Jewish Community of Louisville Announces Plans for a New Building

Linda Schuster, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence board chair, at the April 11 press conference.

On Thursday, April 11, the Jewish Community of Louisville formally announced the $40 million “Our Community, Our Future” capital campaign project for a new J campus in Louisville. This campaign is the result of a two-year strategic planning process that launched in 2017.

To date, the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence has generously committed impressive cornerstone and matching gifts. Additionally, close to 60 lead gifts have been secured from longtime friends including a $1.5 million gift from the Trager family and Trager Family Foundation.

This campaign will pave the way for a new J and expanded campus that will continue to be a diverse space for all to thrive together with new state-of-the-art facilities for membership and wellness, arts and culture, seniors, families and children. The project scope includes a total rebuild and flexible design of The J’s Dutchmans Lane campus by architects GBBN. Included in the proposed 80,000 square foot building is a 12,000 square foot indoor recreational pool and swimming facility, enhanced security features and an expanded early learning center. The new center will serve as a home away from home – a neutral space where friends and colleagues can interact in a variety of ways.

The strategic planning process leading up to the launch of the capital campaign was executed by a 10-member project steering committee, as well as more narrowly focused committees for:

  • Innovation and engagement
  • Facilities
  • Communications
  • J membership and community
  • Architect selection and campus development

The work of the committees has set the groundwork for creating a dynamic, user-focused campus, allowing people to connect in new ways.

The J will continue to be fully operational throughout construction. The new structure will be built approximately 300 yards behind the current building. Within approximately 90 days of completion of the new building, the existing structure will be taken down. Currently, the organization is exploring various plans for the front of the property with a hope to maintain as much green space as possible.

The design phase of the project will be finished this summer, and the J anticipates breaking ground by the end of this year. However, this will be contingent on their fundraising progress. Because the community believes in the common impact of this project, they have secured a number of lead gifts that have allowed them to reach 60 percent of their goal, though there is still a great deal of work to do.

For more information about the J and the capital campaign, visit jewishlouisville.org.