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The Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage portal provides access to primary source materials including oral history interview transcripts and audio clips, business records, and personal papers of members of the Jewish community.


This site provides a comprehensive, searchable, online collection of digitized materials in multiple formats. The digital collection is designed to help users browse topic areas and retrieve information of specific interest by entering search terms. All items in this collection have assigned keywords (metadata) to help facilitate discovery through common access points like name, date, business, geographic location, and subject. Each oral history interview has been transcribed and the full-text transcript is searchable. Transcripts can be downloaded as PDFs and printed or emailed for research purposes.

The digital collection features an Advanced Search for researchers wishing to combine several search parameters in complex queries. Research librarians at UNLV, as well as staff at local cultural heritage organizations, are always willing to assist with searches. For more information about the digital collection search features see the Special Collections Portal help page.


A major component of this project was gathering first-person accounts of the Jewish experience in Las Vegas. Over 50 oral history interviews were conducted in the first phase of this project. Older interviews, collected as early as 1975, were digitized and transcribed, and are included here. Interviews with prominent members of the community offer an invaluable glimpse into the life of business people, politicians and entrepreneurs over several decades.

An oral history is a spoken account of certain events and phenomena recorded at one particular moment and filtered through one’s life experience, sensibility and memory. As such, it should be considered a primary source rather than a final, verified or complete narrative of the events it records. The Oral History Association [OHA] is the central professional organization for oral historians and maintains a website with Principles and Best Practices, and much more. Educators, please view the OHA Pamphlet Series’ Oral History Projects in Your Classroom.


Portions of collections have been digitized for this project and are viewable online. Collections can be viewed in their entirety in the Special Collections Reading Room, Lied Library, UNLV. For guidance using primary source materials, see Research & Services at UNLV Special Collections.

Abbey (Joshua) Papers, MS-00820.


Green, Michael. "The Jews," in The Peoples of Las Vegas: One City, Many Faces. Eds. Jerry L. Simich and Thomas C. Wright. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2005.

Green, Michael. "History of Las Vegas Jews links past and present," in The Jewish Reporter, March 22, 2002, p. 4-5.

Marschall, John P. Jews in Nevada: A History. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2011


KNPB Documentaries. Jews in Nevada. 2012. Retrieved from:

Vegas PBS. Remembering the Holocaust: Las Vegas Survivors Tell Their Stories. Retrieved from:


Las Vegas Israelite (Published since 1965)

The Jewish Reporter (Published by the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, 1976-2009)

David Magazine


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Because we are no longer actively fundraising for the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project, we are directing all related donations to our Oral History Research Center for the pursuit of other meaningful oral history projects.


Jewish Nevada Vegas PBS
With help from
Institute of Museum and Library Services This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services