Victor M. Carter Dies at 94


Victor M. Carter, who rose from poor immigrant boy to becomea creator and shaper of the post-World War II Jewish community in Los Angeles,died March 27, at the age of 94.

Two of his longtime friends, Herbert Gelfand and EdwardSanders, described Carter in almost identical words: “He was an absolute giantin philanthropy, business and Jewish leadership.”

Born in Rostov-on-Don in Russia, Carter arrived in the United States at age 11, went to work full time in his father’s downtown hardwarestore at 16, and married his lifelong love and teammate Adrea (Zucker) at age18.

At 19, he went into business for himself, opening theoriginal do-it-yourself hardware store, which evolved into  Builder’s Emporium.He switched careers in the late 1950s to become president and CEO of RepublicPictures.

Carter retired in 1967 to devote himself to the bettermentof his city, the Jewish community and the State of Israel.

“Victor was involved in every cause and supported Israelfrom its very inception,” recalled his friend, Bram Goldsmith.

Carter served as president of the Jewish Federation Counciland the Jewish Community Foundation and held leadership posts in support of TelAviv, Ben-Gurion and Brandeis universities, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, City of Hope, Israel Bonds and Histadrut.

Equally far-reaching was his involvement in city governmentand in the African American, Hispanic and Asian communities.

“He was a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party and BillClinton,” said his granddaughter, Dr. Leigh Silverton. “He cared aboutfeminism, because he understood the oppression that women suffer.”

Silverton added: “My grandpa did have one fault. He lackedthe sophistication that hardens some people to suffering.”

She continued her recollections: “Toward the end of hislife, Grandpa lost his speech. On the last occasion I was with him and Grandmabefore this happened, my grandma and he were discussing possible contributionsto a group in need. My grandma asked him, ‘What do you think, Victor?’

“Grandpa said, ‘We should take care of them.’ Those were thelast words I heard my grandpa say.”

Services were held Wednesday at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks& Mortuaries in Hollywood Hills.

Carter is survived by his wife, Adrea; daughter, Dr. Fanya(Dr. Jack Delchamps); granddaughters, Sheri and Dr. Leigh Silverton and Robin(Richard) Buckner; great-grandchildren, Devin, Katherine and William; andsister, Bella Gans.

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