Last Updated on October 27, 2023, 4:35 am
Los Angeles community mourns David A. Lehrer, founder of Jews United for Democracy and Justice and Community Advocate, Inc.
David A Lehrer, a longtime leader in the Los Angeles Jewish community and civil and human rights activist, died unexpectedly at 75 on October 25, 2023. He was the founder of Jew United for Democracy and Justice. He reportedly collapsed at his home in Los Feliz and never regained consciousness. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends.
Who was David A. Lehrer?
David A. Lehrer was born on October 12, 1948. He graduated from John Marshal High School. He earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science and Art History from UCLA and received his J.D. from UCLA Law School in 1973. He served his community as an appointee of Mayor Richard Riordan as a member and president of the Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners, supervising the City’s $90 million public library system.
For 27 years, he served his nation in several leadership roles within the West Coast office of the Anti-defamation League and joined ADL in 1975 as Western States Civil Rights Counsel and rose to become Director of the Pacific Southwest Region. He held the position for 16 years, during which he achieved many accomplishments, including California’s first hate crime law, helping lead legislative efforts to outlaw tax-subsidized discriminatory private social clubs, and confronting extremist groups across the West.
He left ADL in 2002 and joined forces with veteran civil-rights activist Joe Hicks and formed Community Advocates, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to forming partnerships and improving relations with various ethnic communities of the region. After Hicks died in 2016, Lehrer singularly continued his Jewish community and human relation advocacy, especially during the Trump era when intolerance for Latino immigrants and Muslims increased, and existing Jewish organizations turned a blind eye to the matter, Lehrer formed Jewish United for Democracy and Justice. The group has gained popularity for “America At A Crossroads”, a weekly discussion of issues with several leading experts and anchored by prominent journalists.
Community mourns David A. Lehrer
The Los Angeles community mourns David A. Lehrer, a pillar of society who served his community and nation with dedication and a sense of justice. He cared deeply for the ones suffering and advocated for their rights when everyone else was silent. The community recognizes his contribution to the betterment of the nation and pays tributes to honor his memory on social media.
He is survived by his wife Ariella, and children Eli, Jonah, Rachel, and Leah Lehrer, his sister Shelah and brother Michael Lehrer, and grandchildren. The family has requested, instead of flowers, donate to Community Advocates, Inc.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends. May he rest in peace.
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