In Memory: Leslie Gersicoff, Labor Leader and Feminist Activist

Thu, Apr 27, 2017   By Ruth Williams    2 Comments

Leslie Gersicoff, the executive director of the Jewish Labor Committee Western Region passed away on Monday, April 17th.

Leslie was involved in the movement for single payer health care for all Californians and totally committed to fair labor issues. She had a deep, deep passion to end human trafficking and violence against women, and she was a pro-choice activist, She believed in people having the right to be able to live with dignity and freedom.

jewish labor committee western region

Leslie Gersicoff

Some of you may have seen her being interviewed on live TV a few years back during a candlelight vigil, Leslie had long, straight gray hair, and while being interviewed she accidentally set her hair on fire with her candle. It’s something many of us always teased her about.

She also created a task force committed to ending human trafficking that I, along with many others, for a number of years worked on with her.

One thing that stuck with me that she said she had learned a long time ago, and I quote her: “I became very comfortable with being a feminist who is free to pursue fairness and justice for all because I don’t put up with any crap anymore, and neither should you.”

Her contributions not only to the labor movement but to all will never be forgotten! She was a wonderful woman with a heart of gold, a true friend, and she will be missed by so many whose lives she has touched – she had so much left to do.

Rest in peace my dear friend you were taken much too soon!

Ruth Williams, a long time member of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission, was a friend of Leslie Gersicoff. An essay by Gersicoff about her journey to become a feminist is available on the Voices of the Sixties and Seventies website.

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Ruth Williams

About Ruth Williams

Ruth Williams is a long-time member of the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission and previously has served on the city’s Rent Stabilization Commission. Williams is a former director of advocacy for the National Council of Jewish Women / Los Angeles. She was a recipient of the city’s 2016 Rainbow Key Award.

View all posts by Ruth Williams →

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  1. HdhdTue, May 02, 2017 at 7:44 am

    She was an incredible woman. So sorry to hear about this. RIP

  2. RuthAnn ArbuckleSat, Apr 29, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute! She was a dear friend & mentor to me. I will miss her greatly but hold her spirit in my heart!

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