Tuesday, Sep 17th

Last updateMon, 16 Sep 2019 5pm

You are here: Home Section Table People

RothschildNovember“He expanded the envelope of opportunity for every student, he championed all of us, he was that special teacher who could light you up, he changed my life….”

Those were just of the few of the words of praise spoken for beloved teacher and community member Eric Rothschild at a memorial service at the Woman’s Club of White Plains on Monday November 26, 2018. Hundreds of former students, colleagues, school administrators, friends, admirers and devotees braved the elements to attend the service for Rothschild who passed away at the age of 81 on October 30, 2018.

Not many 81 year-olds could draw an audience of this size, but Rothschild was more than a teacher -- he was a mentor, a lifelong friend and a guru to everyone who was blessed to be in his circle.

Family friend Peter Weintraub credited Rothschild with inspiring him to become a teacher. He said, “Every time a student comes to thank me, I say “don’t thank me,” thank Eric Rothschild.” He said that Eric remembered every student he ever taught, including their siblings, their children’s names and where they live now.” Another devotee said, “In the days before Facebook, Eric was a one man social network.”

Weintraub read “ A Giant Pine,” a poem by Georgie Harkness:

A giant pine, magnificent and old,
Stood staunch against the sky and all around
Shed beauty, grace and power. Within its fold
Birds safely reared their young. The velvet ground
Beneath was gentle, and the cooling shade
Gave cheer to passers-by. Its towering arms
A landmark stood, erect and unafraid,
As if to say, “Fear naught from life's alarms.”
It fell one day. Where it had dauntless stood
Was loneliness and void now. But those who passed
Paid tribute and said, “To have known this tree in life was good,
It left its mark on me. Its work stands fast.”
And so it lives. Such life no bonds can hold–
This giant pine, so magnificent and bold.

Former SHS teacher Neil Ginsberg paid Rothschild the highest compliment, saying, “Our country would not be in this RothschildMemorialmess if everyone had the privilege of being taught by Eric Rothschild.” Both Ginsburg and teacher Maggie Favretti spoke of Rothschild’s role as a mentor for their teaching careers at Scarsdale High School. As an aspiring teacher Ginsberg was told to “go see the best social studies teacher in Westchester County” and he was thrilled when Rothschild agreed to be his mentor. Favretti said, “Eric loved everything about teaching because he loved the kids.” She said, “He encouraged us to be more, to go to school, to do research … and he observed my European history class because he wanted to learn more.” Ginsberg continued, “He challenged students to be curious. His passion for learning was contagious. He was in a class of his own.”

Rashid Silvera, another legendary teacher in the Social Studies department at SHS also credited Rothschild for bringing him to Scarsdale when he was employed at a neighboring district. He said, “Eric invited me to be a part of his dream team.” Silvera reviewed some of the pivotal civil rights events that occurred during Eric’s student years at Scarsdale High School and Harvard College and said he “paid attention” and “they got into system.” He called Eric the father of STEP (Scarsdale Student Transfer Education Program) which he founded in 1966 to “let people from somewhere else come here so that we could feel them and they could go back and bring with them what we thought was good and glorious and true.”

Silvera remembered that when his own grandmother passed away, Eric sent his son Adam to Roxbury to attend the funeral “and give me love.”

Vic Leviatin, a friend for 56 years said Eric introduced him to tennis and to author Michael Harrington who at the time had just written “The Other America.” He remembered summers at Camp Andrewscoggin where Rothschild was head counselor, and credited him with helping Vic to design the W.I.S.E. Program, a precursor to the Senior Options program at SHS that became a model for similar programs all over the country.

Family friend and former student Anne Rubin was so impacted by knowing Eric and taking his AP US History course that she decided to become a professor of history. She said he was “brimming with enthusiasm,” and with “sheaf’s of notes and overhead transparencies he brought history to life.” Rothschild taught “the power of music and humor – and that history did not have to be dry.” She said, “My shelves are lined with books that he gave me…. Eric had this relationship; intellectual mentor, friend, and father with so many former students. He went to dozens of graduations and weddings. He tickled our babies.” She added, “He had the kindest biggest heart that I have even known. He gave of himself unselfishly. He will live on in my heart and in all of our hearts.”

Peter Rothschild, Eric’s brother quoted Martin Luther King, saying, “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” Discussing his brother, he said “Eric’s passion gave his life meaning and vitality. Eric and teaching cannot be separated.
Teaching was everything … the joy of elevating interests and prospects of students was everything. He was that special teacher who could light you up. …I am so very proud of him.”

Addressing Eric’s many fans, eldest son Alan Rothschild said, “He took more pride in your success than his own.” Looking back on his life as Eric’s son, Alan remembered “seeing the man walk on the moon, summers at camp, hundreds of books, STEP picnics and visiting a family in Mississippi, family car trips to visit historical sites, his dad grading papers with a red felt pen and the ding of his typewriter.”

He said that his father had the first of several heart attacks when he was only 46, so when he got the diagnosis of Parkinson’s 13 years ago, he said, “Don’t worry, my heart will get me before Parkinson’s does!” Alan said his father met many challenges in the past 13 years, and the cognitive challenges of Parkinson’s scared him the most.

As he grew sicker Eric watched the NY Giants and said with increasing frequency, “The coaches are not listening to me. Take me down to the field so that I can talk to them.”

Adam Rothschild said, “Growing up as the son of Eric Rothschild was like having a very large family – I shared my Dad with all of you. It was great but there were some boundary issues. You hung out at our house… You cooked with us… You did research in our attic… You went to camp.”

He said the family had received many condolence letters since Eric passed away and called them “stunning and consistent.” He read one from a former student who is now a professor at the Air Force Academy who said, “Please know the impact he had on me.” He said he tells his own students, “I had a teacher who knocked it out of the park with every lesson. He opened our minds and challenged us to open them further.”

He ended with these words:

Death leaves a heartache no can heal
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

FriemanEric FriemanTwo SHS grads were noted for their success in the past weeks:
SHS graduate Eric Frieman has been named by Forbes to the 30 Under 30 list for Healthcare. When Eric Frieman's older brother came back from deployment in Iraq, Eric wanted to make sure he had help if he needed it. It was hard to find. Frieman cofounded Veteran & First Responder Healthcare in 2016 to provide intensive outpatient addiction and mental health treatment programs. The company has grown to more than 60 employees and a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Rob Fishman, a 2004 graduate of SHS has been named to Hollywood Reporter's “Next Gen 2018: Hollywood’s Rising Executives 35 and Under.”

Here’s the entry from the Hollywood Reporter: After building and selling his first two startups — data company Kingfish Labs to BuzzFeed in 2012 and influencer marketing firm Niche to Twitter for $30 million in 2015 — Fishman is busy on his third. His Brat digital studio, which has raised more than $40 million from such investors as Anchorage Capital and Shari Redstone's Advancit Capital, produces teen-centric shortform video series for distribution on social media. The 1-year-old company found early success with its Chicken Girls drama and FishmanRob Fishman (Photo credit Ramona Rosales)subsequent movie, which amassed more than 15 million YouTube views. (Bill Simmons' teenage daughter is a fan.) Since then, Brat — which Fishman runs with Niche co-founder Darren Lachtman — has grown to 50 employees and is filming shows nearly every day out of its Hollywood production facility. "We've had a great opportunity to insert ourselves into youth culture really quickly," says the Cornell alumnus, who got his master's degree in journalism from Columbia and spent more than two years running social media for The Huffington Post. After years away from writing, Brat has given him the opportunity to brush up on that skill: "Now I get to rewrite our scripts."

JeddJedd Benjamin Sereysky MD, PhD, 34, passed away on October 29th, 2018. Jedd was the son of Andrew and Joan Sereysky, brother of Brett Sereysky and husband of Jessica Nikitczuk Sereysky.

Jedd was born on July 18, 1984 in New York City and raised in Scarsdale. He graduated from Scarsdale High School in 2002 and then from the University of Rochester in 2006 with a BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering, with a focus on Biomechanics. He went on to earn his MD and PhD at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. He completed a General Surgery Residency at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and had just begun training in the Harvard Combined Plastic Surgery Residency Program.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Goldwurm Auditorium of the Ichan Medical Institute, located at 1425 Madison Avenue, on Saturday, November 10th at 1:00PM. Jedd’s family and friends will be wearing bright colors and pastels to honor Jedd.

Jedd and Jessica’s first child, Benjamin, is due in January 2019. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked those who knew and loved Jedd to come together to support Benjamin’s education. For that reason, the JBS Memorial Scholarship has been created to ensure that Benjamin has every opportunity to pursue higher education in honor of his dad. Donations can be made here.

writersblockWhen you need to turn a blank page into a brilliant essay, paper or presentation, try these prewriting exercises. They are easy, quick, and adaptable to any writing assignment. They are certain to generate ideas, organize your thinking, and inspire you to better writing. Try the four below and see which works best for you!

1) Free writing

Free writing is a process of generating a lot of information by writing non-stop. It allows you to focus on a specific topic, but forces you to write so quickly that you are unable to edit any of your ideas.

  • Time yourself! Free write on the assignment or general topic for 5 minutes non-stop. Force yourself to continue writing even if nothing specific comes to mind.
  • Don’t overthink it, and do not worry about grammar, spelling or even making sense.
  • Don’t judge what you write -- just get down as much as possible in the timed period.

After you've finished free writing, look back over what you have written and highlight the most prominent and interesting ideas. Then, if you like, you can begin all over again, with a tighter focus.

Take a look at the following example, which demonstrates the free writing method for the prompt “Where Should I Apply to College?” The writer is unconcerned with convention, style, or writing rules.

Where the heck am I going to apply to college? I have zero idea, how can I possibly know now as a teenager? College, stress, school, grades, maybe a Gap year? I don’t want an all-girls school even though my grandmother wants me to go to Mt. Holyoke because she did. I want a party school! YES, frat parties and football games and the stuff I have heard that sound so fun! I love parties. Parties, parties, parties. Big schools have that. School, college far away would be scary. Here is my partial list: UConn, Wheaton, Roger Williams (beach), U of Miami (warm), Brown (dream school can’t get in) and U of Wisconsin where the state makes a lot of cheese and it requires a flight to get there -- that’s a drag. I do really well in interviews. I’m really hungry and wonder if I have hit the five minute free-writing mark. How about Maine? Cold but beautiful and I want to be a marine biologist (I do? Where did that come from?) and my friend’s brother is taking it at Colby……

2) Reporter’s questioning

Asking the six questions that journalists use everyday is a powerful way to direct and organize your writing. This exercise works with all writing projects, from personal narrative writing to research projects or literary analysis. Questioning is effective because it focuses attention on what needs further research. The level of questioning can be basic or sophisticated, and the facts generated often end up as textual evidence in body paragraphs of the finished paper.

Who? Who is involved? Who is affected? Who is the central character?

What? What is the topic? What is its significance? What is the basic problem? What are the issues?

Where? Where does the activity take place? Where is information missing?

When? When did the issue or problem develop? When is the deadline or end point?

Why? Why did the issue or problem arise? Why is it an issue or problem?

How? How can this be fixed? How does it affect those involved? How can it be resolved?

Example: How much does the U of Connecticut cost? Where is Wheaton College and do they require SATs or ACT scores? When can I apply and what is the deadline? Do I know anyone who goes to either school? What types of programs exist? Who do I know who can help me figure this out?…….

3) Mind mapping

Mind mapping is an effective prewriting exercise because it provides a visual picture of your ideas and how those ideas relate to one another. The result will look like a web on your page. This exercise also determines where most of your ideas are clustered, giving you an indication of your level of interest, often sending you in new directions and areas of original thought.

To begin, put the subject, topic or prompt in the center of a page, and circle it. As you think of other ideas, link the new ideas to the central circle with lines. Review the image, and revise with a new web as often as you like.


4) Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a process of quickly and freely generating a lot of information using lists and phrases. It can be done individually, with a partner, or in a group. Like freewriting, it requires openly expressing thought without judging, evaluating, analyzing or rejecting any ideas. Simply get everything down on paper!

After you complete your list, if possible find a partner and explain your list. Ask your partner’s feedback to inspire more items on your list, adding until you think it is complete. This is brainstorming at its best.

Brainstorming alternates between loose thinking/writing, and then tightened thinking/writing. After you have completed your initial list, either individually or with a partner, put on your editor’s cap. This is the time to organize, reduce, reorder, categorize, analyze and evaluate the list. Cross off items and reorganize the list, grouping like items together. Put the most important at the top. Your condensed list often becomes an organized outline for your writing project.

Brainstorming example: College, costs, distance, flights from near home, state schools, small liberal arts private schools, community colleges near home. Grades, test schools, Naviance. What kinds of students at the following. My list. Early decision?? Do any schools allow pets on campus? Do I have to take a gym class? I love science and where are the best science schools? Scared, worried, want that one place badly.

The above brainstormed list, condensed after editing: Grades and costs will influence where I apply. Chose an ED if my ACT comes back high. Apply everywhere, then wait and see, and finally, reevaluate. Don’t get invested emotionally until accepted!

GilpinCaroline Crosson Gilpin is a private English tutor and essay coach for student writers in grades 5-12, and college and graduate students. An experienced high school teacher and college writing instructor, Gilpin is also a former editor at The New York Times Learning Network. For many years she was education editor at The Scarsdale Inquirer, where she reported on local and national education issues and also coached student writers and interns. Gilpin’s four award-winning biographies are part of an early reader series for National Geographic Kids. She has master’s degrees from Temple University (in journalism), and from Teachers College Columbia University (in Teaching of English). For a complete list of in-person and remote tutoring services, contact her at carolinegilpin60@gmail.com or visit Carolinegilpintutoring.com.

Emily HirschEmily (Ethel) S. Hirsch, a longtime resident of Scarsdale, NY, passed away on October 25, 2018. Emily was born in Brooklyn on June 16, 1917 and was the daughter of Fanny (Saks) and Charles Shartless. She was 101 years old.

Emily was the owner of Scarsdale Candy ‘n Cards for 51 years, until her retirement in 2017.

Emily is survived by her two children, Jeffrey (Susan) Brown and JoAnn (Jay) Donzella; four grandchildren, Lisa (Scott) Kirshenbaum, Jill Lefkowitz, Amy (John Vignola) Brown, and Jason (Lisa) Brown; and six great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends and relatives at Dorsey Funeral Home at 14 Emwilton Place, Ossining, NY on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 9:30 a.m., followed by a service at 10:00 a.m.

Interment will follow at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Glendale, NY.

Donations can be made online in her name to the American Heart Association.

Leave a Comment

Share on Myspace