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Charter Member, Esther Aheroni Passes

EstherAheroni2June 11, 1921 - December 29, 2011

Esther Aheroni, Charter Member of TBS, was a one-of-a-kind colorful personality, who brought a lot of joy to Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf. She passed away a couple of days after suffering a stroke at the age of 90 in Gresham Oregon at the Chestnut Lane assisted living facility for the deaf. One of the first memories that comes to the mind of every TBS member who knew her, is her loving signed rendition of the Happy Birthday song performed with shaking hips for anyone who was having a birthday; she was quite an actress, and truly celebrated life!

Born in Odessa Russia, her parents Abraham & Chava Wosk, emigrated to British Columbia, Canada. A little bit of matchmaking at a Bridge game between Chava and a friend, created a marriage that lasted for 63 years. Chava showed Esther a photo of her friend's nephew–an athletic, blonde, curly-haired boy named Hyman Aheroni, who lived in the San Fernando Valley of southern California and Esther fell in love. She traveled to San Fernando to meet this shy fellow, who stayed at the far end of the living room on their first meeting. They dated for a couple of months and then traveled back to British Columbia for their wedding on July 7, 1940. Two years later they had a daughter, Nancy and then a son, Elliott. Esther was dedicated to Hymie, making sure his every need was taken care of–a true love story–until his passing in 2004, which broke her heart.

Esther's greatest contribution to TBS was the idea in 1970, to form a weekly social group. It was initially called Social for the Lonely Days, a Wednesday morning deaf event with card games, food and lots of socializing. As the group aged, it became known in the greater Los Angeles area as the TBS Senior's Social and the doors have never shut since that first day forty-two years ago. To keep the atmosphere lively, every Wednesday, she and Hymie would make a grand entrance dressed in brilliantly colored outfits. Whatever the theme Esther chose for that day, Hymie's shirt and socks and maybe a tie, would match Esther's bejeweled selection. She always made sure to bring fun & food to "her" social.

Esther was very active in the TBS Sisterhood receiving their Woman of the Year award twice, once in 1973 and again in 1985 for her contributions. She was also awarded the TBS Hersh Woman of the Year award in 1985. Her exquisite needlework was also a big part of her life and in 1988 she made a beautiful blue velvet Torah cover with embroidered hands showing the sign for life. We will always think of Esther now when we read Torah.  

EstherAheroniShe was known far and wide for her generosity, especially with her cooking; anyone connected with TBS in any way has experienced the kugels and soups and lavish dinners from Esther's kitchen in abundance!

Esther is survived by her son, Elliott; daughter, Nancy Golowen and grandchildren: Stacey, Joanna and Eric. Her memorial service will be on Feb. 1st, 12:00pm at Temple Ahavat Shalom in Northridge, officiated by Rabbi Deborah Goldmann. May her memory be for a sweet blessing.

Source: The Congregation News, Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf

Photo: Esther in 1975 with the TBS Choir


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