At mid-day on almost every Wednesday, Hitchcock Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor the Rev. Pete Jones hosts “The Hitchcock Half” on New Rochelle’s WVOX radio station.
The 30-minute interview program “elevates positive voices and share[s] messages of hope” in this time when our community and world need uplifting, said Jones. “There are so many people who are feeling isolated right now, by COVID but also by divisive, hurtful messages. This radio show gives us the opportunity to pull together.”
Jones broadcasts “The Hitchcock Half” live while interviewing his guests by telephone from the WVOX studio. Since the program debuted in October, he has interviewed such community leaders as Richard Nightingale, CEO of Westhab; Danielle Butin, CEO of Afya Foundation; and Isabel Villar, executive director of El Centro Hispano.
This week, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach shared his perspective on being the mayor of a city in the time of pandemic and political chaos: how has he responded and how do we put things back together? In upcoming conversations, Frank Williams Jr., executive director of the White Plains Youth Bureau, will speak about social and racial justice in Westchester’s communities on Jan. 20; Lauren Pomerantz, LCSW Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service, will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting teens and young people on Jan. 27; and Matthew Fiorillo, owner of Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services in White Plains, will shed light on the pandemic’s toll from a funeral director’s perspective on Feb. 3. Each program will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Previous episodes of the “The Hitchcock Half” featured conversations with local religious leaders, including Rabbi Adam Baldachin of Shaarei Tikvah Synagogue, Rabbi Jonathan Blake of Westchester Reform Temple and the Rev. Kelly Rogers of Scarsdale Congregational Church who talked about community healing on the day after the Nov. 3 presidential election. Those episodes and more can be streamed as a podcast on Stitcher, Spotify and Apple, all of which can be accessed on the Hitchcock Presbyterian Church website, hitchcockpresby.org.
“Westchester is an amazing place, and there are so many people who are doing really remarkable work. I am so inspired by them,” Jones said.
“The Hitchcock Half” producer, church member Betsy Bush, said the program is a way to share thoughtful conversation with extraordinary local residents with the wider community.
“Pete is a great radio host, bringing out the best in his guests and really listening to them, just as he does as a pastor,” Bush said. “The program is not overtly religious, but the values [Jones] shares of respect, gratitude and kindness really shine through.”
— Reporting by Valerie Abrahams