All About LBSY

Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad

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Our History

Overview

Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad (LBSY), also known as the Louisville Hebrew School, is said to be the longest continuing operating school of its kind in the city of Louisville, the state of Kentucky and possibly one of the oldest in the country. 2023 marks the 119th anniversary of LBSY.

Louisville Roots

The school began in 1908 when local leaders founded the Louisville Hebrew School. The school provided both a religious education and the fundamentals of the Hebrew language. Unlike many schools of that era, the Louisville Hebrew School did not separate students based on their sex.

In 1910, the Hebrew School spent $50,000 for a new building, nearly $300,000 in today’s currency. Although most of the students had an Orthodox background, it was not exclusively an orthodox school as many children from Reform and Conservative congregations also attended.

A Union

As the size of the Jewish community increased, so too did the number and size of the congregational religious schools. During this period the The Louisville Hebrew School suffered. In order to support the school there was a local tax on kosher meat and chickens. Fortunately, the Louisville Hebrew School survived because as Louisville Congregations shrank, so too did their religious schools.

Temple Shalom, Congregation Adath Jeshurun, and Keneseth Israel Congregation could no longer support their religious schools because of declining enrollment. They banded together  and took over the Louisville Hebrew School, renaming it Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad (LBSY) soon after.

Foster

Our Values

The work of Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad is guided by our belief in and our commitment to:

Inclusiveness

We respect people, value diversity, and are committed to equality.

Teamwork

We value collaboration between families, teachers, congregations, and community organizations.

Compassion

Through Tikkun Olam, we value preparing our youth to give their best to the world.

Identity

We value our Jewish heritage, culture, and traditions.

Learn About

Our 3 Congregations

Temple Shalom

Temple Shalom is a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community where the celebration of Reform Judaism blends tradition with modern practice and enriches lives through spirituality, education, social engagement and Tikkun Olam.

Congregation Adath Jeshurun

Congregation Adath Jeshurun is dedicated to Conservative Judaism and its dynamic interpretation of Jewish law, offering a variety of opportunities for individual and communal spiritual growth.

Keneseth Israel Congregation

The mission of Keneseth Israel Congregation is to provide a warm and spiritually nurturing environment in order to fulfill our religious, educational, and social needs. We strive to create a community that is committed to living the teachings and principles of Judaism within a traditional Conservative framework that is inclusive to all members.

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Our Vision

Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad envisions an inclusive Jewish community where all youth possess a deep sense of belonging and find in their Jewish identity a profound source of confidence, pride, and purpose.

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Our Mission

L.B.S.Y. educates the youth of Louisville’s Jewish community, providing a fundamental proficiency in Hebrew and Judaica, so that they understand, embrace, and cherish their Jewish identity.

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