Much appreciation is expressed to Martin “Marty” Sosin of the Martin Sosin-Stratton-Petit Foundation of Santa Monica, California, for his very dedicated and generous support of JOSPIC-J. Marty was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1922. About eight years later, in his first listing in the United States Census, Marty was listed as a little 7-year-old boy. He was living with his family, including his father Ralph Sosin, 33, a native of Russia, his mother, Rose Sosin, 30, who had been born in New York, his brother Jerome, 9 years old, born in New York, his maternal grandmother, Lena Schutzman, 55, who had been born in Austria, and his mother’s young 15-year-old sister, Ethel Schutzman, who also had been born in New York. Both of father Ralph’s parents had been born in Russia, and they had immigrated to the United States in 1906. Yiddish was listed as the language spoken by the Sosin family before immigrating to the United States. Both of mother Rose’s parents had been born in Austria, and had immigrated to the United States in 1896.
Marty was seven years old when the Great Depression hit the nation in 1929, but hard times did not hold him down. He served his country in World War II in the Army Air Corps, enlisting on December 31, 1942. He then went on to law school, became a prominent tax attorney in Los Angeles, California, a benefactor to numerous causes, a major supporter of the arts, and a political activist for “one of the greatest gifts our nation’s Founding Fathers gave us: the First Amendment.”
The fight for Freedom of Speech was the major political activity for Marty. On October 18, 2008, at the Broad Theatre at Santa Monica College, Marty and the Martin Sosin Foundation sponsored a gala show celebrating Freedom of Speech. Prominent people and the ACLU were honored with First Amendment Awards: Muhammad Ali, the Freedom of Religion Award, Larry Flint and George Carlin, the Freedom of Speech Award, Daniel Pearl, the Freedom of the Press Award, Jackie Robinson, the Freedom of Assembly Award, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, the Freedom to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances Award.
Marty passed away on March 14, 2012, at his home in Santa Monica, at the age of 89. A memorial service was held at the Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles. He is survived by three children, Leah, Danny, and Jessica, and five grandchildren.
My last talk with Marty was on August 8, 2011, at the Banquet of the Annual Conference of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies, in San Diego, where Marty was being honored. We sat next to each other at the Banquet, and, being a former Board member of the Miami American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) myself, our major topic for the evening was, not surprisingly, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion. Marty was also a strong and dedicated supporter of this journal, and of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies. We again express our appreciation to Marty Sosin, an outstanding human being. — Abraham D. Lavender, Editor-in-Chief