The building that houses Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU Hillel), 6300 Forsyth Boulevard, was named the Alvin and Jeanette Goldfarb House in recognition of the Goldfarbs’ support.
WashU Hillel is the catalyst for Jewish life among college students in St. Louis. They connect students with one another and with Jewish culture and traditions through service and social justice, Israel engagement, religious life, and social and leadership programs. WashU Hillel oversees a variety of student organizations at Washington University. For more information about WashU Hillel and the Hillel building, please visit the WashU Hillel website.
Alvin Goldfarb left the Washington University in St. Louis business school in 1937 to work in his father’s St. Louis-based garment-manufacturing business. In 1940, he founded Worths stores, offering moderately priced women’s apparel as women increasingly entered the work force. In 1979, Goldfarb and his wife, Jeanette, a university social work alumna, were founding sponsors of the university’s Scholars in Business scholarship program. The first university-associated structure to bear the Goldfarb name was the Alvin and Jeanette Goldfarb House, home of the Hillel Foundation. Goldfarb later provided the naming gifts to the university for the Jeanette Goldfarb Plant Growth Facility; the Alvin Goldfarb Auditorium; Alvin Goldfarb Hall; and the Alvin Goldfarb Professorship of Computational Biology.
Jeanette Goldfarb earned her masters degree in social work from Washington University. She married Alvin Goldfarb and had three children. While Mr. Goldfarb played a large role in the social spotlight, his wife preferred to support his work while remaining away from the center of attention. Together they made many contributions through the Jewish Federation of St. Louis to the Hillel Foundation and Washington University, and were members of Congregation Shaare Emeth. Mrs. Goldfarb maintained an interest in plants and gardening until her death in 1992. It is because of her interest in plants and the community that Washington University dedicated the Jeanette Goldfarb Plant Growth Facility in her name.