JCL Update 02/26/10

by Ed Cohen

I’m sure that everyone is anxious about the arrival of spring but looking out my window I question if this will happen anytime soon.

Spring not only brings warm weather and flowers, but Passover and a reminder of who we are as Jews and also as members of our Louisville community. We have a lot to be proud of as we move toward our first year as a reorganized and resurgent community organization. The goal of our merger of the Federation and the JCC was to create a more welcoming, inclusive organization. The new Board of Directors and our incredible staff have been working hard to make this a reality.

As you have read in previous updates there are committees working to improve and develop programming and search for a new CEO. Our JCC continues to be the central location for our Jewish community. Our current building is over 55 years old, and the JCL is beginning a strategic planning process to decide the best way to move forward with this facility and also develop a new direction for the organization and community. We continue to work with our community’s agencies and synagogues to find ways to serve all of our residents.

JFCS continues to serve the neediest among us with their food pantry and other services.
As we are all aware, the needs are endless but our resources of course are not.

This is why I have served in the past as chair and co-chair of the JCL Annual Campaign and also why I continue to support JCL and all of our community by my donation to the Annual Campaign.

As we reach the midpoint in this year’s Campaign, we are excited to find that our Louisville community is again responding in a generous way. Todd Blue and Lior Yaron, who chair this year’s Campaign, are hard at work with all of the Campaign groups to make this year a great success. The Major Gifts event has raised over $1 million so far, and Super Sunday last Sunday again was a great success, reaching a large portion of our community for their gifts.

There has also been a focus on YAD this year. As younger adults have been stepping forward to take leadership roles on the JCL Board and many committees, William Yarmuth sought to recognize those efforts and encourage them to increase financial support of the community to match their volunteerism.

He issued a challenge grant, pledging $50,000 to the Campaign if YAD members double the $47,000 they raised at their main Campaign event. He also encouraged other community members to add to his challenge, further leveraging YAD Campaign gifts. I’m proud to say, several people have joined him in providing matching funds.

We’ve also spent a lot of time this year planning for the future and dreaming about what we want our community to be. Planning and dreaming is important, but unless we invest in our community by supporting the JCL Annual Campaign, we will never be able to move beyond plans and dreams.

While we use a large portion of our funds collected to support our Louisville community, we also send a significant portion to our partners in Israel, specifically the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). These funds support efforts to help our Jewish family both in Israel and around the world.

We cannot do any of these wonderful things without your active support both as a volunteer and a giver to the annual campaign.

If you have already made your gift to the annual campaign, we thank you. If not, please consider doing so when a volunteer contacts you or go to our website, www.jewishlouisville.org, and making your donation there.

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