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JCA: Robert Aronson Papers

 Collection
Identifier: UP002402
The Robert Aronson Papers focuses upon Aronson's leadership at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. It highlights the scope of Aronson's involvement at the JFMD and participation in national and international programs and initiatives.

Important Subjects: Detroit (Mich.), Jewish-Arab relations Jewish communal and public affairs, Jewish community centers, Jewish leadership, Jews—Detroit (Mich.), Interfaith marriage, Israel and the diaspora.

Important Names: Eugene Applebaum, Birthright Israel, Council of Jewish Federations (U.S.), William Davidson, Detroit Medical Center, Max M. Fisher, Frankel Jewish Academy, Irwin Green, Holocaust Memorial Center, Jewish Agency for Israel, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Jewish Life Network, Martin Kraar, Michigan State University, National Conference on Soviet Jewry (U.S.), Project STAR, Seeds of Peace Program, Leonard N. Simons, Sinai Hospital of Detroit, United Jewish Charities, University of Michigan, Wayne State University.

Dates

  • 1990 - 2010

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

Extent

27.5 Linear Feet (55 MB)

Abstract

Robert Aronson began his career with the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, serving as executive director beginning in 1983 and as executive vice president beginning in 1987. After six years of leadership with the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Aronson joined the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (JFMD) as Chief Operating Officer, a position which he held for twenty years. The Aronson years at the JFMD saw much change and evolution including financing, expanding, and revitalizing facilities, and programs in the areas of health, education and housing throughout the Jewish community. Robert Aronson assumed the position of senior fundraising adviser at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in 2010. The Robert Aronson Papers focuses on Aronson's leadership at the JFMD. It highlights the scope of Aronson's involvement at the JFMD and his participation in national and international programs and initiatives.

History

Robert Aronson was born in Milwaukee in 1951. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and is an accomplished printmaker.

Aronson began his professional career as assistant to the executive of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. He then received a Master's Degree in Social Work from the Wurtzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. He later worked as a campaign director for the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, which led to three years of work as consultant for the Council of Jewish Federations in New York.

In 1983, he was recruited as executive director of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and was named executive vice president in 1987. After six years of leadership of the Milwaukee Federation, he joined the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit as Chief Operating Officer, where he began a 20-year long career.

At the outset, he was instrumental in moving the administrative office from downtown Detroit to the suburb of Bloomfield Hills. This move affected the manner in which the Federation accomplished its mandate of fundraising to meet the needs of the local and international Jewish community.

The Aronson years at JFMD saw much change and evolution, with notable examples including: the creation of the Alliance for Jewish Education and closing of the United Hebrew Schools; enhancement of the Applebaum Campus of the Jewish Community Center; creation of the Frankel Jewish Academy, Meer Federation Apartments, Berman Theater; closing of Sinai Hospital and the development of the Jewish Fund; development of a Holocaust Museum; development of Partnership 2000, a program linking Detroit's Jewish community to Migdal Ha' Emek region in Israel's Jeserel Valley; Miracle Missions to Israel; Camper program at Camp Tamarack.

In 2010, Robert Aronson assumed the position of senior fundraising adviser at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. For several years, he worked in a part-time arrangement while doing private philanthropic consultation. In 2007 he was named president of Steinhardt Foundation, an organization that funds trips to Israel for young Jewish adults.

Aronson has been considered one of the nation's top Jewish fundraisers. During his years as CEO, he was an innovator and spearheaded many changes including financing, expanding and revitalization of facilities and programs in the areas of health, education and housing throughout the Jewish community.

Arrangement

Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject. Folders for which the subject is an individual are arranged alphabetically by surname.

Acquisition

Deposited at the Reuther on February 28, 2013, by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit as part of the Jewish Community Archives.

Related Material

Reuther collections: Jewish Community Archives, particularly the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Records and the Jewish Community Center Records, Leonard Simons Papers. Max M. Fisher Papers.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Sharon Alterman; edited by Dallas Pillen on October 1, 2013. Edited by Aimee Ergas, April 2020.
Title
Guide to the JCA: Robert Aronson Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Sharon Alterman; encoded by Dallas Pillen.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2013-10-01: Edited by Dallas Pillen.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA