We are heartbroken to report the passing of our dear friend and leader, Linda Rae Sher. Tireless philanthropist and political activist, the founder of the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC), she generously shared her enthusiasm with tornado-like energy, inspiring all those around her. Linda's vision to increase women's involvement and empowerment in the political process led her to start JAC in 1980, the first national Jewish women's PAC in the country. Her unique ability to identify challengers who had potential for success propelled her as the driving force of JAC for over 40 years, achieving national recognition for their work on Capitol Hill.
Linda spoke across the country about what she perceived to be our most pressing issues including a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, reproductive choice, gun control and separation of religion and state. Her tenacity and determination encouraged JAC women across the country to step up and work to protect our shared values. She organized countless GOTV trips and attended to every detail of JAC's annual Washington, DC policy conference.
Throughout her life, Linda combined her love and commitment to Jewish values with her political activism. She dedicated herself to a number of philanthropic and political organizations. She was honored by the JWA and UJC at the Library of Congress as a trailblazer alongside Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Judy Chicago and 16 other visionary women. Additional recognition of her work with JAC resulted in awards from Hadassah, Personal PAC and the Women Making History Award from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.
She served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and its Women's Division, among others. Chicago Federation awarded her with the coveted Young Leadership Award.
Linda was a member of the UJA National Young Women's Cabinet and served as a Regional Chair. She then served on the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee of UJC's HSSP Pillar. Linda was a member of the Executive Committee and National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She also was one of the founders of the National Jewish Democratic Council, where she served on the Board of Directors. Linda was also a member of the Social Justice Task Force of JCPA.
Linda was instrumental in the development of The Committee for the Advancement of Women in Politics, a consortium of women's organizations in the United States and Israel, established for the purpose of electing more women to public office in Israel.
She founded the Democratic Senatorial Women's Council in 1991 with then-Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and has served as a Director of DCCC's Women LEAD. Linda served on the finance committees of numerous Congressional and presidential candidates, most recently for the campaign of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Linda was above all a devoted mother and grandmother. Nothing got in the way of her time with her family — especially her grandchildren. While she attended many special events at the White House and in Washington, DC over the years, her greatest thrill was visiting those little boys.
Small in stature with a large presence, frequently referred to as the "tiny dynamo," she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
She is predeceased by her husband of 34 years, David S. Sher. She is survived by her son Adam (Sarah) and their children Hudson and Brandon; her daughter Jamie (Marisa Matarazzo); her mother Lucille Rosen; and her sister Loren Friend (Howard). Linda was a treasured "auntie" to nieces, nephews and special friends. Condolences can be sent to: The Shers, 2841 N. Buzz Ct., Los Angeles, CA 90039
In lieu of flowers and/or food, please make a donation in memory of Linda Sher to support Dr. Ernst Lengyel's research at the University of Chicago Medicine. Checks may be made payable to the "University of Chicago Medicine" and sent to the following address: University of Chicago Gift Administration and Business Data, Linda Sher Memorial, 5235 S. Harper Court, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60615.
May her memory be for a blessing.