Welcome to karenkalish.com, my personal website.
I grew up in St. Louis, moved to DC in 1967, to Chicago in 1978, back to DC in 1983, then to Cambridge MA in 1999, back to St. Louis in 2001, then to Seattle in July 2022. I’m healthy and wanted to spend my next chapter near water and mountains (with views from every window) in a blue city in an almost all-blue state. I love being near two of my five nephews, some cousins, and longtime friends.
I bought a fabulous condo downtown near the Space Needle, the Chihuly Museum, and the Olympic Sculpture Park. I love city living. I see Mt. Rainier (when it’s “out”) as I open my eyes every morning and sunsets from my living room. Please let me know if you’re anywhere near here – I have a guest room/bath that looks out over Puget Sound for you!
I have made many new friends and still have more to call thanks to all of you who gave me names of your friends, colleagues, and relatives. (If you have anyone you think I would enjoy, and vice-versa, please e-intro us.) I love building community.
I am a “serial social entrepreneur.” An entrepreneur starts things, “social” means “for the good of the community,” and “serial” means “more than one.” It means that when I’ve seen a problem I am passionate about solving, I roll up my sleeves, grab as many allies as I can, and get to work. The issues I have focused on are literacy, closing the opportunity and academic achievement gaps for struggling students, and ending discrimination. I have started three non-profit organizations and one program, and am lucky enough to have a donor-advised fund, which I started in 2000. Click here for my complete bio.
Named after my wonderful grandmother, Estelle Watelsky Kalish, The Estelle W. and Karen S. Kalish Foundation is a donor-advised fund at the St. Louis Community Foundation that supports both local and national organizations in three areas: 1) literacy, closing the achievement gap, leveling the playing field for minorities, especially African Americans, and issues of race; 2) the Jewish community; and 3) causes that my close friends care about.