Anshei Sfard hosted Shabbaton for congregants and out of town guests
by Brian Wallace
Special to Community
Last month, Congregation Anshei Sfard hosted a community-wide Shabbaton, at which at one point the community welcomed a crowd of over 175 people. Guests came from all over the country to visit the community, many of them considering relocating to Louisville. Families and singles came from Chicago, New York, Detroit, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Milwaukee to spend a relaxing Shabbat here.
“As a born-and-bred Louisvillian returning to town after 20 years of cold Boston living, it was a rare pleasure to return home to the new Anshei Sfard, and a remarkably joyous Shabbaton,” said one guest, Jeff Levy. “I am especially grateful for the warm welcome I received by members of the congregation young and old, for the opportunity to establish connections with potential new Louisvillians from all over the country, and for the chance to attend the public teachings given by the Jewish Craig Ferguson, Reb YY Rubinstein. Mazel Tov and many thanks to the organizers and everybody who contributed their time to make the Shabbaton possible!”
World-renowned speaker Rabbi YY Rubinstein and his wife spent the weekend here, and he gave enlightening and inspirational lectures like Forgiving the Unforgivable and Learning to Believe in Yourself. Rabbi Joshua Golding gave a sermon and there was a special women’s class.
The weekend culminated with a Sunday community business networking event at the Jewish Community Center. Local businesses, hospital representatives, and networking groups greeted the visitors. Representatives of the Jewish Community of Louisville, JCC, and JFCS were there to talk with guests. The outreach director of Israel Allies on Campus spoke briefly about being a campus advocate for the support of Israel at the University of Louisville. Realtors were available to talk with families and individuals who were interested in or looking to relocate to the Louisville area.
Anshei Sfard staff and volunteers worked tirelessly for months preparing for the event on everything from menu planning to hospitality to spreading the word. The event was a huge success, as feedback collected from the follow-up survey was overwhelmingly positive. Several families have indicated a strong interest in relocating and the first family will be coming to Louisville later this month.