The Trager Family Jewish Community Center

Sara Klein Wagner, President and CEO, reflects on the opening of the new Trager Family JCC


By Sarah Carter Levitch
Photos by Kathryn Harrington & Robyn Kaufman


“Part of what makes us so special is that there is something for everyone,” said Sara Klein Wagner, President and CEO of the Trager Family Jewish Community Center. The new facility has been anxiously anticipated, and now its doors are open to everyone in the community. “We invite everyone to join us in the new building and be a part of the many activities that we have happening in this beautiful and inspiring new space,” Wagner emphasized.

Within the walls of the 107,000 sq ft. facility on Dutchmans Lane, Wagner explained, you can see and feel everything happening after stepping into the lobby space known as the “heart” of the building. The health and wellness center is straight ahead, the Yarmuth Family Aquatics Center is around the corner, the Shapira Foundation Auditorium is to the right and the Goldberg Family Gymnasium is to the left. The second floor track is located at the top of a large, open staircase, along with administrative spaces, many of which are named through the generosity of the Abrams family.

Wagner expanded on one of the new spaces, “Our Roth Family Education Center is phenomenal. The space was intentionally designed to support children’s education, development, and growth. There are so many special elements in our Early Learning Center, including two state-of-the-art traditional playgrounds and an outdoor classroom/natural-play area in the middle of 12 classrooms, that make us uniquely distinctive from other preschool programs in the area.”

In the new Yarmuth Family Aquatics Center, the indoor pool is an amenity that members can enjoy on a year-round basis for swim lessons, recreational play, aquafitness classes and lap swimming. “So many people learned to swim at the JCC and we hope to continue that tradition in future generations,” shared Wagner. “I know that our indoor pool will become a destination, as our summer pools are each summer, for families to spend time together throughout the year.”

Wagner explains that the dream of the Trager Family JCC would not have been a reality without the support of more than 500 donors, including individuals, foundations, the Trager Family and the Jewish Heritage Fund. “The philanthropy and generosity of the Louisville community has been overwhelming and heartwarming,” noted Wagner. “The conversations with donors reminded us of how much the JCC has meant to them over the years. We live in a world that’s often changing and unsettling. Our donors embraced the importance of creating a place that people would love coming to and one where everyone feels welcome.”

Reflecting on her hopes for the Trager Family JCC, Wagner concluded, “I think that we are all a little in awe of what’s to come. I imagine children, families, young adults and people of all ages having a place that they call home. A place where they’ll come for an event, to work out, to learn to swim, to see a theatrical performance, and so much more. We’re confident that the building itself is both beautiful and functional, but it’s really the people that will make it shine.”

Trager Family JCC
3600 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, KY 40205