Honoring Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern and his wife, Mrs. Sheila Halpern after 60 years of dedicated leadership to the Flatbush Park Jewish Center

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION honoring Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern and his wife,
Mrs. Sheila Halpern after 60 years of dedicated leadership to the Flat-
bush Park Jewish Center

WHEREAS, The character and richness of religious and community life in
this noble Empire State is nourished and fulfilled through the faithful
concern and selfless devotion of those who would commit their energies
and purpose to the ministry of others; and
WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to bring full recog-
nition and just tribute to those individuals who distinguish themselves
and the ministry through their unremitting commitment and preeminence of
service; and
WHEREAS, The Legislative Body is justly proud to honor Rabbi Dr. David
S. Halpern and his wife, Mrs. Sheila Halpern after 60 years of dedicated
leadership to the Flatbush Park Jewish Center, Brooklyn, New York, to be
recognized at its 60th Anniversary celebration on Sunday, May 20, 2012;
WHEREAS, The Flatbush Park Jewish Center was founded in 1952, by Rabbi
Dr. David S. Halpern and a few congregants; and
WHEREAS, During his tenure, he has guided and overseen the development
from humble beginnings in storefronts on Mill Avenue and later on Avenue
N, to its present prominence as one of the leading Orthodox synagogues
in New York in the permanent synagogue/Jewish Center complex on Avenue
U; and
WHEREAS, Congregants met in a store on Avenue N, paying the owner $5
per service; a daily minyan was difficult to come by, but families were
steadily trickling into the area from such fading Jewish neighborhoods
as Brownsville and East New York; and
WHEREAS, Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern graduated from Yeshiva College in
1949 and was ordained by Rabbi Samuel Belkin, Rabbi Joseph B. Solo-
veitchick and Rabbi Moshe Shatzkes of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbini-
cal Seminary of Yeshiva University in 1952; and
WHEREAS, Later that year, he was called to the pulpit which he still
occupies in the Flatbush Park Jewish Center; in 1982, he was awarded the
Doctor of Divinity Degree, Honoris Causa, recognizing his successful
building, spiritually and physically, of both the Center and the commu-
nity; and
WHEREAS, In 1952, Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern, single and newly
ordained by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva
University, took what he thought was a temporary pulpit in a pioneer
Brooklyn Jewish community later to be named Mill Basin; and
WHEREAS, Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern married the former Sheila
Lifshutz, and together they raised three wonderful children, Neil, Risa
and Beth; and
WHEREAS, In addition to his service to the Flatbush Park Jewish
Center, Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern served as a Chaplain in the 71st
Infantry of the 42nd Division of the National Guard for 10 years, and
sits on the New York Board of Rabbis; and
WHEREAS, The congregants, many of them World War II veterans from
Orthodox backgrounds, were drawn to the neighborhoods by affordable
homes; 50 years later, the congregation has grown into a sprawling,
four-building complex on Avenue U, numerous youth programs, the affil-
iated Crown Heights Yeshiva, a Talmud Torah school and several separate
daily and Shabbat minyonim; and
WHEREAS, Sheila Halpern has been devoted to the congregation of the
Flatbush Park Jewish Center for more than 50 years, she has been there
for the congregants on sad as well as joyous occasions. She has joined

with Rabbi Halpern on his visits to the ill and bereaved. Moreover Shei-
la Halpern has been a woman of valor and an inspiring role model for
all; and
WHEREAS, With approximately 400 family members, the congregation
actively supports Torah, religious and social programs in Mill Basin as
well as New York City and Israel; and
WHEREAS, Since its inception, the Flatbush Park Jewish Center has been
a symbol of hope and prosperity in the Mill Basin Jewish community,
serving a diverse group of worshippers including seniors, professionals
and the recently organized young families division; and
WHEREAS, Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern and his wife, Sheila, have been an
inspiration to so many in the immediate Jewish community and well-beyond
the boundaries of the borough of Brooklyn as a teacher, builder, mentor,
leader, advisor, friend, visionary, blessing, interpreter, helper and a
beacon of light; and
WHEREAS, This distinguished man of God has always given enlightenment,
guidance and wisdom to the many entrusted to his care and has adminis-
tered abundantly and unstintingly to the spiritual and corporal needs of
all; and
WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body that when a person
of such noble aims and accomplishments is brought to our attention it is
appropriate to publicly and jubilantly proclaim and commend that indi-
vidual for the edification of others; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
honor Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern who is retiring after 60 years of dedi-
cated leadership to the Flatbush Park Jewish Center, Brooklyn, New York,
noting his unremitting and compassionate faith and his exemplary service
to God, man and his community, and extending to him the heartfelt best
wishes of this Legislative Body for a future of purposeful success and
well-being; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Rabbi Dr. David S. Halpern and his wife, Sheila.


  • 14 / May / 2012

Resolution Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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