The Jewish Foundation of Louisville is the Jewish Community of Louisville’s endowment and planned giving department. It manages the Jewish Community Center’s Second Century Funds and all donor-advised and restricted funds that were established with the Jewish Community Federation’s Foundation for Planned Giving. (The JCC and the Jewish Community Federation were the JCL’s predecessor organizations.) The Jewish Foundation also works with new donors to help them establish funds that meet their philanthropic visions and goals.
The Foundation ensures the viability and continuity of Jewish life, Jewish agencies and Jewish programs and services in the local community in perpetuity.
Funds donated by individuals during their lifetime or upon their passing provide help for the elderly and disabled, assist troubled families and individuals, offer education and Jewish camping opportunities for Jewish children, as well as cultural and social opportunities for everyone. In that spirit, the Foundation manages the endowed funds for a number of Jewish organizations.
The Foundation also manages donor-advised funds and restricted funds that donors establish to meet all their philanthropic needs, locally, across the United States, in Israel or around the world.
Investments are managed by Northern Trust and Republic Bank, and are overseen by the Investment Committee of the Jewish Foundation of Louisville, which is composed of volunteer leaders who lend their professional expertise in financial and estate planning areas to help the Foundation fulfill its mission of ensuring the continuity and strength of our Jewish community. Distributions adhere strictly to the spending policy approved by the JCL’s Finance Committee in 2010.
As of February 2014, the Foundation managed total assets of approximately $17 million. The Foundation’s Investment Committee uses a strategy focusing on providing a balanced return on investment with minimal risk. Consideration is giving to review the industries and entities we invest in.
Since 2002, more than 100 teens have made commitments to the B’nai Tzedek program. This initiative allows teens to establish their own endowment funds with monies received as gifts for their b’nai mitzvah along with small grants from the Lewis D. Cole B’nai Tzedek Fund. In 2013, this program was restructured. Participants’ contributions and matches from community donors are pooled. The participants engage in a yearlong program of learning how to be philanthropists. Participants in the original B’nai Tzedek program have been invited to add the money from their funds to the pool. Separate funds will be maintained for those who prefer that option.
Through the Lion of Judah Endowment Program (LOJE), women who make an annual gift of $5,000 or more to the Women’s Division of the Annual Campaign can provide for their “Lion” gifts to be made in their names forever. Eighteen women have already made this commitment to the community’s future and a number of other women and men have chosen to endow their Campaign commitments at other levels.
Endowment monies are also used to fund specific projects like supporting the “Facing History & Ourselves” Holocaust studies program at most local high schools; helping numerous students take part in educational opportunities in this country and in Israel; and bringing outstanding Jewish speakers to Louisville through the Goldstein Leibson Cultural Arts Fund. A Foundation grant also provided funds for the videotaping of Holocaust survivors testaments so their words could be preserved in perpetuity.
The Foundation co-sponsors the Trager Family Jewish Community Center’s Annual Jewish Film Festival of Louisville; supports continuing education for teachers in Jewish communal schools, provides Jewish summer camp experiences for youth in need and provides grants to children attending the national and international Maccabi Games. Several synagogues and temples have received matching funds from unrestricted endowment earnings to send their younger members to Israel and to help subsidize educational trips to Holocaust museums.
For the past few years, the Foundation also helped underwrite the Jewish Outreach project, which resulted in the creation of new projects. The highly successful Mother’s Circle, a program created by the National Jewish Outreach Institute to support women who are not Jewish but are committed to raising their children in the Jewish faith, is funded locally through a Foundation endowment established by the family of the late Buddy Schwartz. The PJ Library is part of a national program that mails free Jewish books or CDs each month to the homes of participating Jewish children. Thanks to funding from the Jewish Foundation of Louisville, The Stephen, Sandra and Donald Linker Family Fund and a grant from the Grinspoon Foundation, close to 400 children in our area are participating in the program.
Endowments and Second Century Funds have been established to provide for youth programming at the JCC, summer camp scholarships for children with special needs, support for State of Israel Bonds and community enrichment efforts.
A Division of the Jewish Community of Louisville
3600 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, KY 40205