[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
The Louisville Jewish community is blessed with some strong leaders, and from time to time they assume leadership positions on the national level.
On Tuesday, May 4, Ed Goldberg completed a two-year as treasurer of the Jewish Community Centers Association, the national parent association of Jewish Community Centers across North America. Goldberg continues to sit on the national JCCA Board.
As treasurer, Goldberg worked closely with JCCA professionals. In addition to helping monitor and manage the agency’s approximately $13 million annual budget, he sat on the Finance, Investment, Audit and Executive Committees.
The JCC movement is over 150 years old, and the Jewish Community of Louisville’s (JCL)JCC is well into its second century. Based in New York City, the JCCA provides a broad range of services and programs to support local JCCs, and much more.
“The JCCA is our national organization for JCCs, camps [both overnight and day camps], the JWB Chaplains Council and scholarships to prepare professionals for service to JCCs, to increase the professionalism of those in the field,” and to help individual JCC conduct executive searches, he said. JCCA sponsors the Maccabi Games and Art Fest and maintains an office in Israel.
In addition, the JCCA is “responsible for the Shlichim program” that sends Israeli emissaries to North American Communities to teach about and advocate for Israel. As an education agency, JCCA has developed strong curricula for early childhood, including Pirkei Explorer and Dafna.
JCCA also works with the Jewish Federations of North America, another parent organization of the JCL, on programs like The PJ Library.
As an example of the work JCCA does, Goldberg explained, the JWB Chaplains Council provides resources for chaplains serving Jewish service personnel overseas to enable Jewish members of the armed forces to celebrate holidays and Shabbat. “We’re trying to raise money to have six very small Torahs made and delivered to chaplains overseas,” Goldberg said. “They must be small enough to be easily transported.”
“This is a very difficult time for JCCs in general,” he observed, “in terms of trying to reshape the Centers to attract young people today” and to determine real community needs. The JCCA is also trying to address a shortage of JCC professionals. Over the next few years, Goldberg said, “they will be retiring at an alarming rate.”
“I served [as treasurer] because I feel like the JCC movement is a must for the survival of the Jewish community,” Goldberg stated. “Everything they do perpetuates that, and their vision is to meet the needs of today and tomorrow to make the Center a viable place.”
There are many ways to be involved with JCCA programs and institutions, and Goldberg encourages members of the Louisville Jewish community to pick their own way to become active.