Harvey and Judy Harris honored for lifetime of giving


Harvey and Judy Harris (from left) receive the 2022 Jack Galmiche Pioneer Spirit Award from Amy Shaw (second from right), Nine PBS president and CEO, and Mark Lindgren (far right), immediate past chair of the board of directors, at Nine PBS’s Midsummer Celebration in the Public Media Commons on June 24.

Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

Last month, Nine PBS honored Harvey and Judy Harris for their philanthropy service to the St. Louis community, and generous support of the local public TV station. The Harris’ received the 2022 Jack Galmiche Pioneer Spirit Award at its Midsummer Celebration in the Public Media Commons on June 24.

Harvey Harris is a past president of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, for which he served as general counsel for over 40 years. He and his wife are members of Congregation Temple Israel.

“Both Harvey and Judy Harris bring a passion for giving to the St. Louis community, supporting a variety of organizations, including those with a focus on healthcare, civic development, sciences, and the arts,” said Sarah Brandt, Nine PBS director of communications.

The spirit of giving

The Harris philanthropic resume is vast, and it’s all rooted in a simple philosophy of giving, according to Harvey Harris.

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“My parents were not overly wealthy people, but they were very active civically and were involved in many things. My mother was involved with the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing and my father was very involved with scouting as I grew up,” said Harris.

Harris discovered his passion for service around the time he returned to St. Louis after law school. Even as he was starting out, he says, he discovered that, unlike other major cities, anyone can become community-minded here in St. Louis, regardless of income, wealth, or family connections.

“St. Louis offers a great opportunity to be involved in charitable work if you wish,” said Harris. “It just takes time, talent, and if you have the means, treasure. Giving time and hopefully, a bit of talent is just as important as giving money.”

And Harris has lived up to those words. In addition to a prolific law career with the Stolar Partnership, Harris has given his time and talents to a host of local organizations, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Science Center, and the Fox Theatre. He also has the distinction of being one of Nine PBS’s longest-serving board members, from 1994-2022, recently transitioning to emeritus board member.

Judy Harris has led successful fundraising campaigns and been a hands-on leader throughout the community, serving on the boards of the American Red Cross, the St. Louis Public Library Foundation, the St. Louis Zoo, Dance St. Louis and the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, among others.

Harvey Harris and the Red Cross 

Among all the good deeds, Harris and his efforts once made a bit of Jewish history.

“One of my most proud moments was working for the American Red Cross and chairing the committee that first recognized the Israeli Red Cross, otherwise known as Magen David Adom,” he said.

In 2006, the International Red Cross voted to admit Israel, ending its decades of isolation from the worldwide humanitarian movement.

The Harris’ and Nine PBS

In nearly 30 years of service to Nine PBS, the Harrises contributed financial resources, as well as time, expertise and connections in the community. They opened their home for events, working to expand Nine PBS’s footprint in the community and strengthen the organization.

“Public television is the most trusted media source there is,” said Harvey Harris. “We decided to get involved because we believed Nine PBS had the opportunity to go beyond being a broadcast network, and become a community convener, making a difference across the community to gather people and deliver important information.