Sher, Bloom among award winners as Jewish Federation celebrates 120 years


Karen Sher, Patty Bloom, Patricia F. Croughan

Bill Motchan, Special to the Jewish Light

When Karen Sher and Patty Bloom meet Thursday morning for their weekly five-mile run, the two longtime friends will share a new honor: the Fred A. Goldstein Professional Leadership Award, presented by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

Sher, vice president of community leadership & engagement at Jewish Federation, and Bloom, director of admissions and marketing at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School, received the award Sunday afternoon, April 10, at the Federation’s 120th-anniversary celebration.

“It’s more of a calling than a career,” said Bloom. “We’re both so moved to put our skills toward serving our community.”

Other awardees recognized at the event were Abby Goldstein and Dalia Oppenheimer who received the David N. and Roselin Grosberg Volunteer Young Leadership Award. Donn and Michele Lux accepted the RubinBrown Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Luxco. Over 250 attendees filled the Kaplan Feldman Complex to celebrate the milestone anniversary.

“It’s a tradition that people say, ‘May you live to be 120,’” said Greg Yawitz, Federation board chair. “This gives us a way to celebrate all the things we’ve done over the past 120 years both in the Jewish community of St. Louis and the overall community and celebrate a number that’s something special to us as a people. I’m excited to be the board chair when it’s happened, because we’ve done so much, and I know we’re going to do so much more.”

The event offered an opportunity for members of the Jewish community to view the Federation’s new exhibit that highlights the organization’s 120-year history. During the awards presentation, elected official offered remarks about the significance of the Federation’s contributions to the St. Louis community. Proclamations were presented to Federation by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and a representative of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones. Also presenting proclamations were Missouri State Senator Jill Schupp and Missouri State Representatives Doug Clemens and Ladonna Appelbaum.

“We can come together now that cases (of COVID) are dropping, and we can do this safely,” Yawitz said. “Now is the time to emerge and celebrate all the people who came before me and our past executives and give out awards to Abby Goldstein, Dalia Oppenheimer, Luxco, Karen Sher, and Patty Bloom. We can bring everyone together to celebrate not just 120 years but also to celebrate current people who are doing things now who are part of our future.

“We made a commitment 120 years to ensure a vibrant Jewish community, one in which every individual in our community can live their life with dignity, meaning, and purpose.”