Giving History


Sol Kimerling and Lora Terry working on Giving Together

Meeting Sol Kimerling for the first time is like meeting the funniest, most engaging, best friend you always wanted. We had the opportunity to spend the morning with Sol a few weeks ago, ostensibly to talk about why he chose to have a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation. We ended up being entranced by a life-long love story, laughing over the antics of his grandchildren and learning a lot about the history of Birmingham.

Sol, who has been described as businessman, philanthropist, historian and proud native of Birmingham, is passionate about our city. He and his late wife, Rita, were both active in the Jewish Community and served as tireless volunteers with a variety of social and cultural programs. Rita, who fought cancer for three decades, was instrumental in developing the patient support program at UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In the last few years, Sol’s passion for Birmingham has led him to research and write extensively about the history of Birmingham, particularly the turbulent days of the Civil Rights era. Sol is particularly knowledgeable about the Jewish community’s role and activities during the era and is a much sought after speaker and writer.

In 2013, he and UAB historian, Pamela Sterne King authored a series for Weld titled “No More Bull: Birmingham’s Revolution at the Ballot Box,” (you can read the series at Sol, who told us that he started out writing for the Ramsay High School News sports page, has always loved writing and the research that goes with it. He has plans to write more articles about the history of the Birmingham area.

We did finally get around to talking about the Community Foundation. Sol said that he partners with us through Giving Together because the Community Foundation identifies organizations doing good work in our community that he may not know about. He trusts the Community Foundation to find organizations in the most need and help him make a difference in the areas he cares about the most.