Class Correspondent

As always, it is great hearing from so many of you and catching up with your interesting lives. For me, the last few months brought lots of time with friends and family. In November, I had a wonderful reunion with old friends from day camp whom I hadn’t seen in 41 years. A few weeks later we took a trip to California to visit our older daughter. In February, we caught up with my parents in Florida. I hope you all are enjoying similar visits and the special memories they create. Please keep sending in your Class Notes. We love hearing what you’re up to.

In January, Sam Brett celebrated his 36th anniversary with Bloomingdale’s, where he is the operating vice president for Florida. In February, he celebrated his 31st anniversary with his wife, Jill. Life is good, he reports. Susan Feigenbaum and her husband, Jay Pepose ’75, M.A.’75, traveled to Antarctica. Having also visited the Arctic and the Galápagos, Susan now tells everyone that her love for Jay stretches to the ends of the earth and even in between! Meanwhile, their son David ’08 relocated to New York late last summer and is the manager of editorial services for CBS. Writing that their 17-year-old triplets will begin touring colleges later this spring, she says, “Watch out, Brandeis!” Jessie Friedman writes, “I have lived in Boulder, Colo., since 1980 and raised my three children here. My son is a luthier (he makes and repairs stringed instruments) and a musician, my younger daughter is an artist and about to obtain her second degree (a B.S. in nursing), and my older daughter has a master’s in education and has provided me with the love of my life — my first grandchild, Jasper. It is my great good fortune that all of my children live nearby, and I am able to remain in close contact. I am happily married to a Buddhist scholar, professor and Tibetan language translator. I have been an active practitioner and student of Buddhism since 1971 and have had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time in India over the past several years. I have a master’s degree in psychology, have worked as a licensed psychotherapist since the late ’80s and teach various courses at Naropa University. I am also a certified life coach. You can look me up at I also  have a master’s degree in art history and museum studies, which provides much  joyful absorption into diverse world cultures and provocative conversations.” Mark  Gershenson continues to live and practice law in Palm Springs, Calif., and finds himself wondering: Why is there a three-month-plus lead time for submissions to this magazine? Will the Brandeis Office of Admissions act favorably on his daughter Chloe’s pending application? Why don’t people announce unhappy occurrences in Class Notes? Why do 49 percent of Americans not pay income tax? Why is Rule 22 (“Be discreet”) no longer a part of the Student Handbook (now called “Rights and Responsibilities” and 34 pages long)? Is she really going out with him? Is she really gonna take him home tonight? (Referencing the Joe Jackson song.) Aluma Kopito Motenko writes, “When my youngest son, Micah, graduated from high school in Brookline, Mass., two years ago, I came out to southern Oregon for a four-month apprenticeship in herbal medicine and I decided to stay. I now live in Ashland, where I am learning about the local herbs, making herbal medicine and soaking in the mineral hot springs. Life is good! My eldest son, Adam, is a career adviser at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis, and his twin brother, Josh, is a college basketball coach in Colorado. Micah (a junior at the College of Wooster in Ohio) returned in December from a semester in Ghana. Kathy McDormand reports that she has been employed by a wholesale insurance agency in Burlington, Mass., since 2000 and has worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years. She recently heard from two old Brandeis friends, Susan Moretsky Thomas ’75 and John Thomas ’75, and they got together for dinner at the Chateau in Waltham. Kathy writes, “We had a  great time reminiscing and catching up after losing contact for a very long time. I have  no children of my own, but enjoy a close relationship with my two sisters (including  Margaret ’71) and my brother, as well as with my nieces and nephew.” Cathy  Morris Chernoff checks in to let us know that she is one of the producers of David Henry Hwang’s new comedy, “Chinglish,” which had its opening night on Broadway on Oct. 27, 2011. She is very excited about her next project, the first-ever revival of “Evita,” with Ricky Martin, Elena Rogers and Michael Cerveris. Previews began on March 12 and opening night is April 5. Cathy continues to be active with a number of organizations that promote the arts and tend to the needs of the theatrical community. Cathy’s son, Marc, spent last summer in New York interning with the Public Theater. He is now in his third year studying technical directing at the California Institute of the Arts. She writes, “In between my busy schedule, I still manage to get down to the Caribbean a few times a year to just sit on the sand and chill. Not bad.” Tom Phillips scored the PBS American Experience film “Freedom Riders,” which won three Primetime Emmys, including one for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a documentary film. He also scored “Jesse Owens” for American Experience; it will air in May. Heidi Ravven happily reports that daughter Simha Ravven and son-in-law Timothy Morris had a baby, Niamh Lucille Yael Morris-Ravven, in  July 2011. She is called Lucy. Heidi’s book, “The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will,” will be published in 2012. Aaron Rubinger, senior rabbi at Congregation Ohev Shalom in Maitland, Fla., began a seven-month sabbatical on Oct. 10, 2011. He spent the first three months visiting 12 Jewish communities in 10 European countries, conducting a study on contemporary European anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. He traveled to Amsterdam, Weesp, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Prague and Vienna. He is spending the remaining four months in Israel interviewing European Jews who have immigrated to Israel. Jill Stavenhagen teaches drawing and art history at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas. Her website, shows some of the drawings from her portfolio. Steve Tradd lives in Longwood, Fla., outside Orlando. Steve, along with his wife, Elaine, and sons Steve, 29, and Derek, 21, went to Europe last July for two weeks. Near London, they visited daughter Alison and her fiancé, Ian Bexson. They also traveled to Dublin and Paris. Steve writes, “Alison got married on Oct. 30, 2011, at the Ritz Carlton Beach Club in Sarasota, Fla. It was a destination wedding on the Gulf of Mexico, with most of the guests coming from England, where Ian is from, and Boston, where our families are from. Alison and Ian moved back to the States in January and are living in our house in Massachusetts as they find jobs and get settled. We bought the house last June and plan on spending the summers there. We look forward to catching up with family and friends now that I am winding down my career and working fewer hours.” Sally Zanger writes, “I am working at the Connecticut Legal Rights Project, a legal-services organization that represents people with psychiatric disabilities. I recently argued in front of the Connecticut Supreme Court, a first for me, and more fun than I expected (nice to have new experiences at this late date). In August, my 13-year-old daughter, Maya, and I accompanied my husband on a business trip to China. I see Mindy (Melinda) Milberg, Phil Benjamin ’73 and Beth Slavet pretty regularly. We visited Beth while attending a wedding in Washington, D.C., in May and they all came to Cape Cod last summer. I also see Joan Glazer Margolis ’75 and Stuart Margolis ’75. My two older children are married and living in NYC for now, which is a dream situation for a mother living in Connecticut!”

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