Jewish Journal

Obituary: Si Frumkin, 78

by Tom Tugend

Posted on May. 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, May 18, for Soviet Jewry and human rights activist Si Frumkin at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive.

Frumkin died Friday at the age of 78, with cancer as the cause of death.

Born in Kaunus (Kovno), Lithuania, Frumkin survived ghetto life under the Nazis and inhuman forced labor at Dachau as a 14-year old, before his liberation.

As founder of the Southern Council for Soviet Jews in 1968, Frumkin was responsible, as much as any one person, for moving the issue of emigration for Soviet Jews from the political fringes to the mainstream.

Later, he fought for such causes as Ethiopian Jewry, insurance payments for descendants of Holocaust victims, Israel’s security and against neo-Nazism.

LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who will deliver the eulogy at the services, described his close friend as a “one-man rapid response team for Jews in trouble.”

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