In January Reuben Aaron OBE passed away peacefully in the Montefiore Home, after a long battle with dementia, but these last years are not what define him.

Reuben was long associated with COA, as his brother Aaron Aaron  was one of COA’s first presidents, and in 2001 Reuben joined our management team, being voted in as COA Vice President He immediately took on the huge job of chairman of the building committee. In this role he was responsible for obtaining Council approval to build the COA’s long awaited Krygier Centre, sidestepping problems with heritage listings on the COA buildings, and returning with designs which would satisfy both Council and our needs. He oversaw the entire process of rebuilding which was completed in 2003.


His workload at COA was extensive, but with his compassionate generous nature he always made himself available to provide hands-on assistance whenever required. He volunteered to assist with transport of members to outlaying areas such as Hornsby and Leichhardt, he delivered Kosher Meals  on Wheels, and helped members complete documentation. He also attended many funerals for our members, providing comfort and support to the bereaved.

Reuben had a longstanding passion for helping those in need. Whilst General Manager of Stockland Trust, Reuben was responsible for collecting hundreds of toys each year for the Smith Family. He also collected thousands of dollars for the Children’s Hospital, World Vision and UNICEF.

He was also an influential member in the Sephardi community, helping to secure land and raise funds to build the Sephardi Synagogue. He continued as a trustee of the Sephardi Synagogue for many years. 

Reuben was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his contributions to community services and in particular for his significant contribution to the Sephardi Community.  Reuben was a member of the Jewish Board of Deputies and a member of the Extended Executive Committee of the UIA, and was one of the Governors for the United Israel Refugee Fund. 

With all his great works, to the staff who remember him, Reuben will always be the man who jokingly teased us until we laughed, who was not afraid of hard work (such as planting the original gardens at 23 and 25 Rowe St), who set himself goals and did not stop till he achieved them.

In short, Reuben was a true Mensch, a personable man, a passionate advocate for projects which could benefit the whole community, and blessed with great compassion for the individuals who made up that community. May His Memory be a blessing.