by Stew Bromberg
Vice President and CDO Jewish Federation of Louisville
PASSION: a strong affection or enthusiasm for an object, concept, etc.
We all feel passion for something or someone. Generally this is not something we decide to do or work hard to develop. It just happens. Maybe it started when we attended an event, witnessed an occurrence, or, over time, we have been drawn to certain beliefs and have developed a dedication to have an impact on the future. Passions can take many forms and cause us to follow different paths throughout our lives.
I have a deep passion for my family. I also have a very deep passion for the survival of Judaism, here in Louisville, across North America and, yes, globally. I can trace this passion to my first Jewish overnight camp experience at Camp Kingswood in Bridgeton, ME. Here I was spending time with 200 other Jewish campers and 50 Jewish staffers, all making this the most Jewish experience I had ever had. I was a camper for three years and a counselor for two.
My children attended Camp Kingswood and I chaired the camp’s 50th anniversary reunion weekend. Clearly this started me on my personal path to defining my passion for Judaism.
We all have passions. We all want our passions to continue in perpetuity. There are programs that will help us all secure the future of our passions for generations to come, and the Jewish Foundation of Louisville and the other Jewish organizations in our community can help make this happen. There are two programs we are currently working on at the Jewish Federation of Louisville.
The first is the Create Jewish Legacy program in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America. We can provide information about the many vehicles available, such as Charitable Trusts, Bequests, Gifts of Insurance, and others that will provide you the opportunity for you to ensure the continuation of programs and/or services that address your personal passions.
The second is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation known as “Life & Legacy – Assuring JEWISH TOMORROWS.” The Grinspoon Foundation is the same organization that has spread PJ Library across North America by providing Jewish children with free Jewish books and music delivered to their home each month.
We have been invited to apply for a grant from that foundation to become one of their next Life & Legacy communities. If we receive the award the foundation will provide funding, training and ongoing support for us to help all the Jewish agencies in Louisville start or enhance their own Legacy programs.
We will provide training, marketing materials, regular meetings as well as incentive grants to the organizations that choose to participate to offset their administrative and implementation costs. The funds raised by each organization through this amazing and successful program will help build their legacy programs from their donors.
Our role is to help the community achieve the goal of becoming more self-sustainable and move forward as a strong and vibrant community. We are not guaranteed to receive this grant and I will keep you posted as the process of review continues.
But since I am talking about grants I would like to update you on our efforts to enhance our revenues through grants from the outside community. Last year we raised $547,000 in grant revenues to benefit the programs and services we provide directly to the community. So far this year, we have raised $622,000 in grant revenues. This represents an increase of 13.7 percent. I am very proud of this increase and want to make sure you understand that all grant submissions require great teamwork with staff from all departments providing input and ideas. Together we do extraordinary things.
Next month I will be announcing the many changes we have planned for the 2015 Federation Campaign and some of the events we have planned for the community.