In accepting the Grosberg Award, Julie Stern, a Supervisor for Teacher Training & Evaluation at Webster University, said she didn’t know what people were talking about when they would ask her, “’Have you drank the Federation Kool-Aid yet?’ It wasn’t until I became a member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet (NYLC) in 2008 that I later understood this statement.” She ticked off all the opportunities she’s had to visit and learn about Jews all over the world and alluded to one situation where she and a group of 32 other Jews helped send nine Bosnian Jewish children to a Jewish summer camp for two weeks. “Now when people ask me have I ‘drunk the Federation Kool-Aid,’ I say ‘yes and I think they spiked it with something very powerful.’”
“Taking care of one’s own is among the most important Jewish traditions. In fact, giving to a community fund is a tradition that literally dates back 2,000 years,” said David Kaslow, Director of Investments for Oppenheimer & Co. He and his wife both believe in “giving back,” behavior that was modeled by their parents. They aspire to do the same for their children. Kaslow’s connection to Federation began with the NYLC which “provided an open door to step into the Federation world.” He told the story of Operation Solomon, the 1991 covert Israeli military operation to take Ethiopian Jews to Israel, and its impact on the retired general who led the mission. He noted that many would like to be that general but it’s unlikely that we can make an impact of that magnitude. “But it is such stories that inspire us to make whatever meaningful contribution we can to the well being of our Jewish community with the result that we are ‘Thriving. Together.’”
About the Winners:
David Kaslow has held a number of impressive positions in the Jewish community. His commitment to the Jewish community began in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. His introduction to Jewish Federation of St. Louis came through the National Young Leadership Cabinet in 2005.
Growing up, David was very active in Jewish life – both through Omaha’s Jewish Community Center and Aleph Zedek Aleph (under the umbrella of B’nai B’rith), where his grandfather was a founding member in 1924. His commitment deepened through the years, serving on many Jewish Federation boards and in leadership positions.
His current involvement in Jewish Federation of St. Louis includes a role as Chair of the Investment Committee, member of the Board of Trustees, incoming member on the Board of Directors, and member of the Montefiore Society. He served on Federation’s Planning and Allocations committee from 2008-09 and participated in many strategy and planning sessions.
David earned a degree in English from Tulane University and an MBA from Washington University. He has worked in the investment industry for 20 years, currently as a Director in the Private Client group at Oppenheimer & Co. He previously worked as a portfolio manager of a publicly traded mutual fund.
He is married to Jennifer and has two daughters: Maya, 9 and Sasha, 7. Thrilled about the honor, David looks forward to continuing his journey with Jewish Federation, “I feel fortunate to be involved in Federation work over the last six years. It has been such a pleasure to work with so many dedicated, smart, and caring people. I’m extremely honored to be named along with Julie Stern as a Grosberg Award recipient,” Kaslow said.
Julie Beth Mormol Stern became involved with Jewish Federation when she took time off from her career while raising her four children. Since that time, Julie has taken on many leadership roles.
She served on the Jewish Federation of St. Louis Women’s Connection Executive Board from 2009-11, Co-Chaired the Social Action Committee from 2009-11, and led the Jewish Federation Women’s Council for Education. She is currently a Women’s Connection board member, serves in the National Young Leadership Cabinet, and Chairs the February 2012 Jewish Federation of St. Louis Cuba Mission.
Of receiving the award, Julie said, “When I first became involved with Jewish Federation, I never anticipated getting as involved as I have over the past few years. I was always impressed with those individuals that gave so much of their time and energy. What an amazing honor to be recognized. ”
Her passion for the community is evident in her devotion to volunteer work. Julie is currently on the St. Louis Jewish Community Center Board of Directors and works with Ready Readers, both as a Board Member and on a Program Committee. She is a volunteer at Conway Elementary School and served on Curriculum & Instruction committee of Ladue School District.
Julie was born and raised in Columbus, OH, where she was an avid gymnast and violinist. She took her talent for gymnastics to Eastern Michigan University and earned a degree in Elementary Education. After college, Julie moved to Chicago to begin her teaching career in Chicago Public Schools. Upon meeting her husband Tim, the couple moved to St. Louis where she continued teaching and started a family. Julie and Tim have four daughters: Sydney, Andie, Ariele, and Mikkie. Volunteering is important to Julie and she hopes to pass on the tradition of giving back, “I hope to continue my work into the future as a model to my children.”