Effective April 1, the JCC Denver is instituting an agency-wide series of staff furloughs, wage reductions, benefits adjustments, and other cost saving measures. Here is a list of who to contact within the organization during this time.

Senior Leadership TeamLara KnuettelChief Executive OfficerEmail
Kent RiceInterim Chief Operating OfficerEmail
Adam ZandmanChief Marketing OfficerEmail
Ceren JohnsonExecutive Director, ELSEmail
RegistrarAllison MarshallRegistrarEmail
Fitness CenterJudy SweseyMembership ManagerEmail
 Mac WestInterim Aquatics ManagerEmail
 Graeme SchulzCommunications LiaisonEmail
Tennis CenterMarshall CarpenterDirector of TennisEmail
Engagement TeamShana JacobsDirector of Engagement and Jewish LearningEmail
Mizel Arts & Culture CenterKent RiceInterim Chief Operating OfficerEmail
 Amy Weiner WeissDirector of FestivalsEmail
DevelopmentCyndi SheehanDirector of DevelopmentEmail
Ranch CampNoah GallagherDirector of Ranch CampEmail
 Ryan BocchinoAssociate Director of Ranch CampEmail
 Carly CoonsAssistant Director of Ranch CampEmail
Camp ShaiCourtney JacobsonDirector of Camp Shai and Youth ProgramsEmail
 Daniel SiegelAssociate Director of Camp Shai and Youth ProgramsEmail
 Molly CohnAssistant Director of Youth ServicesEmail
Rentals /RetreatsSteve GosleeDirector of OperationsEmail
Early Learning SchoolCeren JohnsonExecutive Director, ELSEmail
 Simone CoutinhoAssistant Director of Operations, ELSEmail
 Sarah RobertsAssistant Director of Education, ELSEmail
 Lauren SteeleAdministrative Assistant, ELSEmail
 All teachers will remain on staff
Human ResourcesMelissa HoeseSr. Human Resources GeneralistEmail

Dear JCC Camp & Maccabi Families,

Whether it is your first year with us or have been attending a JCC Camp or the Maccabi Games & ArtsFest for one, two, or over five years, you are an integral part of our JCC family and we are grateful to each one of you for choosing to be a part of our community.

Last week, we made the difficult decision to close the entire JCC facility as part of our efforts to contribute to slowing the spread of disease. We recognize the added disruption and challenge this has caused for our preschool families, fitness members, tennis members, School’s Out participants, and more and are grateful to you for your patience and flexibility during this challenging time. We are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all of our families and that remains our highest priority in our decision-making and action.

Even though summer is still months away, we would like to take the opportunity to share some information and updates with you. Please know that we will continue to keep you up to date as we learn more.

As of this moment, we plan to fully operate Camp Shai, Ranch Camp, Tennis Camp, and the Wolf Theatre Academy this summer. The JCC Association of North America is determining any possible changes to the Maccabi Games & ArtsFest and we will pass along any decisions that are made.

Many of you are cautiously optimistic about the summer and uncertain about how COVID-19 will affect your summer plans. If circumstances change regarding COVID-19, and we are not able to operate our camps or Maccabi this summer because of the virus, we intend to provide refunds for those programs.

As this situation develops, please know that we are committed to making decisions with the best interest of our campers, families, employees, and greater community as our highest priority. We are deeply proud and appreciative that you have chosen to spend your summer with us at the JCC and we eagerly anticipate the start of the summer season at the J.

Our love for you, your family, and your children, is sustaining us through this. We are one community and together, we will uplift one another and get through this difficult time.

Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible in the coming week.

With gratitude,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

Ed Nekritz
Board Chair

Jodi Asarch
Maccabi Delegation Head

Marshall Carpenter
Tennis Director

Noah Gallagher
Ranch Camp Director

Courtney Jacobson
Camp Shai Director

Steve Wilson
Wolf Theatre Academy Director

REMINDER: Don’t forget to join us for Live Streamed Virtual Campfires with Camp Shai and Ranch Camp every Tuesday at 3:30 pm MST.


Dear JCC Fitness Community,

We are grateful to each one of our members for choosing to be a part of our community. Whether you have been a member for one year, five years, or more than twenty years, you are an integral part of our JCC family.

Last week, we made the very difficult decision to close the entire JCC facility as part of our effort to contribute to slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and we are keenly aware of the disruption and challenge this causes our members. While the situation remains fluid, we are following Governor Polis’s order from March 16 to close all gyms for 30 days. We will update you as we get closer to the end of this mandated closure regarding our reopen date. As you well know, we are dealing with a constantly changing situation and the health, safety, and well-being of our community members remains our highest priority as we make decisions.

As a result of our state mandated closure, we will not be charging dues for the month of April. In absent of dues, you can choose to make a donation to support the critical work, inclusive mission, and staff of the JCC during this time. The full amount of your donation may be eligible for the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit. Every dollar helps support our staff and is appreciated. You can donate online or contact Cyndi Sheehan, Director of Development, at csheehan@jccdenver.org for more information.

You have told us, with your voices and actions, that the JCC is more than just a workout facility. We believe that our community is about the connection to one another, a shared vision for the future, and an investment in the values we share. During this interruption, we have worked tirelessly to better understand the financial implications of our community’s response to COVID-19. We recognize this is a challenging time, complicated by the pace of change and new information, while balancing the needs of a community and service to our mission.

We wish your family continued health through this time and look forward to seeing you when we can open our doors again.


Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

Ed Nekritz
Board Chair

Don Kortz
Immediate Past Board Chair


Dear JCC Community,

As you know, the health, safety, and well-being of our children, members, staff, and community is of the utmost importance to us always. Your support of the JCC has been nothing short of awe-inspiring since we made the difficult decision to close our facility through the end of March. We are committed wholly and uncompromisingly to community health, and to deploying our resources to supporting the community in emerging ways. We are grateful to you for the time and space to make the right choices, communicate accurately and efficiently, and build a strong foundation for continued service.

Thank you for your investment in the JCC – we do not take our partnership for granted. We also value our partnership with our incredible trainers, teachers, program directors, swim instructors, tennis coaches, and countless other staff that are the lifeblood of the JCC.

During this time of uncertainty, we have decided to act on our values of Gemilut Hassadim (Acts of Kindness) and Kehila (Community) and have committed to pay our staff during this two-week shutdown period. In order to accomplish this, we will not be issuing refunds for March. It is our hope that you will join in expressing your support for these incredible individuals during this unprecedented situation. The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and, as a result, any dues and tuition for which no services are rendered may be considered a tax-deductible donation.

With the support of the JCC Board of Directors, we have established the following guiding principles for membership dues, enrollment fees, and program expenses through the end of March:

Membership Dues and Early Learning School Tuition
Our JCC provides a diverse and engaging experience; even with our building closed. We are continuing to explore ways to serve the community, engage our members, and deliver a unique experience for all. That said, we will not be issuing refunds for March on dues or tuition. However, dues and tuition for which no services are rendered may be considered a tax-deductible donation. We will provide you with a donation letter for tax deduction purposes upon request, specifying the amount you have paid for which no services were received. Your donation amount will be based on the length of time the JCC is closed.

  • Membership Dues: If you would like a donation letter, please email Judy Swesey, our Membership Manager, at jswesey@jccdenver.org and she will coordinate with our development office. Additional information about April dues will be sent directly to members next week.
  • Early Learning School (ELS) Tuition: If you would like a donation letter, please email Allison Marshall, our Registrar, at amarshall@jccdenver.org and she will coordinate with our development office. Additional communication on these options will be sent directly to impacted families in the coming days.

Program Registration Fees (classes, events, training sessions, etc.)
Any current program fees (where the identified program will not be rescheduled, or otherwise delivered online or in a virtual environment) that have already been collected will be credited to your account for future use. Please contact Shana Jacobs at sjacobs@jccdenver.org with questions.

We want to thank our members, partners, and leaders who have already demonstrated their strong commitment to our mission and staff. We are blessed to partner with a community that recognizes that our staff family delivers exceptional service with a tremendous amount of heart and expertise and who will enthusiastically support our decision to compensate our staff through the end of March.

In the days ahead, the JCC team will be ramping up our online resources, content, and engagement opportunities that are available to our community. If you have an idea, want to connect with community members, or otherwise want to explore ways to demonstrate our values and celebrate our community (in the most social-distancing-sensitive way!) please reach out to Shana Jacobs, Director of Engagement and Jewish Learning, at sjacobs@jccdenver.org. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for daily information and resources on ways to keep you and your family active during this time.

We continue to monitor the situation on a day-by-day basis and will contact you regarding any updates or changes over the coming weeks, specifically around programs that are impacted beyond the end of March.

We are resilient and we will get through this together.


Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

Ed Nekritz
Board Chair

Don Kortz
Immediate Past Board Chair



Dear JCC Denver Community,

We are so proud of the community we have built at the JCC. Every day, we see a diverse group of people walk through our doors – infants, young children, teens, and older adults. Our people are the heart and soul of our JCC – and that is why we are so strongly committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Our mission at the JCC Denver is to serve, strengthen, and inspire community guided by timeless Jewish values and in times like this, it is important to hold fast to our mission. In light of our priority being the wellbeing (Osher) of our children, members, and staff, our JCC Leadership Team and JCC Board of Directors have made the difficult decision to close our entire facility beginning Saturday, March 14 for a minimum of two weeks. Our current plan is to reopen on Wednesday, April 1. Thankfully, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at our JCC. The JCC Early Learning School is scheduled to reopen Monday, April 6. These dates are subject to change as the situation around the coronavirus unfolds and we will keep you updated over the coming weeks.

During this time, the JCC will be cleaned and sanitized to ensure the building is ready for everyone to return. The cleaning products that we are using meet guidelines specified by the Colorado Department of Public Health. JCC Administrative and Program staff will be working remotely during this closure and are here to support you during this unprecedented time. Should you have any general questions, please email info@jccdenver.org and we will respond as soon as possible.

In the spirit of the Jewish value of Kehlia (Community), we are working to bring opportunities online to bring our community together during this isolating time. More specific information about these virtual opportunities will be communicated directly to participants as they are developed. Updates are available on our Facebook page as well as in our email newsletter. You are able to sign up to receive our email newsletter at the bottom of our website.

At this time, our summer programming and camps have not been impacted from the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation on an hour-by-hour basis and will contact you regarding any updates or changes over the coming weeks.

Thank you for your cooperation, support, and flexibility during these challenging and unprecedented times.


Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer


Dear JCC Denver,

The JCC is working closely with the JCC Association and JEWISHcolorado to continually monitor and react to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As you know, our highest priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our ELS children, members, and staff and we are confident in the partnership we have with these organizations. They are in constant touch with the CDC, health providers, and state representatives and are able to share factual and up to date information as this situation unfolds.

We are currently open with all of our programs running as scheduled, except for the following:

Open Mic Night – March 19
Mahj and Mimosas – March 22
I Am Denver Storytelling Lab – March 23
Jamie Bernstein – April 14 (working to postpone to later date)
El-Salomen’s Comedy Show – May 21 (working to postpone to later date)

Due to the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you view our event calendar on the website to confirm the class/program you are planning to attend is proceeding as planned. If for any reason a class/program is cancelled, our event calendar will be immediately updated and an email will be sent to all registered participants.

The CDC has recommended that large gatherings be limited. With that in mind, we will not hold any major JCC-sponsored events with over 50 attendees for the next 30 days. This is a precaution we must take in order to lessen the risk of spreading of the virus.

Should we be made aware of a case of coronavirus at the J, the information will be made public and we will make plans to close the building for a deep cleaning per the designated time as outlined by the state of Colorado; however, we feel that with the precautions and preventative steps from both our staff and community, we can avoid this action:

  • Please do not enter the JCC if you are showing any flu-like symptoms.
  • All staff members will stay home should they feel sick.
  • We have hired additional housekeeping staff to assist with constant cleaning of the ELS and Fitness Center.
  • Additional hand sanitizers have been placed around the building.
  • Our housekeeping team is wiping down all door handles and other high trafficked items frequently throughout the day and evening.
  • Signage has been placed throughout the facility, and all fitness equipment, reminding everyone to wash their hands and wipe down equipment after use.
  • If a member of our staff and/or security team observes you exhibiting symptoms, we reserve the right to kindly ask to leave.

We sincerely appreciate your understanding and compliance during this uncertain time. Please take care of yourself, wash your hands, and stay indoors if you are feeling ill.

Thank you for your cooperation and support,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer



Dear JCC Denver Community,

JCC Denver has been diligently monitoring the worldwide outbreak and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The healthy and safety of our children, members, staff, and community is our top priority and we want to share information, resources, and proactive steps we’re taking to help keep our community safe.

What is JCC Denver doing to proactively keep our community as healthy as possible?

  • Making sure hand sanitizer is always available, especially in public areas (i.e. main lobby, ELS, fitness lobby, tennis courts, etc.)
  • Signage reminding members to wipe down gym equipment before and after use
  • Signage reminding staff and members to wash their hands after using the restroom
  • Fitness trainers continue to clean and sanitize all fitness equipment regularly
  • Encouraging staff members to work from home if feeling ill/showing any flu-like symptoms

What can we do as a community to help prevent the spread of illnesses like flu and coronavirus?

  • Please be sure to wash or sanitize your hands regularly
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill/showing flu-like symptoms
  • Wipe down all fitness equipment before and after use

Where can I find accurate information about COVID-19?

Facts about COVID-19 from the CDC

What’s next?

As we are all aware, the status and spread of this virus is every-changing. Should we have to implement any further actions, cancel any programs or classes, or make a change to events, we will be sure to keep everyone up-to-date.

We sincerely appreciate your support and cooperation as we monitor this rapidly evolving situation. Stay safe, stay healthy, and please wash your hands!

JCC Denver