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Accession number UP002402
Object Name Manuscript
Title Robert Aronson Papers
Collection Robert Aronson Papers
Date 1990-2001
Scope & Content *This collection is housed at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs.

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.
Admin/Biographical 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 Federation, which led to three years of work as consultant for the Council of Jewish Federation
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 saw much change and evolution, with notable examples including: thecreation 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 Theatre; closing 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 is 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.
Extent of Description 27.5 Linear Feet
Search Terms Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
Frankel Jewish Academy
Jewish Fund
Holocaust Museum
Miracle Mission
Alliance of Jewish Education
Partnership 2000
People Aronson, Robert
Fisher, Max
Simons, Leonard N.
Finding Aid Click here to view Finding Aid.