JCL UPDATE | April 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, JCL! We were born five years ago on May 1, 2009, with the challenge of finding a new, sustainable model to strengthen our Jewish community, build Jewish identity and create a caring environment welcoming to all.

How have we done? Only you can determine that.

How much more do we have to do? Again, that’s based on you – your needs, your aspirations, your willingness to help.

Here are some of the facts that will help you make those determinations.

Did you know that since the JCL was formed:

  • The Jewish impact our JCC is making on our community continues to increase, and now Louisville rates higher than the average JCC on this very important measure?
  • The business side of our operation – mission-driven programming primarily at the JCC that provides income – has increased from a yearly net contribution of $800,000 to $1,200,000 – a 50 percent increase?
  • Contributions to our endowment funds, a measure of the community’s desire to allow us to administer their highly valuable charitable giving, increased by over $1,000,000 since merger?
  • Every year we reduce the amount of unrestricted endowment earnings we use to support our operations, from $492,000 in Fiscal Year 2010 to $126,000 in this Fiscal Year?
  • Though our employees had suffered through three (in some cases four) years with no salary increases, we have rewarded our employees for their steadfast contributions every year since I arrived in 2010, and even with those merit increases, we have been able to deliver program gains and increased Jewish content while keeping our personnel cost as a percentage of our budget flat?
  • We have accomplished all this with over $700,000 less in cumulative allocations from the Annual Campaign?
  • The cumulative improvement to the JCL operations, excluding the variability of campaign and other philanthropic activities, amounts to over $1,500,000?

The staff of your JCL are incredibly proud of our accomplishments. Our programs are flourishing, our staff is top-notch, and yes, our building needs work, though we are attending to that as best we can given our resource constraints and until we finalize our plan for our new home.

We’ve been doing a great deal of work internally to fix broken processes, build new capability and respond to the needs of our members, clients and guests. We have striven to increase transparency, even to the point of making our own presentation to the Planning and Allocations Committee, half of whose members are not directors of our agency, and clearly publishing all allocations in a timely manner. Our 2013 Annual Report, available on our website, clearly shows how the JCL applies the allocations we retain to provide programs and services to you. Charity Navigator has awarded us their highest, 4-Star rating, four years in a row, including measurements added last year on transparency.

We are also now turning to you, our community to help you better understand our operating brands: the JCC and the Federation; and as the lead Jewish agency, to provide strong leadership in addressing local, Jewish needs. Our strategic plan is being translated from complex worksheets to easily digestible formats, and our plan for communicating our progress is being developed.

Why? Why are we doing all this work? To fulfill our mission – Build and sustain a vibrant, caring, inclusive community rooted in Jewish values.

What does that mean to you? Are you now, or have you ever been, a participant in our programs? A recipient of our services? A supporter of your agency? We hope you are seeing and feeling the changes we’ve brought about, and are supportive of them.

Do you want a strong Jewish community in Louisville for generations not yet born? If yes, please help however you can – make a contribution to our annual campaign. Volunteer your time on one of our committees. Talk us up. Grab a friend or family member and come to our events. Be a part of your Jewish community.

We’re here for you, be here for us.


Leave a Reply