J Associates to honor Mitzvah Stars

On May 14, J Associates will honor Linda Spitzer Gavatin (left) and Amanda Stein as the 2019 Mitzvah Stars.

J Associates, a women’s auxiliary supporting the Jewish Community Center, will hold its 34th Annual Installation Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at the J’s Arts & Education Building, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. The event will honor two Mitzvah Stars, Linda Spitzer Gavatin and Amanda Stein.

Spitzer Gavatin devotes her time, energy and talents to enhance the lives of Covenant Place’s older adult residents and the community’s older adults who participate in their programs. She has been a key participant in Covenant Place’s planning for the Mirowitz Center and HJ’s Café and has dedicated hundreds of hours supporting these efforts.

Spitzer Gavatin also sits on the board of directors of Aging Ahead, an organization that serves seniors across the state of Missouri, providing government funds to subsidize the state’s senior congregant meal programs and connecting older adults with a variety of resources. In addition, she is studying to be a mashgiach, a kosher supervisor that is very knowledgeable in the laws of kashrut. Spitzer Gavatin is a long-time board member and past president of St. Louis Chapter Hadassah and is vice president of education and an active member of Congregation B’nai Amoona’s Sisterhood. She also has been long been involved with Jews United for Justice, as an expression of her caring commitment to those without access to opportunities afforded to others.

At only 30-years-old, Stein’s dedication and involvement with local organizations is very impressive. For many years, she has helped better her congregation, Temple Israel, where she currently serves on its board of directors. She also is a fourth-grade teacher at the temple’s religious school and has served on numerous planning committees.

Stein volunteers and is a board member at the National Council of Jewish Women and a co-chair of the annual Back to School! Store event. She recently joined the board of Girls in the Know, a non-profit that empowers girls to develop a strong sense of self. 

Her full-time job is as an elementary school teacher in the Ritenour School District. Before teaching at Ritenour, Stein taught in the Riverview School District and oversaw its robotics club after school, exposing students to incredible machines while also attending conferences and competitions with the students.  She also helped secure funds for transportation so students could attend field trips, such as to Junior Achievement to help continue their exposure and education.

The cost of the J Associates event is $36 per person. For more information, contact Staci Gerchen at 314-442-3109 or [email protected]. Event Co-Chairs are Amy Bennett, Wendy Gellman and Anna Poger.