Florence (Florry) Belsky was born September 18, 1921, in a walk-up apartment on 4th Street in Manhattan. An alumnus of the Henry Street Settlement, she began working at 13 to support her parents and her sister. Florence worked her way through and graduated from Hunter College and Brooklyn Law School.
Florence worked for the Department of Labor during WWII and returned to Manhattan after the war where she practiced law for over fifty years. In the late 1970s, Florence was appointed a Special Referee of the New York Supreme Court where she remained until her retirement. Florence was both a teacher and a student at the New School Institute for Retired Professionals, a mentor for Brooklyn Law School students and a lifelong champion of educational opportunities. She was active in Democratic politics and an avid traveler.
Ms. Belsky was foremost a philanthropist. She was a patron of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Public Library, Ellis Island Wall of Honor and the Metropolitan Museum as well as many others. She established scholarships at Hunter College, the New School Institute for Retired Professionals, the Julliard School of Music, and the Giulio Gari Opera Foundation. Florence started the Florence Belsky Charitable Foundation to support such diverse projects as opera scholarships, children’s arts programs, and new theatrical productions. Above all, Florence was a firm believer in the power of networking and mentoring and the Florence Belsky Charitable Foundation continues to carry on that legacy.