Federation of Jewish Charities founded—original name of current Jewish Family & Vocational Service. The Federation of Jewish Charities’ purpose was to regulate and coordinate activities of its constituent agencies and to respond to local and national needs. The Federation of Jewish Charities was founded because of the financial assistance and health care needs of new immigrants from Eastern Europe. Tuberculosis was a major problem and family members with the illness were separated from others.
Jewish Home for Convalescent Children was established to provide temporary care for children of Jewish families in which illness of parents or desertion had occurred.
Federation of Jewish Charities becomes a founding member of Louisville Federation of Social Agencies, now Metro United Way. The Federation name changed to Jewish Welfare Federation.
1918 to 1928
Jewish Welfare Federation began to pare back from broad functions and focus on local philanthropic efforts due to diminishing funds and pressure from the Community Chest to serve local needs.
The Great Depression. Jewish Welfare Federation found an increase in the number of transients and a refusal to aid central Jewish agencies dealing with national organizations or local agencies that were not constituent members. This era saw the beginnings of a new, large immigration from Hitler-dominated countries.
The Louisville Health and Welfare Council performed a study, which showed the Jewish Children’s Home had ceased to serve its function. It was converted to a convalescent home and the intake was broadened to serve children of all races and religions.
A trained Social Worker was hired to operate the agency as Executive Director. Major services provided by Jewish Welfare Federation were:
- Relief Services
- Intake for Jewish Hospital
- Legal Aid
- Citizenship Assistance
- Health Services
- Employment Counseling.
Jewish Vocational Service was established. The agency was becoming more professional, stressing education of the board and staff about casework, family practices and problem prevention.
Jewish Vocational Service provided a wide range of educational-vocational-career services (counseling and testing) to both adolescents and adults in the Jewish and general community for the following purposes: 1) long-term vocational guidance and counseling for youth; and 2) employment counseling, re-orientation of individuals from armed services to civilian life and job placement.
Other concerns addressed were:
- Establishment of working agreement with the Department of Education, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services for the purpose of vocational evaluations of handicapped individuals;
- Broadening of the psychological and vocational testing program and, consequently requiring the addition of a staff psychologist.
- Job placement for immigrants coming out of Europe during the Post-World War II era.
An Old Age Home was established with Jewish Welfare Federation doing the intake. Throughout the years it was considered vital to provide special attention to the economic, social and cultural needs of Jews as a communal group because these needs were not being met through the existing social welfare system.
Jewish Welfare Federation’s name was changed to Jewish Social Service Agency to best express the function of the Agency.
A fee system for services was introduced.
Intensification of college counseling and selection as competition for college admission increased in post-Sputnik period.
Continued expansion of services due to an increasing number of adults:
- attention to the mid-career change and women’s entering into the labor market after divorce or children leaving home;
- counseling women and families;
- vocational evaluations for certain selected situations in business and industry
- contractual counseling and testing.
Establishment of a contractual agreement with the Louisville Jewish Day School with regard to evaluation of youngsters for school readiness and admission.
Jewish Home for Convalescent Children was closed due to the small number of children there. The children were transferred to the already-established Home of the Innocents.
Jewish Social Service Agency and Jewish Vocational Service were consolidated to form the Jewish Family and Vocational Service. The consolidated agency provided the following services:
- Older Adults
- Education, Career Counseling and Testing
- Jewish Family Life Education
L.I.F.E. Care (Living Independently For the Elderly) established as a state licensed Medicare/Medicaid certified home health agency to provide in-home health services to the elderly under physician supervision.
Center for Microenterprise Development created to offer business training, technical assistance and a revolving loan fund to legal refugees.
Family Business Center was established as a partnership with the University of Louisville’s College of Business and Public Administration to provide business/technical and behavioral science services to family businesses.
Building Future Generations program was started to assist young professionals who wish to relocate to the metro Louisville area.
Infusion Therapy program begun as another L.I.F.E. Care service, to provide parenteral and enteral nutrition, hydration, antibiotic therapy and transfusion.
Board of Directors agrees JFVS has outgrown its space and embarks on a building campaign by committing $300,000 of their own money. They plan to buy the land from the Jewish Community Federation, relieving the community of debt, and giving JFVS a front-door address. A $500,000 gift from the Louis & Lee Roth families, and the commitment from the Roth Family to help raise at least $500,000 results in the naming of the building the “Louis & Lee Roth Family Center.”
A hugely successful gala hosted by Jewish Hospital Healthcare Services, kicks off JFVS’ capital campaign. At year-end, $2.8 million was raised toward the $3.9 million goal.
Ground was broken on June 1, 1999 for the Louis & Lee Roth Family Center on the corner of Dutchmans and Cannons Lane. Mayor David Armstrong celebrated with the gathered family and friends and Louis Roth was in attendance. Construction began by the end of the year.
JFVS continued to meet the changing needs of our culture by embarking on a program named Shalom Bayit, specifically addressing domestic violence within the Jewish community.
The Louis & Lee Roth Family Center, and the expansion JFVS services it will offer, is the focus of the new millennium. Play Therapy will be added to the offering of services in a more permanent way, with the addition of a room devoted to this purpose.
The Grand Opening/Dedication for the Family Center is held on November 26, 2000. The staff moves into the new facility December 8, 2000.
Pledge 13 for Bar/Bat Mitzvah young adults to provide 13 hours of community service was implemented.
On June 26, 2001, JFVS is able to hold the 93rd Annual Meeting within its own facility, for the very first time!
Marketing Plan, marketing campaign and JFVS newsletter launched; “Family Sculpture” by David Kocka, unveiled at JFVS. 1st Republic Bank Golf challenge benefiting JFVS & JCC occurred; Judy Freundlich Tiell assumed Interim Executive Director Position and then became Executive Director. Met Better Business Charity Review Standards. Senior PALS transportation program started.
Family Mitzvah Program bringing families with young children to JFVS to complete tzedakah projects. Received KOVOD award for excellence in printed brochures from AJFCA; GLI named JFVS a Top Ten Leader in work/life balance; Metropolitan Housing coalition moved into JFVS building. Initiated homecare training program funded by KIPDA. Volunteers Investing in People (VIP) funded by Retirement research Foundation. JFVS received the Art of Excellence Award! Pyramid Award for Diversity from Center for Non-Profit Excellence. Received funding for new 5 Year IDA program from Office of Refugee Resettlement. Past Presidents luncheon initiated.
JFVS Board approved new strategic plan; Dr. Neal Baer presented ‘Utilizing the Media to Affect Social Change” at first JFVS Education Forum; MOSAIC Awards dinner honored immigrants and refugees who have made major contributions to our community; Began collaborations between Career Services and Presbyterian Community Center; Somali Bantu Mother/Child Home Education Program launched; Multicultural Services received the Mayor’s International Award. Klein Family Foundation provides funds for a van and driver to expand Senior PALS program.
Second Educational Forum offered with Dr. Edward Hallowell as speaker; JFVS instituted new task forces comprised of Board members and community volunteers on topics of Volunteerism, Baby Boomers; Baby Boomer Expo attracted large crowd to Roth Family Center; JFVS embarks on 2008 “For Generations to Come” capital campaign to ensure the future of JFVS; Senior Concierge program starts.