KI planning its first Shabbat service on the city’s East End in March

Next month, for the first time in its history, Keneseth Israel Congregation will hold a Shabbat service on Louisville’s East End.
The East End Shabbat, as it is being billed, is slated for 10 a.m., Saturday, March 3, at the Bridgepointe Swim & Tennis Club in Prospect, a kosher Kiddush will follow. Rabbi Michael Wolk will lead. There will not be a Friday night service at that location.
Services at the KI building, led by Cantor Sharon Hordes, will go on as usual.
KI leaders tamped down suggestions that the service is somehow a test run for a future move to the East End.
“We’re just excited to have Shabbat in a new place,” Wolk said.
KI Co-President Sarah Farmer said the service is an opportunity to bring Shabbat worship to a sector of the Conservative community that does not live within walking distance of the synagogue.
The opportunity presented itself when Mark and Robin Wolff, KI members who live on the East End, offered to host the rabbi and his family and secure space at Bridgepoint for the service.
Wolk said he sees a need to serve families that have moved to the East End, away from older, more established Jewish neighborhoods, and perhaps don’t attend services as often because they live farther from the synagogues.
“What if there were a local option for them? he asked.
He said there will be no expectation that people who come to the service will be KI members or even planning to join the congregation. He expects most of the worshippers that day to be from the East End, though it will be “open to all,” according to the publicity.
Currently only one Louisville congregation, The Temple (Reform) is located on the East End. Both Conservative congregations – KI and Adath Jeshurun – have been in the upper Highlands, just a few blocks from one another, since KI made the move in 1964.
While this is the first KI Shabbat service in the East End, other than shiva minyans, Wolk and Farmer left open the possibility that it won’t be the last.
“I think we’ll see what the reception is and how people respond to it,” Wolk said.

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