LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Tuesday, April 16, the Jewish Community of Louisville hosted a breakfast and award presentation to honor Congressman John Yarmuth, winner of the 2018 Ottenheimer Award. Nearly 25 attendees were present to see Yarmuth receive the award presented by JCL Board Chair Jon Fleischaker.
The Jewish Community of Louisville’s prestigious Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award is presented annually to an individual who has had significant impact for good in Louisville and often throughout the state and beyond.
“The Jewish Community of Louisville proud to honor Congressman Yarmuth for his great work in the public sector, said JCL Board Chair Jon Fleischaker.
Blanche B. Ottenheimer was a driver of social development in Louisville. As President of the Louisville Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, she took the organization from a small, Jewish focused organization, to one with a much larger impact in political reform, civil rights and social justice. Her success at NCJW lead to her working with the Louisville League of Women Voters where she was largely responsible for Louisville’s Model Registration Law and helped curb corruption and increase clean elections. Ottenheimer was one of the first women to serve on the board of the YMHA and she helped create the Louisville Conference of Jewish Organizations.
Yarmuth has worked in the public world for his entire career, starting as an aid to Senator Marlow Cook. Since being elected to office, Yarmuth has donated his entire salary every year to many area non-profits including Metro United Way, Fund for the Arts, Jewish Community of Louisville, Scholar House, Simmons College and the Urban League. He has a long list of legislative achievements in his 12-years as Louisville’s representative. He cites the Affordable Care Act, student loan forgiveness for public service careers and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act as his chief accomplishments.
Before running for office in 2006, he was best known in Louisville for creating LEO Weekly (Louisville Eccentric Observer), an alternative publication that is still in business, now owned by his son Aaron. He also created Louisville Today, which ran from 1976-1982.