JCL Update: What’s in a Name?

[by Stu Silberman]
President and CEO
Jewish Community of Louisville

What’s in a name?

Since the creation of the Jewish Community of Louisville, Inc., unfortunately, confusion has been in ours. Last week we fixed that. And no, we’re not changing names again.

As a result of engaging a professional advertising agency, and with the endorsement of our Board, we brought back a nationally recognized brand, Federation, and added the Jewish Federation of Louisville to our portfolio joining other established and respected brands including the Jewish Community Center of Louisville.


Because Louisvillians still refer to us as the Federation. We do, after all, continue to carry out fine work as a Federated community, part of the JFNA network.

Because when we want to recruit the next high-performing staff member, we know the name Federation connotes one of the most prestigious jobs in the organized Jewish community.

Because when we send our volunteers and staff to national conferences, we don’t want people looking at our organization’s name, and trying to figure out what it means.

Because using national marketing materials will be much easier and cheaper than creating our own.

Because when people are considering moving to Louisville they will find that in addition to five houses of worship, we have a strong JCC and active Federation – all signs of a thriving Jewish community.

So, what does this all mean?

Think of Yum Brands. People don’t satisfy their hunger by going to a restaurant called Yum Brands. They go to eat a taco, a pizza, or some chicken. And they know what restaurants serve each type of food. When people interact with the JCL, we want them to have a connection to the brand (and hopefully, more than one) that satisfies their desire to strengthen their connection to Louisville’s Jewish community – be that by participating in a program at the JCC, or by helping ensure the sustainability of community programs by contributing to the Jewish Federation of Louisville annual campaign.

One organization. One board. One fully integrated staff. One set of financials. One mission. Several brands. It’s the right way to market ourselves, to attract new participants to our family, to clarify what we do, and be proud of the national organizations of which we are a part.

The JCL brand continues, serving as a convener of the Jewish agencies and administering our planning and allocations process. We help develop the next generation of leaders by exposing them to all aspects of our Jewish community and encouraging them to serve on the boards of Jewish agencies in town. Our other brands play significant roles in more visible aspects of our work to build a strong Jewish community.

The Louisville JCC offers a full range of programming the community has come to expect for all ages and stages of life, including early childhood, children, camp, middle school and teen, senior adult, fitness, cultural arts and more. Some programs that originated with the premerger Jewish Community Federation will now be offered through the JCC, like Shalom Baby, The PJ Library and newcomer welcome programs.

The Jewish Federation of Louisville encompasses all financial resource development, including the annual Federation Campaign, special fund-raising events, sponsorships, grants and more. The Jewish Foundation of Louisville will function as a sub-brand of the Federation, working in the areas of endowment and planned giving.

Through the Jewish Community Relations Council we advocate for Israel, advance interfaith relationships, participate in legislative and social action efforts, and serve as spokesperson for Louisville’s Jewish Community.

Hillel continues to serve as a home away from home for Jewish students on local college campuses.

Community and JewishLouisville.org serve as our communications mechanisms, where we connect with all our constituents using traditional and new media.

In a community where driving directions include “turn left where Sears used to be” it may take some time for people to use the right brand for the right purpose, but now we really don’t care. Call us the JCL, JCC, Federation, it’s all good. Just call us, and then come join us as we build a sustainable, vibrant and inviting Jewish community in Louisville for generations to come.

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