Teen Merit-Based Grants

Pessin applications for 2024 travel are now closed. There are four $1500 awards that will be granted. Grant is only open to current high school students participating on a 2024 Israel experience. Candidates will be considered on the basis of a combination of academic and personal achievement.


2024 Stuart I. Pessin Award Winners

Jewish Federation of St. Louis is pleased to announce the 2024 recipients of the Stuart I. Pessin Award: Yaffa Goldman, Sari Gross, Rivka Kowalsky, and Jenna Wasserman.

The awards, which are allocated from the Stuart I. Pessin Scholarship Fund, compliment the existing Israel grant program funded by Jewish Federation of St. Louis. The merit-based award provides a means for select high school students to receive community funds by demonstrating their commitment to Judaism and the St. Louis Jewish community.

Yaffa Goldman is a senior at Esther Miller Bais Yaakov and a member of Tpheris Israel (TICK). At school, Yaffa has been in leadership positions throughout her four years in high school. She is currently co-president of Student council. She volunteers weekly to support families with young children. This fall Yaffa will be attending Bnos Sarah Seminary.



Sari Gross is a sophomore at Clayton High School and a member of Temple Israel. She is involved in several school clubs including JSU (Jewish Student Union) and the Community Service Club. She is active in BBYO and last year she launched HoneycombSTL, a Jewish teen philanthropy group. Sari will be attending Alexander Muss High School in Israel this summer.


Rivka Kowalsky is a senior at Esther Miller Bais Yaakov and a member of Agudas Israel. She teaches young children in a Sunday school setting and is involved with the Partner-in-Torah organization. She also delivers meals to elderly women in nursing homes. Rivka will be attending Bnos Sarah in the fall.


Jenna Wasserman is a sophomore at Whitfield School and a member of Congregation B’nai Amoona. She is an active member of JSU (Jewish Student Union), plays varsity Field Hockey and Track & Field. She is also a member of USY and Yad Squad participant. Jenna is currently attending a semester in Israel at Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim.



Previous Stuart I. Pessin Awardees

2023      Sadie Levy, Chaya Kula, Nash Pratt, Georgia Bland
2022       Sarah Rumfelt, Yechiel Shulman, Zoe Klevens
2021       Liam Harir, Liam Oiknine, Hayley Lerner, Noah Kleinlehrer
2020       Amarah Friedman, Rachel Perera, Halle Wasserman, Ethan Winograd
2019       Jonah Boyer, Emma Cantor, Amit Harir & Kobi Recht
2018       Jacob Mann & Melissa Rush
2017       Rina Gersten & Yonah Shafner
2016       Aaron Koshner & Eitan Oberlander
2015       Kyla Gersten & Rachel Somorov
2014       Sarah Casteel & Jonathan Samuels
2013       Ryan Finkelstein & David Iken
2012       Andrew Brick & Noah Oberlander
2011       Shira LeDeaux & Miranda Siler
2010       Ethan Bennett & Hannah Kaiser
2009      Hannah Barg & Jennifer Koshner
2008      Lior Melnick & Stuart Portman
2007      Jennifer Levy & Phillip Weber
2006      Alana Baron & Donna Iken
2005      Jamie Dalin & Avraham Rovinsky

If you have any questions, contact Karen Rader at krader@jfedstl.org.