Class Correspondent

In the afterglow of our 50th Reunion, particular thanks must go to Trustee Steve Reiner and Fellow Bruce Litwer, co-chairs of the 25-member Reunion committee; panelists Morris (Moss) Blachman, Arthur Green, Doreen Rappaport and Sharon Pucker Rivo and moderator Stan Davis for relating their fascinating life journeys; Judy Silverson Sloan and Jeff Golland for coordinating the touching memorial service and compiling the book of remembrance that were so worthy of our deceased classmates; and the yearbook committee, comprised of “class poet” Steve Bluestone, Ed Feldstein, Bob Lapides, Judy Silverson Sloan and Marty Zelnik. Although the golden memories of our thrilling Reunion may fade, the words of our classmates describing that event endure. I happily provide you all with representative comments following that special weekend from our Class of ’61 website (which is still up and running for those who wish to participate in the ongoing conversation):

From Marc Lubin: “This was a magical and powerful experience and was, as everyone says, orchestrated beautifully and smoothly by Elisa Gassel ’01 and her staff and by our committee.” From Micky Leberman Josephs: “Our 50th Reunion was splendid. Sharing time, memories and emotions was a treat. So many bright, interesting, caring people.” From Baila Milner Miller: “I am so impressed with our class, not only in terms of accomplishments, but also in terms of our honesty, self-reflections and willingness to share our memories of the ‘old days’ and our continued growth.” From Dick Mazow: “It was terrific reconnecting with old friends and spending time with others that I did not really know during my years at Brandeis, but thoroughly enjoyed meeting this weekend.” From Heather Holiber Gerson: “Don’t you think that all of us were deeply reminded of how unique the Brandeis experience and people were and are?” From Leslie Neiman Kingsley: “On so many levels, it went beyond my hopes and expectations. I feel thoroughly reconnected and want to keep it that way.” From Linda and Norm Merwise: “This weekend was memorable in so many different ways. The overall tone was just perfect and very much appreciated.” From Ed Feldstein: “It was truly a wonderful experience from the moment we stepped onto the campus to the time we said our goodbyes.” From Evelyn Myers Botkin: “Thanks to all those who spent time organizing the terrific weekend. You gave all of us a wonderful gift.” From Joan Kaplan Allaire: “As one of the few alumni who had a 50-year gap, I connected with a number of people I knew and a number I wish I had known. Coming back was an unexpected delight. I thank the Reunion committee for making arrangements that were flawless.” From Miriam/Mimi Mandel Congdon: “Above all, hugs to all who welcomed me back into their hearts and lives after my 50-year absence.” From Bob Lapides: “It was an extraordinary experience seeing and talking with so many of you, and listening
to you speak at the various events moved me. It was deeply rewarding to see how everyone had become more self-realized versions of their earlier selves.” From Roberta Spector Safer: “The attention to detail was very impressive, and [my husband] remarked how much we, as a group, bonded in our admiration and enthusiasm for our alma mater.” From Fran Perlman Freedman: “I loved every moment of it. It was extremely thrilling to see such diversity at the school and to observe ... that Brandeis students love Brandeis now with the same passion we did then.” From Sandra Cutler Bernstein: “I realized that we were a class of big doers and people who were to leave our mark in the world.” From Phyllis Chasanow Richman: “I’m all wrapped up in a Brandeis cocoon. I want to do it all over — not just the Reunion, the whole four years of school. You, my classmates, were risk takers, which is exactly what makes a class special.” From Steve Reiner: “We are our own special family within the greater Brandeis family.”

Here are some comments about our ’61 website, which serves both those who attended Reunion and those who did not: From Bob Lapides (creator and moderator of the site): “In a way, our unfolding conversation is like a very complex novel, one with many subplots and hundreds of fascinating details but with two overriding themes: our interest in each other and what we share despite our differences.” From Judy Liskov Zabin: “All the electronic communications served a great purpose in reviving and enhancing connections. Reunion was a more meaningful and exciting experience than I ever anticipated.” From Marian Liniado Cuba: “The fact that people who knew one another almost not at all could make contact on a fairly intimate and honest level, not being face to face, just dazzles the mind.” From Judith Frank: “This medium allows us to know each other in the disembodied state, without the complication of appearance and mannerisms.” From Jeff Golland: “Those of you who were present on this Yahoo list were also part of the past several months of joy for me. I thank everyone for making this experience golden.” From Robert Moulthrop: “[Although the website was] made for Reunion, I think we are finding [in it] an ark for renewal. The shared interests that took us to Brandeis — and willy-nilly glued us together while we were there — have a very positive potential now to open some new vistas. Even though many of us have been out of touch for a while, I feel a very strong kinship and feast of recognition with many of my fellow classmates.” As class correspondent, I thank you for these positively wonderful comments and am delighted to share them with our classmates and the rest of the Brandeis family. “Thrilling” is the adjective that best describes my feelings about the Reunion. My husband, Joel Rosenblatt, and I loved and embraced it all. 

Former Brandeis basketball player Ron Carner, president of Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel, was selected to join the prestigious James Madison High School Wall of Distinction during a ceremony scheduled for May 6, 2012. Carner will join a select group of honorees who graduated from the high school in Brooklyn — a list that includes U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and educator Stanley Kaplan. Janice Babcock writes in to report that she and her husband, Stephen, were in a professional partnership as mostly school-based puppeteers for more than 30 years. She writes, “We recently retired, and I am now concentrating on my painting and wood sculptures. I am working on my third show and I have sold some of my pieces. Stephen is working on a novel.”
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