When communism fell in the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain, so long padlocked shut, swung open, our Louisville Jewish community joined Jews around the world in celebrating. Many of us had struggled for years, begging the Soviet leaders to “Let our people go!”
The stream of Jews leaving Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and the other former Soviet states, which started as a trickle in the 1970’s, swelled to a mighty stream in the 1990’s. The refugees found new homes in Israel and communities across North America.
Federations in the U.S. and Canada were given a choice: welcome and resettle immigrants from the FSU in your community or raise money to help the communities that accept immigrants provide assistance with apartments, food, clothing, education, job training, English instruction and other resettlement services.
In Louisville, we chose to welcome hundreds of refugees to our community. Today, many still call the city home and others have moved on. Some have become successful entrepreneurs or built careers and others are retirees who live in Shalom Tower. Several have become active in the Jewish community and affiliated with congregations, others are secular.
The newcomers enriched and strengthened the Jewish communities where they settled, and more than a few have become our leaders and teachers.
Karen Abrams, chair of the 2013 Federation Campaign, is please to announce that Alina Gerlovin Spaulding will share her story at the 2013 Federation Campaign Major Gifts Dinner, Saturday, November 17, at 6:15 p.m. at Jewish Hospital’s Rudd Heart & Lung Conference Center.
Spaulding, who came to this country in 1979, serves as the head of school at Akiva Day School in Nashville and is involved in humanitarian causes in the U.S. and overseas. When she came to this country, with the help of many Jewish agencies funded by our Federation dollars, she came alone. Her parents tried to leave the former Soviet Union for several years, but were granted permission only when the worldwide Jewish community stepped forth.
Today, Spaulding is a true leader in the Jewish world. She coordinated the Delet Camp program between Greensboro, NC, and Beltsy, Moldova, for five years. She has also traveled to Minsk with Jewish Healthcare International on a mental health and Jewish education mission intended to build a more vibrant and healthy Jewish community in Belarus. As a result of her work, she has been awarded a number of highly prestigious fellowships.
When you support the 2013 Federation Campaign at the major gifts level, you are invited to hear her tell her remarkable story and how your donations helped make it possible. Together we do extraordinary things. We make a real difference in people’s lives, and Spaulding’s story is truly a miracle in which we each share a part. With your minimum commitment of $5,000 to this year’s Campaign, you and your adult children are welcome to attend this event. Ben Gurion Society members – young adults, age 45 and under, who make a minimum commitment of $1,000 – are also welcome.
A suggested contribution of $54 would be appreciated to help defray the cost of the event. A Vaad approved option is available upon advance request by November 5. $65 represents the cost of this event to the Jewish Community of Louisville. Accordingly, only the portion of contributions above this amount may be considered a charitable contribution. Attire is coat and tie.
Reservations are required by Nov. 15.
To learn more about the Federation Campaign or to make arrangements to attend this event, please contact Jewish Community of Louisville Vice President and Chief Development Officer Stew Bromberg, 238-2755 or email@example.com.
The dinner is being supported by a generous grant from Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.
[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]