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October 7, 2015 | 24th Tishrei 5776

Harold Grinspoon Honored for Service to World Jewry

Reform Movement Presents Schindler Award for Visionary Impact on Camping

Contact: Toni Kamins | 212.650.4000

Toronto, November 5, 2009 -- Philanthropist and real estate entrepreneur Harold Grinspoon, whose support for Jewish education has had a profound impact on countless Jews, will receive the Union for Reform Judaism's (URJ) 2009 Alexander M. Schindler Award for Service to World Jewry.  Grinspoon has dedicated considerable effort and resources toward the promotion of Jewish camping. The annual award, named for the second President of the URJ, honors an individual who has shown passion, leadership and commitment in relation to world Jewry.

Since 2004, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation has provided more than $20 million in services and matching grants to help make camping a central part of Jewish life. The Foundation's ongoing support for URJ camps and camping programs has had a profound impact on Reform Judaism.

"Harold Grinspoon has raised the bar on Jewish camping by using his resources to train camp professionals and lay leaders especially in the areas of program building and program sustainability," said Peter Weidhorn, URJ's chairman. "His vision of philanthropy is not just to provide money, but to provide on-the-ground resources to improve the way camps are run and funded."

Another program, administered by the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy, provides expert counseling services that aid in the development of professional and lay camp leaders.  By funding technology initiatives he has also made it possible for the URJ to increase contact and participation with camp alumni in development programs.

Grinspoon, founder and President of Aspen Square Management, established the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in 1993 in West Springfield, Massachusetts and continues to play an active role in the foundation as its chairman; he also established the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation. Mr. Grinspoon serves on the board of the Birthright Israel Foundation, and on the board of governors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.  He and his wife, Diane Troderman, are founding partners in the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE).

Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, for whom the award is named, had an illustrious 23-year tenure as president of the URJ, during which the Reform Movement experienced exceptional growth and development. Devoted to social justice and religious action, Rabbi Schindler sought to better the human condition, to gain rights for the disenfranchised, and sustenance for the destitute and downtrodden. The visionary father of the URJ's acclaimed Torah Commentary, he called on the Reform community to become "Champions of Judaism," recognizing and working toward meeting the Movement's need for enriched religious school studies, stimulating and meaningful adult Jewish education, and fuller participation in the Zionist world.

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