Gave his all for his com­mu­nity

The Canadian Jewish News (Toronto) - - News - — MY­RON LOVE

The late Philip Gra­novsky, who died from leukemia in 1995 at age 74, set the gold standard for com­mu­nity lead­er­ship. His wife, Shirley, said at the open­ing of the Shirley and Phil Gra­novsky Pal­lia­tive Care Unit at Bay­crest in 2005, that her hus­band was pas­sion­ate about the Jewish com­mu­nity. “There wasn’t a Jewish cause he wouldn’t sup­port,” she said. “A gen­er­ous man with tremen­dous com­pas­sion, he es­tab­lished an en­dow­ment fund in both our names to sup­port many di­verse needs within the Jewish com­mu­nity, near and far.” She added that both she and Phil came from hum­ble be­gin­nings but were blessed later and for­tu­nate to be able to give to the com­mu­nity. “Giv­ing is an hon­our and an obli­ga­tion. Whether you are of great or mod­est means, we al­ways shared a view that one can give gen­er­ously.”

Phil Gra­novsky was born in Ro­ma­nia to Abra­ham and Pearl Gra­novsky, and moved to Toronto with his fam­ily at the age of five. He was a stu­dent at the Brunswick Tal­mud To­rah. He mar­ried Shirley Rock­feld in 1946.

He and his fa­ther founded At­lantic Pack­ag­ing Prod­ucts in 1945. The Gra­novsky fam­ily started the pri­vately owned com­pany in a small con­verted plant in down­town Toronto. The Gra­novsky fam­ily – Phil’s brother, Irv­ing, joined the com­pany in 1950 and re­mains chair – built At­lantic into one of the largest and most re­spected companies in Canada. Through for­ward-think­ing vi­sion, timely ac­qui­si­tions, and a ser­vice driven mantra, the Gra­novsky fam­ily trans­formed At­lantic Pack­ag­ing into an in­dus­try leader, fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing qual­ity sus­tain­able pack­ag­ing prod­ucts to large and small cus­tomers alike.

Gra­novsky was also a sports fan. He was part of a group that tried – un­suc­cess­fully – to bring the Blue Jays to Toronto. He did be­come a part owner of the Toronto Rap­tors.

In ad­di­tion to his business success, Gra­novsky was re­garded as a formidable fundraiser and de­voted many years as­sist­ing the United Jewish Ap­peal in their an­nual fundrais­ing campaign. He was also past pres­i­dent of the United Jewish Wel­fare Fund of Toronto and pres­i­dent and chair of United Is­rael Ap­peal Canada. Un­der the aus­pices of the United Jewish Ap­peal, and of his own ini­tia­tive, Phil Gra­novsky was a fre­quent vis­i­tor and sup­porter of Is­rael.

In recog­ni­tion of his ded­i­ca­tion to his com­mu­nity, UJA cre­ated in his mem­ory the Phil Gra­novsky Award for Campaign Ex­cel­lence, which hon­ours in­di­vid­u­als who ex­em­plify the best in United Jewish Ap­peal cam­paign­ing.

When it came to the wel­fare of world Jewry, few were more com­mit­ted than Gra­novsky, who saw Is­rael and the Di­as­pora as an ex­ten­sion of fam­ily. Phil’s self­less legacy con­tin­ues to help count­less peo­ple in the com­mu­nity ev­ery year.

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