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K1125

Celebrating the life and accomplishments of Helen Sperling, renowned lecturer and Holocaust survivor

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K1125


LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION celebrating the life and accomplishments of Helen
Sperling, renowned lecturer and Holocaust survivor

WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is moved to recognize and pay tribute to
the life and accomplishments of Helen Sperling for the courage and
fortitude she displayed throughout her life; and
WHEREAS, With her tremendous pride for her heritage, and her ceaseless
work against hate and prejudice, Helen Sperling benefited the world in
immeasurable ways; and
WHEREAS, A survivor of Nazi death and prison camps, Helen Sperling
died on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at the remarkable age of 95, in
Utica, New York; and
WHEREAS, As a Jewish girl growing up in Poland, Helen Sperling's home
was invaded by the Nazis and she lost her entire family except her youn-
ger brother, and was forced to live in a ghetto and work in death camps
for years; and
WHEREAS, After being liberated from the Buchenwald death camp in April
of 1945, Helen Sperling spent three years in a hospital; while she was
recovering, her brother, who had been separated from her many years ago,
finally found her and the siblings were reunited; and
WHEREAS, Helen, then 26 years old, and her brother, along with a
fellow survivor, Leon Sperling, immigrated to the United States; Helen
and Leon married and moved to Utica, New York, where they adopted two
children; and
WHEREAS, Helen Sperling began speaking about her experiences more than
50 years ago, partly to raise awareness after her daughter was slandered
at school for being Jewish, and partly to remind people that despite the
lessons of the Holocaust, genocide has not stopped; and
WHEREAS, In 1988, Helen Sperling was invited to speak at a new reli-
gion class "Faith After the Holocaust" at Colgate University in Hamil-
ton, New York; her story captivated and moved many students and educa-
tors to tears, and subsequently, each year, became part of the
curriculum; and
WHEREAS, For many years, Helen Sperling was a guest speaker at Boys
State hosted by the American Legion; and
WHEREAS, Helen Sperling summarized her experiences with a profound and
enduring phrase, "thou shall not be a bystander"; she devoted her life
to living out this mission; at each appearance, she distributed wrist-
bands to the audience bearing that phrase; and
WHEREAS, Through her lecture series and appearances at colleges,
public schools and churches, and before many civic groups, Helen Sper-
ling made it her mission to ensure that the six million Jews killed in
the Holocaust will never be forgotten; and
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is proud to inscribe upon its records
this memoriam for Helen Sperling, whose legacy as the conscience of the
Holocaust will long endure the passage of time; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
celebrate the life and accomplishments of Helen Sperling, renowned
lecturer and Holocaust survivor; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Helen Sperling.

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  • 28 / Mar / 2016
    • ADOPTED

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative

K1124

Commemorating the Bicentennial of St. James' Episcopal Church of Skaneateles, New York

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K1124


LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION commemorating the Bicentennial of St. James'
Episcopal Church of Skaneateles, New York

WHEREAS, Religious institutions, and the many spiritual, social, and
educational benefits they confer, play a vital role in the development
of the moral fabric of a responsible citizenry; and
WHEREAS, It is the tradition of the State of New York to pay tribute
to those institutions and individuals who have contributed to the
ethical values of their communities; and
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body takes pleasure in commemorating the
Bicentennial Anniversary of St. James' Episcopal Church of Skaneateles,
New York; and
WHEREAS, To celebrate its Bicentennial, St. James' Episcopal Church
will host 12 events over the course of a year starting on January 9,
2016; in addition, a book will be published based on interviews with
church members conducted during these celebrations; and
WHEREAS, In the earliest days of the Skaneateles community (late
1700s), Anglicans worshipped on the site of St. James' Episcopal Church
in Skaneateles; in 1805, they constructed a two-room building to serve
as a place for Sunday worship; and
WHEREAS, St. James' Episcopal Church of Skaneateles was first organ-
ized on January 6, 1816, and the first church building opened its doors
in 1827; and
WHEREAS, St. James' Episcopal Church completed its present building in
1874 with the help of Architect Horatio Nelson White, who had also
designed the Gridley Building in downtown Syracuse and the Hall of
Languages on the Syracuse University campus; and
WHEREAS, The first instrument in St. James' Episcopal Church sanctuary
was an organ built by Hilborne and Frank Roosevelt and donated by
members of the Roosevelt family; the organ has since been sold and
replaced by the present Ernest M. Skinner organ, which sits on the east
side of the chancel; and
WHEREAS, Over the course of its rich history, 17 rectors have led the
parish of St. James' Episcopal Church in Skaneateles; St. James' Episco-
pal Church is presently led by Rector Becky Coerper; and
WHEREAS, Today, St. James' Episcopal Church has a very active youth
ministry program, prayer groups, and its staff and volunteers partic-
ipate in a great number of outreach activities, including staffing the
St. James' Thrift Shop in Skaneateles Village, collecting and distrib-
uting food to the Skaneateles Ecumenical Food Pantry, and volunteering
with various Habitat for Humanity chapters; and
WHEREAS, St. James' Episcopal Church stands on the threshold of tomor-
row, prepared to meet the challenges of the coming decades, while
retaining that spiritual resolve which characterizes its past; and
WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to take note of
enduring religious institutions and to bring such institutions to the
attention of the people of this Empire State; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 200th Anniversary of St. James' Episcopal Church of
Skaneateles, confident that this commemoration reflects the belief in
those values which enhance the dignity and purpose of life; and be it
further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Rector Becky Coerper, St. James' Episcopal Church of Skanea-
teles, New York.

actions

  • 28 / Mar / 2016
    • ADOPTED

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative