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An Extended Branch From a Family of Philanthropists

June 30, 2005 By:
Zara Myers, JE Feature
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Ronald A. Krancer
In acknowledging Green Valley Country Club's presentation of its 2005 Community Achievement Award to him last week, Ronald Krancer responded in the straightforward manner he is known for among family, friends and colleagues: "I'm proud to be involved in charities, and I do it with an open heart and good will."

In the presentation to Krancer for his "dedication to supporting humanitarian efforts" - given during the club's Federation Allied Jewish Appeal Country Club Day - it was noted that he annually donates generously to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's annual campaign, which impacts the needs in the local community, in Israel and overseas.

Krancer also supports many other causes and charities.

"Ron accomplishes this with little if any fanfare," said Barry Brett, president of Green Valley "and in many cases gives anonymously."

Krancer replied with a clear-cut philosophy of contributing: "I give to what I care about - hospitals, medical causes, research, children and Jewish causes. This is my way of thinking."

A Catalyst for Support
The philanthropist was born and raised in Chicago, where he was one of two Jewish students attending a prep school there in the 1930s. He recalled a great deal of anti-Semitism exhibited in his young life, including not being able to walk in certain neighborhoods alone.

He and his family lived in one of the approximately 100 luxury apartment buildings that line the city's Lake Shore Drive, though it was one of only three that did not restrict Jews at the time.

Krancer admits that the anti-Semitism he was exposed to as a child served as a catalyst for him to support Jewish causes.

But there is another key element in Krancer's philanthropy - the influence of his uncle, the late Walter Annenberg.

"I had the best tutor," he said of the publisher and business magnate known for his expansive philanthropy. "My uncle was like a father, and his advice was invaluable. His credo was citizenship. He and my Aunt Lee were the best role models ever."

Krancer served as regional advertising director for TV Guide, one of the publications of his uncle's publishing empire. He later joined the investment firm of Advest, and became a member of its board.

In the local Jewish community, he serves on the board of Albert Einstein Healthcare Network/MossRehab. He is also a member of the Einstein Society, which honored him and his late wife, Anne, at the group's annual dinner in 1998. In addition, he sits on the board of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia, and is a member of Temple Brith Achim in King of Prussia.

In the larger community, he is a board member of the Crones & Colitis Foundation and the Police Athletic League.

And he is a major supporter of PAL scholarships, which will send 200 kids who have been participants to college.

"I just love kids!" he said. "And I see what PAL does for them. Today, the organization - which my uncle helped found - offers everything from sports to chess."

Krancer has two children - the Hon. Michael Krancer and Wendy Twing - and four grandchildren. He recently married the former Evelyn Rossman.

Twenty years ago, he chose to winter in Boca Raton, Fla., and also extended his generosity to that area. "I really thought there were no poor Jews in Boca," he said, but found out differently when he volunteered to deliver food packages to Jews in need.

Though his Florida friends encourage him to move there permanently, Krancer said: "I would never move. My children and grandchildren are here. Philadelphia is my hometown."

 

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