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JFK TheLastSpeechScarsdalians were treated to a free movie screening and history lesson on Sunday February 7 when former Scarsdale residents Neil and Judy Bicknell returned to town from their new home in Boulder to preview a documentary they made with several of Neil’s classmates from the Amherst class of ’64. The event was hosted through a collaboration between the Scarsdale Forum, the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale and the Scarsdale Library.

The movie, JFK The Last Speech, examined the relationship between Robert Frost, President John F. Kennedy and a group of seniors who graduated from Amherst in 1964 and were deeply influenced by both the president and the poet.

The film chronicles Frost’s relationship with Amherst College and his friendship with John F. Kennedy. The college named a library for Frost, who taught at Amherst, which was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy just a few weeks before his assassination. In a now famous speech, Kennedy said, “When power leads man to arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations.”

The movie also shows the influence the president had on the young men, some of whom decided to join the newly formed Peace Corps rather than pursuing careers in business.

The film is an ode to poetry, music and a liberal arts education at a time when the importance of the arts has come into question.

Bicknell’s classmate, Mark Sandler also spoke, and shared his humorous memories of failing to seize the day when he met both Robert Frost and JFK.

Many of the Bicknell’s friends as well as many Scarsdale residents came out to enjoy a glimpse of history on a pleasant Sunday afternoon at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club.

Mathcounts2019The SMS Mathcounts team once again took first place at the Westchester/Putnam competition. Out of 140 competitors, Matthew Zhao was the number 1 scorer, Ali El Moselhy number 2 and Sameer Kini number 8.

The team will travel to the state competition on March 9.

Pictured from left to right: Sameer Kini, Tommy Kornfeld, Ali Ben-Moselhy, Bryan Chung, Matthew Zhao, Steven Su, Maxwell Zhang, Hannah Wang, Sophie Li, Hyunjin Lee and Coach Steve Weiss.

Photo Credit: Rokaya Hassaballa

AffekThe Scarsdale Police have made an arrest for a bank robbery that occurred three and a half years ago. On Thursday, January 4 Police arrested 36 year old Matthew Affek of North Road in Bronxville in connection with a bank robbery that occurred at the Webster Bank in 2015.

On July 18th, 2015 at approximately 11:00 am, a male suspect entered the Webster Bank at 17 Popham Road and presented a teller with a note demanding cash. The teller complied with the suspect’s request, and he fled the bank with the cash. The officers who responded to the bank processed the crime scene, interviewed witnesses and collected evidence.

The department’s preliminary investigation included multiple interviews with all bank personnel, customers, witnesses in the area and a review of all available area video camera surveillance.

The Scarsdale Police Department’s continuous investigation eventually focused on Mr. Affek as a suspect. The defendant’s DNA was a positive match to evidence left at the scene. The suspect was taken into custody by Scarsdale Detectives at approximately 6:27 pm in Mount Vernon, and in an interview admitted to the bank robbery. Defendant Affek was charged with Felony Larceny.

ArthurLevineDr. Arthur Levine will speak to the Scarsdale community on Thursday, February 28th at 7:30pm in the Scarsdale Middle School Auditorium about 21st century learning and the Generation Z population. Gen Z, also known as “iGen,” the “Selfie Generation,” the “App Generation,” and/or the “TransGeneration,” refers to today’s children, teenagers, and young adults typically born between 1995 and 2010. These “Post-Millennials” are generally described as digital natives who are practical, tolerant, individualistic, anxious, not religious, connected and yet disconnected. Dr. Levine will discuss the educational challenges facing both students and academic institutions, preparing students for college and beyond, and the relevance of a traditional education in an ever-changing, high-tech world. His program is sponsored by the Scarsdale Forum, the Scarsdale Public Library, the Scarsdale Parent-Teacher Council, and the Scarsdale High School PTA. A snow date of March 4th has been reserved.

Dr. Levine is the sixth president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and former president and professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is the author of Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student and many other books, articles, and reviews, which often appear in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Levine has received 25 honorary degrees, Carnegie, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller Fellowships, and the Educational Press Association’s Annual Award for writing three times. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. To learn more about Dr. Levine, please visit




Jill SpielerJill Spieler will receive the 2019 Scarsdale BowlJill Spieler, an extraordinary resident with 40 years of dedicated volunteerism to Scarsdale, will be the 2019 recipient of the community’s highest award, the Scarsdale Bowl. The Scarsdale Bowl is awarded annually, since 1943, to recognize an individual’s outstanding contribution to the civic institutions of Scarsdale, by giving unselfishly of their time, energy, and effort.

Explaining the decision to award Spieler the Bowl, Deborah Pekarek, Chair of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee, said “Jill Spieler is a Scarsdale gem, contributing in a generous and unselfish fashion, again and again. Her calm demeanor, collaborative spirit, and her desire to find long-lasting solutions to improve and deliver important services for Scarsdale are hallmarks of her volunteerism. Her leadership abilities are extraordinary and span Village, School and other community institutions.”

On Sunday January 6, 2019 the Committee voted to honor Jill Spieler, for her extraordinary service to this community. Delegates from the Bowl Committee, including Pekarek, Scarsdale Foundation President Randy Guggenheimer, Foundation Liaison to the Committee Seth Ross and Committee Secretary/Treasurer Abby Sroka together with Committee Members Karen Brew, Karen Ceske and Dorothy Finger arrived at the Spieler home to announce the Committee’s selection. When advised of the recognition bestowed upon her Spieler said “I am touched”. After allowing the news to sink in she said, “I am just beginning to feel the excitement of this honor, understanding it is a symbol of the community we live in, as I begin to recall all the wonderful Scarsdale volunteers I’ve had the opportunity to work with over these last 40 years. “

Spieler has a long, distinguished record of volunteer services to Scarsdale and beyond. Spieler began her service to the Scarsdale community in 1981 as a founding member of Kids B.A.S.E and The Little School. She served as a Board Member from 1983-1988 when she became President of the Board. She served a two- year term as President and continued on the Board through 1998. During her tenure, Spieler provided outstanding leadership during the difficult period when Kids B.A.S.E lost its original space in the Scarsdale School facilities. As reported by Jackie Irwin, “Her focus, energy and collaborative skills were critical in the effort between the Village and the program to raise $1.8 million for the current facility adjacent to the pool complex.”

Spieler continued her commitment to this community by serving on the Scarsdale Village Board of Ethics, the Advisory Council on Youth, and the Village Parks and Recreation Council, becoming Chair of the Recreation Committee in 2000. Spieler was also an active member of the League of Women Voters and chaired the Voter Service committee.

Spieler also joined the Scarsdale Forum Board in 1999, where she later served as First Vice - President and President. Following her service on the Forum, she was nominated to the Scarsdale Board of Education in 2007 where she served for two terms and was elected President in 2011. She served as President of the Board for two years.

Spieler will be honored at the Scarsdale Bowl dinner on Wednesday evening, April 10th, at Mulino’s at Lake Isle, in Eastchester. Pekarek encourages all members of the community to attend: “The Bowl Dinner is a wonderful event thanking an individual for their service to benefit the common good of our beloved Scarsdale.” The Bowl Committee will send out invitations in late February. However, one need not receive an invitation in order to attend the dinner, and the Committee encourages all who are interested to sign up for the dinner on the Scarsdale Foundation website starting February 25th.

The Bowl Committee, a diverse group of 15 community volunteers, selects the recipient after reviewing many worthy candidates who are nominated by the community. The annual tradition of awarding the Scarsdale Bowl is maintained by the Scarsdale Foundation. The Foundation engages in a broad range of philanthropy in the Scarsdale community and supports many local institutions. One of its primary functions is funding and distributing need-based scholarships to deserving Scarsdale High School graduates and Scarsdale residents in their sophomore through senior years of college.

The community is invited to join the Bowl Committee on April 10th at Mulino’s at Lake Isle in Eastchester, at 6:30 P.M. to honor Jill Spieler who exemplifies Scarsdale’s spirit of volunteerism.

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