Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced Tuesday that a $10 million donation will be used to establish the Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders, whose namesake was a Holocaust survivor and prominent Los Angeles real estate developer.
“The center, to be established within the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurology, will recruit physician-scientists to develop new patient-care therapies that address the challenges of the rapidly growing population of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders,” according to a statement released by Cedars-Sinai.
The Goldrich family has committed to giving an additional $5 million in matching donations, potentially doubling the funds for the center to $20 million, according to Cedars-Sinai President and CEO Thomas M. Priselac.
“This generous and transformative gift from the Goldrich family is an enduring testament to Jona’s life,” Priselac said. “The Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders will position Cedars-Sinai as a leader in the Los Angeles community and beyond in treating the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, which is characterized by loss of memory and decline in cognitive function. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to triple to nearly 14 million by 2060.
“We want families to have options for the treatment and prevention of the devastating symptoms of Alzheimer’s and memory disorders,” said Goldrich’s daughter, Melinda Goldrich.
Her sister, Andrea Goldrich Cayton, said: “Honoring our father’s memory by establishing the Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders is our commitment to eradicating these diseases.”
Their father was born in Poland in 1927. He and his brother escaped Nazi-occupied territory and moved to Palestine in 1942, and he fought in the 1948 war that created the state of Israel.
In 1954, Goldrich immigrated to the U.S. and started a construction cleanup business, which allowed him to build his first apartment building in North Hollywood two years later. He went on to build a national real estate empire centered in Los Angeles.
In 1987, he created the Goldrich Family Foundation to continue efforts to cure diseases, support schools and universities, promote social justice, and further Holocaust awareness and remembrance.
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