Rosh Hashanah Greetings From the JCL

Each year, as we approach Rosh Hashanah, we as individuals look back over the past year and do a personal assessment, determine what we need to do differently and prepare to begin a new year with a clean slate.

This year, as we approach 5771, the Jewish Community of Louisville is also preparing for a fresh start, with new leadership, both the professional and lay.

Stu Silberman began his work as president and CEO in July and is spending his first weeks in Louisville learning about the community and the organization, meeting community members and leaders and listening to their concerns, their passions and their concerns.

David Klein has been nominated chair of the JCL Board, and will be elected officially to that post at the JCL Annual Meeting, Sunday, September 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center. Earlier this year, he and co-chair Joe Hertzman successfully shepherded the Planning and Allocations Committee through the process of allocating the $2.4 million raised by the 2009 JCL Annual Campaign. (The full report on the allocations adopted by the Board was published in the last issue of Community and is available online.)

With warm wishes for a sweet New Year, Silberman and Klein share some of their thoughts and plans with you in these articles.


Message from David Klein, JCL’s Incoming Board Chair
by David Klein

I’m excited about our community and the potential we have in the coming year.

In its first year of existence, we have laid the foundation for the combined entity, and now, I want to focus on the Jewish Community of Louisville at large and being a partner in developing its potential. We are poised to move forward, and I’m eager to begin.

In the coming year, as the leadership of the JCL, we must be conscientious community stewards and gain and maintain the trust of all members of the Jewish community. We must listen and attempt to meet the broad communal needs. We must provide for Jewish youth and adults the opportunities for Jewish education. We must maintain a communal gathering place where all Jews are welcome.

We must also be aware of the realities around us. This is a period when many families are in crisis for a variety of reasons. We must provide appropriate support for the Jewish families that need our help.

Most importantly, we must foster a greater connection with Israel and the world Jewish community, for, in truth we are all family. We must work toward increasing our communal support for Israel and our overseas partners.

My hope is that Stu Silberman, our new JCL president and CEO, and I can provide the leadership necessary to help our community grow and prosper in the new year.

But we cannot do it alone. We need the enthusiasm, support and active participation of all our Louisville congregations and Jewish agencies. Each has an important role in shaping our community and we want to be sure that we can all join hands at the table.

We also encourage everyone in the community, who has the desire, to become active as well, and are eager to create opportunities for more people to become actively engaged in areas where they feel comfortable. We want people to explore their interests, to discover what drives and excites them about being members of the Jewish community, and to find ways to help them channel those energies into the community and opportunities for them to contribute their time and demonstrate their personal commitment.

We have a lot to accomplish, but nothing can be accomplished without enthusiasm. This year, let’s spread our wings together and fly a little bit higher.

The Jewish Community of Louisville is my passion, and I thank you for this opportunity to serve.

Rosh Hashanah is a time of family, friends, reflection and peace; and I wish good things for all members of the Jewish Community in the coming year.


Message from Stu Silberman, JCL’s President and CEO
by Stu Silberman

I could not have asked for a better time of year to write my first message to you. Ever since I can remember, Rosh Hashanah has signified the start of some of my favorite things: Autumn, with the turning leaves, NFL football that I so much enjoyed sharing with my father, and visits to our Temple, which in Ann Arbor came with especially proud moments as my daughter, Skylar, sang choir solos in front of the entire congregation.

This year, I am experiencing new ‘firsts’ as Rosh Hashanah approaches – my family’s first High Holidays in Kentucky and my first job as a Jewish communal leader, where I feel a connectedness like never before between who I am and what I do.

I’d like to briefly lay out for you the major challenges I’ll be addressing this coming year:

Continuing the process of creating a single JCL based on the strength of the two prior organizations – the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Federation. The incoming Board of Directors and I will solidify expectations of each other and communicate our mutually agreed objectives to the JCL staff and community stakeholders.

Supporting and delivering the excellent planning work initiated by our committees: Planning and Allocations, Strategic Directions, Programming, Financial, Annual Campaign, and others, to build on the achievements of the past year and push ourselves to even higher standards and loftier goals for this year.

Fostering the positive relationships the JCL has developed with other Louisville Jewish agencies and congregations and approaching our work always considering the collective needs of the communities we serve – locally and internationally.

In everything we at the JCL do, we must ensure our actions result in the development of a sustainable, vibrant and welcoming Louisville Jewish community – so that our children and their children, and Jewish families who have never set foot in Louisville, but will be here someday, have a community they can call home.

Under the leadership of the new Board of Directors, led by its chair, David Klein, I’m confident that we’ll have a long list of achievements of which we can all be proud. That’s what I’ll be working on this year.

Would you like to be a part of it? If you’d care to join us, please get in touch and let’s talk. Contact me at or 459-0660.

Shana tova to each of you. May you be blessed with a year of health, happiness and peace.

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