Rabbi Kraines was raised in West Hollywood, California. In 1972 he was accepted as a Telluride Scholar at Cornell University, majoring in Creative Writing.
In 1973 he became one of the original students of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem. After his marriage to Nechama in 1976 he went on to study in its Kollel as well as the Mirrer Kollel and received his Smicha ordination. In 1981 he became a magid shiur in Yeshivas Ohr Yaakov, in Zichron Yaakov. During that period the Kraines' spent three months in Sydney Australia as School Rabbi of Moriah College High School.
In 1983 Rabbi and Nechama returned to the United States to become one of the founding directors of Jewish Learning Exchange (J.L.E.), Ohr Somayach's outreach branch in North America and also served as a magid shiur in Ohr Somayach Monsey.
Charleston, South Carolina was the next stop on the Kraines trail in 1985 where Rabbi served as Assistant Rabbi and Youth Director and taught in the local Jewish Day School. This first step as a school teacher led to their next position as Principal of Yeshivat Emuna south of the border in Mexico City in 1989.
In 1992 the Kraines family took their present position as Rav of Ohr Somayach Sandton. Over the years he as also served as Mashgiach of Ohr Somayach Kollel and the founding director of the Maayan Bina Women's Seminary. In 2001 he was appointed Principal of Shaarei Torah School and pursued a Master's in Education which was awarded cum laude from the University of South Africa in 2007.
Rabbi Kraines also serves on the Executive Committee of the South African Rabbinical Association.
Rebbitzen Nechama Kraines
Rebbitzen Nechama Kraines comes from deep in the heart of Texas, from a family known far and wide for their hospitality and Torah idealism. Her parents were instrumental in bringing the first Jewish day school to Houston in the early '60's.
As part of her own search for a deeper Jewish education, Nechama went off to Bais Yaakov High School in far off Denver Colorado in 1971, where she dormed with local families. In 1975 she attended the Midrasha Seminary in Yerushalayim, where she was accredited as a teacher from the Israeli Ministry of Education.
In 1976, she met and was married to Rabbi Ze'ev and since then has been a full partner in all of their outreach endeavours while raising her special family.
But to our community she is warmly known simply as "Nechama". As a treasured teacher and mentor and a warm and caring friend, she continues to inspire all around her to aspire to Chessed and Yiddishkeit.
Nechama also organizes the youth and children's services and activities of Ohr Somayach Sandton and visits our Nursery School every Friday to give her "Story Hour".