Frances Sternhagen, Rest in Peace

A foppish Bramson and an elegant Sternhagen read from Shakepeare

Almost everyone knew her face, familiar from an extraordinarily prolific acting career, and many fans knew her name, too.  But only a comparatively small and fortunate few knew her as a neighbor.  Frances Sternhagen, who passed away this week at the age of 93, was a beloved part of New Rochelle, admired as much for her humility, warmth, and gentle kindness, as for her acting talents.  I will always treasure the memory of reading sonnets with her at the Sound Shore Shakespeare Festival a few years ago.  Needless to say, her stage presence was just a little better than mine!  Please read Sternhagen’s full obituary in the Times.  May Frances Sternhagen rest in peace.

Richard Roundtree, Rest in Peace

New Rochelle native and New Rochelle High School graduate Richard Roundtree, who played the iconic John Shaft and many other roles during his long acting career, has passed away at the age of 81.  Over two generations, many residents of our community — those who knew him personally and those who admired him from afar — have taken pride in and drawn inspiration from Roundtree’s success.  The New York Times has much more.  May Richard Roundtree rest in peace.

Best Places to Live

In case you missed it, a nice write-up in Westchester Magazine describing the county’s best places to live, including New Rochelle.  Thank you to Catherine White of the Chamber of Commerce for being an excellent advocate for our community.

Standing with Israel

Last night, I stood with clergy, leaders, and neighbors from several congregations throughout New Rochelle and also representing different faiths, as together we expressed our support for the people of Israel.  Here are my remarks.