ADL honors Staenberg Family Foundation

BY MIKE SHERWIN, ASSISTANT EDITOR

The local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League recently conferred a top honor to the Staenberg Family Foundation for its service to the community.

On May 4, the ADL honored the Staenberg Family Foundation with its Distinguished Community Service Award during a festive brunch at the St. Louis Zoo, which also raised money for the ADL.

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“It was sort of a no-brainer on the work that the Foundation has done not only to help us, but when we started looking beyond what we were accomplishing because of them, it became sort of startling,” said Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Missouri/Southern Illinois ADL. “The number of organizations that they have supported and the areas they are concentrated on are focused on some of the most acute stuff going on now, both within the Jewish community and outside of it,” she said.

“Mike and Carol Staenberg have supported so many – and it impacts far beyond the dollars,” said ADL Regional Advisory Board Chair John Wallach in a news release. Wallach and his wife, Cindy, helped plan the event.

“If you note substantial support to the JCC and as well to Jazz at the Bistro, COCA, Lift for Life, the New Jewish Theater, the Regional Business Council, American Technion, Birthright, Friends of Kids with Cancer, the St. Louis Zoo and dozens of others. The Staenbergs and the Foundation are unmatched in vision and generosity,” he said.

At the ADL, the Staenberg Family Foundation funded the Staenberg Fellowship, a program designed to provide leadership and advocacy training for “the next generation” of potential philanthropists and supporters, Aroesty said.

“The Staenberg Fellows are that next generation,” Aroesty said. “They are the future advocates for the ADL and the Jewish community. They are really impressive, and we couldn’t have done it if the Foundation hadn’t provided the impetus and the dollars to get that started.”

Previous winners of the ADL award have included Mary Engelbreit, Jerry Sincoff for Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK), John Dubinsky (and then Mercantile Bank), Jack Danforth and the Danforth Foundation, David Steward and World Wide Technology, and Richard Baron of McCormick Baron Ragan.

The 250 guests in the audience at the event were treated to entertainment from the St. Louis Arches of the Everyday Circus and the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars. The Build-a-Bear Workshop donated special bear centerpieces, and Maxine Clark presented the Staenbergs with a bear decked out in Sketchers sneakers, sunglasses, and an ADL T-shirt.

The actual award presented to the Staenbergs was a print by Israeli artist Michel Schwartz created for the Anti-Defamation League, a representation of the work “V’ahavta.” “The V’ahavta is the first word in the commandment, ‘Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself,'” said Aroesty. “It represents that essence not only of the work of the Anti-Defamation League, but also the work of the Staenberg Family Foundation.”