David Alan Rifkind, businessman and philanthropist, dies at 51

January 31, 2017

40978ca0-46bc-4c3b-b78b-fded700382e9Businessman and philanthropist David Alan Rifkind died on Jan. 23, surrounded by family, at age 51.

The cause was a very rare, rapidly degenerative and incurable neurological disease.

Rifkind was a co-founding principal at the real estate firm George Smith Partners. At his passing the company released this statement:

“David will always be remembered at GSP as a kind person, generous of spirit, with no pretensions or ego. While very successful throughout his career as an investor, broker and lender, he remained humble and sincere. He was a great listener and cared about what people had to say. When he spoke, we listened, because his comments and insights were thoughtful and well-informed.”

Rifkind grew up in Encino, CA the son of Jesse and Thelma Rifkind.   After attending Birmingham High School, he graduated from USC in 1987 with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and International Relations.

An expert in real estate and finance, Rifkind could discuss a wide variety of subjects including history, current events, wines, music (including jazz, rock and classical) and modern art. He was a savvy and discerning collector, especially of the great LA artists of the 1960s such as Ed Ruscha and others. His childhood curiosity in photography developed into a lifetime of collecting photographic fine art as well as being an excellent photographer in his own right.

Rifkind served as Chair of the Board of Jews for Judaism, a Board Member of the Ziegler School at AJU and Ilan Ramon Day School and has been active in the Real Estate Cabinet of the Jewish Federation and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), among numerous other organizations. He ran the building committee for the Heschel Day School as the school worked on a major expansion.

Rifkind is survived by his wife Helen, his sons Aaron and Jonathan, his daughter Jillian, his sister Donna and her husband, Joe.

The funeral for David Rifkind z”l will be held Wednesday, January 25th at 12:30 pm at Mt. Sinai Simi Valley.  The address is 6150 Mt. Sinai Drive, Simi Valley, CA  93063.  In Lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Jews for Judaism or the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.”

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