Glenn Sadle is certainly a familiar face around the Jewish Community Center, but now, he’s taken on a new role. “I am the new youth and teen coordinator,” he said, “so I will be working with the middle school age kids and the Teen Connection program.” Sadle will also be working with the 4th and 5th graders and plans to start new program with them.
In the summer, he’ll be working with the Summer Camp, running the Trek 46 program for 4th-6th graders, the many specialty camps and the middle school camps. He’s eager to look at the Trek 46 program and other camps for that age group to find ways to improve it and attract more campers.
While this is a new position for him, Sadle has worked at the JCC in many capacities. For 10 years, he worked as a camp counselor with various age groups and many different programs. He also was an advisor for Drew Corson AZA for four or five years and worked part time with the children’s programming and he taught Hebrew for Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad.
Born in New York, Sadle’s family came to Louisville when he was just 3 years old. He grew up at Adath Jeshurun (although the family belongs to Keneseth Israel today) and spent every summer at the JCC Summer Camp.
In fact, the JCC has been home for his entire family. His mother, Diane Sadle, is the JCC’s senior adult director and will be celebrating her 22nd anniversary here next month; and his father, Elliot Sadle, teaches Tae Kwon Do.
His older brother, Justin, was the BBYO director and assistant camp director at the JCC for several years, and then he went on to become the Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio Regional BBYO director. In fact, Glenn noted Justin even ran the middle school program for a while.
“I’m kind of following in his footsteps,” Glenn said, “but things have changed a little bit. I’m actually at his old desk, which is a funny thing.”
Sadle earned his BA in history with a minor in Judaic Studies from the University of Kentucky in 2009. At UK, he was active in Hillel and served as its president for a year and vice president for two. He returned to Louisville and worked at the JCC and LBSY until 2012. At that time, he decided to try something different.
“I never had done retail before that, so I decided I wanted to see what the for-profit world was like,” but he soon found that he wanted to return to the nonprofit world and that he really wanted to work with young teens. When the JCC youth and teen coordinator position was posted during the summer, he applied because this job is exactly what he wanted.
“I see it in a world where the Jewish population is shrinking,” Sadle said, “not necessarily in terms of numbers but in terms of involvement.” By getting people involved at the JCC at a young age, he believes they are more likely to remain involved throughout their lives.
If children in the 4th and 5th grades begin coming to regular activities, they’ll already have Jewish friends and will be ready for the Teen Connections program, which strengthens those ties and prepares them for BBYO. Then maybe “they’ll be involved in Hillel in college or join a jewish fraternity or sorority; and then they’ll be more likely to marry someone Jewish and raise their kids Jewish.”
Sadle is already busy planning. The first Cotillion class is on Sunday, October 26, and the first Teen Connections program is Sunday, November 2. “We are going to Lazer Blaze and going bowling,” he said.
Most of this year’s Teen Connections programs are already planned, but Sadle is looking for ways to “incorporate more Jewish aspects into the program, whether its doing a service at a synagogue on a Saturday morning … or doing like a havdallah service or doing tikkun olam.”
Sadle is also working on building a strong parent committee for Teen Connections.