The Barbara Raben Collection on the Las Vegas Jewish Community (1976-2018) is comprised of materials collected by Barbara Raben that document her personal life and her involvement with the Las Vegas, Nevada Jewish community, specifically the Hadassah Southern Nevada Chapter and the Jewish Family Service Agency (JFSA) of Clark County, Nevada. Hadassah and JFSA records consist of photographs and programs from events held by the organizations. Materials also document Raben's business, The Candy Factory, and her connections to the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Barbara Raben Collection on the Las Vegas Jewish Community (1976-2018) is comprised of materials collected by Barbara Raben that document her personal life and her involvement with the Las Vegas Jewish community, specifically the Hadassah Southern Nevada Chapter and the Jewish Family Service Agency (JFSA) of Clark County, Nevada. Materials include scrapbooks, photograph albums, programs, invitations, newspaper and magazine clippings, newsletters, and ephemera and focus on events and activities hosted by the organization.
Collection is open for research. Portions of this collection are digitized and are available online at UNLV.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
The collection is arranged into three series:
Series I. Hadassah Southern Nevada Chapter records, 1976-2018;
Series II. Jewish Family Service Agency of Clark County, Nevada records, 1977-2015;
Series III. Barbara Raben personal papers, 1998-2014.
Biographical / Historical Note
Barbara (Shulman) Raben (1945- ) is a leader in the Las Vegas, Nevada Jewish community. She moved to Las Vegas in 1991 and was a member of Temple Beth Sholom before joining Midbar Kodesh Temple shortly after its establishment in 1995. Raben became involved with the Southern Nevada Chapter of Hadassah in 2003 when she participated in the Hadassah Leadership Academy program. She later served as President of the Chapter. She is also involved with the Jewish Family Service Agency of Clark County, Nevada. Raben began her service on the Agency's Board as a Liaison to the Food Pantry, then served as Secretary, and in 2014 took over as President of the Board. From 2014 to 2015, she also served as Interim Executive Director. Raben owned a candy making business called The Candy Factory in Los Angeles, California from 1981 to 1991. After moving to Las Vegas, she reopened The Candy Factory from 1998 to 2001.
Raben, Barbara. Interview, 2015 February 24. OH-02278. Transcript. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Jewish Family Service Agency (JFSA), founded in 1977, provides professional social services including counseling, senior services, adoption, a food pantry, and emergency financial aid. Its focus is on the Jewish community, but the JFSA serves families and individuals regardless of their religion, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin. Services are provided in a confidential setting, and many are offered free of charge or on a sliding scale. The JFSA is inspired by the Jewish principle “Tikkun Olam,” or “repairing the world one life at a time.”
During the tenure of director Mitchell Gilbert (2003-2006), the JFSA split from the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, fearing a loss of autonomy after the federation affiliated with the United Jewish Communities. As of 2015, the JFSA is once again affiliated with the Jewish Federation.
Marschall, John P.
Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is a volunteer organization that focuses on Jewish continuity through healthcare, advocacy, and community. It fundraises for the Hadassah Medical Center, a research hospital in Jerusalem that provides care to all religions and races, and also for other health, education, and community programs. In the United States, Hadassah advocates for issues such as women’s rights, human rights, health care, affordable child care, and U.S.-Israel diplomacy. The first chapter of Hadassah in Southern Nevada was founded in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1963, and is now known as Hadassah Southern Nevada. The organization holds events and educational programs, hosts speakers, and participates in advocacy initiatives and fundraising.
Hadassah Southern Nevada has over 900 members, one leadership board, and various special interest groups. In the 1990s, the Las Vegas chapter groups included Aviva of Summerlin, Tikvah, Shoshanim, and Rishona.
Around 2003, the Hadassah Leadership Academy (HLA) came to Las Vegas and held a two-year leadership training program for fifteen local women. HLA was so successful that it was held twice more, making Las Vegas the only city to benefit from three instances of the program. This program spurred a revival of the organization in the city, and the older Las Vegas chapter, which was relatively inactive by the 2000s, was assimilated into the new Hadassah Southern Nevada chapter.
Barbara Raben Collection on the Las Vegas Jewish Community, 1976-2018. MS-00655. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 2014 and 2015 by Barbara Raben and in 2019 by Barbara Tabach; accession numbers 2014-048, 2015-056, 2021-061.
In 2015, Emily Lapworth processed the collection. In 2019, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Billy Marino rehoused and arranged the materials and revised the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards. In 2021, Tammi Kim accessioned the 2021 addition and updated the finding aid.
Some issues of newspapers and magazines (mostly the
Further additions are anticipated.