Albert Aroeste

Passed away peacefully at the Jewish Home on July 19, 2020, the day after his 95th birthday. Born in Rochester to Joseph and Rose (Camhi) Aroeste, Albert will be remembered as a loving and generous person who was taught to respect his elders, care for his family, and contribute to the future of the Congregation Light of Israel. His parents emigrated to the U.S. from Monastir, (now Bitola, Macedonia), where their ancestors had found safe haven from the Spanish Inquisition centuries before. Incredibly his parents’ generation still spoke a Spanish dialect known as “Ladino” as their first language, although no one had been in Spain for 500 years. Perhaps the same attention and precision they gave to sustaining the Hebrew language in an exact way for prayer was given to their Spanish heritage. Albert heard that language from the time he was born and it was a reminder of where the family came from.

The cloud of the Great Depression hung over his childhood. He attended Franklin High School and was a proud U.S. Army veteran. After returning home from military service in the South Pacific he decided to work in retail. Various jobs led him to realize the goal of being his own boss. His businesses included sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, and aluminum siding. Together with his brother-in-law, Harry Lapides, they founded Kayak Pools. For Albert, this was the epitome of the American Dream. No matter how humble one’s beginnings you still had the freedom to work hard and to succeed. He was always grateful for the opportunities he was afforded.

Albert was a loving family man, who with his wife Julia, created a happy home for their three children. He always came to the aid of a family member or a friend in need and was appreciated and respected for his many kindnesses. Albert worked hard to sustain his beloved Light of Israel. His parents’ and grandparents’ generations had created the shul when they arrived in America. Albert always took personal responsibility for its maintenance and preservation. He was a pillar of the congregation.

Al and Julie enjoyed visiting their daughters in Los Angeles, and their son in Albany on many memorable occasions. They loved traveling to the Mediterranean and Israel and were avid bridge players. Their home became known as a welcoming place for Passover Seders every year.

In addition to his parents, Albert is predeceased by his sister Betty (Bronstein), and his nephew Howard Lapides. Albert is survived by his loving wife of 72 years, Julia, sister Elaine Sarna, son Joel Aroeste (Gail) of Albany, daughters Lorraine Jacobs (Marvin) and Marlene Mamane (Lyor) of Los Angeles, grandchildren Rachel Aroeste (Matthew Sweer), Adam Aroeste (Anna), Molly Jacobs, Daniel Mamane, Gabrielle Mamane, great-grandchildren Elisabeth Sweer, Alex Sweer, Asher Aroeste, nephew Jeffrey Lapides, nieces Renee Klaperman, Sharon Lapides, and many cousins.

Graveside Services were held privately on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 in the Light of Israel section of Britton Road Cemetery.

Donations in Albert’s memory may be made to Congregation Light of Israel, 1675 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 [LINK].