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Richard Tapper

Jewish Federations of North America Mourn the Passing of Richard Tapper, z”l

statement posted here May 25, 2012


[The following is the statement issued by the Jewish Federations of North America [JFNA] on the passing of Richard Tapper, who  was on the  JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, and the first member of National Young Leadership Cabinet from Winnipeg in 20 years.]

The Jewish Federations of North America mourns the passing of Richard  Tapper, z”l, a remarkable young leader and devoted supporter of Jewish  Federations. Tapper,of Winnipeg, passed away on Saturday, May 19, at age  35.

Tapper was born and raised in Winnipeg. Active in Jewish life from a young  age, he spent 13 years attending Camp Massad, a Jewish camp, as a camper,  counselor and eventually assistant director. He was also a leader in his BBYOchapter, and participated in the March of the Living program, which led him to  Israel for the first time. The trip, he said, “changed me forever. I couldn’t  stop staring at the land.”

After graduating from the University of Winnipeg with a B.S. in 1998, Tapper  attended Southern California University of Health Sciences, where he received a  doctorate in chiropracty in 2002. He opened his first practice in Winnipeg in  2003 and subsequently wrote two books, one of which ("In Service: Living the  Life You Love") became a Barnes and Noble best-seller.

Tapper was deeply involved at the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, serving as a  member of its board, and as president of the Ben Gurion Society. Tapper  participated in the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s Endowment Book of Life in  the summer of 2011, and was the youngest signer of the book to-date.The planned  giving program leaves a financial, and historical, legacy to the community.

“The passing of Richard Tapper is a devastating loss for the Jewish  community,” said Bob Freedman, CEO at the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.  “Richard was a natural leader whose lovingcharacter and selfless generosity was  an inspiration to all who knew him.”

In the general Jewish community, Tapper was a third-year member of JFNA’s  National Young Leadership Cabinet, and the first member of NYL Cabinet from  Winnipeg in 20 years.
 Tapper’sthird-year NYL Cabinet class members recalled a loving, cheerful  humanitarian, Jewish leader and friend.

“Having Richard Tapper in our Cabinet class was like having our own personal  scholar-in-residence. Richard, or ‘Peg’ as I affectionately called him (short  forWinnipeg, of course) always had an incredible and impressive knack for being  able to share stories or recite quotes on an impromptu basis, and he would  always prove both insightful and inspiring,” said Alison Lebovitz of  Chattanooga.

“His penchant for public speaking wasequally matched by his ability to  genuinely listen when others spoke. He was a deeply spiritual person whose  passion for life was evident by his infectious smile, his wacky sense of humor  and his caring spirit. Richard's passing is nothing short of tragic, but the  impact he made on our class,on Cabinet, and the larger Jewish community is  nothing short of profound.”

Josh Green of Sarasota said, “Richard was passionate about his love for  Jewish causes and Jewish ideals. He was one of those rare people that you come  across that had a real zest for living, to reallybe involved, not just sit on  the sidelines. He spoke from his heart and with incredible conviction.”

“He was never one to back down from a challenge and always found a way to  make everyone around him happy and full of laughter,” added Daniel J. Feiner of  Denver.“He was a bright star at Cabinet Retreat, and he loved professing his  affection for ‘Peg City,’ representing the Jewish community there. Richard will  be sorely missed, and our chevre will not be the same without his  presence.”

Tapper was also involved inphilanthropic work outside the Jewish community.  He served as president of the Chiropractic Division of the United Way and  received an international award for his work at Siloam Mission.

To honor his dedication to the Jewish community in Winnipeg, Tapper was set  to receive the Harry Silverberg Young Leader of Distinction Award at a ceremony  this week. The award, which celebrates an individual who has demonstrated  outstanding service and leadership in support of the activities of the  Federation or who shows potential for future leadership, will be presented toTapper’s family next year.

Tapper described the return for his charitable giving as “immeasurable”  during one of his Jewish community honors. “I once heard a speaker say: ‘The  hole you give through is the hole you receive through,’” he said.“In other  words, you get back everything you give. I truly believe that.”

Tapper is survived by his wife Lauren, son Gabriel, parents Leya and Bernie,  and sister and brother-in-law, Heather and Jeff Koplovich.

Services were held earlier this week and shiva is being heldthrough Thursday  evening, from 7-9 p.m., at Lauren Tapper’s home, 22 Fall Ridge Rd., Winnipeg,  Canada. Donations can be made in Tapper’s memory through the Winnipeg Federation  to help build the Richard Tapper cabin at Camp Massad.

May the entire Tapper family be comfortedamong the mourners of Zion and  Jerusalem and may his memory be forever as a blessing.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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