They didn’t teach me nothin’ Rabbi…”
Los Angeles – With these words, a young black jail inmate, a “graduate” of Dorsey High, Los Angeles County, California, confirmed the failure of the LA School System in general, and the Dorsey High Scool administration and teaching staff in particular.
Rabbi Nachum Shifren, “the Surfing Rabbi,” (www.surfingrabbi.com) was teaching at an L.A. County lockup when recognized by his former Dorsey student. Shifren had taught Spanish there, before coming into conflict with his administrator and a perverse system of reverse racism that ended in his departure.
The Rabbi should have been a popular teacher. He can speak the idiom of the street, was (and is) a Malibu surfer dude, and had been an L.A. County beach lifeguard. He also speaks five languages, and as one might expect of an Orthodox Jew, has a great reverence for education.
His reward for diligent, conscientious teaching? Rabbi Shifren was fired after students burned down his classroom!
He was accused of not being “likable enough,” and of referring too many black miscreants to the black principal, Evelyn Mahmud. Mahmud demanded “social” grade promotions and chastised the Rabbi for his “racism” in attempting to maintain classroom discipline, and for referring too many black kids to the principal’s office.
Rabbi Shifren muses, “If they’d just assigned some white miscreants to my classes, I’d have been happy to refer them to the principal’s office, but all I had were black kids!” Apparently, this logic was wholly lost on Mahmud.
Rabbi Shifren has written a book, “Kill Your Teacher: Corruption And Racism in Los Angeles City Schools,” which documents his experiences at Dorsey, and calls for radical change in the L.A. system — indeed, in urban school systems throughout the country.
“Who will tell them the truth,” writes Rabbi Shifren, “that they’re being promoted without any skills, any sense of civic or individual responsibility? This is the REAL racism that our educational establishment hasn’t the nerve to face up to.”
With comments like these throughout his book, “Kill Your Teacher: Corruption And Racism in Los Angeles City Schools,” Rabbi Nachum Shifren fearlessly confronts the failures and hypocrisy of the LA School System, which he labels as “…the most dysfunctional in a nation of failing schools.”
Rabbi Shifren has been featured in numerous articles, has spoken to many groups, and is an engaging, informed guest on radio and television. His mission is to help our future generations by getting out his message to parents and educators alike — at least, to those who haven’t given up hope on our future generations.