Jewish Family and Vocational Service (Louisville, Ky.) Records, 1938-2010

Held by the Filson Historical Society

Creator: Jewish Family and Vocational Service (Louisville, Ky.)

Title: Records, 1938-2014

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Collections.

Size of Collection: 2 cubic feet and one oversized volume

Location Number: Mss. BJ J59

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of records of Louisville’s Jewish Family and Vocational Service (JFVS) and its forerunners. The JFVS was formed by the 1978 merger between the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) and the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS). Included are board minutes, statistical and financial reports, histories, newspaper clippings, program materials, and publications.

Folders 1-2 contain University of Louisville master’s theses on the histories of the JSSA and the JVS, written in 1952 and 1965, and a brief history of the JSSA written in 1959.

Folders 3-11 contain various records of the JVS. Included are an early 1940s proposal and correspondence about the establishment of a Jewish Vocational Service in Louisville, an undated list of prospective employers and career mentors for clients, Vocation Guide newsletters from 1956-1960, a 1950s survey, and statistical reports on clients, services, and budgets from the 1940s-1970s. Also included are a ca. 1946 Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) pamphlet, a 1966 United Appeal for the Jewish Home for Convalescent Children, newspaper clippings, and reports on teenagers and Louisville police-community relations. There are lists of JVS board members from 1947-1978 and some correspondence and meeting minutes.

Folder 11a includes correspondence, minutes, and other records relating to the consolidation of the JVS and JSSA.

Folders 12-15 contain various records of the JFVS. Included are board minutes from 1978 to 1987, information about various programs and projects, annual reports from 1990-2006, resettlement committee and family life committee records, and treasurer’s reports from the early 2000s. Other records from the 2000s are newspaper clippings, awards, certificates, materials related to the 100th anniversary of JFVS in 2008, and a CD-R with a PowerPoint presentation on “Jewish Louisville, 1760-2010.”

Binders 22-24 and oversized volume 25 are JVS and JFVS scrapbooks from 1943-2004, mostly containing newspaper clippings from YMHA publications, Kentucky Jewish Chronicle, Louisville Times, Courier-Journal, Jewish Post, and Louisville’s Jewish newspaper Community. Also included in the scrapbooks are programs and promotional materials for JVS and JFVS, a 1969 prayer book for Jewish worship for Central State Hospital, and JFVS annual reports.

Related collections:

Jewish Family and Vocational Service photograph collection (019PC42).

Historical Note

Jewish Family and Vocational Service (JFVS) grew out of Jewish agencies established in Louisville in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1908, local Jewish leaders and organizations formed the Federation of Jewish Charities to assist Eastern European Jewish immigrants who settled in Louisville. Its name changed to the Jewish Welfare Federation (JWF) in 1918 and became the Jewish Social Service Agency in 1951.

In 1943, the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) was established in Louisville to provide educational and vocational guidance to Jewish youth. It grew out of a committee formed in 1938 representing the JWF, the Louisville section of the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA). The committee was concerned with the lack of school and career guidance for young people and with the anti-Semitism faced by Jewish students. Louisville became the smallest Jewish community in the country with a professionally staffed vocational service, which served not just Jewish youth but also adults, veterans, immigrants, and non-Jewish residents.

In 1978, the JSSA and the JVS joined to create the Jewish Family and Vocational Service and moved to the newly opened Shalom Tower on Dutchmans Lane, next door to the Jewish Community Center. The organization has provided educational, testing, career, counseling, and family services, helped to resettle refugees, and sponsored programs for older adults. The Louis & Lee Roth Family Center opened in 2000, providing more spacious facilities for JFVS and its programs. In 2008, the organization’s name was changed to Jewish Family and Career Services.


Carol Ely, Jewish Louisville: Portrait of a Community, pp. 92-93, 142-44 

Jewish Family and Vocational Service, Leadership, Legends, and Legacies: A Tribute to the 100th Anniversary Honoring Past Leaders (2008) 

Herman Landau, Adath Louisville: The Story of a Jewish Community (1981), pp. 122-34 


Folder List

Box 1 

Folder 1: History of the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), 1952, 1959

Folder 2: History of the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), 1965

Folder 3: JVS miscellaneous records, ca. 1938-1956

Folder 4: Prospective employers and career mentors, ca. 1945-1960

Folder 5: JVS Vocation Guide newsletters, 1956-1960

Folder 6: Jewish vocational services in other cities, ca. 1940-1953

Folder 7: YMHA and Jewish Home for Convalescent Children programs, 1946, 1966

Folder 8: Jewish Occupational Council publications, 1955-1967

Folder 9: Miscellaneous reports and presentations, 1960-1965

Folder 9a: JVS intake and budget reports, 1951-1978

Folder 10: Newspaper clippings, 1962-1979

Folder 11: JVS board members, minutes, and correspondence, 1947-1979

Folder 11a: Consolidation of JVS and JSSA, ca. 1976-1978

Folder 12: JFVS board and committee members, 1978-2008

Folder 12a: JFVS by-laws, budgets, and board minutes, 1979-1982

Folder 12b: JFVS board minutes, 1983-1987

Folder 12c: JFVS policy guideline for new Americans resettlement program, 1980

Folder 12d: JFVS project on intermarriage/Jews by choice, 1982-1984

Folder 12e: JFVS miscellaneous records, 1980-1987

Folder 13: Annual reports and meetings, 1990-2006

Folder 14: Board and committee records, 2001-2003

Folder 15: Family life committee records, 2003-2005

Folder 16: Louis & Lee Roth Family Center, 2001

Folder 17: JFVS miscellaneous records, 2002-2014

Folder 18: Awards and certificates, 2001-2008

Folder 19: Recollections and images collected for the 100th Anniversary of JFVS, 2008

Folder 20: Leadership, Legends, & Legacies: A Tribute to the 100th Anniversary of JFVS, 2008

Folder 21: PowerPoint Presentation on “Jewish Louisville, 1760-2010,” CD-R [a digital copy of this file is available for in-house research]

Box 2   

Binder 22Scrapbook, 1968-1995  

Binder 23Scrapbook, 1996-1998 

Binder 24: Scrapbook, 1999-2004 


Volume 25 (wrapped): Scrapbook, 1943-1983


Subject Headings

Ability  Testing  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Adoption  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Career education  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Charities  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Children  Services for  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Dobson, David19151978. 

Family services  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Federation of Jewish Charities (Louisville, Ky.) 

Four Courts Louisville Hebrew Home. 

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. Louisville Chapter. 

Immigrants  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jewish American newspapers. 

Jewish college students  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jewish Community Center (Louisville, Ky.) 

Jewish educators  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jewish families  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jewish Family and Career Services (Louisville, Ky.) 

Jewish gays  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jewish Home for Convalescent Children (Louisville, Ky.) 

Jewish Hospital (Louisville, Ky.) 

Jewish Occupational Council (New York, N.Y.) 

Jewish old age homes  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jewish refugees. 

Jewish Social Service Agency (Louisville, Ky.) 

Jewish students  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jewish veterans  Kentucky Louisville. 

Jewish Vocational Service (Louisville, Ky.) 

Jewish youth  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jews  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Jews  Kentucky  Louisville  Charities. 

National Council of Jewish Women. Louisville Section. 

Nearly New Shop (Louisville, Ky.) 

Older Jews. 

People with disabilities  Services for  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Policecommunity relations  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Psychological tests  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Social service. 

Social work with immigrants  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Universities and colleges  Entrance examinations. 

Vocational education  Kentucky  Louisville. 

Women  Services for  Kentucky  Louisville. 

World War, 19391945  Veterans. 

Young Men’s Hebrew Association (Louisville, Ky.) 

Youth  Services for  Kentucky  Louisville