Denver JCC Announces New Board of Directors

Community leader Don Kortz to serve as JCC Board Chair

DENVER, Colo., July 12, 2018 – The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) just announced the formation of a new board of directors chaired by longtime community leader, Don Kortz. Assembled in conjunction with a recent and transformational transaction between the JCC Denver and a newly formed non-profit subsidiary of Rose Community Foundation (RCF), the new board brings a fresh perspective and energy with which to lead the JCC into an exciting new chapter.

New Denver JCC board chair Don Kortz

The historic transaction, led by RCF and a group of inspired donors, which included multimillion-dollar leadership gifts from Rose Community Foundation, Mizel Family Foundation, the Staenberg Family Foundation, and the Sturm Family, allowed for the acquisition of the JCC land and facilities with an annual $1 per year leaseback to free the JCC from years of debt. In so doing, the transaction has provided critical funds to enable the organization to operate in a healthy and functional way without the weight of debt.

Business leader and philanthropist, Michael Staenberg – for whom the JCC is named and who is the largest individual donor in JCC history – and the Staenberg Family Foundation, provided exceptional assistance throughout the capital and transaction processes, giving extremely generously and expertly guiding recent construction updates for the sections of the JCC that were in desperate need of renovation. “The JCC would not have continued to exist without the gracious support of Mr. Staenberg,” said Don Kortz, board president.

The incoming Board of Directors is comprised of professionals from the accounting, finance, legal, and real estate industries, and brings decades of nonprofit service and experience to the task. The new directors include Elise Barish, Barry Curtis-Lusher, Ken Feiler, Kendra Harrison, Mike Kboudi, Gary Levine, Julie Morse, Ed Nekritz, Dan Seff, Mattis Sessel, Stephen Sturm, Don Kortz, and Gary Wagner.

“We are thrilled to embark on this next chapter in our history, and look forward to the support and guidance of such an impressive group of community members,” said Lara Knuettel, CEO of the JCC Denver. “We are thankful for all of our past board members including past board chair, Gary Wagner, who will continue serving on the new JCC Board.”

The incoming board will provide governance and fundraising support while ensuring that the JCC Denver’s mission continues to be effectively provided for years to come. The focus of the Board and leadership in the ensuing days is to strengthen and grow programs and services for the community while making much-needed infrastructure improvements to the JCC.

“We are ever so grateful for the hard work and dedication of our past board members, whose love and care for the JCC have guided it to this historic moment,” said Knuettel. “Past board chair, Gary Wagner, has been especially pivotal in steering the board through these uncharted waters to a successful outcome, and has graciously agreed to continue serving on the new JCC Board.”

To learn more about the JCC Denver, visit


The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) serves the metro-Denver area through educational, social, cultural, fitness, sports and other programs that are rooted in Jewish values. The JCC Denver’s mission is to create a vibrant and inclusive family and social gathering place, guided by these timeless Jewish values. The J’s four program areas focus on connection, community and well-being and include: a robust fitness, sports, tennis and aquatic center; Early Childhood Engagement, including an Early Learning School and a variety of programs for families; the Mizel Arts and Culture Center which offers Denver Children’s Theatre, JAAMM Fest (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies & Music), Denver Jewish Film Festival, Wolf Summer Theater Academy, Art Academy and adult art classes; summer camps including Ranch Camp and Camp Shai; intergenerational and older adult programming like the Grandparent Connect Group and Jewish Aging Mastery Program (JAMP). The JCC Denver is located at 350 S. Dahlia St. in Denver. For more information, visit or call (303) 399-2660.

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

Check Also

Boulder Jewish Festival 2024: A Delightful Day with 15,000 Attendees and Vibrant Entertainment

Around 15,000 attended the 28th Boulder Jewish Festival, enjoying great weather, performances, and exhibits from numerous organizations, artists, and food vendors.

Adoptee Support Group Forming

A new adoption support group is forming on June 18, 2024 in the Boulder-Longmont Colorado area, for adult adoptees and facilitated by psychotherapist and adoptee Janice Shayne, CHt.