KRIFTCHER--Dr. Noel N. After a valiant battle against brain cancer, died at home surrounded by his family on March 10, 2011. He was the beloved husband of Bernadette; father of Eric, Brian, and Dana; father-in-law of Jeannie, Phil, and Betsy; G-Pa of Zachary, Paige, Ryan, Hannah, Charlotte, Sophie, Colette, Sydney, Mackenzie, and Gabrielle. Brother to Phyllis; brother-in-law to Fred, John, and Dan; dear uncle, cousin, colleague, and friend. Born in Brooklyn to Rose and Irving, he attended Samuel J. Tilden High School; and then attended New York University. He later earned a Doctorate in Education from Hofstra University. With nearly 40 years of dedicated service to the children of New York City he rose through the ranks of the public education system from high school English teacher to Principal, and ultimately to Superintendent of the Brooklyn and Staten Island high schools. While serving as Principal of Seward Park High School in Manhattan, he was a central figure in Samuel Freedman's book "Small Victories," which has become a cornerstone in graduate studies in education. As founding Director of the David Packard Center for Technology & Educational Alliances at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University for the 14 years prior to his illness, he developed programs to ensure equity of availability, opportunity, and access for women and underrepresented minorities in the use of computers and information-age technology, and in the study of mathematics and science. The consummate educator, he found "teachable moments" in nearly every circumstance of life. He was committed to diversity, and led by example in championing equal educational opportunities for all. A powerful force among all those who knew him, he was devoted to his family, his faith and his profession. He was a man of extraordinary intellect and energy - a prolific reader and writer, an erudite speaker, a quick wit. He appreciated all culture, traveled the globe with Bernadette, and frequented opera, museums, theater, and ballet. An avid athlete and fan, he was passionate about golf which he played all over the world; loved the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Football Giants; and passed his lifelong love for basketball and other sports onto his children and grandchildren. He never quite did get past the pain of Bobby Thompson's home run, however. Immensely proud, protective and faithful to his Jewish heritage, he was an active member of The East 55th Street Conservative Synagogue on whose board he served for many years; and supported the Anti-Defamation League; Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel; and countless other organizations. Service 10am, Friday, March 11th at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th Street, New York City. Interment at Montefiore Cemetery, 121-83 Springfield Boulevard, St. Albans, Queens. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Dr. Noel N. Kriftcher Scholarship Fund; the Pediatric Cancer Foundation; and the Brain Tumor Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
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Published in The New York Times on Mar. 11, 2011