Anshei Sfard Addresses Issues

It has been widely reported in local media that Congregation Anshei Sfard is facing some serious challenges; however, some of the information that has been reported is misleading and incomplete.

Roy Hyman, Anshei Sfard’s president, reported that the congregation’s membership has dwindled significantly and it cannot survive if it continues operating as it has in the past. At this point, the congregation is looking into its options and has made no decisions about what path to take.

At a recent congregational meeting, members put forth a number of options, including looking at ways to attract additional Orthodox Jewish people to the community.

Hyman and Jewish Community of Louisville Board Chair Jay Klempner confirmed that two meetings have occurred between those organizations.

“We think it is very important to have an Orthodox presence in Louisville,” Klempner said. The first thing that has to happen is for the congregation to determine the path it wants to follow. Then, the JCL will do what it can to help.

Business First had reported that selling the Anshei Sfard building might be an option. Hyman again stressed that the congregation has not made any decisions on what to do.

Klempner reiterated that it is the congregation’s decision what to do, but indicated to Hyman that the property, which is contiguous to the Jewish Community Center, is an important part of the Jewish campus.

Currently, Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad holds classes there and the JCC Summer Camp also uses the facility for some activities. Both groups need the space and pay rent.

Whatever the congregation does decide what to do, Klempner plans on working closely with Hyman and if the decision is made to sell the property, Klempner hopes that something can be worked out to keep is as part of the Jewish campus.

Klempner and JCL President and CEO Sara Klein Wagner are keeping the JCL leadership apprised of their discussions. They recognize the difficult situation Anshei Sfard’s members are facing and will help in any way they can.

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