Daniel B. Flax died July 5, 2022, in Albany, New York. He was seventy-one.
He was born in Manhattan on May 22, 1951, to the late Rashie and Solomon Flax. He had fond memories of growing up in Stuyvesant Town with his brother, cousins, and friends. He attended East Side Hebrew Institute and Stuyvesant High School. Daniel earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Baruch College, and master’s degrees in social work and community planning from the University of Maryland and in Jewish studies from Hebrew College.
Daniel served in various positions at the Jewish Federations in Columbus, OH; Rochester, NY; Hartford, CT; and Northern New Jersey, where he was executive director. However, he spent most of his career at the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York in the Albany area, where his positions included campaign director and director of financial resource development. He established major gifts divisions including the Pillar and Pacesetter Divisions. He created the Headliners Series, which gave major donors the opportunity to hear from notables ranging from Elie Weisel to Hillary Clinton to Joan Rivers, often booking speakers years in advance. He was instrumental in the creation of the Maimonides Society for Jewish medical and health professionals; the Brandeis Baruch Society for Jewish business, financial, and legal professionals; and the Chaim Weizmann Society for Jewish academic, government and technology professionals. Other contributions include a corporate sponsorship program, the annual Saratoga/Federation Israel Campaign, and Missions to Israel; Washington, D.C.; and New York City. Daniel was known for his devotion to Federation and for never wasting a moment, as evidenced by his frequent 3 a.m. emails.
Flax received Temple Israel’s Circle of Humanity Award in 2004, and the Sidney Albert Jewish Community Center’s Pillars of the Community Award in 2012. He retired in 2017, and a gala event (“Holy Simcha, Super Dan!”) was held in his honor on September 6, 2018, which was declared Daniel B. Flax Day in the city of Albany.
He was a devoted husband and father, and he and his wife, Judi, had just celebrated their forty-third anniversary. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his Scrabble prowess, and his love of superheroes, music, and the Jewish community. A talented singer, he read Torah regularly at Temple Israel and led High Holiday services in several communities including North Adams, MA; Massena NY; and Gloversville, NY.
In his last few years, he fought a courageous battle with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). He received invaluable support and care from many of those around him, including his community of friends as well as Pauline from Home Instead and, eventually, the Memory Enhancement Unit at Daughters of Sarah, where he continued to demonstrate his Scrabble skills and his extensive collection of superhero yarmulkes and t-shirts. His close-knit extended family remained important to him, and the family’s 2021 Thanksgiving gathering here in Albany especially meant a lot to him.
He is survived by his wife, Judith, of Albany; daughters Shoshana of Boston and Leora of Pittsburgh; and brother, Cantor Elihu Flax of Norfolk, VA, and numerous nieces, nephews, and other extended family members.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 pm on Thursday, July 7, at Temple Israel, 600 New Scotland Avenue in Albany. Masks and proof of vaccination are required. Interment will follow services in the Temple Israel Cemetery on Western Avenue in Guilderland, NY
Those wishing to remember Dan in a special way may make a memorial donation to Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, 184 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany, NY 12203. Temple Israel, 600 New Scotland Avenue Albany, NY 12208, Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center, 180 Washington Avenue Extension Albany, NY 12203 or a charity of your choice.