Grossinger, Jennie

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GROSSINGER, JENNIE (1892–1972), U.S. resort owner and manager. Grossinger, born in a small town in Galicia, was taken to America by her parents at the turn of the century. The Grossingers lived in extreme poverty on New York's Lower East Side, and Jennie went to work in a sweatshop after several years of public school. In 1912 she married her cousin Harry Grossinger (1890–1964), and the following year the entire family moved to a farm in the Catskill Mountains near Liberty, New York. The farm was converted into a kosher boardinghouse in 1914, and Grossinger's eventually grew under Jennie Grossinger's management into a giant resort of more than 1,000 acres, whose 800 employees served some 150,000 guests a year.

The grounds of Grossinger's Resort and Country Club included 35 buildings, a 27-hole golf course, a shopping arcade, bridle paths, a ski slope, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a post office, two kosher kitchens, and a nightclub. Grossinger's attracted a host of well-known entertainers, who thrived in this area of the Catskills that was known as the "Borscht Belt." In addition to ordinary guests from all across the U.S. and Canada, the Grossinger roster included political figures, world-renowned scientists, movie stars, radio personalities, and sports figures.

Active in charities and dedicated to good causes, Grossinger received many awards for her philanthropy. During World War ii she raised millions of dollars in war bonds at the hotel, and an Army airplane was named "Grossinger's" in her honor. On June 16, 1968, Governor Nelson Rockefeller made an official proclamation designating June 16 as Jennie Grossinger Day in New York State. That birthday tribute was the first time such a proclamation was issued to honor a living woman in New York State.

After her death, her son Paul and daughter Elaine took over the hotel, bringing the resort to even greater success and popularity. However, in 1985, Grossinger's was sold to a group of investors from New York City.

Jennie Grossinger wrote a cookbook entitled The Art of Jewish Cooking (1958).


J. Pomerantz, Jennie and the Story of Grossinger's (1970).

[Hillel Halkin /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]