LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Derby City’s new Jewish Community Center campus officially has a new name.
The new campus, a $42.5 million complex set to open in spring 2022, will be named the Trager Family Jewish Community Center. Jon Fleischaker, the immediate past board chair of the Jewish Community of Louisville, said during a Zoom announcement Monday that the name change “honors the total continuing involvement of the Trager family in the Jewish community.”
“It is important to understand that the Trager family represents a commitment of past generations, as well as a commitment of the present generation and future generations, for the continued vitality and health of the Jewish community in Louisville,” said Fleischaker, who is also an attorney for The Courier Journal.
The current JCC was built in 1955 on Dutchmans Lane, and the new 107,000 square foot campus will be right behind it on property formerly owned by Congregation Anshei Sfard. The new facility will feature an indoor family aquatics center, a fitness center, an early learning center with a courtyard and a multipurpose auditorium space for theater and arts.
The Trager family has long been involved in the Jewish community — Bernard and Jean Trager, founders of Republic Bank & Trust Co., attended the JCC when it was downtown and known as the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, according to a press release.
The Trager family and Trager Family Foundation have committed $3 million toward the capital campaign for the new JCC, according to Sara Klein Wagner, president and CEO of the Jewish Community of Louisville.
Steve Trager, chairman and CEO of Republic Bank, said during Monday’s Zoom announcement that “the JCC is a place that’s always been welcoming to folks that aren’t welcoming elsewhere.”
“What we hope is for our next generation is that the JCC will be a great gathering place for them, their families and will mean as much to them in their future as it has meant to multiple generations of Tragers,” Steve Trager said.
The new JCC had a groundbreaking in fall 2020. Ralph Green, the current board chair of the Jewish Community of Louisville, said Monday that the capital campaign for the project has had more than 500 donors. The campaign has surpassed the $42.5 million marker for the project and is seeking additional donations for more amenities.
After the new facility is complete, the existing structure will be demolished. The Trager Family JCC will be the fourth complex to house the JCC in its 130-year history in Louisville.
“This JCC for generations has been here for all of us,” Wagner said Monday. “And for the next generation, the Trager Family JCC will be here for all of the Jewish community of Louisville, as well as the greater community of our city.”
“We can’t wait to open the doors and welcome you inside.”