Jona Goldreich, for whom the brutality of the Nazis was a harsh reality, fled Poland with his younger brother Avram, en route to Israel in a memorable 1942 trek through Europe. Jona is the much revered and beloved chairman emeritus of the Western Region of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University.
A veteran of the War of Independence in which he served in the Israeli Navy and the Merchant Marine as a mechanical engineer, Jona immigrated to the United States in 1950, making his way by bus to Los Angeles in 1952 because "its climate is closest to that of Israel". There he began work as a window and screen installer, eventually becoming one of California's successful developers of housing and a prominent philanthropist, particularly in the Jewish community.
A member of the TAU Board of Governors, along with his wife Doretta, he has translated his love of Israel and the memory of his family members who died in the Holocaust into the growth of Tel Aviv University.
Reflecting his tennis and skiing skills, Jona was the catalyst in the development of The Goldreich Multipurpose Sports Center, The Goldreich Family Health and Fitness Center and the Sender Goldreich Fitness Room. In addition, he underwrote the renowned Goldreich Chair in International Banking and The Goldreich Family Theater Archives at the Diaspora Museum situated on the TAU campus. He is especially proud of his most recent projects, the founding of The Goldreich Family Institute for Yiddish Language, Literature & Culture and The Annual Yiddish Summer Program at Tel Aviv University. He, like Max Webb, sees the resurgence of interest in the Yiddish language and culture as an antidote to the destruction reaped on the rich heritage and lives of European Jewry before the Holocaust.
In Los Angeles, Jona continues to be the prime mover behind the Los Angeles Holocaust Monument located in Pan Pacific Park, including the two annual Holocaust Remembrance ceremonies attended by thousands of Los Angeleis adults and children. A former Man of the Year of the National Housing Conference, Jona is a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Police Crime Prevention Advisory Council and the California Housing Council, among other important community organizations. Jona Goldrich holds an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University.
Jona resides in Beverly Hills with Doretta, his wife of 47 years. They have two daughters, Melinda and Andrea who is married to Barry Cayton. In addition to being a proud grandfather, Jona views his three grandchildren, Garrett, Lindsay and Derek, as his personal triumph over Hitler.