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Ralph L. Halpern Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0200-0020

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Ralph Lawrence Halpern are arranged into two series. The first series contains materials relating to Ralph Halpern’s service for the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo as a member of the Legal Committee and as a Board member. Series II, consists of Ralph Halpern’s service as President of the Bureau of Jewish Education and, in particular, his efforts to locate funding for a Jewish community archives program, which was eventually realized in 2007. Materials relating to the lay leadership of Ralph Halpern can also be found in other Jewish collections at the University Archives, University of Buffalo, most notably in the American Jewish Committee (ms206), Bureau of Jewish Education (ms203), and Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo (ms225) and Temple Beth Zion papers (ms156) which includes his presidential and other leadership work, as well as the Justice Halpern Memorial Lecture Series.


  • 1984-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1984-1997


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access and Use

The personal papers of Ralph L. Halpern, 1984-2004 (bulk 1984-1997) are open for research. There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this collection.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Ralph L. Halpern is an attorney in solo practice since 2013. Born in Buffalo in 1929, to parents Julius Halpern and Mary (neé Kaminker), Halpern attended School 39 and Fosdick-Masten Park High School (now City Honors). He graduated from the University of Buffalo, School of Law cum laude in 1953, third in class of 99. During his law studies at the University at Buffalo, he also served as an editor of the Buffalo Law Review. After graduation, he joined the New York State Bar in 1953 and became a teaching associate at Northwestern University Law School from 1953 to 1954. Halpern was attached to the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1954 to 1957, serving to Captain. Hired as an associate at the firm of Jaeckle, Fleischmann, Kelly, Swart and Augspurger in Buffalo from 1957-1958, he subsequently became an associate at the firm Raichle, Tucker and Moore, and a Partner in Raichle, Banning, Weiss & Halpern in 1959. In 1986, he was appointed a partner at Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel in Buffalo, becoming senior counsel during the 2000s. In 2006 he was awarded a BA in Mathematics from the University at Buffalo. Halpern is a member of the Erie County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association (ABA); the American Judicature Society, and an elected member of the American Law Institute. He served as Chairman of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics from 1971 to 1976, and as a member of Committee to Investigate the Character and Fitness of Applicants to the Bar in the Eighth Judicial District. He was a member of New York State Bar Association Special Committee to Review Code of Professional Responsibility; and a member of New York State Bar Association Judicial Election Monitoring Committee from 1983 to 1986. He was chairman of a Special Committee to consider the adoption of American Bar Association (ABA) model rules of professional conduct from 1983 to1985. He served as secretary of International Law and Practice section of the ABA from 1992 to 1993 and vice chairman of the committee from 1993 to1995. Ralph Halpern has practiced in all four departments of the New York State Supreme Courts, Appellate Divisions and the Court of Appeals. In addition he has practiced in the United States District Court for Western, Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and others throughout the United States including Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern District of California, District of Delaware and District of Massachusetts; United States Court of Appeals for the First, Second and Ninth Circuits; United States Supreme Court and United States Court of Military Appeals; Courts of the States of Delaware, New Jersey, California, Michigan and Massachusetts. In 2008 Ralph Halpern was a Visiting Professor at the Neophyte Rilsky South-West University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Ralph Halpern has been actively involved in a number of community organizations in Buffalo. He was President of the Buffalo Council on World Affairs from 1972 to 1974, director the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier from 2006-2008, and director of Musical Fare Theatre from 2010. He served as Chairman of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Jewish Committee from 1975 to 1977. He has served multiple terms on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, including 1972 to 1978, 1991 to 1997, 1999 to 2004, and 2006-present. During these periods he also served on Federation committees including the Legal committee and the Allocations committee. He was Vice President of the Jewish Federation from 1992 to 1994. A former Trustee of the Temple Beth Zion, he was also a President of Temple Beth Zion from 1981 to 1983 and has been a member for over fifty years. He is past Member of the UAHC (Union of American Hebrew Congregations, currently known as the Union for Reform Judaism). He served as President of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo (BJE) from 2000-2002 of which he has been a long-standing member of the board, serving currently. He was a recipient of a Community Service award in 2005. Since 2013 he has served as committee Chair of the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project, a special project under the auspices of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo, and funded by donors through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.


1.5 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)


These are the personal papers documenting a segment of the life of local communal leader, Ralph L. Halpern. materials include speeches, and other material relating to his volunteer service in the Jewish community.


This collection is arranged in two series as follows:

  1. Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo
  2. Bureau of Jewish Education

Acquisition Note

Ralph Lawrence Halpern donated his personal materials in May 2011. The collection was arranged and described in April 2015 and it was deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in September 2015. The Jewish Buffalo Archives Project was founded in late 2007 under the auspices of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo with a seed grant from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. The Archives Project collects mainly 20th century documentation relating to the diverse histories, religious traditions and cultures of Jewish communities within the Greater Buffalo area of Western New York, encompassing the geographic areas of Erie and Niagara Counties and partners with the University Archives at the University at Buffalo to make these records accessible. The arrangement and description of the Ralph L. Halpern Papers was made possible by funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and the Bureau of Jewish Education.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are not expected to this collection.

Related Materials

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Chana Revell Kotzin in April 2015. Finding aid encoded by Archives staff, January 2016.


Finding Aid for the Ralph L. Halpern Papers
Finding aid was written by Chana Revell Kotzin.
April 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)