Sidney M. Aronovitz

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(1920-1997)

Sidney M. Aronovitz

Considered a man of great integrity, he served more than 20 years on the U.S. District Court (South Florida) after first being nominated in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. Among his decisions: ruling in the early days of legalized abortion that a woman did not need her husband’s consent to obtain one, cancellation of $4.6 million in fines against boat owners involved in Mariel boatlift, ruling that President Carter’s “open arms” speech welcoming Cuban refugees translated into government approval. He was active throughout his life on behalf of Dade County and the community he served, becoming the incorporator and/or serving as “first” president/chairman of multiple vital religious, educational and health organizations.

Born in Key West in 1920. Married Elinore Richman, and they had three children: Elaine Aronovitz Glasser, Karen Aronovitz Shonson, and Tod Aronovitz. Survived by wife and three children. Son, Tod, is 2002-03 president of The Florida Bar.

College Education / Achievements

  • Graduated, 1942, with B.A.; J.D. with honors, 1943, University of Florida
  • Member Blue Key, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappi Phi, Phi Eta Sigma

Legal Experience

  • Practiced law in Miami, 1946-76
  • U.S. District Court Judge with distinction, Southern District of Florida, 1976-97
  • Periodically sat by designation on U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • Member U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, 1988-92, by appointment of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice

Non-Legal Achievements

  • U.S. Army Captain,1943-46, with multiple WWII field decorations (including Bronze Star)
  • President, Hillel Advisory Council and Miami Hillel Foundation, University of Miami, 1950-54
  • President, member Dade County Zoning Board of Adjustments, 1950-56
  • Miami City Commissioner, 1962-66; Vice-Mayor 1965
  • National Council of Christians and Jews Gold Medallion Award
  • Greater Miami Urban League Award for Distinguished Service on Behalf of Equal Opportunity
  • Award for dedication/service to Dade County as Chairman, Member Little HUD Advisory Board
  • Winner Miami Herald Spirit of Excellence Award

Associations / Organizations / Honors

  • First Chairman, Dade County Community Relations Board
  • Founder / Incorporator, Cedars of Lebanon Hospital
  • Founder / Board Member, Miami Jewish Hospital and Home for the Aged
  • Judge Sidney M. Aronovitz Memorial Scholarship established in his honor, and administered by Dade Community Foundation to award Miami- Dade County minority students
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