Born on April 11, 1896, in New York, Rose Luria Halprin was the daughter of Pesach (Philip) Luria, a dealer in silverware, and Rebecca (Isaacson) Luria. Her parents were ardent Zionists and gave her a Hebrew education. Even as a young girl, she was active in Zionist causes, serving as the leader of the Stars of Zion, a youth division of the Austro-Hungarian Zionist Society, to which her parents belonged. When the society nearly lost its meeting rooms on the Lower East Side because of a lack of funds, Halprin and two friends staged a benefit concert that raised the money necessary to pay the rent. In her later Zionist activities, she would often be called upon to muster vital resources in times of crisis and need.