[Archived from March 20, 2009]
March 18, 2009 – Last year, the Louisville Jewish community embarked on a process to re-envision our community and reshape it to be dynamic, responsive and fiscally sound – ready to meet our communal needs of tomorrow.
To address the core issues, the Yachad Kadima –Together Forward Committee was formed and charged with bringing the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Federation together as a single agency, governed by a unified community board. That new agency will deliver high-quality Jewish experiences, drawing on the best of both agencies and responding to the community’s changing needs.
Significant progress has been made through the hard work of the Steering Committee and its many subcommittees. Yachad Kadima is co-chaired by Julie Ellis, Doug Gordon, David Kaplan and Helene Kramer Longton.
A memorandum of understanding, defining the process of consolidation, has been adopted by both the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Federation Boards of Directors. That agreement directs the Yachad Kadima Joint Steering Committee to approve bylaws and select a new Board, subject to final approval by the JCC and Federation Boards.
In addition, significant community research has been conducted by Horizon Research to provide insight into community needs to guide the process.
Now the next steps are being taken. The Steering Committee has approved a Nominating Committee for the new Community Board, and Craig Greenberg has been named chair.
“The charge from the Steering Committee came through loud and clear,” Kaplan stated. “Our Nominating Committee is committed to recommending a Board of Directors which reflects the diversity, experiences and talents of our entire community. It will draw on the strengths of all our agencies and our synagogues. It will echo the proud legacies of the Federation and JCC, and the wisdom of their prior leadership.
“But equally important,” he continued, “the new Board’s membership will show our commitment to the future. We are confident that the leadership of the new Jewish Community Association of Louisville will be well-positioned to ensure a vibrant and lasting Jewish community.”
“It is the goal of both agencies [the JCC and the Federation] to create a Board that is representative of all facets of the Jewish community,” added Greenberg. “The members will reflect a diversity of skills, ages, backgrounds, affiliations, denominations and interests. Considered to be top priorities are a passion and a vision for a better Jewish community.”
The Nominating Committee has met twice and began its search for a set of leaders to head the new agency. While hundreds of names are being considered, the new Board size is estimated at 25, with additional ex-officio seats for past presidents and all the synagogues.
“We have a big job before us, finding the right individuals to address the priority issues of a brand new entity,” said Greenberg. “To be effective, the new agency needs a strong Board of Directors that has the combined abilities and commitment to improve our Jewish Community.”
While some people have already been suggested for leadership roles on the Board and the committees that will ensure the success of this new organization, the committee is seeking nominations from the community as well.
“The success of the new community Board and the positive changes its members will bring to the community-at-large will be directly related to the participation of our community members,” said Gordon. “This participation will be both at a Board and committee levels. Therefore anyone interested in building a new process to help move the community forward is encouraged to contact the Federation or the JCC and express interest in participating.”
Individuals may also nominate potential Board and committee members using a website survey. “We welcome you to submit names of people with proven or emerging leadership experience in the non-profit or business world,” said Greenberg. The on-line survey also allows individuals to indicate their volunteer interests in one or more of the many opportunities that will be available.
The Nominating Committee has indicated that prior JCC or Federation involvement, while a plus, is not required. Individuals may also nominate themselves.
To help identify the Jewish community leaders of tomorrow, please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=9Z0mLKJClxjI4wdZZKbAew_3d_3d. If you do not have access to a computer and would like to make a nomination, paper copies of the survey are available at the JCC and the Federation. Nominations for Board and committee members must be submitted by Friday, March 27, to be considered.
“The prospect of having a truly representative community Board is very exciting,” said Longton. “The recent Horizon study makes it clear the community is looking for new leadership and new ideas. The more diverse, the better!”
Nominating Committee Members include Greenberg, Ed Weinberg, Michael Shaikun, Jon Fleischaker, Douglas Gordon, Julie Ellis, Helene Kramer Longton, David Kaplan, Ed Cohen, Marshall Kahn, Harry Geller, Debbie Friedman, Shannon Levine and Jerry Temes. Alan Engel and Robin Stratton are staffing the committee.