Jim August was born in 1935, in Detroit, and grew up knowing the value of Tikkun Olam, which he learned from the examples set by his parents and grandparents. Jim’s grandparents were supporters of Hebrew Free Loan and Yeshiva Beth Yehudah. Jim’s mother was the president of the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation and was very involved with Hadassah. His father, a previous Honoree of 8 over 80, was a psychoanalyst and a founding member of Sinai Hospital and played a big role in making it one of the first hospitals in the country to have an inpatient psychiatric ward. Jim remembers its first meetings taking place in his living room. His family's activities, and support of the Jewish and general communities, had a large impact on Jim and his life.
Following his graduation from Cranbrook, Jim attended Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where he studied advertising. After earning an MBA at Michigan, Jim spent six months of active duty in the Army National Guard, followed by 6 years in the reserves. He then went on to work in the advertising business and later owned his own advertising agency called Stone-August, which he and his partner sold in 1999 when Jim retired. Jim and his wife, Doris, have three sons: Larry, Andy, and Tom. Family means everything to him.
Jim has a remarkable track record in community service. 8 Over 80 is not the first time he has been honored. In 2006 Jim received the Jewish Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He has held multiple leadership positions at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, where his work included, but was not limited to budgeting, fundraising, general leadership and cultural activities. He also served on multiple synagogue boards, and was president of Detroit Men’s ORT, the Michigan Jewish Conference, and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. Jim was the founding president of the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and the Vice President of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Jim especially expressed his love for helping build the community and cultural organizations. He believes that this type of community service work is so important because it brings quality to people’s lives by giving them a way to be active beyond religious involvement. Jim’s goal has always been to keep the Jewish community alive and provide people with many different organizations to participate in, and benefit from.
Jim looks at his community service work as opportunities, and he explained to me that he grew up understanding that one of your responsibilities as a person is to play a role in the community as much as you are able. Jim is honored today because throughout his life he has stuck to these values. His contributions and dedication to the Jewish community are beyond inspiring