If I have made a donation to the Leffell School Annual Fund, am I entitled to a journal ad?
Absolutely. Please submit your journal ad copy to journalad@leffellschool.org before the May 3, 2021 deadline. 
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 there be restrooms on site?
Yes, portable restrooms with hand sanitizer will be provided. Everyone is required to wear a mask and keep social distance of at least 6 feet. Restrooms will be cleaned periodically.
Can we bring chairs and sit outside?
Unfortunately, at this time we must ask everyone to remain in their cars.
Will there be food?
Dinner, along with non-alcoholic beverages and plentiful snacks, will
be delivered to your car throughout the event.
Can you 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 online auction as well as plenty of raffle
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.
What if I have to leave early?
If you have to leave early, please flag down a staff member, who
will guide you through the parking lot to the nearest exit.
Will I receive dinner if I choose to attend the event virtually via Livestream?
If you choose to attend via. Livestream, you may pick up your
event box and dinner on the day of the event at a central pickup
location (to be determined).
Online registration has closed. However, we would love for you to join us Thursday evening. Please come and you can register upon arrival at SUNY Purchase.

Proudly Honoring

Medical Advisory Committee

List of 7 items.

  • Dr. Brian Bosworth

    Brian Bosworth and his family joined the Leffell School community 12 years ago when their eldest child started kindergarten. Brian and his wife Lauren have two children at the school, Andrew (Grade 11) and Robin (Grade 9). 
    Dr. Bosworth is a gastroenterologist and the chief of medicine at NYU Langone Health’s Tisch Hospital. He earned his undergraduate degree in classics from Princeton University, where he was active in Hillel at the Center for Jewish Life. He then attended the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons for medical school, and stayed at the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center for his residency in internal medicine.  Following residency, Dr. Bosworth moved to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell for his gastroenterology fellowship and then joined the faculty at Cornell’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.
    In addition to his volunteer work at Leffell, Brian dedicates time to Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle, where he chairs the Ritual Committee, is a member of the Medical Task Force addressing Beth El’s response to Covid-19, and has been involved with bringing technology to the shul. He and his family enjoy biking, kayaking, and hiking.
    Brian feels grateful to have been a part of the Medical Advisory Committee and to help support and provide guidance to the outstanding professional leadership of The Leffell School, where “they so exceptionally provided this exemplary educational experience during the difficult past year.”
  • Dr. Elana Maser

    Last March, when Dr. Kay asked Dr. Elana Maser if the school should go ahead with her daughter’s kindergarten assembly in person, Dr. Maser immediately said, “yes.” Moments later, recognizing the gravity of the challenges ahead, she called back and said, “Wait, I am taking my mom hat off and putting my doctor hat on. This breaks my heart, but it’s not safe to proceed.” 
    Suspecting that school closures could extend well into the 2020-2021 school year, Dr. Maser suggested that the school’s reopening efforts be guided by a group of medical doctors. And so the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) was born. Dr. Maser feels deeply honored to be part of this incredible and impressive team of leaders. 
    Elana Maser grew up in Toronto, Canada, where she attended the Leo Baeck Day School. She completed a bachelor of arts in psychology at the University of Western Ontario, then went on to medical school at the University of Ottawa where she was active in developing the medical school curriculum for the treatment of homeless and indigenous populations. After a residency in internal medicine and a gastroenterology fellowship at University of Toronto, she moved to New York to continue her studies at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the Present-Levison fellow for advanced research in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. Maser was awarded the first Crohn-Dickler grant for the treatment and study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and went on to work as an assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine. She currently practices at the Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Mount Sinai. In 2020, she was awarded the Cullman Family Award for ranking among the top one percent of physicians nationally for excellence in provider communication. 
    Elana and her husband Tom Mukamal have three children who all attend The Leffell School:  Henry (Grade 9), Tia (Grade 7), and Bina (Grade 1). In her spare time, Elana enjoys snow and water skiing, tennis, and making time for 10,000 steps around the neighborhood with Tom. 
  • Dr. Debra Etelson Mayblum

    Dr. Debra Etelson Mayblum is a pediatrician in New Rochelle. She received her BS from Cornell University and her MD from New York Medical College before completing her pediatric residency at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She began her career as an assistant professor of pediatrics and attending physician at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, where she worked for 10 years before joining the private practice of Pediatric Associates of Southern Westchester.

    A Rockland County native, Debbie’s love and appreciation for Jewish education began when she attended middle school at the former Solomon Schechter/Reuben Gittelman Day School, and continued at Prozdor at the Jewish Theological Seminary during high school. Active in the Leffell community, she enjoys her role as a parent ambassador  and has spoken at several Middle and High School Open House events.

    Debbie has served on the board of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) as well as the board of New Jersey Y Camps, where she has also worked as camp physician for the past 10 years. In addition to her service on the Leffell Medical Advisory Committee, she has been a part of Beth El Synagogue Center’s Nursery School Medical Task Force during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    In her spare time, Debbie enjoys yoga, skiing, and running. She and her husband Adam have been Leffell School parents for the past 15 years and have three sons: Ethan (Class of 2019), Kyle (Class of 2020), and Ari, a current eighth grader.
  • Dr. Monica Okun

    Dr. Monica Okun is the proud parent of five former or present Schechter Westchester/Leffell School students: Nathan (age 15), Madeleine (age 13), Abigail (age 10), Asher (age 7), and Emmelyn (age 7). Over the years, she has sacrificed four of her best pillowcases to produce four Israelites and one Egyptian for the second-grade Pesach play.

    Monica and her husband Jake grew up in Orange County, California and attended college at UC Berkeley. Dr. Okun received an MD/MBA degree at Tufts School of Medicine/Brandeis University/Northeastern University and trained in otolaryngology at the NYU/ Bellevue Hospitals. She currently practices as an ENT specialist at Westmed Medical Group, Lenox HIll Hospital, and Northern Westchester Hospital.

    Dr. Okun would like to thank the Leffell School community for being positive and innovative during these confusing and scary times. She would like to acknowledge Dr. Elana Maser-Mukamal for taking the lead early, and she recognizes Dr. Michael Kay and Rabbi Harry Pell's talent for balancing the voices from teachers, educators, staff, students, and health care professionals. Finally, she wishes to express gratitude to Smadar Amidror for researching, purchasing, and implementing everything the school needed in order to bring the Medical Advisory Committee’s ideas to fruition. 
  • Dr. Wendy Proskin

    Dr. Wendy Proskin and her family have been part of the Leffell School community for the past 12 years. She and her husband Jeremy Zucker are the proud parents of three daughters at the school: Petra (Grade 11), Tova (Grade 8), and Orli (Grade 5).    

    Dr. Proskin graduated from Brandeis University cum laude with a BA in psychology. She received her MD from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, where she was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. She completed her residency at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and has been a practicing pediatrician at Westmed Medical Group for the past 18 years. Dr. Proskin is regularly named by Westchester Magazine as one of the area’s top doctors in her field. 

    “I was honored to serve on the school’s Medical Advisory Committee this year,” shared Dr. Proskin. “As a parent, I feel lucky that we as a group, along with the teachers and administrators, were able to have our students in school full-time.” 

    During her free time, Wendy enjoys skiing, running, biking, crossword puzzles, and reading, and she and her family are active members of Temple Israel Center in White Plains. 
  • Dr. Talia Swartz

    Dr. Talia H. Swartz is associate dean for MD/PhD education, co-director of the MD/PhD education program, and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

    Dr. Swartz grew up in Westchester where she attended Westchester Day School, Westchester Hebrew High School, and then Barnard College. She received her MD and PhD at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, going on to complete her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases at Mount Sinai Hospital. Her clinical training is in infectious diseases with a specific interest in care for people with HIV, and now, people with Covid-19. 

    She serves on several national organizations that advocate for marginalized populations most impacted by HIV and Covid-19 and has been interviewed regularly in the media for guidance. This year Dr. Swartz was named a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Her NIH-funded research laboratory investigates the signaling that mediates inflammatory signaling in response to infection and aims to develop novel treatment paradigms that reduce the morbidity and mortality of HIV-1 disease and Covid-19. Her peer-reviewed work has been published in high-impact journals.

    Dr. Swartz is deeply committed to recruiting and supporting diverse trainees who are navigating dual training in medicine and biomedical science, mentoring hundreds of trainees. She has been recognized with numerous awards for her contributions to education, including the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

    Talia and her husband Ofer Nagar joined the Leffell School community when their older daughter Yael (Grade 7) started kindergarten in 2013. Together with their younger daughter Karen (age 9), the family enjoys spending time together, playing with their dog Chickpea (Hebrew name Hummus), and imagining where they could travel under non-pandemic circumstances. Talia and Ofer are grateful to be part of this supportive and loving community.
  • Dr. Rebecca Warkol

    Originally from West Bloomfield, Michigan, Rebecca attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate and earned her medical degree from New York Medical College. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center’s Primary Care and Social Medicine program. Dr. Warkol specializes in women’s health, preventive medicine, cardiovascular risk reduction, early cancer detection, and nutrition. 
    Rebecca and her husband Craig have been strong supporters of the school for more than 12 years. Their children Sari (Grade 11) and Donny (Grade 8) have been enrolled at Leffell since kindergarten.
    As a member of the Medical Advisory Committee for Leffell, Dr. Warkol has been proud to work tirelessly with the rest of the group to ensure that our students and faculty could safely attend school in person this year. 
    The Warkols are active members of Temple Israel Center of White Plains and have also been affiliated with the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.  Rebecca is an avid cook who loves to entertain, especially for Jewish holidays — her Purim seudahs are legendary. She is known by her friends to be able to feed a small army with one hand tied behind her back! Rebecca loves skiing, riding her bike both indoors and out, listening to live music, attending the theater, and traveling with her family.


List of 8 items.

  • Eric Bassin

    If there were a prize for the most “hats” ever worn at The Leffell School, Eric Bassin would be the clear winner. A Schechter Westchester alumnus himself, Mr. Bassin is currently the High School principal, a position he has held since 2012. 
    Originally from Hartsdale, Eric attended SW from K-8, graduating in a class of 19 students. He earned his BA in government from Harvard University and his master of professional studies in educational leadership from Manhattanville College. Mr. Bassin holds administrative certification by New York State as a school administrator and supervisor (SAS) and a school district administrator (SDA).  
    Mr. Bassin joined the faculty in 2001 after three years of teaching history at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles, where he also launched and coordinated that school's Wise Individualized Senior Experience (WISE) program. Despite the gorgeous LA weather, he returned to New York in order to join the pioneering cohort of faculty who would help establish the High School. Over the years, he has taught ninth, eleventh, and twelfth grade history courses, and served in a variety of other roles including High School assistant principal, dean of students, grade-level dean, history department chair, WISE program coordinator, and advisor to the mock trial team and student newspaper. He currently teaches a senior government course and freshman tefilah course, and is a ninth-grade advisor. 
    Mr. Bassin has a lifelong passion for teaching. As an undergrad he taught weekly for four years at Boston public high schools. He has long been involved in Jewish leadership and education, whether as gabbai of a college minyan, teaching Hebrew school, serving as a synagogue youth director, or working in numerous roles at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. As the High School principal, he applies a hands-on approach, working closely with students and faculty and attending almost every Shabbaton and countless school trips throughout the years. In 2006, he was named one of Westchester's "Forty Under Forty Rising Stars" by the Westchester Business Council.
    Eric lives in White Plains with his wife, Sheryl, and their two daughters, Maya, almost 2, and Julia, age 5, who will enter kindergarten at Leffell this fall in the Class of 2034! Eric loves spending time with his family, cooking, and playing piano.
  • Pat Bueti

    Pat Bueti, a native of Italy, was born in Reggio Calabria in a town called Solano. He immigrated to the United States in 1970 at the age of 14.

    After graduating from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, he began working for Readers Digest, Inc., where he held the position of computer operator until 1987. He subsequently worked in the construction industry before coming to Schechter Westchester/The Leffell School in 2001.

    When Pat joined the maintenance staff at our school, he was responsible for keeping the physical plant at the Lower School campus in top condition. His duties included maintaining the electrical and mechanical systems, cleaning, and general construction. 

    In 2005 Pat took on a supervisory role, and in 2015 he was named director of maintenance at the Lower School, where he oversees all facility maintenance and repairs, including the school buildings, grounds, and system equipment. Pat’s extensive experience brought leadership and management skills to the maintenance team, and his calm demeanor and positive, can-do attitude continue to make him a valued member of the Leffell School community. 

    Outside of school, Pat enjoys spending time with his wife, Kathleen at the New York Botanical Garden, and together they have traveled in Egypt and throughout Europe. 
  • Irit Goldner-Khon

    Born in Israel, Irit Goldner-Khon has been teaching Hebrew language at The Leffell School for the past 20 years. She received her BA in humanities from Tel Aviv University and earned her MA in expressive art therapy from Lesley University in Boston. Irit also holds certification in educational guidance in diversity, tolerance, and leadership from Israel's Ministry of Education, as well as certification in psychodrama and creative arts therapy. In 2008 she became an American certified practitioner in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy. 

    Prior to moving to the United States in 2001, Irit taught history, including Jewish history, at three different high schools in Israel, where she was also a social studies department head. In addition, she specialized in working with at-risk youth through guided imagery. 

    Ms. Khon has been instrumental in teaching Holocaust studies and created a special program at our school for teaching about the Shoah. She also devoted time to the development of a program in Hebrew for advanced senior-year students. In her teaching she employs visual art and different modalities to enhance the use of Hebrew language. She enjoys bringing the reality of Israel to life in the classroom and most of all, loves her students: “The students are my passion; they make me laugh, they give suggestions about different approaches to the same goals of teaching, they bring their creativity and ideas to my classes, and they bring their enthusiasm to learn.”

    Irit is thankful to Dr. Spiegel, who believed in her and guided her through many challenging moments when she felt homesick for Israel. “Elliot was always saying: ‘this is your home, and we are your family.’ I will never forget him and the support that I got from the families in those difficult times.”

    Irit lives with her husband Yuval in Hartsdale, New York. She loves to sing, attend shows, participate in psychodrama groups, and create visual artistic journals. 
  • Eti Kohen

    Eti Kohen has been teaching in the Middle and High Schools since the High School opened its doors in September 2001. Born in Israel, she received her degree from Tel Aviv University, and began her teaching career in 1989. 

    Eti and her husband Albert sought a Jewish school for their children when their eldest son was ready for kindergarten in 1991. At that time there were only nine spots open at Schechter Westchester for new families, and the Kohens were fortunate to “win” a spot, thus beginning their long association with the school.  

    Prior to becoming a teacher at Leffell, Mrs. Kohen taught at Westchester Hebrew High School and in the Prozdor evening high school program. Eti and her son Michael became “pioneers” together when Michael joined the first High School class and Eti was offered a job teaching Hebrew and Tefilah. She recalls, “there were many fun 'firsts' that I was lucky to be part of, such as the publication of the first edition of the school newspaper. It was about to go to print with the name The Voice of the Lion קול האריה, which had certain political connotations in Israel, so at the last minute I suggested a change to The Lion’s Roar שאגת האריה. We folded the first edition in my basement and Eric Bassin made the first delivery to Dr. Spiegel’s home.” 

    Eti loves being an educator, appreciates when her students push her to be creative, and lives for the unexpected moments, “. . . when I feel that I’ve touched a student’s soul, or I see the shining eyes and little smile of a former student, telling me that they remember the good work we did together.”

    Eti and Albert are the proud parents of three Schechter Westchester/Leffell School graduates: Michael (Class of 2005), Brian (Class of 2009), and Daniel (Class of 2016). Outside of school, Eti enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family in Bat Yam, Israel.
  • Greg Mines

    Enter the Upper School campus and the first person to greet you, always with a smile — and of course a thorough screening — will be Greg Mines. Greg has been the security guard at the Hartsdale campus since it was an undeveloped lot, when Greg made sure the Upper School was protected throughout its construction.
    Greg was born in White Plains, but was raised until age 10 in the countryside of West Virginia.  He moved back to New York when his mother began working at Rochambeau School, and Greg graduated from White Plains High School in 1981. He then joined the US Marines, an experience he recalls fondly and with pride, as it enabled him to study communications, become more independent, and travel as far and wide as California and Okinawa, Japan.
    After the Marines, Greg got a job with a security company and was assigned to work at our school, which at the time was K-8 at the Lower School campus. He also worked at Temple Israel Center, where one High Holiday he had to politely ask then-Schechter Westchester Executive Director Jane Friedland three times to move her car. Before long, Jane and Greg became fast friends, Greg was offered a permanent job at the school, and he ultimately became one of the first staff members at the Hartsdale campus.
    Greg is an integral part of life at Leffell. He has accompanied the eighth grade to Israel six times, finding it fascinating: “Each time I went I learned something new.” Countless families have hired him for their children’s bar and bat mitzvahs and everyone who has ever been a part of this kehilah knows and loves him. Greg has literally watched hundreds of students grow up, and many come back to school just to see him.
    In his spare time, Greg enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, cooking, and hanging out with his 10-year-old dog Jessie, a fan favorite who has her own Leffell ID tag! Greg wants everyone to know that “It touches my heart to feel that I am embraced by the school and the community.”
  • Vivian Nadasdi

    Vivian Nadasdi earned her BS in chemistry from Dickinson College and her MA in chemistry from Boston University. She began her teaching career 33 years ago in Massachusetts and after a brief stint working for a chemical consulting company, missed working with children and went back to teaching, spending 10 years at The Dalton School. 

    After moving from Manhattan to Westchester for more green space, Vivian noticed during her daily commute to the train station that a school was being built on Hartsdale Avenue. She applied for a science teaching position at Leffell (then Schechter Westchester) and the rest is history. 

    Vivian has taught science at both the Middle School and High School over the years, but she primarily teaches tenth-grade chemistry at all levels. She became the High School science chair in 2006 and the Middle School science chair in 2011. She finds the most gratifying aspect of working at Leffell to be “working with the students, the sense of camaraderie among the teachers, and the strong sense of community within the school.”

    Outside of school, Vivian enjoys spending time with her husband Mark, their dog Rusty, and their “pride and joy” — two grown daughters, Melissa and Jenna. She learned Hebrew and became a bat mitzvah as an adult, and spent three weeks on an archaeological dig at Tel Megiddo during one of her numerous trips to Israel. She’s an avid New York Rangers fan and enjoys reading, making jewelry, and during non-Covid times, going to the gym.
  • Meri Sirkin

    Meri grew up in the suburbs of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She earned a BSN from Thomas Jefferson University, and an MS from Rutgers, with a focus in psychiatric nursing for children, teens, and families. She has advanced training in family therapy and business consulting and is certified as an advanced practice psychiatric and mental health clinical nurse specialist with the American Nurses Association. Meri previously worked in psychiatric settings with teens in recovery from substance abuse and eating disorders. She spent many summers as a camp nurse and met co-honoree and fellow MAC member Dr. Debbie Mayblum at Camp NaJe Wah!
    Meri was a parent in the school when Dr. Spiegel invited her to the groundbreaking at the Hartsdale campus and then hired her as the Upper School nurse. Meri goes beyond the illness to promote self-awareness and wellness in her students. She has worked with colleagues and families on health curricula and wellness education, and she has been an advisor for WISE projects, blood drives, and student clubs such as the TLC club, which gives students extra support during particularly difficult times in their lives. She feels strongly that students should learn how to manage anxiety and she has co-taught Tai Chi/Qi Gong in the Middle School.

    Meri and her husband Mark share an interest in Chinese medicine and love playing with Bo, their three-year-old “wack-a-doodle” (goldendoodle) rescue, who is trained as a therapy dog. Meri also has led the Green Committee at Westchester Jewish Center and enjoys traveling, walking, hiking, water sports, and the beach. 

    The Sirkins are proud parents of three SW/Leffell alumni, Roshana (Class of 2010), Gabe (MS 2007), and Maia (Class of 2014), all of whom formed lifelong friendships here and developed a strong love of Israel. Roshana, a PA in neurosurgery, is engaged to Dr. Steven Saunders. Maia has an MPH from Haifa University and is now a first-year medical student at Technion. Gabe is an Ohio University graduate working in real estate development in Pittsburgh.
  • Billy Vascones

    Billy Vascones was born and raised in Los Rios, Ecuador. While attending elementary school, he worked part-time shining shoes to help support his family and pay for school supplies. As a teen he worked for Dole on a banana farm, where he was eventually promoted to a supervisory position. At age 19 he began his mandatory army service, training as a soldier for several years.
    When Billy came to the United States 30 years ago he worked in various positions, including the New York City Department of Sanitation and in restaurants in Manhattan. One of his favorite jobs was working as a private porter for the CEO of PepsiCo. He also worked in a nursing home in Connecticut where he met Margaret, his wife of 21 years. Together they have a son, William, who will graduate from high school this year.

    In his spare time, Billy plays in a weekend soccer league, volunteers at his church, and spends time with his family, including weekly Facetime calls to Ecuador. He enjoys traveling with his family, particularly to their favorite vacation destination, Cape Cod.

    Billy came to Leffell by happenstance! In 2000, he was living in Hartsdale and noticed the construction of a building where a large estate had once stood — the new Solomon Schechter Upper School. He eagerly applied and was hired in June 2001 to work as a maintenance assistant at the Lower School. 
    “Being a part of the Leffell School community has far surpassed any of my career expectations,” says Billy. “Working in the Lower School has given me the advantage of witnessing so many kindergartners grow into remarkable young adults over the span of 20 years. . . .  I have forged meaningful, lifelong relationships and have come to learn so much about the beautiful faith and culture of Judaism. I believe that God has a plan for everything in life and I have been very blessed to be part of this community.”
Dr. Elliot Spiegel In Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Our High School
When Dr. Spiegel arrived at our school in 1980 as its first Headmaster, he found 125 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. He quickly saw the potential for our school to expand through high school and so in preparation for that dream's fulfillment Dr. Spiegel went about growing the school through educational innovation, expanded student services, and the attraction of exceptional educators to join his efforts. 

By the mid 1990s Dr. Spiegel had begun work on a conceptual plan and articulated a vision that set the foundation for the opening of our High School with a pioneer ninth-grade class in 2001. At the same time, he helped locate and design our Hartsdale campus and hired the initial faculty. For many years Dr. Spiegel taught a seminar in Jewish Intellectual History to members of the senior class. 

Upon his retirement in 2013, Dr. Spiegel was given the title Headmaster Emeritus and the Lower School was named in his honor. He and his wife Phyllis have two children, Yoav (MS 1986) and Dina (MS 1989), both graduates of our school. Their four grandchildren, Noam Andron (Grade 9), Daniella Andron (Grade 7), Ethan Spiegel (Grade 5), and Rebecca Spiegel (Grade 3) attend the Leffell School. For the past eight years Dr. Spiegel has been coaching new heads of school from throughout the country. Dr. Spiegel is currently writing a novel set in a Jewish day school
Lower School Campus (K-5)
30 Dellwood Road
White Plains, NY 10605
Upper School Campus (6-12)
555 West Hartsdale Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530