Class Correspondent

I plead not guilty to the error in the Class Notes that appeared in the last issue of Brandeis Magazine — the merging of the notes from the classes of ’52 and ’53. I proceed now on the assumption that the members of the class know who they are and no further explanation is needed — except to assure the members of the Class of ’52 that it wasn’t a case of gate crashing due to envy of their first-class status. We in the Class of 1953 also have first-class status, as you will see by the “first-classness” of the achievements indicated by the entries below! I spend summers in the Berkshires and winters in New York, two blocks from Lincoln Center, where I hang out a lot. Otherwise, I continue to write articles on a variety of subjects literary and political (“Two Views of Jews: Bernard Malamud, Maurice Samuel, and the Beilis Case,” Studies in American Jewish Literature). My greatest pleasures these days are my five grandchildren and reminiscing about Brandeis with my sister, retired judge Arline Rotman ’58.

Dick Hirshberg has retired after practicing neurosurgery in Houston since 1964. He has continued to conduct research and publish his findings. He has written prefaces for two textbooks on pain and continues to present papers on such subjects as “Pain and Suffering” and “The Shaken Baby Syndrome” (2010). Dick’s wife, Jacklyn, has written a children’s book. Their daughter, Eva Heintz, is an attorney, and her husband, Jay, is a urologist. Dick adds, “I often reminisce on my wonderful years at Brandeis.” Ruth Abrams Goldberg, still the music lover she was in our Brandeis days (a love I deeply shared with her then), writes that she and her husband, Alan, spent five days in July at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C., through Elderhostel’s Road Scholar Program. Ruth tells us that “concerts, lectures, recitals and master classes filled the days and evenings.” Still sounds great to me. Sandy Lakoff writes, “I would appreciate a mention in Class Notes of my latest book (released in August): ‘Ten Political Ideas That Have Shaped the Modern World.’” Lois Lyons Lindauer reports that the executive search company that she started in 1997 is flourishing. With 15 employees, Lois L. Lindauer Searches devotes 100 percent of its resources to filling fundraising positions. Her clients include Harvard Law School, Columbia University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of Chicago. With institution needs up and contributions down, the demand for development professionals is very strong. Paula Weixel Lederkramer, G’12, has a granddaughter, Jade Sank '12, who will graduate from Brandeis in May. Jade sings with Company B’s a cappella group. The Lederkramers have visited campus several times in the last few years, and Paula reports that she is “continually surprised at the changes, marveling at what time hath brought.” She and Al celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in October, and she says, “it feels like only yesterday” when she was a student in the Class of ’53. Audrey Rogovin Madans writes to let us know that she has been living in North Carolina for 52 years. She calls herself a “professional volunteer” in her community and in her synagogue. Indeed, a most understandable oxymoron for women of a certain age. Audrey says she has two grown children, five grandchildren and a “fantastic great-grandchild!” She also reports that one thing she loves most about living in Charlotte is her proximity to best friend Ruth Abrams Goldberg. And it is thanks to Audrey that Ruth was persuaded to send your class correspondent some information about herself! Thanks, Audrey and Ruth. Word comes from Elliot Morrison, who is a psychiatrist treating children and adolescents; his wife of 34 years is a clinical psychologist. The day after he sent us his personal update he was scheduled for back surgery and probably neck surgery right after that, so he thinks he’ll probably be down for a while. “I had to hang up my tennis racket, perhaps permanently,” he writes. “If that is so, that will leave just Alpine skiing as a regular athletic endeavor, and, of course, only in the winter. Guess I’ll have to come up with something else.” And for the first time we have word from Sumner Packer, who says that “after so many years it is hard to bring you up to date.” He reports that he is “still surviving” and has worked for Home Depot for 21 years. He has been married to Sibyl for 54 years, and they had four children, one of whom (Rachael) passed away at age 33. The other three live near him, and he and Sibyl have three grandchildren. One granddaughter is in the Teach for America program in Baltimore; her brother is in his third year at the Coast Guard Academy; and another granddaughter is in her final year at Florida Atlantic University’s Honors College. Sumner informs us that he is still in touch with Marvin March ’52 and Lenny Vangassbeek ’52. As for Marshall Sterman, ever since I sent out an announcement that as class correspondent I would appreciate hearing news from members of the Class of 1953, Marshall has added me to his politically progressive, environmentally committed, business blog, which I receive several times a week. Normally, I would just hit delete, but I am usually in sync with his astoundingly wry and witty, politically perceptive, yet sometimes very silly punditry — so I have not asked him to remove me from his list. Here is a short but representative example: “I finally have found something good/positive to comment about re the Fed’s/Pol’s/Admin’s stimulus policy; they’ve created the need for what can immediately become the largest restaurant and lodging chain with locations that will dwarf the likes of Starbucks and Hilton, while at the same time averting a social revolution whose Jean Valjean won’t have to steal from the ‘haves.’ All hail to those Washington souls who will soon be funding at least one soup kitchen and shelter in every city, town and hamlet throughout the good old U.S. of A.” And, finally, words from Episcopal clergyman Al Zadig, who writes in an entirely different mood, “Our Brandeis years seem so long ago, and yet some memories are so fresh and lovely!” Al’s message seems a good way to close this report from the septua/octogenarian perspective: “There seems to be a special pleasure in quietly aging, slowing down a bit, and being more and more aware of the sheer beauty of creation — sunrises, sunsets, gentle breezes, etc. My parish is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood and 80th birthday in November. A wonderful treat for me will be the presence of all seven of my children, and at least eight of my grandchildren, with my middle son, Father Alfred Zadig Jr., both concelebrating the Masses and preaching. In the midst of the political and economic turmoil swirling around us, it’s a joy just to sit quietly and be grateful for so many blessings!” Thank you, Al, for these lovely words in an unlovely time.

Last thoughts: If you have not recently sent us an update on where you are and what you are doing, please do so when you next hear from me. We were a very small class, and even smaller now, but we all seem to be happy to hear about one another.
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