Mission Statement and Vision
Jewish Federation of St. Louis mobilizes the Jewish community and its human and financial resources to preserve and enhance Jewish life in St. Louis, in Israel, and around the world.
Our vision is an engaged, vibrant, and flourishing St. Louis Jewish community, in which individuals live with dignity, meaning, and purpose, and a sense of belonging to the Jewish People, as part of a life well-lived.
- Dignity: We help ensure that the most vulnerable have a place to live, food to eat and services to protect them.
- Meaning: We help provide points of access to anyone who wishes to make the Jewish community, learning and our tradition part of a life well lived.
- Purpose: Guided by Jewish values, we inspire and mobilize our community to serve those in need.
Number of agencies, programs, and services we serve in St. Louis and around the world
What is the Jewish Federation of St. Louis?
Jewish Federation of St. Louis is the Jewish community’s central philanthropic, planning, and community-building organization. Founded in 1901, it is one of the region’s most respected and effective nonprofit organizations. Jewish Federation of St. Louis supports more than 100 agencies, programs, and services in St. Louis and around the world to ensure a thriving Jewish community, respond to emergencies, and care for our most vulnerable. Funds are raised through the Unrestricted Annual Campaign and Planned Giving opportunities.
We achieve our mission in three ways:
Jewish Federation of St. Louis focuses its work by achieving the following four Core Commitments:
Expand and strengthen an engaged, vibrant, and flourishing St. Louis Jewish community
Israel and the Jewish People
Strengthen our connection to Israel and the Jewish People worldwide
Secure the Vulnerable
Secure the well-being and safety of individuals within the Jewish community
Develop the financial and human resources, and infrastructure, needed by our community
Our Strategic Plan
Our society – locally and globally – is rapidly changing. In 2014, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis completed a demographic study of the St. Louis Jewish community. Among the study’s findings were that the aggregate number of Jews in St. Louis (measured by those identifying as Jewish) is growing, but a large number of those people are not engaged with the community. Other key findings were that almost half (48%) of married couples in St. Louis Jewish households (households with at least one Jewish adult) include a non-Jewish spouse, and 24% of Jewish households “cannot make ends meet” or are “just managing” financially.
Informed by the study, the Federation undertook a planning process to assess the community landscape and determine our strategic priorities and direction that best position us to fulfill the Jewish Federation mission. The plan breaks new ground in three key respects:
- First, it embodies a goal of seeking to foster community engagement among all segments and members of the St. Louis Jewish community, utilizing a variety of focal points, both religious and non-religious, recognizing the diversity of the community and the need to connect with people on a number of different planes – religious, cultural, historical, ethical, etc.
- Second, it provides for a new Community Impact model to replace the “Planning & Allocations” functions that traditionally have been the hallmark of Jewish Federations around the country. The model will take a “needs-first” approach to develop a case for giving based on community needs, and a donor-centric, advisory approach to philanthropy based on program impact.
- Third, it clarifies that Federation works primarily through supporting and collaborating with existing agencies, synagogues, and other organizations, and will directly provide services only in limited circumstances where we can more effectively and/or efficiently do so, gaps exist, or there is a need for community-wide coordination.
View the Strategic Plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees on December 13, 2017. For more details on our priorities, please visit our Core Commitments page.
Jewish Federation of St. Louis is a proud member of United Way and a Better Business Bureau Accredited charity.