About: Foundation History

The Foundation owes its existence and inspiration to Bud Frankel, who inherited a spirit of giving and helping others from his immigrant parents. While technically only seven years old, the story of the Frankel Family Foundation really begins over seventy years ago, when Bud Frankel was a boy of four or five. It was the Depression. There were lines everywhere, people looking for jobs, food and other basic needs.

Despite the difficult times, Bud grew up in a culture of sharing and gratitude. The message from Bud's parents, Albert and Leah Frankel, was how lucky they were to have a steady job, be living "safely" in America with a roof over their heads and food on the table.  And most importantly, free from persecution, graft and the horrors of war.

Because of their good fortune it was their duty to help those in need and to share what they could with those less fortunate. Albert and Leah believed all you needed was opportunity and education to be successful in life.  Some people needed a little help to get started and they could accomplish anything they wanted with hard work. 

Since both Albert and Leah were immigrants they had a special affinity for immigrants and refugees and frequently helped others adjust to life in the U.S. They also worked very hard for the establishment of Israel as a Jewish homeland, a place where Jews could live in peace, free from persecution, degradation and violence for no reason other than the fact that they were Jews.

The “Blue Box,” a metal box that you kept around your home to collect coins to help the people of Israel, was Bud's first experience with Tzedakah (a Hebrew word commonly translated as charity, though it is based on a root meaning justice). Of the 10 cents per week he earned as a paper boy's assistant, Bud was required to put a penny of that grand sum into the Blue box every week, and if he got any tips it was expected that he share a portion of those as well.

From this beginning Bud grew into adulthood and became a successful businessman in the field of advertising and helped spawn the sales promotion industry.  His company, Frankel and Company, set the industry standards for excellence and integrity.  In 2000, the company was sold and Bud and Mimi decided to once again use their good fortune to help others and pass on their philanthropic legacy to the next generation of Frankels. They began a family foundation with their two sons, Peter and Matt. A tribute to Bud and Mimi Frankel and the lessons Bud learned in childhood, the Foundation strives to continue the giving spirit first demonstrated by Albert and Leah Frankel.