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Monday, May 18, 2009

In Memoriam

The Republican Party of Los Angeles County Mourns Passing of Si Frumkin

Dachau Survivor Worked Tirelessly to Save Soviet Jews

Los Angeles, CA - May 18, 2009 - Jane Barnett, Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County announced today that Si Frumkin, Founder of the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews, and a long-time Republican activist has passed away. 

A man of direct action, Frumkin founded the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews in 1968 and over the next two decades would not leave the issue alone. For years his inventive activism could be found in protests at a variety of Soviet cultural events.

Frumkin, who did more than anyone else in the United States to focus attention on the struggle of Soviet Jews, died Friday of cancer at Providence Tarzana Medical Center. He was 78.

"Shaming the free world, especially our government, into doing the right thing was Si's cause," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who as a UCLA student founded the California Students for Soviet Jews at the same time Frumkin founded his group.

A more complete biography can be found in the Obituary section of the Los Angeles Times here.

Frumkin is survived by his widow, Ella, and a son, Michael, and two grandchildren.

"He was an integral part of who I am and . . . with the exception of my own parents and family, no one has had so profound an impact on me," said Yaroslavsky, who will deliver the eulogy for Frumkin at 2 p.m. today at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Hollywood. 

Instead of flowers, his family asks that contributions be made to the organization he founded, the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews, P.O. Box 1542, Studio City, CA 91614.

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