New Grant for JFCS to Help Young Jewish Clients with Career Development

Making a good college and career decision at an early age has become more and more important in our fast-changing world. Students can no longer choose a college, drift through and somehow by the time of graduation end up with a job in the career of their choice. The new economy, the increasing cost of higher education and extreme competition for good jobs for college graduates has made better college and career planning a necessity. Our Jewish community will flourish when we have young professionals who are well educated and working productively to provide for their future families. Jewish Family and Career Services has a long history of providing individualized college and career assessment services to the young people of the Jewish and general community, but those services will now be enhanced by a new grant from The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.

The new grant is part of a continuing collaboration between the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and JFCS to help strengthen the Jewish Community by retaining our Jewish talent in Louisville and eventually looking to attract more Jewish young people to our area. Last summer JFCS was able to provide a program called Launching Your Career which provided job search assistance and other career related activities to recent college graduates who have not yet been able to attain their first real career-related job. As well as a workshop series, professionals in the Jewish Community were recruited to work with participants as mentors.

This grant will help young people in a number of different ways. Financial assistance will be awarded to families where needed to subsidize high school- and college-age students who participate in JFCS’s long-standing individualized career assessment and college advisement program. In this program, students are tested in the areas of aptitude, interests, personality, values, study motivation and drive to help them determine good career options for their future. Through counseling, the students are then helped to develop career-related experiences and choose appropriate educational programs and majors.

The new grant will also help support the long-standing Jewish Community Summer Internship Program, which pays for Jewish college-age students to have meaningful summer internships within the Jewish community agencies. Additional internships will now be offered this year including one at Jewish Hospital in the Human Resources department.

In recent years, JFCS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of young people younger than 30 who are struggling with careers and jobs. The new grant will help provide financial assistance to clients in this age group as they attempt to find a career focus and develop and execute a new career plan, and the grant will further develop a core group of young professionals to serve as mentors to these struggling clients.

The final piece of the grant will allow JFCS to develop a Business Advisory Council to increase engagement of the employer community so that JFCS can make better matches of young people to careers and jobs in Louisville and to better meet needs of employers in Louisville.


For more information on any of the career and college advisement services offered by JFCS, you may contact Ellen Shapira at 502- 452-6341, ext. 225 or

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