[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
“Ayala Golding is a caring, compassion-ate, committed Jew who has proven herself to be a strong, articulate leader,” said Jewish Community Relations Council Director Matthew Gold-berg, “so it is with great pleasure that the Jewish Community of Louisville announces that she will serve as the next JCRC co-chair with current chair, Leon Wahba,” who has been chair since 2009.
“Leon has been a wonderful role model,” Golding stated, “he has been so generous with his time and passion, and I hope that I will live up to, and attempt to surpass, his and the JCRC’s expectations of me in my new role.”
For Golding, seeking out opportunities for bringing people closer to Judaism and to a respect for Judaism is serious business, so the JCL’s Jewish Community Relations Council is a good fit. The JCRC focuses on addressing issues in the general community that are of concern to the Jewish community and on building bridges between the Jewish community and other faith and civic groups.
“I’m firmly committed to the concept of a JCRC,” she stated, “and interaction with the greater world community outside our own Jewish community. This is important to me and necessary to do.”
Golding is also interested in increasing the participation of JCRC members. To accomplish her goals she plans on reinvigorating the group’s subcommittees, letting people focus on specific issues. She also plans to “vary the meeting time to encourage greater participation.”
“We will once again be facing the textbook review in the upcoming year,” she said. “We are growing ties with our Louisville Muslim neighbors, and we are continuing to work at strengthening our campus activities.”
The JCRC is also a strong advocate for Israel. “In this time, when the Palestinian community is seeking formal recognition of a Palestinian state,” she stated, “we hope to be the voice in Louisville for Israel’s right to exist and remain a strong, viable country.”
Golding joined the JCRC a number of years ago as Anshei Sfard’s representative to the group. Today, she is a member-at-large and serves on JCRC’s Executive Committee.
In November 2005, the JCRC began to take an active interest in the textbooks being used in public schools. In March 2006, the JCRC learned that Kentucky would be selecting history and social studies texts over the summer. At that time, as chair of the Education Subcommittee, Golding spearheaded the local effort to review the textbooks for factual misrepresentations and sections of text that show bias against Jews and Israel in the way facts are presented.
She and her family spent the 2008-9 school year in Israel, and since their return, she has returned to the JCRC, became a member of the Jewish Community of Louisville Board, and in May was elected to the Jewish Family & Career Services Board.
In the past, she was a member of the Jewish Community Federation Board. She served on the Federation’s Planning and Allocations Committee as its liaison to Jewish Family and Vocational Service (now JFCS). She also served on the Board of Eliahu Academy.
In 2007, she received the Federation’s Julie E. Linker Community Relations Young Leadership Award.
Professionally, Golding is an attorney with Borowitz and Goldsmith, where she has been since 2004. Prior to that, she was associated with the firm of Pitt Fenton, and had been an investigator with the Metro Louisville Human Relations Commission.
She earned her J.D. from the University of Louisville Law School, where she “became inspired to get involved in employment law and human relations law.”
Golding grew up in an Orthodox, very Zionist home in New Haven, CT. Her parents were both Holocaust survivors.
“My parents’ experience is a huge influence on my life in general,” she said, “but my parents were also big volunteers in their own community. My mother is also a professional artist who, in the 1950’s, went to Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. She traveled by herself to Israel, and lived there from 1956-59.”
Golding, too, considered living in Israel. She earned her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, and spent her junior year in Israel, where she attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After her graduation, she returned to Israel for a year to see if she was ready to live there.
When she married, she came to Louisville with her husband, Dr. Joshua Golding, a professor of philosophy at Bellarmine University.
The Goldings have five children, Rafi, Rivka, Sam, Nathaniel and Vanessa. They are members of Congregation Anshei Sfard.