Holocaust Survivor & Iconic La Developer Dies At 88
July 7, 2016
Jona Goldrich, founder of Goldrich & Kest, a 60-year-old real estate development and management firm with residential, commercial and other projects in California has died at 88. A holocaust survivor who escaped the Nazi invasion of Poland with his younger brother but whose parents and older brother perished, Goldrich arrived in LA with $50 in his pocket and parlayed that into one of California’s most successful privately owned real estate companies.
Under Goldrich and partner Sol Kest’s leadership, the company built a portfolio including 120 apartment buildings with 13,500 units, 5 marinas with 2,107 slips, 24 senior living facilities with 4,216 beds, seven commercial buildings with 847,327 square feet of space, 16 retail properties totaling 1,656,121 square feet, 26 industrial properties with 8,046,038 square feet, 9 mixed use rental/commercial properties with 110,597 square feet and 2 for-sale housing developments. Among the apartment buildings are 70 properties accommodating low-income families. Not merely serving as landlord, Goldrich & Kest offer free after-school and summer programs for its young residents.
Goldrich was born in Turka (Lvov), Poland to a prominent Jewish family who stressed the importance of education and charitable giving. Every Friday evening his parents would invite those less fortunate into their home for Sabbath dinner and to distribute Challah (bread) to the hungry. The family’s emphasis on education and philanthropy set the stage for Goldrich’s direction in life as he funded various scholarship programs and supported many causes like the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, of which his daughter, Melinda Goldrich is a Board member and Andrea Goldrich Cayton is Vice-President http://www.lamoth.org/the-museum/staff--officers/
The company will continue to be run by the heirs of Goldrich and Kest including Barry Cayton, Jona’s son-in-law, and Sol’s son, Ezra Kest, M.D.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (100 S. The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036)