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The Lasting Legacy of a Giant: A Farewell to Bram Goldsmith

It is with heartfelt sorrow we share the news that Bram Goldsmith, a giant in our community and a pillar of our Federation, passed away this Sunday, February 28th, at the age of 93.

“Bram meant a great deal to me and to our community,” said Jay Sanderson, our Federation’s President & CEO. “He was a mentor, a sounding board, and I talked frequently with him about our transformation. Bram was a giant. He was deeply committed to our Jewish community and to our Federation. He will be deeply missed but he left a lasting legacy.”

A longtime community leader and generous supporter of The Jewish Federation for more than four decades, Bram served as our Federation’s Chairman of the Board from 1969 to 1970, chaired the 1965 United Jewish Fund Campaign, and was the Real Estate & Construction (REC) Division Honoree in our Centennial Year. In the first half of the 1970s, he was a National Vice Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal. He and his wife Elaine chose to secure our Jewish community’s future by endowing their annual gift through our Federation’s Centennial Endowment Fund Campaign. They also donated an additional gift of $1 million to establish the Israel Terror Relief Fund, which touched hundreds of thousands of lives during Israel’s most recent crisis.

Below is a brief video from 2011 highlighting Bram’s contributions to our community.

“Bram was a mentor, a role model and a friend,” said Leslie E. Bider, our Federation’s immediate past Chair of the Board. “He cared so deeply for the community as a whole, but also for each of us as individuals. I will forever miss his humor and wit.”

Bram was quoted in our 2011 Centennial Endowment Book as having said, “We believe that doing service for others is a privilege to be cherished, not a burden to be endured.” Among his many charitable efforts, he served as a board member and Los Angeles Chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and as President of Hillcrest Country Club. He was also a board member and lifetime trustee of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, sitting on the Philharmonic’s board of directors from 1977 until he passed. Bram donated his time to United Way as a former Chairman of the board of Region IV and as a member of its Central Board. In addition, he chaired the Wallis Annenberg Cultural Center Foundation and led the effort to renovate the old Beverly Hills Post Office and convert it to Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

“We are very sorry to hear about the passing of such a great, world-class man. Bram was one of our community’s strongest leaders,” said former Chair of the Board Todd Morgan. “When Bram spoke, everyone listened. He was thoughtful and had terrific judgment. Bram will be deeply missed by our community.”

“I am so grateful for our years of friendship,” said former Chair of the Board Harriet Hochman. “Bram was consistent with guidance, spirit, concern and ever-present humor. He left an indelible impression and was a true giant in our community and lives. I will truly miss him.”

Bram Goldsmith’s name is memorialized throughout our community, including on the façade of our City headquarters at 6505 Wilshire Boulevard, The Jewish Federation Goldsmith Center.

Bram was a renowned community leader, legendary philanthropist, proud Jew, loving husband, father of two, and grandfather of five. His legacy will impact our Federation and our global Jewish community for many generations to come.

“Our community has lost a giant and a dear friend,” said former Chair of the Board Richard Sandler. “Bram so generously gave this community his time, his wisdom and his resources and we will always be better for it. We will miss him dearly, but will continue to strive to live up to the wonderful example he set for us all. Like the rest of us, I will miss him terribly. I send my condolences to his beloved life partner Elaine, Russell, and the entire Goldsmith family. May his memory be a blessing.”

A public memorial service for Bram will be held this Friday at 3:00 PM in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills.  A reception will follow.

In lieu of gifts, donations can be made in Bram’s name to The Jewish Federation, Cedars-Sinai or the Wallis Annenberg Center.

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