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Judith Braun Weinstein

1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Judith Braun Weinstein Obituary
February 11, 1927 - December 28, 2017 Beloved mother of James and David Weinstein, grandmother to Julian and Mara Weinstein, and sister to Zev and David Braun, passed away peacefully in her home on December 28, 2017 at the age of ninety. She was predeceased by her younger sister, Miriam (Braun) Pickard, and husband, Irwin M. Weinstein, M.D. Judy will always be held in loving memory by family and friends whose lives she touched and helped to shape. Judy was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Julius and Charlotte (Brandau) Braun. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1950. She then taught nursey school in New York City where she met Irwin on a blind date. They married in 1951and remained married until Irwin's death in 2002. In 1952, Judy and Irwin returned to Chicago where their two children were born. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1955 where Judy worked as an interior designer until 1958. Judy's abiding passions, however, were in the fields of art and progressive politics, which is where she found her true calling. A daughter of the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt era and the Greatest Generation, she was a powerful and respected force in local, state, and national politics. Her friends in her dynamic local Democratic Women's Club looked to her for inspiration and strength. Judy banded together with other concerned parents to expose the influence of the John Birch Society on the board governing the elementary school her children attended. She was a member of the planning committee for the Democratic National Telethon in 1960. She was a delegate in the first women's conference for the Democratic National Committee in 1971. She was a close friend and special advisor to United States Senator Alan Cranston. She organized fundraisers in her home for liberal democratic candidates, including Tom Bradley as part of the African American-Jewish coalition that helped elect Bradley to several terms as Mayor of Los Angeles. Today Los Angeles celebrates its multi-ethnic, tolerant identity that was shaped in part by blacks and Jews making such common cause, bending in their own fashion the arc of the moral universe towards justice. Combining her passions for art, children's welfare and creating a more just world, in 1963 Judy helped found and run the UNICEF store in the Westwood area of Los Angeles that successfully ran until 1973. She was vice president of the Pacific Chapter of the United Nations Association from 1963 to 1969 and on it advisory board from 1969-71. From 1971 to 1977, Judy was the director of the George Page ethnic arts books bookstore, producer of ethnic art shows and research assistant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. From 1978-85, Judy helped bring art to institutionalized people as director of the Artsreach program through UCLA extension. Judy was a friend of artists and musicians and supported and nurtured their work. She served the board of directors of the California Chamber symphony from 1960-71 and on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Art Showcase form 1972-75. She was also involved with Barnsdale Art Park in Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Children's Museum; and the Los Angles Municipal Art Galleries Associations, of which she served as President in 1987. Other civic and charitable organizations that Judy was involved with included Alternative Living Aging, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Committee for Disabilities & Telecommunications, and the Unified Fund. Although she was not religious, Judy's civic and political commitment touching the lives of those around her was a shining example of the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam, or repairing the world. Judy's legacy will be the basic values of personal connection and love, caring for others, making a difference in society, appreciation of other cultures and traditions, and a love of art in its many forms. She established this legacy by radiant and beautiful example and with great humanity.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 7, 2018
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