Faith In Our Future – Tracy Hirsh

[by Phyllis Shaikun]

Tracy Hirsch Geller is a Louisville native who attended Kentucky Country Day School and St. Francis High School. A University of Florida graduate, she earned a law degree from the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law and is an attorney with Kruger & Schwartz.

Geller’s family belonged to The Temple growing up, and she was not really involved in Jewish communal activities. However, her dad, the late attorney Kenneth Hirsh, was heavily involved in the general community and she always wanted to find her own way to become involved. She was active in college, and when she returned to Louisville, she was determined to follow in his footsteps.

Then she met her husband, Mark Geller, whose dad, Harry Geller, has been an integral part of Louisville’s Jewish community for his entire life. Like her dad, here was yet another father figure for her to emulate – a man devoted to his family and to the community. “I just knew I wanted to be a bigger part of my community than I was before,” says Tracy. “After meeting and marrying Mark in 2005 and becoming part of the Geller Gang, I discovered I also wanted to play a larger role in the Jewish community.”

The Geller’s daughters, Kendall and Rose (now 6 and 4), began coming to the Jewish Community Center’s Daycare when they were 8 weeks old. They spent time at J-Tots on Sundays so she and Mark could workout and it became an easy and comfortable lifestyle for them to fall into. “That time spent at the JCC really put things into perspective for me,” says Geller. Once the girls were at Adath Jeshurun Preschool, she joined the school’s board and now also sits on the Adath Jeshurun Board as the preschool liaison. She figures she attends three board meetings per month at a minimum.

“This sort of involvement is something I didn’t have growing up,” says Geller. “I think it is important for kids to have a focus. Our Jewish community is shrinking and we all need to play a part in supporting it. I feel I need to be a role model for my children. They might miss a home-cooked dinner once in a while, but I hope I am giving them a better appreciation for the community.”

To that end, she is currently serving on the YAD (Young Adult Division) Board and is chairing the YAD Picnic scheduled later this summer. She also chaired the recent Adath Jeshurun Preschool Yard Sale.

“I find it inspiring to see our seniors still working hard, still feeling they owe it to the community,” Geller comments. “It is important to carry your own weight and not leave things for others to do. The JCL is a great way to have community involvement and embrace religious and Jewish values at the same time.”

She also loves and appreciates her step-children, Isabelle (age 13) and Alexander Geller (age 15), who are wonderful with the little ones. They read them books, teach them about the Jewish holidays, tutor them in Hebrew and are great role models.

On a personal note, she feels she has it all in Louisville and will never leave again! Between Shabbat dinners at the Gellers and Sunday dinners with her mom, Pat, and the rest of her family, she feels blessed. They also celebrate the holidays with their entire family. “I couldn’t do what I do without my mom,” says Geller. “She bails me out on a daily basis. People who don’t come back to Louisville to be with family are really missing something.”

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