About Ruth Shamir Popkin

     Ruth Shamir Popkin was born in Poland, saved by a miracle, from the Second World War. Her maternal family was destroyed by the Nazis as well as her grandparents on her father's side. Ruth and her family returned to Poland in 1948 and faced the terrible destruction of Polish Jewry and the city of Warsaw after her father was appointed as a consul in the first Israeli Embassy in Poland. She grew up in Israel and served in the military. She attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem and received a scholarship in 1957 to attend Southern Illinois University where she obtained her B.A. Upon graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and attended Southwestern Law School.
 

After admission to the California Bar, she started practicing immigration law -  founding the law firm Popkin, Shamir & Golan located in Los Angeles, CA, with her late husband, Richard C. Popkin, who became a civil law litigator. She was also admitted to the Israeli Bar in the seventies. The plight of the Jewish people influenced her life and instilled a commitment to help immigrants and individuals escaping tyranny discrimination and poverty. Ruth Shamir became one of the early members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and won recognition in handling a variety of immigration cases, particularly earning accolades for handling cases of Filipino veterans who were entitled to U.S. citizenship but had been denied by the U. S. government. Thousands of Filipino veterans won their U.S. citizenship on account of these court decisions.


Popkin, Shamir and Golan's law firm expanded and opened subsidiary offices in Hong Kong and Manila, assisting individuals, business people and investors to obtain legal status in the U.S. The firm has handled all types of immigration and nationality cases over the years. Throughout her career, Ruth Shamir has published articles relating to U.S. immigration issues.

In 2007, Shamir, a cancer survivor, completed a Masters Degree program in Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. In 2010, she obtained her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, including a dissertation entitled: The Evolution of Jewish Identity In The National and Post-National World.


Ruth Shamir has also published three books: The Chinese Galaxy (published in 1977) describing life in China right after Mao's death, All My Vows (published in 1982) about the Yom Kippur War and very recently, Jewish Identity - The Challenge of Peoplehood Today published by Geffen Publishing that analyzes the with tumultuous and extreme changes in Jewish identity in the 20th century.

Active in Jewish and Israeli affairs, she is a member of the board of directors of the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora (Beit Hatfutsot), in Tel Aviv, Israel, which is the Museum of the Jewish People where her family established a foundation for documentation of Polish Jewry.


Ruth is a member and contributor to the Founders of the Los Angeles Music Center, and also contributes to the Los Angeles Opera, Center Theater Group and the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles. In Israel, the she contributes to the Tel Aviv Philharmonic and the Israeli Opera.

Ruth is a member of the International Women's Forum and is a contributor to organizations supporting families with adoption issues. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Tel-Aviv in Israel and donates to special programs at the University.


Ruth is a mother of two and a grandmother to two young boys. As an attorney, Ruth Shamir continues to represent clients with immigration issues, strongly believing that individuals who desire to live legally in the U.S. should be able to do so. The firm actively supports all efforts to pass an Immigration Reform Act to alleviate the plight of illegals but meanwhile looks forward to the implementation of President Obama's executive order which will provide temporary legal status for millions who have been suffering for many years.