The J to honor Michael Staenberg at annual J’la event, celebrating its b’nai mitvah year


The Jewish Community Center will host its annual fundraising gala, J’la, on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Factory in Chesterfield. The J is honoring the b’nai mitzvah year (13 years) of the Staenberg Family Complex in Creve Coeur and celebrating the return of an in-person J’la after two years of virtual events. The gala raises funds for J scholarships, creating access to programming such as Day Camp, the Early Childhood Center, Fitness Memberships and more for those that may otherwise not be able to participate.

Philanthropist and real estate developer Michael Staenberg, the namesake of the Staenberg Family Complex, will be honored at the event for his critical role in helping the St. Louis J become one of the finest Jewish Community Centers in the country. His continued dedication to the J has greatly impacted the agency’s success and helped to change the lives of the many members who use J services and programming.

“When I reflect on different transition points in my life, a JCC was always front and center. Whether it was growing up in Omaha where the JCC was my second home, the connection I felt to the JCC in Kansas City when I moved there as a young adult, or how central it was to our family life from the time we first settled in St. Louis to now – the JCC has always been there for me. The JCC is a gathering place where everyone is welcome,” Staenberg said.

“Our beautiful Staenberg Family Complex, turning 13 this year, proves how Michael’s vision for aesthetic beauty and functionality is second to none,” says Lynn Wittels, president and CEO of the J. “It’s these kinds of contributions – even more than the money he invests – that bring him the greatest joy. It is our privilege to honor him this year.”


Staenberg is the president of the Staenberg Group, a business development company, based in St. Louis. He is the founder of the Staenberg Family Foundation, which supports the projects and programs that meet the mission of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. The foundation seeks to ensure that the Jewish community, as well as the greater St. Louis region, thrives and flourishes.

For more information on the J’la or to purchase tickets, please visit