in Louisville and here. There's always been a Board of Rabbis. It's mainly made up of the liberal branches of Judaism?Reform, Conservative, Renewal. The Orthodox and the Chabad tend not to participate for their own reasons. But generally, the clergy within Reform, Conservative, Renewal, Reconstructionist tend to create that body to create a sense of camaraderie and a sense of 13 consistency in the community. Sometimes we want to speak with one voice; sometimes we can't. Sometimes you don't have consensus on a particular issue, but when we do I think it's powerful that you can say, "Well, the Board of Rabbis came together and made this statement or created this program." For instance, the Yom HaShoah program that we do here in the community that they've been doing since long before I got here is under the auspices of the Board of Rabbis. A few other programs we've had and passed on to the Federation, but that's certainly one that we've continued to toss around. It's interesting. In Louisville, it was the Board of Rabbis and Cantors. So it was all the clergy. Not only was it a smaller town, there were less clergy. So it maybe made sense to include the cantors. Here it's a bigger population. But I don't know why we've never reached out to the cantors and had them be part of the Board of Rabbis, make it a Board of Clergy. Why do the more Orthodox choose not to participate? You'd have to ask them. That's fair enough. I'm just curious. I certainly have my theories, but you'd have to ask them about why they feel they can't sit together with us on a board. Fair enough. Tell me about your family heritage. What do you know about your ancestral roots? Sure. I know my mother's side. Her father came from Poland, but I believe he was born here in the United States. My maternal grandmother was born in Kiev, in Russia, was born there and came over here in the early 1900s. My dad's parents, his mother was born in a place called the Gombin, Poland, and his father 14 was born in a place called Saratov, Russia. Both of them also came over in the early 1900s, I think by 1910. They were recorded in the Census of 1910. I think they came over 1903, 1905, 1907, before 1910. But the first time we see them on a census was 1910. Is that a Chicago census or where did they live? Yes, Chicago. That was a Chicago census, exactly. Are you the first to move away from Chicago? No. There were others of their family. Most of them stayed in Chicago. But they had pretty big families and a few people?like I know I had an uncle that lived out here in L.A. He was an engineer for one of the airplane firms out in San Diego or Los Angeles area. But most of them were in Chicago. Yes, most of them stayed in Chicago. What neighborhood did you pick to live in? Did you choose to live close to the synagogue? Yes. I walk to synagogue on Shabbat. I don't drive on Shabbat. So we set ourselves a limit of one mile; the farthest we would go is one mile from the synagogue. Luckily, this is a beautiful area with a lot of walking paths and a lot of parks and a lot of houses around the synagogue. We're smack dab in a nice neighborhood in Green Valley Ranch. We wanted to get as large a house as we could. We knew that we'd have a lot of family and guests visiting. And interesting, in the homes immediately around the synagogue are a little bit smaller. They tend to be three, four bedrooms, under three thousand square feet. So we were looking for something a little bit bigger. So we went just past Green Valley Ranch into Foothills Ranch. So we like to say we're exactly one mile door to door, straight up Paseo Verde. Nine months, ten months of the year, it's a pleasant walk. Even in January when it's a little cold, it's not so terrible. July and August are tough. It's the heat that's worse than the cold. 15 Right. Because you can always put on a coat or get dressed for the cold. It's hard to dress for the heat. Now, I've taken to leaving a suit here. I'll leave it here on Friday. So I walk in shorts and a T-shirt to synagogue during those July and August months. That's smart. Just a little aside, an Orthodox synagogue has opened about halfway between me and my synagogue. Is that the one that's by the Smith's grocery store? Correct. Right. So I walk right by it every Saturday, which means I also walk by all of the members who are walking to that synagogue. It's always interesting in the dead of July when it's a hundred and ten degrees and I'm walking in shorts and a T-shirt and they're wearing their black suits and hats. I smile a little bit about the fact that I get to stay at least comfortable during that walk. Actually, we put in a shower here in the bride's room for those really sweltering days. So it's been very helpful. So in the Conservative movement, I assume you're probably keeping kosher. Yes. How do you find it in Las Vegas to keep kosher? Not difficult at all. The only difficulty is that the majority of the kosher food that is fresh and available is on the other side of town, but it's there. It's not like it's not there. If I'm willing to drive twenty-five, thirty minutes to the other side of the town, I can find whatever I need. There are several kosher restaurants in town, which is also great. When I was in Louisville, it was a lot less available and there were no kosher restaurants. Then on top of that we have L.A., which is only four or five hours away. Even for Passover I have not found keeping kosher here difficult at all. Now, I don't know what it was like twenty, thirty years ago here, but today with the larger 16 Jewish population and traditional population, there is a lot more available. People will tell stories of trekking to Arizona or to California to get the food and shari