There is a sense of excitement surrounding this year’s Jewish Community of Louisville Annual Campaign.
Donors at both the YAD Main Event and the Major Gifts Dinner generously increased their giving, and Bill Yarmuth raised the excitement further by issuing a challenge grant to honor and encourage members of the Young Adult Division and to involve many others in the challenge.
For Kim and Scott Norton that excitement is contagious and motivational, so they decided 2010 is the year for them to co-chair the JCL’s Annual Campaign Super Sunday telethon, which will happen on February 21.
The Nortons have recruited a first-rate group of volunteers to help them ensure the telethon’s success. With an overall Campaign theme of “Faith in Our Future,” the committee chose “Faith Comes from the Heart” as the Super Sunday theme.
Kim explained there are a number of important places where the dollars raised by the Campaign go – “the Jewish Community Center, Israel, The PJ Library, Shalom Baby, the JFCS Food Pantry” and much more. Each recipient is a small piece of the total puzzle. “It’s as though with each dollar you’re giving a piece of your heart,” she said.
There are many ways to give, she continued. “For those who can’t give money, there are many opportunities to volunteer” and make a difference.
Although Scott grew up in Evansville, IN, his roots are in Louisville. When his grandparents were fortunate enough to escape Nazi Germany, they settled in Louisville, and his father, Glenn Norton, grew up here and was active in BBYO.
“I feel like now I’m in a big Jewish community compared to Evansville,” he said, explaining that he had fewer options for involvement when he was growing up. His family belonged to Adath Israel Congregation, and he was active in the OVFTY (Ohio Valley Federation of Temple Youth) group there.
When he came to Louisville, Scott also found it very easy to fit in with the community because he already had many friends in the community. From the ages of 9-17, he attended GUCI (Goldman Union Camp Institute) the Reform Movement summer camp in Zionsville, IN. Since many Louisvillians also attend GUCI, Scott said, “a lot of the people we’re friends with today are people I went to camp with and met there. … We just love it here.”
An endodontist (root canal specialist) with a private practice, Scott is president of the Louisville Chapter of the Alpha Omega Jewish Dental Fraternity, serves on the Executive Board of the Louisville Dental Society and is a member of several dental study groups.
He is also a member of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Dental Society and a number of professional associations and societies.
Scott graduated from Indiana University, earned his DMD from the University of Louisville Dental School in 1996, and did his residency at the U of L Hospital the next year. He also completed the endodontic residency program at the IU Dental School and earned his M.S. in Dentistry in 2000. He was voted one of America’s top dentists for 2003-2010.
Originally from West Lafayette, IN, Kim earned her B.A. in communications studies from Indiana University, and worked as a representative for a dental manufacturer for a number of years.
Recently, she changed her focus, and now she devotes her time to their children, Ben, 3, and Alex, 6, and a multitude of volunteer activities.
The Nortons are active members of The Temple. Scott is a member of The Temple Board and Kim is a member of The Temple’s Trager Early Childhood Education Center’s Parent Board, and co-chaired the schools spring fundraiser last year. She is also on the committee planning the congregation’s January 16 Monte Carlo night.
He’s a member of The Temple Brotherhood, and she’s a member of the Women of Reform Judaism. She is also enrolled in The Temple’s Leadership Program that begins later this month.
The Nortons also belong to the Jewish Community Center, and in 1996-7, Scott served as the BBYO adviser for Pi AZA.
Kim began her involvement with the Jewish Community of Louisville last year when she worked on the Super Sunday Committee. Since then, she co-chaired the YAD fall picnic and was a table captain for the YAD Main Event.
She has also been a volunteer for Smile Kentucky, Louisville’s response to the American Dental Association’s challenge to treat as many children who are not receiving regular dental care as possible. Kim explained, “The University of Louisville has gone to schools where dentist would screen kids” to determine their needs, then one day, the university brings all the youngsters to campus, where they are treated at no charge. “Everyone donates their time,” she added.
For both Kim and Scott, growing involvement with the Jewish community is high on the agenda. “We want to give back and feel like we’re a big part of the Jewish community,” Scott said, so co-chairing Super Sunday fits into their plans.
“Last year was my first time being on the Super Sunday Committee and making phone calls,” Kim said. “I was surprised at how much fun I had. There was a lot of excitement that day, and people of all ages, from teenagers to seniors were all there to help.”
Super Sunday was such a positive experience for her that when the chance to co-chair this year’s telethon arose, they quickly accepted.
“I’m very proud to be Jewish,” Scott said, “and I want to see things continue to grow and thrive in the Jewish community.” He described Super Sunday as “a fun day that does a lot of good for the community and brings people together.”
For Kim, Super Sunday is about helping people – providing “for our children” and for the elderly with programs like the kosher meal delivery for shut-ins. “It’s about our generation giving back to the people who made our community possible for us” as well as ensuring its viability for the next generation.
It’s also about The PJ Library. “Our kids are participants,” Scott said, “and it’s fantastic. We told my brother, Brett, in New Jersey about it, and they signed up their daughter, Hannah.”
“We’ve been introduced to some very special Jewish literature that we wouldn’t have known exists,” added Kim. “From the literature to the CDs they receive to wonderful social gatherings,” The PJ Library is a wonderful way to introduce children to the Jewish community.
“Our goal is to have the best Super Sunday ever,” Scott said.
“Just being part of that whole day last year was an incredible experience,” Kim stated. “It was fulfilling and fun.”
Even the Nortons’ children are looking forward to the event. “Alex and Ben are saving their coins in their own tzedakah banks for Super Sunday,” Kim said.
The Nortons and the rest of the Super Sunday Committee, Deborah Goldberg, Orit Goldstein, Howard and Lisa Kaplin, Laurence Nibur, Shannon Rothschild, and Riva Schanker, are working out the details now so this year’s telethon will be just as positive for all those involved.
Volunteers will be needed for all shifts to make calls and for other jobs that contribute to making the day a success. The shifts are 9:30 a.m.-noon, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Each shift includes a training session. To volunteer, call the JCL office, 451-8840 or click here.
If you can’t come to the second floor of Shalom Tower that day to help, please answer the volunteers’ calls generously “by giving a piece of your heart,” Kim said.
More information coming soon.