Meet the MOSAIC Honorees: Muhammad Babar

Our annual MOSAIC Awards are scheduled for Thursday, May 22. Before the big day, you will have the opportunity to “meet” each of our honorees right here on our blog. Check back every Wednesday to learn how each one of these international Americans contributes to his or her profession and our community.

Dr. Muhammad Babar

Muhammad Babar, M.D. – Pakistan

Dr. Muhammad Babar is an internist who specializes in treating senior citizens. He is the current Medical Director of Oaklawn Nursing Home and Jefferson Place Nursing Home, and he is a past president of medical staff at Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare. Babar is a board member of Interfaith Paths to Peace, the Center for Interfaith Relations and the Fund for the Arts. He is also the Immediate Past President of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of Kentucky and Indiana. Babar shows kindness with all people, particularly his elderly patients, with whom his level of care is unmatched.

Babar has been very active in the Pakistani American Community in Louisville and has engaged in numerous charitable and interfaith activities. When the devastating earthquake struck Haiti, he raised more than $5,000 for disaster relief, joining Temple Shalom in their efforts. When devastating floods struck his native Pakistan, he raised vast amounts of money for flood relief, providing locally made water purification systems and building houses for widowed, injured and disabled victims of flooding. Babar has organized community efforts with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes. He is integrally involved in many interfaith activities in Louisville, helping to plan the annual Hunger walk and the annual Interfaith dinner and dialogue. He has also organized his community’s participation in the Jewish community’s annual Interfaith Chanukah party.

Thank you, Dr. Babar, for your dedication to making our community a healthier and more harmonious place to live!

Providing programs and services for International Americans has been a part of the JFCS mission since its founding in 1908. By recognizing the honorees who have succeeded in various fields, we underscore the importance that International Americans have made in our community and recognize and spotlight the crucial role that newcomers play in creating a vibrant community. JFCS, through its Multicultural Services, provides the skills and tools for International Americans to build a new life through their work, education, and integration into the community.

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Client Spotlight: RYG Refrigeration Services

Rafael Aguero may have started his life in Cuba, but now he is living the American dream. After Rafael came to the United States in 2005, he found work in the food distribution industry, and a year later his wife Yaniset Valdes and daughter Gretel came to join him in America.

Our part of Rafael and Yaniset’s story began in 2006. The couple came to Jewish Family & Career Services to participate in the Refugee Savings Program, which helps refugees save money to purchase a home, start a business or pursue education. They completed a financial education course and “Your Own Business” training with the Navigate Enterprise Center team. After building a foundation of business education, they were able to start RYG Refrigeration Services, a business that distributed Hispanic food items and snacks to grocery and convenience stores.

The Aguero-Valdes family quickly expanded its business to serve customers in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio. Rafael and Yaniset returned to JFCS in 2009 to complete the Microenterprise Business Planning course and to apply for a small loan; their aim was to double food sales by improving their ability to hold additional inventory. The plan for the business expansion was a success, which was very well-timed since the Aguero-Valdes family expanded soon afterward with the arrival of a son, Anthony.

Having repaid their first loan, as 90% of our loan recipients do, Rafael and Yaniset came back to JFCS in 2010 to apply for a second loan to increase their product lines. With the additional capital, they were able to offer a new variety of products and improve their operations. The business flourished, and the parents were able to provide for their two growing children, including special medical needs for their daughter, Gretel.

Over time, RYG Refrigeration Services adapted to changes in local opportunities, adding cargo transportation as a supplement to the food distribution model. In late 2013, Rafael and Yaniset contracted with the local Ford factory to pick-up goods in Ohio and transport them back to the Louisville plant. This contract provided a 33% increase in income for the family, but it required them to get out of the food distribution industry and acquire a larger truck.

Through additional training and assistance and a third loan from JFCS, finalized in April 2014, the Aguero-Valdes family was able to once again expand its business, providing a more stable economic future for themselves and their children.

Our Navigate Enterprise Center specializes in helping low-income individuals and families to learn more about entrepreneurship and open their own microbusinesses. We are so pleased to have helped a local family to become self-sufficient, and to have helped a small local business to thrive and grow.

Pictured above: The Aguero-Valdes family met with Dan Heffernan to finalize RYG Refrigeration’s loan in early April. (Left to right: Dan, Gretel, Anthony, Yaniset and Rafael.)

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April Food Pantry needs

Food Pantry suggestions for April

One-pound bags of rice
Canned fruit
Cold cereal
Toilet paper
Kosher for Passover: Gefilte fish, Matzo, Matzo meal, Matzo ball soup mix, Macaroons

Help JFCS qualify for matching funds from the Feinstein Foundation by labeling your gifts with “Feinstein Challenge.” Click here for details.

Please donate all items in their original packaging. We are unable to accept expired items.

For more information, please contact Kim Toebbe at (502) 452-6341, ext. 103.

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Save the date for Tzedakah Fair, May 18

JFCS and the Jewish Community Center of Louisville present the second annual Tzedakah Fair on Sunday, May 18 at 12:30 p.m.

Families with young children are invited to join us for a pizza party and “Noah’s Swim-a-Thon,” the featured book. Kids who attend will be “paid” for creating picture frames, bookmarks, reusable bags and packages for soldiers. Their “earnings” will be donated at the end of the event.

Admission is $5 plus a canned good or non-perishable item for the JFCS Food Pantry. You may pay at the door, but please reserve your seat by contacting Jennifer Tuvlin at 459-0660.

This program is sponsored by the Carole and Larry Goldberg Family Mitzvah Program, PJ Library and Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.

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Seasons Newsletter – March 2014

Keep Up With JFCS – Calendar of Events

March 23 – J-Serve Kid’s Carnival
March 24 – Job Seekers Resource Group begins
March 26 – Smooth Sailing with BNI
March 31 & April 1 – LinkedIn Workshop
April 1 – Internship Applications Due
April 15 & 16 – Passover – JFCS Closed
April 21 & 22 – Passover – JFCS Closed
May 15 – Launching Your Career Boot Camp
May 18 – Family Mitzvah with PJ Library
May 22 – MOSAIC Awards

J-Serve Kid’s Carnival Benefits JFCS Food Pantry

J-Serve will host a Kid’s Carnival for children in grades K – 5 on Sunday, March 23. The event will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the JCC, 3600 Dutchmans Lane. Admission is free with a donation to the JFCS Food Pantry.

Activities include a bounce house, obstacle course, basketball, face painting, ring toss, fortune telling, games and a candy walk.

The Carnival is a project of J-Serve, the international day of Jewish teen service. The Carnival is funded by J-Serve and staffed by volunteers from grades 6 – 12.

Enhance Your Job Search with JFCS

Regardless of your career goals, JFCS can help you improve your job search with Job Seekers Resource Group. This group meets weekly for six weeks to explore job search strategies and skills including resume development, networking, interviews and more.

The next session of Job Seekers Resource Group begins on Monday, March 24, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. A one-time materials fee of $10 covers the entire six-week workshop cycle. Contact Andrea Brown at (502) 452-6341, ext. 334.

BNI Offers “Smooth Sailing” at JFCS

Business Networking International will host “Smooth Sailing” at JFCS on Wednesday, March 26, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

This symposium can help you make smart decisions for the next chapter of your life. Topics will include healthcare, money management, real estate, careers and personal health. The program features Ken Schulz (Humana MarketPOINT consultant and former WHAS meteorologist) as the keynote speaker. Refreshments are included.

Tickets are $15/person and $25/couple in advance, or $20/person and $30/couple on the day of the event. To register, contact Janet Poole at (502) 452-6341, ext. 222.

Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

If you are not using LinkedIn, you could miss out on employment opportunities. LinkedIn is the fastest-growing virtual business network in the world, and JFCS can help you utilize it to your best advantage.

Our two-part LinkedIn Workshop will be held on March 31 and April 1. Both sessions will last from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

You will learn why LinkedIn is important to your job search and how employers use it. Best of all, you will walk away with your own profile, complete with a professional photo.

A fee of $20 covers both sessions of the workshop. Contact Janet Poole to register, (502) 452-6341, ext. 222.

Internship Applications Are Due April 1

Paid summer internships are available at JFCS, the Jewish Community of Louisville, and the Jewish Community Center. Interns within this program will have opportunities to meet key community leaders and other professionals for career-related activities.

The positions will be active full-time for nine weeks, from June 2 to August 1. For more details, visit our website or contact Ellen Shapira at (502) 452-6341, ext. 225.

Transition from B.A. to Payday with Launching Your Career Program

In the late spring and early summer, JFCS will offer a free program for college students and recent graduates to help transition from academic life to the working world.

Launching Your Career will be offered as a one-day Boot Camp (May 15) as well as a five-week workshop (June 9 – July 7).

This free program is sponsored by a generous grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence. Contact Ellen Shapira at (502) 452-6341, ext. 225, for more information.

A Salute to International Americans
May 22, 2014

The MOSAIC Awards is the signature fundraising event for JFCS. It is the only event in the region that recognizes immigrants and refugees who have made significant contributions in their professional fields and in our local/global community. Mayor Greg Fischer and his wife, Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides, believe that this event is so important for the community that they have stepped up to be the honorary chairs this year.

If you are a business owner or a corporate decision maker, we would appreciate your consideration of joining us as an event sponsor. Sponsorships are $1,500 – $10,000; the higher the level, the more recognition your business receives. Please contact Beverly Bromley at (502) 452-6341 to reserve your table.

This year’s honorees are:

Dr. Muhammad Babar – Pakistan
Medical director of Oaklawn and Jefferson Place nursing homes and active in interfaith activities

Dr. Johanna van Wijk Bos – The Netherlands
Theologian at the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and feminist activist and advocate of social justice

Marta Miranda – Cuba
President and CEO of the Center for Women and Families

Bruce Simpson – Scotland
Artistic Director of the Louisville Ballet

Joseph Twagilimana – Rwanda
Data Mining Analyst with Wellpoint, Inc., and volunteer activist in the African refugee community

New Location

The venue for the 2014 MOSAIC Awards has changed. This year’s event will be held at the Louisville Marriott Downtown at 280 West Jefferson Street.

Family Tributes

If you would like to honor your ancestors with a Family Tribute, contact Beverly Bromley for more information.

Mark your calendars for Monday, June 23, when the Republic Bank Players Challenge will take place at the Standard Club, benefitting JFCS and the JCC.

Golf, Tennis, Bridge and Canasta Tournaments
Bourbon Tasting • Silent Auction • Awards Dinner

A favorite activity at this event is the Silent Auction. Can you help us make this auction the best ever? WE NEED AUCTION ITEMS VALUED AT $100 OR MORE.

Favorite items:

• A 4-7 day vacation at a condo in Florida, a chalet in Colorado or a lakefront cottage
Do you have one and are willing to donate its usage when you are not there?
• Golf outings at exclusive courses
• Airline mileage or travel packages
• Use of a corporate box at the YUM! Center, Slugger Field or Churchill Downs
• Fine dining
• Arts/Concert events
• Sports equipment
• One-of-a-kind experience
• Chef-cooked dinner at your home

Please contact Beverly Bromley at (502) 452-6341, ext. 223, if you wish to make a donation.

Take the Feinstein Challenge with the JFCS Food Pantry

Thanks to a generous matching grant from Alan Shawn Feinstein and the Feinstein Foundation, JFCS is eligible to receive matching funds for Food Pantry donations received throughout March and April. Please mark your donations with “Feinstein Challenge” to help us qualify for these additional funds.

Current Food Pantry needs include:

• Chunky soups
• Ramen noodles
• Canned tuna
• Cookies
• Toothpaste and toothbrushes
• Toilet paper
• One-pound bags of rice
• Canned fruit
• Cold cereal
• Toilet paper

For the upcoming holy days, we also need items that are Kosher for Passover:

• Gefilte fish
• Matzo
• Matzo meal
• Matzo ball soup mix
• Macaroons

Donated food must be in original packaging and within its expiration date. Grocery gift cards and monetary contributions may be made to the JFCS Sonny & Janet Meyer Family Food Pantry Fund.

Face It® Partners Sponsor Spring Events

April is Child Abuse and Neglect Month, and two of our Face It® partners are helping to end child abuse with events to raise awareness in Kentuckiana.

Family and Children’s Place will sponsor a Rally to End Child Abuse on Tuesday, April 8 at 11 a.m. at the Big Four Bridge.

Exploited Children’s Help Organization will hold its Pig Out for Prevention at Shack in the Back BBQ in Fairdale, KY, on Sunday, April 27 from 1 to 7 p.m.

Both of these events are a great way to show your support for these partners who uphold the Face It® mission to end child abuse in our community by 2023.

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March is Momentous at JFCS

The days are getting longer, the birds are singing, and we’ve even had some spring-like days recently. Everything is pointing toward a change for the warmer, and JFCS is preparing some new programs just for the season.

Come out of hibernation with Employment Search Jumpstart, which begins fresh on Monday, March 3. If your plans for a change in employment stalled through the cold months, this is the perfect thing to get you in tip-top shape for a spring job search. Visit our Classes & Workshops page or check with Janet Poole at 452-6341, ext. 222, for details.

Daylight saving time is almost here, so don’t forget to Spring Forward on Sunday, March 9. The new Spring Forward program at JFCS offers free assistance to anyone who needs help adjusting clocks for the time change. If you know someone who could benefit from this program, please contact Kim Toebbe at 452-6341, ext. 103.

Make the most of the spring semester with our ACT Preparation Workshop, starting on Monday, March 10. If your favorite student is scheduled for an April testing date, this workshop can help refresh his or her skills just in time for the exam. Check out the details on our website and contact Janet Poole at 452-6341, ext. 222, to register.

If you are a morning person, our Job Seekers Resource Group is a great idea to help your spring job search. The next cycle begins on Monday, March 24 — and at only $10 for the full six weeks, this is one of the best values you’ll find for your career counseling dollar. Visit our Classes & Workshops page or contact Andrea Brown at 452-6341, ext. 334, for details.

Our popular LinkedIn Workshop will return on March 31 and April 1. The workshop spans two evenings and costs only $20. Our instructor will help you understand and navigate LinkedIn, and you’ll even walk away with a professional photo for your profile. Keep an eye on our website for more information, or contact Janet Poole at 452-6341, ext. 222.

We still have paid summer internship opportunities available for Jewish college students who reside in Louisville. Click here for details on this unique program offered by JFCS, JCL and JCC. Applications are due by April 1; contact Ellen Shapira at 452-6341, ext. 225, if you are interested in applying.

March is the first month of this year’s Feinstein Challenge, which will benefit the JFCS Food Pantry. All gifts to the Food Pantry in March and April will help us qualify for a matching grant from the Feinstein Foundation. Monetary donations are also accepted as a part of the challenge. (Financial gifts are accepted through the Sonny and Janet Meyer Family Food Pantry Fund.)

For the month of March, our Food Pantry needs chunky soups, ramen noodles, canned tuna, cookies, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and toilet paper. If you will mark your donations with “Feinstein Challenge,” you will help us qualify for additional funds through the challenge. Please note that we are not able to accept donated items that are outside their noted expiration dates.

Finally, in closing, we want to share a few staff appearances in the community from the last week.

Dan Heffernan, director of our Navigate Enterprise Center, had a great op-ed in Monday’s Courier-Journal. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read what he had to say about our services and our successes.



Career Counselor Andrea Brown and her husband Mike volunteered last weekend at the Tailspin Ale Festival. Andrea is a career counselor at JFCS, and she volunteered at the event to benefit Dare to Care Food Bank, which partners with many food banks in Louisville (including ours) to provide food to those in our community who need it.

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16 Things You May Not Know About JFCS

How much do you know about JFCS? At this week’s staff meeting, employees were asked a series of questions about the agency’s programs and services, and many of us were surprised by some of the answers. Test your knowledge of JFCS with this quiz:

How many did you get right? Leave a comment to let us know your score.

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JFCS takes the Feinstein Challenge in 2014

Once again this year, Jewish Family & Career Services will participate in the Feinstein Challenge. This national challenge offers a $1 million award to hunger-fighting nonprofit agencies in the United States. Now in its 17th consecutive year, the challenge is sponsored by Alan Shawn Feinstein and the Feinstein Foundation as an incentive to help raise funds for participating agencies.

The Feinstein Challenge will amplify funds and donations received from March 1 through April 30 of this year. Feinstein’s past annual challenges to fight hunger have raised more than $2 billion for more than 1,800 organizations that help the needy nationwide. The more JFCS receives from donors, the greater its award from the Feinstein Challenge will be.

Only donations or pledges received in March and April as a result of the challenge will be applied toward the award. Donations may include cash, checks and food items (valued at $1 per item or pound). To take advantage of the matching funds, JFCS asks donors to indicate “Feinstein Challenge” on donations during the challenge period.

Food and toiletry items may be delivered to the JFCS Food Pantry. Monetary contributions may be made to the Sonny and Janet Meyer Family Food Pantry Fund.

A resident of Rhode Island, Feinstein began his career as a public school educator in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. After establishing an English school in Thailand, he entered the business world to become a financial writer and adviser. His newspaper columns and newsletters were distributed worldwide for many years, and he authored several best-selling financial guides, a novel and several children’s books.

Now a full-time humanitarian and philanthropist, Feinstein has turned his efforts toward the advancement of public service and the alleviation of hunger. He has provided start-up funding for more than 200 food pantries and has received many awards and honors for his humanitarian service. Feinstein has founded programs to study hunger and fight it in universities including Brown University, Tufts University and the University of Rhode Island, and schools ranging from elementary to graduate levels bear his name from Rhode Island to as far away as Kenya.

Feinstein comes from a strictly Jewish background, but his family includes members of many different faiths and races. “Helping to better the lives of others, regardless of race, creed or color, is the greatest of all achievements,” he says.

There is no better time of year to dig deep and donate to the JFCS Food Pantry and the Sonny and Janet Meyer Family Food Pantry Fund than during March and April. Contact Beverly Bromley at (502) 452-6341, ext. 223, to learn more about how you can help.

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Best Practices for Dual Career Households

On Valentine’s Day, we often think about the status of our current relationships or our desires for future relationships. Rarely, though, do we think about those things in terms of the practical elements that help us incorporate our relationships into other aspects of our lives such as our careers. In real life, though, we can all see how our personal and professional lives overlap and affect one another.

In many modern American households, both members of a couple work in order to support their family or lifestyle. A Work and Family Study conducted by Colorado State University looked at couples and families who have found successful ways to balance these two sometimes-competing interests, and they identified some important trends.

You don’t have to read all of the research yourself*. We can give you an overview of a few of the “best practices” that were identified by the couples in the study.

Flexible work scheduling or nontraditional work hours: Some people find it easier to enjoy afternoons and evenings with their families by scheduling overtime for early-morning hours. Others achieve similar results by working long shifts on fewer days or by taking late or overnight shifts. Many successful dual-career households complete some portion of their weekly workload at home; this may involve partial or full-time telecommuting, but sometimes it is as simple as leaving the office on time and completing overtime work at home.

Professional and job autonomy: Working for a company that allows its employees to work independently or to take personal time away from work helps parents to attend school events or care for children who are ill. Supervisory or management positions (including self-employment) often allow the freedom to create work schedules around personal needs.


Supportive colleagues, supervisors and subordinates: When company or departmental culture supports family involvement, employees are re-energized by their increased presence in family life. At the same time, the employers experience the benefits of increased productivity and higher levels of commitment from their workers.


White picket fenceSetting firm boundaries around work: Explicitly stating that family is the top priority and agreeing to specific boundaries with supervisors are two effective strategies to maintain balance between work and family. Some positions can grow with time as more responsibilities are added; setting the acceptable limits to your set of professional duties may mean trading career advancement in favor of additional family time.

Parents kissing their daughter on the cheekClear parenting strategies: Parenting is a difficult endeavor all on its own. When attentions are divided between work and home, couples find easiest to balance when both parents agree on their values, work as a team, and make themselves available to their children.


Mowing the lawnSharing household responsibilities: The most successful dual-earner couples share responsibilities at home. This can range from housework and childcare to decision making and finances. These items don’t have to be strictly divided 50/50 between partners, but many couples report less strife when both parties have some input and engagement in all home affairs.

Couple with flowersCommunication: Supporting one another’s goals and priorities is an important part of a relationship. Expressing care, concern and appreciation can show your partner that his or her career and interests are important to you. Mutual respect and commitment to working through challenges are also identified as key emotional factors in a successful partnership.


The areas where work and family intersect can be difficult to navigate. If you would like help balancing those two aspects of your life, JFCS can work with you on a wide variety of career management and family issues.

Our Career and Workforce Development department understands the complexity of dealing with individual career changes as well as where a couple’s respective career issues interact and present more complicated challenges. We offer individual coaching, and we also have a Dual Career Counseling program for spouses and partners.

Our Family Services staff understands the wide range of challenges that can arise in all stages of life. We offer a range of counseling and therapy services for individuals, couples, and families.


* We won’t make you do it, but if you’re actually interested in reading the full research papers, you can find links to several published articles from the Colorado State University Department of Development and Family Studies.

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Social Media Networking

It is no secret that the most effective way to find a job is through networking. That used to mean going to parties, showing up to industry events, and even scheduling lunches with friends of friends. Now, thanks to modern technology, you can network from anywhere – even at home in your pajamas. Virtual networks make it easier than ever for us to stay connected to friends, relatives, former classmates and business contacts.

Facebook is the most ubiquitous social network, with more than 1.2 billion users worldwide. Just last week, Pew Research Center published an article showing that 57 percent of adults and 73 percent of teens in America use Facebook, and most of them log in every day. Even if you don’t use Facebook yourself, chances are better than 50/50 that you live in a household with someone who does.

Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and other popular sites also offer large communities and different ways to interact. For sharing photos and keeping up with friends, these social sites do the job remarkably well. For business purposes, however, you may not feel comfortable allowing coworkers and potential employers to see your profile that includes personal statements or private photos that you do not want to connect to your professional persona.

There are many resources for best practices in using social media in your job search. Keep in mind that each network includes privacy settings, but sometimes it can be daunting to control what potential employers can see.

LinkedIn offers a separate online presence for your work life. It has become the largest network for connecting professionally with friends and business contacts, and the numbers continue to increase. The LinkedIn user base grew to 259 million in 2013, which was a 38 percent surge in just one year. The site has become an indispensable tool for HR professionals and hiring managers in a variety of industries.

If you aren’t sure where to start with LinkedIn, you can start with our post about creating a more professional profile. If you aren’t ready to tackle that on your own, you could benefit from JFCS’s upcoming LinkedIn workshop on February 16 and 23.

What experiences have you had with social media? Which is your favorite network? Leave a comment to let us know.

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