FAQ

If I have made a donation to the Leffell School Annual Fund, am I entitled to a journal ad?
Absolutely. Remember, the deadline to submit the ad copy is Friday, May 6, 2022.
If I put an ad in the journal, am I entitled to complimentary event tickets?
No. The ticket price covers the cost of the event and is not tax-deductible.
Will dinner be served? Is there assigned seating?
Extensive hors d'oeuvres and desserts will be served. There is no assigned seating. Cocktail tables will be set up, allowing for all attendees to walk around. 
What should I wear?
Please feel free to dress in casual attire or in theme. Sneakers or comfortable shoes are recommended as we will be outside under tents.
Can we buy raffle tickets at the event?
Yes, raffle tickets will be for sale that night.
Will there be a silent auction?
Yes. There will be a silent auction as well as plenty of raffle opportunities.
Can we bring our children?
This evening's event is a celebration for the adults in our community.
Why should I come to this event?
This is our end-of-year celebration, bringing us all together to recognize our honorees and commemorate the end of the school year in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

PROUDLY HONORING

List of 2 items.

  • Jason (MS 1988) Friedland

    Jason Friedland is passionate about working towards a prosperous future for the Jewish People and the State of Israel. To this end, his volunteer and philanthropic efforts have focused on UJA, AIPAC, and The Leffell School. At Leffell, Jason has served as president of the Board of Trustees for the last three years. A Board member since 2010, Jason was previously a vice president and chair of both the Finance and Governance Committees.

    Professionally, Jason is an entrepreneur with several business ventures. His primary role is Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Sensible Auto Finance, a subprime auto finance company headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut. Jason has held this position since August 2016.

    In addition to Sensible, Jason is co-owner of Shleppers Moving & Storage, one of the largest moving companies in the Tri-State area, and Westrock Development, LLC, a privately held real estate company. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Jason was an investment banker at Bear Stearns.

    Jason holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and graduated with honors from Tufts University with degrees in international relations and economics. He also studied finance at the London School of Economics. Jason lives in Mamaroneck with his wife Jackie and their four children, who are all students at The Leffell School: Abe (Class of 2022), Asher (Class of 2024), Shep (Grade 8), and Nava (Grade 5).
  • Jackie Friedland

    Jacqueline Friedland is the multi-award-winning author of multiple novels of women’s fiction. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and NYU Law School, she practiced as a commercial litigator at the New York law firms of Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP and Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP. After determining that office life did not suit her, Jacqueline began teaching legal writing and lawyering skills at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan and working on her first book in her limited spare time. Finally deciding to embrace her passion and pursue writing full time, Jacqueline returned to school to earn her Masters of Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, graduating from the program in 2016. Her most recent book is called He Gets That From Me. It was named a 2021 “Best Indie Book of the Year” by Kirkus Reviews and it was chosen as the SheReads best book club pick of 2021. In addition to novel writing, Jackie also reviews fiction regularly for trade publications, contributes essays and articles to online media, and conducts book talks and author events at various venues.

    Over the years, Jackie has volunteered in many capacities for the Leffell School community, including serving on the PTO board, acting as a grade chair and class parent, helping at Purim carnivals and grade-wide assemblies, and showing up regularly to help serve lunch at the Lower School (when that was a thing).

    When not writing, Jacqueline is an avid reader of all things fiction. She loves to exercise, watch movies with her family, listen to music, make lists, and dream about exotic vacations. She lives in Westchester with her husband, Jason, four children, and two very bossy dogs.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION FOR 20 YEARS OF SERVICE

List of 4 items.

  • Diana Schutt Franklin (MS 1982)

    Diana (Kaufman) Schutt Franklin’s first memory at The Leffell School was as a toddler, sitting in the car that pulled our school’s float in the Salute to Israel parade. She calls The Leffell School home, and her past and current lives intersect daily. Diana especially loves to see the tree that she and her Eighth-Grade Class of 1982 planted outside the kindergarten building.

    After earning her BA in psychology from Emory University and her MS in special education, Diana joined our faculty in 1993. During a hiatus to raise her children, Diana was a founder of the Northern Branch of Schechter Westchester and her son was in the first class. Diana is the proud mother of three Leffell School alumni.

    In 2004 Diana rejoined our staff in our admissions department and she has been welcoming families ever since. She has been privileged to know many students from their kindergarten acceptance through high school graduation. She feels especially honored to have played a small role in changing the trajectory of some people’s lives in very meaningful ways.

    In addition to being director of Lower School Admissions, Diana is a certified life coach, facilitates vision board workshops, and promotes balance and wellness through reiki. Diana is also an inspirational speaker, advocating for trans rights, supporting parents of trans children, and sitting on local synagogue Inclusion and Pride committees.

    Diana enjoys spending time with her new husband, Shai, and their family, which includes her children Zachary, Autumn (Brianna), and Arielle, and her stepchildren Noah and Eden. Diana loves singing, reading, and is an avid skier and hiker.

    The happiness factor at Leffell matches Diana’s mindset and she adores coming to work, surrounded by the ruach of children learning, embraced by her community of friends.
  • Nancy Casoria

    Nancy graduated from Mercy College with a BA in business management and went on to earn a master's degree in health care administration from Long Island University.

    In 2002, Nancy was hired by the school’s then controller Geet Engel to work at the Lower School campus until the business office moved to Hartsdale in 2004. Currently the school’s senior accountant, Nancy has had many roles and responsibilities during her 20-year career in the business office, where, as she puts it, “our positions are always evolving.” She has been the pension plan administrator, credit card administrator, has worked on budget expense schedules and reporting, assisted with benefits enrollment, and has been involved in schoolwide New York State and Federal grants reimbursement submissions.

    No matter what hat she is wearing, Nancy is known for fostering and maintaining good communication and effective working relationships with faculty and staff at both the Lower and Upper School. Her talent for explaining in plain language the reasons behind various policies and processes is appreciated by all who work with her.

    Nancy lives in Hartsdale with Joseph, her husband of more than 25 years. She is the proud aunt of 13 nieces and nephews who are scattered throughout the United States. When not working, Nancy enjoys cooking, reading, and hiking in the national parks with her husband.
  • Rabbi Abby Sosland

    Rabbi Abby Sosland is Morah Ruchanit (Spiritual Advisor) and chair of the Talmud department in the High School. She holds a BA from Harvard College and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was a Wexner fellow. She was formerly the assistant rabbi at Town and Village Synagogue in New York City, where she started the first free High Holiday service for unaffiliated downtown New Yorkers, featured in New York Magazine and The New York Times. She is a regular contributor to the 929 Tanakh study website, delivered an ELI talk on Shameless Judaism, and has taught all over the United States (including Alaska), Europe, Russia, and India. Her writing has appeared in a variety of Jewish publications and websites, Let's Go Europe, and The Observant Life: The Wisdom of Conservative Judaism for Contemporary Jews.

    Rabbi Sosland arrived at The Leffell School for a one-year respite from downtown Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks, and 20 years later, she is still in love with daily life at the school. She enjoys teaching a wide variety of topics, finding connections to students’ lives. “If it doesn’t fire up some spark, it’s not worth teaching.” Today she teaches Talmud, Bible, the Philosophy of the Messianic Idea in Judaism, and a course on the Holocaust and human behavior. She has taught a Women’s Lunch and Learn at the school for over 12 years on various themes, including this year’s Rebels in the Torah. She loves to be involved in all parts of school life; over the years, she has taught yoga, zumba, and meditation, helped to choreograph the musicals, and acted as ball girl for the girls varsity soccer team. Her teaching aims to integrate serious text study with joyful connection and personal spiritual experience. She is grateful for the relationships she has built with alumni, officiating at their weddings and maintaining long-term, powerful connections.

    Off-campus, Rabbi Sosland can be found walking the woods behind her home in Riverdale with her husband, Daryl Mazlish.
  • Shelley Tager

    After graduating from college in Jacksonville, Florida with a BA in sociology and psychology, Shelley married her college sweetheart and returned north to Westchester County to begin her teaching career. Shelley earned a master’s degree from the College of New Rochelle in special education with a concentration in learning disabilities.

    While Shelley has been at our school for 20 years, she has been teaching almost twice as long, with a short break to raise her three children. She began her career teaching in a Title I math lab in Yonkers and then became a resource room teacher in Greenwich, Connecticut. After returning from her hiatus and teaching in the Blind Brook school system, she joined The Leffell School in 2002 as a Middle and High School learning specialist in the Center for Academic Support at the new Upper School campus. In addition to her fulfilling work helping students, over the years Shelley has mentored twelfth graders in the WISE program, served as a faculty advisor for various clubs, kept the scorebook at home basketball games, and even had the honor of accompanying the eighth grade to Israel. In addition to taking pride in her students’ triumphs, Shelley appreciates our school community: “The Leffell School embraces what it means to be a Jewish kehilah, and I love being a part of this kehilah.”

    Shelley listens to books as she commutes from Somers, where she lives with Matthew, her husband of 48 years, and son, Jonathan. Her daughter Sam lives in White Plains. Her son Adam is married to Cory and lives in New York City with Shelley’s “loves of her life,” grandchildren Nolen (age 6 ½) and Romy (22 months). Completing her family are Merlin, a 185-pound Newfoundland and Bruce, a 38-pound rescue.

GUR ARYEH AWARD

List of 2 items.

  • Ella Chinitz (MS 1995)

    Ella wishes that she could enroll herself at The Leffell School. Given that she has aged out, she has loved being active on the Board of Trustees, PTO, and various school committees. Over the past seven years as a Leffell School mom, Ella has served as class parent, grade chair, and general ambassador, and she co-led the Lower School’s outreach efforts. Ella was also an organizer of the STEAMposium, bringing together her passions for learning and technology. In addition to her Leffell School involvement, Ella sits on the board of The Jewish Education Project.

    On the professional side, Ella works in the intersection of data, digital, tech, marketing, and consumer experiences. Her expertise is leading teams through digital and marketing transformations. Ella currently leads consumer data at L'Oreal and previously was a managing director at EY and data lead at Sapient Razorfish. Ella has a dual bachelor’s degree in cognitive science and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Ella and her husband, Noah (MS 1994) are the proud parents of Ari (Grade 7), Gabe (Grade 4), Talia (Grade 2), and Rafi (soon to be in Kindergarten). She loves doing anything active with her crew (running, cycling, swimming, paddle boarding, hiking, tennis, and traveling). Ella and Noah are both proud alumni of The Leffell School/Schechter Westchester and love seeing their kids enjoying the school.
  • About The Leffell School Gur Aryeh Award

    The Leffell School Gur Aryeh Award for Young Leadership is presented annually to a member of the parent community who has demonstrated support and commitment to the school. This award is appropriately named for the gur aryeh—the lion cub or young lion [our own Leffell School mascot has long been the aryeh (lion)—inspired by the symbol of the tribe of Judah]. Gur Aryeh is also another name for Rabbi Yehuda Loew ben Bezalel of Prague, who devoted his life to strengthening and protecting his Jewish community. Through the Gur Aryeh Award, we salute the young leaders of today who devote their energies to strengthening our community. This year we are proud to bestow the Gur Aryeh Award on a parent who is also an alumna of our school, as we recognize her extraordinary achievements after graduation and honor her as a credit to our school and our community.
Covid-19 protocols to be implemented and specified in advance.
Lower School Campus (K-5)
30 Dellwood Road
White Plains, NY 10605
914-948-3111
Upper School Campus (6-12)
555 West Hartsdale Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530
914-948-8333