Local Organizations Collaborate to Bring Thought Leader to Our Community

Rabbi Irwin Kula

Rabbi Irwin Kula

Your opinion matters when it comes to determining what the Louisville Jewish community needs today to ensure that we have a vibrant community for future generations. This question is so important, that our Jewish agencies and congregations have come together for an open community think tank, Embracing Change, on Tuesday, November 29, 7-9 p.m. at Congregation Adath Jeshurun.

In a demonstration of communal commitment to ensure open dialogue and to focus on the most pressing issues, The Jewish Federation and its community partners have engaged Rabbi Irwin Kula, the president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL), to lead the discussion.

The community partners – Adath Jeshurun, Jewish Family & Career Services, Jewish Federation of Louisville, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Keneseth Israel, Temple Shalom and The Temple – are offering you a seat at the table. It is important that every segment of our community is heard to assure the strength of the Jewish community in Louisville.

The steering committee that organized Rabbi Kula’s visit is made up of the professional leadership of our community including directors, rabbis and cantors. Sara Wagner, Jewish Community of Louisville president and CEO, noted, “this is an important step for our Jewish Louisville community. As our steering committee worked together over the past six months to make this a reality, we have had the opportunity to share our hopes, concerns and dreams for the community.

“Each of our organizations is meeting the needs of many community members,” she continued, “but certainly not all. As a group we have committed to work together to best meet the needs of those currently involved, to better understand what needs we are not meeting, who we are not reaching and prioritize for long terms changes that are facing our community. We recognize we cannot take anything for granted.

“Rabbi Kula has a unique ability to define the changes in our society and Jewish life in general,” she added. “As a result of Rabbi Kula’s visit our organizations have agreed to work together to prioritize real change and ensuring we bring the community closer together.

“This community think tank is a wonderful opportunity to hear what the most pressing issues are and better understand the steps we will be taking together,” she said.

In addition to leading the open meeting, Rabbi Kula will meet privately with leadership of the agencies and congregations.

The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence is investing in the future of the Louisville Jewish community by making grants that encourage community discussion and effective planning. Toward this goal, JHFE made it possible to bring Rabbi Kula to Louisville, creating this opportunity for open dialogue.

CLAL is a national leadership training institute, think tank and resource center that helps Jewish communities encourage pluralism and openness, promotes dynamic, inclusive Jewish communities, in which all voices are heard, nurtures volunteer, professional and rabbinic leaders, and helps people reimagine Jewish life.

An internationally renowned speaker, Rabbi Kula has inspired people worldwide by using Jewish wisdom to speak to all aspects of modern life and relationships. An engaged and thoughtful trader in the global marketplace of ideas, he led a Passover Seder in Bhutan; consulted with government officials in Rwanda; helped build cultural and interfaith bridges in Qatar; and met with leaders as diverse as the Dalai Lama and Queen Noor to discuss compassionate leadership in the 21st century.

Additional biographical information on Rabbi Kula was printed in the October 28 edition of Community and can be found at www.jewishlouisville.org/embracing-change. RSVP for the event at www.jewishlouisville.org/thinktank.

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