Let his memory be a blessing

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With profoundly heavy hearts, the Sephardic Temple of Cedarhurst, NY, mourns the death of its founding rabbi, Rabbi Arnold Bernard Marans, who died on his 92nd birthday, Sunday, July 12th, 2020. Arnold Marans married his devoted wife Zipporah (neé Mann) on September 16, 1951. Together they lovingly raised their five children - and cherished their spouses: Israel & Goldie Marans; Dr. Hillel Marans & Shirley Kaplan; Dr. Zvi Marans & Anita Kampler; Rabbi Noam Marans & Rabbi Amy Roth; and Aliza & Alan Miller. Rabbi Marans was a grandfather of 25, a great-grandfather of 26, and brother to Bernice Weiss and the late Shirley Kaplan.

Arnold B. Marans was born on July 12, 1928 in Brooklyn, NY to Harry and Rose Marans. He received his undergraduate degree in Social Science from CCNY in 1949; an MA in Hebrew Literature and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTSA) in 1953; and a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from JTSA in 1980.

In 1954 Rabbi Marans was chosen to head The United Sephardim of Brooklyn, a community of young Sephardic Jews whose membership came primarily from various congregations in New Lots and East New York founded by Sephardim from Turkey, Greece and Rhodes. In 1961 he was chosen to lead an initiative to build a new synagogue in the 'Five Towns' of Long Island, NY. In 1964, it was completed and the new Sephardic Temple of Cedarhurst - Congregation Emeth veShalom - became a beacon for Sephardic Jews from the greater Metropolitan New York area. Due to Rabbi Marans' charismatic leadership and outreach to the wider community many Ashkenazi Jews also became a loyal part of the congregation.

During his early rabbinic tenure, he was appointed Chaplain of the Raymond Street Jail and was Jewish Chaplain at both Brooklyn Hospital and Caledonian Hospital. Rabbi Marans also served as Grand Chaplain Emeritus of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of NY and was a Past President of the American Friends of Misgab Ladach Hospital in Jerusalem.

For more than 25 years Rabbi Marans served as Comptroller of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA). He also represented the RA at, and served as an officer of, the Joint Retirement Board for Conservative Judaism - the agency that maintains the pension programs of clergy, educators and executive directors - since 1993, including a term as Chairman of the Board, and most recently chaired its Investment Review Committee.

Rabbi and Zipporah Marans were an indefatigable team whose support for Jerusalem's Frisch Beit Hayeled surrogate family residence of AMIT earned them numerous awards and accolades. Together they connected hundreds of American Jews with this organization that enables Israel's youth to realize their potential and strengthens Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse backgrounds within a framework of academic excellence, Jewish values, and Zionist ideals. Rabbi and Mrs. Marans' consummate leadership ensured that the Sephardic Temple chapter of AMIT would be famed as the only synagogue AMIT chapter in the United States.

An active leader, former chaplain, and trustee of the Sephardic Home for the Aged, Rabbi Marans' role in the development of the Home and its many activities is well known and gratefully acknowledged by generations of Jews whose family members were residents at the Home. When the Sephardic Home was sold in 2016, he was instrumental in the creation of the Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation whose philanthropic mission is to plant firmly the legacy of the Home in organizations throughout the world that care for the elderly Jewish community. 

Rabbi Arnold B. Marans was a warm and gregarious human being whose devotion to his congregation and many organizations in the broader Sephardic and Jewish community was genuine and whole-hearted. His sense of humor and affection won over adult and child alike. He was an active leader whose philanthropic efforts and leadership ensured that the great ideals and values of our faith continue to guide and enhance the lives of so many Jews throughout the world.

Funeral services were livestreamed at https://sightandsound.film/RabbiArnoldBMaransFuneral from the Sephardic Temple on July 12, 2020. Burial took take place in Israel on the Mount of Olives.


The Sephardic Temple mourns Rabbi Marans' passing and prays that the legacy of his leadership, loyalty and passion be an everlasting source of blessing and inspiration for his family and the community.