David Weinberger, longtime L.E.S. district leader, dies at 74

David Weinberger in a photo from last year. Photo courtesy Karen Blatt
David Weinberger in a photo from last year. Photo courtesy Karen Blatt

BY ALBERT AMATEAU | David Weinberger, a beloved member of the Grand St. Jewish community, whose advocacy for the Lower East Side neighborhood where he was born included his long service as Democratic district leader, died on Oct. 11. He was 74.

Although he had been ill with diabetes for the past few years, his passing was unexpected.

His funeral service at the Bialystoker Synagogue on Willett St. was attended by neighborhood political and religious leaders. Rabbi Yeshaya Siff, of Young Israel Synagogue, said that Weinberger was a dedicated public servant who loved his family and was devoted to helping the Lower East Side community.

“From his work with Hatzolah [the Jewish volunteer ambulance service] and the synagogue, to his government service and political work, David advocated for his community and served it with dedication and diligence for years,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “He will be missed, and my thoughts are with Hedy and the entire Weinberger family.”

Hedy, David’s wife of more than 40 years, works in Squadron’s district office.

David, the son of Hannah and Harry Weinberger, went to school on the Lower East Side, attending P.S. 64 and 188 and graduating from Seward Park High School. He was a member of the Harry S. Truman Democratic Club for more than 40 years, long serving as its president. The club was the base of operations for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Judy Rapfogel, who was Silver’s chief of staff, said Weinberger had a long personal and professional friendship with the former Assembly Speaker. Silver is currently appealing his conviction last year on federal corruption charges.

“David was a great Lower East Sider, a dedicated district leader until the day he died and a devoted club member who turned out every Primary Day,” Rapfogel said. “He was a founder and volunteer driver with Hatzolah. On Sept. 11 he was among the volunteers who went down to the World Trade Center site,” Rapfogel added.

Weinberger was also for years a member of Community Board 3.

In addition to his wife, two sons and a daughter survive, as do several grandchildren, one of whom was recently married.