JCL Update 05/14/10

by Shannon Levine

To commemorate the one-year anniversary of merger between the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville, let’s take a moment to reflect on what this has meant for the community.

While one cannot always see daily progress at work, this column has allowed members of the Board of Directors, over the last 12 months, to communicate and report to the community on what is happening behind the scenes. As we learn from the past, live in the present and look towards the future, there are many lessons that can be taken away. It is the hope that this column has been not only informative, but also hopeful in that progress continues to happen each and every day.

That being said, I thought I would devote this column to the many wonderful things happening through the programming arm of JCL. As we approach the end of the school year, youth programming continues to be at the forefront of many community discussions.  After speaking with BBYO and Teen Director, Justin Sadle, I assure you that much is happening in this arena.

Sadle remarks, “We are reinvigorating the youth programming in the community. There are lots of different things going on depending on individual interests, and we are only looking to expand on that.”  Sadle who continues to be very optimistic on all that is happening, with our Jewish youth, shared with me the following:

Currently, between our middle school and high school divisions, there are over 100 teens engaged in some type of programming.
Kesher Kentucky, a high school leadership development program, is back after being on hiatus for over a year. New and improved, this program currently has 23 high school sophomores and juniors enrolled. The group has already met and had two programs, including a visit to Indiana University to learn about being Jewish on a college campus and meeting with Mayor Jerry Abramson to discuss Jews in politics. It will conclude with a trip to Israel over winter break 2010.

AIT/MIT, a BBYO training convention, was held in late April. Roughly 15 students from Louisville participated in this regional convention that focused on community service.

Community Service Camp for middle school students and the Counselors in Training (CIT) program are once again being offered as summer camp options.

The Jay Levine BBG girls raised over $300 in their Mother’s Day flower fundraiser.

Thanks in part to David Klein’s grant challenge; JCL is currently in the process of hiring a new Middle School Director.

Approximately 75 regional and local BBYO participants are expected to attend the Regional Beau Sweetheart Dance and Dance Marathon this weekend in Louisville. Based on a university model, pledges are currently being sought by each participant with half of all money raised going to Save the Children Foundation (for work in Darfur) and the other half going to a charity selected by each local chapter. The Louisville chapters will donate their proceeds to Meghan’s Mountain.

As you can see much is happening.  This is just a sampling of what hard work is being put into youth programming with many new initiatives continuing to be on the horizon. Stay tuned, through this column, as my fellow Board members share what exactly this merger has meant and continues to mean to them.

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