Rabbi Meyer Kramer Dies at 96

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A one-time pillar of the Philadelphia Jewish community, Rabbi Meyer Kramer, 96, passed away June 24 in Brooklyn after battling dementia for nearly a decade.

A one-time pillar of the Philadelphia Jewish community, Rabbi Meyer Kramer, 96, passed away June 24 in Brooklyn after battling dementia for nearly a decade.
Rabbi at three now-defunct Philadelphia Orthodox synagogues — Adath Zion, Beth Tefilath and Bustleton-Somerton — from 1951 to 1975, Kramer was also a practicing lawyer who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school. Upon leaving the pulpit, he frequently wrote for various Jewish publications, including the Jewish Exponent.
President of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Philadelphia from 1966-68, he remained active in the organization until the early 1990s. He also served as a legal consultant for several organizations and taught legal writing at Penn Law.
In his later years, after moving to New York to be closer to his children, Kramer served as volunteer editor for The Orchard, the sermonic compendium published by the United Jewish Appeal. His son, Rabbi Doniel Kramer — representing the fourth generation of rabbis in the family — was national director of UJA at the time
Born in Russia to a rabbi who became a shochet in order to remain employed, Kramer’s family eventually moved to the United States, primarily living in the South and Midwest. After moving from Mobile, Ala., to Ohio to Wisconsin, they settled in Centerville, Iowa, where Kramer remained until moving to New York to attend Yeshiva University. He graduated in 1941.
Eventually, he took the bimah at Adath Zion in the Northeast, where he also began raising his family. Doniel Kramer recalls his father having an extensive book collection, most of which he obtained by submitting the winning bid to an auction following the death of a local rabbi. Many of those books, among them nearly 1,500 volumes of rabbinical works and academic titles, were donated to Touro College Libraries.
Doniel also told the story of his father visiting him at his own pulpit in Newburgh, N.Y., where he recognized an unusual Jewish name among his congregants. It turned out Meyer Kramer had known the congregant’s father from his time in Wisconsin.
In addition to his son, Rabbi Meyer Kramer is survived by daughters Rena, Tamar, and Shira, 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Following June 25 services in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was buried at Mount Sharon Cemetery in Springfield, Delaware County.
[email protected]; 215-832-0729.

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