JCL Update | July 24, 2014

Typically, I use this valuable space in Community to update you on happenings at your Jewish Community Center and Jewish Federation of Louisville, the two largest components of the JCL. For this month’s JCL update, I’ll direct your attention to the explanation of our strategic plan and now turn our attention to world events.

Click here to download 2014-2016 Strategic Plan

Last month, I talked about the several communities we belong to – our congregations, friends, colleagues and the Jewish Community of Louisville. Today, it is imperative that we talk about the larger Jewish community to which we belong and recognize that millions of our brothers and sisters are living lives today very different from the ones we are enjoying. I’m referring to the extremely serious escalation of hostilities against Israel from terrorist organizations in Gaza.

While the situation is fluid, one constant has never changed since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 – Israel wants to live in peace with its neighbors. When attacked militarily, Israel has a right to self-defense. When attacked in the media, a good offense makes for good defense. Specifically, we, as American Jews, have a role in affecting local opinions on Israel’s actions. And our ability to be effective in that role is dependent upon staying informed. So please, keep an eye on the news from Israel. Read our briefing in this newspaper and through our email updates. (If you’re not receiving these emails, please let us know by sending us a note at jcl@jewishlouisville.org or through the “Contact Us” page.)

If you know of a way your Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) can help, for example by speaking at your congregation or at a local church if you’re not from the Jewish faith, let us know that as well. If you know students on the U of L campus that are being fed information from propaganda organizations, our Hillel chapter can provide an alternate viewpoint – otherwise called “the truth.” Again though, we count on you to let us know. We can’t be everywhere, but we can help.

Read the positive comments from Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Andy Barr and others on page 10, then thank the JCRC for advocating for our larger Jewish community.

If you’d like to make a contribution to help provided needed financial support to Israelis who spend much of their time in bomb shelters, make a donation to our Stop the Sirens campaign. Funding will go directly toward relief for Israelis in the heaviest areas of bombardment for food, medicine, trauma counseling, repair of physical damage and providing a respite for parents and children by allowing them a day or two in an areas of the country outside the hottest zones.

Together in times of crisis it is most imperative that we recall the Ahavat Yisrael teachings of Leviticus 19:18 “Love your fellow like yourself.” Make a contribution. Speak up to defend Israel. Send a note to a friend in our Partnership 2Gether region. Do your part. Am Yisrael Chai!

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