Cruising through the Davidson Digital Archives, I ran across a photo on the front page of the Aug. 25, 1989, issue of the JN. My first thought was who is that guy with tall hair and the big black mustache? Definitely looks like a young 1980s-type guy. He was an immigrant — the article said he was coming to Detroit from Milwaukee. The face did look familiar … wait a second. Oh, my gosh! It is a photo of Robert “Bob” Aronson.

If you have been around Detroit for the last 30 years, or attended events in the Jewish Community, or read the JN over the years, you likely know of, or as likely, have met Bob Aronson. He is one of those people who might be considered to have a household name in these parts.

The headline for the page read: “Milwaukee’s Robert Aronson To Direct Detroit Federation.” After four years as executive vice president and two years as executive director of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and a few years in New York as a community consultant for the Council of Jewish Federations, Aronson was moving to Detroit. “I’m excited,” he stated, “Detroit is just one of those places known for Jewish communal work. So many national leaders have come from Detroit.”

And, the rest is history. Aronson spent the next 20 years as executive vice president at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. An article in the June 18, 2009, issue of the JN, upon his “retirement,” cited a few of his accomplishments: the move of Federation offices from Downtown Detroit to Bloomfield Township, the creation of Detroit’s partnership region in Israel, the Millennium Campaign for Detroit’s Jewish Future, and the development of foundations for Jewish education and the Jewish elderly.

Well, Bob is one of the good guys, a dedicated member of Jewish Detroit. We were very lucky when the 38-year-old Robert Aronson decided to make the city his home. And you will still see him at many events and meetings around town and in his work as Federation senior development adviser.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at