Friday, February 08, 2008

Frum Principal Kicks Some Butt in the Bronx

Junior High School 22, in the South Bronx, had run through six principals in just over two years when Shimon Waronker was named the seventh.

On his first visit, in October 2004, he found a police officer arresting a student and calling for backup to handle the swelling crowd. Students roamed the hallways with abandon; in one class of 30, only 5 students had bothered to show up. “It was chaos,” Mr. Waronker recalled. “I was like, this can’t be real.”

Teachers, parents and students at the school, which is mostly Hispanic and black, were equally taken aback by the sight of their new leader: A member of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism with a beard, a black hat and a velvet yarmulke.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. It goes to show what a person ( any person ) can attain if he really believes in himself. To do what he did is quite an accomplishment....Avi

February 08, 2008 1:53 PM  
Blogger -suitepotato- said...

I told my mother-in-law about this and she shrugged, and she's Jewish AND from the Bronx. I think she's been away from there too long to understand how bad it has become there and the magnitude of the change this principal has made.

February 11, 2008 11:29 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I think the Bronx used to be the Jewish "land of milk and honey" until the 60's. Then it went into sharp decline.

Read "The Bonfire of the Vanities" for a pretty compelling picture of the Bronx in the early 80's.

February 11, 2008 12:27 PM  

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