When Peggy Kaplan moved to St. Louis from Southern California, she initially wasn’t very involved in the Jewish community. “I didn’t have a lot of Jewish friends when we moved here,” she says. Her initial contact with Jewish Federation of St. Louis was a women’s leadership class. She enjoyed meeting up with a group of people from different backgrounds and congregations. That led her to Central Reform Congregation, where she became a member. Then she took Hebrew classes through the Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) for approximately five years.
“I benefitted from agencies in Federation, and I wanted to give back,” Kaplan says. “I think I felt gratitude for the introduction into the Jewish community in St. Louis.”
As her and her husband’s ability to give has grown, their gift has grown as well. And giving for Kaplan involves not just money, but also her time. She was asked to be on the board of the Jewish Light and ended up becoming an advisor for Ohr Chadash, the “teen news by teen Jews” section that is written, edited and produced by Jewish teens ages 13 to 19. “Now here I am involved with teenagers, a big, diverse group from different congregations and branches, working on stories on a wide variety of Jewish issues,” says Kaplan.