Purim Traditions Include Fun and Helping Those in Need

Sara Klein WagnerPurim is probably the most joyous and fun Jewish holiday of the year. It has even provided several words in our everyday vernacular “the whole Megillah” or “shpiel”. There is something for everyone: treats, including Hamantashen, costumes, celebrations, including alcohol, and the retelling of a story that celebrates good overcoming evil complete with audience participation.

The Purim shpiel is the tradition of putting on satire or play of the Purim story. Mishloach manot, sharing baskets of food, and matanot la’evyonim, the tradition of giving charity are all part of the Purim holiday.

The story of Purim also teaches us that one person can make a difference. Esther risked her own life to stand up for others. We are very fortunate in Louisville to have the opportunity to continue learning and growing Jewishly and to stand up to help others.

I recently met with a long time donor to thank her for her support and learn more about her perspective of our Jewish community. Without a moment of hesitation, she shared her Melton participation as a life changing, incredibly engaging and meaningful experience. She described what she has studied, the instructors and the many members of the community she met and spent time with who she would never have met without Melton.

As I listened to this donor share her pride that Louisville has a strong Melton program while unfortunately other communities have disappeared, she shared her appreciation that the Federation and JCC are partnering with the initiative led by Adath Jeshurun with support from Congregation Anshei Sfard, Keneseth Israel Congregation, The Temple and Temple Shalom, and generous grants from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Jewish Foundation of Louisville and the Dorothy Levy Memorial Fund. She is grateful to the Federation for contributing to Melton, ensuring that everyone who wants to make the commitment to Jewish learning has the opportunity to do so.

The Melton experience is providing opportunities for adults throughout our community to explore the complexities of Judaism with a sophistication well beyond the teaching tools we use to teach our children, from noisemakers to costumes.

In addition to celebrating learning this Purim season, I encourage you to participate in the 2016 Federation Campaign if you have yet done so. We are stronger together and aspire to grow the participation of community members who are committed to helping strengthen and make a positive impact on Jewish lives.

Remembering Jay McGowan
Melton is an integral component on the education scene for the Jewish community, and we are proud to support it. However, there is also some sad news on the education scene in Louisville and it impacts the Jewish community. We join with the rest of the Louisville community in mourning the passing of Bellarmine University President Jay McGowan.
As a community, Louisville lost a passionate, compassionate and committed leader earlier this month. Dr Jay McGowan led Bellarmine University for 16 years. As Dr. McGowan grew the Bellarmine community, he led the Catholic university to welcome the wider community to campus.

Following a trip to Israel in 2005 with United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Dr. McGowan welcomed Federation leadership at his home to share his life-changing experience and insightful perspective on his Israel experience.

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