NEW YORK (JTA) — Frank Macchiarola, 71, a former New York City schools chancellor who also headed Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, has died.
Macchiarola was buried Dec. 21 following his death on Dec. 18.
Though Macchiarola was not Jewish — he was a devout Catholic — he had extensive ties to the Jewish community. When he was a kid, his father, a sanitation worker, moved the family to Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn so his children, like the Jews, would grow up to appreciate learning, according to The New York Times.
Macchiarola was one of New York’s youngest-ever schools chancellors, accepting the appointment from Mayor Ed Koch in 1978, when Macchiarola was just 37. Macchiarola was a staunch advocate for racial integration in the schools and he ended the city’s practice of social promotion. He also replaced roughly half the city’s high school principals for poor performance, according to the N.Y. Daily News.
He served as dean of Cardozo during the 1990s before becoming president of St. Francis College, his alma mater, in 1999.