• Noam, Age 17
  • Lives in Megiddo, Israel, St. Louis’ partnership region
  • Clothing designer, entrepreneur and peer mentor
  • Inspired by a St. Louisan who believed in her

“Because of you,
I’m in a safe place,
a good place.”

Noam was at a low place in her life when she met St. Louisan Diane Katzman, who was visiting Noam’s hometown of Megiddo. “Diane was in Israel with a group from Jewish Federation of St. Louis and we connected right away,” says Noam.

Noam had been having trouble at home and at school, since her parents were going through a rough divorce. She eventually dropped out of high school with no hopes for the future. When Noam met Diane, she told her about the jeans she designed and how she wanted to be a renowned designer. Diane looked Noam straight in the eye and said, “You should pursue your dream. You can be anything you want to be.”

“That she would take the time to talk with me like that, that she would care enough to listen and give me advice, that was my wake-up call. People do care!” recalls Noam. Since meeting Diane, Noam joined the HILA program, supported by Federation, which helps teens with studying for their school exams. Noam’s jeans are a hit and are being sold online, and she is teaching peers how to design them.  She is on her way to all kinds of wonderful things.

Noam is thankful for the support of Federation that helped her change her life and fulfill her dreams. “You never know how your donations will impact lives,” she says.

Noam’s story is our story.

Noam with Family