The award honors grantmaking reflected in the meaning and spirit of tzedakah.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 2, 2009---Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman are the recipients of the prestigious Sidney Shapiro Tzedakah Award, which honors grantmaking reflected in the meaning and spirit of tzedakah (righteous giving) with kindness of heart, generosity of spirit, and a commitment of justice.
The award was granted at a gathering of more than 200 members of the Jewish Funders Network in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 24. It is given every two years by the Jewish Funders Network to a person, couple or family who practice the ways of grantmaking that Sidney Shapiro was passionate about; creative, strategic, collaborative, innovative, forward-thinking, and responsive to tangible and urgent societal needs.
In 1993, Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman founded the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) with a mission to enhance the vibrancy of Jewish life in Western Massachusetts and beyond through education and experiences that impart the knowledge and values of our Jewish heritage. The foundation does this by developing programs and by providing funding to organizations in Western, MA, nationally, and in Israel.
"Harold and Diane exemplify the kind of tzedakah this award was created to honor. They are strategic and passionate, creative and forward thinking and have both a genuine business sense of 'how to get things done' and a kindness of heart and generosity of spirit that is embodied in the types of projects the HGF funds and initiates," states Joanna S. Ballantine, Executive Director of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Two examples of major accomplishments are the creation of the PJ Library®, a program that is now sending free Jewish books to 48,000 children in over 100 communities in the North America in partnership with local philanthropists and federations and the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy which has infused over $40 million into the field of Jewish overnight camping with challenge grants and consultation.
"At this very moment, we are thinking about our legacy in all its dimensions... Legacy is not about funding in the present but rather it is about the future. For now, building relationships and carrying on conversations with individuals is what counts. The true power in thinking about one's legacy is helping others recognize what is important to them. Legacy is about passion, purpose and commitment to the future," says Troderman in her acceptance speech. Troderman adds, "Legacy is not what we leave behind, but rather how we live."
Harold Grinspoon serves on the board of the Birthright Israel Foundation and is a founding partner in the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE).
Diane Troderman has held numerous leadership roles in the Jewish community on a local, national and international level. In addition to her passionate interest in Jewish education-including serving as immediate past chair of JESNA (Jewish Education Service of America), she remains actively involved in Day Schools, Complementary Schools, and Hebrew Academy Charter Schools. Diane is committed to the "renaissance and renewal" of Jewish life throughout the world, especially with regard to women's issues, having served on the board of Project Kesher (connecting Jewish women in USA to women in the FSU) and as past chair of The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute where she remains an active board member. She continues to sit on the boards of Hazon and American Jewish World Service. Locally, she was past president of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, and Hillel at University of Massachusetts, and was founding chair of the Hatikvah Holocaust Education and Resource Center. Diane and her husband Harold Grinspoon have 6 children and 11 grandchildren between them.