fbpx

The Aronzons Named Chairpersons for the 2023 Annual Campaign

//The Aronzons Named Chairpersons for the 2023 Annual Campaign

The Aronzons Named Chairpersons for the 2023 Annual Campaign

Cantor Vladimir Aronzon and his wife, Mila, have been named as chairpersons for the 2023 Annual Campaign. Having served as chairpersons for last year’s Annual Campaign, the Federation is thrilled that they happily agreed to provide their stewardship again for this crucial fundraising endeavor.

The Aronzons became part of the Northeast Pennsylvania community in 1999. They graciously share the story of their lives before Scranton and how the Jewish Federation (and Jewish Family Service) has been an integral part of it.

Vladimir was born in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in the former Soviet Union. A passion for singing and music was evident and at age 15 he was hired by the Samarkand Opera theater as a choir singer. During his time at Tashkent Musical Conservatory he received two master’s degrees while simultaneously working in the choir at the Opera Theater of Tashkent. 

Ludmila Flexer-Aronzon hails from Moscow, Russia, in the former Soviet Union.  During her high school senior year, a class trip to Taskent changed the course of her life. Having lost her wallet while attending the Opera Theater of Tashkent, she stayed after the performance to try to find it.  As she and her classmates left the theater, so did Vladimir. Needing directions, her future husband struck up a conversation as he led them to the subway. Discovering that they are both Jewish and also had many other commonalities, they exchanged contact information. And, the rest is history!  

Vladimir and Mila married one year later. After living in Tashkent they moved to Moscow where Vladimir was hired as a soloist in the Jewish Choral Synagogue, the first Jewish Choir established after the fall of the Soviet Union. When the Jewish Choral Synagogue opened a cantorial school, Vladimir was one of its first students.  After completing his studies there, Vladimir served as the cantor of the Moscow Choral Synagogue.

Mila completed midwifery school and set her sights on becoming a medical doctor. She began her medical studies while working as a midwife at a labor and delivery hospital in Moscow. 

In 1992 Vladimir’s brother, Edward, left Moscow and relocated to Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1999 Vladimir and Mila made a very scary and difficult decision – to leave post-Soviet Union, Russia, and move to the United States with their two small children, Leo and Sasha.  By that time, we had two children-Leo and Sasha. Leaving a familiar language and environment and moving to a foreign country is not for the faint of heart, even if life in post-Soviet Union Russia was challenging. 

Expecting to stay at Vladimir’s brother’s apartment when they arrived in Scranton, the Aronzons were shocked, surprised, and delighted to learn upon their arrival that the Jewish Federation of NEPA had secured for them a furnished, three-bedroom apartment with a fully stocked refrigerator! It is a day that the Aronzons will never forget and are eternally grateful for the help from the Federation. A year later Mila’s parents joined the family with the assistance and support of Federation and the larger NEPA Jewish community. One month after arriving in Scranton, Vladimir accepted a cantorial position at Temple Israel in Scranton. Five years after arriving in Scranton, Elizabeth, their only American-born child arrived

The Aronzons reflect on how fortunate they are to have been so warmly welcomed into the Scranton and greater NEPA community and felt an immediate sense of belonging. “We are thankful to have experienced acceptance and inclusion even though we came from a different world, had a different mentality, didn’t speak English very well, and had nothing to offer in exchange except for thank yous and smiles, ” recalls Mila.

Grateful for all of the individuals, families, organizations, and agencies that helped them acclimate to NEPA, the Aronzons are committed to giving back. Along with passionate volunteers, Vladimir and Mila are committed to giving back to strengthen Jewish life and assist Jews in need in Scranton, Israel, and around the world. 

 

 

By | 2022-08-12T22:30:06+00:00 August 12th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author: