Ellen Alper, Executive Director of NCJW St. Louis, is the recipient of the 2019 Fred A. Goldstein Professional Excellence Award. With Alper’s professional leadership, NCJW St. Louis has 1,500 members and is consistently recognized as one of the exemplary sections of NCJW in the country. Alper supervises an office and Resale Shop staff. Prior to NCJW, Alper was Executive Director of Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Assistant Executive Director of The St. Louis Association of Realtors, a CORO Fellow in Public Affairs, and worked in The White House under President Jimmy Carter.
Alper’s work on behalf of NCJW has her representing a primarily Jewish organization while collaborating and convening with the broader community around issues of importance to women, children, and families. Her leadership and vision in refocusing NCJW’s advocacy and social justice work has catapulted the organization into an even stronger community profile including an increased presence in Jefferson City by NCJW staff and volunteers, in working and testifying on legislation concerning human trafficking, domestic violence, daycare safety issues, and improving access by low-income women to reproductive healthcare.
Other initiatives under Alper’s leadership include the Higher Ground Committee, identifying gaps in service to victims of domestic abuse, NCJW Human Trafficking work, and The Healing Hearts Bank, NCJW’s first hands-on community service project providing small loans for domestic violence survivors, which was awarded the FOCUS-St. Louis “What’s Right with the Region” Award in 2015. Alper is a life member of Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, having served as President of the Business and Professional Women’s group.