Jewish Federation to install new officers at Annual Meeting, honor award recipients

Greg Yawitz will serve as next Board Chair of Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

Jewish Federation of St. Louis will install Greg Yawitz as its new board chair during the organization’s 2019 Annual Meeting, which takes place at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Kaplan Feldman Complex, 12 Millstone Campus Drive. 

Yawitz, the owner of Keat Properties, LLC, will succeed the current board chair, Gerry Greiman. Yawitz has served as Federation’s vice chair for planning and allocations and board chair of Autism Speaks St. Louis.  He and Greiman co-chair the 13-member search committee tasked with conducting a national search to find Jewish Federation’s next CEO. Yawitz previously served as the president of Shaare Emeth and was a member of the 2008 Class of JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and a member of the 2015 St. Louis Wexner Heritage Cohort.

The annual meeting will include an election of officers and the presentation of Federation’s David N. and Roselin Grosberg Young Leadership Awards, Fred A. Goldstein Professional Leadership Award, and RubinBrown Corporate Leadership Award.

At the annual meeting, Federation will present the Fred  A. Goldstein Professional Leadership Award to Ellen Alper, executive director of National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis. Alper’s work on behalf of NCJW has her representing a primarily Jewish organization while collaborating and convening with the broader community around issues of importance to women, children, and families. Her leadership in refocusing NCJW’s advocacy and social justice work has raised the organization’s community profile, including an increased presence in Jefferson City by NCJW staff and volunteers, in working and testifying on legislation concerning human trafficking, domestic violence, daycare safety issues, and improving access by low-income women to reproductive healthcare.

Alper is a life member of Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, having served as President of the Business and Professional Women’s group. 

The David N. and Roselin Grosberg Young Leadership Award will be presented to Andy Babitz and Lauren Cohen. The award recognizes volunteer young adult leaders in the Jewish community who demonstrate active Federation leadership as well as leadership in other Jewish organizations, and commitment to Federation’s annual community campaign. Both Babitz and Cohen are members of Federation’s Young Ben Gurion Society.

Babitz, a Wexner Heritage Foundation Fellow and a Millstone Fellow, chaired Federation’s YPD Relaunch Task Force, creating a strategy for the future of young adult engagement in the St. Louis Jewish community. Babitz serves on Federation’s development committee and was a member of the Millstone Institute Advisory Committee. He is also a vice president of United Hebrew Congregation.  Babitz practiced law for nine years and is currently a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual – The Babitz Financial Group.

Cohen serves on Federation’s Professional Society Leadership Advisory Council and helped launch and currently co-chairs the Professional Society Women’s Initiative. She participated in the pilot program for ACCESS Leadership and will co-chair the 2020 cohort. She is also a member of the Millstone Institute Advisory Committee. Cohen is on the board of the ADL Heartland, co-chaired the ADL Glass Leadership Program, and is now chair of the ADL Staenberg Fellows Program. Cohen is a litigation attorney with Capes Sokol Goodman and Sarachan, P.C. 

Federation will recognize Wolff Shoe Company with the 2019 RubinBrown Corporate Leadership Award. The company was selected for its support of Federation and the Jewish community. Beginning as a domestic producer of shoes over 100 years ago, Wolff Shoe Company remains a family business currently in its fourth generation of family leadership. Wolff Shoe also operates its own Marmi shoe stores throughout the country. 

Tickets for the annual meeting are $18 per person. An hors d’oeuvres reception will precede the meeting at 6 p.m.; dietary laws observed.  For more information and to register, visit For more information, contact Anna Marie Womble at 314-442-3802 or [email protected].