For at least one Monmouth County family, involvement in the Jewish community is an intergenerational affair.
Bobbi Krantz of Manasquan, along with her son and daughter-in-law Andy and Laura Krantz of Wayside, have maintained a steady involvement in the community since the time Bobbi moved to the area from Lakewood 12 years ago.
A member of the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County and a past president of its Women’s Philanthropy, Bobbi Krantz first became involved in the Jewish community while living in Lakewood over 25 years ago. She was active raising funds for the Jewish Federation of Ocean County and served as chair of that federation’s Omnibus major event. When she moved to Manasquan, a friend living in the area, former federation president Wendy Marks, spurred her interest in Monmouth County Jewish life, and Krantz began doing work for both federations, eventually directing all her efforts toward Monmouth.
“The only ones helping the Jews are the Jews,” she said. “The future of our religion depends a great deal upon our efforts.”
“I think that the main reason for me, in a nutshell, is continuity,” Krantz said. She was inspired, she said, by the words of a guest speaker at a major fund-raising event, who said people do not make donations “to federation, but through federation” — in other words, that the federation’s impact is “far-reaching” and that “the efforts that I expend will return tenfold,” she said.
“Whatever they ask me to do I’m more than willing,” said Krantz, who is also active in synagogue life. A past treasurer and sisterhood president of Temple Beth Am in Lakewood, now Temple Beth Am/Shalom, she remains an associate member there. She and her children belong to Temple Beth Miriam in Elberon.
Krantz is also immersed in the world of arts. The director of the Fine Arts Center at Ocean County College in Toms River, she serves as a board member and past chair of the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, and coordinator of the Ocean County Teen Arts Festival. Her husband, Bob, is a retired dentist and is involved in civic affairs.
Andy Krantz has carried on the family tradition of involvement in the Jewish community. It was “part of my upbringing,” he said. “We’re fortunate and one of the most important things for me is to continue to set an example for my own children.”
Andy has been involved with the federation’s Super Sunday for some 10 years and serves as cochair of the major fund-raising event. He is also a federation executive board member and is as an adviser at Beth Miriam, along with his wife, to children seeking mitzva projects for their b’nei mitzva.
Laura Krantz, for her part, said she and her husband first moved to Monmouth County without knowing “anybody,” and hoped to meet “like-minded Jewish people” through federation. They attended a Hanukka party, where they met “some of our best friends,” she said. “We all became very involved in the Jewish community.”
Laura went on to chair the Women’s Division Business and Professional sector and joined the federation’s board. And then came the next stage in her involvement.
Taking part in the organization’s activities, she said, “you start seeing all the areas that federation helps.” Impressed in particular by the work of Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Monmouth County, she decided to throw her efforts into that organization. She is now president-elect of the organization. She also serves on the executive board of the PTO of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Monmouth County in Marlboro, which her son attends. On one of his scheduled days off from school for Sukkot, in fact, she was planning to take him to volunteer at a JF&CS food pantry.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of being a professional in the federation field is learning from the volunteer leadership,” said federation executive director Howard Gases. “I have learned a great deal from the Krantz family. They are truly role models for me and my family. They lead by example and can always be called upon to lend their support.”
Bobbi and Bob have two other grown children, daughter Ricki Horowitz, who lives in Brick, and son Brian, who lives in New York City; they have six grandchildren.