New JCL President and CEO Sara Klein Wagner Looks Forward to Future Growth and Community Engagement

Sara Klein WagnerLetter From Sara Klein Wagner, JCL President and CEO

Dear Jewish Community of Louisville,

It is an honor and privilege to become the President and CEO of the JCL. I am grateful to the JCL Board of Directors for their trust and confidence. I am also fortunate to begin this new role knowing firsthand that we have a wonderful cadre of volunteers and a talented and passionate staff.

As I begin a new journey with you, I recognize that we are all one community defined by proximity, shared values, experiences and a sense of collective responsibility. Our JCL must take the lead to ensure our success as a Jewish community. We need to understand and articulate the needs of the community, provide leadership, build resources, sustain a vibrant array of experiences, convene and partner with our agencies and congregations and ensure the gates are wide open and welcoming to all.

There is much to do, and it will require a mix of urgency and patience to get it right. Looking toward the future, here are a few of my top priorities:

  • Rebuild our Development Department by recruiting professionals to engage both new and long-time donors to the Campaign and our family of agencies. Our message must clearly define the needs within our community and the impact our philanthropy will have.
  • Steward the steady growth and expanding reach of our JCC and all of our programs; communicate our successes and ability to improve and enhance lives; and shine the spotlight on the JCC as a second home to our members and guests.
  • Champion a genuine sense of pride. As the first JCL (JCC/Federation) CEO in several generations who is a native Louisvillian, I could not be more proud of who we are, the leaders who came before us and the memories of growing up in this Jewish community. I am equally proud of being involved in the evolution of our community since I returned as a professional in 1990. Birthright Israel, March of the Living, PJ Library and Partnership2Gether did not exist in 1990. With an eye on the future, we need to stay fresh, meeting the needs of the millennials and generation Z.
  • Create a path to ensure the sustainability and viability of the JCL. We will continue to implement the best practices of the JCC and Federation movements. We will strive to steadily increase revenue, as the JCC has over the past four years, and we will seek new donor support for individual programs and services that need additional support.
  • Ensure the JCL incorporates Israel into the core of everything we do.

I look forward to working together as we continue to grow and nurture the Jewish community of Louisville.

Sara Klein Wagner
JCL President and CEO

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