[by Stu Silberman]
President and CEO
Jewish Community of Louisville
What an uplifting comment I just read online about Purim: while, like Chanukah, Purim was traditionally viewed as a minor festival, it has been elevated to a major holiday as a result of the Jewish historical experience and is now a thankful and joyous affirmation of Jewish survival against all odds.
At the JCL we’re doing our part to run with the L’dor Vador baton and hand it to the next generation. I hope after learning about our progress you will choose to join us – by contributing your time to a committee, your dollars to our Federation Annual Campaign, and your influence – one of your most powerful abilities – to encourage someone (perhaps your own child) who is not familiar with what we do, to learn about how together we are building Jewish identities throughout our entire community. When we work together, we do extraordinary things.
During last two and a half years, what I refer to as JCL Phase I, your JCL has invested in attracting absolutely fantastic staff, streamlining and reinventing our programming and development functions, creating robust policies and procedures, and significantly improving the financial stability of the JCL. While we’re not completely out of the woods, we are intrepidly moving into what I call JCL Phase II – a concerted shift of focus from correcting internal matters, that have now been mostly resolved, to directing more efforts toward improving Louisville’s Jewish community in six areas.
These areas were determined by our community as the highest priority areas through an extensive process involving all our congregations, JFCS and JCL staff, the JCL Board of Directors and volunteers. Each of these areas is equally important. More detail for each will be included in upcoming issues of Community.
- Kehilla (community) – creates leadership development that recruits and prepares young leaders to become active volunteers in our community’s agencies, ensures comprehensive community planning and communication, and engages youth and teens.
- G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) – provides hunger relief overseas and locally through JFCS’s food pantry, and scholarships for Jewish education and camp.
- Talmud Torah (Jewish education) – educates our community through the many supplemental Jewish educational opportunities in town for students, adults and young families.
- Hiddur P’nei Zaken (cherishing the elderly) – ensures our seniors are fed, transported, exercised and enriched through social and educational programs so they can maintain the highest quality possible independent lives.
- Tikkun Olam (repair the world) advocates for social action and responsibility, legislative action and interfaith relations through the fine work of our Jewish Community Relations Council.
- Ahavat Yisrael (love of Israel and Jewish peoplehood) – connects with and advocates for Israel through participation in programs including Birthright Israel, Partnership 2Gether, and a variety of other travel experiences for our young adults.
By focusing on these six areas, and more if we can find the resources, we will strengthen our community and become more resolute in ensuring our survival.
JCL Phase II is a commitment to the community that we are here for everyone; yet we can’t do it alone. How can you help move our community forward?
You already know the answers. It’s easy as 1-2-3.
Participate in our programming and encourage your children to do so.
Volunteer your time (see list of opportunities below).
Support the 2013 Jewish Federation of Louisville Annual Campaign by attending our events and contributing as generously as you are able.
We are a volunteer-led organization. What does that mean? It means representatives of our community govern the agency. Our staff is comprised of talented professionals who lead and implement our work, but it’s the entire community to whom we are ultimately accountable. The JCL’s committees support the community in a wide variety of areas and are overseen by the Board of Directors. If you are willing to commit some time and effort, please let us know, and we will work with you to find a match that meets your needs and the needs of the community.
Gator Swim Team Booster Club
Health and Wellness
Israel at 65
Jewish Community Relations Council
Jewish Film Festival
Cardozo Society (Attorneys)
Maimonidies Society (Doctors)
Young Adult Division
Marketing and Communications
To volunteer to participate in strengthening our community and supporting the JCL, please send an e-mail explaining your interests to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll work with you to find the right opportunity for you.
It is only through your help that we will be able to make a difference in each priority area, and create a sustainable, vibrant and inviting Jewish community in Louisville for generations to come. Together, we will do extraordinary things.
– Stu Silberman