Rabbi Krantz, Retired
Rabbi Douglas E. Krantz is the Founding Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Yisrael in Armonk, New York.
Rabbi Douglas E. Krantz dedicated his career as a congregational rabbi to the development of a healthy and integrated Jewish identity discovered and nurtured within the context of the congregational community. Rabbi Krantz loved to teach; he worked with the bar and bat mitzvah students, taught the Ninth Grade and Confirmation classes, taught at Friday night Shabbat Services, and informal adult education courses. The rabbi sought formal and informal teaching opportunities as the most effective vehicle for the transmission and development of Jewish identity.
Rabbi Krantz rarely closed the door to his office; he encouraged people to come in and talk; he reached out within the congregation. He worked closely with the congregational committees to break down the artificial barriers which have for too long separated the religious school experience from the sanctuary and Shabbat services, and segregated services by age groupings, some for children, others for adults. Rabbi Krantz worked for a family approach to the development of Jewish identity; services should be family oriented and involved in a cross-generational exploration of our Jewish identity.
Rabbi Krantz reached out to the larger community, to African Americans and to Arab Americans, as an integral part of teaching Jewish values and how they are lived out in the context of our larger community. Rabbi Krantz identified himself with the causes of social justice and with the institutions that work for the promotion of civil rights and peace in both the United States and in Israel. Rabbi Krantz is active in social causes and was arrested while protesting in front of the South African Consulate in New York City to free Nelson Mandella and end Apartheid. Rabbi Krantz was arrested in Washington, DC in front of the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Washington, DC. In 1988 he traveled to the Soviet Union to meet with Jewish families in need of support from abroad.
Rabbi Douglas E. Krantz was born in Los Angeles, California on May 10, 1948. He was raised in Los Angeles where he attended the public schools and graduated from Hamilton High school in 1966. During his teenage years and while in college, Rabbi Krantz was active in the Boy Scouts of America. When he was fourteen years old Rabbi Krantz was elected by his peers to attend a national leadership training camp at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Rabbi Krantz was one merit badge shy of becoming an Eagle Scout, when an injury prevented him from completing his last merit badge.
Rabbi Krantz graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1970 with an A.B. degree in History. While at Berkeley, he participated in anti‑war marches and was witness to the senseless violence so much a part of that era.
In 1970 Rabbi Krantz entered rabbinic school and moved to Jerusalem, Israel, where he spent his first year of rabbinic study at the Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School.
In 1971 Rabbi Krantz returned to Los Angeles and continued his studies for the rabbinate at the Hebrew Union College campus. While in Los Angeles, Rabbi Krantz was the rabbinic intern at Leo Baeck Temple. In 1973 he received a Master of Arts Degree in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College. In 1974 Rabbi Krantz moved to Cincinnati, Ohio for his final year of study for the rabbinate. While in Cincinnati, Rabbi Krantz served as student rabbi, on a bi-weekly basis, for Temple Beth El in Anniston, Alabama. In June 1975 he was ordained a rabbi in Cincinnati.
Upon ordination, Rabbi Krantz moved to New York City and served as the Assistant Rabbi of Temple Israel of the City of New York until 1978.
In 1978 Rabbi Krantz enrolled in a doctoral program at New York University and spent a year studying Jewish literature while serving as rabbi, on a part‑time basis, of Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia, New Jersey.
From 1975-1979 Rabbi Krantz served on the Executive Board of Breira—A Project of Concern in Israel-Diaspora Relations, a group advocating Palestinian rights. While in New York City Rabbi Krantz was active as a member of the Professional Education Committee on the Commission of Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and was a member of the Levites (a Manhattan Clergy Fellowship).
In 1979 Rabbi Krantz moved to Armonk, New York to serve as rabbi of The Association of Armonk Jewish Families, which shortly thereafter changed its name to Congregation B’nai Yisrael.
In 1981 Rabbi Krantz was appointed by the President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis to the Joint Commission on Social Action of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
In 1987 Rabbi Krantz was appointed Vice Chair of the Centennial Endowment Fund of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. In 1988 Rabbi Krantz was appointed Chair of the Justice and Peace Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Vice Chair of the Social Action Commission of Reform Judaism, and to the Domestic Affairs Committee of the Synagogue Council of America. In June of 1993 the rabbi relinquished the Chair of the Justice and Peace Committee and the position of Vice Chair of the Social Action Commission. In 2002 Rabbi Krantz was appointed to the Task Force on Assisted Suicide of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
In 1990 Rabbi Krantz agreed to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Friends of Israeli Civil Rights and Peace, now called Meretz USA. In 1991 he was Secretary of the Board of Trustees and in 1992 was elected President and Chair of the Board.
In 1993 Rabbi Krantz received his state certification as an Emergency Medical Technician and joined the Armonk Independent Fire Department; he completed the New York State course in the essentials of firefighting. Rabbi Krantz rose to the rank of Captain of the EMS serving for almost twenty years as an EMT/Firefighter.
From 2005 to 2008 Rabbi Krantz has served as one of the Directors of the American Friends of Israeli Firefighters.
Rabbi Krantz was a part of the group of 14 that helped launched JStreet, and still serves on its Rabbinic Advisory Council.
Rabbi Krantz and his wife Joan participated in the 4th, 5th and 6th Forums for Interfaith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar. Rabbi Krantz presented papers at each of those conferences. In 2008 Rabbi Krantz was invited to participate on an ongoing basis in interfaith work at the Yale Divinity School.
In 2009, Rabbi Krantz was elected to the Board of Trustees of the New York Theological Seminary. Rabbi Krantz was appointed to the faculty as an instructor in Rabbinics, and also lectures regularly on Judaism for groups at the Seminary.
In 2005 Rabbi Krantz was appointed to the Ethics Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. In 2013 Rabbi Krantz agreed to a five year commitment to serve as Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
In 2013 following his retirement as Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Rabbi Krantz accepted a position on the Adjunct Faculty of University of Delaware teaching course in how to succeed in the university experience in a special program of the University of Delaware for students not ready to be fully matriculated.
Rabbi Krantz and his wife, Joan, live in Townsend, Delaware. They have three grown children. Jonathan, a professor at Gonzaga University, is married to Ann Roberts, a pediatrician. Jennifer and her husband Alex McNealey live in Mill Valley, California where they are both in business. Ben works for the State of Washington and is married to Kristine who is a Social Worker; they live in Spokane, Washington. Douglas and Joan are now retired and enjoying the experience of being grandparents.