Innovative philanthropist and businessman Edward B. Robin, whose impact on Jewish life stretched from Los Angeles to New York and on to Israel and Russia, died on Oct. 8 after a long illness at Cedars Sinai Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was 80 years old.
Funeral services were held Oct. 12 at the Sinai Memorial Park with Rabbis Nolan Lebovitz and Edward Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom synagogue officiating.
“Ed represented every day of his life the best of what our tradition expects of us as an honest, selfless and great leader for his family, his business and his community.”
– Richard Sandler
“Ed represented every day of his life the best of what our tradition expects of us as an honest, selfless and great leader for his family, his business and his community. Ed was a thoroughly decent human being who touched so many of us and we, and the world, are all better because of Ed,” noted Richard Sandler, a colleague and friend of Robin for 40 years.
After graduating from the University of Florida and the Duke School of Law, Robin moved from Charleston (South Carolina) to Los Angeles, where he initially worked as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board.
In 1975 he embarked on what was to become his lifelong dual role as a pioneer in the specialized insurance field and the protection of Jews worldwide.
A mere listing of his leadership roles in Jewish organizations worldwide would call for a book-length article.
For instance, as chairman of the National Coalition Supporting Jews he became a chief advocate for the freedom and rights of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states and Eurasia.
Additional offices included vice chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, chairman of the Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal and founder and chair of the North American Jewish Forum.
Among the highlights of numerous activities was his organizing of the 1987 Rally for Soviet Jews in Washington DC, which drew some 250,000 supporters.
Robin was equally committed to the welfare of domestic Jewish communities, holding leadership roles in the LA Jewish Federation and in the field of Jewish health organizations.
In addition, he served as board member Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Jerusalem Press Club, the Paideca-U.S. program and board member and chair of the Wende Museum of the Cold War in Culver City.
Edward Robin is survived by Peggy Robin, his wife of 58 years, children Jill Linhardt (Nat Linhardt) and Richard Robin (Nurit Robin) and eight grandchildren.