Si Frumkin, Holocaust Survivor, L.A. Giant, Gone

Si Frumkin, a survivor of Dachau and a prominent Los Angeles textile manufacturer who founded the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews, has died. He was 78.

Frumkin, who did more than anyone else in the United States to focus attention on the struggle of Soviet Jews beginning in the late 1960s, died Friday of cancer at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Frumkin founded the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews in 1968. For years his inventive activism could be found in protests at a variety of Soviet cultural events, according to the newspaper.

 When the Bolshoi Ballet came to town, he distributed fake programs outside the Shrine Auditorium telling folks to enjoy the show but added a message about repression.

 When Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev visited President Nixon at the Western White House in San Clemente, Frumkin released 5,000 balloons with the message ``Let My People Go," the newspaper reported.

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

By 1976, more than 72,000 Jews had been allowed to leave the Soviet Union.


Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.

Brush Fire Off Freeway Snarls Traffic in San Fernando Valley

Southern California Students Walk Out of School Over Gun Violence

Many came to Southern California, and Frumkin turned his attention to helping them, according to The Times. In his later years, he also worked to help Ethiopian Jews emigrate.

Frumkin is survived by his wife, his son  and two grandchildren. 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.

Copyright Archive Sources
Contact Us