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Services Sunday for Long-time Santa Monica Activist Rose Kaufman Who Died at Age 105
By Jorge Casuso
February 5, 2019 -- Services for community activist Rose Kaufman, who became a champion for seniors in the city that was her home for six decades, will be held at the Santa Monica Synagogue on Sunday.
Kaufman, a longtime leader of the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica (LWVSM) who was known for her dedication and sense of humor, died peacefully at home on January 21, her family said on Monday. She was 105.
“Rose was the definition of a public servant who fully embraced her civic responsibilities," said Assemblymember Richard Bloom.
"Her presence and determination were larger than life and through her tenacity and fearlessness, she always made sure her voice was heard.
"She never was bashful about letting you know what she thought, but she always was cheerful about it.”
Kaufman's interests ranged from crime prevention to enhanced healthcare benefits for Medicare recipients, from at-large Council seats to senior housing and traffic safety.
But the issue she was best known for championing was the distribution of free taxi vouchers to seniors during City budget season.
Born Rachel Leah Rootkin in 1914, Kaufman was one of six children born to Lithuanian immigrants in Philadelphia. In 1942, she married Philip Kaufman, whose mother also had emigrated from Lithuania.
After the couple moved to Santa Monica, Kaufman served twice as president of the local League of Women Voters (1964-1965 and 1982-1983) and for years continued serving as an unofficial consultant, historian and conscience of the league.
"She was one of my mentors," said Barbara Inatsugu, former president of the local League. "When I first joined in 1992, she was one of tthe old timers who had a lot of experience.
"I just really, really appreciated her," Inatsugu said. "She was just such an amazing woman. She was a special lady!"
Kaufman also served on the City's Citizens Task Force on Development (1981), the Commission on Older Americans (1985, 1988 and 1992, Emeritus member in 1996 and 1998) and the Fourth Street Housing Committee (1997).
In addition, Kaufman chaired the Santa Monica Emeritus College Executive Committee.
During "Rose Kaufman Day," the League of Women Voters of California presented their former president with the first proclamation of its kind in the state.
“I think you are all honoring me just because I survived, but I appreciate it," Kauffman joked when she accepted the award.
"I am really very touched. To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement. I am super-whelmed. All I can say is that League people are special people.”
The memorial service will be held at the Santa Monica Synagogue, 1448 18th Street, Sunday at 1:30 p.m..
After the service, her children Judith Hartman, Ira, and Louise Kaufman, and her grandchildren, David and Molly Hartman, will be receiving guests at the Home of Roger and Judith Hartman 634 10th Street, Santa Monica.
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