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 moved to Cambridge MA in 1999, back to St. Louis in 2001, then to Seattle on July 13, 2022. Yep, 2000+ miles from St. Louis. I’m healthy (at 77!) and wanted to spend my next chapter in a blue state with water and mountains, and views from every window! I love being near two of my five nephews and two favorite cousins and some longtime friends; and I already have new friends and many names of friends to call.
I bought a condo in Belltown two blocks from the Space Needle, the Chihuly Museum, and the Olympic Sculpture Park, and love city living. I see Mt. Rainier as I open my eyes every morning and sunsets from my living room.
If you have relatives, friends, or colleagues you think I would enjoy, and vice-versa, e-intro us, please. I love building community. Please let me know if you’re anywhere near here, and I have a guest room/bath that looks out over Puget Sound!
I am a “serial social entrepreneur.” An entrepreneur is someone who starts things, “social” means “for the good of the community,” and “serial” means “more than one.” It means that when I see 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 academic and opportunity and 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.