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Rose Halprin Dead at 82

January 10, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Funeral services will be held here tomorrow for Rose Halprin, a world leader of the Zionist movement and the Jewish community and twice president of Hadassah, who died yesterday at the age of 82 at Mount Sinai Hospital.

After the funeral here her body will be flown to Israel where she will receive a state funeral. Her body will lay in state at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Karem and then be taken to the country and of the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem where the official state funeral will take place. She will be buried on the Mount of Olives near the burial site of Henietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah.

In 1946, Mrs. Halprin was elected to the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. In 1947, when the Jewish Agency-American Section was authorized to represent the Jewish case for Palestine before the United Nations in New York, Mrs. Halprin participated actively in national and international negotiations leading to the establishment of the State of Israel.


She served on the Executive of the Jewish Agency for more than 20 years and was designated acting chairman of its American Section in 1955, and chairman in 1960, a position she held until 1968. Mrs. Halprin was also chairman of the Education and Culture Department of the Jewish Agency for the American Section.

She served as president of Hadassah from 1932-34. From 1934 to 1939 she lived with her family in Jerusalem, during which period she served as liaison between Hadassah in the United States and in Palestine. A member of the Building Committee of the hospital on Mount Scopus, Mrs. Halprin was present at its opening in 1939.

She served as national president again from 1947-52 and in that capacity dealt with the situation after the War of Independence in 1948 when access to Scopus was cut off. It was during her presidency that the decision was made to open the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in temporary quarters.

Mrs. Halprin was honorary chairman of the World Jewish Congress-American Section, a member of the Zionist General Council of the World Zionist Organization (Actions Committee), a member of the Board of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and a lifetime member of the Board of the United Jewish Appeal. In 1976, she received the Bublik Award from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In March 1977, she received the honorary degree of Doctor of Jewish Literature from the Horace M. Kallen Center for Jewish Studies.

Mrs. Halprin was born in 1895, in New York City, to Philip and Rebecca (Isaacson) Luria. She attended the Teacher’s Institute, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1912-14, and Hunter College 1914-16, 1920-30, and Columbia University 1930-31. She was taught Hebrew as a child and spoke it fluently. She also spoke Yiddish, French and German. She was much sought after as a speaker and as a contributor to publications devoted to analyzing the problems of the Zionist movement, and dealing with Jewish life. She was considered one of the foremost authorities on current Jewish and Zionist problems. She was married to Sensual Halprin, an importer and lifelong Zionist, who died in 1974.


Bernice S. Tannenbaum, president of Hadassah, in paying tribute to Mrs. Halprin, said:

“This was a woman observed by ideas and able to transmit these ideas to others. This was a passionate fighter who believed in the principles by which she lived–she fought for justice–she fought for Jews–she fought for Palestine–she fought for Israel. There was never a day in her entire life when she was free from the haunting needs of Jews.

“Her intellect was keen, her analytical brilliance self-evident, her ability to synthesize concepts and facts, to slough off the unessential and find the core meaning, were awe-inspiring. . . .She was impatient with those who had no vision. She, who could see the stars, had no patience for those who could see only what was before their eyes. . . .In a sense, we could call her the quintessential leader who lived through all the momentous events of this century.”

Only last week, Mrs. Tannenbaum recalled, she was still at her desk planning an aliya conference which she was to chair Thursday (Jan. 12) as part of the annual national mid-winter conference of Hadassah which opened here today.


John Kayston, JTA executive vice-president, issued the following statement. “The JTA Board of Directors and staff are deeply saddened by and mourn the passing of our dear friend and colleague Rose Halprin. As a member of the JTA Board and its executive and editorial committees for the past 15 years, she made invaluable contributions to the JTA world wide news network. She was not a passive observer of news events but an active participant in shopping many of them. But at all times she demanded non-partisanship, objectivity, integrity and professionalism in reporting the news. Her boldness, imagination, inexhaustible vitality and unstinting aid will be sorely missed by all of us.”

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