History of the Foundation

Learn about the growth of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's work and commitment to its mission from Western Massachusetts to North America and the rest of the world.



Since 1991, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation has invested more than $200 million in programs that make Jewish life and Jewish community more vibrant and more connected. Today the Foundation supports an assortment of innovative programs – with the newest initiative always just a spark of inspiration away.
 
In addition to Jewish giving, the private Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation has supported local initiatives in the Western Massachusetts region focused on education, farming, and entrepreneurship.
1991

 

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) was established in Springfield, Massachusetts and serves to enhance Jewish and community life in Western Massachusetts and around the world.  

The Foundation's  entrepreneurial culture has driven more than two decades of dynamic growth and are evident in all programs.

2000
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2000

North American Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education

The North American Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education celebrate exceptional educators in the field of Jewish education.

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2003

 

The Entrepreneurship Initiative, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, is a regional collaboration of Pioneer Valley colleges and universities that recognizes entrepreneurial excellence among college students with awards and high-profile events in Western Massachusetts.  

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2003

 

The Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, honors outstanding Western Massachusetts educators in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties and aims to motivate teachers at all stages of their careers to aspire to excellence.  

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2004
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2004

JCamp 180 helps build the capacity of nonprofit Jewish camps through mentorship, professional development opportunities, and challenge grants.

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2005
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2005

PJ Library connects children and families to a colorful world of Jewish history, tradition, and values. What began with sending free, high-quality Jewish themed books to 200 families in Western Massachusetts is today a global program delivering the gift of books to hundreds of thousands of children and their families around the world each month.

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2009
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2009

Sifriyat Pijama ('Pajama Library' in Hebrew), the Israel-based version of PJ Library, is a classroom-based reading readiness program that distributes high-quality children’s books emphasizing shared Jewish/Israeli heritage and values to classrooms in Israel. 

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2010
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2010

Voices & Visions posters elicit the power of art to interpret the words of great Jewish thinkers. Each poster series is offered as a gift to organizations to beautify their spaces, spark conversations, and create new programming. Posters can now be found at Jewish organizations in more than a dozen countries around the world.  

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2010

 

Life & Legacy helps Jewish day schools, synagogues, social service organizations, and other Jewish entities build endowments that will provide financial stability. The Life & Legacy program, through partnerships with Jewish Federations and Foundations, assists communities across North America. 

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2014

 

PJ Our Way, the next chapter of PJ Library, provides tweens aged 9-11 the gift of exceptional Jewish chapter books and graphic novels. PJ Our Way is a kid-driven program, providing participants a tailored experience based on their own interests and reading levels. 

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2015

 

The Local Farmer Awards were launched by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF) to strengthen the ability of farmers from the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley to compete in the marketplace so that the region benefits from the environmental, health, and economic advantages of local farming.

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