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newspapersThe Scarsdale Historical Society and the Scarsdale Public Library have joined forces to begin the digitization of back issues of The Scarsdale Inquirer. A much needed funding grant of $25,000 by the Historical Society fills a financial gap in the library’s budget and provides the impetus to begin the digitization process of the Inquirer’s back issues.

Elizabeth Bermel, director of the Scarsdale Library, said, “We are extremely grateful for this funding grant from the Historical Society. We couldn’t have afforded to do it on our own. Under the current economic conditions, it is simply not possible for the library to fund this project through its own operating budget.”

“The library staff,” Bermel added, “has expressed great concern about the deterioration of these materials and the possibility of losing unique resources. The Historical Society’s donation puts us well on our way to not only preserving Scarsdale history, but making the information easier to use.” According to Adam Krajchir, current president of the Scarsdale Historical Society, “This grant to preserve history is one of several proposals the Society is studying in order to carefully marshal its resources for the benefit of the Village of Scarsdale and its residents.”

In the past, the back issues of the Inquirer, which contain information not available anywhere else, have been made accessible at no charge at the library in both print and microfilm. However, many of the back issues are in undeniably fragile condition, and need to be digitized in order to preserve these important Scarsdale historical documents.

“The newspapers are widely used today, especially by those researching past events in the Village of Scarsdale –students and teachers, historians, and even reporters of the Inquirer—as a valuable resource tool,” Bermel noted.

The Historical Society’s $25,000 funding grant will enable the library to commence the digitization process of back copies, starting with the oldest issues. It is anticipated that the Historical Society grant will enable the library to initially digitize the issues through 1936 plus preserve film that are deteriorating.

The library’s plan is to scan the copies of the publications into digital form and then make them available on the Internet at the library’s website, and also in digital form at the library. There will be no charge to the public for this service. Hudson Microimaging of Port Ewen, NY, has been selected by library officials to provide preservation digitization services for this project.

“Our older copies of the Inquirer are deteriorating, as are our older microfilm copies,” Bermel said. “With this grant, we can make these important original source materials more readily available to members of the community in searchable format. In the future, we hope to expand the program and cover more issues of the Inquirer since it is such a valuable resource to the community.”

Randy Guggenheimer, chair of the Historical Society’s digitization committee and a trustee, said, “We hope to continue working with the library on this project in the future. We see our involvement with the library as an integral part of our mission in the community. We’ve had this idea in the forefront of our strategic thinking for some time now. The idea was hatched under the leadership of Bill Doescher, then Society president and now chairman emeritus, and continues under current president Krajchir.”

In addition to Guggenheimer, Doescher and Krajchir, other Trustee members of the society’s digitalization committee include Eric Rothschild, Seth Kaller, and Linda Blair Doescher. Members of the library digitization committee include Sara Werder, Library Board president, Reference Librarians Ann-Marie Cutul, Bobbi Kokot and Dan Glauber, and Bermel.

According to Scarsdale’s Susan Douglass, a copyright and trademark lawyer who worked on this project with the Historical Society and the library on a pro bono basis, “The library is free to scan in digital form and make available on the Internet all issues in the public domain. Based on my research, it appears that back issues neither bore a copyright notice nor were registered. In my opinion, the library is free to copy and post in digital, searchable format on its website all issues prior to March 21, 1989. In addition, the library is free to scan and make available in digital format at the library a copy of all issues of the Inquirer to date, pursuant to Section 108 of the Copyright Act.”

“The collaboration on this important digitization project exemplifies the successful outcome possible when two Scarsdale village organizations work in concert as equal partners,” concluded Society Chairman Emeritus Doescher, a volunteer on many projects in the village for a number of years.

 

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vaswaniNeela Vaswani, the author of the acclaimed memoir You Have Given Me a Country, will read from her work on Thursday, March 17, at 7:30 pm, at the Scarsdale Public Library, Post and Olmsted Roads.

You Have Given Me a Country follows the paths of Vaswani’s Irish-Catholic mother and Sindhi-Indian father on their journey towards each other and the bi-racial child they create. The Louisville Courier-Journal praised the book, noting, “Hope, humor and an indomitable spirit fill these pages, and by book’s end, three heroes have emerged: Vaswani’s parents, who defied the cultural, religious and societal norms of their time and instilled in Vaswani a love and appreciation of story; and Vaswani herself, brave enough to ‘pledge allegiance to the in-between’.”

Vaswani’s first published book, Where the Long Grass Bends, is a collection of short stories that, like the works of Garcia Marquez, subvert conventional narrative forms, grounding the magical in the details of everyday life.

She was a recipient of the 2006 O. Henry Prize, which recognizes the best in American short story writing. Her work has been widely anthologized and published in journals such as Epoch, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner.

Vaswani is the founder of the Storylines Project with the New York Public Library, and is an education activist in both the United States and India. She teaches at Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, she has been an artist in residence at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, the Jimenez-Porter House at the University of Maryland, the Whitney Museum in New York City, and other institutions.

For more information contact the library at (914)-722-1300.

 

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senorDan Senor, co-author of the book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, will be the guest speaker at Westchester Reform Temple (WRT) on Thursday, March 10, at 7:00 p.m., in a program co-sponsored by WRT with the American Jewish Committee Westchester and StandWithUs.

As the authors of this “illuminating and timely, and often surprising analysis” (ABC News) argue in their book, “Israel is not just a country but a comprehensive state of mind.” NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw has described “Start-Up Nation” as “a playbook for every CEO who wants to develop the next generation of corporate leaders.” An adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Dan Senor has long been involved in policy, politics and business in the Middle East. From 2003 to 2004, Senor served in the Bush administration as a Pentagon and White House advisor based first in Qatar, then in Kuwait and Iraq. One of the longest-serving civilian officials in Iraq, Senor was awarded the highest civilian honor by the Pentagon. He writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal and has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine. Senor is an analyst for Fox News and a founding partner of Rosemont Capital. The moderator of this program is Oren Heiman, Managing Partner of Shiboleth LLP, a law firm active with Israeli tech companies in the U.S. Mr. Heiman is involved in the Israeli business community and has been a founder, supporting member, executive and board member in over a dozen organizations such as New Israel Fund and American Friends of Rabin Medical Center. He has maintained a periodic legal column in various Israeli publications in North America since 2001.

This event is free and open to the public at Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road, in Scarsdale, N.Y. Pre-signed copies of “Start-up Nation” will be available for purchase after the program. For additional information call the Temple at 914-723-7727, email office@wrtemple.org , or visit www.wrtemple.org.

 

 

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alanschwarzAlan Schwarz, a graduate of Scarsdale High School, returns to Scarsdale to present: “Knocken’ em Straight: Football’s Collision with Head Injuries”, on Sunday March 20 at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club. A reporter for The New York Times, Schwarz has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his dozens of high-profile articles that have exposed the epidemic of sports-related concussions. His stories have helped uncover the high rates of dementia among retired National Football League players, unsafe conditions on high school fields, and concussion-related disorders among female youth athletes in soccer and basketball. His 2010 investigation into the dark cave of football helmets led immediately to ongoing investigations by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Schwarz will take questions from the audience following his talk.

The audience will have an opportunity to continue the discussion over refreshments provided by the Forum’s Hospitality Committee. Copies of Schwarz’s books, The Numbers Game and Once upon a Game, will be available for purchase as well.

Schwarz is presented by The Scarsdale Forum (formerly the TVCCEF) Sunday Speaker Series program on Sunday, March 20 at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club, 37 Drake Road at 3 p.m. The Sunday Speaker Series programs are open to the public, free of charge and are underwritten in part by a generous grant from the Irving J. Sloan Education Fund, made possible by the Liz Claiborne-Arthur Ortenberg Foundation.

For more information, visit www.ScarsdaleForum.com , call 914-723-2829 or e-mail office@scarsdaleforum.com.

 

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chaseauthorsSeventh-grade students from Westchester Reform Temple’s Religious School have co-authored and published a new children’s chapter book. The Chase: A Modern-Day Midrash. Part mystery, part fantasy, and part coming-of-age story, The Chase follows a group of 12-year-olds as they track down several characters that have fled from the Torah, or Jewish Bible. The missing characters include Noah, who has abandoned his ark, along with his wife, his sons, and all the animals, as well as the Biblical patriarch and matriarch Abraham and Sarah. The children must figure out where the characters went and convince them to come back – and do all this in time for their friend’s Bat Mitzvah service just a few days away.

The idea for the story came to the students a year ago, when they discovered a copy of “The Torah: A Modern Commentary,” by Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut that was missing 50 pages. They showed it to Jonathan Blake, a rabbi at WRT, who explained the missing pages made the book unfit for any Jewish purpose. This notion captured the imaginations of the students, and ultimately, with the help of WRT Religious School teacher Barbara Josselsohn, they turned their musings into a novel. Early readers of the book have likened it to the Cam Jansen mysteries, and even to the Harry Potter series.

The book was written by eight young authors including Sydney Bernstein, Alexa Binday, Avi Goldstein, Abigail Haber, Naomi Haber, Rachel Haber, Alyssa Josselsohn and Gillian Lubin, and published by Westchester Reform Temple (WRT) and Kar-Ben Publishing, a leading publisher of Jewish books for children.

A short reading and official launch of the book with be part of WRT’s family Sharing Shabbat service on Saturday, March 5 at 9:00 am. The one-hour service, designed for children ages 4-12 and their parents, is open to all. The morning program will be sponsored by The PJ Library® at Westchester Reform Temple.

Copies of the book are priced at $10, and the authors have committed to donating all proceeds to support educational programming at the Temple. The book maybe purchased at Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale. For more information visit www.wrtemple.org or call (914) 723-7727.

Photo Top row, from left to right: Alyssa Josselsohn, Avi Goldstein, Alexa Binday, Rachel Haber, Gillian Lubin
Photo Bottom row, from left to right: Abigail Haber, Naomi Haber, Sydney Bernstein

 

 

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