[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
Among the Jewish Community of Louisville’s main functions are raising the dollars necessary to support the infrastructure of our Louisville Jewish community through the Annual Campaign, allocating them to meet community needs and bringing the community together to plan for the future. This year, the JCL has made some good strides in all of these areas.
With the leadership of Todd Blue and Lior Yaron, the 2010 Annual Campaign wrapped up with a total of $2,405,080 including $50,000 from the prior year’s Campaign. This represents a 16 percent increase over the 2009 Annual Campaign. Blue, Yaron and their cadre of volunteers worked tirelessly to speak to as many donors as possible and deserve kudos for their efforts. The generosity of those donors who support the Annual Campaign is also appreciated.
“At this time, some many cities still struggle with decreased campaign levels,” said JCL Board President Ed Weinberg, “our community of donors has generously increased their pledges by 16 percent. This shows the very strong support in Louisville for the mission and needs of our Jewish community and Israel, and that we are getting our message out.
“I wish to especially thank our Campaign co-chairs, Todd Blue and Lior Yaron, and all of JCL’s Campaign volunteers for a job well done,” he added.
Even with this significant increase, the needs of the community exceed the dollars available to address them. Planning and Allocations Chairs David Klein and Joe Hertzman, gathered a committee of representatives from all parts of the Jewish community to address this challenge. Klein also engaged Kelly Wesley, J.D. a partner in Trek Advancement, to facilitate the process.
“The committee members, realizing that this impacts the entire community, really took their roles seriously,” Klein explained. “Even though they might have been carrying their affinity organization in their hearts, they recognized that they were there to decide what was best for the community at large.”
“I was impressed by the passion and engagement of each committee member to advance the greater good of the community and their ability to embrace change in the process,” Wesley said. “The job of stewarding the philanthropic investments made by the community for the community is not an easy task. Therefore, it is important to celebrate the success of the most recent allocation outcome.”
“I want to compliment Kelly on the professionalism she brought to our process,” said Hertzman, “and for her help in facilitating the committee toward a successful outcome.”
The results of the process were evident in many areas across the board. For the first time, the committee looked at Jewish education as a whole first and the individual schools second. This year, Karen Bass, president of the Louisville Hebrew School, and Angeline Golden, a member of The Temple’s Board, worked closely with JCL’s Sara Klein Wagner, JCL vice president campaign/outreach and endowment, and devised a plan for the community that funds Jewish education for all students.
“They worked out the situation and presented the solution themselves,” Klein said proudly. “It ultimately accomplished what I was hoping it would –that we would stop wearing our [specific agency] hats and we work together to solve problems and to have more positive impact for the community at large.”
The Planning and Allocations Committee also recognized the Louisville Jewish Community’s strong connections with Israel. Historically, a larger portion of the Annual Campaign went to help our community fulfill its obligation to Jews-in-need in Israel and around the world. In 2009, community resources were stretched so thinly that that allocation was reduced.
This year’s committee took the first steps toward restoring that funding with the expectation that it will continue to increase in the years to come.
The final recommendations of the Planning and Allocations Committee that were approved by the Jewish Community of Louisville Board of Directors are printed in the chart on this page.
While almost every local agency received less than it requested, given the funds available, the process the committee used was widely regarded as fair, and the results of the process have been accepted.
The allocation for the JCL is $102,740 less than last year, reflecting the agency’s commitment to a leaner, more efficient organization; however, the JCL’s new CEO, Stu Silberman, still must find additional savings to meet the budget.
“I want to praise the JCL staff in their ability to embrace new ideas and appreciate their important role in the process,” Wesley observed. “The co-chairs did a fantastic job of setting a positive tone for the process and keeping the conversations focused on what is best for the community as a whole.
“I am excited about the recommendations for future topics to address that emerged from the allocation process,” she continued, “and know the evolving process will create a better understanding of the importance of supporting the campaign and its impact in the Community.”
“The process proved to be very successful,” Hertzman added, “and we’re excited about our outcome. We think we had a very fair allocation of the dollars raised, and we look forward to starting the planning aspect of Planning and Allocations in the next several months.”