Celia Negin Arons, 103, an almost lifelong Newark resident, died May 15, 2014. Born in Manhattan, she moved to Newark in 1911.
Mrs. Arons had been a teacher in Union.
A talented pianist and top student, Mrs. Arons graduated at age 16 from Newark’s South Side High School and received her teaching certificate from Newark Normal School at age 18.
She began her participation in community affairs as president of the Peshine Avenue School PTA. At this same time, she also became active in the Osborne chapter of Hadassah, rising to the chapter presidency and subsequently being elected Hadassah regional president. She remained active in the combined Maplewood/Newark chapter through her 102nd year. She also was very active in the Women’s Division of United Jewish Federation of MetroWest, serving as secretary and chairing the division’s speakers’ bureau.
She was appointed to the Newark School Board in the 1960s, where she helped found the Newark School for the Arts. As an active member of the Newark chapter of the American Association for the United Nations, she organized the annual UN Day celebration, which featured former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt as a speaker one year. She and her husband also worked to maintain the last synagogue in Newark, Ahavas Sholom, where she continued to prepare the kiddush through her 90s.
Predeceased by her husband, Benjamin, she is survived by two daughters, Harriet (Robert) Baker and Susan Sullivan; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held May 19 with arrangements by J.L. Apter Memorial Chapels of Cedar Grove. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ahavas Shalom, Maplewood-Newark Hadassah, or Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest.