Editorial: The Fabric of Our Community

Sunday, March 13, is Super Sunday. It is also the day for the Jewish Community Center’s Summer Camp Open House and the Adath Jeshurun Music Festival. All three events are integral parts of the fabric of our Louisville Jewish community.

The AJ Music Festival is marking its 40th anniversary this year. Each year it adds to the cultural richness of our community, exposing us to artists and music we might not have heard before. But this event is much more.

Each year, Cantor David Lipp invites musicians from across the entire Jewish community to participate. He makes sure there are opportunities for adults and children and the music is accessible to all.

Cantor Lipp also builds bridges with others. He always invites Keneseth Israel’s Cantor Sharon Hordes to participate in his programs (and she reciprocates with hers). This year’s program also features a third-time collaboration with the secular community chorus Voces Novae and he commissioned a new piece by a local composer, Jeremy Beck, which will be performed by members of the Louisville Orchestra.

The Adath Jeshurun Music Festival showcases the best of what our congregations do. It brings the entire community together to learn and celebrate together, involving young and old in an inspirational Jewish program.

In fact, each congregation enriches and engages the community with their own programs throughout the year. Our congregations are places of gathering, learning and celebration in addition to worship, and all contribute to the fabric of the Louisville Jewish community.

The JCC’s Summer Camp Open House represents the key to our Jewish future. If we expect our children to embrace Judaism and become our community leaders of tomorrow, we must engage them today and get them excited about Jewish learning and Jewish doing.

While JCC camp offers a wide variety of programs from swimming, sports and horseback riding to theater, dance and art, the camp programs also incorporate Jewish values and provide campers with the opportunity to engage in tikkun olam, the repair of the world.

Campers and counselors come from across the community. They make connections that cross denominational lines and have the opportunity to share Jewish values with non-Jewish campers.

JCC Summer Camp is also a gateway to greater participation throughout the year and an invitation for the rest of the family to get involved. Summer Camp, educating our children and making Jewish values part of our everyday lives represent the future of our community. And, when you look at the bigger picture, Summer Camp represents the many opportunities offered through the Jewish Community Center and the entire Jewish Community of Louisville for every individual, young and old, and all are part of the fabric of the Louisville Jewish community.

The congregations and the programs at the JCC are just two of the parts that make up that fabric. Jewish Family and Career Services, National Council of Jewish Women, Hillel, and our Jewish schools and educational opportunities also figure into the picture.

But it is the JCL Annual Campaign that is the thread that binds the entire community together, and Super Sunday represents the Annual Campaign.

It is the Annual Campaign that supports Jewish education for young members of every congregation in the community, and those Sunday School, Hebrew School and Day School programs help keep families involved in the congregations and help prepare the next generation to live Jewish lives.

It is the JCL Annual Campaign that makes Summer Camp and other critical programs possible. The Campaign enables families in need to receive scholarship assistance and brings Israeli counselors in to help children connect with the Jewish State. It is the Annual Campaign that supported the creation of programming that has engaged 80 middle schoolers and is reinvigorating the BBYO program.

It is the JCL Annual Campaign that is creating social opportunities for young adults in their 20’s and early 30’s and ensures that Hillel is actively serving Jewish college students on all of Lousiville’s Metroversity campuses.

It is the JCL Annual Campaign that enables Jewish Family & Career Services to provide counseling and career services to families and individuals when they cannot afford the full fees themselves.

And it is the JCL Annual Campaign that connects us with the rest of the Jewish world, supporting Israel and fulfilling our obligation to Jews-at-risk around the world.

Now it is your turn to help strengthen the fabric of our Jewish community. Become a Super Sunday volunteer. Choose the shift that works best for you: 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. or 1:30-4 p.m. Stop by the JCC Summer Camp Open House before or after you lend a hand, and attend the AJ Music Festival in the evening.

If you can’t help on Super Sunday, please give generously when a volunteer calls. Now is the time to invest in the fabric of our Jewish community.

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