News & Newsmakers

Melanie Pell

Louisville native assumes leadership role at AJC
Melanie Pell, a Louisville native, has been named assistant executive director and managing director of regional offices at the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

In her new position, Pell oversees AJC’s 22 regional offices and supervises its programs for young professionals and those on college campuses.
Previously, Pell was AJC’s associate director of regional offices and director of regional engagement. In that role, she worked to expand AJC’s presence in communities across the United States and coordinated several agency-wide advocacy campaigns, including the Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism and the Governors United Against BDS initiatives.
Pell also directed AJC’s Washington office, overseeing regional office activities.
She joined AJC in 2001 as assistant director of AJC Chicago.
Pell is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Louisville.

The Temple service shows solidarity with LGBTQ
The Temple will celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month with its annual Equality Shabbat at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23. The musical service will include the Shir Chaddash choir and Inner Voices of Kentuckiana.
Inner Voices will also perform after the service with music and personal stories of its members. A buffet lunch will be served to those who RSVP.
Inner Voices is part of Voices of Kentuckiana, an inclusive chorus for the community that changes hearts and minds through song. Founded in 1994, it is the oldest LGBTQ arts organization in Kentucky.
The Temple is the only Jewish congregation in Kentucky that commemorates LGBTQ Pride Month with a special Shabbat Service.
According to Rabbi David Ariel-Joel of the Temple, Judaism teaches that the differences between humans are a Divine act: God created each human different and distinct from each other, each with its own face, opinions, and orientation. Some have one sexual orientation and one gender identity, and some have another.
But all are created in God’s image.
The Temple Rabbis are active with the Fairness Campaign and have conducted same-sex marriage rites since 1996 – including the first same-sex marriage in the State of Israel.
The Equality Shabbat is sponsored by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.
RSVP by Tuesday, June 19, to 502-423-1818.

HSJS open for registration
Registration for the 2018-2019 school year at the Louisville High School of Jewish Studies is now open for all rising ninth-12th grade students.
All registration is online again this year. Visit to get started. Registration may be done by paper and snail mail as well. Contact Renee Masterson at for forms.
HSJS is open to all Jewish high schoolers, regardless of synagogue affiliation. The school graduated its first class of seniors on April 29, and its Moot Beit Din (Jewish Mock Trial) team took second place in the national competition in March. HSJS students study everything from cartoons to Kabbalah, bioethics, yoga and feminism, all from a Jewish perspective.
This year, classes will be held Wednesdays from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. at the Jewish Family & Career Services. The term will begin September 26.
Students interested in being madrichim (teaching assistants) at LBSY or The Temple, must attend HSJS.
Contact Sarah Harlan at for more information.

WTS names new officers
The Women of Temple Shalom have announced its officers for 2018-19:
Sandy Flaksman, president; Sheilah Abramson-Miles, president elect; Ellen Gray and Laurie Slafkes, co-vice-presidents, fundraising; Frankie Bloom and Joan Epstein, co-vice-presidents, membership; Theresa Todd, vice-president, programming; Cynthia Canada, vice-president, Tikkun Olam; Ellen Gray, recording secretary; Sheila Steinman Wallace, corresponding secretary; Kathy Karr, Caroline Rosenthal, Dorrie Zimmerman, members-at-large.
A June installation meeting is planned. Call Temple Shalom, 502-458-4739, for details.

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