Brandeis Community Welcomes Mandel Center for the Humanities

Mandel Ribbon Cutting

Morton Mandel and Trustee Barbara Mandel, P’73, flank their grandson, Daniel, as they cut the ribbon to mark the dedication of the new Mandel Center for the Humanities. President emeritus Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D.’72, and Malcolm Sherman, chair of the Board of Trustees, lend a hand.

The new Mandel Center for the Humanities has even exceeded the expectations of donor 
Morton Mandel, P’73.

Mandel, whose family foundation’s gift of $22.5 million funded construction of the new center, shared his enthusiasm while speaking to faculty, students, alumni, trustees and staff at dedication ceremonies on Oct. 26, 2010.

“It is a thing of beauty beyond being a facility, a tool that will improve education on this campus,” said Mandel, whose wife, Barbara, P’73, is a Brandeis trustee. “I am inhaling the refined excitement, the quiet elegance, all the fine detail. The building itself is awesome to me beyond what I expected — and I expected a lot.”

In addition to a having large multipurpose space; 90-seat theater/lecture hall; 48-seat, tiered 
classroom; two 24-seat seminar rooms; a reading room; and a roof garden, the Mandel Center connects to Olin-Sang to create the Mandel Humanities Quad (formerly the North Academic Quad).

To honor president emeritus Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D.’72, the Jacobson Family Foundation created a chair to fund the center’s directorship. Ramie Targoff, a professor of English, was named the first Jehuda Reinharz Director of the Mandel Center.

Trustee Jonathon Jacobson said he and his wife, Joanna, wanted to commemorate “one of the crowning achievements of Jehuda’s presidency — 
the Mandel Center for the Humanities.” He added, “Jehuda is a historian and, given that, we could think of no better way to honor his leadership and vision than to support a lasting and world-class humanities program at Brandeis.”

Esther Feldberg, G'08, and Trustee Thomas Friedman '75
Esther Feldberg, G'08, and Trustee Thomas Friedman '75

Palm Beach

Brandeis alumni and friends from around the country came 
together in South Florida for the university’s annual weekend of events in Palm Beach. On Friday night, Fellow Fred and Gilda 
Slifka hosted a reception for members of the Board of Fellows. The next evening, at the Palm Beach Dinner, hosted by Morton and Trustee Barbara Mandel, P’73, President Frederick Lawrence shared his thoughts about Brandeis during an interview session with Trustee Thomas Friedman ’75. Bruce Magid, the dean of the Brandeis International Business School and the Martin and Ahuva Gross Professor of Financial Markets and Institutions, addressed 
attendees at Sunday morning’s Fellows Breakfast. Lawrence was again the featured speaker at the Norman S. and Eleanor E. Rabb Seminar later on Sunday.

Alumnus Makes Estate Gift of $1.5 Million

Kenneth Slapin ’61 recently became the 37th Brandeis graduate to give at least $1 million to the university, and the second to do so through an estate gift.

Slapin, a passionate political 
and community activist in his native Norwalk, Conn., died in October 2009. He left Brandeis 
$1.5 million in his will.

Slapin made his gift in memory of John Roche, who joined the Brandeis faculty in 1956 as the Christian Herter Professor of Politics and History and served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1958 to 1961. The gift will support graduate students studying government or history.

“Ken had very happy memories of his years at Brandeis,” says Thomas Fredo, a longtime friend of Slapin and the administrator of his estate. “He had very high regard for John Roche and for the education he received. His pride in and gratitude to Brandeis are demonstrated through this gift.”

A graduate of Yale Law School, Slapin was involved in Democratic Party politics at the local and state levels. A close friend of Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore, Slapin served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, most recently in 2000.

Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12
Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12

Donors Make Brandeis 'Experiment' A Success

In his brief time as the new president, Frederick Lawrence has frequently referred to Brandeis as an experiment that “shouldn’t have worked, but thankfully did.”

At the time of our establishment in 1948, many outside observers felt the ambitions of the university’s founders — to create a first-rate private research university inspired by the ideals of academic excellence, social justice and non-sectarianism — would succumb to the economic realities of higher education.

Sixty-three years later, however, Brandeis is still here — and stronger than ever. Despite competing with institutions that have had a significant head start (in some cases, a couple of centuries), Brandeis is recognized as one of the world’s leading private research universities.

The faculty is comprised of leaders in their fields. Our admissions environment has never been more competitive. The facilities — from the Mandel 
Center for the Humanities at one end of campus 
to the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center 
at the other end — are state of the art.

In large part, the Brandeis experiment has 
succeeded because of our dedicated, loyal alumni, friends, parents, trustees and members of the 
Brandeis National Committee. You have believed in and supported Brandeis’ mission and our unique 
place among American colleges and universities.

Fred has planned an ambitious travel schedule 
for his first year in office that will take him around 
the world to meet the off-campus Brandeis family. 
In addition to sharing his thoughts about the future 
of Brandeis, he will be thanking you for supporting 
the university.

Without you, Brandeis would not be Brandeis. Thank you for making our experiment a resounding success.

Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12

Senior Vice President of

Institutional Advancement

Hosts Thomas and Margot Pritzker, P'02
Hosts Thomas and Margot Pritzker, P'02

Brandeis Night in Chicago

Alumni from the area gathered for the annual Brandeis 
Night in Chicago, which was held at the Hyatt Regency. 
President emeritus Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D.’72, spoke about 
the future of higher education.

TD Bank's Laurie Benson and Daniel Griggs; Elena Weiss, assistant VP and store manager in Waltham; Audra Grady, academic administrator and store manager in Waltham; and Jessica Paquin, assistant director for academic internships.
TD Bank's Laurie Benson and Daniel Griggs; Elena Weiss, assistant VP and store manager in Waltham; Audra Grady, academic administrator and store manager in Waltham; and Jessica Paquin, assistant director for academic internships.

TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, made a gift to Brandeis to fund three experiential learning academic internship stipends for students to work at local community organizations.

Lynn Schusterman and Ilan Troen '63
Lynn Schusterman and Ilan Troen '63

Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

Lynn Schusterman and Ilan Troen ’63, the Karl, Harry and Helen Stoll Professor of Israel Studies and director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, were all smiles at the dedication of the center’s new home at Brandeis.

Trustee Bart Winokur and Daniel Acheampong '11, Student Union president.
Trustee Bart Winokur and Daniel Acheampong '11, Student Union president.

Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon

More than 200 people attended the Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon, an annual event that brings together students and the donors who support them through scholarship assistance.

Scholarship Fund Created for 'Muz'

The Mazelle “Muz” Ablon Bohacz ’78 Scholarship Fund has been established in memory of the dedicated alumna, who died on Dec. 30, 2010, after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Known affectionately as “Muz” by her many Brandeis friends, she served as co-chair of the Class of 1978’s 30th Reunion, which set records for attendance and class gift size.

In recognition of her hard work and commitment, she received the Service to the Alumni Association Award. She was the inspiration for the creation of the Mazelle “Muz” Ablon Bohacz Award, which is given annually to Reunion chairs who demonstrate similar enthusiasm and dedication.

Gifts can be made at or by calling Orla Kane (800-333-1948, ext. 64069).

Krupp Challenge Nearing Goal

Thanks to the support of alumni and friends, the two-year-old Krupp Scholarship Challenge is within $50,000 of its 
$2 million goal, which will trigger a $1 million match from Boston community leaders Liz and George Krupp. 

For every $2 Brandeis raises in new and increased gifts for student scholarships, the Krupps have agreed to contribute $1 for scholarships in the arts and humanities.

To be eligible for the Krupp Challenge 
match, gifts must be designated for scholarship support and be received from donors who either did not make a gift in fiscal year 2010 (July 1, 2009–June 30, 2010) or are increasing their gift this fiscal year (July 1, 2010–June 30, 2011).

To make your gift to the Krupp Scholarship Challenge, visit

Trustee Paul Zlotoff ’72, speaking at the recent Fellows Breakfast in Palm Beach, wants to  increase awareness of the Board of Fellows.
Trustee Paul Zlotoff ’72, speaking at the recent Fellows Breakfast in Palm Beach, wants to increase awareness of the Board of Fellows.

Board of Fellows Honors Significant Contributors

Trustee Paul Zlotoff ’72 serves as chair of the 225-member Brandeis Board of 
Fellows, an honorary society that recognizes people who have made a significant contribution of their time or resources to the university. The group meets several times a year, most notably for breakfast events during Commencement and Palm Beach weekends. Zlotoff, who helped revitalize the Alumni Association during his term as president (2001–05), spoke recently about his plans for the Board of Fellows.

Q: Who are the Fellows?

A: There is no typical member. It’s a very diverse group that ranges from former presidents of the Alumni Association to significant contributors to individuals who once served as Trustees. They all have made a significant contribution to Brandeis — either of their time, their resources or both.

Q: Why does Brandeis need a Board of Fellows?

A: It is important that we honor these individuals who have helped build Brandeis into the institution that it has become. Being a member of the Board of Fellows is an opportunity to have a continued connection to Brandeis that recognizes past involvement.

Q: What are you doing to increase awareness of the Board of Fellows?
A: We are in the midst of developing a Fellows recognition area on campus, we have enhanced our website, and we plan to reinstitute a “robing” ceremony for new Fellows. These are all opportunities to give Fellows well-deserved public recognition for all they have done for Brandeis.

For more information about the Board of Fellows, visit

Marilyn Cohen
Marilyn Cohen

Cohen Center Co-Founder Dies

Marilyn Cohen, G’03, a longtime supporter of Brandeis who along with her husband, 
Maurice, co-founded the pioneering research center that bears their name, died on Nov. 21, 2010. She was 92.

Since being established by a gift from the Cohens in 1980, the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies has developed into a preeminent center for the social-scientific study of contemporary Jewish life. Its research influences Jewish communal policies and informs the scholarly understanding of contemporary Jewry.

In addition to the Cohen Center, the Cohens also supported the Rose Art Museum and 
student scholarships and fellowships. Maurice, who died in 1995 
at the age of 80, served as a Brandeis trustee from 1972–1995. Marilyn was a Fellow of the university. They received the university’s Bertha and Jacob Goldfarb Medal in 1988 in recognition of “their outstanding generosity and dedication to humanity.” 

“Maurice and Marilyn both worked tirelessly for Brandeis to help make it the institution that it is today,” says Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12, Brandeis’ senior vice president of institutional advancement.
“Marilyn was an important member of the Brandeis family and a fixture at university events in Boston and Palm Beach. All who knew her loved her.”

“Marilyn Cohen passionately loved her family, but she also loved the work that she and her late husband, Maurice, sponsored at Brandeis,” says Leonard Saxe, the Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and director of the Cohen Center. “She was very proud of the center and the work that my colleagues, students and I conducted under the auspices of the center. We will miss her dearly.”

Alan Slifka, P'84
Alan Slifka, P'84

Brandeis Community Mourns Visionary Donor Alan Slifka

Alan Slifka, P’84, a farsighted philanthropist who entrusted Brandeis with 
helping his vision of coexistence flourish in communities around the world, died Feb. 4 after a battle with cancer. A powerful and committed believer in coexistence studies and a longtime Brandeis supporter, Slifka was 81.    

His Slifka Foundation last year made a $4.25 million gift to the university to expand the nine-year-old master’s program in coexistence and conflict and to continue its pioneering work educating leaders in the emerging field of coexistence and shared societies. The gift established the Alan B. Slifka Chair in Coexistence and Conflict, moved the program to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and provided additional faculty and program enhancements.

Slifka program alumni serve as diplomats, aid and development specialists, lawyers, journalists and program managers in trouble spots around the world, including Israel, Latvia, Rwanda, Serbia and Sudan.

In honor of his parents, Slifka also created the Sylvia and Joseph Slifka Israeli Coexistence Scholarship at Brandeis. It is awarded nearly every year to two Israeli citizens — one Arab and one Jewish — who are committed to, and will work to foster, greater tolerance and understanding between Arab and Jewish Israelis.
Slifka received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Brandeis in 2003. His son Randolph graduated from the university in 1984.

“Alan Slifka was a visionary for the coexistence ideal and helped shape a new approach to conflict resolution that focuses on how one can successfully build shared societies,” said Heller School Dean Lisa Lynch. “He saw the Slifka program at Brandeis as a way to ensure the development of new leaders and thought in the field of coexistence that would reshape our approach to conflict around the world.”

Slifka was born in New York City in 1929, graduated from the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, received a bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1951 and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1953.

Founder and co-chair of Halcyon Asset Management, he was also founding chair of the beloved Big Apple Circus and co-founder of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, the first not-for-profit organization created to further peace between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.