bkramer.jpgWilliam Mordecai Kramer, a theologian and scholar who was featured in the documentary “Beyond the Pulpit: Facets of a Rabbi,” died on June 8 of complications of diabetes and congestive heart failure. He was 84.
The Cleveland native was ordained in 1944. A lover of knowledge, he earned seven university degrees, including two doctorates from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
During his 63 years in the rabbinate, Kramer serviced temples in Pittsfield, Mass., Cleveland, St. Louis and Los Angeles, then dedicated more than three decades to the Temple Beth Emet in Burbank, Calif. Although the Reform Jewish leader did bar mitzvahs and funerals, his specialty was weddings; it was reported that he lost count after officiating at his 10,000th one.
Kramer was a licensed family therapist, the editor of the Western States Jewish History magazine and a lecturer at Hebrew Union College, the University of Judaism, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Los Angeles City College and California State, Northridge. He occasionally worked as an actor, playing rabbi roles in TV episodes of “Sisters” and “L.A. Law,” and in the 1988 film “The Seventh Sign.”
In his “spare” time, the renaissance rabbi wrote for a variety of journals and hosted numerous radio and TV programs. His final project was a book on Albert Einstein’s life in Southern California during the early 1930s.