More than 100 family members, friends, colleagues and area politicians gathered in the school's Student Union to pay tribute to Kupferberg, who died suddenly in January. Kupferberg contributed an immense amount of time and money to QCC, including a $1 million donation last year to fund the school's Holocaust Resource Center and Archives.Those who spoke at the event mentioned Kupferberg's kindness and generosity and called her a philanthropist who had "common sense.""She was willing to get others to work for a common good, which is a very rare thing," said Ira Futterman, chairman of the Queensborough College Fund Board.Kupferberg got involved with the school 36 years ago when she became a member of the Fund Board. She worked on several projects, including the renovation of the college's Art Gallery in 2004. But Kupferberg's greatest gift to the school was her $1 million donation to create the Holocaust center.Kupferberg saw the project as an important step in combating prejudice, QCC President Eduardo Marti said.Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld of Young Israel of Kew Garden Hills applauded Kupferberg's efforts in creating the center. "It was the human thing to do. It was the religious thing to do. It was the Jewish thing to do," he said.Kupferberg's personal experience with the Holocaust began during childhood. Her father was president of the Free Synagogue of Flushing in the 1930s when he learned of Adolf Hitler's plan to persecute Jews in Germany. He then became involved in a fund-raising campaign to help Jews flee Germany, Kupferberg's son Mark told the TimesLedger after her death.And in 1979, Kupferberg stumbled across a 1939 letter written by Albert Einstein congratulating her father for assisting German Jews, he said.It was the beginning of her awareness, Mark Kupferberg said.Kupferberg spent nearly her entire life in Queens. She graduated from Bayside High School and worked for years as a public school teacher. Kupferberg was also involved in the Flushing Council's Woman Association and the Long Island Federation of Women's Clubs.She is survived by her son Mark, daughters Anne Kupferberg Pepper and Sarah Kupferberg and eight grandchildren: Robert, Lily, Leah, Hillary, Kara, Kaila, Kenny and Josh.Mark Kupferberg and his sister Anne Pepper spoke at the event. Pepper said she "admired her mother's belief to turn a vision into a reality."State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall spoke at the event, each remembering their own personal and heartfelt experiences with Kupferberg."She had the biggest heart in the world," Marshall said, who recounted first meeting Kupferberg at a fund-raiser years ago and said she was felt privileged to have known her."She gave more than any person can give," she said. "She gave her entire self."
©2008 Community News Group
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