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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

November 15, 2013  RSS feed
Senior Living

Text: T T T

200 honor David Halprin’s life, dedication to Benjamin Tower


Philip Benjamin Tower Foundation Board member Pam LaCompte with Rabbi Jacob Luski of neighboring Congregation B’nai Israel. LaCompte is holding a photo showing the founders of Benjamin Tower, originally known as Menorah Center, which the rabbi used to illustrate the strong commitment that has been maintained from generation-togeneration. The photo includes LaCompte’s father, the late Ted Wittner; the tower’s namesake, the late Philip Benjamin, who’s son, Mark serves as board president and daughter Judy is the foundation’s president; and the late Rouben Halprin, father of the late David Halprin whose service was honored at the “David’s Dream” event. Philip Benjamin Tower Foundation Board member Pam LaCompte with Rabbi Jacob Luski of neighboring Congregation B’nai Israel. LaCompte is holding a photo showing the founders of Benjamin Tower, originally known as Menorah Center, which the rabbi used to illustrate the strong commitment that has been maintained from generation-togeneration. The photo includes LaCompte’s father, the late Ted Wittner; the tower’s namesake, the late Philip Benjamin, who’s son, Mark serves as board president and daughter Judy is the foundation’s president; and the late Rouben Halprin, father of the late David Halprin whose service was honored at the “David’s Dream” event. Through video, song, words, and deeds, 200 people gathered at Philip Benjamin Tower in St. Petersburg on Sunday, Oct. 27 to celebrate the life and many accomplishments of David Halprin z”l.

Characterized as a dreamer, a doer and a person who left an indelible mark on the lives of all who knew him, Halprin served on the board of directors for decades. At the time of his passing in September 2012 at age of 52, he was president of the Philip Benjamin Tower board of directors, and treasurer of the Benjamin Tower Foundation.

Dr. Mark Benjamin, current board president, welcomed the standing-room-only crowd to “David’s Dream Brunch.” He spoke of his lifelong friendship with Halprin and shared some humorous experiences in guiding Halprin’s vision for Philip Benjamin Tower as an apartment residence that seniors could proudly call home and actively participate in Jewish life.

Rabbi Jacob Luski and Craig Sher added their “David stories” as the attendees nodded knowingly of their own personal adventures with him.
David Halprin’s family: (L-R) Daughters Julia and Reva, mother Bette Schroeder, wife Bonnie and son Harvey. David Halprin’s family: (L-R) Daughters Julia and Reva, mother Bette Schroeder, wife Bonnie and son Harvey.

A video, produced by Jay Gross, recapped highlights of Halprin’s life and loves and featured testimonials from his fellow board members and Benjamin Tower staff about his hands-on approach to caring for the building and its residents.

One such project was the Souper Supper, which he originated to bring residents’ closer together. Halprin personally made a pot of soup and for a dollar, residents received soup, salad, a roll and a drink. His wife, Bonnie, and family members are continuing the program, which attracts some 70 residents.

A highlight of the event was the original song written and performed by Cary Reich that wove the words of the Tower’s residents into an upbeat passionate rendition of respect and admiration for “their mensch.”


Cary Reich performing an original song, capturing the Tower residents’ affection for the late David Halprin. Cary Reich performing an original song, capturing the Tower residents’ affection for the late David Halprin. In the end, there was more laughter than tears by all in attendance, exemplified by the energy and colorful personality that everyone had come to honor.

Those in attendance including many community leaders who had known and worked with Halprin, stepped up to continue “David’s Dream” by donating $27,400 to the Tower Foundation’s new David Halprin Legacy Fund. The foundation sponsors Jewish programming at the apartment building, located at 250 58th St. N.


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