At last our weather seems to be warming up and our temperatures are actually above normal for February in Louisville. Alas, you already know my admiration for winter weather and please feel free to join the myriads of people who question my sanity because of this preference. Last week, however, I have to admit it was a pleasure to spend the week on a business trip in Florida.
My trip had two purposes: attend a conference with my colleagues from other Jewish Federations across North America to discuss the current trends in Financial Resource Development and planning for the future; and to visits some of our Louisville Jewish community supporters who have either relocated to Florida full time or have chosen to spend the winter months in a warmer climate.
I enjoy getting together with Louisvillians who have a great community history to share with me, and I enjoy updating them on the events and challenges facing us here in Louisville. In addition to meeting with individuals and couples at their homes on both coasts, it was my pleasure to co-host with our 2014 Campaign Chair, Doug Gordon, a dinner gathering with a group of our supporters in Sarasota, last Thursday evening.
The event was co-sponsored by Northern Trust Bank, the organization that manages our portfolio of endowment funds with the direction and guidance provided by our Investment Committee, chaired by Glenn Levine. Our thanks to Phil Donahue for his presentation on the services we receive from Northern Trust, and for including his wife Julie as part of our gathering.
As always when Louisvillians get together (I have learned), the conversation often turns to memories and ‘the good ole days.’ After presenting some updates on many of the discussions and challenges facing our community, Doug provided some light entertainment by sharing a few ‘old Jewish jokes’ and stories about Louisville and a short session of Jewish Louisville trivia.
Together we discussed the work we are doing to complete our strategic planning process. There were questions regarding the future of the Standard Country Club property. As we shared with the group in Sarasota, I share with you that we look forward to having a seat around the table at the community conversation being chaired by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence regarding this community opportunity. All community agencies have been asked to select one representative to have a seat around the table.
Doug spoke about this year’s Federation Campaign and his goal to re-engage many in the community who have not been as supportive over the past few years as they may have been before. He spoke about the importance of the programs and services we provide to a community that needs and deserves our community support.
Doug also spoke about the possibilities for our future and the progress we are making by raising funds even beyond our annual campaign. Last year we received over $500,000 in grants from local and national foundations and funders to provide programs, services and support or organizational infrastructure needs.
We have received gifts outside of the Annual Campaign, some for specific services and mission driven programs and others to help offset expenses that are necessary to provide a safe and sustainable facility for today and the foreseeable future. We continue to pursue these funding opportunities, but the resources needed by the entire community are continuing to grow each year.
Our constituent agencies look to us for allocations that are necessary to help their organizations continue their work and provide the services the community will need as we look to the future. As our grandparents provided for our future so many years ago, we must provide for the future our grandchildren and the Louisville Jewish Community.
In closing over dinner Doug asked those around the table to please support the annual campaign to best of their ability. Today I ask you to do the same. Our campaign is running ahead of last year and we need to keep up the pace to meet the community needs.
You can make a contribution to the 2014 annual Federation campaign online at www.jewishlouisville.org, or by calling our development office at 238-2739. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Together we do extraordinary thing.