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Prominent Conservative Commentator Larry Greenfield Passes Away at 59

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January 29, 2022

Larry Greenfield, Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship & Political Philosophy and Journal contributor, passed away on January 28 at the age of 59.

Born January 29, 1962 in Long Beach but raised in Encino, California, Greenfield was long active in Los Angeles Jewish life.  He was a Wexner Heritage Foundation Fellow and former Vice President of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation.  He also worked for a variety of conservative and political organizations, including West Coast Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Founding Executive Director of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, and National Executive Director of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Greenfield served on the Executive Committee of the California Republican party and advised candidates and elected officials on American foreign policy.  Greenfield also was active with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews where he worked to promote understanding between Christians and Jews and build broad American support for Israel.

A frequent speaker, debater and writer, Greenfield was known for his scholarly style and command of the facts. He was known as a humorous, warm and friendly yet passionate speaker.  His expertise included U.S. foreign policy, missile defense, the Arab-Israeli conflict and domestic political issues.  His writings covered a variety of subjects, including California politics, free speech, and the roots of Jewish conservatism and cancel culture. Outside of the Journal, his writings also appeared in various conservative publications, including American Greatness, American Thinker, Investor’s Business Daily and PJ Media.  

A frequent speaker, debater and writer, Greenfield was known for his scholarly style and command of the facts. He was also known as a humorous, warm and friendly yet passionate speaker. 

Greenfield earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at UC Berkeley, where he served as class speaker, and his Juris Doctor degree at Georgetown University of Law. As a lawyer, Greenfield assisted in Yasser Arafat’s arrest warrant that barred him from appearing in the United States. He also enlisted in the United States Naval Intelligence Reserves and had since retired. 

Larry touched the lives of many in the Jewish community and beyond. The Claremont Institute tweeted that Greenfield “was a patriot, a selfless Claremont evangelist, and a guardian of his community and those he loved. R.I.P.”

Other tributes to Greenfield poured in.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Larry Greenfield, a patriot who loved America and loved Israel. He was a deeply knowledgeable, eloquent, and dedicated Jewish Republican activist,” Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement. “Larry had a big impact on shaping the critical debates facing our country. We are grateful for Larry’s time at the RJC. As our regional director in California, he built a strong network of grassroots members and leaders who are the foundation of our success on the West Coast until today. His passing is a loss to our community and to our nation. May his memory be a blessing.” Greenfield was the RJC California Regional Director from 2004-2008.

 In an email to community members, Jewish Republican Alliance Co-Founders Bruce Karasik and Mitch Silberman wrote that Greenfield “was a longtime leader in our Jewish Republican cause and a great friend of the Jewish Republican Alliance. Larry was also a dear friend, advisor and mentor to the founders, and together, we mourn this tragic loss.”

They added: “Larry will be remembered for his optimism, kindness, intellect, warm smile and his never-ending passion for America, Israel, Judaism and patriotism.  His love for truth, liberty, freedom and justice will live on through his spoken words, his writings and the countless people whom he touched so deeply.” Karasik and Silberman called for honoring Greenfield’s “memory by continuing to fight for the values and ideals that he stood for.”

Michael Reagan, the adopted son of the late former President Ronald Reagan, tweeted that Greenfield was “a dear friend” and “the world will miss him.” Former California GOP Chairman Ron Nehring said he was “devastated to learn our good friend Larry Greenfield passed away Friday. His wit and intellect were only matched by his generous spirit. May his memory be a blessing.”

Eric Golub, a conservative comedian, paid a heartfelt tribute to Greenfield in a Facebook post. “Larry Greenfield was my older brother,” he wrote. “Although we were not related by blood, he was my ideological soulmate. Not only were we both Republican Jews, but Larry also loved football and the stock market as I do.” The conservative comedian attributed his professional success to Greenfield, recalling how he invited Golub to speak on an RJC panel in June 2007. “That one panel led to more speeches, several books, t-shirts…I owe everything to Larry,” Golub wrote. “I can’t believe he is gone.”

Golub also noted that Greenfield was good friends with the late journalist Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. “Larry’s commitment to fighting Radical [Islam] was never wavering,” he wrote.

Golub also praised Greenfield’s debating style. “As passionate as Larry was politically, he was never mean,” Golub wrote. “He did debates with Democrats at synagogues. Larry was a fierce debater but those debates were always civil. Larry had a masterful control of policy. When he needed a substitute to fill in for him, he would let me know. He would then prepare me by making sure I had the policy arguments and rebuttals down cold.”

“He was a true mensch,” said Jonathan Jacoby, Director of the Nexus Task Force on Israel and Antisemitism. “Always respectful of others. Always with a smile on his face.”

Rick Entin, Greenfield’s close friend for 25 years, wrote about Larry’s selflessness and his anonymous donation of a kidney to the UCLA Exchange program so that Entin could receive an organ from a matching donor.  Entin wrote in the Journal about Greenfield’s life-saving gift.

Larry is survived by his daughter Tia, his mother and two brothers.

This article has been updated.

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