In this audio clip, Rabbi Mintz talks about attending a class at the Academy for Jewish Religion in California, which helped her realize a lifelong dream to become a rabbi.
Yocheved Mintz oral history interview, 2015 March 11. OH-02284. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1q23tk6n
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 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.?