Allocations Announced for FY 2017

Throughout much of the year, community members hear a lot about the Annual Federation Campaign. Community carries stories about Campaign events and about programs and services that are funded by the Campaign. Community members are also asked to be Campaign volunteers to help secure pledges and to give generously when volunteers call. And they receive gratitude and acknowledgements when they make their gifts.

All of this is critically important because the dollars raised by the Federation Campaign are the fuel that keeps our community vibrant. However, there is another committee that is a critical part of the process. The Jewish Community of Louisville’s Planning and Allocations Committee is charged with the responsibility of deciding where the money pledged will go each year.

For fiscal 2017, July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017, the committee had $2,052,000 to allocate. That amount is $112,000 or 5.8 percent more than was available last year, but still well below the amounts requested by the beneficiary agencies.

Jon Fleischaker leads the Planning and Allocations Committee, working committee members William Altman, Ken Berzof, Harry Geller, Lance Gilbert, Ralph Green, Linda Spielberg, Leni Sweet and Jake Wishnia, deciding on how to allocate the community’s resources.

The committee members come from all parts of the community and they work together to provide good stewardship of community funds. Their recommendations are then reviewed and approved by the JCL’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. This year’s allocations were given final approval

There are three points Fleischaker said are his biggest takeaways from the process.

• The roles and functions of the Planning and Allocations Committee and the Board are clear and within them, there is no disagreement about the areas that should be supported by community funding. The committee, he said, “is trying to do it right and in a way that is fair. … We’re just trying to figure out how to do the best we can with limited resources.” When the committee chooses to give more funding to one agency or program, it is taking those dollars away from others.

• If there were a bigger pot from which to allocate, more could be done within the community. Fleischaker explained, “even if we could increase giving by 10 percent,” he said, “that would be $200,000, which could go a long way toward dealing with issues.”

• The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence has also become a major funder for the community. While Fleischaker recognizes that JHFE and the JCL are two separate entities, he would like to see increased coordination between the two entities with respect to funding requests.

The allocations that were made for fiscal 2017 can be found on the chart on this page.

There was a significant change in the allocations for Israel and Overseas this year. In the past, the JCL has set aside a specific allocation for Partnership2Gether, and then sent the bulk of the overseas allocation to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) which has then distributed it, along with contributions from Federations across North America, mostly to The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

This year, Alexandra Shklar, Louisville’s former shlicha or emissary from Israel, visited our community and shared the JDC story. Following the lead of other communities across the country, this year, the Allocations Committee chose to increase direct allocations of overseas dollars.

The committee recommended $50,000 for Partnership; $4,500 for Kivunim, a specific Partnership program that enables young adults with special needs to reach their potential and live as independently as possible; $37,500 for JFNA’s Israel and Overseas programs; and $30,000 for JDC. (For more information about Kivunim or JDC, go to

As has been the practice for a number of years, the committee continued its policy of funding Jewish education schools on a per pupil basis. They also chose to give the High Schools of Jewish Studies a special allocation of $2,500 for a Moot Court project. The committee expressed the desire to look at other ways of determining allocations to the schools.

“Everybody on the committee thinks JFCS is doing a really good job,” Fleischaker said, “and that it is an important agency” both within the Jewish community and in connecting with the broader community. The committee is interested in what specific JFCS programs provide and will continue to evaluate the most effective use of community dollars.

The largest appropriation goes to the JCL. “It is the biggest agency within the Jewish community,” Fleischaker explained, “and it’s important to all of us that it maintains its health and gets healthier. The JCC is the agency most Louisville community members have interaction with, and it’s important that it is a class agency that does its work well and that it has sufficient funds to support itself.”

For many people, The J is the way they interact with the Jewish community. It is important that is project a positive image. It also provides many critical services from camp to senior programming and nutrition. The committee unanimously chose to allocate a fairly substantial increase to the JCL.

Fleischaker thanked the members of the committee for their work. It is a difficult job but the committee puts in the time necessary to make the right decisions for the community. Many members of the committee have served on the committee in prior years. This enables to develop an in-depth knowledge of the beneficiary agencies and community needs, which enhances their ability to make the best decisions for the community.

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