Kesher Kentucky

After a one-year hiatus, the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Kesher Kentucky Leadership is being relaunched with an updated program that offers Jewish teens, currently in 10th and 11th grades in the Louisville metro area and throughout Kentucky, a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills, enjoy exciting programs with their friends and connect with their Judaism.

The 2010 program will include three Kesher programs this spring and three more next fall. It will culminate with a trip to Israel during winter break, December 2010.

Applications for the 2010 program are now closed. You will also need to present a referral letter and a filled out, signed Statement of Understanding to your interview.  Contact Julie Hollander at 502-238-2708 or for more information or if you have any questions.

Mission Statement

To provide Jewish student participants with a series of positive, constructive Jewish experiences, which will help them explore and enrich their identities and develop a closer tie with their Kentucky Jewish community. The program is designed so that each participant will become a productive, caring and contributing Jewish leader, capable of flourishing with a full, rich Jewish heritage and lifestyle with a diverse American culture.

What is Kesher Kentucky?

Introduced in 1995, Kesher  Kentucky is a yearlong Jewish educational institute for a select group of 10th and 11th grade students from Louisville and Lexington. The year is devoted to leadership development. Students will gain an inside perspective from Jewish communal professionals and community leaders and explore contemporary issues of Jewish life locally, nationally and internationally. Kesher Kentucky is limited to a select group of 20-25 students. The small class size creates an open and nurturing environment, which allows each student to strengthen his/her Jewish identity and personal leadership skills.

Tuition: The fee for each participant is $1,800. Any participant not affiliated or not in good standing with a participating congregation will be responsible for an additional $350 tuition. The Jewish Community Federation and Kentucky’s temples and synagogues have made a commitment to ensure that the Kesher Kentucky program is affordable. While the total cost to the community is $4,900, $3,100 of that cost is subsidized by funds from the JCL Annual Campaign, congregational subventions and private donors. Parents are expected to make a pledge to the 2010 JCL Annual Campaign. Scholarships based on need are available. For information, contact Julie Hollander Senior Director of Youth Services at 502-238-2708 or

Students are expected to attend all sessions. Only students who attend all programs will be eligible to participate in the trip to Israel. If the student has a conflict with one scheduled session, he or she must have the absence approved by the Kesher Kentucky director two weeks before the expected absence. For that program, the student will have a related assignment that must be satisfactorily completed. Absences will be excused on a very limited basis.

For more information, contact Julie Hollander, 502-238-2708 or or Sara Wagner, (502) 618-5307 or

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