Jewish Community of Louisville Together in Life, Learning and Leadership Fri, 29 May 2015 15:10:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ottenheimer Award Goes to Brown Fri, 22 May 2015 19:43:13 +0000 Read More >]]> Christy Brown-1colThe Jewish Community of Louisville Annual Meeting is a time for the community to come together to celebrate the volunteers who represent the very best in our community, to recognize the JCL’s accomplishments and to elect JCL Board members for the coming year. This year’s event will be Sunday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. at the JCC.

The highlight of the program is the presentation of the Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award to an individual who, through a lifetime of work, has made Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and even the nation, a better place. This year’s honoree, Christina (Christy) Lee Brown certainly fills the bill.

Her lifelong commitment to social responsibility and community service includes activities in the realms of interfaith relations, ecology, sustainability and human health. She founded the Center for Interfaith Relations and launched the Festival of Faiths.

“It is such a humbling and inspiring honor to be selected as the 2015 Ottenheimer Award recipient,” Brown said. “It fills my heart with joy to think of carrying the torch from such a distinguished list of loving civic leaders whom I greatly admired and many of whom mentored me such as Mayor Charles Farnsley, Mrs. Dan Byck, Mr. Barry Bingham, and Dr. Herbert Waller. Together we will pass the torch through understanding and cooperation with all segments for the benefit of the health of our community.”

A full profile of Brown will run in the June 26 edition of Community. The Ronald and Marie Abrams Volunteer of the Year Award will go to two stalwart Jewish Family & Career Services Food Pantry volunteers, Carole Goldberg and Linda Goodman.

Three young adults will be recognized for the leadership they provide throughout the community. Ross Cohen will receive the Lewis W. Cole Memorial Young Leadership Award and Scott Weinberg will receive the Joseph J. Kaplan Young Leadership Award. See story. The Julie E. Linker Community Relations Young Leadership Award will go to Jessica Goldstein for her efforts to make the world a better place. Her story ran in the April 24 edition of Community and can be found at For her volunteering with the senior adults, Rosita Kaplan will receive the Elsie P. Judah Award. Her story also ran on April 24.

The Arthur S. Kling Award this year goes to CenterStage Development and Outreach Manager Lenae McKee Price, whose dedication as a staff member is an example to all.

For Louisville’s Jewish high school students, BBYO offers opportunity for developing leadership skills, making lifelong friends, engaging in the practice of Jewish values and having fun along the way. This year, the Joseph Fink Community Service Scholarship goes to Elana Wagner, the Ellen Faye Garmon Award to Laina Meyerowitz and the Stacy Marks Nisenbaum Award to Bradley Schwartz. They were profiled in the April 24 edition of Community.

In this paper, check out graduating seniors who will receive Stuart Pressma Student Leadership Awards for participating in BBYO throughout their high school careers – Daniela Reuter, Michael Schwartz, Katie Segal and Emily Wolff. Also, new this year, Tony Levitan Awards for high school athletes will go to Peyton Greenberg and Josh Rudy.

Join the community in honoring these individuals and in electing JCL Board members and officers on Sunday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. at the JCC.

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Goodman, Goldberg Share Volunteer Recognition Fri, 22 May 2015 19:30:55 +0000 Read More >]]> The Jewish Family & Career Services Food Pantry has established itself as a reliable resource for the community. In fact, in March, Dare to Care recognized the JFCS Food Pantry as the Closed Pantry of the Year with the Bobby Ellis Award.

It takes an army of dedicated volunteers and donors to keep the Food Pantry working, and this year, the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Ron and Marie Abrams Volunteer of the Year Award goes to two of those dedicated, long-time volunteers, Carole Goldberg and Linda Goodman. The awards will be presented at the JCL Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center.

Long-time community leaders at the Jewish Federation of Louisville, in the annual Federation Campaign and with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (nationally) and the Jewish Community Relations Council (locally), Ronald and Marie Abrams established the Volunteer of the Year Award to recognize an individual whose life is defined by community service.

Goldberg and Goodman certainly fit into that category. These two friends volunteer at the JFCS Food Pantry every week and have been doing so for many years. “Thank G-d for all the wonderful people in our community who bring in food and cleaning supplies and keep our pantry full,” Goodman said.

In addition to keeping the pantry organized and ensuring that the stock is rotated regularly, they help organize fundraisers and recruit friends and family members as volunteers.

“It is wonderful to be able to provide a clean and dignified way for our clients to shop and choose items they need and want,” Goodman added. “A lost job, a health issue or any hiccup in life can change life in an instant. I think we are fortunate to be in a position to feed the hungry and help our fellow man in a respectful way.”

Both women had words of praise for JFCS Volunteer Coordinator Kim Toebbe and Executive Director Judy Freundlich Tiell. “Just walking into the building you feel like it is a big family,” Goodman said.

“I was shocked to hear that I, along with Carole Goldberg, was selected as the Ron and Marie Abrams Volunteer of the Year,” Goodman said. “It is hard to believe that I am being honored for doing things that I truly love to do and that bring me such joy. I am truly humbled.”

Goldberg agreed saying, “I’m astounded. We love it so much that we really shouldn’t be rewarded for it, … I was really just surprised and flattered.”

Carole Goldberg
Goldberg became active with the Food Pantry when she retired. She counted Goodman, Janet Meyer and Shelley Kahn among her friends, and they were all heavily involved in the Food Pantry, so she decided to it was something she wanted to do, too. She found it to be addictive and fun.

Born in Long Island, Goldberg lived in New Hampshire and Michigan before coming to Louisville. When she arrived, her children were in school and she needed something to do, so, for several years, she volunteered at the Jefferson County Law Library.

She also joined The Temple and got involved with the congregation’s Sisterhood. “One of the first things I did,” Goldberg said, “was the 5101 Gala Show,” a big and successful fundraiser. “I met a lot of wonderful people through Sisterhood,” she said.

More recently, she organized an art show and sale fundraiser at The Temple. She also enjoys participating in Chavurat Shalom.

Her first husband passed away in 1981, and several years later, she married Larry Goldberg. Until he retired, he was a thoracic surgeon, and for a while, she worked in his office. Later, she and her son-in-law, David Joels, ran a fire and police equipment business, Camp Safety of Louisville. She also worked in retail at Bacon’s for a while.

Now at the Food Pantry, she is involved in every aspect of its operation from organizing its Pizza Party fundraiser to its Bingo Bagels friend-raiser as well as ensuring that the pantry itself is stocked and organized. Goldberg says she’s also on the Doing Committee at The Temple, is a member of Hadassah and a lifetime member of National Council of Jewish Women.

Doing mitzvot has always been an important part of Goldberg’s life, and she is concerned that the younger generation won’t be as involved in volunteering. To give children the opportunity to engage in mitzvot with their families and get into the habit of volunteering, the Goldbergs created the Family Mitzvah Fund at JFCS. Several times a year, usually in conjunction with Jewish holidays, the fund supports a hands-on mitzvah program for families. This year, she hopes to recruit a committee of young women to help with the planning.

Goldberg’s grandchildren, Lori and Susan Joels, now 16 and 14 respectively, regularly participate in Family Mitzvah programs, and they can often be found lending a hand at the JFCS Food Pantry.

Both Goldberg and Goodman spend a lot of time talking about the Food Pantry to increase awareness and recruit additional volunteers to their cause. “We talk about it wherever we go,” she said. One thing she does is whenever she hosts a party at home, she asks her guests to bring a canned good rather than a hostess gift. Now other friends follow her example.

Her family includes her daughter, Rachel Shankman Joels and son-in-law, David Joels, and their children Lori and Susie; and a son, Jeff Shankman.

Linda Goodman
A native of Louisville and graduate of the University of Louisville, Goodman was a social worker for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When she married Steve Goodman, he was drafted and served in Korea. During that time, she volunteered with the Jewish Hospital Guild Gift Shop twice a week.

When their children were born, Goodman went to work in her husband’s family business, S. Goodman and Sons, a dealer in wool, hides, furs and roots, and one of the oldest Jewish family businesses in Louisville.

Goodman began her volunteer career early “as a young girl with the USO Junior Hostesses at the JCC, led by two lovely ladies, Doris Meyers and Annette Sagerman. We would make salami sandwiches and travel out to Ft. Knox to serve them to the soldiers after Shabbat services on Friday nights.” They would also host Saturday night dances at the JCC.

As a teen, Goodman wanted to join the clubs at the JCC, but, since she was rarely able to get to the JCC and the other girls didn’t know her, she wasn’t chosen by any club. “I was devastated,” she said, “but I vowed then that one day I would work within the club system and make sure that no girl was excluded again.”

She kept her promise and, along with Terry Weiss, became an advisor for L’Chaim BBG. During her eight years in that position, “things were changed so no girl was left out,” she said.

At the JCC, she also volunteered in the Children’s, Middle School and Teen Departments, at the JCC’s Bingo fundraisers, and, along with Minda Schwartz, was a leader of the JCC’s Girl Scout troop. She also served on the Membership Committee and the JCC Board.

“I was a charter member of Hillel,” Goodman recalled, and Rabbi Chester Diamond, then the new Rabbi in Town, was the advisor.

Following her marriage to Steve Goodman, she became active in The Temple, then Adath Israel, and remains so today. She worked in the Gift Shop, was a Cub Scout leader, and “served on every committee and held every office in the Sisterhood except president, which I refused,” she said. “I ran many a rummage sale and worked hard on 5101, which was one of the most successful fundraisers The Temple ever had.”

Goodman and Elaine Lerner served as co-presidents of Mizrachi Women. Today she is a life member of both The Temple Sisterhood (now Women of Reform Judaism) and National Council of Jewish Women.

She also tutored reading at Lowe Elementary School and was active in the school’s PTA, in which she held many offices. She also served both Lowe and The Temple Sunday School as room mother for her three children.

More recently, she volunteered at Bloom Elementary School, where her granddaughter, Shayna, is a student.

Goodman began volunteering with the JFCS Food Pantry soon after Shelley Kahn and Ruth Silon set it up. “I would go in one day a week and restock the shelves; and since that time, I have been sort of obsessed with being there and keeping the pantry straightened and full,” she said.

Goldberg started volunteering there a few years later and they soon became a team. “We work so well together and get lots done,” she said. “We are both kind of bossy and tell each other what to do, and neither of us listens to the other.

“Seriously,” she continued, “we are dear friends who are blessed to have so many other volunteers who work with us to keep the pantry going strong.”
Goodman’s volunteer work at JFCS has expanded to include driving for the Senior PALS program and writing up oral histories.

“I have always thought that volunteerism and family go hand-in-hand,” she continued. “I tried to volunteer where my children and grandchildren could be involved. I wanted my children to know how important it is to give back to your community so you can live in a good community, and we do. I also wanted them to know how much volunteering would enrich each of their lives as it has mine.”

The Goodmans have two daughters, Alyce Abraham and Stacy Grossman; a son, Seth; a son-in-law, Howard Abraham. Their two grandchildren, Aiden Grossman and Shayna Goodman, have volunteered at the Food Pantry many times. “The last time Aiden came to town and came to the pantry with me,” Goodman said, “he said, ‘Bubbi, you have the best job in the world.’ And I have to agree!”

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JCC Summer Camp Ready to Start Fri, 22 May 2015 19:26:37 +0000 Read More >]]> JCC Summer Camp is the place to tell your child’s summer story. JCC Summer Camp runs from June 8 until August 7. For the first time in recent history, a week of general camp was full before camp started.

“We spent a lot of time last year listening to parents, campers and staff,” said Betsy Schwartz, senior director of camp and youth services. “We made several changes to camp and tried to emphasize some of the things we do best in our marketing efforts.”

Points of emphasis include a transition into Kindergarten, Yachad (inclusion) camp that many parents felt was the best in the city. JCC Summer Camp also focused on the Jewish and swimming elements of camp. It also moved the end of camp back to 4 p.m. to make it easier on parents.

The efforts have worked. Camp enrollment is 14 percent higher than it was at this time last year. JCC Summer Camp also set a goal of increasing their average campers per week from last year’s total of 272 to 308 this year. Impressively, camp is already 82 percent of the way there and expects to top the goal.

“Our numbers continue to grow all summer,” said Schwartz. ”As kids have a great time, they want to keep coming back, and parents see the value of our program.”

Seven specialty camps already have waiting lists, and more are very close to capacity. Some of the specialty camps offered this year include The Mighty Titan Obstacle Course, Nutty Scientists, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Clash of Bricks, Wiley Brown Basketball Camp, Water World, Spotlight Youth Musical Theater and more. Children with special needs can join the fun, too, with our Yachad program.

The special Keff Grade K unit, designed specifically for preschoolers transitioning into kindergarten in the fall is also especially close to full, with less than 10 spaces available per week.

Morning carpool will run from 8:45-9:05 a.m. Afternoon carpool is scheduled for 3:45-4:05 p.m. for school-aged children. During these times, there will be more cars than normal in the parking lot, so please be patient.

Enrollment will continue throughout the summer as space allows. For more information or to enroll in JCC Summer Camp, visit

Housing is also needed for the Shaliach (emmisary from Israel) who will be working with JCC Summer Camp all season long. If your family is interested in helping house this summer, please contact Mike Steklof at 502-238-2774 or

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JCamp 180 Mentor Works with JCC Summer Camp Staff Fri, 22 May 2015 19:23:50 +0000 Read More >]]> Aron Goldman-1colThe Jewish Community Center’s Summer Camp is already seeing a huge increase in enrollment this year, and now it’s headed for even greater success, thanks to its being selected to participate in JCamp 180, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

The camp recently had its first visit with its new JCamp 180 mentor, Aron Goldman.

Goldman has worked for JCamp 180 for about a year and a half but has spent most of his career working in non-profit consulting. As a mentor, he works personally with camps and helps them professionalize their operation. “I visit camps and help them with organization and development, capacity building and back-end infrastructure,” Goldman said. “I work on growing enrollment and professionalizing camp.”

The organization does not do programming – that’s up to the camps themselves. “We help build sophisticated organizations,” he said.

“We got along with Aron very well, and all the camp staff are excited to see what he can help us improve,” said Betsy Schwartz, director of camp and youth services. “We have an excellent camp with an amazing parent committee here. But there’s always room to improve, and that’s what we want to continue to strive to do.”

Goldman said his initial finding in Louisville is that the camp is off to a good start by having a strong parent committee, but there’s still a lot that can be done.

Growing the connections with other JCC departments and engaging lay leadership are some priorities he’d like the JCC’s camp to work on.

JCamp 180 is a part of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which also funds PJ Library. The mission of JCamp 180 is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit camps and other organizations that engage young people in meaningful Jewish cultural and educational experiences.

The mentoring program is not time-limited, Goldman said, “so we have time to get to know each other. What I can offer is help with priorities and from there develop a plan.”

He was also very impressed with the JCL management’s commitment to camp. “Stu (Silberman) and Sara (Wagner) seem to be incredibly positive and excited about opportunities to grow the camp and professionalize it,” Goldman said. “My initial findings are that there’s incredible excitement throughout the JCL.”

Mike Steklof, assistant camp director, said the visit was very successful. “We are all on the same page with our plans for camp.”

Another benefit of the relationship with JCamp 180 is that the camp leaders will be able to connect with other camp leadership. “It’s a way to have exposure to what peers are doing all over the country. It prevents isolation, and helps with best practices and gives leading edge strategies. “They’ll have exposure on the national level and we like to highlight exciting things.”

The JCC’s summer camp is a fun-filled time of learning and summer excitement. This year, the camp offers many options for specialty camps, including sports, swimming, Legos, science and theater. Camp will foster self-esteem and help campers develop their understanding of, and an appreciation for, the world in which we live at camp, at home and in the greater community. We believe that all campers can participate, all campers can succeed and all campers can make a new friend.

Camp starts June 8. Several weeks of camp are already full, so sign up for camp today at

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Jewish Hospital Partners with the Louisville Vaad Haskashruth Fri, 22 May 2015 19:19:21 +0000 Read More >]]> Nadia Siritsky-tnWhen I think about what it means to live a Jewish life, I think of the word “halachah.” While this is translated as Jewish law, the word is related to the Hebrew verb “to walk.” The rabbis teach that what we do, and how we do it, matters deeply.

Fundamentally, halachah is a question of integrity. Do we journey through this world in such a way as to make G!d’s Presence visible? Integrity is one of our core values at KentuckyOne Health. We define it as “doing the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason.”

Halachah guides how we live in this world and whether or not it is “kosher.” The word “kosher” technically refers to our complex rules of eating and food preparation, which is grounded in the Torah. However, several years ago, Rabbi Arthur Waskow asked: What if this term came to also refer to “a broader sense of ‘good practice’ in everyday life that draws on the deep well-springs of Jewish wisdom and tradition about the relationships between human beings and the earth?”

Whether we call it halachah, kashrut or integrity, this is what G!d demands of all of us. Jewish Hospital has embraced this mandate, and is working to translate this Torah into action, every day. This core value connects our living Jewish values to the Catholic and academic heritages that are also a part of our proudly diverse KentuckyOne Health family. We share a commitment to service, which in Judaism we call “tikkun olam” – the healing of the world.

At Jewish Hospital, our commitment to kashrut is not only metaphorical. We are partnering with the Louisville Vaad Hakashruth to expand the Kosher certified food options available to the Louisville community. We are expanding our kosher meal offerings and will be serving these in our Chestnut Café, providing food, not only for patients who request it, but also for staff, family members and the general public.

This expansion of kosher food options, along with our extensive Judaica selections in our hospital gift shop and our celebration of Shabbat and Jewish holidays, are just a few of the many ways that Jewish Hospital has been working to renew and reaffirm its proud Jewish identity and heritage.
Jewish Hospital has always striven to be a safe and healing environment for all people, pioneering racially and religiously integrated care in this community, and embodying the justice principles that are at the core of our faith. Therefore, I am proud that, alongside the expanded kosher food options that we are beginning to provide, we are also able to be a leader in serving the religious diversity of all of our patients, staff and families, by ensuring that we have halal food available as well.

We know, only too well, how important it is to have our religious values and halachic needs respected. The Torah commands us, again and again, that we should remember our experience as strangers in Egypt, and that it should inform how we treat those around us.

Rabbi Hillel taught: “What is hateful to you, do not do to any other. This is the whole Torah.” As we renew and strengthen our Jewish identity at Jewish Hospital, it is very important to me that we do so in a way that respects all of G!d’s children.

May the peace, reverence and healing that we seek to create here be one that expands to our whole community and our whole world. May every act of tikkun bring peace from on high, until our whole world can experience peace and feel respected.

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Young Leadership Awards Go to Cohen, Weinberg Fri, 22 May 2015 19:17:04 +0000 Read More >]]> The Jewish Community of Louisville has announced that in 2015, the Lewis W. Cole Memorial Young Leadership Award will go to Ross Cohen and the Joseph J. Kaplan Young Leadership Award will go to Scott Weinberg. They will be presented at the JCL’s Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m., at the JCC. The community is invited.

The awards, which recognize young adults who have been active in Louisville’s Jewish community and have taken on leadership roles, include a scholarship for the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly. This gathering of several thousand Jewish leaders from across North America has a young leadership track designed to enhance their leadership skills.

Ross Cohen-1colRoss Cohen
“I was excited and a little surprised and humbled that Stu (Silberman) would consider me” for this award, Ross Cohen said. “I look forward to being able to work on my leadership skills and I look forward to the GA.” A Louisville native, Cohen is an attorney with Bingham Greenebaum Doll. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Kentucky, his law degree from the University of Louisville, and a masters in tax law from New York University.

“I’m a partner in the firm now,” he explained, “and I recently became the co-chair of the federal tax team within the firm.”

Cohen has also served as chair of the Louisville Bar Association’s Tax Section and chair and an officer of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Tax Section.

As a teen, Cohen and his family belonged to The Temple. He was involved in BBYO and attended the High School of Jewish Studies.

When he returned to Louisville, he began volunteering with the Jewish Federation. “I helped with the merger of the Federation and the Jewish Community Center,” he said, “and was involved in all the legal aspects of it and preparing the documents.”

He also worked on the JCL’s bylaws, and continues to review the language whenever the Board amends the document. “It was a big job,” he said, “but it was rewarding … helping a great organization.” Cohen also serves on the JCL’s Finance and Foundation Committees.

Helping the JCL is really just an extension of what Cohen does in his job, where he works with many nonprofit organizations “trying to apply for tax exempt status with the IRS and I advise them on general best practices,” he said. “It’s a rewarding part of my job.”

“I’ve done pro bono work for many nonprofits,” he continued. “I helped form and get tax exempt status for a legal-medical partnership” that brings doctors and lawyers together to help the underserved.

Cohen and his wife, Shannon, have an 8-month-old daughter, Elin. His parents are Joe and Trish Cohen.

Scott Weinberg-1colScott Weinberg
“I was really surprised when Stu Silberman called” to tell Weinberg that he is the recipient of the Lewis W. Cole Young Leadership Award. “I certainly wasn’t expecting to win any sort of award because I really haven’t been all that connected recently with JCL. I’ve really focused my energy almost solely on KI.”

Weinberg, like Cohen, is a native Louisvillian and an attorney. With his father, David Weinberg, who was a professional with the Jewish Federation, and his mother, Beverly Weinberg, an active community volunteer and KI Sunday School principal, he had excellent role models.

He also credits Peter Anik as being a significant role model in his life, and Alan Engel and Sara Wagner as being very supportive of his involvement in the community.

Scott Weinberg said, “I grew up at the JCC. I started off as a camper and I feel like I lived here during my teen years because I was so involved with BBYO.” One year, he even served as Teen Topics editor for Community.
“I got a lot out of BBYO,” he added, “and I credit a lot of my involvement in the Jewish community today to BBYO. I think it’s essential to the wellbeing of the Jewish community here, and I’m glad to see that it seems to be on the uptick these days.”

Weinberg also participated in the March of the Living, a teen trip to the death camps in Poland for Yom HaShoah and Israel for Yom Ha’atzmaut, while he was in high school. “I’m very grateful to the community for was sending me on the March of the Living,” he said. “It was a seminal event in my life.”

As a result, he continued, “I’ve always been involved in Holocaust remembrance events,” including Yom HaShoah.

Weinberg attended Emory University, where he was very active with Hillel and served two terms as its president. While there, he “took a class with Deborah Lipstadt, who is a preeminent Holocaust educator.” The story of Lipstadt’s challenge to Holocaust denier David Irvine and his suit against her is now going to be made into a movie, Weinberg noted, and Hilary Swank will play Lipstadt.

He returned to Louisville for law school and then worked for Frost Brown Todd for five years. While here, he served as a BBYO advisor for over 10 years. He is still in touch on Facebook with many people who were active in BBYO at that time.

After a brief sojourn in Chicago, he and his wife, Hunter, returned to Louisville shortly after their first daughter was born so they could raise their daughter here. When they returned, he resumed his activity in the Jewish community, serving on “a lot of different committees and a lot of different Boards.”

He previously served on the Jewish Community Center Board for several years, and, later, co-chaired the JCL’s Young Leadership Development (YLD) program with Shannon Levine Benovitz. He also chaired the JCL’s Strategic Planning Programming Committee.

Weinberg is also a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council and is very supportive of the outreach, education and advocacy work they do. In recent years, however, his other responsibilities have kept him from being an active member of the group.

He and his wife have attended many Young Adult Division events, and he has been a Super Sunday and YAD Campaign volunteer. One year Scott Weinberg and Julie Strull planned an Olympics-style YAD event, and, for the 2015 Federation Campaign, Hunter Weinberg co-chaired the main event with Seth Gladstein.

Today his focus is on Keneseth Israel Congregation, where he is vice president of operations and is on the slate to be elected president at the shul’s Annual Meeting next month.

“I’m really excited about and grateful for that opportunity,” Weinberg said. “I like the direction that KI’s heading.” He knows that serving as a congregational president is going “to take a lot of time,” he added, “but I feel it’s the natural progression from BBYO to Hillel to additional involvement in the community.”

He particularly enjoys KI’s Family Mitzvah series. For the first program, “we went to the Glenview and put together Purim baskets for the Jewish residents,” whatever their synagogue affiliation, Weinberg explained. “We did arts and crafts and had some of the residents of the Glenview come down to the party room and we sang some songs for them. For the residents who didn’t come down to the room, the kids in the group hand delivered Purim baskets to them.”

“We also just served dinner at the Volunteers of America Emergency Shelter a couple of weeks ago,” he continued. “So, I’m really excited about that and a lot of people want to see that type of programming in the community.”
With young daughters, he has served as the congregation’s liaison to the preschool.

Weinberg is also very interested in starting a new community Jewish Day School in Louisville. Some initial surveys have been done and visits to other communities with Jewish day schools are underway.

There have also been meetings with parents of children who might attend and with the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence. He is hopeful a school can be started with the first grade in the fall of 2016, and will continue adding a grade each year through elementary school.

“The response has been pretty positive,” he said. “I’m very excited to see where that leads and I’ve been involved pretty significantly in trying to pull that together.”

Professionally, when Weinberg returned to Louisville, he joined Lynch, Cox, Gilman & Mahan, now Lynch, Cox, Gilman and Goodman. Today, he is a partner in the firm and does estate planning, business organizations work and tax work. He is also licensed in Florida and is helping to grow the firm’s practice there.

“It’s been a great fit,” he said. “Shelly [Gilman] has really been a true mentor and has been great to work with. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with him and Ed Weinberg, and I really enjoy the work.”
The Weinbergs have three daughters: Anne Miriam, 7; Eloise, 4; and Beatrice, 2.

“I’m happy to be involved in the Jewish community and honored for the award,” he said. “We’ll see where it leads.”

Lewis W. Cole Memorial Young Leadership Award
Lewis W. Cole was one of the organizers of the Conference of Jewish Organizations (the predecessor to the Jewish Federation) and a committed volunteer for the annual Federation Campaign. He devoted his life to the Louisville Jewish community.

Joseph J. Kaplan Young Leadership Award
Joseph J. Kaplan was a devoted member of the community who was a leader in Jewish education and the served as president of the Yount Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), the predecessor of the Jewish Community Center, and was instrumental in its relocation to Dutchmans Lane. He often encouraged people to remember the Jewish community in their wills. The Award was established during his lifetime and continues today in honor of his memory.

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Price to Receive Arthur S. Kling Award Fri, 22 May 2015 19:14:26 +0000 Read More >]]> Lenae-Price-tn-2When you talk with Lenae McKee Price about CenterStage and the Jewish Community Center, her whole face lights up and her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. She’s eager to tell you what makes this place special. It is evident in the results she gets as CenterStage development and outreach manager.

That is why Price will receive the 2015 Arthur S. Kling Award at the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. Price began working at the JCC in 2012, and has been making a difference ever since. She develops and implements comprehensive fundraising, marketing and outreach campaigns to engage program participants, community partners and donors for CenterStage’s main stage shows and education programs.

During her tenure, CenterStage’s corporate sponsorships have increased 733 percent; individual donations are up 1,174 percent; season subscriptions have increased by 271 percent and the number of Acting Out school performances is up by 400 percent.

These results, Price insists, are “the result of the collaborative efforts of the entire CenterStage staff and committee. … We wouldn’t see numbers like this without John’s [Leffert] hard-lined commitment to producing professional quality productions and the dedication of the hardest working committee in Louisville, the CenterStage Board of Directors.

“I’m more emotional than I thought I would be,” about receiving the Kling Award, she said. “Obviously I’m honored. To me it feels particularly special because it’s just nice to know that the love and commitment that I have for the JCC as a whole is being reciprocated.

“I always feel welcomed and appreciated here,” she continued, “and this is just a very significant sign of that. It’s nice to know that when you put your heart fully into something, it shows.”

Wherever she goes, Price talks up CenterStage and the JCC, and she loves bringing new people into the building. “You don’t have to spin anything,” she says because her experience is always so positive. “That makes the job easier.”

She also likes working with other JCC staff members. “Everyone’s always very welcoming to outside ideas,” she said, “and it doesn’t ever feel territorial.”

Earlier this year, she also had the opportunity to participate in the JCC Association’s Israel Enhancement program. She came back to energized and full of ideas about how to incorporate more about Israel into many aspects of programming at Louisville’s JCC.

Price graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee in 2008. Her passion for the non-profit world began in college as she developed and managed various initiatives and lobbying efforts as the project coordinator for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

After graduation Price moved to New York City where she worked for Long Island’s most effective non-profit business advocacy organization, Action Long Island. Initially hired as director of development, she greatly increased membership, board participation, corporate sponsorship and brought the organization a surplus of media attention, new and renewed interest from the community and support from elected officials. Within one year, she was promoted to executive director of Action Long Island.

Price founded the Young Adult Alliance, a coalition of organizations, companies, and individuals working to engage, educate, and mobilize young professionals in the region.

In 2011, Price was honored at the “30 Under 30” Celebration of Long Island’s Young Professionals and received special recognition from Congressman Steve Israel for her work in the community.

Price never left her passion for theater behind. In New York City, she served on the Board of Directors of Roots and Wings Theatrical and continued to participate in numerous productions as a performer, director and producer.

“I have recently been able to get back into my personal artistic outlet,” she said, “doing theater again, which has been nice. One of the perks of working for a theater and in a flexible atmosphere is, I still have the opportunity to do things that make me happy outside of the JCC. That’s been really exciting.”

Price has returned to the stage, performing at the Bard’s Town. Last year she appeared in Collected Stories, and later this summer, she will perform in Other Desert Cities.

“It’s been surprising that there’s this whole other world of theater people that aren’t musical theater people but are still very dedicated to the theater world,” she said. “It’s been nice to meet new people and be able to bring them over into the CenterStage activities and to put myself into their activities. I feel like the community expanded exponentially by just putting my toe in the water with other theater companies.”

Price met her husband, Jordan Price, in New York, and in 2011, she brought her Yankee husband down South so she could take a position as director of development and marketing at Kentucky Shakespeare.

Jordan Price, who is also an actor, has become a regular member of the CenterStage company.

The Prices have a daughter, Billie, who is enrolled in the JCC’s Early Learning Center, so, Lenae Price says, “I try to participate in that program as much as possible. I try to go to any and all JCC events.”
“We’ve really made a life here,” she said. “Billie participates in all of the programming between preschool and summer camp, and Jordan’s in a lot of the shows every year. I feel like I live here but it doesn’t bother me at all. If you have to live somewhere, it may as well be a place like the JCC.”

Arthur S. Kling Award
The Kling Award honors the memory of Arthur S. Kling who was a prominent leader in the Jewish community, serving as president of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), the predecessor of the JCC, and on many of its committees. He was among the leaders instrumental in establishing the JCC on Dutchmans Lane. He was also instrumental in establishing the Bureau of Jewish Education and the Conference of Jewish Organizations, which ran the United Jewish Campaign.

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Pressma and Levitan Awards Will Go to Outstanding Teens Fri, 22 May 2015 19:12:37 +0000 Read More >]]> Each year, the Jewish Community of Louisville recognizes teens who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills in BBYO throughout their high school experiences with the Stuart Pressma Leadership Development Awards. This year, Pressma Awards will go to Daniela Reuter, Michael Schwartz, Katie Segal and Emily Wolff.

The Pressma Awards were created to honor the memory of Stuart Pressma, an influential young leader who deeply valued leadership development. In addition to recognizing the leadership and achievements of these students, Pressma Awards include college scholarships.

The Tony Levitan Awards are new this year. They go to athletes who demonstrate outstanding traits, character and leadership, but are not necessarily tied to athletic performance. The Levitan awards include scholarships. This year, the award winners are Peyton Greenberg and Josh Rudy.

The Pressma and Levitan awards will be presented at the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 14, 9:30 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center. The community is invited.

Tony Levitan Awards

Peyton Greenberg

Peyton Greenberg, 18, just finished her senior year at duPont Manual High School, where she was on the swim team. She will swim at Northwestern University next year, where she was awarded a scholarship.

“I really enjoy my Jewish community. They’ve supported me throughout my sports career,” she said.

Greenberg swam on the Standard Country Club’s swim team when she was younger. She also competed in the 2013 Maccabiah games in Netanya, Israel, bringing home the gold in the 200-meter breaststroke and the silver in both the 100-meter breaststroke and a relay.

She has also loved her time with BBYO in the Jay Levine BBG chapter.
“I wasn’t able to put in as much time with BBYO as I would have liked because of swimming, but they were like another family to me. They’re great people to be around,” she said.

The award will help her achieve her goals in college.

“I’m extremely grateful for this award because it will help me in my future ambitions, and it also connects me with the JCC for the rest of my life.”
While Greenberg is undecided on her major, she is thinking of majoring in foreign affairs and French.

Peyton is the daughter of Richard and Deborah Greenberg, and the granddaughter of Judy and Norton Greenberg. “My grandparents have been a huge influence on my life,” she said. Her siblings are Lexie and Chris Cunningham, Aaron Kemper, Chan Jones and Ryan Greenberg. She’s a member of The Temple.

Josh Rudy

Josh Rudy, 18, just graduated from St. Xavier High School and will attend Miami University of Ohio this fall.

He played varsity basketball, and is thinking of trying out to be a walk-on for Miami’s basketball team. He worked summers at the JCC as a lifeguard, and was on the JCC’s Gators swim team for six years.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a Jewish athlete and for making a difference,” Rudy said. “Especially at St. X, it’s unusual for that to happen. It’s kind of cool being the only one.”

Josh also participated in the Maccabi games in Omaha, where his grandmother lives.

His parents are Susan and Lewis Rudy, and his brother is Adam. He is a member of Adath Jeshurun.

Stuart Pressma Leadership Development Awards

Daniela Reuter

Daniela Reuter, 18, is graduating from Ballard High School, and will attend Miami of Ohio next year, majoring in mathematics.

“BBYO has been the place where I’ve found all my best friends, and they will be my best friends forever,” Reuter said. She has served on the board of Jay Levine BBG and has helped plan regional events. Two years ago, she and Elana Wagner coordinated J-Serve, a teen day of community service.

Through BBYO, she said, “I’ve definitely found a much stronger appreciation for being Jewish, and it is now the most important thing in my life. I’m religious now, I know my prayers say them and believe them and it’s definitely impacted my life a lot.

“Not only with that, but BBYO helped me come out of my shell. I’ve never been quiet,” she added, “but I’ve never been so free to be who I am. They’ve helped me become a leader. … I’m grateful for everything they’ve done for me and the rest of Louisville.”

Daniela also works with young children at Keneseth Israel Preschool and lends a hand from time to time at the Jewish Community Center, helping with family gym and J-Play in the summer.

“I’m very thankful for this award. I’ve done a lot for BBYO, and BBYO has done a lot for me,” Reuter said. “This award is the icing on the cake of my time with BBYO.”

Her parents are Eugene and Diana, and she has a sister, Maja. They are members of Adath Jeshurun.

Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz, 18, just graduated from Kentucky Country Day School and is going on to Indiana University to study business.

He’s been involved with BBYO since the eighth grade, and said he looked forward to it because his older brother was involved.

His now good friend Ben Koby invited him to a Bowling outing, and he “fell in love with it. The people and making connections are why I love it.”
He said he also loves the Judaic aspect of BBYO. “It’s helped me learn about myself and grow as a Jewish person.”

He’s held several leadership positions within BBYO, including Moreh (vice president for recruitment), S’gan (vice president) and Schliach (vice president for Judaism).

This will be his 10th year in camp at B’nai B’rith Beber Camp, in Mukwonago, WI, but this time he’s going as an employee – a fishing specialist.

“I don’t like to brag about myself, but I’m happy I was recognized for doing something good for the community,” Schwartz said. “It’s nice that my hard work paid off.”

He said he wants to thank the Jewish Community for giving him an awesome four years of high school and BBYO.

“I’m glad that I could give others in BBYO a good experience,” he said. “I hope to inspire young Jewish people to get more involved.”

His parents are Tom and Barbara Schwartz, and his siblings are Melissa and Robert. They are members of The Temple.

Katie Segal

Katie Segal, 17, is graduating from duPont Manual High School, and will attend the University of Kentucky in the fall. She will major in business administration with a minor in Jewish studies, which she attributes to her time in BBYO.

“BBYO has been a safe place for me to meet new friends and it has gotten me a lot closer to my Judaism. It has led me to minor in Jewish studies at UK,” she said.

Segal has been president of Jay Levine BBG, and the chapter was named Chapter of the Year under her leadership. Last fall, she coordinated the regional convention in Indianapolis, and it went well, she said.
“I’m really honored to be picked out of a lot of applicants for this award, and I’m fortunate to have received it.”

Katie is the daughter of Joanne Weeter and Martin Segal. They are members of The Temple.

Emily Wolff

Emily Wolff, 18, is graduating from Louisville Collegiate School and attending University of Cincinnati in the fall. Before she goes, she will spend her summer working as a climbing specialist for Beber Camp, which she has attended every summer for 10 years.

She was recruited to BBYO by Natalia Lipp and fell in love with it. “I don’t have any sisters, and joining Jay Levine BBG was like gaining 20 sisters.”

She has served on her chapter board and as a regional chair. “For a lot of kids, BBYO and Jewish camp are the only way they feel connected to their Judaism,” Wolff said. “I got to show younger girls ways to connect with their Judiasm and that doesn’t have to be in the same way their parents tell them.”

She helped organize events and bonding sessions at conventions.
“At the conventions we had sessions on studying Torah portions or meditation, so there were different options for everyone,” she said. She said that BBYO has helped her overcome obstacles.

“I was really shy when I joined BBYO, and now I’m not,” she said. “BBYO changed me for the better. I love public speaking now, and I was on the honor board at school for four years.”

She is thankful she was able to win this prestigious award.
“What I like about this award is that I served in a couple of positions, but for a lot of things I just lent a hand. I didn’t have to have a label for a position to get the award.”

Emily is the daughter of Jonathan and Steffi Wolff, and she has three brothers Aaron, Isaac and Levi. They are members of Adath Jeshurun.

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Stu Silberman: Recapping Five Years at the JCL Fri, 22 May 2015 19:09:07 +0000 Read More >]]> Stu_Silberman_pinktie_tn (2)Stu Silberman has announced his resignation from the JCL after five years as its president and CEO.

Under Silberman’s leadership the JCL has transformed from an agency in crisis to a high performing integrated model of Jewish communal leadership that has become a framework upon which other communities are basing similar strategies.

Applying principles and best practices from the corporate sector, Silberman directed the restructuring of the JCL’s basic operating procedures, staff development and recognition, financial controls, marketing strategies, member experiences and donor relationships.

“Stu is leaving us in a good place,” said JCL Board Chair Karen Abrams, whom Silberman encouraged to take on additional lay leadership responsibilities in preparation for becoming board chair.

“He took us from the brink of financial disaster to a better financial position,” she continued. “We still have a way to go, but our JCC operations are making money.”

Silberman consolidated all Federation staff to underused space in the JCC building, then led many significant upgrade projects including: construction of the lobby lounge and upgrade to the Patio Gallery, the 2011 GE Volunteers project that created the intergenerational garden and gaga pit and addressed many maintenance needs throughout the building, and replacement of many roofs, HVAC units and other capital repairs made possible through the agency’s improved financial performance.

Most recently Silberman led a successful building improvements campaign with funding matched by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence (JHFE) that led to beautiful upgrades to the men’s and women’s locker rooms, increased security measures, improved play spaces for children, numerous improvements throughout the building and the construction of an ADA-compliant entrance ramp that will beautify the main entrance and also provide for safe ingress/egress for all. The JCL and JHFE have forged a strong working relationship that provides Jewish identity-building programming to the community.

Silberman’s fundraising efforts included working with lay leaders and staff to launch the Uniquely Jewish Event Series featuring Jews and bourbon, guns, comedy, baking and other fun events that educated more community members about the work of Federation. He led the selection and upgrade of the donor management system that, along with hard work by the volunteers and staff including this year’s Campaign Chair Doug Gordon, resulted a five percent year-over-year increase in the 2015 Federation Campaign. Silberman’s personal stewardship led to several significant new and increased gifts.

The JCL also employed a grant writer and benefitted from funding from many sources that previously were unknown to the agency. The newly renamed Jewish Foundation of Louisville, led by a strong committee of volunteers, has relaunched Community Impact Grants enabling bona fide Jewish agencies to expand their existing programs and create new ones.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) launched community-wide supplemental campaigns supporting Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, Jews in need in Ukraine and for humanitarian support in Nepal. The JCRC’s Israel advocacy and interfaith relations efforts are at an all-time high, and the highly attended rally in support of the Jewish community in France, planned with the Louisville Board of Rabbis and Cantors, helped students in all three community Hebrew schools understand the dangers of anti-Semitism prevalent in Europe.

On the business operations side, the JCL has completed market assessments across all lines of business, aligning competitive pricing and ensuring value exceeds competitive offerings, and also implemented new technologies and procedures resulting in 50 percent growth in program income over the past five years.

Jewish programming has also been significantly increased, thanks in large part to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sara Wagner, supported by a strong program cabinet. The newly hired Early Learning Center director is infusing Jewish content throughout the curriculum. The day camp is at record levels of enrollment. The recently launched J Forty-Fivers for 4th and 5th graders provides fun development opportunities for Jewish youth throughout the community, and adds to an already successful Teen Connection program for 6th- 8th graders.

The BBYO program has grown to 128 participants and is attracting national attention for its success. Most recently Louisville sent a large teen delegation to Atlanta to participate in their International Convention where they met Jewish peers from around the country and the world. After a seven year hiatus, Louisville resumed sending teens to the JCCA Maccabi games. Louisville has continued to increase participation in the Partnership2Gether program, and this past March hosted the US-based steering committee introducing our peers to our JCC and other agencies and congregations.

CenterStage, the JCC’s performing arts program led by a very strong volunteer base and dedicated staff, has expanded operations to include new programs taking place at the JCC and in public schools throughout the community. Through investment where others might have cut, the program has turned around and is now significantly contributing to the bottom line as well as serving an important outreach function bringing many first-timers into the JCC.

Silberman systematically implemented steps to address the inadvertent naming confusion caused when the JCL was launched, including leading the effort to reintroduce and strengthen the Federation brand. Now the JCL is gearing up for a brand update on the JCC side as well, consistent with the new national guidelines.

In addition to streamlining operations, Abrams said, “he has made a special effort to collaborate with all the agencies, synagogues and rabbis and cantors and that has been greatly appreciated.”

He has also met regularly with past presidents and ensured that the building blocks are in place for the JCL’s future.

“Stu has also made us aware of what our national associations can offer us,” Abrams stated.” Early on in his tenure Silberman enrolled Louisville in JCCA benchmarking. The initial results placed the Louisville JCC among the bottom of our peer cities. Rather than being disheartened, Silberman embraced the bad news initially delivered. Through systematic investment in staff, program content and prudent facility upgrades, the JCC has raised performance across the board – a rare accomplishment according to JCCA – and now exceeds the national average for JCCs of all sizes in key areas such as Jewish engagement. Staff morale has improved greatly and the results are visible throughout the agency.

Silberman continuously looks for ways to increase staff satisfaction by helping them advance in their careers. “Stu has helped send a lot of our staff to national conferences like the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly and JCC Association meetings including the Biennial,” Abrams pointed out. “Most recently, he sent a staff member to Israel for the first time. She came back extremely energized. Staff really appreciates these opportunities for continuing education and Stu’s been instrumental in this.”

Silberman took his own Jewish identity and learning seriously, setting aside the time to enroll in the Florence Melton School of Adult Education, a program he personally helped relaunch.

As a result of the JCL’s considerable accomplishments and increased participation with supporting agencies, the JCL has garnered national attention, including from other communities.

Silberman will join the Minneapolis Jewish Federation as their CEO this summer. “The Executive Committee and Board are thankful to Stu for leaving us in such a good position,” Abrams concluded, “and we are working as we speak for the future.” “We wish him the best in his new endeavors,” she added. The community is invited to a farewell gathering on Thursday, June 11, from 5-7 p.m. at the JCC.

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JCRC | May 22, 2015 Fri, 22 May 2015 19:07:07 +0000 Read More >]]> This week in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, Yom Yerushalayim is celebrated, commemorating the miraculous Israeli victory in the Six Day War. Prior to the war, Jews were forbidden from visiting their holy sites in the Old City and the Jewish quarter of the old city was destroyed following the Israeli independence war of 1948.

Following the war, Jews once again returned to the eastern part of the city, prayed at the Western wall, tearing down the barrier that separated the Western part of the city for 19 years. Every Israeli prime minister since has vowed that, in light of the historic return of Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem, the city will remain under Jewish control and never again be divided.

As the capital city of the State of Israel and the historic capital of the Jewish people, we should all take pride when the city shines – and it is shining. It has become a modern city, with modern malls and trendy restaurants, world class shopping, beautiful parks and a new first-rate light rail system. It might not be growing as fast as Tel Aviv, but there is new construction visible in lots of places in Jerusalem.

But things are not perfect in our holy city. The Arab areas of East Jerusalem are often not high on the list of civic priorities. East Jerusalem does not see that fantastic growth and beauty that other areas of the city are accustomed to. The Arab citizens of East Jerusalem (and many of them are citizens of the state and all of them are at the very least permanent residents) often feel marginalized and discriminated against.

For Jerusalem to be a shining example of our national pride, ALL citizens need to share in its wonders – Arabs, Haredim, seculars and everyone else. While it might be too much to ask Arabs to celebrate Yom Yershalayim instead of lamenting it, our hope and prayer for our united, holy, eternal capital should be a city all of its residents can take pride in.

We Were Immigrants, Too

This month we saw horrible scenes on TV of tens of thousands of migrants from Africa risking their very lives in trying to get to Europe.

Men, women and children cram into small boats and cross the Mediterranean for the faint hope of freedom – a very tragic situation for all. It should remind us of the perilous journey our fellow Jews have taken throughout the ages in their own search for a better life.

This week, we honor five outstanding immigrants to our country and our city at JFCS’s MOSAIC Swards and, considering our communal history, it is very Jewish to care for, about, and to honor immigrants. Jews have been kicked out of so many countries in our history. I believe that is why we make exemplary citizens of the countries that have given us a home.

JFCS’s work with immigrants continues a long line of Jewish support for immigrants, with Jewish Federations and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society continuing their historic roles in helping immigrants, both Jewish and non-Jewish. We should continue to lend our time, finances and energy to these organizations, continuing the work of which our ancestors were most certainly thankful beneficiaries.
Israel in Nepal

Subsequent to the horrific earthquake to strike the country of Nepal, many nations around the world have sent both relief teams and supplies to help alleviate the suffering. But no country sent more aid than Israel.
Over 250 Israeli doctors and rescue personnel were sent to Nepal, setting up a field hospital with an emergency room, operating rooms and recovery rooms. As was the case when Israel dispatched an aid team to Haiti after their earthquake, several babies were born there.

Israel is a small country and does not have a lot of resources, but it has an expertise in this kind of work and an uncommon generosity to make every effort to alleviate suffering.

The Jewish Federations of North America, through the Joint Distribution Committee, have also sent teams and supplies. Much still needs to be done. If you would like to make a donation to help with the recovery work, please visit

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