Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre-1925 Aaron-Abels


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AARON, Joseph I.

Reserved and unaffected, Joseph I. Aaron possesses beyond the veil of outward calm and ease the strength of character and the breadth of vision that placed him long ago in the front ranks of Brooklyn builders. Generous, sympathetic and genial, he is also firm, dynamic and persevering. And it is the blending of these qualities that made him the outstanding figure among the builders, a fact which was acknowledged by his being elected for six consecutive years President of the Associated Builders of Kings County, of which body he is now honorary President.

Aaron was born January 15, 1876, in Russia. He came to the United States at the age of sixteen, and immediately settled in Brooklyn. When he was but a boy of fourteen circumstances compelled him to mix work with schooling. He attended a public school in Russia, and then continued his education in this land, until, at 16, he definitely set out on the thorny path of life. After a brief business career of a general nature, he entered the realty field in which he gradually rose tot he eminent position he now occupies.

As a veteran builder, Aaron has engaged in a variety of construction in the various parts of the boro. Only in the course of the last two years he built 151 family dwellings in Bay Ridge, in addition to which he has constructed a number of large public garages, several business buildings and three spacious apartment houses, on Parkside Avenue and Parade Place, Flatbush. One chain of garages to his credit extends fully 900 feet, on Empire Boulevard and Franklin Avenue.

Always an enthusiast about the possibilities for growth of Brooklyn, he believes that a great future is still facing the boro, particularly with the development of the business section. His extensive and busy career, extending over thirty years, indicates, he asserts, that Brooklyn conceals riches still untapped.

Aaron is member of the Federation of Jewish Charities, Vice-Pres. of Real Estate Club, member Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Pres. of Temple Petach Tikvah, member the Jewish Center, and Madison Club. He is a Mason and Shriner.

His diversions consist in travel, music and automobile. He is married and lives in Flatbush.

ABELS, Simon

Simon Abels, of 44 Court Street, is the man who recently caused a sensation, which was reported by the press, when he paid of his own volition some outstanding debts which were incurred by a corporation, of which he was head, some years ago. In the first place the lapse of time was such that these might have remained unpaid according to law; in the second place, he personally was not responsible for them, but the corporation.

But in the face of all this immunity, Abels kept his promise which he gave to his creditors years ago that "some day" he will pay in full the debts of the corporation. And he did. At that time Abels was in the manufacturing line, and met with reverses as a result of uncontrollable conditions.

The whole incident sheds, of course, much light on Abels' character, his unimpeachable integrity and his sense of gratitude for the trust that others placed in him. His was a singular act, and it places him in the niche where only those with sterling honesty abide.

Abels entered the realty field over ten years ago. That is, at that time he entered the field wholeheartedly, but even before that time he maintained an interest in the realty growth of this boro. He has been a builder and operator, who, utilizing some of his previous experience in other lines, met with a considerable degree of success.

Abels' judgment in realty matters is regarded highly by all those who know well the realty market and its trends. And his impeccably fair methods of dealing with all those with whom he comes in contact is too well known to need repeating. People flock to him in the full knowledge that what he says comes from his sincere belief, not from pretense. And They justly repose in him the fullest confidence possible.

Abels came to America as a poor boy in 1887, from Russia where he was born in 1866. In Russia he received an elementary education which he supplemented in this country. Early in his life he had to start making a living for himself.

Abels is a member of the Federation of Jewish Charities, Chamber of Commerce, and a number of local and national philanthropic institutions. Nothing worth while in charity escapes his ear.

His recreations consist in music, the theatre and walking. He lives with his family at 472 85th Street.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Aaron-Abels
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Building up Greater Brooklyn: with sketches of men instrumental in Brooklyn's amazing development, Brooklyn, N.Y. by Leon Wexelstein; Brooklyn Biographical Society 1925.
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