From traveling to dialing: JWRP companions head up this year’s Federation Telethon

Cari Hatch (left) and Jennifer Jacobson on a recent JWRP mission to Israel. (photo provided)

Don’t be surprised if you get a call from Jennifer Jacobson or Cari Hatch on Sunday, Jan. 27. The two friends and traveling companions love to reach out and touch someone.
But on that day, it will be serious business. Jacobson and Hatch are co-chairing this year’s Federation Telethon, called the Campaign for Jewish Needs, and they’re dialing your number because the Jewish Federation of Louisville needs your help.
“If you are Jewish and you live in Louisville, we’ll hopefully call you,” Jacobson said. “We know we can’t reach everyone. Hopefully, folks who hear about the campaign will want to donate.”
The campaign raises money for the Federation, which supports a wide variety of Jewish projects here and around the world, from feeding the hungry to caring for the elderly.
Jacobson and Hatch have been hard at work lining up volunteers to make calls. The two women were roommates last year when they went to Israel as part of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project – another Federation-supported endeavor.
While in Israel, Hatch felt the need to give back. Since then both women have upped their involvement both for the Federation and their home synagogue, Temple Shalom.
Hatch took on the job even though it was outside her comfort zone to call people she didn’t know.
“I hate making phone calls,” she said. “This is taking me out of my comfort zone. I’ll call people I know and explain what their donation is going towards. It helps with these calls to explain to people where their money goes and how it helps.”
JWRP wasn’t Hatch’s only foray into the Jewish community. She has participated in the PJ Library. Her daughter is in LBSY and she is the fundraising chair for Temple Shalom.
“I did not realize how much the Federation helps support all of these different things until I went to Israel,” she said.
Jacobson has served on the Federation’s planning and allocations committee and volunteered for several Israel at 70 events. She also sits on the board at Temple Shalom and serves as its adult education chair. Her son is in LBSY.
Sarah Baron, the Federation’s leadership and engagement manager, said the goal of the telethon is to reach as many community households as possible “and raise as much money to help support the Federation’s mission.”
While those numbers can fluctuate from year to year, “what does remain consistent is our wonderful group of volunteers who reach out to the community and connect donors with a cause they are passionate about,” Baron said.
Telethon volunteers will make their calls from The J’s Patio Gallery. Child care will be provided for parents who volunteer.
The telethon is scheduled to run three hours, with shifts from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Contributing isn’t always easy, Jacobson said, but she believes Jewish Louisville will once again come through.
“If we can do it, you can do it,” she said. “Please answer the phone and give what you can. Make a pledge that works for you no matter how big or small. Every little bit helps.”

Want to help?
To volunteer for the Community Telethon, visit To donate now, visit

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