Barbara Edelston Yaroslavsky, a longtime community leader and the wife of former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, died Wednesday. She was 71.
Yaroslavsky was recovering from a severe West Nile virus infection when she collapsed during a therapy session. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
“We are shocked and devastated by this turn of events,” her family said in a statement. “We have lost an exceptional mother, a loving grandmother, and a beloved wife and partner in life. There are no words to describe what we are feeling at this moment, but our loss is profound and the void in our lives is immeasurable.”
Yaroslavsky was an activist in the Jewish community and volunteered with multiple nonprofit and social service agencies, said Joel Bellman, her husband’s former spokesman.
She was a former chair of the Medical Board of California and on the advisory board of L.A.’s BEST Afterschool Enrichment Program for underserved youth, Bellman said. She was also a member of the Los Angeles Commission on Communities and Family Services and Friends of the Saban Community Clinic.
She is survived by her husband of 47 years, two children and four grandchildren.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti remembered Yaroslavsky as a “dedicated activist and an unwavering champion for children and families.”
“Barbara Yaroslavsky never stopped fighting for what she believed in,” he said. “She was a model of what it meant to practice Jewish values in public life. An Angeleno born and raised, she worked every day to make our city a more fair, just and compassionate place to work and live.”