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Two Harold Grinspoon Foundation programs some of the 'most innovative'

WEST SPRINGFIELD Two programs of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation have been named among the 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in North America, in Slingshot 08/09, a resource guide published by 21/64, a nonprofit consulting division of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.

The 50 newest Slingshot programs to be inducted stood out from hundreds of nominated Jewish projects, based on programmatic originality, community impact, leadership and organizational efficiency. The two Harold Grinspoon Foundation initiatives selected are:

The B'nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program, which teaches teens the power of philanthropy as a tool for tikkun olam through the creation of a personal endowment fund to give tzedakah. B'nai Tzedek teens deepen their commitment to social action and are becoming a generation of future philanthropists. B'nai Tzedek programs are flourishing in 40 communities in North America. London, England, is the most recent addition, having just launched a program earlier this month.

The PJ Library, which sends high-quality Jewish-content books and music on a monthly basis to families with children ages six months through seven years. The PJ Library is funded nationally in partnership with local philanthropists and organizations. The PJ Library is now in 80-plus communities, reaching over 29,000 children. Another 40 communities are soon to launch.

"We are thrilled for these honors," remarked Harold Grinspoon, founder and chair of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. "Being selected by Slingshot will be a catalyst for reaching out to even more teens for involvement in B'nai Tzedek, and more young Jewish families to become PJ Library subscribers."

To select the Slingshot inductees, 21/64 conducts an extensive evaluation process overseen by 25 foundation professionals. They look for programs and leaders that reinvigorate Jewish expression and practice in the areas of ritual, history, language, liturgy, culture and tikkun olam healing the planet.

Slingshot 08/09 was unveiled at an event in Manhattan on Sept. 18. The publication is available in hard copy and as a free download at or at

"Reinvention and adaptation are the hallmarks of Judaism, and the Slingshot organizations are leading the charge in North America," said Sharna Goldseker, co-founder and Director of 21/64. "By challenging convention and exploring new ways to bridge the past with the next generation, these non-profits tell us that our tradition, history, and culture are still central to how we identify ourselves."