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Wilner, Leo, 1917-1998


Leo Wilner (1917- 1998) was born in Brooklyn, New York. Leo graduated from Jefferson High School in New York and for two years attended school to be a rabbi. He quit to work and help his family. In the early 1960s, friends talked Wilner into moving to Las Vegas where he became executive director Temple Beth Sholom.

In the mid-1980s and early '90s, when two area synagogues were searching for permanent rabbis, Wilner served as a temporary rabbi. He conducted Shabbat services on Friday evenings and Passover Seders, among other rites. In 1985, Richard Bryan, now a U.S. senator, appointed Wilner to the medical examiners board. Bob Miller reappointed him to that board and later appointed him to the Pastoral Care Committee of Sunrise Hospital, where he served as chairman (1993-94).

He also served as a charter member of the B'nai B'rith Men's Nate Mack Lodge No. 2825 and was a member of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. He was instrumental in getting the synagogue on its feet and operating the Jewish Community Center of Las Vegas, Inc.