Sarah Kroiz

Leader in Beth Tfiloh Congregation helped establish synagogue in Philadelphia

April 03, 2011|By a Baltimore Sun reporter

Sarah Kroiz, who decades ago helped establish a synagogue in Philadelphia before moving to Baltimore and becoming a leader in the Beth Tfiloh Congregation, died March 29 after a brief illness. She was 94.

Born in Audubon, N.J., she was the daughter of a coddie vendor who moved his family of seven daughters and one son to Philadelphia. That was where, in the 1930s, Sarah Metzker met her future husband, a Russian immigrant named Samuel Kroiz.

After they were married, Mr. and Mrs. Kroiz were leaders of a group that set out to raise funds for the construction of Temple Sholom in Oxford Circle, a predominantly Jewish-American neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia.

"They held services under a tent while the temple was being built," said Mrs. Kroiz's son, Stanley.

In the 1940s, Samuel Kroiz took a business opportunity in Baltimore, where for many years he owned and operated Baltimore Floor Supply Co., a wholesale business that distributed materials to builders and lumberyards. He and his wife became prominent citizens of Forest Park and active members of Beth Tfiloh Congregation; Mr. Kroiz served on the congregation's board of directors and Mrs. Kroiz served as president of the sisterhood. During her time as president, she led efforts to raise funds and establish the library for the congregation's day school.

Adept at making friends and retaining personal information of all kinds about the people in her vast circle, Mrs. Kroiz had a knack for making everyone she encountered feel special, said one of her grandchildren, Gabriel Kroiz.

"More than anyone I knew, my grandmother had the keen ability to pay attention to people and to take a real interest in them," he said.

Everyone, and not only her grandchildren, knew Mrs. Kroiz as "Bubby."

Mrs. Kroiz cared for her husband of 68 years until his death in 2002. In addition to her long affiliation with Beth Tfiloh, Mrs. Kroiz later in life became part of the congregations at B'nai Jacob Shaarei Zion and Beth Am Synagogue.

A memorial service was held Friday.

In addition to her granddaughter, she is survived by two sons, Stanley Kroiz and Louis Kroiz; five other grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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