[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
On Tuesday, June 28, the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Board of Directors approved the recommendations of the Planning and Allocations Com-mittee for allocations from the 2011 JCL Annual Campaign to Israel, Louisville’s Jewish agencies and the national agencies that sustain and support Jewish life.
The Planning and Allocations Committee, with Joe Hertzman as chair and Jay Klempner as vice chair, is a very diverse group, with representatives from all parts of the community. They heard presentations from each group that requested an allocation and were respectful of the agencies and each other.
Hertzman said the committee approached its task with a lot of feeling, analysis and accountability. “Every dollar in this community has to be accounted for,” he said.
This year, the committee conducted a mid-year review, he explained, during which they received updates from the major agencies and synagogues on how they were progressing toward the goals they set forth when they received their allocations last year.
Klempner described the committee’s deliberations for the allocations process as “very good dialogue amongst the committee members.” At the final meeting, he continued, “We discussed both the pros and cons of everybody’s requests, and I think all the final decisions were made in a very open atmosphere.”
“At the end of the long evening,” he continued, “I think the entire committee did a very good job.” The committee’s final recommendations gave most of the agencies the dollars they requested.
“There were some exceptions,” Klempner added, but the group reached a general consensus, although it was not unanimous, and “everybody received an amount that was appropriate with the dollars that we had available to allocate.”
The Planning and Allocations Committee was charged with deciding how the $2,329,770, raised by the 2011 Annual Campaign by the date of the committee’s final meeting, would be distributed.
This year has also been a challenging one financially for many people, as they struggle with a sluggish economy and down job market. Many people responded to the increased need, with 240 donors increasing their pledges to the Campaign adding $179,144 to the total. Nearly 130 people were unable to maintain their prior levels of giving. As Community went to press, there were still some people who had not made their commitments to the 2011 Campaign. Pledges are still welcome and can be made online by clicking here, by calling 451-8840 or by sending a check to JCL Annual Campaign, 3630 Dutchmans Ln., Louisville, KY 40205.
“In today’s difficult economic times,” said JCL President and CEO Stu Silberman, “to have a Campaign equivalent to last year’s is a good show of confidence and a tribute to the hard work of our Campaign volunteers and staff.” Ralph Green chaired this year’s Campaign.
With this total and some changes in the Community Health Plan and a reduction in the amount of money spent on the Campaign itself, the 2011-12 allocations include an increase of nearly $9,000 to Israel. Funding for the Partnership with Israel program, which pairs Louisville with the Western Galilee for programs in arts, culture, education, medicine, tourism, business and more, is included in this amount.
The allocations also include a 23 percent increase in funding for Jewish education, including a one-time grant to the Louisville Hebrew School for a Jewish educator.
There is also a $3,000 increase in funding to the successful birthright israel program, which provides Jewish college students and young adults a free trip to Israel, which strengthens their Jewish identities and their connection with Israel and the Jewish people.
In addition, there a $10,000 allocation to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, an organization that promotes and supports Jewish camping experiences as a way of helping children build strong Jewish identities. This allocation funds a matching grant that will enable the JCL to receive dollars from the One Happy Camper program to provide financial assistance for Jewish children who are attending Jewish summer residence camps for the first time.
Both Hertzman and Klempner stressed that the committee’s focus on accountability will continue going forward. Hertzman described it as “a change in culture. We’re allocating hard earned dollars and the community wants to know that they are being allocated fairly and used as they are intended.”
Klempner, who will continue as Planning and Allocations Chair next year, envisions some changes, “particularly in the committee’s planning aspect.”
“We, as a community, need to understand the needs of the community,” he said, “which are different from the wants. As part of the planning aspect, I envision … a process of staying in touch with the agencies that receive funding to see how they’re doing on the programs and services they wanted funding for to see that they are meeting the desired outcomes that they put in their proposals and presentations.”
That the community can do in the future depends on the success of the Campaign. “If the Annual Campaign does well,” Klempner said, “then the community does well. It’s important that not only the community, but the donors who make up the Annual Campaign, feel and see that their dollars are being used to meet the community needs first and then the community wants.” With a commitment to action and transparency, Klempner hopes to provide donors “a real good reason to give.”
“We also need to recognize that we are growing a community,” Hertzman added, “and the JCL is a positive force. We’re making a lot of progress, and doing a lot of good things. We’re moving past many of the challenges of the merger.”
In addition to the co-chairs, Hertzman and Klempner, members of the 2011-12 Planning and Allocations Committee are Shellie Benovitz, Leigh Bird, Julie Ellis, Debbie Friedman, Angeline Golden, Ayala Golding, Richard Goldwin, Katherine Heise, Roy Hyman, David Klein, Glenn Levine, Chaim Litvin, Craig Lustig, Carolyn Neustadt, Mark Oppenheimer, Susan Rudy, Denise Schiller, Hunt Schuster, Joan Simunic, Larry Singer, Steven Snow, Alan Ungar, Leon Wahba, Jacob Wishnia and William Yesowitch.
JCL President and CEO Stu Silberman, Chief Financial Officer Jamie Pillsbury and Vice President Sara Wagner worked closely with the committee.