Series of Events Leads to Week of Giving, Million Dollar Dinner

The 2015 Federation Campaign is underway and gaining steam.

People crowded into the new Copper and Kings Distillery test kitchen on Sunday, October 19 for the first event of the Campaign in the Uniquely Jewish Event Series. Chef Katsuji Tanabe’s creations delighted all comers, including a number of first-timers. (See BBQ and Bourbon)

Next up: the Lion of Judah event on Wednesday, November 5. Teddy Abrams, the new music director of the Louisville Orchestra, will be the featured speaker at a private home. Event chairs Debbie Friedman, Jane Goldstein, Cheryl Karp, Kate Latts and Denise Schiller invite all women who support the Annual Federation Campaign at the Lion of Judah level, $5,000 or more each year, to meet the maestro and enjoy a heavy nosh. The cost of this event is $36. (See LOJ Teddy Abrams Event.)

In years past, the Annual Federation Campaign has begun in the fall and stretched until the moment the Planning and Allocations makes its final decision in June. This year, Campaign Chair Doug Gordon is committed to change that dynamic by ensuring that donors have the opportunity to make their pledges early, enabling the Campaign to deliver as much support as possible to our community agencies and Israel.

He’s recruited a top-notch Campaign Committee to help complete the 2015 Campaign. With their energy and commitment, the focus is on encouraging everyone to give generously and make their pledges early.

To accomplish these goals, December 7-11 has been designated the Week of Giving for the 2015 Federation Campaign. During this week, Gordon explained, there will be an expectation that donors who believe in the work that the Campaign makes possible will step forward to make their pledges. More volunteers are also needed to help the Campaign reach its goal during the Week of Giving. To make your pledge or volunteer, go to or contact Kristy Benefield, or 238-2739.

The Week of Giving will culminate with a Million Dollar Dinner. Donors of $1,000 or more, as individuals or couples, are invited to celebrate our community’s success. The dinner, just $36 per person, will include local stories of Jewish Journeys and how your Campaign donors have made a difference in people’s lives. It will also feature Hollywood writer David Weiss, whose hits include Shrek 2, The Rugrats and more. (See Million Dollar Dinner.)

December also means Chanukah and the last chance to give and claim a tax deduction on your 2014 federal income taxes. The Campaign will make an end-of-year push encouraging donors who have not made their commitments by December 14 to step up and do their part.

Super Sunday for the 2015 Federation Campaign will be January 25. Make your pledge before that, and you won’t get a call that day.

The Young Adult Division, chaired by Keren Benabou and Laurence Nibur, is also gearing up for an active Campaign season. The YAD 20’s and 30’s group had a planning meeting Thursday night, after Community went to press to plan additional events.

Several of the Ben Gurion Society members will attend the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in Washington, D.C., in November, where they’ll participate in North America’s premier leadership retreat for Federation volunteer leaders and professionals. They expect to return to Louisville inspired and ready to cultivate other future leaders in our community. Michael and Beth Salamon are chairs of the Ben Gurion Society.

And all YAD members are asked to hold January 24, 2015, for the Main Event, which is now being planned. It promises to be a night to remember.

It takes all of us pulling together to ensure that our children have opportunities to attend summer camp at the JCC and participate in Teen Connection and BBYO; that newcomers are welcomed warmly and invited to become active members of the community; that individuals and families coping with life’s challenges have the support they need, whether or not they have the resources to afford those necessary services; that our community offers lifelong Jewish learning and culture opportunities; that our seniors have access to affordable, hot, kosher meals as well as options that help them remain healthy and active physically, mentally and emotionally; and that we are there for Jews at risk, wherever they might be – in Louisville, in Israel and around the world.

Together we do extraordinary things.

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