Jennie Grossinger became the driving force behind the famed Catskills resort referred to as “Waldorf on the Hudson.” Frustrated at school, Jennie dropped out and began working at thirteen sewing buttonholes at a factory. In 1914, her father bought a farm in the Catskills and Jennie moved there to help with the struggling farm, taking in weekend guests to earn extra income. By 1919, they had sold the farm and bought a hotel nearby, developing tennis courts, an auditorium for entertainment, crystal chandeliers, and a children’s camp. Grossinger’s weathered the Great Depression and then flourished in the forties and fifties, hosting as many as 150,000 guests per year. Top entertainers performed for the guests and Eddie Fisher got his start when he was discovered there by Eddie Cantor. Under Grossinger’s supervision, the resort became a destination for both Jews and gentiles, including visits by prominent guests like Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Eleanor Roosevelt. Grossinger also involved herself in charitable work, donating to both Jewish and non-Jewish causes and receiving a number of awards for her philanthropy.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Jennie Grossinger." (Viewed on February 1, 2015) <http://jwa.org/people/grossinger-jennie>.