NYC Education Equity Leader Norm Fruchter Dies at 85!

Norm Fruchter Dies: Norman Fruchter was an American author, filmmaker, and professor born on August 11, 1937, and died on January 4, 2023. In 1959, he got his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, where he was the editor of the literary magazine Anthologist.

At the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Fruchter was arrested along with CORE, James Farmer, Bayard Rustin, Rev. Donald Harrington, and Michael Harrington. From 1960 to 1962, he was the editor of the New Left Review assistant. He was an editor for Studies on the Left (1959–1967).

NYC Education Equity Leader Norm Fruchter Dies at 85!

Norm Fruchter was a well-known member of the educational justice movements in New York City and Newark. A family spokesman said he died on Wednesday after being hit by a car in late December.

Norm Fruchter Dies
Norm Fruchter Dies

A car hit Fruchter as he crossed the street near his home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on December 22. A family friend, Michele Cahill, said he died of his injuries at the NYU Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn on January 4. He had lived 85 years.

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Fruchter has been at the front of some of the most critical social and educational struggles of the last 50 years in the Five Counties and his home state of New Jersey. He has been an activist, community organizer, school leader, novelist, and academic.

He was involved in the civil rights movement and fought for parents to have absolute control over how schools were run. He also led the progressive movement for small public schools. He has been at the head of efforts to make city schools more diverse and end segregation for decades.

Lester Young, chancellor of New York’s Board of Regents, told Chalkbeat that Norm has been a part of “every major, major educational initiative in New York City.” He said that Norm had been there in a very conscious but tranquil way.

Fruchter’s long and varied career has taken him from being a community organizer and activist in Newark, New Jersey, where he started an alternative high school, to the academy, where he began a central academic institute at New York University.

He has also worked on school boards in New York and done charitable work. Cahill, a former top official in the city’s education department and a friend of Fruchter’s, said that all of these projects were linked by a solid commitment to educational equity and community empowerment.

Norm breathed and lived fairness and educational fairness,” she said. “He has a huge brain, and he’s used it in different situations at different times.” Fruchter didn’t stop being curious, creative, and passionate after he finished school.

He wrote two novels and made movies. He was a loving husband to his wife, Heather Lewis, a devoted father to his children, and a caring grandfather. Cahill said, “He was a wonderful, caring person who cared so much about the community.

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