Select Page

Andrea Kass has been giving since she had her first paid job. “My family has always been involved in giving,” she says. “I felt good about being able to contribute myself, not just through my parents. It was significant to me.”

It is also important to Kass, a student in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Washington University, that she give to and get involved in Jewish causes. She first got involved in Jewish Federation when she graduated from college and moved to Boston. She joined the young professionals’ organization there and then got involved with the Federation’s Young Professionals Division (YPD) when she moved to St. Louis. “It was important to me to prioritize giving to the Jewish community,” Kass says. “I wanted to give to things that I’ve benefitted from.”

Kass helped institute the YPD LEADS program, a leadership development program for emerging leaders active in the Jewish community, as well as the LEADS Pass, a YPD giving program through which LEADS participants receive incentives for giving at least $100 to Federation. Kass feels that donating through YPD is a kind of “positive peer pressure.” She explains, “It models a need to give for other young people. It’s a call to action. Our parents’ generation paved a positive path for us, and we need to maintain that.”

Kass likes that donating to Federation is “user-specific”—everyone can give what they can based on their own circumstances. “We each decide what to give for ourselves,” she says. “I like to challenge myself every year to give more—to stretch a bit beyond my comfort level.”