[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
Although Jan Weber didn’t grow up in Louisville, Louisville is her home today, and exercising regularly at the Jewish Community Center is an important part of her life. As a retired person, she said, coming to the JCC helps her connect with friends and maintain a healthy routine rather than indulging in a platter of doughnuts.
The third of four children, Weber was born and raised in Redwood City, CA, in the San Francisco Bay area. “I grew up in a pretty, 50’s middle-class neighborhood,” she said, describing it as a diverse community that included Mormons, Catholics, Jews and Protestants, all of whom were willing to share their holidays and traditions with all the children in the neighborhood.
After graduating from Sequoia High School, one of the largest schools in the state, she went to San Francisco State University where she majored in Liberal Arts. Following graduation, she worked in advertising for about eight years and got married.
At the time, her husband was pursuing a degree in urban development in third world countries, so the young couple moved to Louisville so he could pursue his doctorate.
“Joe and Edith Shirley Spivak were our host family,” Weber recalled, “because they had kids our age, and Irv and Irene Frishman were very kind to me. They really embraced us and they were really nice people.”
Soon after her arrival, she went to work for Cowger and Miller Mortgage Co. and became a mortgage loan officer. She also joined Congregation Adath Jeshurun (AJ).
During her early years in Louisville, she was divorced and six years later, she married Al Weber and became stepmother to four teenagers. “We were married for almost 18 years when Al passed away eight years ago,” she said. “I never had children of my own, and I got five grandchildren out of it.”
Today, she is very involved in their lives.
She worked in the mortgage and banking industry until her retirement from Stockyards Bank three years ago.
Judaism is an important part of her life, and she is an active member of AJ. She is also a graduate of Louisville’s Florence Melton Adult Mini-School program.
Weber says she used to volunteer a lot at AJ. Until recently, she partnered with Barbara Franklin in the shul’s Bikkur Holim program, visiting Jewish patients in hospitals, bringing them challah and grape juice to help them celebrate Shabbat.
She also has a great love of cooking and often was part of the team of volunteer cooks and bakers in AJ’s kitchen. When she retired, she decided to start a catering business as a “second mini-career.”
“I continue to do small party catering,” she said, “and the rest of the time, I come here and work out.” She also enjoys playing Mah Jongg twice a week.