Monsey Memories: Mr. David Shapiro, A Supporter of Torah Around the World

Monsey Memories: Mr. David Shapiro, A Supporter of Torah Around the World

By Yitzy Fried

One year ago, we wrote about Reb Dovid Shapiro, a philanthropist who resided on South Madison Street in Rockland County. He made his wealth in the textile industry, and we wrote that he supported the nascent Beis Medrash Govoah while it was still in White Plains, in the year 1942. 

This was based on a letter written to him by Rav Yechiel Mordechai Gordon, the Lomza Rosh Yeshiva, who was then leading the young group of talmidei chachomim in White Plains. 

It has since come to light, however, that Mr. Shapiro’s support for Torah went far, far beyond the confines of White Plains: he was an incredible philanthropist who supported every type of Jewish cause, especially mosdos haTorah, not only in America but around the world.

This is evident from the condolence ads that were placed in the Morgen Zhournal following his passing, and are brought here below. 

We can also read from the obituary for his wife, Mrs. Esther Shapiro, about his tzedakah largesse: “Mrs. Esther Shapiro, a philanthropic worker who helped found Jewish educational institutions in the United States and Palestine, died Sunday at her home, 35 South Madison Avenue, Spring Valley, aged 87 years. 

Mrs. Shapiro was the wife of David Shapiro, a retired textile manufacturer, who was responsible for founding orphanages and rabbinical schools in Palestine prior to World War I. In this country, she helped found a score of religious and charitable organizations. Much of her philanthropic work was devoted to low-income families and rabbinical students.” 

The condolence ads that we bring here are from a dizzying array of institutions around the world—all of whom shared the distinction of being supported by a selfless and generous Mr. David Shapiro from Spring Valley, New York. 

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