Interview with Sara Wagner, June 9, 2017

Project: Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Sara Wagner is a Louisville, Kentucky native and the current head of the Jewish Federation of Louisville as of 2017. Wagner reflects on her Jewish upbringing, the traditions her family observed (such as keeping kosher), as well as her family's roles in the Jewish community. She includes a brief background of her family history and her ancestors' journey from Poland and Ireland to the United States in approximately 1890. She also describes growing up in 1960s Louisville and the Jewish culture in the city at the time. She makes note of the shift in religious practices that have shaped Jewish culture in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Wagner describes her college experiences at the University of Wisconsin from 1983-1987 and discusses her involvement in a Jewish sorority, Sigma Delta Tau. She describes meeting her husband, Howard Wagner, in the 1980s and living in Boston, as well as her work experience with Rabbi Kaminsky at Brandeis University from 1987-1989. Following her time in Boston, she discusses her job search process and her decision to return to her hometown. Wagner describes her transition back to Louisville and her work on the Community Relations Council. Wagner explains the merger details between the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation of Louisville in 2009. She also describes her eventual job promotion to President of the Federation in June of 2015. She reflects on the strengths, challenges, and future challenges of both the Federation and the Jewish community of Louisville in general.

Interview Accession

2017oh381_jk058

Interviewee Name

Sara Wagner

Interviewer Name

Carol Ely

Interview Date

2017-06-09

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Wagner, Sara Interview by Carol Ely. 09 Jun. 2017. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Wagner, S. (2017, June 09). Interview by C. Ely. Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Wagner, Sara, interview by Carol Ely. June 09, 2017, Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt773n20g61z