From 1950 to 1961 Bruno and Claire Aron owned what is now Ventfort Hall and ran it as a hotel for culture oriented travelers of all races and religions. Festival House was a precursor of many attitudes and activities important to Lenox today.
Claire and Bruno Aron
Claire and Bruno were first generation Americans in a family of Eastern European Jewish heritage.
They both loved culture and were very concerned with social justice. Bruno left his job at the Pittsfield Jewish Community Center in 1949 and started looking for other opportunities in the Berkshires. Bruno and his family loved the beauty of the Berkshires and wanted to increase opportunities for others to visit. While working at the Pittsfield Jewish Community Center, Bruno was often contacted by Jews traveling to Tanglewood about where they could stay when attending concerts, so he was aware of the discriminatory practices of some lodgers at the time and wanted to create a place that would welcome all visitors. Demonstrating foresight on what was to come, he and Claire also envisioned leveraging the attractions of Tanglewood to make the Berkshires a cultural destination.