Noami L. Halpern, 107 years old, of Kingston, died, Saturday, March 26, 2022 at Golden Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Noami was the daughter of the late Reuben & Sarah Galush Leaf. She was born in Jerusalem when it was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. She moved to New York City with her parents in 1915. When she was 15, she studied dance with Mikhail Fokine and later with Agnes de Mille. She performed with the Sarah Mildred Strauss Dancers for two years and with Hanya Holm’s dance company. Noami’s career in dance included modern dance and dances of the Bible, which she choreographed herself. She toured in Europe, the Mid-East, and North America.
In 1942, Noami married Rabbi Peretz Halpern. They spent summers with their son, David, in Woodstock, NY. She continued to dance both solo and with her own dance troupe. Noami appeared at the Museum of Modern Art, on the Steve Allen Show, and in many other venues. While living in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Noami became one of the first dance therapists in the U.S. She worked as a certified dance therapist in a hospital near Boston.
During her time in Marblehead, Noami also broke ground by creating the first Jewish Liturgical Dance Troupe that would dance at the synagogue as part of Shabbat services. Noami later recreated her choreography for the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, and her pieces were performed there as well.
Noami retired to her beloved Woodstock home after her husband’s death. For many years, she spent winters in Israel working as a volunteer in schools and other settings. She was active in many community organizations including the Woodstock Comets, a senior drama group. Noami taught Yiddish at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation and made many friends throughout the Woodstock community.
Noami is survived by her daughter-in-law, Donna Warner of Spencer, NY, two grandsons, Daniel Halpern and his wife, Clarissa SanDiego, of Bainbridge Island, WA and Michael Halpern of Kendall, NY, and a cousin, Eliezer Kantorowitz and his wife Birthe of Israel. Many dear friends also survive.
In addition to her parents, Noami was predeceased by her husband, Peretz Halpern and their son, David Halpern.
A Graveside Service will be held in Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 3, 2022, at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation at 1682 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock.
Simpson-Hammerl Funeral Home is honored to assist the family with the arrangements.
Online condolences may be left for the family of Noami by visiting www.SimpsonHammerl.com.