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Darryl and Teri Isaacs pledge $100,000 matching gift to kick off JCC’s “Unity in Community”

By Stephanie Smith
For Community 

Long before he married his wife, Teri, Darryl Isaacs spent his childhood hanging out with his older brother at the Jewish Community Center. His parents even met at the JCC where they formed lifelong friendships. Darryl and Teri recently showed their support for the JCC with a $100,000 matching gift pledge to kick off the organization’s “Unity in Community” initiative. 

Isaacs says, “I came to the JCC as a child and teenager; however, as a young law student, I had a very limited budget. The Jewish community made it possible for me to come to the JCC. Now, it’s my turn to pay it forward so others can take advantage of the wonderful programs and services offered here like Camp J, the Early Learning Childhood Center, the Healthy Senior Program and much more. 

I believe making a pledge like this is what my parents would want me to do. My wife, Teri, and I encourage others whose lives have been touched by this special community to make a financial commitment to its future.” 

The community has answered the Isaacs’ call for support, “So far, we are making progress toward the match, and we are asking donors and friends of JCC to help us meet our fundraising goal so we can continue to build this caring community,” says Angie Fleitz, Senior Director of Development, JCC. 

Fleitz adds, “Here at the JCC, thanks to donors like Darryl and Teri, we turn no one away. At the JCC, you will find the support of community in nurturing the full potential of all who pass through these doors.” 

Donations make it possible for the JCC to provide scholarships for families with children in the Early Learning Center or those with children with differing abilities who need specially trained advocates at camp. Contributions make it possible for someone of modest means to join the JCC so they can achieve their fitness goals in an environment that welcomes everyone. 

She says, “We span the generations as we provide seniors with wonderful meals that bring them comfort, prepared with love. We celebrate the friendships and activities here at the JCC that make their lives richer and fuller – a vital part of our ‘Unity in Community’.” 

Jim and Mitzi Schatz, a couple who are participating in the JCC’s Healthy Senior program, know all about it. Upon relocating to Louisville, they found the home away from home they needed at the JCC, “It feels like family, a place to go where everyone is so kind to us,” says Mitzi. 

Jim adds, “I was a politician and Mitzi was a librarian and we missed that community you find in the workplace. The JCC provides us with a place to meet people with similar experiences – we’re building relationships here.” 

For her part Heather Shull, a single parent of two foster adopted children with differing needs, says she was so grateful to receive a financial break so that her children, Marek and Brianna, could attend Camp J, “It was a lifesaver for me. I work full-time and felt safe dropping my children off because I knew they would be in a safe environment where they could succeed.” 

Shull adds, “Thanks to camp advocate, all camp staff and the inclusive community, my children thrived beyond anything I could have imagined. Children like mine truly need a village of support and we found that at the JCC.” 

This year, the Trager Family JCC provided $250,000 in necessary funding:  

$110,000 in tuition assistance to families in need so that their children could attend summer camp, preschool, and afterschool programs.  

$75,000 in membership support for families in financial crisis, refugee families, and our community’s first responders.  

Through our Senior Lunch Program and Meals on Wheels, which is open to anyone 60 years and older, we subsidized over $65,000 for hot, nutritious, kosher meals to vulnerable seniors throughout our community. During the height of the pandemic, the yearly number of meals prepared and delivered doubled in a single year, exceeding 21,000. 

Fleitz concludes, “We estimate the need for financial and nutrition assistance will increase by 40 percent in the immediate future. This is the perfect time to support the ‘Unity in Community’ initiative. I hope all donors are as touched as we are by Darryl and Teri Isaacs matching gift.” 

To learn more or support the initiative, contact Angie Fleitz, Senior Development Director – Philanthropy & Outreach, Jewish Federation of Louisville & Trager Family JCC at 502-238-2767 or afleitz@jewishlouisville.org.

Make your donation today and receive 2022 tax benefits 

Check out the ways you can make your annual gift or complete your pledge to support The Jewish Federation of Louisville: 

CASH Drop by our office to say hello and make your donation in person. 

CHECK Please make your check payable to the Jewish Federation of Louisville, 3600 Dutchmans Lane, Louisville, KY 40205. 

CREDIT CARD We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express; donate online at https://jewishlouisville.org/federation/donate. 

CALL The Philanthropy Department at 502-238-2739. 

Did you know that if you are 70-1/2 years old or older, you can donate up to $100,000 in IRA benefits to our Annual Campaign without incurring any withdrawal or tax penalties upon making the distribution. As always, please contact your professional tax advisor for further tax-related information. 

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