Uniquely Jewish Event Series starts with Planes, Trains & Automobiles

The Jewish Federation of Louisville invites you to a different kind of Annual Campaign Event. Come to Blue Grass Motorsport, 4730 Bowling Blvd., on Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. for the Uniquely Jewish event, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”

Dr. Gary Zola, the executive director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), will explore how Jews got to Louisville and the surrounding region, how the Jewish population has changed over time, and what role transportation played in the process. You will be encouraged to participate in the discussion about Jews and mobility. Dr. Zola is also a professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and editor of The American Jewish Archives Journal. He is the author or editor of eight books and has written numerous articles for a variety of publications.

In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Zola to serve as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, an independent agency of the Federal government. Establish by Public Law in 1985, the Commission exists to foster the preservation and protection of the cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings associated with the foreign heritage of United States citizens.

He also served as chair of the congressionally recognized Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History, and was appointed to the Academic Advisory Council of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.Under his leadership, the AJA has expanded its holdings, programmatic activities, website and online resources.

The event is hosted and sponsored by Blue Grass Motorsport Audi. Refreshments will be served and a Vaad-approved kosher option is available if request is received by April 15. You will have the opportunity to make your pledge to the 2013 Federation Campaign at this event. Ben Vaughan is chairing this event.

SAVE THE DATE for a second Uniquely Jewish event, “Advocacy: The Jewish Way.” On Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at the Gheens Foundation Lodge, Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), will show those in attendance how to advocate effectively for the causes that are important to them and the Jewish community. Felson will share his experiences lobbying in Washington, D.C., to help the Louisville Jewish community improve its lobbying, political involvement and grassroots organization.

The JCPA is the public affairs arm of the organized American Jewish community, representing 14 national Jewish agencies and 125 local Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRC). Louisville’s JCRC is a member, and a delegation of eight Louisvillians recently attended the organization’s annual Plenum.

Felson has written and spoken on a broad range of topics includinganti-Semitism, civil liberties, civility, freedom of speech, hate crimes, homeland security, interfaith relations, the role of religion and state, and non-profit tax issues. He is one of the lead professionals navigating the Jewish community’s relationships with Mainline Protestant and Evangelical Christians, Muslims, and others – and has spent 10 years in the trenches combating anti-Israel delegitimization in American churches.He has guided JCPA’s participation in Supreme Court briefs on subjects including hate crimes, school vouchers, and religious liberties. He also leadsJCPA’s national campaign to restore civility to Jewish and general discourse.

He is the author of a groundbreaking report analyzing the demographics of Palestinian Christians, a chapter on Evangelical Jewish relations in “Uneasy Allies” (Temple University and Jewish Theological Seminary), and numerous articles and op-eds that have appeared in S’hma, JTA, The Forward, and elsewhere.

Enjoy refreshments and network with others while learning how to influence and improve our community. Vaad approved option available upon advance request by May 13. Becky Ruby Swansburg is chairing this event.

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