JCL Briefing | September 26, 2014

Jewish-Households[2](Click on map for larger view)
I was explaining to my daughter the other day the wonder of the autumnal equinox. It’s one of only two days in the entire year when the earth is in balance. Sunlight falls equally on the Northern and Southern Hemispheres making days and nights about equal in length.

As we implement our JCL strategic plan, we continually search for balance. There are so many competing demands for the few resources our community has available, how do we balance those? What’s more important: providing delicious, kosher meals for our seniors, and helping them stay active and healthy through swimming and chair exercise programs, or offering our toddlers books with Jewish themed content to help them grow their Jewish identity as their bodies grow?

What will have a bigger impact on the future of our Jewish community: giving the few Jewish students on the U of L campus a Hillel program we can be proud of, or participating in interfaith groups so that the voice of our Jewish community stays relevant and influential in shaping local policies?

There’s another balance we seek to achieve, and that is of presence. What programs should we run in our JCC, the central Jewish address that’s not tied to any other agency, and what should we do out in the community, to attract new participants?

What about the location of our JCC? Is it in balance with the community? Take a look at the map, and you’ll see a remarkable balance between Jewish households roughly west and roughly east of our present location on Dutchmans Lane.

It’s not only today’s households we’re planning for, it’s also where the Jewish households will be in the next 20, or even 40 years. Will we experience the same increase in wealth and a resurgence for desire to own large homes as we did when the Jewish community began its migration east, or will realities of the new global economy and shifting personal priorities reduce the emphasis on large homes in favor of more manageable monthly expenses and the desire to locate in trendy, growing areas such as NuLu?

Note the particularly large concentration of Jewish homes in the Highlands. Is this the group that will need us the most in the future? Where should we be to be most accessible to the young families that represent the future of our Jewish community?

This JCL Briefing is filled with questions. These are the questions your staff and lay leadership face constantly as we seek for balance. Give us your thoughts. Talk with a staff member, a committee member or one of our directors. We represent you. Those of you who take the time to read our newspaper and learn about challenges are the ones who will use the programs and services we offer.

Finally, best wishes for a sweet new year. May you succeed in your efforts to find your own balance in 5775 and beyond. Shana Tovah.

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