An Appreciation of his Life and Legacy, April 22, 2012
On Sunday, April 22, 2012, from 11 AM - 1:30 PM, over ninety Hornstein alumni, family, friends, and colleagues of Bernie Reisman gathered together on the Brandeis campus to celebrate Bernie's impact on their lives and on the entire Jewish community.
Joe Reimer, long-standing Hornstein professor, hosted the event "à la Bernie", including Bernie's beloved "Four Corners" approach to group discussion.
The program began with a brief reception and opening remarks followed by Brandeis President Fred Lawrence who spoke of Bernie as a visionary. Participants were then treated to a poignant, ten-minute video, created upon Bernie's retirement in 1999, featuring Bernie, his colleagues, and family .
"Bernie in His Own Words", excerpts of Bernie's writings, followed:
- "Managers, Jews, or Social Workers", Response Magazine, 1982. Read by Carolyn Keller '75, head of school, Metrowest Jewish Day School, Framingham, MA
- "Basis of Jewish Leadership Today", a paper delivered at the 1986 General Assembly. Read by Anne (Tavan) Meirowitz '87, administrative director, Rabbinical School, Hebrew College, Newton, MA
- "The Ideology of Post Modern Jews", Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Summer 1989. Read by Gershon Levine '91, executive director, Temple Emanu-El, Providence, RI
- "Jewish Communal Service at the Edge of Chaos and Complexity: The Challenge of Adaptation", Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Fall 1994. Read by Brenda Gevertz, executive director, Jewish Communal Service Association of North America, New York, NY
The readings were followed by "Four Corners: The Reisman Legacy Re-appraised", in which Joe Reimer asked the audience to break into four groups to discuss and then report out on the following topics:
- Program as Paradigm: can today's Hornstein Program, with all of its complexities and changes, still remain a paradigm experience?
- State of the Profession of Jewish Communal/Professional Leadership
- Israel-Diaspora Relations: Bernie saw them as coequals
- Bernie as Experiential Educator
The program concluded with "I Remember Bernie", remarks by:
- Susan Shevitz, former Hornstein director and Professor Emerita
- Daniel Terris, vice president of global affairs and the director of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis
- Jonathan Sarna, Hornstein chair and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis, who read a letter by Dan Mariaschin '73, executive vice president, B'nai B'rith International
- Elaine Reisman