WeHo’s Russian community honors longtime resident Elya Gelman
Members of West Hollywood’s Russian community recently celebrated Elya Gelman, a longtime resident who turned 90 on July 1.
Gelman is a resident of Fuller Avenue and a former military engineer who immigrated from the former Soviet Union. He is always ready to help and can repair nearly anything, according to friends.
They recalled a time when Gelman repaired a VCR that ended up running better than when it was new, and a time when he came with a box of tiles and put new flooring in a bathroom. Many neighbors view him as a remarkable person.
“It’s difficult to remember all the good things [he does] for people he knows,” said neighbor Alex Mindel. “I always feel safe to have a neighbor and a friend like Elya.”
Gelman frequently creates furniture similar to pieces he had in the former Soviet country of Georgia, and made replacement parts for a neighbor’s furniture when none could be found. Gelman never asks for repayment for his hard work, said his wife, Sofia Gelman.