Jewish Community of Louisville Together in Life, Learning and Leadership Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:58:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Weather Forces some Film Festival Showings to be Rescheduled Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:11:35 +0000 Read More >]]> This year’s Louisville Jewish Film Festival is well underway, and there have been several exciting events. Four films remain to be shown, so make your plans now.

Zero Motivation, a zany, cynical comedy about three young women doing their mandatory service in the IDF, will be shown on Saturday, February 22, at 7:30 at the Village 8.

The Jewish Cardinal, a drama based on the true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger who remained culturally a Jew after converting to Catholicism at a young age, will be shown on Sunday, February 22, at 2 p.m. at The Village 8.

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, had to be rescheduled due to heavy snow on Monday, February 16. It has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. at The Temple. The film, which won Best Feature at the Jerusalem Film Festival, tells the story of an Israeli woman seeking a divorce from her estranged husband and the trials she undergoes when her husband refuses her request. This presentation will be followed by a dessert reception.

24 Days, was scheduled to be shown Thursday night, but had to be cancelled due to the extreme cold. It will be rescheduled, but information was not yet available when Community went to press. Watch the Community Weekly Update for more information.

Tickets for each of the remaining shows are $8.50 in advance or $10 at the door. Student tickets are $6. Tickets can be purchased at JCC or at the venue one hour prior to the film.

On Saturday, February 7, the Louisville Jewish Film Festival teamed up with CenterStage for a gala celebration of CenterStage’s 100th anniversary and the Jewish Community Center’s 125th anniversary.

The sold-out crowd of more than 250 enjoyed a decadent dessert reception in the JCC lobby then filled the auditorium for audio and visual treats. CenterStage Artistic Director John Leffert announced the lineup for the 2015-16 season then emceed as six popular members of the CenterStage company took the stage to present some of their favorite pieces from seasons past. Melissa Shepherd reprised “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific; Jason Cooper sang “A Corner of the Sky” from Pippin; Emily Fields did “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods, and was then joined by her husband, Monty Fields for “Our Children” from Ragtime. Jordan Price previewed “Fight the Dragon” from Big Fish and Pete Lay rounded out the live performance with “Willkommen” from Cabaret.

The evening wrapped up with the Film Festival showing of Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, which detailed how Jewish artists successfully built the genre.

Other highlights of the festival included the showing of Dancing Arabs, based on the book of the same name by Sayed Kashua. Kashua was in Louisville earlier that week to speak as part of the Jewish/Israeli Author Series. The film was presented by The Eye Care Institute and Dr. Ranen Omer-Sherman, the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence Chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Louisville, introduced the film and led a discussion afterward.

The Temple hosted a showing of two short student films from the Maale School of Television, Film and Arts and a dessert reception on February 9, and Rabbi David Ariel-Joel was the moderator. Adath Jeshurun hosted a showing of Above and Beyond, a documentary by Nancy Spielberg about establishment of the Israeli Air Force in 1948, and a dessert reception on February 15.

This year’s festival also included special private showings of two films, one for the High School of Jewish Studies and the other for Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad students.

The Jewish Film Festival is made possible by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, The Eye Care Institute, The Ann and Coleman Friedman Fund for Judaic Activities, the Robert I. Lerman Family Fund and The Temple.
Moderators at other films were Keren Benabou, Lee Shai Weissbach and Rabbi Michael Wolk.

Keiley Caster is chair of the 2015 Film Festival Committee, and committee members are Rabbi David Ariel-Joel, Michael Furey, Janice Glaubinger, Angeline Golden, Meryl Kasdan, Louis Levy, Cantor David Lipp, Janet Naamani, Pami, Mark Prussian, Shelly Rifkin and Susan Waterman.

Marsha Bornstein, the Louisville Jewish Film Festival director, can be contacted at or 502-238-2731.

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Louisville to Host Partnership 2Gether Meetings in March Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:08:17 +0000 Read More >]]> After months of planning, Louisville is ready to host visitors from Israel’s Western Galilee and the Partnership 2Gether Central Consortium that includes the Jewish communities in Canton, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown, OH; Indianapolis, Northwest Indiana and South Bend, IN; Des Moines, IA; Omaha, NE; and Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio TX; and Budapest, Romania.

They’re all coming to Louisville for the annual 2015 Partnership 2Gether Steering Committee meetings, March 15-17, during which collaborative projects for the coming year will be chosen.

“We’re very happy that Louisville is hosting this regional meeting of communities that are partnered with the Western Galilee,” said Louisville Partnership Co-Chair Jon Klein.

The Israeli delegation will be arriving several days before the meetings begin, and several of them will be speaking during Shabbat services on Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14 at Louisville’s congregations.

Efrat Srerbo, director of the Musical Kindergarten in Akko, has been bringing her imaginative curriculum, “Music that Counts,” to communities around the world. She also moderates Hava Nagila Gan, an internet kibbutz that is a virtual community for 200 educators in Israel and the Central Consortium, where they can share educational ideas.

Srerbo will be speaking about Mashav, Israel’s activities in developing countries, from a personal perspective at Temple Shalom on Friday at Temple Shalom during the 6:15 p.m. service.

She will also lead a workshop about the “Music that Counts” program for teachers in all of Louisville’s Jewish preschool teachers on Thursday, March 12.

Dr. Ohad Ronen is a senior physician/surgeon in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel. He specializes in head and neck cancer surgery.

Dr. Ronen will speak at The Temple on Friday at 7 p.m. about his experience treating wounded Syrian refugees.

Orit Assayag, the head of Akko Municipality’s Education Department, will bring greetings to Adath Jeshurun on Friday evening and Dr. Michael Aaronson, co-chair of Partnership 2Gether from the Western Galilee, will speak to the congregation during the 9:30 a.m. service on Saturday.
Judy Yuda, the director of three Partnerships, including the Western Galilee/Central Consortium for the Jewish Agency for Israel, will speak at Keneseth Israel during the 9:30 a.m. service on Saturday.

Dr. Ronen will also be speaking with community physicians at Adath Jeshurun on Sunday morning about how the hospital in Nahariya is helping the wounded from Syria. Dr. Phil Rosenbloom is chairing this program. He is also coordinating meetings about mass casualty and disaster training for Dr. Ronen and his colleague, Dr. Arie Eisenman, with local physicians and hospital administrators.

The community is also invited to attend the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience with the Israeli delegation on Saturday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. The cost for this event is $40 per person or $50 for those who want to take the tour.

There will be an open community dinner in the Patio Gallery at the Jewish Community Center with a cabaret style show put on by the CenterStage company on Sunday, March 15, at 7 p.m. The cost is $25 per person.

There will be a charge for these two events and space is limited at both. At the time Community went to press, not all the details were available. If you are interested in either of these events, please contact Mary Jean Timmel, 238-2722 or Sara Wagner, 238-2779.

“Our community has long history of leadership in the Partnership,” Klein said, “and we hope those who have been involved in the past will come to the public events to meet old friends and new from both Israel and our U.S. Consortium communities.”

Louisville has been an active participant and leader in the Partnership initiative since its inception in 1997. Over the years, the program has resulted in exchanges in medicine, education and the arts. In addition, many personal friendships have developed among Louisvillians, Israelis and people from other consortium communities.

The Western Galilee includes Akko, Western Galilee Hospital and the Matte Asher region. Michael Aaronson is the Partnership 2Gether Central Consortium co-chair from the Western Galilee and David Ravitch is the co-chair from the U.S.

Partnership with Israel receives support from the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Federation Campaign.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Louisville’s Partnership Co-Chairs Jon and Laura Klein, or Jewish Community of Louisville Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sara Klein Wagner, 238-2779 or

 Israeli guests to Speak at Local Congregations

The Temple, Services begin at 7 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Ohad Ronen, senior physician/surgeon in the Department of Otolarynglogy at the Western Galilee Medical enter in Nahariya, Israel
Topic: Dr. Ronen’s experience treating wounded Syrian refugees

Adath Jeshurun, Services begin at 5:45 p.m.
Greetings from Orit Assayag, the head of Akko Municipality’s Education Department

Temple Shalom, Services begin at 6:15 p.m.
Speaker: Efrat Srerbo, Director of the Musical Kindergarten in Akko
Topic: Mashav – Israel’s activities in developing countries

Anshei Sfard, Services begin at 9 a.m.
Speaker: David Ravitch, co-chair of Partnership 2Gether from the U.S.

Adath Jeshurun, Services begin at 9:30 a.m.
Speaker: Dr. Michael Aaronson, co-chair of Partnership 2Gether from Western Galilee

Keneseth Israel, Services begin at 9:30 a.m.
Speaker: Judy Yuda, the director of three Jewish Agency for Israel Partnerships

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Jewish Foundation Continues to Make Community Impact Grants Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:04:06 +0000 Read More >]]> Last year, the Jewish Foundation of Louisville launched the Community Impact Grants program to make funding from the unrestricted endowment available to Jewish community agencies to provide support for programmatic needs.

Peter Resnik, chair of the Foundation Committee, announced that a number of grants have been made, many of which focus on education. In evaluating grant requests, he explained, “the Foundation Committee considered an array of criteria including purpose, reach, extent of collaboration with other organizations and overall benefit.”

Grants have been made to:
•    Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad for a technology enhancement project;
•    The High School of Jewish Studies for a website;
•    The Temple to provide assistance for learning disabled b’nai mitzvah students;
•    The Jewish Community Center for J Forty-Fivers, a community-wide leadership development program for 4th- and 5th-grade students;
•    The Temple to upgrade the sound system for Chavurat Shalom participants; and
•    The JCC for an intergenerational garden for seniors and the Early Learning Center, the produce from which will be donated to the Jewish Family & Career Services Food Pantry.

The Jewish Foundation of Louisville and the Jewish Federation of Louisville are also offering scholarships for Jewish experiences this summer, including summer camp and trips to Israel.

An earlier round of grants, first announced in August provided safe storage shelving for the JFCS Food Pantry, scholarships for students in Louisville’s Melton program, funding to Keneseth Israel for its Big Rock Shabbat and a subsidy for Temple Shalom’s Shabbaton weekend.

“The committee’s expections are being met by restarting these grants for the benefit of the broad community,” Resnik added.

While all the funding for the originally announced Community Impact Grants program came from the unrestricted endowment, the Foundation is also reviewing existing designated funds to ensure that the allocable dollars from each fund are being used as the donors intended.

When it is determined that the purpose for which the original fund was established no longer exists, the fund is repurposed, with the intent of continuing to use the allocable dollars for the same kind of program for which it was created to support.

One such fund is the Rose Hansen Eliahu Academy Fund. Since Eliahu Academy closed, no allocations had been made from the fund. Since Eliahu Academy was a Jewish educational institution, the fund was repurposed to support Jewish educational experiences for children. The grants to Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad, the High School of Jewish Studies, The Temple for assistance for the learning disabled and the JCC for the J Forty-Fivers were made possible by the Rose Hansen Fund.

The fund review process is ongoing. Whenever possible, the people who established the funds or their families are consulted before the fund is repurposed. Everyone who establishes a fund has the opportunity to specify how the fund should be repurposed if the original intent can no longer be fulfilled.

The Jewish Foundation of Louisville Community Impact Grants program is ongoing, and grants are reviewed on a rolling basis. Requests for grants may be submitted to Jewish Community of Louisville President and CEO Stu Silberman at

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Summer Camp Is Just Around the Corner Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:02:15 +0000 Read More >]]> With the ground outside covered with snow and the frigid temperatures keeping us huddled inside, warm thoughts of summer and dreams of JCC Summer Camp may be just what we need.

JCC Camp is the special place where every child can succeed and every child can make a friend. “Everything we do is imbued with Jewish tradition and values,” said Camp Director Betsy Schwartz. It’s just part of camp.
What Jewish values? The first one Schwartz names is “everybody should be kind.”

Every school-age child will have swimming lessons every day as well as time for free swim. Schwartz pointed out, “Jewish law says you must teach your children to swim.”

Jewish values also teach us to take care of the earth and to do things for others. Campers will have opportunities to work in the community garden where they will learn how to take care of plants and harvest vegetables. They will also be able to participate in mitzvah projects all summer long.
With this summer’s theme, Camp Tales, campers will explore their creativity through stories. Each week focuses on a different story and has a special dress-up day to go along with the theme.

Throughout the summer, they will learn the importance of social action and how they can make positive social change. Camp will foster self-esteem and help campers develop their understanding of, and an appreciation for, the world in which they live at camp, at home and in the greater community.

Campers will also get a taste of Israel as camp once again welcomes a shaliach or shlicha – an emissary from Israel – who will teach Israeli songs and games, providing a sampling of Israeli experiences throughout the summer.

As a special treat, the Tzofim – Israeli scouts – will stop at camp in July to put on a music- and dance-filled show for campers during the day and for the entire community in the evening.

Many of the specialty camps are back this summer including Lego, travel, sports, arts and science camps and many more. A special new addition this year is Gaga Galore for campers who love the Israeli game. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to play and even make their own gaga balls. JCC Camp is even adding another gaga pit in time for camp.

The JCC Camp program for 7th-9th graders has been expanded as well. Now, these older campers can participate in the Young Leaders program for nine weeks.

Horizons are also broader for these campers when they sign up for Road Rulz. For nine days, these campers will travel to JCCs and Jewish communities within a four-hour radius of Louisville. Once there, they’ll meet Jewish youngsters in the host communities and join forces to do service projects. They’ll be staying at Jewish overnight camps, JCCs and campgrounds and doing a little Jewish sightseeing along the way.

Learn more about camp this Sunday at the JCC Summer Camp Open House. From 1-4 p.m., you can tour the JCC facility, meet the year-’round camp staff, get answers to all your camp questions and register your child for the sessions he or she wants.

All the JCC Summer Camp information, including registration packets, is available here.

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Teen Topics | February 20, 2015 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:58:18 +0000 Read More >]]> 20 Louisville Teens Attend BBYO International Convention
by Mike Stekloff, Assistant Director of Youth Services
February 12-16, 20 Louisville teens and I attended BBYO International Convention in Atlanta, GA. BBYO International Convention (IC) is an annual event that began 90 years ago as a way for BBYO members to connect once a year, but has now grown to be a setting for individuals across the Jewish community to learn, lead and work together toward ensuring a strong Jewish future, spearheaded by the next generation.

This year, more than 2,200 Jewish teens (a 24 percent increase from 2014) and 1,100 Jewish adults – including some of the community’s top educators, professionals and philanthropists – from 20 countries joined in Atlanta for this unprecedented moment.

For the first time ever, The Jim Joseph Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, The Schusterman Family Foundation and The Paul E. Singer Foundation hosted the Summit on Jewish Teens during the first 24 hours of IC 2015. Two hundred and fifty of the Jewish community’s most influential thought leaders and philanthropists attended to converse with each other, and with teens, about how to engage this age group in Jewish life now and in the future.

IC 2015 was also host to the Coalition of Jewish Teens (CJT). Teen leadership from the five major youth movements (BBYO, NCSY, NFTY, USY and Young Judaea) met for 24 hours concurrently to the Summit on Jewish Teens to strategically plan ways Jewish teens everywhere can work across organizational borders to build a stronger, united Jewish community.

They drafted a mission statement for their work moving forward: “We, the Coalition of Jewish Teens, stand united to shape the Jewish future through shared Jewish values.”

“BBYO’s leadership, both teen and adult, realize that the future of the Jewish community is brighter when we all come together,” said Matthew Grossman, BBYO Chief Executive Officer. “IC 2015 was an exciting step in making that happen and we’re looking forward to continuing this collaboration.”

Shimon Peres, Michael Steinhardt and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks were all a part of IC 2015.

Highlights of BBYO IC included:
•    Surprise Welcome Video by Former President of Israel Shimon Peres: During IC opening ceremonies, attendees were surprised by a welcome video from Shimon Peres, in which he encouraged the IC body to “continue to learn, because we are a people that’s main name is tikkun olam, to improve the world … to bring peace to Israel, to love Israel, to support Israel and to come to Israel as well.”

•     Opening Ceremonies also included remarks by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; Lynn Schusterman, founder and co-chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; and Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus and BBYO alumna.

•    BBYO Leads Plenary: A morning of guest speakers inspired IC participants to continue building their leadership skills and make an impact on the world. Speakers included Barak Raz, former Israel Defense Forces spokesperson; Kat Graham, Jewish actress known for her role in The Vampire Diaries and activism work; Noa Tishby, Israeli actress and co-founder of Act For Israel; Michael Skolnik, political director for Def Jam Records and President of; Trudy Album, Holocaust survivor; and Michael Steinhardt, Chair of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.

•    BBYO Leadership Labs: BBYO offered 20 Leadership Labs across Atlanta for teens to learn about advocacy, globalization, Israel, leadership, marketing and communications, philanthropy, political engagement, relationship building, service, chapter and program development, event management and design, and more.

•    They gained real-world insight from experts across industries at organizations and companies including the American Cancer Society, Center for Civil and Human Rights, CNN, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and The World of Coca-Cola.

•    A Pluralistic Shabbat: Participants chose from 25 pluralistic teen-led Shabbat services, allowing them to celebrate Shabbat in the way that most resonated with them.

•    BBYO Limmud: Nearly 200 Limmud learning sessions were led by program educators, guest speakers and leaders in the thought and business worlds.

Another thousand NFTY members joined BBYO for this day of learning, bringing more than 3,000 Jewish teens together to recognize the strength of the Jewish community. The highlight was the teen-led text study and keynote address by Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center.

Saturday night, the more than 2,200 teens heard from their current leaders, Grand Aleph Godol Sam Perlen (Nashville, TN) and International N’siah Amanda Freedman (Toronto, ON), followed on Sunday by the election of the next International Board: Colin Silverman of Chicago, IL.; Cole Pergament of Long Island, NY; Jake Davis of Columbus, OH; Matthew Rabinowitz of Charlotte, NC; Hunter Cohn of Columbus OH; Lauren Keats of Scarsdale, NY; Ellie Bodker of Overland Park, KS; Stephanie Hausman of Stamford, CT; Meredith Galanti of Atlanta, GA; and Deena Notowich of Memphis, TN.

The International Board helps chart the organization’s vision for the coming year, and provides leadership and support to teen leaders in local communities throughout the BBYO system. They work to strengthen regions and chapters by enhancing the Judaic, social, educational and community service programming throughout the network.

On Sunday night, the convention body closed out an incredible week of fun and learning with BBYO: Stronger Together, a celebration of all that they accomplished and all to look forward to. The event featured performances by rap, reggae, pop and indie rock band Aer, hip hop and rap artist Flo Rida and electronic DJ and producer Kap Slap.

Louisville’s Jacob Finke served as one of the steering committee members for International Convention and led several programs including a program he wrote entitled “Making Disabilities Real.” Also, both Drew Corson AZA and Jay Levine BBG received International Chapter Excellence Awards.

Jay Levine BBG, by Abby Balkin
The past two months for Jay Levine BBG have been very eventful. It has been the beginning of our Spring 2015 term, which is also our recruitment term. We started the term off by installing our new board, and then had a really fun Super Bowl party with both our chapter and Drew Corson AZA. It was a great event with lots of desserts, pizza, friends, and fun.

Recently, we also had a tacky tourist Tuesday chapter meeting where we talked about our Stand Up cause and all of our goals for this term.

Spring term is also our recruitment term, which is why we decided to have a Shabbat Dinner and invite all of our MITS (Members In Training)! We had about 12 prospective new members show up and we introduced everyone, had a very nice service, and ended the night with a movie. It was a great way to introduce the MITS to our chapter, and it was a great way to spend Shabbat.
Jay Levine BBG is so excited about this new term, not only to connect with each other more and strengthen our bond, but to help the community and learn more about our Jewish identities.

Drew Corson AZA, by Joey Schuster
During the past month, we held a Super Bowl party and a chapter meeting. At the chapter meeting, we came up with ideas for our standup cause. We decided to select leukemia and lymphoma as the Stand Up cause that we will raise money for and learn about during the term. We are also currently planning events to welcome 8th graders into our chapter.

J Forty-Fivers
A lot of exciting things are happening for the J Forty-Fivers, the new youth group for fourth and fifth graders. The next event is a Shabbat Dinner with Bricks 4 Kidz on Friday, February 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the JCC.

Other upcoming events are:
Sunday, March 22 – Chocolate Seder
Sunday, April 26 – Bowling with the third and fourth graders

Teen Connection
The next Teen Connection event will be a late night on Saturday, March 14, 6-11 p.m. at the JCC. Pinot’s Pallette and a video game truck will come in to do activities. There will also be a pizza dinner and a Havdallah service.

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2015 Naamani Lecture Event Features Teddy Abrams Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:52:27 +0000 Read More >]]> Lion of Judah Teddy Abrams1-53When Teddy Abrams was named conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, excitement bubbled up throughout the arts community. Outgoing, energetic and innovative, he has generated a buzz of support throughout Louisville.

Now the University of Louisville Humanities and Jewish Studies Programs have tapped Abrams as the featured guest for the 2015 Naamani Memorial Lecture Event. The event, “Jewish Music and Jews in Music,” will be Sunday, March 29, 2-4 p.m. at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.

Abrams is a widely acclaimed conductor, pianist, clarinetist and composer. Prior to coming to Louisville, he served as assistant conductor of the Detroit Orchestra. The maestro also served as resident conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, which he first conducted in 2011.

Abrams has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras, including the Jacksonville Symphony, where he played and conducted the Ravel Piano Concerto in fall 2013. He also performed chamber music with the St.

Petersburg String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Time for Three and John Adams, and has made annual appearances at the Olympic Music Festival.

Dedicated to exploring new and engaging ways to communicate with a diverse range of audiences, Abrams co-founded the Sixth Floor Trio in 2008. The Trio has performed around the country, establishing residencies in communities in North Carolina, Philadelphia, New York and South Florida.

Abrams studied conducting with Michael Tilson Thomas, Otto-Werner Mueller and Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music, and with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival; he was the youngest conducting student ever accepted at both institutions.

Abrams is also an award-winning composer and a passionate educator – he has taught at numerous schools throughout the United States. His 2009 Education Concerts with the New World Symphony (featuring the world premiere of one of Abrams’ own orchestral works) were webcast to hundreds of schools throughout South Florida.

The Naamani Lecture Event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Limited garage parking is available for $6. Online reservations are recommended at For additional information or to make phone reservations, call 402-852-0457.

The Naamani Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1979 to honor the memory of Professor Israel T. Naamani, key educational figure, scholar and teacher at the University of Louisville, and beloved Jewish community member. The series is supported by donations to the Naamani Memorial Lecture Fund.

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Deborah Slosberg Receives Award at Melton Conference in Israel; Melton Mission Planned Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:47:49 +0000 Read More >]]> In January, I attended the weeklong International Directors Conference of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning in Jerusalem, Israel. At the opening dinner, I was one of two Melton directors awarded “International Director Certification – Recognition of Achievement” for growth in enrollment between the first and second years of a local Melton program.

The highlight of the conference for me was visiting The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which concretized the connection between what we do as Melton directors for adult Jewish learning in our communities throughout the world and The Hebrew University itself, which created and continues to develop the curricula we use.

Professor Asher Cohen, rector of The Hebrew University acknowledged the importance of the local Florence Melton Schools to the mission of The Hebrew University, which is “to be the University of the Jewish People.” The conference included model teaching by Hebrew U.’s top professors of education, Dr. Howard Deitcher and Professor Jonathan Cohen.

Aryeh Ben David, the founder of Ayeka, Center for Soulful Education, demonstrated exciting new methods of combining the study of Jewish texts with enabling students to more deeply engage and personalize their learning and to explore their spiritual identities. We will be experimenting with this new approach in our teaching at Louisville Melton in the fall of 2015.

Haim Aronovitz, who is leading the Louisville Melton Israel Seminar with Rabbi Bob Slosberg and me this June, is the Melton Director of Israel Seminars, including the newest seminars to Spain and Poland. Aronovitz gave us a “taste” of an Israel Seminar with a culinary tour of Jerusalem’s outdoor market, Machaneh Yehudah, and an amazing visit to the Israel Museum.

He is able to stand in front of an archeological find or work of art and magically create the world and reality of that object.

The trip, June 8-18, will include the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, investigating “Why was Jerusalem Destroyed,” exploration of Tel Aviv: “A City Rises from the Dunes,” travel up the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, then inland to mystical Tsfat and the Golan Heights, retracing “ the Last Two of Six Days.”

There will also be optional rafting on the Jordan River, beautiful hotels, a Kibbutz Guest House on the Sea of Galilee, and fantastic food everywhere we go.

Louisville’s Melton program was chosen as the core group for this trip because of its rapid growth. Please contact Rabbi Robert Slosberg at or 458-5359 for additional information.

My trip to the International Directors Conference is part of the Louisville Melton budget, which covers faculty development. Louisville Melton is sponsored by Congregation Adath Jeshurun in collaboration with the Jewish Community Center and with support from Congregation Anshei Sfard, Keneseth Israel Congregation, Temple Shalom and The Temple. This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Jewish Foundation of Louisville and the Dorothy Levy Memorial Fund. Scholarships are provided by the Jewish Federation of Louisville.

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Snow Day Workout Mon, 16 Feb 2015 20:52:50 +0000 Read More >]]> Stuck at home during the storm but still want to get in a workout? Here are a few simple circuits that you can complete at home.

Workout 1

Perform all exercises as a massive superset, rest 2 minutes, then repeat 5 times.

1. Jump Rope (60 seconds)
2. Burpee (10 reps)
3. Dumbbell Curl-To-Press (15 reps)
4. Bear Crawl (60 seconds)

Workout 2

1A. Body-Weight Squat
1B. Lying Glute Bridge
As many sets as needed, 100 total reps for each exercise, 60 seconds between sets
2A. Reverse Lunge
2B. Front lunge
4 sets, 10 reps, 90 seconds between sets
3. Wall Sit
Lean against a wall and squat down, until your knees are bent 90 degrees and your shins are vertical to the ground. Hold the position. Complete one set and hold for as long as possible.

Workout 3

Perform exercises labeled “A” then exercise labeled as “B,” rest, repeat for prescribed sets/reps.
1A. Lunge
1B. Pushup
3 sets, 8-12 reps each, 90 seconds between supersets
2A. Ab-Wheel Rollout
3 sets, 6-8 reps each, 90 seconds between supersets
3A. Plank
3B. Dip (can be done on a chair)
3 sets, as many reps as possible (60-plus seconds for plank), 90 seconds between supersets
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JFNA Solidarity Mission to France: Louisville stands with French Jews Mon, 09 Feb 2015 17:24:58 +0000 Read More >]]>

Dear Friends,

Today, a group of Jewish leaders representing 18 communities throughout North America traveled on the JFNA Solidarity Mission to France.

They visited the historic Victoire Synagogue and the Hyper Cacher Market, met with France’s Chief Rabbi and received briefings from security experts and the French Jewish community leadership.

Below is one of two videos from the mission to Paris, narrated by David Brown, Chair, Global Operations: Israel and Overseas Council, who is leading the mission.

Michael Siegal
Chair, Board of Trustees

Louisville stands with French Jews

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Eating a Balanced Diet Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:14:39 +0000 Read More >]]> Eating a balanced, healthy diet is a challenge at any age but especially hard when you are two! Who wants to eat carrots when your parents let you taste chicken nuggets for the first time.   Food plays such an important role in our children’s lives and has gone beyond simple nourishment to being used as a reward or for control. To help our young families navigate the difficulties with teaching our children to eat properly, the JCC and JFCS teamed up for the first in a series of free parenting seminars.

On Sunday January 18, the JCC provided free babysitting so that parents could learn from Nancy C. Kuppersmtih, RD, MS, CDE, MLDE, Nutritionist for the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville and Lauren Kehr, LCSW Therapist for JFCS. Ms. Kuppersmith and Ms. Kehr led a stimulating discussion on intuitive eating, learning to eat when your body needs to eat rather than when you are told to eat (or bored). Their message was to trust our children whose bodies will teach them when they’ve had enough to eat. We also learned that each meal is not important but rather the focus should be on the entirety of what our children are eating and learning how to balance over a period of time.

Feed back has been incredible. One young parent has already seen success and emailed, “my husband and I learned a substantial amount. It was also nice to be able to talk one on one after the class regarding our son’s eating habits. Since the class, my husband and I have changed our son’s eating habits and meal time seems to go a lot smoother. They aren’t near as stressful anymore and its nice to not put so much pressure on our son. “


The JCC and JFCS are eager to continue this parenting forum series and future topics include discipline and toilet training. For more information please contact Jennifer Tuvlin at


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