The building that houses the St. Louis Hillel Center, 6300 Forsyth Boulevard, was named the Alvin and Jeanette Goldfarb House in recognition of the Goldfarbs’ support.
The Hillel Center provides opportunities for Jewish students at Washington University in St. Louis and other nearby universities to grow in their faith and as a community. The St. Louis Hillel oversees the Jewish Student Union (JSU) at Washington University. The JSU provides a variety of opportunities from kosher meals to camping trips and service opportunities.
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.