Sara Klein Wagner
I hear from people every day who are feeling overwhelmed. They are bombarded with social media, never-ending breaking news, personal and professional commitments and the perceived need to be in constant motion.
But I also see another side to those people.
From my office at The J, I can look out my floor-to-ceiling window and watch people enjoying family, friends and camp. I hear happy, upbeat people deep in conversation as they walk down the hallway after great workouts at the fitness center.
This is what The J is about. A communal organization devoted to those we serve and engage. We must also encourage healthy lifestyles, slowing down the hectic paces of our lives.
That’s where our strategic plan comes in.
Over the past year, the Jewish Community of Louisville (JCL), which includes the Jewish Federation of Louisville and The J, refocused our strategic plan to take a deeper look at our work and create a new mission, vision and values statement.
Here’s what we developed:
Our vision – inspiring meaningful lives while transforming our Jewish future;
Our mission – to be a community rooted in Jewish culture and values, providing a pathway to changing the world by bringing people together to discover, connect and flourish;
Our values – Tikkun Olam (repairing the world),
Torah (through learning, teaching & growing)
Areyvut (caring unconditionally for one another) and
Klal Yisrael (unity of the Jewish people).
In our self-examination, our board of directors and staff focused on our why and how we interact with each other.
For the first time, we chose core values, including Klal Yisrael, referring to all of Israel or Jewish peoplehood. Regardless of how one practices or does not practice Judaism, we share a common history and a shared future.
Today’s Jewish community is diverse. It includes many family and friends of other faiths who join with us to embrace our mission and inspire meaningful lives. Every day, I hear about the differences and diversity within our Jewish community.
I hope our new vision, mission and values spark thought and conversation. As we prepare for the new year, let us aspire to provide space and dialogue in a changing world, which is filled with kavod (respect).
My prayer for The J is a safe welcoming space filled with kavod for each individual and his or her opinion.
(Sara Klein Wagner is president and CEO of the Jewish Community of Louisville.)