Daniel Kram, a lifelong resident of West Orange who was active in the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and its partner agencies, died June 8.
An active member of the Jewish community for 60 years, he had leadership roles in United Jewish Appeal of Greater MetroWest, to which he was a major donor, and was a member of the Lester Society of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ. He was involved in the establishment of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation, serving as president from 1987 through 1989.
Kram was vice president emeritus of Daughters of Israel in West Orange, where he ran a weekly music appreciation program. He was a former chair of the federation’s Community Relations Committee.
“Dan Kram was a personal friend and a friend of the entire community,” said Arthur Schechner, past president of DOI and JCHC. “He provided a rare combination of intelligence and gentle persuasion. As president of JCHC, he helped the organization in the formative years to reach the current success that it is today. Dan was one of those few people that could truly be called, in every sense of the word, a mensch. We will miss him.”
Daniel Kram was born on his father’s poultry farm in West Orange’s Pleasantdale section. He graduated from Cornell University, where he was a drummer in its marching band. He served in Europe during World War II and was a member of the 88th Army Ground Forces Band.
Kram became a real estate broker and developer in 1948.
His philanthropy extended to environmental and cultural organizations, including the National Parks, the Nature Conservancy, and Carnegie Hall.
He received the Community Service Award from the American Jewish Congress in 1985 and the Facility Trustee of the Year Award from the NJ Association for Non-Profit Associations in 2006.
“Dan Kram was a tireless worker and leader,” recalled Max Kleinman, the former executive vice president/CEO of the Greater MetroWest federation. At agencies such as DOI and JCHC, “he not only led, but rolled up his sleeves and made sure the job was well done. I know this from my personal experience helping to raise capital funds for Daughters under Dan’s leadership.
“Dan was also a lifelong supporter and worker for UJA. He will be greatly missed.”
Predeceased by a daughter, Judy, he is survived by his wife, Joan; his son, Steven (Peggy Pitchford); three daughters, Deborah Rosenblatt, Barbara (Richard) Feldman, and Diana (Laurence) Smith; and seven grandchildren.
Services were held June 10 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to Daughters of Israel or Community Food Bank of NJ.