The year was 1966. The first episodes of Batman and Start Trek aired, Simon and Garfunkel released Sounds of Silence, and the US population exceeded 195 million. The average cost of new house was $14,200.00. Average Income per year was $6,900.00, gas was 32 cents per gallon, and the average Cost of a new car was $2,650.00.
Here, in 1966 Las Vegas, the Aladdin, Circus Circus, and Caesars Palace all were opened with many members of our Jewish community playing instrumental roles in their development and construction. It was also the year that Howard Hughes arrived in Las Vegas, living in the top two floors of the Desert Inn. He would later buy the Desert Inn, the Sands, the Frontier, and the Landmark, in addition to making other numerous contributions to the city.The first synagogue in Las Vegas, Temple Beth Sholom, was established a few years earlier and there were an estimated 2,000 Jews in Las Vegas.
Also in 1966 Las Vegas, a group of leaders and visionaries decided to formally organize the Jewish community of Southern Nevada. They were from different walks of life, different ages, and differently, steams of Judaism. Their goal of building, growing, and strengthening the Jewish community of Las Vegas is what bound them together to sign the founding charter of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. Not unlike Ben Gurion, and the early pioneers of the State of Israel, they were intent on making the desert bloom and creating a sustainable home for Jews in Southern Nevada.
On September 15th our community will come together at the Venetian Hotel Casino and Resort to celebrate the founding of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas and to honor the 16 signatories on the original articles of incorporation:
Rabbi Aaron S. Gold
Jerome D. Mack
Additionally, our community will recognize all the past Chairs of the Board of Directors and Chairs of Women's Philanthropy. This event is not intended to only be a celebration of the Federation, but of our community and the countless people who have contributed to our growth and prosperity over the past 50 years. This event, graciously being Chaired by Rachel and Sam Ventura, and their family, will truly be a celebration of our past, our present, and our future.
It is my sincere hope that you will consider joining the community on September 15th to enjoy an evening of memories, of communal pride, and of rededication to our Jewish home in Southern Nevada. If you would like more information, or to purchase tickets, please click here. Please contact Stephanie Lahat if you are interested in placing a Tribute Book ad, sponsoring the event, or contributing a silent auction opportunity.
Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you on September 15th. As always, I welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.