[by Stu Silberman]

Like another birthday (for those of us who want to stop counting them), it’s now that time of year where the JCL makes an impassioned plea for your attention. I’ll wait… OK, here it comes. We’re wrapping up the 2013 Federation Campaign solicitation season, and we have not yet secured the commitment we need from our community to continue funding the programs that make us who we are – Jews.

I just completed the JCL interim report to the Planning and Allocations Committee. That’s the committee, comprised of your peers, lay leaders in Louisville who have dedicated their time to make the tough decisions about how your campaign dollars are distributed among local, national and international needs. What? you might be asking yourself. Why does the agency responsible for raising the dollars need to ask for them? Because, in our new model, we want to be evaluated along with every other requesting agency. We want to be held accountable and measured to the same standards as every other requestor.

So here I sit, writing responses to the form I wrote, and I have to tell you, it feels great. By the time you read this, my leadership team and I will have made our pitch for why your dollars should be allocated, in part, to our agency. While I won’t go into all the details (but if you want to know, ask me), I was pleased to include a list of innovative risks we have taken this past year. You’re holding one of those risks now, a new newspaper format. But the risks I wrote about included new methods of making our philanthropic efforts fun and relevant, of improving the quality and content of our programming, of continuing to leverage our new agency model to reduce unnecessary expenditures, use technology to increase effective decision-making, and use the fact that we all now reside in the Center to speed execution of our plans.

Speaking of the Center, I wanted to share with you one part of my response to the committee: As the central Jewish address, the JCL campus provides a meeting place where Jews, no matter their level of observance, whether affiliated or not, and irrespective of whether their family contains members of other faiths, can participate together in a variety of programs that enhance their Jewish well-being. The campus also serves a valuable outreach purpose, engaging people from all faiths and providing the opportunity for people of all religions to share positive experiences together. I’m pleased to report that JCC membership and fees from the programs we run here mean that campaign dollars are focused on Jewish mission-based programming and development, and helping those in need locally and around the world by providing basic needs, Jewish identity-building, education, social and other support.

Join with so many of your friends and neighbors, and help us achieve the level of support to ensure we are able to carry out our mission, building and sustaining the Jewish community here and around the world. If you haven’t yet made your pledge, do so now. Thank you.

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