Jewish Community of Louisville Together in Life, Learning and Leadership Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:51:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Israeli Athlete, Guy Abend, Plays for Louisville City FC Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:51:12 +0000 Read More >]]> When the Louisville City FC was established late last year, Israeli midfielder Guy Abend was one of the first three players signed by the soccer club, which is currently tied for fifth in the United Soccer League’s 12-team Eastern Conference and calls Slugger Field home.

A quiet 24-year-old with a ready smile, Abend explained that he was born in Israel, but spent the first six years of his life in Washington, D.C., where his father was the regional manager of El Al Israel Airlines.

“I started playing soccer at the JCC [Jewish Community Center] in Washington,” he said. Although he was only 6 when his family returned to Israel, Abend’s love of soccer had already taken root.

Back in Netanya, Abend grew up playing for a local team, and, at age 14, moved to a premier league club, Maccabi Netanya. At age 17, he signed his first seniors contract and started playing for Israel’s national under 21s team. He played three years in Netanya, a year in Kfar Saba. Then he played three years in Rishon L’Tzion, where he was made captain of the team at age 21. He also served three years in the IDF.

“Last year, I almost signed in Ashdod FC from first division in Israel,” he said, “but things didn’t go the way I wanted.”

That disappointment soon became a new opportunity. Abend spoke with an agent who encouraged him to try out for the new squad here because Louisville City Coach James O’Connor had seen him on You Tube.

This is the first year for the team in the USL league, and, while most of the players are Americans, the roster is truly international. In addition to Israel, Louisville City FC players come from Britain, Denmark, Serbia and Ireland. Two of the league’s teams are based in Canada and the rest in the U.S. from St. Louis east.

This year’s 28-game season, split evenly between home and away games began March 28, continues through October and will be followed by the playoffs. With 13 new league teams this year, Abend believes soccer’s popularity will grow rapidly..

As a professional athlete, most of his time is spent training, traveling and playing, but Abend is looking to use his limited spare time well. “I am planning to study here,” he said, with the intent of pursuing a degree in business. “I will have to find a program that will let me do both soccer and study,” he added.

“Soccer is all-consuming,” he said, yet Abend wants to be part of Louisville’s Jewish community. He’s looking to make connections in the city and hopes to teach children soccer and become a Hebrew tutor.

He also spends part of his downtime in the kitchen. “I like to cook, and I’m starting to cook new things here.” He likes to read. “I have to start reading English books because I need to improve my English.”

Abend is the youngest of three children. His father, Arie, had a 30-year executive career with El Al and now works for Amiel Tours, specializing in all types of Israel trips, including for JCCs and Jewish Federations. His mother, Tali, is a clinical psychologist, his brother, Rany, is completing his Ph.D. in psychology and next year will start post-doctoral study at the NIH. His sister, Dafna is an elementary school English teacher.

The team set Abend and the other players up in nice apartments. Abend adds “Louis Waterman helped me a lot settling down. He is really helpful for everything.”

Going forward, he says, “I would like to help as much as I can. When I served in the Army, I was recognized as an athlete, so my service wasn’t typical. I contributed to the community, and I can give a hand here.”

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New Chavurat Shalom Director Is Allison Schwartz Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:50:16 +0000 Read More >]]> Allison Schwartz is excited to take on a new challenge as director of Chavurat Shalom, working with older adults to give them a program that actively engages them and encourages them to stay active and enjoy life.

She is no stranger to working with people and making sure their needs are being met. With a master’s degree in mental health counseling and community service, she brings great experience, empathy and energy to her new job.

“I always had an interest in working with older adults,” Schwartz said. “But I’ve worked with all populations.”

When she recently found herself between jobs, she applied and was hired to direct the group, whose goal is to “To provide a weekly space for seniors to be entertained and socialize,” she said. “To provide stimulating conversation in an easy fashion, within a Jewish mission.”

She wants to do more outreach to other seniors within the community from different congregations to broaden the group to include those who “are playing Canasta and golf three times a week.” The program is open to Jewish seniors ages 60 and older. “We want to keep them active and engage them in lively discussions,” she said. “Seniors can often become isolated, and we want to prevent that by keeping it interesting.”

Schwartz said she’s working to try to organize more day trips with the group and possibly take them to see some CenterStage productions and other outings.

Schwartz grew up in Louisville and attended Indiana University. She moved to Chicago to get her master’s degree from Roosevelt University and lived there for 15 years. She is married to Ari Schwartz, and has two sons, Alex, 10, and Matthew, 8.

“My favorite thing about the job is working and engaging with older adults,” Schwartz said. “I have a great deal of respect for them, and I feel they deserve that respect. We can learn a lot from them. They live with grace and humility, and a lot of authenticity. It’s refreshing to be around people who are that honest. And they are very, very funny!

“They don’t care. If they don’t like the soup, they will tell you, and you’d better get it out of the way fast!”

Chavurat Shalom meets at The Temple most Thursdays. Healthy, nutritious lunches are available, including a kosher option upon advance request, for $5. Transportation is also available upon request for $5. Program information is printed in Community each month. (See story, this page.)
For more information or to make reservations, call 502-423-1818 or email
Chavurat Shalom is funded through The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Jewish Federation of Louisville, The Temple, The Temple Brotherhood and Sisterhood, National Council of Jewish Women and many other generous donors.

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West Highlighted Several Health Issues in Keynote at Senior University Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:48:04 +0000 Read More >]]> When The Temple’s Senior University 2015 convened on Thursday, April 16, Louisville television personality and long-time WAVE3-TV reporter started off the day with a keynote address that brought her audience up to date on changes in her personal life and provided updates on current hot topics in health.

“Sixty is the new 40,” West told her audience, “and 100 is the new 80.” The medical breakthroughs that make things like this possible are the kinds of stories she reported on during her 22-year career with WAVE.
In 2007, she left the station to drive her teenage son around after his older siblings were gone. The time in the car, she explained was time he spent talking to her, and she enjoyed every minute.

When he went to college, West wanted to resume her medical reporting. She developed her own independent production company and produced her own half hour show. She also did some stories for WLKY.

Now, West said, she is back at WAVE and does some consulting work. She travels the world and is focused on what is trending in medicine today.

Hip replacements are big she said, and talked about her own procedure. The wave of the future, she said, is anterior hip replacement, which is the kind of procedure she had. Since it requires only a small incision, West said she was walking two hours after the surgery, off the walker in two weeks and the only pain was from the surgery and not the hip.

She also talked about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Defects on these genes are indicators of the most deadly forms of cancer. Some doctors are recommending prophylactic mastectomies, but West advises getting second and third opinions before making a decision.

Another significant issue West identified is adolescent eating disorders. There is currently a surge in eating disorders in teen, tweens and children as young as 8 and 9. This needs to be treated like an addiction, she contends, with residential programs. She described it as a most fatal illness among young people because by the time the problem is discovered, the victims are in critical condition. There is a shortage of residential treatment programs for adolescent eating disorders in Louisville, she reported, forcing many families to leave the city to find help for their children.

HIV infections, West warned, are not just a problem happening in southern Indiana. Drug abuse is prevalent in Louisville as well, and needles are being found in Louisville parks. The number of cases of HIV being diagnosed in nursing homes is also on the rise, she said, because the senior residents of such facilities often don’t see the need to take precautions for safe sex.

Alzheimer’s Disease is in the news a lot. West reported that Dr. Robert P. Friedland, a neurologist and neurological researcher and the University of Louisville and KentuckyOne is focusing on the impact what you eat has on neurologic disease.

She says he contends we can fix Alzheimer’s Disease in the kitchen because the wrong bacteria in the intestines can impede the folding of a critical protein in the brain. Through diet, however, it is possible to change the balance of bacteria in the intestines and control the balance of bacteria. Eat more fruit, vegetables and fiber and less meat, she said, adding that the Mediterranean diet is better than the typical American diet.

The rest of the day included a series of workshops and a healthy lunch.

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JCC Summer Camp Enrollment Up 25% With One Month to Go Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:45:01 +0000 Read More >]]> Summer camp at the Jewish Community Center will be the coolest place to be this summer.

The JCC’s Summer Camp enrollment is up 25 percent over last year’s at this time, and six out of 27 specialty camps have waiting lists. All of Early Learning Center’s Summer Fun sessions have waiting lists, and Yachad – the JCC’s program for kids with special needs – has just a few weeks still available.

“Kids who have been to our summer camps before know how much fun it is, and they are signing up early to reserve their spots,” said Betsy Schwartz, senior director of camp and youth services. As of this publication, there are only 46 days left until camp begins.

Summer camp is June 8-Aug. 9, and there are dozens of camp options this year. Besides regular camp, there are specialty camps, including cooking, Minecraft, art, theater, Ga-Ga, science, basketball, soccer and many more.
Check out the website to see which camps are still available:

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JCC Spring Camp Tours the Five Senses Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:43:06 +0000 Read More >]]> More than 75 children had the chance to explore JCC Summer Camp in the Spring April 6-9. K-6 JCC Spring Camp brought the five senses to life with arts and crafts, sports, games and fun! ELC Spring Fun used Eric Carie books to “cook” yummy treats for spiders, caterpillar, bears and more.

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Make Your Nomination Today for the JCC Athletic Hall of Fame Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:41:40 +0000 Read More >]]> The JCC is reviving its Athletic Hall of Fame in honor of its 125th anniversary and needs your help in selecting the next entrants. The Hall of Fame recognizes past and current JCC Members for their athletic achievements or future stardom. Nominations are being accepted until Friday, June 12 and can be made by picking up a form at the Health and Wellness Desk.

The Athletic Hall of Fame was created in the 1990’s as a way to recognize the athletic prowess of people from Louisville’s Jewish community. Past award winners have included high school state champions, athletes who have gone on to compete on a collegiate or even professional level. “The JCC Athletic Hall of Fame is our way of acknowledging that important athletes often get their start at the JCC and we as a community should be proud of that,” said Mark Eichengreen, co-chair of the JCC Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.

This year’s Hall of Fame Reception will be held on the afternoon of July 26 with a guest speaker to be announced. The Reception is co-chaired by Mark Eichengreen and Aaron Tasman. Committee members include Ken Porco, John Fleischaker, Bruce Miller, Marvin O’Koon and Dan Streit.

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LAFTA show Brings the Best Textile Artists to the JCC Patio Gallery Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:39:52 +0000 Read More >]]> Some of the Louisville Area’s most talented fiber and textile artists will show their talents at the Patio Gallery at the Jewish Community Center in the LAFTA show May 3-June 2. Work from more than 25 artists was chosen to be represented in the show.

The Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists work in quilting, beading, doll-making, embroidery, basketry, weaving, tapestry and many more genres.

The juror, Barbara Bushey, has been working in textiles for more than 35 years. Her work has appeared three times in Quilt National, as well as many juried shows throughout the country and overseas. Her work is in the permanent collections of The White House, the University of Wyoming, Hillsdale College, and many private collections. Bushey is associate professor of Art at Hillsdale College, where she teaches design and art history, and serves as chair. She has an MA in art history from Wayne State University, an MFA in textiles from Eastern Michigan University, a BFA in graphic design and textiles from EMU, and a BS in psychology from the University of Michigan.

Founded in 1995, LAFTA is an organization of local visual artists whose work encompasses an array of surface design and construction techniques. Members range in age from students to seniors, and in skill level from beginners to professional artists. The two-fold mission of LAFTA is to provide support and information to its members, and to increase community awareness and understanding of fiber and textile arts.

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Racquetball League Starts May 10 Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:38:51 +0000 Read More >]]> For those who want to test out their racquetball skills or just make new friends while keeping fit, the JCC will give them a new opportunity.

The JCC will begin hosting a racquetball league beginning the second week of May for beginners and seasoned players alike. After the Ike and Bruce Gumer Invitational Racquetball Tournament in November, members began showing interest in bringing back a league, said Ryan Perryman, trainer and coordinator of the league.

The league will run for eight weeks, plus a tournament. There will be a Novice (beginners) division and an Open (competitive) division, so everyone can enjoy league-play. The league is open to women and men 18 and older. Perryman will organize the pairings, and individual players will arrange game times on their own so that schedules can be accommodated.

Racquetball can burn as many as 794 calories per hour, depending on the level of intensity. The U.S. Racquetball Association website says racquetball works every muscle group, and that a one-hour game requires a player to run a distance of more than two miles, so playing racquetball regularly will decrease body fat levels and help maintain healthy weight.

The JCC’s league will continue as long as there’s interest, Perryman said. He plans to have three leagues a year, but if enough players want it, the leagues will continue year-round.

Cost is $60, $40 for members. Equipment, such as rackets, balls and eye protection can be brought by players or borrowed from the JCC Health & Wellness desk.

There will be a rules meeting on April 27 at 6 p.m.
Sign up at the Health & Wellness Desk or by calling 238-2727.

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JCC ELC Brings Passover Story to Life Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:14:38 +0000 Read More >]]> Children in the JCC’s Early Learning Center got a unique Passover Experience on April 2, one they’re not likely to forget!

ELC Director Norma Cahen adapted the event from one that she learned at a conference several years ago.
“Children learn through play, and they’ll go home and tell their parents all about it,” Cahen said.

Four rooms were staffed with parent volunteers, who really got into their parts. In the first room, the children built buildings with blocks while parent volunteer Pharoah (Will Rueff) knocked down their work. When Rueff kicked over the buildings, the children screamed and laughed, then hurriedly began building again.

One child in the Pomegranates (pre-kindergarten) class was looking angry. A little girl asked him what was wrong, and he told her that he was upset that his building got knocked down. She wisely responded, “Well, you know that’s what Pharoah really did!”

From there, the group went to visit the Frog Keeper (Nic Noles), who talked about the plague of frogs. He chased them with toy frogs, taught them to play Leap Frog and held frog-hop races. They each got their own little plastic finger-puppet frogs to take home.

From there, they went to see Miriam (Robin Rueff), who sang songs accompanied by guitarist John Gage. The children danced and sang like the Israelites did when they escaped Egypt.

Next, they went to the Royal Chefs (Judith Danovitch and Kim Roberts), who fed the children matzo crackers with cream cheese or butter. When Danovitch asked if the Pharoah had been really mean, most of the children answered yes, but Lucy Rueff responded, “No! He’s my daddy!”

Danovitch, whose son David Noles is in the class, said her son wore a red and black striped shirt that day because it represents (his words) “the blood and darkness.”

In the hallway, the group saw Rueff, who was leaving. Their teacher told them to say good-bye to Pharoah. The children (without prompt from their teacher) began yelling at him, “Let my people go!”

From there, the children went to see the Queens of Darkness (Kate Stratman and Aude Johnson). They all got sunglasses to simulate the plague of darkness, while they sang songs and played games with a parachute.
Cahen said the event was a great success and an excellent learning experience for the children.

“The purpose of our Passover experience was to enable the holiday of Passover to be as meaningful as possible to our students,” Cahen said. “The goal was not just to do and activity just to do one, but to make sure that the activity is as age and developmentally appropriate as possible, as well as fun and meaningful. Adults can tell children stories about Passover and about why we eat unleavened bread and celebrate the customs and traditions, but it isn’t until they experience these activities during their play that they derive any real meaning.”

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Breier, Berryman Recognized as Health Care Leaders Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:13:30 +0000 Read More >]]> Benjamin Breier was named 2015 Health Care Leader and Joanne Berryman was named 2015 Health Care Pioneer by Louisville’s Business First.

Breier, 44, is the new CEO of Kindred Healthcare, said. “I am proud of the successful integration efforts following several acquisitions over the years … . These strategic additions increase our ability to improve the lives of the patients we serve throughout the country.”

Breier is proud of the work he and his team do to give back to the community. “My leadership team and I feel that we each have a responsibility to give back to the Greater Louisville community,” he said. “It’s more than just a financial investment. It’s also about giving of our time and volunteering for those issues that are important to us.”

Berryman, 66, began as a nurse in 1969 and rose through the ranks to top hospital positions, with most of her career spent at Jewish Hospital, including president and CEO of Frazier Rehab and senior vice president of JHHS. After retirement, she began another career at Spalding University as Dean of Kosair Charities College of Health and Natural Science.

Berryman cited the development of the Outpatient Care Center at Jewish Hospital in the 1980s as one of the pivotal moments in her career.

“My years in health care administration taught me the value of self-confidence,” she said. “I often achieved self-confidence by building relationships with others.”

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